Mercado Global Team

Board of Directors

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
Maria Geenen, Strategic Business Consultant, Trendfocus Inc.
Yaz Hernández, Former Fashion Industry Executive and Philanthropist
Megan Taylor Collins, Owner, Manzanita Home
Mark Swedlund, Marketing Consultant
Jennifer Auerbach-Rodríguez, Director, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.


Fashion Advisory Board

Julie Koch-Beinke, Founding Partner, Alternatives
Marie Mamone, Director of Business Development, Ars Sutoria
Merrill Greene, Color & Trend Director, Creative Director, Nordstrom
Shira Carmi, Founder, Launch Collective
Carla Carstens, Founder/Creative Director, Carla Carstens
Kelly McCormick, VP of Product Development, Nine West
Mark Donatiello, SVP of Sales and Merchandising, Chateau Group International
Marilyn Harrison, Team Leader, Market Connect Group
Bonnie MacKay, Director of Business Development, Ars Sutoria
Trish Barillas, Author, Speaker and Life Coach
Barbara J. Friedman, Career Development and Business Consultant


Home Advisory Board

Emily Mann, Home décor design expert, Vice-President of PKaufman Contract
Bella Mancini, Interior Designer, Bella Mancini Design Interior Design
Amanda North, Former owner of Artisan Connect, artisan home decor brand; MG Board member
Megan Koch, Owner, Manzanita Home, MG Board member
Lisa Strapans, Interior designer, Strapans Design
Muni Fry, Business Consultant
Suzanne Kohlberg, Architect, MG Board member


Community Photographers

Anna Watts, Spring 2018

Kim Paul Nguyen, No Frontiers Media, Fall 2017

Ali Campbell, Fall 2016



Ruth Degolia
Ruth DeGolia

Executive Director

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.

Lidia Garcia

Operations Manager

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.

Becky Chrisman

Operations Director

As Mercado Global's Operations Director, Becky leads the organization's operations and logistics across both the NYC and Guatemala offices. With a specialty in project management, she supports the sales, production and fundraising teams, while simultaneously running the HR department. Originally from Connecticut, Becky graduated from The College of Wooster and brings with her management experience in both retail and wholesale sales. She is passionate about ethical fashion, artisan craft and women's empowerment.

Heather Green

Senior Director of Sales and Marketing

Mercado Globals’ Senior Director of Sales and Marketing, Heather Green, has over a decade of experience in Sales and Business development, thriving in environments where initiative is necessary for growth. Heather works directly with our lead merchants to identify and implement solutions to increase sales opportunities, while simultaneously developing our marketing and merchandising strategies. Her understanding of the marketplace and experience in high-end fashion has been a major asset to Mercado Global and its future growth.

Louise Buss

Development Manager

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.

Nina Staer Nathan

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.

Nilvia González

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.

Cristina Sic


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.

Rosa Maria Cuc


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.

Evangelina Samines Bocel

Senior Community Based Education Training Facilitator

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.

Andrea López Ixtacuy

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

Inventory Manager

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.

Aurora Matzar

Community Based Education Training Facilitator

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.

Grildy Sucely Sac Simaj

Community Based Edcuation Training Facilitator

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.

Hilda Elizabeth

Community Based Education Training Facilitator

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.

Marcos Peñéñory

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.

Elmer Morales Velásquez

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.