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 serves as Chair of MEDA Canada, is a board member of Agro Capital Management (Ukraine) 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.
Twenty years’ experience in international microeconomic development, including 5 years as a Program Officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program. From 2003 to 2007, Ms. Lehman worked with the World Bank and USAID in Afghanistan to establish and provide financial and technical support to 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.
Mr. Traugott Horsch is Export Manager and share holder of Horsch Maschinen GmbH, a major European farm equipment manufacturer, based in Schwandorf, Germany since 1998. He is also member of the Management Committee of Horsch Anderson LCC, a joint venture operation of HORSCH for Airsseeder Production in Andover, South Dakota. As a director in the HORSCH Foundation he is involved in development projects in Nicaragua. Mr Horsch served as consultant for small farmer programs in Nicaragua since 1984 through Internationale Mennonitische Organisation (IMO) and Dienste in Übersee. He managed his own farm operation in Nicaragua from 1993-1998 and served during this period as a director in APENN (the Nicaraguan Farmers Association for nontraditional agricultural export products). Mr Horsch has a technical formation in farming and has studied Sociology and Economics at University of Mannheim, Germany.
Mr. LeVert-Chiasson is a Senior Partner and the Managing Director of Operations at Sarona Asset Management. He has worked with Sarona, formerly MEDA Investments, since 2008. He currently serves on several private equity funds' advisory committees. Prior to Sarona, Mr. LeVert-Chiasson was an underwriter and loan officer at Export Development Canada and business analyst at Credit Lyonnais. He also completed an internship with MiCrédito in Nicaragua in 2007. Mr. LeVert-Chiasson holds an MSc in Finance and Accounting from the London School of Economics, an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business (York University, Toronto) 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 including The Mennonite Story Inc and current vice-president of MEDA.Jenny enjoys singing with choirs and backcountry hiking.