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 Álvarez-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

 

Staff

Ruth Álvarez-DeGolia - Executive Director
Ruth Álvarez-DeGolia

Executive Director

As Mercado Global's Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ruth Álvarez-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 - Guatemala Operations Director
Lidia Garcia

Guatemala Operations Director

Lidia first worked with Mercado Global ten years ago as a member of one of the organization’s partner jewelry cooperatives. Now as Operations Director, Lidia oversees the organization’s work with dozens of cooperatives in Guatemala, including providing technical and business trainings in communities across the highlands. Through her work, Lidia is supporting women in similar communities as hers and has achieved what is denied to most women in Guatemala. Last year Lidia completed her undergraduate studies and earned a degree in Business Administration.

Brice Lovell - Director of Development and Marketing
Brice Lovell

Director of Development and Communications

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.

Alyssa Burgos - Brand Director
Alyssa Burgos

Brand Director

Alyssa was originally introduced to Mercado Global back in 2016 during her time as the Accessories Buyer at Stitch Fix, and immediately felt a deep connection to the brand. After working in buying for six years Alyssa decided to shift her focus to ethical and sustainable fashion, and by May of 2019 she began working at Mercado Global in Guatemala. Throughout her time with the company her role has evolved to the position of Brand Director, where she uses her extensive knowledge of buying and merchandising to help implement strategic planning to the way Mercado designs & markets their collections. Originally from San Francisco, Alyssa graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising. Her passion is to help shift the social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry.

Becky Chrisman - Operations Director
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.

Gladys Eunise Matzar - Community Development Manager
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.

Floridalma Perez Sicay - Production Manager
Floridalma Perez Sicay

Production Manager

Floridalma, a Public Accountant graduate, has extensive experience in the production of textiles with artisan women. As Production Manager, she is committed to implementing efficient processes with the Production, Design and Community Development Teams. Her main goal is to support Mercado Global's partner artisans and their families to achieve a better quality of life.

Cristina Sic - Accountant
Cristina Sic

Accountant

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.

Fernanda Jung Thomé - Head Designer
Fernanda Jung Thomé

Head Designer

Based in our Guatemalan office, Fernanda is a brazilian designer engaged with the sustainable development of the fashion system, passionate about circular economy, innovation and community engagement. Graduated in Fashion Design Technology, she has been part of projects in the Amazon Forest, Mexico and Berlin, with H&M. At Mercado Global she manages the Guatemala-based textile technique R&D and co-create the concepts and designs of our collections.

Rosa Maria Cuc - Accountant
Rosa Maria Cuc

Accountant

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 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
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.

Marcos Peñéñory - Graphic Designer & Site Manager
Marcos Peñéñory

Graphic Designer & Site Manager

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.

Carrie Klemencic - Development and Marketing Manager
Carrie Klemencic

Development and Marketing Manager

Three years ago, Carrie left the New York City advertising industry to pursue non-profit work in Guatemala where she discovered her passion for sustainable development. She joined Mercado Global in July of 2020 and works with the development and marketing teams to create content and communications strategies to support both development and e-commerce efforts. Prior to joining Mercado Global, Carrie provided communications, fundraising, and video production support for 5 organizations in the Lake Atitlán region. She is passionate about environmentalism and art.

Sam Foote - Institutional Partnerships Manager
Sam Foote

Institutional Partnerships Manager

Originally from south Jersey, Sam graduated from Rutgers university and has worked and volunteered at various nonprofits around the Philadelphia area. A long trip to Guatemala in 2019 cemented his dream of working in Latin America, and he joined the Mercado Global team in May of 2021. Sam has a passion for human and international rights and is excited to put his skills to work helping Mercado Global grow sustainably and thoughtfully. In his free time Sam loves going to concerts and soccer matches, playing tennis, and simply relaxing with some music.

Aurora Matzar - Community-Based Education Training Facilitator
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
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

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.

Alia Suleman - Social Media and Marketing Associate
Alia Suleman

Social Media and Marketing Associate

Alia moved from London to Guatemala in 2020 and fell in love with the incredible culture and beautiful scenery. Previously she worked as a freelance writer and brand strategist but her passion for Women’s Empowerment led her to us! As our social media lead, she assists across marketing initiatives and creates all of our online content, ensuring you all know what’s going on behind the scenes.

Marta Julia - Coordinator of Leather Processes and Pattern Making
Marta Julia

Coordinator of Leather Processes and Pattern Making

Marta Julia has been with us for eleven years starting out as a jewelry artisan, later moving into handbags, and eventually working her way to being an artisan instructor. Several years ago she resumed her studies and graduated as an Accountant. Since 2020 she has been the Coordinator of Leather Processes and Pattern Making taking a more active and creative role in the design of all of the intricate details needed to create our bags and products!

Claudia Mucun - Community Production Coordinator
Claudia Mucun

Community Production Coordinator

Claudia Mucun has been working for us for five years and is native to Panajachel, where our Guatemala-based office is located. As a multitalented lady, she has a degree in nursing from the Panamericana University of Guatemala and also works as an accountant, heading up our financial reviews whilst supporting both production and quality control. She loves to spend her free time learning new things, sharing experiences with her family, and drawing. As an empathetic person, she strongly believes in the boundless potential of our artisans and admires the effect they have on their families and communities as well as their value to us at Mercado Global!