Staff and Board

FCIA is led by a volunteer Board of Directors and an Executive Director, supported by a small, part-time staff and volunteers. The development of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association is conducted under the leadership of a Board of Directors and an Executive Director. All Board positions are on a volunteer basis.

2024 FCIA Board of Directors 

FCIA Staff 

Lauren Adler, Interim Operations and Membership Director

Olja Hocevar Van Wely, Executive Director 

Olja combines two decades of success in grant and program management with hands-on experience making award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate. Throughout her tenure in the international nonprofit sector, Olja has effectively managed a range of grants from both local and global public and private donors. Olja's extensive experience encompasses the oversight of a diverse portfolio of international programs focusing on advancing global women's and youth rights and promoting their equitable access to education and health care. She excels in cultivating partnerships with global public and private donors, partners, and stakeholders.  

Originally from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Olja immigrated to the United States in 1997. She received an MA from the School of International Service at American University, Washington, DC.  Olja is currently residing in Seattle with her husband, daughter, and their dog, Daisy.

Connect with Olja on LinkedIn

Cathy Ford, Manager of Communications & Public Relations

Cathy Ford, Manager of Member Services

Cathy has more than 20 years of experience supporting corporate executives and conducting training in how to use technology applications in a business setting. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a Master's Degree in Health Administration. Cathy is the owner of Red Owl Business Services, LLC. and lives in Albuquerque, NM with her husband, Mark, and her dog, Molly. 

Connect with Cathy on LinkedIn

Finance Team

Jill Hansen is the owner of Great Blue Accounting and Consulting LLC. She earned her bachelor‘s degree in Accounting from the University of Montana in 1995. Jill has worked as a management accountant in many industries and for many types and sizes of companies and non-profits organizations. Her specialization is creating custom accounting and reporting solutions for management teams, boards of directors, members, and other end-users. Great Blue Accounting‘s mission is to provide premier accounting services with a commitment to high-level customer service to meet the specific needs of every client. Connect with Jill on LinkedIn

Madeline Nieves  is the senior accountant for Great Blue Accounting. She earned her bachelor‘s degree in Accounting from the University of Puerto Rico in 1996. She is originally from Puerto Rico and has been working remotely for Great Blue since her family moved to Minnesota in 2020. She is fully bilingual, with Spanish as her first language. She has worked in the private sector for different types of companies, developing experience in the complete accounting cycle. Madeline is an expert in the day-to-day transactions of FCIA, facilitating member payments and supporting operations and marketing staff with the necessary financial information.