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.
Megan Taylor Collins, Owner, Manzanita Home
Mark Swedlund, Marketing Consultant

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.

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.

Brice Lovell

Director of Development

With more than a decade of experience in nonprofit development and marketing, Brice has led Mercado Global's development team from the Brooklyn office since she joined the organization in December 2019. Her career in fundraising began at the United Nations Foundation in Washington, DC, after graduating with her Bachelor's degree from Radford University in Virginia. Since then, she has worked for nonprofits in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City, including four years at GirlVentures as the organization's first Director of Development and Marketing. Brice is an avid photographer and writer, spending her weekends exploring NYC with her dog and camera in hand.

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.

Gladys Eunise Matzar

Community Development Manager

With a Bachelor's degree in Social Work, Gladys finds great honor working with women artisans in Guatemala. She is highly motivated to work with Mercado Global's community developing positive life changing results for women artisans and their children.

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

Institutional Partnerships Manager

Based out of Guatemala, Nina is the Institutional Partnerships Manager, in charge of writing grant applications and major communications with our institutional donors. Born and raised in Toronto, Nina graduated from York University 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. She has a passion for women's rights and advocacy, and an interest in the Latin American development context, which is how she joined our team at Mercado Global!

Ellie Burnham

Development Manager

As Mercado Global's Development Manager, Ellie focuses on communications, marketing, and engagements in California's Bay Area. Ellie graduated with honors in Political Science from Manhattan's Hunter College, where she studied Central America's social and political situation before relocating to Guatemala in 2018. Ellie is interested in community-based solutions to Guatemala's most pressing issues and the advancement of women's rights around the world.

Leslie Trotter
Leslie Trotter

Sales & Marketing Manager

Utilizing over a decade of hands on production experience combined with international exposure, a bachelor of fine arts and a masters in non profit organizations, Leslie operates at the intersection of art, commerce and social work. Embracing a grassroots approach, she works one on one with clients to build their concept from the ground up, excels at project management and retail relationship cultivation. She joins the MG team as Manager of Marketing and Sales.

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


As one of Mercado Global's Guatemala-based accountants, Rosa Maria oversees the purchasing of raw materials and artisan payroll. 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.

Andrea López Ixtacuy

Head of Production

Andrea has been working with Mercado Global for over 10 years. Having started working in the production room where she would attach detailing and hangtags to MG products, she gradually gained knowledge about the production processes and the relationships with weaving groups. Andrea is now the Head of Production in the Panajachel office, taking charge of fabric cutting and all quality control processes.

Irma Ben Julajuj

Inventory Manager

With a background in office administration, Irma is always eager to learn new things and has a strong will to succeed. As Inventory Manager, she is the head of managing Mercado Global's inventory in Guatemala.

Aurora Matzar

Community-Based Education Training Facilitator

As a member of the Community-Based Education team, Aurora coordinates educational programs and technical trainings for artisans in their communities for subjects such as health, nutrition, leadership, finance and self-esteem. She also provides services to help artisans get set up with micro loans. Before joining the Mercado Global 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 Education Training Facilitator

Sucely Sac is Mayan K'iche, from Nahualá in Sololá, Guatemala. She graduated as a home economics teacher, loves music and is passionate about the community training work she does to support artisans in rural Guatemalan communities.

Hilda Elizabeth

Community-Based Education Training Facilitator

Hilda Elizabeth is from San Pedro La Laguna in Sololá, Guatemala. She is a Training Facilitator and graduated as a Bilingual Education Teacher. She enjoys reading, and is passionate about her work supporting 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 Masters on Communications and Contemporary Culture. 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. He first joined the team as a fabric cutter and a sewer, and has now earned the title of Head Pattern-Maker spending 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.

Verónica Cosiguá

Community Production Coordinator

Verónica is the first person in her family to go to college and enter the professional workforce. With a history in administrative work and accounting, she is currently focusing on finishing her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration at Universidad Rafael Landívar, Guatemala. She has enjoyed living in both Colorado and New York City and speaks Kaqchikel, Spanish and English.

Dalyla González

Community-Based Education Coordinator

Dalyla is a Social Worker from San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala, a small town just across the lake from Mercado Global's office in Panajachel. She is passionate about supporting women and providing them with new opportunities of development so that they can create a better life for themselves, their families and communities.