Saluting the Retirement of Maggie’s Organics Founder Bená Burda

Submitted by Anya Crittenton on
Maggie's Organics

After 30 years of dedication and hard work, Maggie’s Organics {GBN} founder Bená Burda is retiring. Maggie’s Organics has been a member of the Green Business Network for nearly three decades and in those years, we have immensely enjoyed our work and collaboration with Burda and her company’s sustainable clothing and soft goods. 

There are big and exciting changes coming to Maggie’s Organics following Burda’s well-deserved departure. 

“When I founded Maggie’s Organics over thirty years ago, it was with a commitment to always try to do the right thing,” Burda shares. “When I was ready to retire, that commitment led me to the natural next step: transferring ownership of the business to our employees. Since Teamshares has purchased Maggie’s Organics on behalf of the employees, our business will be able to keep treating people and planet with care for generations to come.” 

Staying true to its mission, Maggie’s will partner with Teamshares to transition the company to employee ownership over time. 

“Teamshares acquires businesses from retiring owners and immediately grants 10% of the stock to all employees, progressively increasing employee ownership to 80% over the next 15-20 years,” Maggie’s official statement explains. 

This move aligns with Maggie’s core values as a company dedicated to “total transparency, total sustainability, and true ethical practices from farm to finish.” 

For over 30 years, Maggie’s has developed, built, and worked with supply chains across five continents. Its farming and ranching partners practice regenerative agriculture to produce organic wool and cotton. Everyone who works with Maggie’s benefits from the company’s commitment to Fair Trade, including fair wages, benefits, support, and success to do better for people and planet. 

“Our founder Bená Burda had the passion and foresight to intertwine that mission into our DNA over 30 years ago,” the statement continues. “Our recent transition to employee ownership strengthened her legacy and safeguarded our ability to continue it.” 

It has been an honor and joy for Green America and the Green Business Network to know and learn from Burda over the years. 

Bená Burda and Sarah Queen look at a pair of socks from the company Maggie's Organics.
Burda passes off the baton to Queen.

“Singing with Bená, other staff, and attendees late into night at the Green Business Network Summit in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia will always be one of my favorite memories of working at Green America,” Rob Hanson, Green America’s membership marketing manager, fondly recalls. 

Alisa Gravitz, Green America’s president and CEO, adds: “Bená is a pathfinder at every level. A woman founder and CEO, she created an organic fashion company before that was a thing, let alone an industry.  She always walked her talk—from partnering directly with small-scale farmers to worker ownership to building the green business community. And her socks rock—the only ones my feet want to wear!” 

Sarah Queen will be the new president of Maggie’s Organics and is excited to build on Burda’s “incredible legacy.” 

She says: “I’m grateful for the work that has been done, proud of the work that is being done, and excited to continue serving the community with the same values that Maggie’s Organics has been living by for the last three decades.” 

The Green Business Network looks forward to continuing our work with Maggie’s Organics and Queen.

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