Staff

Board of Directors

 
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Will Harris

Executive Director

Will previously served in the roles of Director of Operations and Board President. He has over 15 years of experience in economic development and international relations. Will is a Wisconsin native but has traveled and lived throughout Latin America. He studied Spanish and Latin American history at the University of Arizona and then later received his MBA from the same. He was a recipient of the Rotary World Peace Scholarship, which he used to pursue a master's degree in International Relations at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, focusing his thesis on the topic of microfinance in Latin America. Will came to WCCN from the World Council of Credit Unions, where he worked with credit unions across Latin America. He has a deep interest in Latin American culture, poverty issues, and economic development. Will speaks near native Spanish and Portuguese. 

will@wccn.org

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Joshua Miguel Jongewaard

Director of Lending

Miguel, born in Colombia and raised in Minnesota, has 23 years of experience in financial services and investment management in Latin America, Europe, North America, and Asia. Prior to working at WCCN, he worked for Symbiotics Group, MicroVest Capital Management, NDC (a CDFI), CarVal Investors, Cargill Inc., and US Bank Corporate Trust. His asset management experience includes micro-finance, SME finance (factoring/leasing), agricultural value chains, renewable energy, affordable housing, health services, education services, inclusive technology, private fund investments, loan portfolio acquisition (consumer, residential, commercial), and derivative trades (hedges, swaps, CDS). He holds a degree in International Management from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Miguel is bilingual and holds dual citizenship in the United States and Colombia.  

miguel@wccn.org

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Rick Tvedt

Accountant

Rick is a graduate of Edgewood College and earned his CPA certification in 1993. He spent two years at the Wisconsin Department of revenue before joining the accounting firm of Grant Thornton, LLP as a senior tax specialist. Rick serves on the Community Shares Board and is a member of their Finance Committee. He has been a self-employed publisher for many years, producing local music and arts content for LocalSoundsMagazine.com. He is also the founder and treasurer of Madison Area Music Association, a non-profit organization that produces the Madison Area Music Awards and raises funds to promote youth music programs. 

rick@wccn.org

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Yamila Simonovsky

Portfolio Operations Manager

Yamila joined WCCN's Loan Fund Team in 2018 and currently manages the portfolio operations. She is an economist with more than 10 years of experience in international development. Her expertise lies in international finance and development in the areas of education, health and youth employment. Her previous work experience focuses on data management, partnerships and strategy development in multi-stakeholder institutions, including the United Nations and the Global Fund. A native Spanish speaker, she has studied and lived in six countries, including Argentina and Mexico. 

yamila@wccn.org

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John Hecht 

Chief Financial Officer

John offers financial and management advisory services to businesses and community financial institutions, including practical strategies for growth and profitability. A licensed CPA, John’s financial background and award-winning CEO start-up bank experience provides proven ideas for success. Most recently, he was President/CEO of WPS Bank, a successful Wisconsin de novo community bank. In April 2015, the Bank was sold to Starion Financial and John was asked to take on the role of Madison Market President. In this new capacity, he successfully guided the integration of the two local teams and built the highest performing group in the Company. Prior to WPS Bank, John led the commercial banking group for a $5 billion Midwest super-community bank in Illinois and Wisconsin. John’s background includes 14 years as corporate CFO and M&A point person and he was actively involved in the analysis, negotiation, due diligence and integration of community banks and other financial firms and startups. In this role, he chaired ALCO, developed profitability and pricing systems, raised capital and managed investment portfolios, administered incentive plans, expanded funding sources and worked directly with investment bankers, regulators and legal counsel during branch expansion, mergers and consolidations.

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Laura Schroeder

Investor and Communications Manager

Laura joined WCCN in September 2020. Previously, she worked at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion, supporting program operations, managing digital platforms and social media, and serving as the first line of contact for MFIs for the Smart Campaign, a global consumer protection initiative. She has contributed to communications and community engagement at nonprofits including InterAction, Human Rights Connected, and the Worker Rights Consortium and was a Fulbright grantee to Colombia. She is the co-founder and communications and strategic partnerships manager at Open Americas. Laura holds a graduate degree in international policy and development with a specialization in monitoring, evaluation, and program design from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

laura@wccn.org

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Felipe Arango

For two decades, Felipe’s energy and attention have focused on advancing sustainable development as an advisor, a facilitator, a social entrepreneur, a speaker, a coach and an activist. Felipe co-founded the BSD Consulting Network, and for 18 years acted as Managing Partner. He led offices in Colombia (2006), Mexico (2010) and the United States (2013), and led global initiatives and partnerships to provide knowledge and solutions for sustainable development. As CEO/CFO, he led the acquisition of BSD Consulting by ELEVATE in 2018. Felipe advises investors, businesses, public/ development agencies, civil society organizations and educational bodies in the design and implementation of projects / strategies towards sustainable development. He has advised organizations worldwide in the design and roll-out of sustainability strategies and systems.  Felipe has been deeply engaged in the development of the fair trade movement and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and most recently, the Integrated Thinking/Reporting (IIRC) and Welcoming (Welcoming America) movements. In the impact investment arena, Felipe has supported financial institutions in the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the Equator Principles, the IRIS catalog, the Global Compact, the IFC Performance Standards and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Financial Sector Supplement. Once an investment banking analyst on Wall Street, he designs systems and develops capacities for the integration of impact and ESG issues in investment decisions, due diligence and monitoring processes. Felipe has previous experience as an investment banking analyst for JP Morgan in New York, and as a program coordinator for the Colombian National Ministry of Education/Escuela Galán for the strengthening of democracy. He has Bachelor degrees in Political Science (International Relations) and Business Administration from Boston University.

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Isabelle Barres

Isabelle is a creative strategic leader with a proven track-record of building effective relationships and driving change within complex multi-cultural, multi-stakeholder environments. For over two decades, Isabelle led a series of unique, bold and impactful initiatives to improve access and impact of financial services for the 1.7 billion people still unbanked, fueling the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She has an excellent track record building and inspiring teams  and developing strategic alliances. She has leveraged partnerships and technology to minimize risk and maximize impact for sustainability and inclusion at a global level. She has influenced  providers, policy makers, governments and funders to adopt responsible and fair practices through advocacy, standards, certification and capacity building. Isabelle is fluent in English, French and Spanish. She has an MBA from McGill University, a post-graduate degree in Development Economics from the Sorbonne, a BA in Economics from the University of Montréal, as well as professional certificates from the HBS Leadership program and the Fletcher School.

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Gloria Castillo

Gloria was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia and has spent the last decade working in Colombia and North America with various sectors of society and stakeholders on conservation of natural resources, community engagement, and equity and inclusion. Currently, Gloria works at Madison Gas & Electric as a Commercial and Industrial Account Representative where she supports and connects businesses customers to energy solutions including access to renewable energy. In previous roles with local and national Non-profit organizations, local governments and educational institutions, Gloria led and contributed to programs and initiatives that promote thriving communities and healthy environments through a combination of strong collaborative partnerships and coalitions, program development, and effective communication across diverse communities and contexts. Her education includes a Bachelor's degree in Ecology and a Master’s degree in Environment in Resources with a certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies from UW-Madison. 

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Grecia De La O Abarca

Grecia is an international development specialist from Mexico who has worked and volunteered in various international organizations, nonprofits, and educational programs in the U.S. and the Latin American region. Currently, she is the Lead Analyst for Mexico and Central America at Southern Pulse and a consultant for the Inter-American Development Bank. Early in her career, Grecia spoke at the United Nations’ headquarters and shared a message about youth inclusion in high-level decision-making positions. As a Mexican woman, a passionate economist, and a Sustainable Development Goals advocate, she has shared her experiences and expertise with young people in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Recently she was awarded with the 2019 Youth Leadership Award for the Promotion of international policy and political culture in Mexico, given by the State Government of Guerrero, as well as she has been a speaker and facilitator in numerous training programs for the 2030 Agenda. Grecia holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's degree in International Policy and Development.

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Mark Elsdon

Mark has served as Executive Director and Campus Co-Pastor at Pres House, a campus church and student apartment community at UW-Madison, since 2004. Born in the Midwest to immigrants from England, Mark has lived in the southern, western, and eastern parts of the United States. He has a BA in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and an MBA from the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison. He is passionate about bringing business skills, organizational leadership, and effective strategy together with mission commitment for non-profit success. When not working Mark can be found training and racing his bike in the hills surrounding Madison.

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Juan Gómez

Juan Gómez is Vice President of Lending and Investments at Madison Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable workforce housing and attainable business loans to the residents and businesses of Dane County. He assumed that role earlier this year after two years as capital finance officer for the State of Wisconsin and five years as technology investment manager for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. He has extensive experience in economic development, public finance, and real estate. Juan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and MBA, both from UW-Whitewater. He is fluent in Spanish and can also speak Russian. Juan is an avid runner and enjoys travel.

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Layla Kaiksow

Layla is the President of the WCCN Board of Directors. She was raised in Madison, WI and spent 12 years living overseas in Palestine working in various fields of international development. She has extensive experience working in fair trade and is a World Fair Trade Organization certified Fair Trade Auditor. Layla currently serves as the Executive Director of a small non-profit, Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy, whose mission is to promote the ongoing development of a vibrant and sustainable economy in Palestine by building bridges and supporting the indigenous business community. Layla is fluent in spoken Arabic and loves to read and spend time with her children. She is passionate about racial and social justice and believes firmly in walking the walk, not just talking the talk. Layla now lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Mohammed, and her two children, Nishan and Zayna. 

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Anna Kaminski

Anna is passionate about economic justice and believes that access to capital is one of the most important aspects to disrupting generational and intergenerational poverty. At age 16 she went to Nicaragua on a Spanish Instruction and Cultural Immersion trip and fell in love with Latin America. She went on to earn a degree in International Affairs, with a focus on Latin America, from Northeastern University in Boston. Anna has over a decade of experience working in nonprofits and in 2018 was recruited to work for CUNA Mutual Group’s Horizon 3 Innovation Center as a Customer Experiences and Product Innovation Manager where she is designing financial products to help people achieve economic security. Anna lives in Madison, Wisconsin where, in addition to her work, she fills her time volunteering for New Leaders Council and spending time with her niece and nephew.

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Javier Monterroso

Javier is a sustainable finance and international development specialist. Currently an Investment Associate at CapShift’s Research and Advisory team, he is responsible for sourcing, qualifying, and conducting due diligence on impact investing opportunities. Javier previously served as Senior Project Officer at The Trust for the Americas – Organization of American States in Washington, D.C., where he led development programs and supported implementations in Argentina, Peru, Jamaica, Mexico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Brazil, and Chile. Additional experience includes The Migrant Peacebuilding Project, OAS DECO - Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation, the Embassy of Guatemala in France, NDI – National Democratic Institute, and the Congress of Guatemala. A United World Colleges Alumnus from Guatemala, Javier holds a BA in Government and a minor in Economics from Colby College, a Certificate in International Development and Social Change from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, and an MPA from Columbia University.

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Frank Staniszewski

Frank is the Treasurer of the WCCN Board of Directors. As President of Madison Development Corp, Frank directed all business lending, business assistance, real estate development and housing management programs, providing service to over 400 small businesses with financing and/or financial management assistance. He also serves on the City of Madison Economic Development Committee, and Board of Directors of Independent Living Inc., a Dane County provider of housing and services for the elderly.  Formerly served on the Boards of a local employment & training organization and a technology business incubator. Frank received his B.A. from The Ohio State University and received his M.A. and post graduate study in Public Administration at the University of Texas.

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Jordan van Rijn

Jordan is Senior Economist for the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Associate Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin- Madison's department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. He has 10 years of experience in international development, microfinance, and economic research in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the United States. Prior to joining CUNA, Jordan worked as a Senior Loan Officer for Accion New Mexico, a non-profit microcredit organization. Before that, he worked as a Project Associate for ideas42, where he utilized insights from behavioral economics to improve microcredit services in Colombia. Jordan holds a PhD in Agricultural and Applied Economics from UW-Madison and is a Fellow at UW-Madison's Center for Financial Security. He also holds a master's degree in International Development and Economics from UC-San Diego and a BA in International Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. 

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Megan Vander Wyst

Megan is the Secretary of the WCCN Board of Directors. She works at Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin managing the FoodShare Outreach team. In this role Megan spends time in the community assisting clients as well as building partnerships with community organizations to better serve clients and tackle food insecurity in our local community. Prior to working at Second Harvest, Megan worked at a wholesale artisan fair trade company where she supported operations at the Wisconsin based warehouse, communicated frequently with South American staff and artisan groups, and assisted with the planning of educational tours in South America. Megan speaks Spanish and has spent time studying, living, and volunteering in Central and South America.

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Leilani Yats

Leilani is the Founder of Naturally Smart Travel, a tour coordination company partnering impact investors and social entrepreneurs in the developing world through immersive travel. Earlier in her career she gained experience in the Los Angeles startup industry, growing small domestic teams into international success. Leilani has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Master's degree in Business Management.