Board of Director Bios
Robert Shuh has extensive workplace experience in primary agriculture in the dairy, poultry and field crop sectors in Southern Ontario, and in international economic development managing a sesame seed project (Produmer) for Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) in Nicaragua. Robert was President of MEDA Canada, board member of Agro Capital Management, and has held positions on the Executive and Audit Committees of Mennonite Savings and Credit Union He holds an MBA in Agriculture from the University of Guelph and has also studied theology and music.
More than twenty years’ experience in international microeconomic development, including 5 years as a Program Officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program, currently as an independent technical advisor to donor organizations that fund projects with a focus on financial inclusion. Bontrager Lehman was in private practice as a Certified Public Accountant and for 2 years (1997-1999) taught business courses at Goshen College. She began her career in international development with the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), providing training and consulting services to microfinance institutions in more than 25 countries and serving as a faculty member at leading microfinance training institutes held in the United States, Europe and South Africa. From 2003 to 2007, she spent most of her time in Afghanistan working with the World Bank, USAID and other bi-lateral donors to help establish and support a microfinance sector.
Alfonso Sandino Granera
Alfonso Sandino Granera graduated with a degree in law from the Universidad Católica de Nicaragua (UNICA) and with a Master's in Corporate Law from the Universidad de Valladolid, Spain. Mr. Sandino has participated in some of the most important transactions in Nicaragua and Central America including the multi-million dollar sale of 60% of CASUR, a major Nicaraguan sugar company. In support of this sale, he worked on stakeholder relations and prepared the financial and corporate contractual documents for the purchase by Gemina, a Guatemalan flour company. Mr. Sandino has also provided corporate consulting to companies with important presence in Central America including Davidoff, Gildan Activewear (Canada), Grupo Monge (Central American retailer), HMV Pioneer (solar energy investor), Deli Pollo (restaurant franchise), Comercial Industrial San Martín (meat producer), Keller Williams Real Estate, Uno Nicaragua (Grupo Terra), Sahlman Seafoods, Glacial, etc. He has also represented Walmart Mexico and Central America regarding its operations in Nicaragua.
Octavio Cortés is the former CEO of MiCrédito and holds a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) and a Bank Management Diploma. He has been MEDA’s country manager during the past 10 years, overseeing the development of the different programs in the country. He was involved directly in supervising Chispa and in participating in its merger with other equity partners in order to establish the regulated financial institution called CONFIA. He also served as president of its board becoming acquainted with how a bank works in a regulated environment. He was instrumental in the establishment of MiCrédito in 2004.
Serge is the leader of the Sarona team. Chief Compliance Officer, he also oversees the compliance program at Sarona. He believes passionately that thoughtful and caring private business must lead the development of vibrant and healthy economies that deliver prosperity for all. Prior to joining Sarona in 2009, Serge was vice president of MEDA Investments, an underwriter and loan officer at Export Development Canada, a business analyst at Crédit Lyonnais, and founding chair of Agro Capital Management, a Ukrainian agricultural equipment leasing company. Today, he serves on several private equity funds’ advisory committees, corporate boards, and was the founding chair of the Canada Forum for Impact Investment and Development. Serge holds an MSc in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics, an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business, and is a CFA charter holder.
Jenny Shantz of Mercedes Corporation, and co-owner of Stone Crock Inc, a family operated restaurant and food service business, has actively been involved in St Jacobs’s operations since 1991. She has managed and developed the St. Jacobs Country brand since 2002, creating a partner marketing consortium and taking an active role in regional tourism development efforts. Jenny also participates in the strategic development of several company entities, including St Jacobs Outlets and the village properties. From 1992-2006, she produced and presented an annual series of music, dance and theater performances at St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre. Jenny is president of Grand River Child and Youth Services, vice chair of the Grand Philharmonic Choir and past president of the Centre for Family Business, Waterloo Region. She continues to be active with a number of community organizations