A new leadership team has been voted in at the International Cotton Association following its annual general meeting, which took place earlier this month during the association’s Singapore 2023 trade event.
Ms Kim Hanna (President – TransGlobal Inspections) takes on the role of ICA President – the first female to take the position in the history of the ICA. Kim will be supported by Mr Mohomed Bashir (Chairman, Gul Ahmed Textile Mills Limited) as First Vice-President and Mr Pierre Chehab (Head of Cotton Europe, Louis Dreyfus Company) as Second Vice-President.
New to the board are Mr Chris Williams (Partner, EHW Ltd) and Mr Josh Taylor (Senior Trader, Viterra BV).
Speaking of her new role as ICA President, Kim said: “I am humbled and honored to be the first female president in our Association’s rich history. I would like my presidency to send the message that the cotton industry holds limitless possibilities for anyone wanting to learn, succeed and make it to the top of their game. Our association has thrived by embracing different perspectives, and I am committed to further fostering an environment where every voice, regardless of gender, culture or industry segment, is heard and valued. This moment is a testament to the progress we’ve made and a sign of the great strides we have yet to take. I may be the first woman to hold this position, but as I look at the changing composition of our membership and board, I’m confident I will not be the last.
We have a lot of work ahead of us this year. Our industry faces numerous challenges, from perils of climate change, currency shortages, market volatility, and pending social and environmental legislation. I feel creating an inclusive environment where all sectors of the supply chain come together to mitigate industry challenges is not just a vision but a necessity. We need to encourage ICA membership and moreover, engagement from every region and every industry sector. There may be no quick fix, but by welcoming diverse voices from producers to retail, we can harness the collective wisdom of our complex supply chain, ensuring that no valuable insight is left untapped. This united front not only enables us to confront challenges head-on, but the Association will be in a stronger, more resilient place to best protect the interests and continued sustainability of everyone in our wonderful world of cotton.”
Kim began her career in cotton in 1982 as a secretary at Edward T. Robertson & Son Ltd. While raising five children, she learned the industry and rose to the position of USA operations manager. When E.T. Robertson was purchased by Wakefield Inspection Services, she continued leading Wakefield’s USA office until 1999. In 2000 Kim co-founded a new international cotton controlling company, TransGlobal Inspections, where she continues to serve as the Chief Executive Officer.
In 2019 Kim was elected to the ICA Board of Directors where she chairs the Controllers Working Group, and is a member of the Rules Committee, a founding member of the Women in Cotton initiative and an advocate to the ICAspire Program. Kim also serves as an advisor to the ACSA, WCSA and TCA Foreign Affairs Committees.
Comprising 23 members, the new board line-up continues to represent the ICA’s global membership across all sectors of the supply chain and builds on its commitment to engage the entire global cotton community.