Ariela Nathusius is senior vice president of Grupo Cemaco – a leading home improvement, home furnishings, toy and baby products retailer, operating in Guatemala for over 40 years. As head of new business, Ariela has been tasked with the transformation of the company, including Cemaco’s evolution to become an omni-channel business, the launch of a new in-home installations service and the introduction of new formats such as baby stores in 2012. Ariela is focused on making Cemaco a purpose driven company. As head of human and sustainable development, Ariela has worked to increase impact focusing on three pillars: team, community and environmental sustainability.
Ariela is also co-founder and Executive Director of Futuro Verde – www.futuroverde.org. Futuro Verde is an organization that aims to create awareness of the consequences of climate change by educating and empowering Spanish speakers in US and Latin America. Since its founding in 2017, Futuro Verde has grown to a community of over 300K users and reached millions of people with climate change content.
Ariela has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA in international relations and economics from Tufts University. Ariela is a Fellow of the fifteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Producer, Composer, Guitarist, Multi-Instrumentalist
Former member of the Panamanian rock band “Los 33”. He graduated from Villanova University in 2000 with a degree in marketing and later from Berklee College of Music in 2007, where he studied Music Production and Engineering. With the experience gained in the studio producing Rock, Jazz, Folk Music and Afro-Caribbean, he has collaborated with the most recognized Panamanian artists in record productions and film soundtracks. As an interpreter his main instrument is the guitar, where he distinguishes himself as he explores different musical styles of the world, he also plays bass and is one of the few interpreters of blues harmonica in Panama, endorsed by Hohner brand.
Since 2005 he has been working in the organization of the Panama Jazz Festival, currently being the curator and programmer of the Global Stage, a space for showcases of upcoming World Music proposals.
Since 2010, he has been the Admissions Officer of Berklee College of Music for Latin America, promoting academic programs and guiding musicians interested in pursuing music careers.
He is currently vice president of the Danilo Pérez Foundation, a Panamanian NGO that develops music education programs for children and young people at risk, promoting music as a tool for social change.
He is currently working with several artists in the production and cultural promotion of Afro-Panamanian music, mainly concentrated in the emblematic group from the province of Bocas del Toro, The Beachers, celebrating their 50th Anniversary of artistic career in addition to several other albums and documentary scores.
Some of Billy Herron’s work has been featured in:
• Premios Platino Spain 2017
• Miami Film Festival
• Circulart Music Market (Medellin, Colombia )
• Panama International Film Festival.
• Local Panamanian Television
• Copa Airlines Inflight entertainment
Camilo de Castro Belli
Camilo de Castro is a member of the coordinating team of the Academic and leadership training program of FLACSO Costa Rica, which seeks to empower and strengthen the strategic capacity of emerging leaders from Nicaragua. Since 2017, he has worked with Global Wildlife Conservation, the Rama and Kriol communities and the private sector in Nicaragua to promote actions that contribute to slowing the advance of the agricultural frontier in the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve. In 2010, he founded CaLé producciones, a communications company for social change, which works with civil society organizations to strengthen their advocacy work. He has worked with indigenous communities, environmental groups and civil society youth organizations to develop strategies for incidence and leadership building. For eight years he was the leading investigative journalism for the news magazine program Esta Semana. In 2008, he received the Pedro Joaquín Chamorro Journalism Excellence Award – the most important journalism prize in Nicaragua – for Emergencia en el Bosque, a documentary about the illegal logging of forests in Nicaragua. In 2010, he received the award for a second time for an investigation into corruption in the Supreme Electoral Council, and the same year, he won the National Prize for Journalism and Communication María José Bravo. He directed El canto de Bosawas, a documentary about the Mayangna indigenous community in the Bosawas Natural Reserve and Sueños de birrete, a documentary that explains the challenges facing the education system in Nicaragua. He has a bachelor´s degree in history from Columbia University.
Ernesto Baltodano is general manager of CISA AGRO, a Nicaraguan company dedicated to the import and distribution of agricultural inputs. Ernesto possesses more than 10 years of professional experience in the areas of marketing, finance and business administration both in the United States and Nicaragua. Besides his work commitments, he dedicates time to different private and social initiatives having been one of the founding members of the Digital Seeds Program now run by the Seeds for Progress Foundation, an initiative focused on improving the quality of primary level education in rural coffee regions. He is an active member of the Board of Directors for the Nicaraguan Union for Corporate Social Responsibility (UniRSE), is President of the Nicaraguan Association of Formulators and Distributors of Agrochemicals (ANIFODA), one of the business chambers belonging to COSEP where he was elected as one of the three Vice Presidents, and also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Nicaraguan Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM). He holds an MBA from IE Business school in Spain and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. Ernesto is married to his wife, Adriana, and is the proud father of two beautiful children, Marco Adrian and Giuliana. Ernesto is a Fellow of the fifteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Esther Faskha Vugman
Esther Faskha is curently a motivational speaker working to break down the social barriers that limit the full integration of People with Disabilities into society. In 2018, Esther reinforced her message of “Finding beauty in diversity” by being the first person in a wheelchair to “walk” the runway at Panama Fashion Week, as well as being a featured “book” at the Human Library and a panelist at the Mujer, Made in Panama presentation. She shares her experiences at schools as well as homes for socially at-risk youth, raising awareness and advocating for inclusion with new generations.
Esther was the President of the Panama Paralympic Committee from 2015 until May, 2019 where she increased Panama’s participation at the international level from two to eight disciplines in just four short years. She has achieved many important firsts throughout her career. Under her leadership, Panama had, for the first time, eight athletes qualify and compete at the Para-Panamerican Games in Toronto in 2015 and two athletes qualify and compete at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Under her direction, the Panamanian delegation won overall at the Para-Central American Games in Nicaragua in 2018 – another first.
Before this, Esther was Director of the Panamanian Wheelchair Sports Association (ASPADESDER) for eight years where she took wheelchair basketball teams to the Central American Games on several occasions, driving the formation of basketball teams in the country’s interior. She also formed the first national handball team to compete in international events.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing & Advertising in 2004 and a master’s in Executive Management in 2006 from the Universidad Latina de Panamá, and a postgraduate degree in Universal Accessibility in 2017 from the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.
Ferrán Galindo is the CEO and co-founder of Autotrade, a mobile auction platform designed to help car sellers get the best possible offer for their used car. The year before co-founding Autotrade, Ferrán worked with Campo Orgánico in the reactivation of Panama’s agricultural sector through the development of a digital platform for tracking the production of organic fruit trees using drones and geographical information software. Prior to his work with Campo Orgánico, Ferrán co-founded Miroculus, a Silicon Valley based startup focused on developing cutting edge technology for democratizing molecular detection of disease from a blood sample. Before Miroculus, Ferrán was the VP of organizational systems at The City of Knowledge Foundation, where he was in charge of all technology, operational systems, organizational development, and knowledge management. Ferrán spent the prior seven years there as manager of international organizations where he persuaded many of the top International Organizations, UN Agencies and NGOs to relocate their regional operations to City of Knowledge for more effective coordination and knowledge sharing. Early in his career Ferran co-founded Jungla Cartoons, releasing several educational series focused on educating children about Panama’s history, global sustainability and environmental issues. In 2013 Ferrán participated in a highly competitive program at NASA Ames Research Center as part of Singularity University focused on applying exponential technologies to global grand challenges. Ferrán is a loving father and partner. He continues to record and perform as a drummer throughout the region with Panamanian recording artist “Cienfue”.
Gioconda Lizano Van der Laat
Gioconda has a diverse background, having spent more than 18 years working in an international setting (U.S., Costa Rica and Panama) in very diverse industries (Technology, Investment Banking, Consulting & Banking), and in different sectors (Private Sector, NGOs and Development Agencies). Most of her experience is related to her passions: stakeholders’ relations, entrepreneurship development and the role of women ́s leadership in socioeconomic development.
Gioconda is currently the Reputation Regional Manager for BAC Credomatic, overseeing 6 countries in Central America. She manages the relationship of the company ́s main stakeholders ensuring goodwill towards the company and positive impact in the region. Before her promotion, for three years she led the sustainability initiatives of BAC Credomatic in Panama creating value for the bank and its stakeholders. Between 2012 -2016 she managed the startup and growth of Voces Vitales Costa Rica (VVCR), a non-profit organization that promotes women leadership through training and mentoring seeking to maximize their potential. More than 400 women were certified as mentors and 2000 women participated in VVCR’s programs under her leadership. She continues her commitment with VVCR as a Board of Directors advisor.
Before Vital Voices she managed Link Inversiones, the first structured angel investor network in Costa Rica, financed by the Interamerican Development Bank. The network invested around $4 million dollars and coached more than 600 entrepreneurs. Before Link, Gioconda was the Corporate Affairs Director for a consulting and private equity firm, Mesoamerica. She handled the relationship with some of Mesoamerica’s key stakeholders specially those related to the firm’s social investment. She also worked for two technology companies, RealNetworks and Microsoft. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Universidad de Costa Rica. Passionate cook, lives in Costa Rica with her husband and three children.
Henry is a passionate entrepreneur. He was born and raised in Guatemala and graduated from Business School at Universidad Francisco Marroquín. He then started his professional career in the Corporate World, working in the marketing department for Phillip Morris for more than seven years.
His continuous corporate growth allowed him to fulfill his dream of exploring the World, specially the natural side of it. During his many adventure trips, he was able to spend enough time with himself to realize that he wasn’t completely happy and that he didn’t want to spend his life working only for money. After quitting he returned to Guatemala looking for a job or project where he could discover true happiness and fulfilling success.
Henry discovered a piece of land near Guatemala City and even though it was completely mistreated and eroded, he dreamed of turning it into a natural park. After many years of hard work, he was able to open GreenRush, a lush natural park where people can come and enjoy the contact with the thriving nature. GreenRush has been self-sustainable since the second year, allowing it to continuously reinvest in expanding their products and services; thus becoming a benchmark for the developing ecotourism industry in Guatemala. Henry is often invited to share his story and his business mindset in various conferences and seminars. On 2018 he was nominated by the Guatemalan Managers Association as Manager of the Year in the Creativity and Innovation field. He is also a professor at the University, a great dog and horse whisperer, a great husband, and father to three beautiful kids. He is constantly exploring new projects to continue sharing the way he discovered his relationship with nature, and his mission of leaving this World a bit better than he found it.
Jayro Bustamante, director, filmmaker and Guatemalan screenwriter. Jayro in 2019 founds the IXCANUL foundation, a non-profit foundation that aims to use film as a tool for learning, change and social impact in Guatemala, both in the Mayan communities and in the mestizo area. Likewise, he premiered his second film TREMORS in the Panorama selection of the Berlinale, which has already toured more than thirty international festivals conquering several awards. He is also in Post production of his third film, La Llorona with premiere planned for 2020. He is currently producing several projects for other Guatemalan directors. In 2018 he was awarded by the Fondation Gan pour le Cinéma, in France. Jayro in 2017 founded La Sala De Cine, which is a free cinema to watch amateur films, with the intention of creating a community around the seventh art, without the borders of social classes that affect society so much in
Guatemala. In 2016 Jayro created a talent representation agency to continue accompanying the
actresses of Ixcanul that he had formed. Jayro obtained acting contracts in Hollywood and Mexico films for the main actress of Ixcanul, María Mercedes Coroy, driving her career. In 2015, Jayro, with his opera IXCANUL, became a director by winning a Silver Bear at the Berlinale and more than 60 awards at international festivals. Ixcanul was the second film representative of Guatemala for the Oscar race and the first one for the Goldens Globes. In 2012 he worked giving stop-motion animation workshops at the Sorbone Université de Paris. Jayro in 2010 obtained the quality award of the CNC (National Film Center
French) with his short film “Cuando Sea Grande”, premiered at the Clermont Ferrand festival and aired on France 3 TV, France, on Swedish television and Dutch. In 2009 Jayro founded his own independent film production company in Guatemala: La Casa De Producción, with which he has produced several projects, creating alliances of co-production between Guatemala and France.
He did his studies in advertising and social communication at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala. His professional beginnings were in advertising, as director he made several commercials for the agency Ogilvy & Matter. Then he moved to Paris to continue his film studies, he trained as a filmmaker at the CLCF (Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français). He continued his studies as a screenwriter in Rome at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. After that short period in Italy he returned to France and decided to work between Paris and Guatemala.
He has been part of the jury at Berlinale 2016, Brussels Film Festival 2018, Biarritz Festival 2018, Platino and Fenix Awards, and Los Cabos Film Festival. Jayro Bustamante is Fondation Gan pour le Cinéma laureate.
John Tennant Wright Sol
Johnny Wright is president and founder of Nuestro Tiempo, a political party established in El Salvador in 2019. Johnny served as an elected member of Congress during a single legislature from 2015 to 2018 under the ARENA right-wing party, representing San Salvador. Prior to politics, he was briefly involved in family business, as well as a personal entrepreneurial project. His first encounter with public service took place in Fairfax, Virginia as a professional firefighter at the age of 23. This particular experience has driven his passion for recognizing the value of public service and the importance of restoring trust in it. Johnny earned a master’s degree in business administration from IE Business School in Madrid and his bachelor’s degree in political science from the George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Jose is Co-Founder of Applaudo Studios, the largest software development factory in El Salvador that focus on custom mobile and web applications. He is also Co-Founder of Navigate Consulting, an aerospace consultant firm that helps airlines in the Americas and Europe to maximize efficiencies and deploy new products and services. Co-Founder of Alfred Technologies Inc., a company that provides a residential social platform that enables smart communities. Jose is also part of the Forbes Technology Council and Capital Factory in Austin Texas that serves as coach to entrepreneurs and business executives to develop their business opportunities. Jose is also active in nonprofit projects to help reduce sexual abuse incidents, manage personal finance and serve as coach for young professionals to develop technological communities. In 2014 prior to becoming an entrepreneur Jose worked for Veca Airlines as Chief Technology Officer developing the airline’s technology strategy and ramping operations. Jose worked for 12 years with large technology companies “TECNASA”, “Dell”, “GBM” leading the service delivery organizations for their operations in the Americas.
Jose holds a bachelor’s degree in “Business Administration” and a Postgraduate degree in “Customer excellence”. Throughout his professional career Jose has worked in the IT services sector for over 18 years. Although Jose has a great passion for technology and the aerospace industry, he enjoys collaborating in social projects with positive impact to develop communities, on his personal side he is also father of a 17-year-old daughter and loves to spend time cooking, motor racing sports and hanging out with the family.
Juan Antonio Robles Alvarado
In 2004 the architect Juan Robles founded the architecture firm ROBLESARQ which is composed by a team that lives a progressive culture where the only constant is innovation.
Juan was chosen by the Architecture Foundation of Australia as part of the exclusive list of the prestigious architects Master’s class taught by the Pritzker Prize, Glenn Murcutt in Australia in 2006, based primarily on sustainable architecture.
His work has been published in international journals and books as Architectural Digest, Tropical Houses, 150 Best Eco House Ideas, Pure Luxury and True Colors among others.
At the same time he has received important awards such as the First Prize of the VII Biennale of Caribbean Architecture in 2009 in Cuba and in 2010 at the Tenth International Architecture Biennale held in Costa Rica, received the First Steel Award and the First Prize in Architectural Design.
Meanwhile, the architect Juan Robles has exhibited at major events like the FID 1 and CAPAC Forum in Panama and has also been a visiting professor at the University TEC de Monterrey in Mexico and FADU in Argentina.
Currently the studio is designing projects in different areas of Costa Rica, Mexico and Texas, USA where services are provided in Planning, Architecture and LEED Certification.
Juan Fermín Rodríguez
Founder and CEO; Juan Fermin launched Kingo Energy in 2013. Kingo provides a distributed renewable electricity service that has become a scalable solution to one of the grandest challenges facing humanity: ENERGY. The company is creating the largest CLEAN ENERGY USER BASE IN HISTORY, and has a vision to reach 10 million users by 2035.
Kingo has experienced a dramatic growth over the last 4 years in the off-grid sector, going from a 500-home pilot in January 2015, to 60,000 homes as of December 2018. Still, 17% of the world’s population lacks access to power. These 1.2 billion people pay for the most expensive energy substitutes (candles/kerosene/diesel), making solar energy more affordable versus any other market in the economy. The Company is on a successful path to positively impact 100,000 households by 2019, and has already raised capital to execute a strategic plan to reach 1 million homes by 2020.
Kingo has raised $30 Million in several equity and debt rounds lead by prominent investors and institutions including the global pioneer in value added investments (People Fund), the largest utility in Europe (ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Energies), and the innovation fund of one of the largest utilities in Latin America (FCP, from EPM). Kingo has also raised funds from the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), the French Development Bank (Proparco) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); all of whom are looking to provide significant funding over the next years for Kingo’s global expansion and technology developments. Other key partners include Leonardo DiCaprio, who has joined the Company as an investor and advisor.
Kingo’s mission is to turn lives ON. By pulling the curve of innovation, Kingo has set itself as a trailblazer in the evolution of the world’s energy consumption.
Kristin Van Busum
Kristin is founder of Project Alianza, a woman-led social enterprise that provides education for children living in remote coffee-farming communities in Central America. Project Alianza was selected as a gold winner in the Boston Mass Challenge accelerator for high-impact startups where she currently serves as the Social Entrepreneur in Residence. She is a TEDx and Keynote speaker and cofounder of WomenSpeaks at BostonSpeaks, an initiative to help women leaders and entrepreneurs become stronger storytellers and communicators. She previously worked at RAND Corporation, a global policy think-tank where she coauthored dozens of policy briefs and peer-reviewed articles. A self-proclaimed globetrotter, she has traveled to over 40 countries and lived in Mexico (to assist families at the border), Spain (as an English teacher), and Nicaragua (as Fulbright Scholar). Kristin graduated as a dean’s scholar from New York University where she studied public policy and magna cum laude from Butler University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish.
Larisa Paez Soto
Larisa Paez holds a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Food from the University of Barcelona, the highest rank in Human Nutrition from the University of San José (Doctora en Nutrición Humana) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Purdue University and another as a Dietitian from Louisiana State University.
Her experience of more than 20 years as a professional in Human Nutrition has led her to create three nutritional centers that are highly renown in Costa Rica (Sabana, Santa Ana and Curridabat) reaching nutritional attention to more than 27,000 people. In the “Centro de Nutrición Larisa Páez” she leads a team of clinical nutritionists who together develop projects and care for patients.
Her comprehensive approach distinguishes itself in all her nutritional consultations and interpersonal relationships, where she has parallel training in her curriculum. Larisa is the creator of a daily food control system, a food guide and an app that accompanies all of her patients with tangible results that change lives. She has worked with more than 50 food companies in Costa Rica and the region in the innovation of healthy products, nutritional marketing, development of local campaigns and multiple corporate projects. Her professional curriculum highlights her exposure in social media and conferences at national and international level on topics focused on the promotion of health and the prevention of disease.
Lourdes Maria Mena de Guerra
Lula Mena is the founder of the social enterprise, “Lula Mena”.
Since 2011, the company has generated hope and transformed lives by connecting art, design and culture with the reality of vulnerable women at high risk areas of El Salvador.
Her mission is also focused on creating job opportunities, through the design and production of unique, eco- friendly, handmade, innovative products under the rules of fair trade.
Lula started to work with 6 women in 2011. Since then, she has impacted the life of more than 100 women and their families – enabling them to send their kids to school, build their own homes and give up on the idea that immigration to another country is their only option.
Lula has developed several SRC projects with different companies and international organizations, always striving to preserve traditional artisanal techniques, contribute to the preservation of the environment and train women in new jobs so that they can access a better quality of life.
She earned a degree in Artisanal Design and co-founded the Asociación Añilera de El Salvador -“Azules” (Indigo Association of El Salvador -“Blues”) in 2001, and the “Iniciativa Pro Arte Popular” (Initiative Pro Popular Art) in 2002.
Through Indigo Trading, she pioneered the reactivation of the production and use of indigo in El Salvador.
Keynote speaker at The Women Emerging Leaders in Japan, The Novus NGO Conference in Houston, Woman Leaders Conference in Atlanta and TEDx TALK, Antiguo Cuscatlán.
Lula’s designs have been part of the Hollywood Grammy, Oscar and Emmy Awards and also at the Cannes Film Festival.
Lula received just recently, among other recognitions, the Dahrendorf SME Award 2019 -organized by FIRST London and presented by Her Royal Highness Princess Royal Anne, for the successful integration of the needs of the communities in which the company operates, the environmental initiatives it has developed and the support for art and culture.
Marcelo Valansi is an innovative entrepreneur who is dedicated to the design, development and implementation of self-sustaining regenerative projects and communities.
Marcelo has extensive experience in developing residential and commercial projects of different scale in several countries, such as Argentina, United States, Panama, Costa Rica.
He also has experience in the field of economics and finance.
His focus is how projects can be developed in a new way, where the site is regenerated, creating communities that can generate a positive impact, accessible, profitable, generating a regenerative and sustainable development model over time.
The last project he developed in Costa Rica and where he currently lives with his family is called www.laecovilla.com. This a Permaculture ecovillage surrounded by nature, turning a cow farm in a food forest regenerative community, where 45 families from 29 different countries, different background and ages live in harmony with nature.
A project that shows how it is possible to live in harmony with nature without leaving comfort aside.
He also cofounded an innovative school www.casasula.com.
Marcelo traveled around the world to learn about what makes a community successful, sustainable and long lasting.
One of his passions is to enjoy nature, sail, dive, travel, explore, learn from different cultures and meet new people around the world.
Currently he is working on developing a self-sustainable wellness retreat center and a new project called Life University. He si also contributing to more regenerative, self-sustainable communities, and ecovillages, using permaculture principles, organic agriculture and the latest technology available to create the towns and communities of tomorrow.
Maria Ximena Gonzalez Oliu
XIMENA GONZALEZ OLIU is currently Nicaragua Lafise Bank ́s Legal Counsel, an institution with whom she has grown professionally for the past years, having an enriching experience, which have meant great challenges as well as personal achievements. In 2012 Ximena founded the legal firm PROBUS, one that continues to stand out for its excellence, and which she has transformed into a training lab for young women aspiring to enter the legal profession. She is proud to have turned her dream into an entrepreneurial success story.
Ximena was elected Secretary of the Board of Directors of COSEP (Council for Private Companies). She was also voted as president of The INSTITUTO NICARAGUENSE DE DESARROLLO (INDE), where she has spent the last 4 years fostering professional growth for women and young entrepreneurs, through trainings and empowerment programs focused on young people, women and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
She has a Master degree in Business Law with a concentration in Financial Market Law, and a Master of Law in Law and Management. She has been married for 22 years and is mother to 4 wonderful children.
Marietta is a civil engineer, partner and director of Proyectos Mar Azul, a project management engineering firm based in Panama, dedicated to consulting services, administration and technical inspection for construction projects. Marietta is a Board member of Tocumen International Airport and Cable & Wireless Panama. She previously served as Vice Minister of Public Works for the Republic of Panama (July 2014 – January 2018). As Vice Minister, Marietta oversaw the conceptualization, planning and execution of mega projects of great social and commercial impact, such as the fourth bridge over the Panama Canal and over 1,800 kilometers of new roads and highways. During her time at the Ministry she managed an annual budget of over 1,600 million dollars. Marietta earned her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and Applied Mechanics and a minor in Environmental Engineering from McGuill University in Montreal, Canada. She started her professional career as a project engineer for McKinney and Company, where she worked for three years (2004-2007) designing infrastructure for several retail, industrial and residential developments in Virginia, United States. She continued from 2007 to 2013 as project manager for McKinney International, developing major industrial and residential developments in Panama, like the sterile fly facility for the eradication of the screwworm. After ten years of experience in civil design, she joined Proyectos Mar Azul in 2013. Marietta had spent ten years volunteering for Panama Children’s Hospital, when in 2006 she co-founded Pintando Sonrisas, a small charity organization that supports children that live in extreme poverty and require special medical attention. She is a proud wife and mother of two, Mila Lucia and Giovanni Salvatore.
Mauricio Antonio Maza
Dr. Mauricio Maza is the Executive Director of Basic Health International. He received his Doctor of Medicine from the Universidad Dr. Jose Matías Delgado in El Salvador, and his Master of Public Health from Harvard University with a concentration in Health Care Management and Policy.
As a medical doctor, public health practitioner and researcher, Dr. Maza’s focus is on cervical cancer prevention in limited resource settings, specifically with the use of novel technologies and treatment paradigms. Currently, Dr. Maza is an advisor and co-investigator in NIH funded research in El Salvador, Mexico, China, and Colombia.
Dr. Maza led a 3-phase demonstration project in El Salvador that screened over 25,000 women with careHPV®, an HPV-testing device developed specifically for use in limited resource settings. Due to the success of this project the program is being scaled by the public health sector nationally.
In 2015 Dr. Maza was named as a Young Leader by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and in 2016 was chosen to be part of the International Agency for Research in Cancer of the World Health Organization (IARC) “50 for 50” initiative which goal was to identify 50 future leaders in cancer research from low- and middle-income countries. He works closely with stakeholders in the decision/policy process to implement public health and policy changes.
Dr. Maza has presented program results and implementation strategies at international conferences and meetings held in Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Peru, India, China and the United States. He believes in the need to advocate for more advocacy, clinical research and evidence-based policies in the region.
Pamela Ayuso is co-founder and CEO of Celaque. She is a real estate entrepreneur and developer who has executive leadership experience in two of the most successful real estate developers in Honduras — managing operations at Alianza and leading Celaque. Celaque develops office and residential buildings in Tegucigalpa and also manages a broad portfolio of properties. Pamela’s focus is on growing Celaque into a model for the 21st-century company, including creating the first-of-its-kind online system for managing daily to-do’s and operating work, overseeing the selected movement of all of Celaque’s systems to the cloud, actively removing barriers to communication, and designing a highly inclusive design process.
During her time at Alianza, Pamela was responsible for the commercial management of its real estate properties. She designed and implemented Alianza’s operational structure, oversaw company operations and processes, and collaborated in the design and development of new residential, office and retail commercial projects throughout Tegucigalpa.
Pamela earned a Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, in finance and accounting from Ithaca College and went on to earn a Master of International Affairs in international finance from Columbia University. She is a certified public accountant in the state of New York. Pamela writes entrepreneurial articles on La Tribuna as well as Medium and LinkedIn. She serves as secretary of the Board of Directors at Asociación Creciendo Juntos and is also a member of the Board of Directors and the Board’s Finance Committee at FEREMA. Pamela published her first children’s book recently, Alicia and Bunnie Paint a Mural. She is married and is the proud mother of three daughters. Pamela is a Fellow of the fifteenth class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network
Paola Bondy is currently Bu President of Honduras (Cerveceria Hondureña) and El Salvador (La Constancia) part of AB-InBev. Joined SABMiller in 2003 as Brand Manager, promoted to different marketing directions before taking VP Marketing role in 2012. In 2016 after SABMiller acquisition from AB-InbBev, Paola was appointed Country head for Honduras and responsible for the integration, business results, corporate social responsibility and reputation. And in 2018 she was promoted to BU president of the two operations leading the BU dream (bringing people together for a better world) and business growth with the best talent.
She is a Honduran citizen, Industrial Engineer and received an MBA Degree (Summa Cum Laude) from Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico. She is married and has 3 Kids (Fiorella-12, Valentina-6 and Gael-1).
Pedro José Barquero Tercero has been the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce and Cortés Industries (CCIC) since 2014. This is a corporate organization that brings together the private sector of the northern area of Honduras. Pedro is responsible for the financial sustainability of that institution, increasing the profits from 2014 to 2018 in more than 300%.
Previously, he worked as a consultant in Strategy, Finance and Administration. Pedro held various executive positions in the private industry, including his role as the General Manager of Citibank Seguros Cuscatlán from 2007 to 2013, company where he was also a member of the Board of Directors.
He is currently the representative of the private sector within the Board of Directors of the Private Contributions Regime (RAP), a second-tier financial institution with assets of 800 million dollars. He is also the representative and spokesperson for the National Minimum Wage Commission.
Pedro holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from INCAE and is an Industrial and Systems Engineer graduate from Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana (Unitec). On a personal level he is passionate about travel and extreme sports such as diving, parachuting, tactical shooting, motorcycling and he is a private pilot of single-engine aircrafts.
Ruy Merriam is a seasoned CFO with Wall Street training (worked in leverage finance division of SG Cowen Securities and in the private equity Latin America division of Deutsche Bank) and has ample experience in entrepreneurial ventures in real estate, financial advisory and other industries. He is comanager and financial director in Macris School, one of the largest and leading bilingual schools in Honduras and a familyowned business. Concurrently, he is cofounder and CFO of Raíz Capital, a real estate development company with the mission of catalyzing the sustainable transformation of Tegucigalpa’s historic downtown and generating positive social impact. He has also provided financial advisory to various companies in Honduras in areas such as M&A, valuation, debt origination and shareholder agreement negotiations.
Ruy is an active board member of the company operating AVIS in Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize, concentrating efforts in establishing corporate practices at regional level. He is a board member of Museo de Identidad Nacional, Honduras’ most active and successful museum. He has been part of the board of YPO Honduras Chapter and currently its Chapter Chair, as well as spearheading an initiative to foment greater integration and synergy amongst the Central America chapters. Ruy holds a finance degree from Babson College.