Karae Lisle, Board Chair, Nonprofit CEO
Melody Hart, Board Treasurer, Senior Manager at OM Group, Inc
Marta Bezoari, Senior Vice President, PIMCO
Ruth DeGolia, Executive Director at Mercado Global
Yaz Hernández, Former Fashion Industry Executive and Philanthropist
Megan Koch, Owner at Manzanita Home
Suzanne Cole Kohlberg, Architect
Amanda North, Marketing and Communications Consultant
Mark Swedlund, Marketing Consultant
Jennifer Auerbach-Rodríguez, Director, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.
Maria Geenen, Strategic Business Consultant, TRENDFOCUS Inc.
Barbara Freidman, Fashion Industry Professional
Julie Koch-Beinke, Founding partner at Alternatives
Marie Mamone, Director of Business Development for Ars Sutoria
Merrill Greene, Color & Trend Director, Creative Director at Nordstrom
Shira Karmi, Founder at Launch Collective
Carla Carstens, Founder/Creative Director at Carla Carstens
Kelly McCormick, VP, Product Development at Nine West
Mark Donnatiello, SVP, Sales and Merchandising
Marilyn Harrison, Fashion Industry Executive
Tamar Miller, Fashion Industry Merchandising Executive
Bonnie McKay, Director of Business Development for Ars Sutoria
Emily Mann, Vice-President of PKaufman Contract
Bella Mancini, Interior Designer
Amanda North, Former owner of Artisan Connect, artisan home decor brand; MG Board member
Megan Koch, Interior designer, MG Board member
Lisa Strapans, Interior designer
Suzanne Kohlberg, Architect, MG Board member
Anna Watts, Spring 2018
Ali Campbell, Fall 2016
As Mercado Global's Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ruth DeGolia has overseen Mercado Global's growth from a small non-profit working with a dozen artisans in Guatemala's highlands to its recognition as an innovator in social enterprise, partnering with hundreds of artisans and a number of major international specialty retail chains and catalogs.
Ruth has been recognized for her role in founding and supporting a variety of programs and organizations related to international development and poverty alleviation. She has also received honors for her academic work on the impact of globalization on political and economic development in Latin America, including the William H. Orrick prize at Yale University. In May 2004, she was named among the “World’s Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs” by the Echoing Green Foundation. In July 2006, she was selected as one of the “15 People Who Make America Great” by Newsweek magazine and was featured on the magazine’s cover along with Brad Pitt and Soledad O’Brien of CNN.
Access a full bio and a list of speaking engagements here.
Community Outreach Director
Based out of our Guatemala and Brooklyn offices, Leah is the Community Outreach Director, managing Mercado Global's individual donor program and corporate and institutional funding initiatives. Fostering support for Mercado Global's innovative market access, asset development, and community-based education programs, Leah is passionate about connecting people and organizations to the important poverty-fighting and sector-shifting work of Mercado Global. Leah earned her Masters of Public Administration with a focus on International Policy at NYU Wagner School of Public Service in 2012. She has lived and worked with nonprofit organizations in Honduras, Ghana, Omaha, Nebraska, Paraguay, and Washington, D.C.
Becky Chrisman, Mercado Global's Operations Manager, graduated from the College of Wooster with a B.A. in Religious Studies. The study of other cultures combined with her previous management work led to an interest in nonprofit organizations and the fair trade business model. Starting her Mercado Global career as an intern, Becky was inspired by the mission of the company and later accepted a full time position. She now manages the organization’s logistics and serves as a liaison between the Sales & Press Director and the Production Team in Guatemala.
As Creative Director, Meg spearheads Mercado Global’s design and product development. She brings extensive skills and experience in luxury apparel and accessory production, having designed at Eileen Fisher for the past 5 years.Meg’s passion and decade of leadership in implementing sustainable approaches to apparel sourcing, manufacturing, and design has led her to Mercado Global, where she manages the brand strategy and the design of each seasonal collection.
Lillian works closely with Mercado Global’s partner textile cooperatives to coordinate and process orders. She manages the artisan groups, which produce the woven textiles used in Mercado Global products. Lillian studied technical administration and marketing for small and medium sized businesses at Kentucky State University.
Lidia first worked with Mercado Global as a member of one of the organization’s partner jewelry cooperatives. Lidia now oversees the organization’s work with dozens of cooperatives in Guatemala, including providing technical and business trainings in communities across the highlands. Lidia is pursing a degree in Business Administration at Galileo University in Guatemala.
Based out of our Guatemala office, Grace administers the marketing and graphic design function across the business. Born and raised in Australia, Grace earned her Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing/Management) from the University of Melbourne in 2009, and joins Mercado Global with a diverse marketing background having worked at a number of large-scale corporations in Australia, including The L’Oreal Group. Over the past year, she has dedicated herself to continuing a degree in textile design, and her passion for sustainable fashion has brought her to Guatemala.
As Design Associate based out of Panajachel, Alejandra is involved with the creative conceptualization and product completion of Mercado Global core collections and special projects. Alejandra is devoted to cultivating collaborative relationships with our artisans and thus implementing rich authenticity within every product design. Having earned a BFA from Otis College of Art & Design and further, an MFA from Purdue University, her dedication and commitment to Mercado Global roots from extensive research integrating art, design, and anthropological methods to examine the critical intersections between fashion design and culture.
Community-based Training Programs Coordinator
Based out of our Guatemala office, Olga is the Community-based Training Programs Coordinator. She designs and implements education training programs for all of our partner communities regarding health care, nutrition, leadership, finance and self-esteem. She also works an the area of micro loans. Prior to joining our team, Olga worked in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food as a community facilitator. She graduated with a degree in Agrobusiness Management from Kirkwood Community College, Iowa.
Institutional Partnerships Coordinator
Based out of Panajachel, Sara supports the development and community outreach team through managing the corporate and institutional partnerships program, the internship program, communications, and fostering donor partnerships. Receiving her B.A. in International Affairs and Social Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University in Boston, she strives to be an agent of change in rural communities around the world and help in the fight against poverty through economic empowerment. Sara is passionate about community development as a key to overcoming poverty, and shares the mission and vision of Mercado Global to effect change. Prior to joining our team, Sara worked as a Community Marketing Specialist at EmblemHealth and as a Field Research Assistant at the Bali Institute. A desire to pursue a career in international development stemmed from these experiences, extensive travel through Latin America and other developing nations, as well as a passion for indigenous culture.
Rosa Maria is Mercado Global's Guatemala-based accountant, managing the accounting department for the Guatemala office, overseeing raw material and artisan payments processes. She graduated with a degree in public accounting and auditing from the Mariano Galvez University of Guatemala, Sololá. Prior to Mercado Global, Rosa has held positions in other local NGOs, including working for almost 8 years as a Program Coordinator with Chotaq'aj Association, an institution which supports children's health and education. She is from Sololá and lives there with her family.
As an accountant for Mercado Global, Cristina is responsible for managing finances for donations, training modules for the artisan groups, and inventories. She is studying to achieve a Bachelor's degree in auditing and public accounting from the University of Mariano Gálvez in Guatemala and has worked on finance projects with the Spanish Cooperation AECID and the Guatemalan Foundation Fundasistemas.
Design + Product Development Manager
Elizabeth uses her previous experience working with artisans around the globe in the areas of design and production to manage Product Development for Mercado Global. Elizabeth has specific training and background in sewing, pattern making, and textiles along with work experience in production and sourcing. She is passionate about handmade products and working side by side with the people that make them. Elizabeth is based out of Mercado Global’s office in Panajachel, Guatemala.
Elizabeth grew up in the suburbs of NYC, and graduated from Marist College with a B.A. in Fashion Design.
Senior Development + Social Impact Assessment Fellow
Ariana Collas brings several years of experience in International Development Programs, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Management. Ariana spent over two years working with international education NGO Pencils of Promise in Guatemala and Ghana, where she hired and trained numerous local staff, managed 2 years of literacy program evaluations of 1600+ students across 50 communities, and standardized many M&E processes for the organization.
Ariana is a part of the MG team in Panajachel where she works directly with the Guatemala Programs Director to build an integrated Program and M&E reporting system, as well as offering other Program and M&E-related support.
Ariana has also worked for an Acumen-funded social enterprise in Hyderabad, India, youth empowerment organizations in France and Nicaragua, and policy research organizations in Kosovo and New York City.
Marketing + Graphic Design Manager
Anna, our Graphic Design and Marketing manager is based in Guatemala. She creates the materials that communicate who we are to our many different audiences. Anna believes creating a connection between our beautiful products, the women who make them, and the women who purchase them is the most important part of her job, both in her marketing and graphic design role.
Anna has a Bachelor of Communication Design from Monash University in Australia.
Sales & Press Director
Based out of Mercado Global's NYC office, Susana manages sales and PR for the organization, communicating the organization's mission and brand message to clients in the fashion industry. Susana is passionate about supporting the work of Mercado Global's artisan partners and promoting sustainable design.
Susana holds a MA in Fashion Studies from Parsons School of Design where she was also a part-time lecturer.
Community Based Education Coordinator
Aurora works with the Community-based Education as a Coordinator of Training Programs. She coordinates the education programs and technical trainings for the artisans in the communities in subjects such as health, nutrition, leadership, finance and self-esteem. She also works with micro loans.
Before joining the team, Aurora worked for an organization that trains teachers on the Guatemalan Civil War, Pacific Coexistence and Mixing Cultures.
Head Pattern Maker
Élmer has been working at Mercado Global for almost 10 years. When he first joined the team, he worked as a fabric cutter and a sewer. He is now the Head Pattern-Maker and spends most of his time working with leather details.
Before joining MG when he was 14 years old, Élmer worked in agriculture and as a sewist.
Head of Production
Andrea has been working with Mercado Global for 10 years. She started working in the production room, she would sew buttons on bags or put tags on them. Slowly, she started learning more and more about the production processes and the relationships with our weaving groups.
She is currently the Head of the Production room and is in charge of fabric cutting and quality control of fabrics and finished bags.
Irma Ben Julajuj sees herself as a young woman eager to learn and to break her family's paradigms and as someone who has a will to succeed. Before joining MG, she was an receptionist intern at Starfish.
She is in charge of managing MG's inventory and stock and she is excited to work in this organization.
Graphic Design & Photography Associate
Marcos is from Córdoba, Argentina. He has worked for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights for several non-profts and cultural organizations. He has also taken some courses in sociology and is currently doing a postgraduate in Epistemologies of the South at CLACSO. He has travelled the world, first, with his family and now as graphic designer and photographer. Travelling, he says, has made him appreciate the diversity of life: there are several ways to understand the world and each of us know just one. He believes design should not work just as a way to impose aesthetics, but to change the world and promote the well-being by all respecting the diﬀerences of others.
Community Training Coordinator
Sucely Sac is Mayan K'iche, from Nahualá at Sololá department. She is Coordinator of Community Training. She graduated as home economics teacher, she loves music and the work she does supporting the artisans in Guatemalan communities.
Sales & Marketing Associate
Gianna, Mercado Global's Sales and Marketing Associate, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Marketing and a certificate in International Business Studies. With her she brings experience in e-commerce and marketing of home goods, having worked at west elm and Macy's. She is interested in sustainable design and eager to connect artisans in Guatemala to international markets. Gianna is based out of Mercado Global's office in Panajachel, Guatemala.
Hilda Elizabeth is from San Pedro La Laguna, Sololá. She is a Training Facilitator and graduated as a Bilingual Education Teacher. She likes to read, and her work is to support to the artisans through technical and educational activities.
Evangelina Samines Bocel, of the Mayan Kaqchiquel ethnic group, is by profession a Social Worker. She is a happy, dedicated, responsible woman with a high commitment to social development. She is pleased to be part of the Mercado Global team, which provides opportunities for Mayan women who will contribute to the development of rural communities in her country.
CBE Program Manager
Nilvia González was born in San Pedro La Laguna, a Tz'utujil town on Lake Atitlán. She studied Public Accounting and Auditing and is currently a Master's Degree student in Financial Management at Mariano Gálvez University in Guatemala. For the past six years, she worked as a Financial and Administrative Manager at a regional NGO focused on comprehensive programs to strengthen the rural education system, as well as the construction of public schools in Guatemala.
Based out of our Guatemala office, Louise is the Development Manager, and helps oversee fundraising initiatives, Insight Trips and event planning. A Toronto native, born into an Argentine family, Louise graduated from The University of Toronto with a degree in Political Science, and later completed postgraduate studies in International Development at Humber College. Louise is passionate about women's empowerment and has an interest in the Latin American development context.
Grants and Communications Manager
Based out of our Guatemala office, Nina is the Grants and Communications Manager. Born and raised in Toronto, Nina graduated from York University in 2012 with a degree in Philosophy and Psychology. After teaching English in South Korea and travelling Asia for three years, she went back to Toronto to study International Development at Humber College. Once she completed her studies at Humber, she joined the Mercado team.