Maria Eugenia Flores
Maru Flores is the founder and creator of Marujatz, a company that was established in 2005 aimed at designing custom-made, one-of-a-kind party accessories for all types of events. She engineered the entire production system, from the construction of the cutting molds to the search and selection of the materials. She also designed a training program for her workforce that allowed her to increase production and grow sustainably over the years.
In 2016, after gaining experience in the local market, Maru decides to take a leap into the retail industry, creating a different line of accessories through an additional trademark Serpentinas. This product line extension allowed her to begin commercial relationships with renowned retailers and reaching many other countries of Latin America, such as Colombia, Perú, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
Maru is an active member of Vital Voices’ chapter in El Salvador since 2011 and is involved in several mentoring programs, both as a mentor and mentee. Among these are VVGROW – 2013, the Global Partnership, and the Comité de Formación Técnico Profesional para la MYPE, all led by a group of outstanding, professional women dedicated to identifying leaders and empowering them to support their communities’ social and economic development.
Graduating in 2007, Maru earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor degree in graphic design from Escuela de Comunicación Mónica Herrera. Ever since, through the successful evolution of Marujatz and Serpentinas, she has supported local communities by providing a sustainable and inclusive work environment, specifically for Salvadorean women from high-risk areas with scarce opportunities and little chances of achieving careers on their own. Watching her team grow and thrive and helping them and their families has allowed her to fulfill her personal dreams and has defined her mission for the future.
Maru is a Fellow of the sixteenth class of the Central American Leadership Initiative (CALI), a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
María Isabel Luján-Zilbermann
As partner of the Guatemalan law firm QIL+4 Abogados, María Isabel focuses in corporate law, international business transactions, mergers & acquisitions, and international financings. She serves as member of several boards of directors of Guatemalan companies and has taught Commercial Law at Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala. María Isabel is also a board member of Fundación para el Desarrollo de Guatemala (FUNDESA); board member and pro bono legal advisor of Fundación Vital Voices (Guatemala); co-founder, board member and pro bono legal advisor of Fundación Proyecto de Vida, a non-profit organization that promotes the GuateAmala Movement; and, was a co-founder, board member and pro bono legal advisor of Asociación Civil Cuatro Grados Norte (4°norte). She earned a Master in International and Comparative Law (LLM) from Vrije Universiteit Brusel (Belgium) in 1997, a Master in Comparative Jurisprudence (MCJ) from New York University (NYU) School of Law as a Fulbright Scholar in 1995, and graduated as attorney-at-law, notary public and licentiate in juridical sciences from the Law School of Universidad Francisco Marroquín (Guatemala) in 1993.
María Isabel Mayorga
María Isabel Mayorga is Executive Director at Fundación Gedeón, a nonprofit with the purpose to transform Guatemalan institutions and culture (attitudes, mindsets, beliefs, habits) by promoting a culture that leads towards progress. She was Executive Director of Vital Voices Guatemala and Central American Network, and the citizen movement GuateAmala. For more than 15 years, she has worked in various roles and projects with the purpose of releasing individuals’ potential and building networks that contribute to economic and social development. Since 2011, she is a volunteer and advisor at Vida Plenas, a Christian organization serving the inhabitants of La Limonada, Central America s largest urban slum, located in Guatemala City. María Isabel graduated from Universidad Rafael Landívar with a degree in Industrial Engineering and received an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management – Erasmus University in the Netherlands, through a scholarship from the Dutch government. She is fluent in Spanish, English and German. She is married and the proud mother of two.
co-founded Zen Interactive Media almost six years ago with the vision of creating a new, dynamic and boutique digital agency in Guatemala. At Zen, María is leading the team to differentiate the agency by giving clients a more personalized service tailored to digital industry trends. María has several years of experience in the advertising and digital industry in Guatemala and has worked with lists of clients, including several multinational companies and local business conglomerates. She also has different endeavors in the digital communication sector. After graduating in 2006 with a B.A. in advertising from Southern Methodist University, she also went for a specialization program in marketing and sales management from San Francisco University, concluding with honors. In 2015 she finished her master’s degree in corporate communication at IE Business School in Spain. In 2015 she imported “Creative Mornings” to Guatemala and since then she co-organizes these inspiring monthly lectures. Maria is the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards including, but not limited to, the Global Competitiveness Leadership Program from Georgetown University, selected as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum and was named one of Guatemala’s top 10 Women Entrepreneurs in 2015 by Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization. She currently is a Faculty Professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquín and was elected as the youngest women board member of FUNDESA where she participates in some of its commissions and projects for the social and economic development of Guatemala, and recently she was certified as a Climate Change Leader. María is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
María Luisa Navarro
María Luisa Navarro has been the General Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since July 2014. Before, she was the Executive Director of Swiss Arifa Trust Company, a joint venture between Arias, Fabrega & Fabrega (ARIFA) (a Panamanian law firm), and Swiss Independent Trustees (a Geneva based trust company), focusing her work on Trust Services, Family Consulting and Estate Planning. She is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. She has also worked in investment banking and private banking. Maria Luisa graduated from Georgetown University with a bachelor of science in Foreign Service. She majored in international politics and obtained certificates in economics and Latin American studies. She is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Maria Luisa lives in Panama with her husband Ricardo and their three children, Elena Isabel, Ricardo Alberto and Sofia Emilia.
María Luisa Romero
María Luisa Romero is a human rights advocate who served as minister of government and vice- minister of government of the Republic of Panama (January 2017-April 2018; July 2014-January 2017). In the Ministry of Government María Luisa oversaw issues related to justice, governance, civil protection, refugees and indigenous peoples. She implemented reforms to make Panama’s prison system more humane and secure, establishing by law a civil career in the prison service and improving rehabilitation programs for persons deprived of liberty. Before entering public service, María Luisa worked as an independent human rights consultant (2013-2014); as a litigator in Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York City, where she advised clients with respect to regulatory, anti-corruption and human rights matters (2010-2013); and as an attorney at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica (2008-2009). María Luisa started her human rights field work as a student member and later as a pro bono contributor to the International Human Rights Clinic of Harvard Law School (2006-2008, 2010- 2012). María Luisa also worked at the Embassy of Panama in the United States, interned at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and has collaborated with civil society in Panama on various human rights matters. She has contributed to several publications regarding human rights investigations. María Luisa earned her juris doctor degree, graduating cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 2008, and her bachelor’s degree in government, graduating magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 2004. María Luisa sits on the board of directors of Cable & Wireless Panama and Fundación Libertad Ciudadana, the local chapter of Transparency International in Panama. She was elected as independent expert for the United Nations Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture for the 2019-2022 period. She is married to José Ricardo Coleman Tió, with whom she has two children, José Ricardo and Victoria Ivana. María Luisa is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
María Luisa Salvador
Marilu’s experience spans 29 years working in the areas of human and social development. She has broad professional experience in the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors. She has been a teacher, mentor, facilitator, and director of educational programs. She served as National Director for Basic Education for the Ministry of Education in Panama and led the Program “Aprende al Máximo”, a national movement for the improvement of educational quality with equity.
She has held the position of Regional Director for Latin America and the United States with The SFK Foundation where she designed programs and led teams developing social-emotional learning programs for vulnerable populations. Also, collaborated to successfully transform the SFK curriculum into an online award-winning program.
In the private sector, she worked as sustainability director, developing a culture of sustainability within the company and promoting work towards the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals).
She is the CEO and Creator of The Creating Center Inc. a new way of looking at educating future world changers. She is also an independent consultant in the areas of education and sustainability.
She is a fellow of the XI class of CALI (Central American Leadership Initiative) and a member of the Aspen Leadership Network. She has a master’s degree in educational administration, curriculum development, and policy studies from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
María Pacheco, President and Founder, WAKAMI
María Pacheco is the founder of Wakami, a fashion-accessory social business connecting rural communities with global markets. This connection is achieved through a system that allows female entrepreneurs to generate income and sustained prosperity in rural communities of Guatemala and of other countries facing similar challenges. Wakami has recently placed third among the 27 best social businesses of the world in the Chivas The Venture competition.
The Wakami fashion accessories are entirely handmade, following ancestral Mayan weaving techniques, and are exported to 20 countries. Currently, these products are being produced by almost 500 women belonging to 20 communities of Guatemala. The income generated by the producers and business owners translates into formal education for their children (especially for girls) and a better nutritional status, both of which being the key issues of the country.
María served as a consultant to both private businesses and governmental institutions on the implementation of her Inclusive Business methodology to connect rural communities to global markets. Her objective has always been to provide market access to vulnerable communities of Guatemala as a way to transform cycles of poverty into cycles of prosperity.
María was a member of the team leading the design of the “Economic Development from the rural areas” 60-million-dollar loan, granted to Guatemala by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank and implemented by the Ministry of Economy. This loan allowed more than 300 rural businesses to access global markets. María also partnered with the United Nations Foundation, Chemonics/USAID and other institutions to implement the Inclusive-Business Methodology.
In addition, she was the Executive Director of the Chorti Project for the fiber industry and, the Sacalá Project for the wood industry and owner of the CAUQUE organic farms.
A Universidad del Valle Biology graduate, María was awarded a Fullbright Scholarship to attend the Agriculture Masters Degree at Cornell University.
She has co-created the Guatemalan chapter of the Vital Voices Central American Network and she is also part of the Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Insititue.
Beginning in 2003, María has actively participated in Guatemalan organizations such as AGEXPORT, AGER, CENTRARSE and served as a FUNDESA Director.
In 2007 María received the “Vital Voices Washington Global Economic Development” award and, many more, such as: the DVF Award from the Diller – von Fustenberg Foundation, as one of the 5 women of the world who impulse positive change especially for women; the Stephan Schmidheiny award for Innovation in Latin America; the INCAE Challenge Award, as one of the new voices of innovation in business education in the region. She was nominated by Revista Estrategia y Negocios, a Central American and Caribbean business magazine, as one the top-3 influential women on Central America.
In 2017 Maria got the Most Powerful Women award by Goldman Sachs and Fortune Magazine.
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.
María. Alejandra Ramos
Maria Alejandra works full time as a doctor (endocrinologist) in both public and private hospitals. She is the Head of services of the Hospital Escuela Universitario and a Professor ad-honorem of postgraduate in Internal Medicine. She has done research on Diabetes Mellitus, thyroid cancer and hypoglycemia. She is also a thesis advisor to graduates aspiring for Internal Medicine Degree. She considers herself an extremely determined, energetic, caring individual who enjoys reading, traveling and learning about new places, spending time with her family and doing her job with passion. She has lived in Tegucigalpa, Honduras for most of her 37 years- 11 of which she has been happily married to an amazing man with whom she has two incredible children; a boy and a girl. Maria Alejandra loves to go to museums and do outdoor hiking. Maria Alejandra is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
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.
Mario E. Castrellón
Mario E. Castrellón is a chef and owner of various restaurants in Panama. He has been a young entrepreneur who has already opened 3 different restaurants in the past 5 years, one of them being a local direct trade coffee roaster called UNIDO which is developing a new NGO where the 10% of each coffee sold will be used for projects supporting producers and the communities in the coffee growing regions of Panama. After finishing his studies in hospitality and tourism in Sant Pol de Mar (EUHT) in Barcelona, Mario decides to return to Panama with the vision of the new trends in Spain and the goal of defining a new cuisine to his country. After being the chef at two restaurants in Panama City, he begins to know the local palate, and decides to venture in opening his own restaurant, MAITO, where he presents his own concept of Panamanian food. In MAITO, Mario identifies an evolving Panamanian cuisine that is building a body with each passing day. Currently MAITO has inspired its menu with the Panama Canal, convinced that this wonder of the world is the main reason for the mix of techniques, influences, origins and flavors that can be identified with the flavor of the country. Through the years of investigation looking for Panamanian traditional ingredient, Mario has reached to different communities of difficult access where he learned of lost produces that the regular Panamanian does not consume or know off. With a joint venture with Nutre Hogar, one of the first NGO of the country that fights malnutrition, Mario became a loyal volunteer who has helped on various projects like building and teaching the first bakery of Kankintu in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Mario is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Mario Hernández is founder and CEO of Monibyte, an innovative web-based corporate payments platform and a principal member and issuer of Visa and Mastercard credit cards. In January 2015, less than a year after Monibyte was released, he received an international award for Best Innovation in Retail and Commercial Banking and was interviewed at the London Stock Exchange. Mario is an expert in payments solutions focusing on new technologies and innovation. He has had a successful trajectory of more than 16 years in the financial sector in several countries, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. In 2008, he was transferred to Toronto and appointed Credit Cards Director for Latin America and Caribbean at the corporate offices of Scotiabank in Toronto Canada.
Mario completed his undergraduate studies at ITESM in Monterrey, Mexico, obtaining a degree in industrial and systems engineering. He earned his MBA from Bryant University in 1997, and in 2008 he completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. He has been a teacher at the level of graduate studies in several universities and has been invited to lectures, conferences and training courses in several countries including Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, the United States, Chile, Canada and Kazakhstan. He has published numerous articles in leading financial newspapers and magazines and was recognized as an outstanding 40 Under 40 Leader by El Financiero in 2008. Mario currently lives in Costa Rica with his wife and his three children and likes to practice karate. Mario is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network
Marisa Arias has been working as founding Executive Director of United Way Panamá since 2010. She was in charge of the organization´s start-up and after four years since its foundation, she has been vigorously working in a local strategy and action plan to increase community impact through collaborative leadership and aligning this vision and efforts with companies, nonprofit agencies and the government. She has been key in establishing UWP´s education programs and different programs aimed to strengthen Panama´s nonprofit sector. She is currently participating as first cohort of United Way Worldwide´s Executive Leadership Development Program and has been selected to participate in UW´s Latin American Regional Committee in the High-Performance Boards Initiative. Marisa was given the keys to the City of Panama in 2012, an honor given by the Mayor´s Office in recognition to her valuable and successful career as a professional and her ceaseless volunteer service to the wellbeing of cancer patients. Marisa worked as Executive Director of the Centro Empresarial de Inversión Social (CEDIS) an initiative funded by the Kellogg Foundation under the Leadership in Philanthropy in the Americas Program. In 2005, she was recruited by Telefónica start their Corporate Responsibility office as CSR Manager in Panamá. She led Fundación Telefónica´s regional program Proniño, dedicated to the eradication of child labor and re-launched their corporate volunteer program Voluntarios Telefónica . Marisa was chosen to represent the corporate sector towards the creation of the ISO 26000 the standard guidance on social responsible behavior and led the National Mirror Committee for this purpose, led the first cellphone recycling national program and created the annual CSR report for Panama and Central America for three consecutive years. She was recognized as one of Panama´s young emergent leaders by Capital Financiero by receiving the 40 Menores de 40 Award in 2009. She received her BA in Political Science from Vassar College in 1995 and continued master s studies in Non Profit Mangement in New York University s Wagner School of Public Administration. Because her mother fell ill to cancer, she was unable to finish her degree but returning to her native Panama, became one of the founders of FundaCáncer, a leading nonprofit dedicated to equip the only public Oncological Hospital in the country.
Marisol Argueta de Barillas
is the senior director for Latin America for the World Economic Forum. She previously served as the Foreign Minister of El Salvador. Prior to that, she was senior advisor to the foreign minister, general director of foreign policy, minister counselor at the embassy of El Salvador in Washington, DC, and alternate representative of El Salvador to the United Nations. She was elected vice president of the Organization of American States’ National Authorities Meeting for the Development of Women and headed different Salvadoran official delegations in various international meetings. She represented her country in the Presidential Commission for the revision of the Central American Integration System and was the national coordinator of El Salvador’s participation in all international presidential summits. She has led an international initiative on financing for development to enhance international cooperation for middle-income country development. Marisol has also been an assistant professor of constitutional law and political law at a private university in El Salvador. She is a member of the board of directors of two private businesses and has been a member of Hogares CREA-El Salvador, The Salvadoran Foundation for the Elderly, and the International Institute for Women. Marisol has a postgraduate degree in diplomatic studies from the University of Oxford. She has also taken courses in international affairs, human rights, negotiations and conflict resolution, peacekeeping, and development at New York University, Harvard, and the International Peace Academy. She is an active member of the Oxford Union Society. She speaks Spanish, English, French, and Arabic. She is married to Carlos R. Barillas and has three daughters: Alexia, Florence and Gabriela. She is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is an attorney and Senior Analyst of the Investment Climate Area at the Department of Legal Studies of FUSADES. She has participated in various national public -private dialogue spaces as a representative of the academic sector. Formerly participated in the Competitive Initiative, and at the Economic and Social Council, and is currently participating as Technical Panel of the Growth Council, under the Partnership for Growth between El Salvador and the United States of America, and also participates as technical panel in the Consultive Council under the Alliance for the Prosperity of the Northern Triangle. She was recently the first Salvadoran woman selected by the State Department of the United States and Fortune Magazine to represent El Salvador in the Fortune/US State Department Global Women´s Mentoring Partnership, a program that draws on the knowledge and expertise of America´s most accomplished leaders to empower aspiring women professionals across the globe. She is now working as an active member of Vital Voices El Salvador, which is an NGO that promotes female empowerment. Previously, she worked as Legal Advisor of PROESA, presided by El Salvador´s former Vice President, institution in charge of promoting FDI and exports. She worked in the Ministry of Economy as a member of the Salvadoran negotiating team of the Free Trade Agreement between Central America, Dominican Republic and the United States, DR-CAFTA. She is the mother of two, Diego and Ariana. With her husband, Alvaro, they have recently started a family project focused on leadership and personal growth called a.m. Consulting & Coaching. Marjorie is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Marlon Hernández Anzora
was an advisor to the Ministry of the Economy (2010-2011) and was a professor of political science and theory of government at the University of El Salvador and the Jesuit University of El Salvador, UCA. Was also the national youth coordinator of a political party in the government (2009 to 2011). He founds a youth social democrat movement call Juventudes Socialdemócratas de El Salvador (JSD) in 2007 and was his president until 2012. Marlon was also the director of the political science e-newsletter of the Faculty of Law at University of El Salvador (2007 to 2010). He earned his master’s degree from the International and Iberoamerican Foundation of Public Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), in Madrid, Spain. At this moment he is junior researcher for the IKG-Bielefeld University from Germany. Marlon is a Fellow of the fifth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Honduran entrepreneur and businessman, CEO of Grupo Cadelga, an agroindustrial business group that employs over 4,000 people, mainly focused on fertilizer distribution, sugar and energy production. He is the current president of COHEP (Consejo Hondureño de la Empresa Privada), the country’s official representative of the private sector. Mateo is a recognized member of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He is an active leader in sustainable development initiatives. Current member of the Honduran National Football Team Council and considered one of the most important soccer leaders in Honduras. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration & Finance and an MBA, both obtained in Loyola University in New Orleans, LO.
- President of the Honduran Business Council for Sustainable Development
- Member of the Latin America Business Council CEAL
- Member of the Board of Directors in the Honduran Foundation of the Sugar Industry FUNAZUCAR.
- Former President of the Honduran Foundation for Corporate Social Responsibility FUNDAHRSE
- Former President of the Real Club Deportivo España
Mauricio Antonio Maza
Dr. Mauricio Maza is the Cancer Advisor of The Cancer Program of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Dr. Maza is a Salvadoran public health physician with extensive experience in the region working on cancer, and specifically assisting countries with cervical cancer programs, and collaborating with PAHO for many years. He has served as Executive Director of Basic Health International (BHI), a non-profit organization that works in the elimination of cervical cancer and, among other things. Dr. Maza also led the successful HPV testing program in El Salvador, working closely with the Ministry of Health and assisting several countries in the region with their HPV testing programs. He has been a UICC youth leader for cancer control, an NCI Center for Global Health apprentice in outreach and implementation research, a beneficiary of the IARC / WHO 50 FOR 50 initiatives, supporting leaders cancer research team from low- and middle-income countries, and a member of the Central American Leadership Initiative, part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Mey Lang Hung
Mey is a Central American born in Honduras. She is outgoing, a natural People-Connector that manages excellent interpersonal relationships, with great abilities in human and executive development; demonstrated community involvement and empathy.
She works for Walmart Central America as responsible of Corporate Affairs for Guatemala and Honduras, leading the ESG topics and the trade facilitation public policies for the region. Mey actively participates in various organizations and forums to promote a better society.
She enjoys to walk and meditate in her spare time.
Mike Dieckmann es emprendedor en la industria de tecnología y mercadeo digital. Participa activamente en iniciativas para mejorar y cambiar el sistema de educación publica en Honduras e impulsar el progreso económico a través de la transformación digital de los negocios y el estado. Es el fundador de la agencia de mercadeo digital WSIMetrix. Previo a crear su agencia, se desempeñó durante 19 años como Gerente Corporativo de Electrónica y Nuevos Negocios para el Grupo Inversiones La Paz. Entre sus funciones estaba dirigir JETSTEREO SA la cadena de tiendas de electrónica mas grande de Honduras. También tenia como responsabilidad la dirección de la cadena de tiendas ALDO y Call It Spring para centro américa. Mike funge desde el 2011 como presidente de la Fundación para la Educación Ricardo Ernesto Maduro Andreu (FEREMA), una organización enfocada en políticas publicas y en proyectos de educación temprana para comunidades pobres. Mike es el Cónsul Honorario del Reino de los Países Bajos, miembro de la junta directiva de la Fundación Hondufuturo, pertenece al programa Central America Leadership Initiative CALI del Aspen Institute, es miembro Young Presidents oganization YPO y ha sido asesor a la junta directiva de la Cámara de Comercio e Industria de Tegucigalpa. Es apasionado por la naturaleza y el mar, dedica su tiempo libre a la lectura, meditación, ciclismo de montaña, buceo, kitesurf, y deportes de vela. Mike habla Español, Ingles, y Alemán; es graduado de la Universidad Internacional de la Florida con licenciatura en administración de empresas con concentración en negocios internacionales y mercadeo.
Michelle is a social policy and global development specialist with national and international experience in public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Currently, she is Director of Global Strategy of Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative (OPHI) and SOPHIA at the University of Oxford and professor of Social Development, and Social and Political Innovation of the School of Government at ADEN University. She serves as Senior Policy Advisor of The Fourth Sector Group and Leaders on Purpose.
Michelle is former Vice minister and Minister of Social Development of Panama and Technical Coordinator of the Social Cabinet. She also chaired the National Concertation for Development Council, a legally recognized participatory body for social dialogue comprising 23 sectors of society.
She has master’s degrees in Public Administration from Cornell University, Management of Cultural Projects and Heritage from Istituto per l’Arte e il Restauro Palazzo Spinelli, and Commercial Law from Externado University in Colombia. She has a degree in Laws and Political Science from Santa Maria La Antigua University in Panama.
Michelle is fellow of the VIII class of the Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI) and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She lives in Panama with her husband Cesar and their daughter Paloma.
Miguel Ángel Siman
is Chairman of Inversiones Simco, a division of the Simán Group, and has had a significant career in the private and public sectors. In 2014, as the General Coordinator of Plan País”, he led a broad and diverse team of experts to develop a national plan intended to serve as the governments platform to address social, economic, and political issues, and recommend public policy initiatives and programs, for the local and national levels. Miguel Angel has served as Vice-President of the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES), and is active in various non-profit foundations and organizations. From 1999-2004, he served in El Salvador’s Government as the Presidential Commissioner for Public Investment, a ministry level position to oversee government s investment programs; and as the President of the Social Investment Fund for Local Development (FISDL). From 2005-2009, he served as the Salvadoran Director for the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE). Miguel Ángel has been a member of the International Council of the Harris School for Public Policy at the University of Chicago, and has taught at Universidad Dr. José Matías Delgado, and Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios (ESEN). He holds an undergraduate degree from Loyola University and a MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife Marlene are parents to Miguel and Santiago. Miguel Angel is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Miguel Fábrega is the president and creative director of NEO!, a creative consulting firm that specializes in business strategy and creative solutions for all types of business. He is also the founding partner of Diablo Rosso, a think-tank space and launching pad for emerging artists and creators of all types and partner for the Daily Senet, an insiders guide to 32 cities in the world. In 2006 his international art career began with the help of Dean Project gallery in NYC. In the past, he has worked as the Creative Director for staples as Oglivy, JWT and Young and Rubicam. During his 9 years with the WPP group he worked in various countries including Argentina, Mexico and New York and was part of global creative teams for Samsung and Colgate. Miguel also co-founded MOGO magazine, the first Intelecto-cultural publication in the region. Miguel has shown his work across Latin America, the U.S., Europe, the middle east and Japan. He won first prize in the Central American emerging artist Triennal at the Museo de Arte y Diseño de Costa Rica, has represented his country in the Bienalle de Centro America and has been nominated twice for the prestigious CIFO (Cisnero-Fontanals) grant. He has been a columnist for AGENDA magazine and a Ted Talker and fellowship finalist. He graduated in marketing and advertising with additional studies in photography and cinema.
He is the Executive Director of Real Estate Development in Grupo IDC, Guatemala. In this role, he leads the developing group for Condado Naranjo, an innovative project that will create a community based on a comprehensive master plan. At IDC, Miguel has also worked in the areas of corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions on a regional level. Prior to IDC, Miguel worked as manager at Protego Asesores (presently Evercore), an investment banking advice firm in Monterrey, Mexico. Miguel is a board member of the American School of Guatemala, a trustee of the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala and an active member and former president of the Young Presidents Organization, YPO-Chapter Guatemala. Miguel obtained his degree in industrial engineering from Rafael Landivar University and received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University. He is a Fulbright scholar. Miguel has run several marathons and he lives in Guatemala City with is wife and three children.
Mirei Endara de Heras
Mirei Endara de Heras served as Minister of Environment (2014-2017) and as Administrator of the Panama Environmental Authority (1994-1999), leading important institutional transformation in each term, most recently elevating the environment to a cabinet level position. The legislation passed in each of those terms allowed not only for the increased institutional capacity and authority, but also allowed an integrated and holistic approach to environment and natural resource management, pushing forward a sustainable development vision and agenda for the country. Mirei was the first Executive Director of the Fundación CALI (Central America Leadership Initiative), helping create the Central American portion of AGLN with the region’s founders in 2005. She is a board member of Fundación Smithsonian, a local not-for-profit created to support and divulge the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s work in Panama and Latin America, a position she has held since 2000. She has also held board positions in ANCON (Asociación Nacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza) the oldest conservation organization in Panama, Fundación NATURA and Fundación Centro de Ciencias y Arte. From 2000 to 2003 she established and directed the Nature Conservancy’s Panama Program. Mirei is now investing a lot of her time in addressing marine and coastal trash, as well as water management issues, focusing on how can private sector and civil society be more proactive and involved. She holds an undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and a Masters in Environmental Studies from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Management. She is married to Miguel Heras and has 2 children, Miguel and Sofia. She is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Social communicator, history lover and compulsive reader. Graduated from Universidad Santa María La Antigua (2000), with a degree in social communications. As a specialist in oral history, she participated in the historical documentation of the Canal expansion.
She develops scientific, industrial and human topics content for the Panama Canal. In 2016 she won the “Gaviota de Plata” at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival.
She has participated in collective publications such as Protagonistas del siglo XX panameño, as a juror in the Gabriel García Márquez Journalism Festival and researches topics on nationality and culture.
In her work as a cultural manager, she focuses on Afro intersectionality. Miroslava is a Fellow of the sixteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is the founder of MAS Solutions, an independent consulting firm that specializes in financial planning and strategic advisory focusing on small and medium size companies. In 2016, she started the set up and management of a single-family office, advising them in establishing governance mechanisms, tax and estate planning, philanthropic initiatives, and the evaluation of new business opportunities. That same year, Mitzi executed the first nationally broadcasted edition of the now-annual Contest for Education and Excellence, where standardized testing in math, science, and languages was provided to several public schools in Panama. In 2013, she left her position as assistant vice president for treasury and investment in Banco General, after over 15 years working on the banking sector. During 2007, Mitzi lead the treasury and financial institution fronts during the merger of Banco General and Banco Continental, the two largest Panamanian banks at the time. She currently serves as an International Finance Corporation board nominee for Banco la Hipotecaria and a board member for Grupo Power Club fitnesss gyms. Mitzi is a board member in various nonprofit organizations such as Pro Niñez, Fundación para la Promoción de la Excelencia Educativa, and Fundación Escuela San Pedro Nolasco all in which the quality of education is promoted through several initiatives. Mitzi was valedictorian from INCAE EMBA class of 2009 and earned her bachelor’s degree in finance and international business graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown University in 2002. A proud mother of three children, Alessandra, Miguel, and Diego, Mitzi enjoys spending time with her family, serving at her church, running, reading and working on social projects involving children that will leave a positive footprint in remote communities. She is also a member of the Comité Nacional de INCAE, the Georgetown Alumni Association and associate member of Women Corporate Directors. Mitzi is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Mónica Berger González de White
Mónica Berger González heads the Unit of Medical Anthropology at the Center for Health Studies in Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, and is a researcher on transdisciplinary One Health approaches at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute. She is president of the Green Health Initiative, a start-up committed to intercultural health research and development to advance Maya ethnomedicine and sustainable plant-based solutions for wellbeing. Mónica describes herself as an impatient optimist in love with diversity. Before diving into applied research in 2011, she worked for a decade in community development initiatives around environmental sustainability and poverty alleviation, where she met some of her greatest teachers, Ajq’ij (spiritual guides) and Ajq’omaneel (herbalists) from the Maya traditions of wisdom keepers. She led over 25 projects engaging traditional knowledge and modern high-tech solutions for adaptation to Climate Change. This experience led her to co-found an NGO in lake Atitlan committed to fostering symbiotic income-generation strategies respectful of Nan Ulew (Mother Earth). This time taught her the importance of cultural humility, a precondition to learn the immense value of plural epistemologies, pushing her to publish many books and scientific articles to share these views. She is passionate about societal transformation and believes the only way to do it is by transforming one self, as a fractal of the whole, affecting others positively through resonance. Mónica is a consultant for public, private, and multilateral organizations on intercultural approaches to health and public policy, and volunteers with several Indigenous Councils of Elders on advancing ethnomedicine research. She earned her undergraduate anthropology degree in Universidad del Valle de Guatemala in 2006 and her PhD in Sciences at the ETH Zurich, Switzerland, in 2016. Mónica is a Fellow of the 16th Class of the CALI Fellowship Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Program.
is partner director at Audienz, a corporate communications consulting firm. She has been communications specialist for over 20 years and it has developed communication strategies and crisis management plans for industries such as banking, energy, real estate, technology, and personal care. Nadina was Director at Ogilvy Public Relations El Salvador and worked at the Communications Secretariat of Salvadoran government. She was editor at La Prensa Gráfica; and Director of Communications of the Secretariat of Central American Integration, SICA and the Salvadoran Banking Association, ABANSA. Her areas of expertise are: strategic communications planning, spokesperson’s training, personal and corporate reputation, and crisis communications. She has a degree in Communications Sciences and has studies in psychology and political sciences; and serves as a Board Member of the non-profit Vital Voices El Salvador Chapter. She is a Fellow of the eighth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Nery Ramón Granados
currently serves as Legal Adviser to the Vice President of the country and since 2015 is also a member of the City Council of Santa Tecla, on behalf of the political party FMLN. Nery has extensive experience in the public sector, especially in the municipal area. From 2004 to 2014 he worked for the Municipality of Santa Tecla , playing several positions, most notably as Legal Adviser to the Mayor, Head of the Legal Department, City Clerk. Nery earned a Bachelor’s degree in Laws, from Universidad Evangélica de El Salvador in 2005, and was authorized as a Lawyer in 2006. In 2008, he earned a Master’s in International Business Law, graduating with honors from the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City. He did long term studies on Business English and Translation. Then, in 2013, Nery was authorized as a Public Notary by the Supreme Court of Justice. Nery lives in San Salvador and he enjoys the theater and outdoor activities. Nery is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Nilson Ariel Espino
Nilson Ariel Espino is president of SUMA Architects and Urban Planners, a private firm specializing in urban-scale projects including public-private partnernships and social-environmental components. He was previously executive director of the Office of the Old City, an agency administered through the United Nations Development Program and whose mission is the renovation of the colonial neighborhood of Panama City, a World Heritage Site. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Catholic University in Panama, a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Arizona, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from Rice University. He is married and has two sons. He is a Fellow of the third class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is a visiting professor and researcher, University of Arizona; and Senior Fellow, National Law Center for Inter-American Free Trade. Octavio has been working for the past three years on several initiatives to better the legal infrastructure used for trade between the United States and Latin American countries. Prior to this, he was Minister of Culture and Presidential Advisor for Property Reform under the Maduro Administration in Honduras. Before entering government he practice as a private lawyer and advise several financial institutions in his home country. He is the author and translator of several books on history and property. He is a lawyer from the National University of Honduras (Summa Cum Laude); and holds an LLM with concentration in International Finance from the Harvard Law School (Landon H. Gammon Fellow, 2000). Octavio is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Pablo de la Guardia
Director of Government Affairs and Strategic Alliances, Copa Airlines, Panamá.
Pablo de la Guardia is the Director of Government Affairs and Strategic Alliances for Copa Airlines, one of Latin America´s leading airline groups with service to 70 destinations in 30 countries.
His responsibilities include strategic alliance development, international affairs, regulatory affairs, and analysis of legislative policy. He serves as principle liaison of the company with multiple governmental agencies throughout Latin America. He represents the company in local and regional business and industry groups.
Prior to joining Copa Airlines, Pablo de la Guardia worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as Legislative Aide to Hon. Xavier Becerra, Member of Congress from California. He has also held several posts in Panama’s private and non-profit sector.
Pablo earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a B.A. in Political Science and B.S. in Business Administration from Franciscan University of Steubenville (Ohio).
Pablo is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Pablo Jenkins is Co-Founder and President of Ideas en Acción, a donor-advised fund and co-creation platform that implements regionally scalable projects combining technology, social innovation, and youth leadership. He is also an active investor focusing on sustainable development through impact investing in wellbeing, education and technology. Pablo is co-founder of the Costa Rica Chapter of Conscious Capitalism. Pablo has served as an advisor to four Ministers of Science and Technology of Costa Rica on topics related to broadband and innovation policy. He was Intel Capital’s youngest strategic investment manager, Director of International Expansion for Endeavor Global during its expansion into the Middle East and Asia, and the co-creator of the Sustainable Investments Group in Brazil, with leading local family offices. Pablo has been co-organizer of TEDxPuraVidaJoven since 2011 and the first Do Lectures in Latin America.
Pablo graduated with a B.A. from Princeton University and an MBA and an MPA from Harvard University. Pablo is part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a 2015 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. He is on the board of directors of Estrategia Siglo XXI, Fundación Gente, and Cenfotec University.
President of the Castro Carazo Metropolitan University (UMCA), the second largest private university in Costa Rica established in 1936. In this role, Ms. Villalobos is accountable for the formulation and implementation of strategic and budgetary plans to advance the University s goals and for the definition of priorities in all departments. She is also on the executive board of La Marta Wildlife Refuge, a tropical rainforest with more than 1500 acres located in Turrialba, Costa Rica, where she helps execute conservation and sustainable development strategies with the local community and experts in the field. Previously, Ms. Villalobos was president of the Latin American University of Science and Technology (ULACIT). Ms. Villalobos was also responsible for developing consulting services for Hispanic-owned businesses in Southern California through the Small Business Administration (SBA). She received her Bachelor of Science in Business from the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología (ULACIT) in Costa Rica and a Master of Business Administration from the University of La Verne in California.
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
Pamela Molina is Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Agrolibano. She also holds a place on the Board of Director and serves as the President of Fundación Agrolibano and Fundación Pro Improvement of the Hospital of San Lorenzo. She began her professional career in 1993 for Agrolíbano starting in the area of Marketing and Exports, from 2000 to 2010 she served as the VP of Finance and Treasury and since mid-2008 she has been responsible for establishing the division of Social Responsibility of Agrolíbano. It was under her management that Agrolíbano first achieved in 2013 the title of a social responsible company. As president of the Foundation for support of HSL she lead and achieved a physical transformation of the Public Hospital of San Lorenzo, promoting since 2014 a model of: decentralized Hospital Management for results with systemic approach whose main axis the patient. She is currently seeking for this model to be replicated in other hospitals in Honduras. Pamela holds a degree in Industrial Business and Administration from the Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana UNITEC. She has continued her education through, seminars and professional graduate certificates from universities such as Yale, Harvard, INCAE, Universidad de Los Andes, among others.
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).
Patricia Planells de Rengifo currently heads the Corporate Lending team at BAC Panama, a GrupoAval affiliate, which incorporates banking operations throughout Central America. Since 1998, Mrs. Rengifo has been involved in higher education through instructional posts at the USMA – Universidad Santa Maria la Antigua, distinguished as the top private center for higher education in Panama, and the International Banking Institute, academic branch for the Panamanian Bankers Association, leading the instruction of different finance and bank related topics. Mrs. Rengifo has published articles in the Banca y Mercado Magazine, the official magazine of the Panamanian Bankers Association. Mrs. Rengifo has given pro bono efforts as financial advisor for several non for profit organizations such as the Fundación de Amigos del Niño con Leucemia y Cancer, and the orphanage house Malambo. Before joining BAC in 1997, Mrs. Rengifo served as Credit Officer at Bank Boston Panama Branch, and Production Plant Engineer for Kraft Foods Panama. Born and raised in Panama City, Panama, Rengifo is a Magna Cum Laude Engineer from the USMA, and a Master in Business Administration with honors from the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencias y Tecnologia – ULACIT.
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.
is CEO of Costa Rica Trade Promotion Authority PROCOMER. This government agency is responsible for country exports and free trade zones. Pedro also serves as president of Costa Rica Country Brand and as president of the Latin America Trade Promotion Agencies Council. He leads Costa Rica country brand strategy to attract tourists, investors and buyers. During the last four years, PROCOMER has been awarded as the “Best Trade Promotion Organization in the World” by International Trade Centre, and Costa Rica was ranked the “happiest country on earth” by Happy Planet Index.
Prior to his public service, Pedro worked 15 years for Intel Corp, progressing from finance clerk in Costa Rica to chief of staff of Intel Global Head of Sales, in Silicon Valley. He became the latin-american with the highest position on Intel global organization chart. Pedro lived in Madrid, London, México and San Francisco before returning to his native Costa Rica to join the public service.
Pedro has 4 children and has completed 7 Ironman triathlons. Pedro is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Pedro Xavier Molina
Pedro X. Molina is a Nicaraguan cartoonist with more than 20 years of experience working with national and international media outlets. Pedro currently publishes his work in Confidencial (confidencial.com.ni) in Nicaragua and Counterpoint (counterpoint.com) in the United States, where he has been living since he fled Nicaragua in late 2018.
In addition to his daily work as a cartoonist and illustrator, Pedro has taught university-level courses on the techniques and history of cartooning at Ithaca College and Cornell University (both in New York). He is currently an Artist Protection Fund fellow and visiting critic at Cornell.
His awards include the Award for Journalistic Excellence from the Gabo Foundation (2021), second prize in the “Gag Cartoon” category from World Press Cartoon (2020), the Maria Moors Cabot Prize from Columbia University (2019), the Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Inter American Press Association (2019), and the Courage in Cartooning Award from Cartoonists Rights Network International (2018).
Pedro’s last book title is “Recordar es resistir” besides several cartoon compilations of his work, he has also contributed to many books devoted to cartooning such as several editions of “Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year” published by Pelican (USA) and also a collection published by Gallimard/ Cartooning For Peace) France) Pedro’s work has also been exhibited in several countries in America and Europe and his cartoons, caricatures, editorial illustrations, comics have been printed or published online in many major publications such as: Project Syndicate, Politico.com, Cartoon Movement, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, ChicagoTribune, Courrier International, Courrier Japan, The Vancouver Sun, London Free Press, Der Standard, El Universal (Mexico), La Tercera (Chile), La Nación (Costa Rica) China Daily, Newsweek, The Week, UTNE reader, Ekonom, Dunya, Jira Times, Khaleej Times, Daily News and Analysis (DNA), Modern Weekly, The Vienna Review, BBC, France 24 and CNN.Pedro Xavier is a Fellow of the sixteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Pilar Martinez is co-founder and CEO of Cosecha Partners, a social business and Forbes recognized top company supplying premium organic ingredients to the food industry while growing sustainable incomes for smallholder farmers. Pilar has a 19-year international career working in eight countries and three continents. She is actively seeking global entrepreneurs, and partners to launch a venture in the intersection of social impact and blockchain, metaverse, and crypto space. From 2012-2018, Pilar served as Deputy Director on a $56 million-dollar portfolio designing large scale impact programs, and evaluations for the United States Agency for International Development. From 2008-2012, she was Manager at Ashoka, the world’s leading incubator and network of social entrepreneurs, where she developed research for books, and articles published on Harvard Business Review, and other media outlets. Pilar has public speaking experience on social business, and entrepreneurship giving lectures at major events with the United Nations, US MBA programs including Yale SOM, George Washington University and NYU. She has media experience offering interviews with local, and international news outlets including BBC, AFP, and Financial Times. Pilar earned her bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College, MA receiving a merit based four-year Balfour Scholarship award for top incoming students, majoring in Economics, and International Relations. Pilar is a Fellow of Agora Partnership, and Committee Member of ECOCERT Fair for Life fair trade certification program. Pilar currently resides in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Pilar is a Fellow of the sixteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Rabbi Gustavo Kraselnik
Rabbi Gustavo Kraselnik is the spiritual leader of the Congregation KolShearith Israel in Panama since 2002, and is the Executive Director of the Panamanian Jewish Congress. It is also a member of the Interfaith Committee of Panama. He is coauthor of the book Parashah Commentaries (Notes from the weekly Torah readings), and published in major newspapers several articles on current topics related to Judaism. Gustavo was ordained by the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano, in 1996 and served as Rabbi of the Jewish Community of El Salvador from 1996 until 2002. He graduated in Business Administration from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). Gustavo participated in the program “Senior Educators” at The Melton Centre for Jewish Education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and has been Professor of Rabbinical Literature at the University Jose Simeon Cañas (UCA) in El Salvador, and Professor of Jewish Studies at the University Santa Maria La Antigua (USMA) in Panama. Gustavo is from Argentina, is married and has one son.
Rafael is CEO of Banco Agrícola, one of Central America’s largest banks and part of Grupo Bancolombia. An economist by training, he served eight years as provost of the Escuela Superior de Economía y Negocios (ESEN), the leading undergraduate institution of El Salvador in the business, economics, engineering and law fields. He was president of the country’s Central Bank from 1999 to 2002 during the country’s successful move towards dollarization. Former governor at the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, IADB and CABEI. He holds a BA from Rice University in computer science and a Licenciatura and master’s degrees in economics from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. His interests lie in economics, financial inclusion, banking, education and politics and he enjoys gastronomy and technology. He is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Raisa Banfield is director of the Environmental Advocacy Center. She offers conferences on civil participation, conservation, and development in order to provide information access to communities. She has created workshops and expert exchanges on urban and environmental topics as well as published diverse opinion articles in various news organs. In 2007, she won a scholarship from the US government to train in topics related to urbanism and the environment. Recently, she was invited by the Environmental Leadership Training Initiative, a program of the Smithsonian Institute of Tropical Research and the Yale University School of Forestry to take part in the conference “Financing for the Conservation of Nature in the Americas.” She is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Ramiro Alfaro is General Manager of Spectrum. Spectrum is a real estate company with operations in Central America and Colombia. Ramiro loves adventure and is an active runner, triathlete and adventure racer. He has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and an MBA, both from Lehigh University in Bethlehem Pennsylvania. He is married and has three children.
Regina Wong de Eyl, 44, Directora de Desarrollo Comercial, Sercano Inc., EEUU
Es responsable del desarrollo comercial de Sercano, proveedor de contenido de televisión producido en Honduras para el segmento centroamericano que vive en EEUU. Esta es una iniciativa de su grupo familiar con el que ha desarrollado su carrera. Inició en Editorial Hablemos Claro donde se involucró en la conceptualización y evolución de las revistas Hablemos Claro, As Deportiva, Hablemos Claro Financiera, Cromos, y la revista “Come to Honduras,”. Además participó en la creación y desarrollo de TEN Canal 10, el primer canal de televisión en Honduras orientado a promoción de la educación y desarrollo del país. Fue Presidenta y Fundadora del capítulo de Voces Vitales Honduras y co-fundadora de United Way Honduras. Actualmente es miembro de la red de Vital Voices Miami. Cuenta con un MBA de la Univerisdad de Loyola, New Orleans y Licenciatura en Administración Industrial y de Negocios de Unitec. Está felizmente casada con Rudi Eyl y tiene 3 hijos, Rudi, Antonella y Roderick. Actualmente vive en Weston, Florida.
Renata Villers is founder and Executive Director of Amigos del Aprendizaje, ADA (http://www.ada.or.cr/), a leading NGO that works with multi-sector stakeholders (teachers, children, researchers and policy makers) to transform the way children learn to read and write to support their active participation in the knowledge society. To achieve its mission: ADA facilitates online teacher professional development- for over 1000 teachers a year; sponsors a national children’s writing contest – with more than 15,000 annual children participants; and convenes the ProLEER conference at Harvard University annually, to strengthen educational policy and practice across Latin America. Prior to living in Costa Rica, Renata worked as a consultant with J.E. Austin Associates – the consulting group of Harvard Business School professor James E. Austin – where she developed case studies, training materials and strategic analysis for developing country NGOs and institutional clients, such as the Woman’s World Banking, the Asian Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation. As a resident of Costa Rica, before forming ADA, she worked as an independent consultant for non-profit organizations, to support their development of social enterprise business plans, among them INBio and the Fundación Omar Dengo. Renata serves on the board and advisory committees of several prominent educational organizations including: the United World College Costa Rica, Estado de la Educación and Fundación Monge. She is a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and the Central American Leadership Network (CALI), an alumni interviewer for Harvard College, and a founding member of the Steering Committe of ProLEER at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Renata holds an MBA from the Columbia Business School and a BA in economics from Harvard College, where she graduated magna cum laude. She is a resident of Costa Rica since 1991.
Ricardo A. Pardomo
is Managing Partner at The Network Company, a boutique Investment Banking & Private Equity Firm. During his time at The Network Co, Ricardo has been able to advise clients in equity raising, capital market transactions, M&A and private equity investments. One of the main objectives Ricardo is currently facing, as the President of an energy developer, is the development and launching of the first energy project 100% destined to the SEIPAC, as he believes strongly in the integration of the region. Ricardo serves as external board member in various companies and different industries such as: BBP Bank in Panamá, Estadios Deportivos de El Salvador (Estadio Cuscatlán in El Salvador) and an Outdoor Advertising Company in the Central American region. In addition, Ricardo ventured in other minor initiatives such as a global grain trading company and a food services company. He has a B.A. in Economics from Emory University, Atlanta, GA., and an Executive MBA from INCAE, San Salvador, El Salvador.
is CEO of Aseguradora Suiza Salvadoreña, S.A. He is also the director of YAK PAK EL SALVADOR, S.A. DE C.V., a manufacturing concern focused on exports to the U.S. and Europe (since 1995), the director of MEDIDENT, S.A. DE C.V. a distributor of pharmaceutical products and dental equipment and products (since 1994); as well as the Director of CURTIS INDUSTRIAL S.A. (since1994). In 2002 he became the director of Fundación Hogares Providencia for Street Children and since 2003 he has been the president of the Salvadorian Association of Insurance Companies and since 2005 the advisor for the national Association of Private Enterprises (ANEP). He holds a BS degree from Lehigh University and a specialization certificate from the Swiss Insurance Training Center (SITC), Zurich, Switzerland. He is married with three children. He is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Ricardo Ernesto Augspurg
is Director for real estate operations at Grupo Agrisal. He previously cofounded a program called Plastic’s Eco-Friends, which won the 2004 National Environmental Award from the Ministry of Environment. Before that, he worked at the Salvadoran Foundation for Social and Economic Development, where he helped develop the first private free trade zones in El Salvador with funds from USAID. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from a university in the United States and a master’s degree in industrial management and technology from INCAE. Ricardo is a board member at the Salvadorian Entrepreneurial Foundation for Education Development. He has been married for 17 years and has four children: Ricardo, Gabriela, Fernando, and Santiago. He is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is the CEO and president of SER Chumbagua, part of a regional operation dedicated to the production of sugar, molasses, renewable energy, and rum in Central America. Ricardo is also president of Energía Chumbagua, board member of the Honduran Sugar Producers Association (APAH), its Corporate Social Responsibility foundation (FUNAZUCAR), and Honduras Sugar Estates, S. A. de C. V. Ricardo has accrued experience with Grupo Pellas and Dole Food Company operations in Honduras and Guatemala in several key fields, such as agricultural operations, industrial sales, logistics, fruit packaging materials, corporate social responsibility, and finance. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a master’s in business administration from The Catholic University of Honduras, a master’s in commercial management and marketing from Carlos III of Madrid University, and a master’s in international agribusiness management from INCAE Business School. Ricardo is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Rigoberto Cuéllar is the Adjacent Attorney General for Honduras. Rigoberto has a long career in public service, holding the following positions: Chief Prosecutor for the Technical Advisory Department, Deputy Director and Chief Prosecutor by Law and Secretary of State for Natural Resources and Environmental Matters. He has served as prosecutor for more than 10 years and has been advisor of several governments and international cooperation programs in matters of justice, law enforcement, violence and corruption prevention. Rigoberto is a founding member of Asociación de Estudios Penales y Sociales de Honduras (ASEPESH), a member of FACED-Justicia (Comisión de Derecho Procesal del Colegio de Abogados de Honduras, Federación Centroamericana de Asociaciones para el Fortalecimiento del Estado de Derecho), Colegio de Abogados de Honduras, Comisión Científica, Asociación de Ciudadanos and ASERjusticia – Juristas Para el Servicio y Apoyo al Estado de Derecho de Guatemala. Rigoberto obtained a law degree from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras and a Masters certificate from Spain. He obtained his Ph.D from Universidad Jaume I, de Castelló de la Plana in 2001, completing his thesis on “La Reforma Procesal Penal y el Ministerio Público de Honduras: Justificación y Perspectiva”. He received a scholarship from the Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies in Florence, Italy for a masters program on International Criminal Law. He has published many books and articles on criminal procedures and has been a contributor for many legislative projects. He has also been a professor for legal subjects in national and international universities (Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, Spain). He is married and has three children.
Rita Vásquez is the sub-director of the newspaper La Prensa. This is her second stint for the newspaper, having returned in March 2015 after spending three-and-a-half years as a human resources manager for the Panama office of VF Corporation. Rita first joined La Prensa in 2007, where she held the title of junior sub-director before leaving for VF in 2011. Prior to entering the newspaper industry, Rita worked as managing director of the BVI office for the law firm Sucre, Arias and Reyes, and later as an associate for the firm’s office in Panama. While in the BVI, Rita was a board member of the Association of Registered Agents, the leading advocacy group for the financial services industry. In 2015, Rita was elected vice president of the National Journalism Council, an organization founded to protect the right to freedom of expression and information in Panama. In 2016, she was elected president of that organization. Rita was also the leader of La Prensa’s team that was part of the global investigation that became known as “The Panama Papers.” Rita is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is founder and managing partner of Versata Capital, a boutique investment bank based out of Panama, serving clients with corporate finance and M&A advisory services. He also serves as Chairman of Executive Forums (Panama Chapter), a President/CEO peer group advisory board. Robbie’s previous experience includes leadership positions at Valor Capital, Dell, Grupo Financiero Uno, and Visa Latin America. He began early in his career as a management consultant for Bain & Company serving mainly Latin American clients in a diverse set of industries. Robbie earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance and International Business from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University. He serves on the board of directors of Cochez & Cia., CM Realty (REIT), and the Harvard Club of Panama; Also a member of the Biodiversity Museum’s Development Committee and a member of the advisory board of FranklinCovey Latin America North. Robbie lives in Panama with his wife Claudia and his two boys, Roberto and Sebastian. In his free time he enjoys running, biking, swimming and playing soccer. Robbie is a Fellow of the eleventh class of the Central American Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
He is the Executive Director of CACIF, the representative body of the Guatemalan private sector, since 1994. He’s an attorney at law from Universidad Rafael Landívar. He’s currently serving as one the permanent members of the Security Affairs Council (CAS) in Guatemala and during his law practice he has served as Director of the Gaceta in Corte de Constitucionalidad, and as an associate to Cervantes, Medrano & Villacorta Law Firm. He is member of several of the working committees of the business organization (security, strategic and political affairs), and is co founder and director of the “business training in political leadership Seminar”. Roberto has been a permanent keynote speaker in art, culture, law and politics in the Guatemalan academic community and has studies in crisis management, intelligence and political analysis. He lives in Guatemala City with his wife and three children.
Roberto González Diaz-Duran is an independent consultant and professor at Francisco Marroquín University in the faculty of economic and business administration. He ran for mayor of Guatemala City in 2007 and placed second. Prior to that, he was manager of the presidency of the republic from 2005 until 2007. He was previously minister of energy and mines and president of the National Institute of Electrification. He has been a city councilman in Guatemala City, manager and founder of the Regulating Organization of the Metropolitan Transport and Transit Authority, and assistant director of the Municipal Company of Water of Guatemala City. In the private sector, he has worked in the agro-industrial and power fields, as well as directed consulting. Roberto has a masters degree in economics with a specialization in social evaluation of projects from Pontíficia Universidad Católica of Chile and degrees in economics and sociology from Francisco Marroquín University, as well as various postgraduate executive courses from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, the University of California at Berkeley, the London School of Economics, INCAE, and others. He is married and has three children. He is a Fellow of the second class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Roberto Motta III
Roberto Motta III is president and CEO of Agencias Motta, S.A., Envasadora Comercial, S.A. and FAMOSA GROUP, S.A., companies dedicated to the manufacturing and distribution of fragrances, health and beauty products, in local and international markets. He has more than 15 years of experience in strategic planning for development of new markets and product management. He also has interests in real estate projects. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce of Panama, the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE), and Entrepreneurs Organization, (EO) and was the president of AEROCLUB. He is a member of the board of directors of Novey, SA, Cochez, FETESA, and Euroautos Group of Centroamérica. Roberto Motta graduated from Babson College in Massachusetts and obtained an MBA from INCAE, as well as participated in high-performance managers program. In his leisure time, he is an avid airplane pilot. He is married and has four children. He is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Roberto Paiz is the managing director of TV Azteca Guatemala since 2011. Between 2003 and 2010 he was managing director for INMACO, also in Guatemala. Beforehand, Roberto worked in the Netherlands as a management trainee and, later, as a black belt in change management within the different businesses in Royal Philips Electronics. He returned to Guatemala motivated by the need to improve his country. Today he is president of Azteca Foundation, in Guatemala, where he started successful projects in drug prevention, environmental awareness, and cultural development for youngsters. He serves as a board member in FUNDESA (Fundación para el Desarrollo), where he is leading the Guatemala s alliance for nutrition. Within GuateAmala, he founded a youth volunteer project called Weavers aimed at accelerating cultural change. For two years he volunteered, as the attitude coach for the multiple national football teams, helping them qualify Guatemala for its first world cup in Colombia 2011. Roberto holds an MBA from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Idaho, both cum laude. He is a fellow of the 11th class of the Central American Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Institute.
Roberto Rosenberg: Founder and Managing Director of Aprisa, Acabados y Procesos Industriales, S.A., a manufacturing company of steel wire products that serves the commercial and industrial refrigeration industry and other lines of wire products such as POP displays, shelving, fences, etc. Has participated in different community projects, including his involvement with Sumpango, an indigenous community in Guatemala, helping them improve their famous Giant Kite Festival celebrated every year. Has been part of Entrepreneur’s Organization, a global organization with more than 7400 members around the world, since 2000. Served in different leadership positions, becoming the Guatemala Chapter President in 2005 and currently he is part of the EO LAC Regional Board. Roberto is a Fellow of the Central America Leadership Initiative and the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Rocío Pinto is co-founder and CEO of Multiverse, a multi-faceted platform that connects entrepreneurs with potential investors. Multiverse includes programs such as Open Innovation, Guatemala’s premier startup accelerator, it also works with angel investors, curating early-stage investment opportunities and various programs that helps entrepreneurs develop new products and services. Rocio has more than 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur, corporate strategy consultant, business modeling expert and mentor to entrepreneurs. Previously, Rocío was co-creator and director of Heurística, a program of the Business School of Universidad Francisco Marroquin (UFM), one of Guatemala’s leading universities, that helps entrepreneurs hone and test their business models through trial-and-error iteration in a bootcamp setting. Previously, she was a fuel contract negotiator for TECO Energy, a US energy company with operations in Guatemala. She, also worked in the advisory group at KPMG, a leading international consulting firm. Rocio is passionate about fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems in the region. She was part of the Up Global Community (now part of Techstars), an organization dedicated to fostering entrepreneurial communities, as a local organizer for its well-known Startup Weekend program. She also led the efforts to bring MIT Global Startup Workshop (MIT GSW), an annual conference that brings together entrepreneurs, students, investors, and key stakeholders from across the world to accelerate the entrepreneurial ecosystem of a host region, to Guatemala in 2015. Rocio is a founding member and Vice President of the Guatemalan Venture Capital Association and board member of CAPCA Investment. Rocio holds a Master of Management from Tulane University, an MBA with a minor in Entrepreneurship from UFM and a BA in International Business from Universidad Francisco Marroquin.
Rodrigo Gonzalez Paniza is currently the Operations AVP for the LATAM Region in EGS, private multinational BPO Company, part of the private equity arm of JP Morgan Chase. His responsibilities are to ensure lean, optimum and profitable operations, generate corporate stability and standardization, business performance innovation, as well as strategic planning and ensuring attainment of corporate financial and operational objective. He has also worked as a consultant in the World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank as counterpart to various governments in the region on loans given by these institutions for economic development programs, on a period of approximately 6 years. After the banks he moved over to 3M as Lean Six Sigma Director and Corporate Marketing and Public Affairs Regional Manager, then promoted to Commercialization Manager and Strategic Planner for the region as well. He then moved to independent private consulting after almost 6 years in 3M, advising clients on process optimization, change management, etc., such as Tetra-Pak, HSBC, Halliburton, Suzuki, Generali, as well as other national and regional enterprises. He sold the business to another consulting firm. He is a Lawyer, specialized in Economy and certified Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.
is a Salvadoran social entrepreneur and international development professional, passionate about the intersection of social impact, innovation and technology. He currently serves as technology and innovation liaison for CREA Consultores, the first Creative Associates International subsidiary in Central America, with the mission of catalyzing local Central American innovations to a regional and global scale. Prior to this, Rodrigo lived in the United States for 3 years, where he attended Brandeis University’s Heller School for social policy and management as a Fulbright scholar to complete his master of arts in sustainable international development (Waltham, Massachusetts) and first joined Creative Associates International as technology for communities in transition liaison (2016) working in project design and implementation focusing on the Central American region, supporting technology for development initiatives in Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the Eastern Caribbean. Rodrigo’s passion for social innovation started when he co-founded the Youth Against Violence Movement of El Salvador, a group advocating for the adoption of youth violence prevention policies at a local and national level. His work as coordinator of the YAV movement in El Salvador, and subsequent role as a signator in the YAV movement-Central America led him to being appointed as the first executive director of the Municipal Youth Institute of the City of San Salvador, where he was in charge of designing the administrative, financial and programmatic structure of the first decentralized municipal authority focusing on youth development, in the City of San Salvador. During his service with the City, he implemented projects that emphasized technology, creativity and entrepreneurship as a tool for positive youth development. Rodrigo is a member of global networks such as the American Council of Young Political Leaders, One Young World’s Peace Ambassadors program, the Millennial Trains Project and the Fulbright program. Rodrigo is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
is a pediatrician, Founder and Director of Hogares Providencia a heaven for children of the streets, and consultant for Cicatelli Associated Inc. For nine years he was Head of El Salvador AIDS program of the Secretary of Health, ambassador and member of board of directors of ONUSIDA – the United Nations program for AIDS. From 2006 to 2009 he was the children and youth advisor to the First Lady Ms. Saca. Simán founded the clinic for children with immunodeficiency for the Children’s Hospital of El Salvador, which was later christened under his name. Simán was awarded the Dr. Luis Edmundo Vázquez National Award of Medicine in 2002, and named Outstanding Salvadorian Physician by the Congress of El Salvador in 2009, being voted unanimously by all congressmen. Simán was born in El Salvador, studied at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciencias Médicas in Costa Rica and in Universidad Nacional de Chile.
leads Grupo TERMO, a Flexible Packaging Supplier and Plastic Recycler based out of El Salvador, with over 2,000 employees and operations in Central and North America and South-East Asia. He has a BS in industrial engineering and a master’s in science of management. Grupo TERMO has been awarded Largest Plastics Industry Exporter for four consecutive years 18,17,16 and 15) by the ASI (Industrial Association of El Salvador), it ranks # 18 Great Place to Work in Central America (for companies of over 1,000 employees). The group has now become the largest plastic recycler in Central America, recycling over 30 million pounds per year and has set very aggressive sustainability goals, including becoming the first Central American Company in the Packaging Sector to be Carbon Positive and Zero Waste to Landfill by 2020. Rodrigo enjoys traveling and food! A perfect combination that allows for business and pleasure trips to be more enjoyable. He has traveled the Americas, Europe and Asia, understanding global customer’s needs and global packaging manufacturing and distribution capabilities. He enjoys learning about other cultures, customs and traditions and how flexible packaging and recycling plays an important role in the progress of many evolving economies. Rodrigo is an active member of YPO El Salvador, participates in academic and business board of governors and has co-created ALMA, an entrepreneurial venture that supports young women and men in their university studies, while creating and selling fashion items. Rodrigo lives in El Salvador, Central America and is happily married, has 3 wonderful boys, whom he loves spending quality time with. Some of his favorite hobbies are reading, playing tennis, running and spending the weekends on outdoor activities with family and friends. Rodrigo is a Fellow of the fourteenth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Roger Valladares is the vice president of Universidad Tecnológica de Honduras (U.T.H.), the largest private university in the country and the first university in Honduras to open a campus in the United States. Roger was the international relations director for U.T.H. until 2014 where he succeeded in establishing alliances with universities around the globe. In 2009 Roger successfully signed a contract with Harvard Business Publishing to implement the Harvard Case Methodology for the 17,000 students currently enrolled in U.T.H.. In 2004 he was responsible for opening and managing a carbonated and non carbonated beverage company, competing with Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola in the local market. Roger also has a passion for athletics, he has successfully finished several marathons and is one of the few people in Honduras who has completed an Ironman triathlon. He holds a Masters degree in International Business from EADA Business School in Barcelona and a Bachelor’s degree from Loyola University New Orleans. Roger lives in Honduras with his wife Isabella and his baby boy Benjamin.
General Manager of Hacienda Juan Viñas S.A., an agro-industrial company located in the Atlantic region of Costa Rica, specializing in production, processing and marketing of sugar cane, coffee, macadamia nuts, forestry and vegetables. He joined the company in 1996 and has held a range of positions from production and finance to general manager. He also works with Fundación Juan Viñas RSE to improve the quality of life for the company’s employees; the foundation recently launched a teacher education program for all nine community schools expected to directly benefit over 500 children. He holds a BS in agriculture from EARTH University in Costa Rica and an MBA from the University of Costa Rica. He is an alumnus of INCAE’s PAG executive management program. Rolando is married to Marisol, and they have three sons: Antonio, Alberto, and Alexandro. He is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Central America Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Rolando Kattan is a poet, bibliophile, editor and cultural activist. He has published five poetry books and received honorable mention at the Ruben Dario Poetry Award. His work has been partially translated into French, English, Italian and Arabic and has been considered in many magazines and anthologies published in America, Europe and Asia. Recently he was accepted as a member of the Academia Hondureña de la Lengua. He is currently president of the Comité Iberoamericano de Poesía Juegos Florales de Tegucigalpa and the Comité Promonumentos Juan Ramón Molina. He is also member of the Board of Directors of The Museo del Hombre Hondureño. Rolando is host of the national television talk show Economía y Cultura. He was the founder and co-editor of the project Leer es Fiesta, which consisted in the free massive distribution of one million books. He also co-founded one of the most relevant cultural projects of the beginning of the 20th century in Honduras, PaisPoesible. Rolando owns the most important collection of Honduran literary and history books of Honduras, and recently founded the itinerant museum Honduras Ex-Libris, based on his collection. In 2011, he received the Premio al Voluntariado Cultural collectively awarded by the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Sports, the Embassy of Spain in Honduras, the Volunteer Program of the United Nations, and United Nations Developmental Program. Aside from his main role as poet and cultural activist, he is a consultant to the Secretary of State in the Finance Office where he focuses on improving public administration performance related to programs run by the World Bank, IDB and IMF. Also Rolando has worked for Promerica Financial Group for the last fourteen years, responsible for Informations Security Office for the banks members in nine countries.
Ambassador of Costa Rica to the United States of America. Román Macaya is a scientist and businessman who served as Vice-President of Agroquímica Industrial RIMAC, S.A., a crop-protection company based in Costa Rica, and as President of AgroCare, a global association based in Brussels, Belgium, representing 865 manufacturers and distributers of generic crop protection products. Macaya is a Director of the Latin American Association of National Agrochemical Industries (ALINA) and of Costa Rica’s National Chamber of Generic Products. He served as President of both organizations, in 2006-2008 and 2004-2008, respectively. Macaya regularly represents the industry in international forums at the WHO, FAO and WTO. Macaya has also held positions as Senior Scientist at a biotechnology start-up firm in New Jersey, and Business Development Director at a pharmaceutical contract research organization, Investment Officer at a private equity firm, and Managing Partner at a health care consulting firm in Costa Rica. Macaya ran in the Citizen’s Action Party’s first primary election in May 2009 and currently serves on the Political Commission of the Party. Macaya holds an MBA in Health Systems Management from Wharton Business School, a doctorate in Biochemistry from UCLA and a B.A. in Chemistry from Middlebury College.
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.