• Adriana Echandi

    is the CEO for the travel retail division of Grupo Britt N.V. Adriana started her professional career in 2001 when Café Britt decided to create a new business division for travel retail stores starting as a sales person and quickly advanced to join the leadership team. Adriana oversaw different internal processes as training, purchasing, logistics, innovation, e-commerce, and the expansion plan to achieve a footprint in 11 countries, open 135 stores and grow to more than 1500 employees. In 2010 Adriana joined the INCAE Global Executive MBA. During the 16 years working for Britt, she has fostered different social programs within the communities that have given her the opportunity to work with local artisans; helped them to innovate their techniques, facilitate them with full knowledge of business, as well as introducing new products. Adriana was named as one of the 40 most influence leaders under 40 by a local economic newspaper, El Financiero. She also participated as one of three remarkable women executives for a local news channel special program, 7 Dias, in 2016. Adriana graduated from Universidad Internacional de las Américas in Costa Rica. Adriana had the opportunity to attend a finishing school in Switzerland at the age of eighteen, and since that moment realized how passionate she was for different cultures and gastronomy. Adriana is the youngest child of five, is married and mother of a fantastic 4-year-old boy. Adriana is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Alida Boer

    is the founder and CEO of Maria’s Bag Inc, a high-end luxury accessories brand, which preserves the traditional Guatemalan textiles. Alida created a business model in 2011 with Marias, which empowers Guatemalan women from every social Class 2017. By creating Maria’s Bag Inc, Alida created over 500 jobs for women across different regions. Because of that unique business model, Alida was nominated General Manager of the Year for the Managers Association of Guatemala in 2014. And in the same year, Alida became the ambassador of FUNSEPA. This organization provides education through technology to undeveloped regions in Guatemala. Prior year, She was named Women of the Year by Look Magazine. In 2007, Alida won Miss Guatemala and competed in Miss Universe and Miss World. She traveled globally representing her country and developed her entrepreneurial, philanthropic, and creative instincts during this time. Alida began helping people in her homeland by being one of the board members to create the Foundation Cambiando Vidas – a Montessori school that provides education and proper nutrition to 240 kids. Alida is a board member of City Harvest in New York. Alida is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Carlos Avilés

    is the founder and general manager of Teleservicios de El Salvador, a logistics and delivery services company, which grew rapidly from 4 to 230 employees due to his vision and strategic outlook. Carlos is currently diversifying his line of business to a comprehensive outsourcing venture. He is also Director of Social Responsibility Initiatives. In 2014, Teleservicios de El Salvador was awarded ÒMARCA POSITIVA” by FUNDEMAS for its commitment to investing in and furthering the development of the local community. Previously, he worked as a private banking counselor at Banco de Madrid in Spain, and as a corporate advisor in Banco Cuscatlán, San Salvador. Carlos holds a law degree from Universidad de Navarra, Spain and a Masters degree in Private Banking by Escuela Superior de Economía in Madrid. He lives in El Salvador with his wife and 3 beautiful kids. Carlos is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Christian Klose

    is co-founder and CEO of Greenergyze and GreenFinance, a solar energy company and finance firm specializing in design, sales, installation, maintenance and financing of solar projects in Central America. Christian also serves on several boards of directors and is a member of the EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) Guatemalan Chapter. Christian graduated from ESADE Business School in Barcelona in 2009 where he obtained his MBA degree. Prior to moving to Barcelona, Christian worked for 7 years in Guatemala and Brazil at CBC (Pepsi’s Bottler for Central America and The Caribbean) and AmBev (currently ABInbev). During this time, he served in several roles for the company and successfully lunched Brava Beer in the Central American market. In 2001 he earned his industrial engineering degree, graduating magna cum laude, from North Carolina State University. Christian considers himself a family man, a sports enthusiast and passionate for new adventures; he is the oldest of three siblings. He has been married to Adriana for 11 years and together they have three beautiful children. Christian is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Claudia Ramírez

    is deputy information manager at La Prensa Gráfica, the most important newspaper in El Salvador. Claudia has worked in the newspaper for 16 years and began when she was a university student, through an internship. Claudia has worked in many different positions at the newspaper, developing the ability to manage many roles in every section that is now under her leadership. Claudia has a special interest in the areas of education, youth, sexual education in schools and climate change. She regularly publishes editorial articles in the newspaper about various topics of relevance in her country, such as: politics, education, and other social issues. Claudia designed and launched the Education Section of the newspaper, and a theater program to keep young people out of the streets. She has received awards for her work in HIV Coverage, education Programs, environmental issues, and sports. She graduated in Journalism and Social Communication from Universidad José Simeón Ca–as in El Salvador, and has a certificate in Editorial Publishing in the Globalization Era of the Catholic University of Valparaiso Chile, and a certificate from ADEN International Business School in Women and Management. Claudia is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Federico Barquero

    is the CEO of Grupo ANC, a Latin American company dedicated to the leasing of vehicles and representative of the brands Enterprise, National and Alamo for Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Peru, recognized as the franchisee model for the region. His leadership has been essential to obtain great achievements: in 2002, it was the first car rental company in the world with ISO 9001/ISO 14001 certifications; in 2010, received the National Award of Excellence and in 2015, it was the first franchisee in Latin America to obtain the Enterprise brand. Currently Grupo ANC is one of the largest companies in Latin America with a fleet of four thousand vehicles. Since 2008, Federico is President of the Costa Rican Association of Car Rental Companies (ACAR) and member of the Board of Directors of the National Chamber of Tourism (CANATUR). In 1997, he earned his Business Administration degree at the University of Costa Rica thanks to an academic scholarship and in 1999, he received his MBA degree with honors at INCAE. Federico lives in Santa Ana, Costa Rica where he and Susana, his wife of 17 years have raised their children Julian and Fabiola. Federico is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • George Grant

    is founder and general director of G&E Chocolate Adventure Company, an agro industrial company that adds value to cacao production and offers more than 20 different products like cacao caramel roasted seeds, cacao butter creams and oils. He recently launched an innovative line of ice cream. George retired in December 2013 from being Marketing Manager in Costa Rica for cinemas and Hollywood movie studios for more than 15 years. George has characterized himself for being a fearless entrepreneur, moving from radio programming director, promotional director for youth tourism programs, founding a retail and entertainment website, to opening his cacao line business. George has a degree in marketing and advertising. George is a living voice for small farmers in Costa Rica, dedicating his time and resources to promoting economic development in Limón, one of the poorest cities in Costa Rica. He is currently leading a very ambitious program to help farmers improve their incomes and quality of life. George is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Héctor Ferrera

    is general manager for Dole Food Company operations in Honduras and Guatemala, where he previously held various roles in finance and logistics. He is currently involved in several organizations, as president of the board of Hospital Vicente D’Antoni (NGO), board member of Almacenes y Depósitos, S.A., board member of The Robinson Foundation and board member of MUSA BREEDING, a consortium created with the objective of developing banana varieties resistant to the new worldwide threat that Foc-TR4 represents. Héctor’s experience includes finance and logistics in the beverage industry with Cervecería Hondure–a, S.A. and in investment promotion for Honduras working for the Foundation for Investment and Development of Exports (FIDE). Héctor has also participated as board member and advisor to Fundación para el Desarrollo Turístico de La Ceiba (FUNDETUR), of which he is a founding member. Other past experiences include board member at the Cámara de Comercio Industrias de Atlántida, college professor at UNITEC, member of the Consejo Municipal de Desarrollo of La Ceiba, and member of the family selection committee of Habitat for Humanity-La Ceiba. Héctor holds an agronomy degree from Zamorano and an MBA from INCAE. Héctor is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Jacobo Kattan

    is general manager of Protexsa, a 100-year-old family company that manufactures and sells apparel to some of the best known brands in the United States and other countries. Before his current role at Protexsa, Jacobo was also involved in running other apparel businesses that he helped develop and grow. Some of his main achievements have been the restructuring of the business and forging key alliances that have paved the way for the company to successfully compete and adapt considering the changing face of retail in one of the worldís most globalized industries. Commitment to corporate social responsibility has always been part of Jacoboís philosophy and he contributes part of his time in supporting two centers that care for underprivileged youth in Honduras. He lives in San Pedro Sula, Honduras and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Auburn and two masterís degrees from the Universities of San Pedro Sula and from INCAE Business School. Jacobo is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Javier Bru

    is the founder and CEO of IME Marine Group of Companies, one of the largest marine surveying and consultancy companies in Latin America, which also has regional offices in United Arab Emirates, China, Paraguay, Spain (Canary Islands), Nigeria and Colombia, and representative offices in more than 25 countries worldwide. He has been invited as a speaker at the national and international maritime forums, and has been awarded several recognitions. Javier earned a bachelor’s degree in science, graduating cum laude, from the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point and specializes in maritime safety, consultancy and logistics. He has completed three master’s degree in Marine, Naval and business management, from prestigious universities in Panama, Canada, Belgium and France. Javier has exerted his leadership with a strong human sensibility and vocation for social integration and equality. He is a member of the Rotary Club where he has been able to collectively address and support some of the basic needs of the Panamanian society. Javier is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Jessica Hammer

    is the executive director of FUNSEPA, an organization that improves the quality of education in Guatemala through technology. FUNSEPA has benefited over 400,000 children, trained 80,000 teachers, and equipped more than 1,300 schools with computers and educational software. Jessica is co-creator of Programa Valentina, a program that accelerates through a disruptive model, the insertion of at risk youth in technology jobs. Before joining FUNSEPA in 2008, Jessica was director of Guatemala SANA Foundation, which focuses on education, health, nutrition and environment in Sacatepéquez. As director of Guatemala SANA, Jessica created an alliance with TOMS Shoes, bringing more than 300,000 pairs of shoes to the country. Jessica has more than 15 years of experience working with social causes, from children with disabilities in Tibet, to children with HIV in Gambia, sexual workers in Curacao, at risk adolescents in Venezuela, and orchestral music in Guatemala. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and health: science, society and policy from Brandeis University, where she received the Outstanding Senior Award, and a master’s degree in international health from the University of Copenhagen. Jessica was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and currently lives in Guatemala with her husband and two children. Jessica is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • José Antonio Sauma

    is a partner and managing director at Mesoamerica, a leading private equity investment company focused on building long-term partnerships and purpose-driven businesses across Spanish Speaking Latin America. José Antonio is convinced that many of the region’s pressing needs and aspirations in areas such as renewable power generation, health and wellness, can be addressed by mobilizing capital, talent, and resources to build sustainable businesses, that can in turn collaborate with governments and local communities to find innovative solutions. Over the last 20 years, he has lead teams that invest and advise companies in sectors such as renewable power generation, telecom, banking, construction, and consumer goods. José Antonio is currently the Chairman of Yo Emprendedor, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship as a pillar of social and economic development. He has held a variety of leadership positions in the Boards of Mesoamerica’s portfolio companies, as well as in IMAP, a global network of investment banks. José Antonio has an MBA from INSEAD in France and Singapore and a business degree from Ithaca College in New York, where he graduated summa cum laude. He is dedicated to his family, and passionate about music, photography, entrepreneurship, and continuous learning. José Antonio is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • José Roberto Paredes

    is the founder of Cincopatasalgato, an internationally recognized architecture, interior and furniture design studio. He co-founded Regional, an international architecture collaborative with bases in New York, Guatemala and San Salvador and The Carrot Concept, a gallery, workspace, shop, and a café which encourages and supports innovative Salvadoran design. Jose Roberto’s work has been featured in international publications including Dwell Magazine, Architectural Digest Mexico and Spain, Madame Figaro in France, and Ëvivre. In 2015, Alexa Magazine of the New York Post named Cincopatasalgato one of Òthe 4 edgiest architects designing around the world.Ó In 2014 and 2016, he was nominated for the Mies Crown Hall American Prize, and has been part of several exhibitions including Arquitectura Irreverente in Mexico City, POST POST POST Nueva Arquitectura Iberoamericana in Buenos Aires, and New Territories in The Museum of Art and Design in New York City. He received his architecture degree from Universidad Albert Einstein in El Salvador and post-graduate degree in interior design from Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. José Roberto is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Leonardo Rivera

    is currently head of national entrepreneurship of UNITEC Honduras. He earned his certificate of entrepreneurship facilitator from the International Entrepreneurship Institute in South Carolina in 2015. Leonardo won first place at the 2012 ÒYo Emprendo AwardÓ for creating his project Una Razón Para Despertar (A Reason to Wake Up), benefiting around 126 of the poorest families in Honduras, who once lived with less than $3.00 a day. His project allowed them to open up businesses, offering low interest loans sponsored by the CSR of private businesses, which also provided training, thus creating a new financial model for progress. Leonardo«s goal is to promote economic development and innovation, he believes in entrepreneurship and education focused on generating professionals who can have a positive impact in society. He was named fellow member of the International Youth Foundation. He earned his bachelor«s degree in business management from UNITEC Honduras and afterwards a master’s degree in business administration, graduating magna cum laude. He is married and has a daughter. Leonardo is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Liza Dreszer

    Liza Dreszer is the founder and C.E.O of Jaspe Rock, a company established in 2001 which distributes goods to supermarket chains, pharmacies and department stores throughout Panama.  Its core business is the Personal Care & Cosmetic segment of the market.  Liza is a founding member and director of Fundación JUPA, a non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and provide educational programs to underprivileged and at-risk youth in Panama.  She is a director of Superate Institutional based out of El Salvador and was key in establishing the Superate JUPA Center in Panama, which teaches students from 10thto 12thgrades; English, computer science, and values during a 3-year program.   She is part of the fundraising committee and coordinator of grants from the U.S Government to run the programs.  She is currently working on the expansion of Aprende Divirtiendote, a program designed to teach values through award winning children’s books.  This program aims to increase literacy, teach values and life skills to students from the 2ndto 4thgrades from public schools in Panama.   She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Babson University in Boston, with a Bachelor of Science in Business.  She lives in Panama, is married, and has two children.   Liza is a Fellow of the thirteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Lourdes Guerra

    is founder and director of La Granjerita, an agricultural entrepreneurship launched with the mission to grow food locally while also educating consumers about the importance of agro business, consuming home-grown products, and promoting respect for the local farmers. Lourdes worked as a Financial Analyst in 2010 for a local bank in Panama City. Prior to that she worked at HSBC Bank in New Castle, Delaware in the U.S. Eager to start her career path she moved back to her hometown in David – Chiriquí, where she found her inner passion for harvesting the land. In 2013, Lourdes decided to follow her dreams and became a farmer without having any prior experience in agriculture. She started harvesting her first vegetables in a ten square feet raised garden bed in her parent«s backyard, now farming in five acres of land. Lourdes earned her bachelor«s degree in finance and a marketing MBA from Goldey-Beacom College in Wilmington, Delaware. Lourdes is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Lucrecia Hernández

    is the Minister of Health of Guatemala. Before being appointed in July of 2016, Lucrecia coordinated the Alliance for Public and Universal Access to Health (ACCESA), and was a professor for the undergraduate school of Medicine and of the graduate program in Public Health, at Rafael Landivar University in Guatemala City. Her work has focused primarily on research and analysis of health policies, and health systems and services, and has been a consultant for Medicus Mundi Navarra and the Pan-American Health Organization; she has also collaborated in health projects for USAID and the United Nations Development Program. She received her M.D. degree from the University of San Carlos, and earned her public health master’s degree at the Rafael Landivar University; she also completed her master’s in Social Medicine and a doctorate in Collective Health at the Autonomous Metropolitan University, in Mexico City. She is a founding member of SOMOS GT, the Inclusive Health Institute (ISIS), and the Myrna Mack Foundation. Lucrecia is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

  • Madelka McCalla

    is the global stakeholder relations director of AES Corporation, a Fortune 200 global power company, present in 17 countries. Prior to this position, Madelka served as AES stakeholder relations director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, where she supported businesses in the implementation of AES strategic vision. She also served as AES Africa corporate social responsibility director (2010 – 2013), where she developed a comprehensive CSR strategy for Nigeria and Cameroon for social investment projects. She was also a UN Coordination Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Panamá where she managed the UN Resident Coordinator’s communication with UN actors, to identify the countryís needs and priorities in line with the UN Millennium Development Goals. Madelka was part of the Panamanian Foreign service (2005 -2009) where she represented the government of Panamá as Political Counselor for the Embassy of Panamá in the United States and at the Permanent Mission of Panamá to the United Nations as Political Attaché. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. In addition, she holds a master’s degree in global governance and public policy with a minor concentration on development and technology for developing countries from the Technical University of Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany. Madelka is an alumni of Georgetown Global Competitive Leadership for Ibero-American professionals. She is fluent in English, French, German and Spanish. Madelka is a Fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.