MEDA Staff

The MEDA Team

MEDA’s strength is found in its staff — a group of individuals who are expert in their fields of responsibility and dedicated to MEDA’s mission.

Executive Staff


Allan joined MEDA in 1987, and has worked in various capacities within MEDA’s international programs since that time. He was appointed President in 2002. Allan has also worked with the International Development Research Centre, Mennonite Central Committee, and Home Hardware Stores Ltd. He has lived and worked in Tanzania and Bangladesh, and his travels have taken him to more than 65 countries. Allan holds an M.B.A. from the University of Western Ontario and a B.Sc. from the University of Waterloo.

KIM PITYN, Chief Operations Officer

Kim joined MEDA in 1990 and has worked in various capacities in the organization, including Vice President, International Operations and Director of Human Resources (2003-2010), and Project Director of the Rural Small Business Development Program in Haiti. Her work has taken her to more than 40 countries. Prior to joining MEDA, Kim worked as a Regional Manager with the Contact Human Resource Group. She has an Honours Business Degree from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario; a Human Resource Professional Association of Ontario designation; and a Certificate in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University.

GERALD MORRISON, Chief Financial Officer

Gerald joined MEDA in 1997, serving as Finance Manager and then Controller prior to his appointment as CFO in 2010. He is a Chartered Accountant and holds a B.A. in Accountancy from the University of Waterloo. Prior to joining MEDA, Gerald worked in public accounting for four years. He has completed internal audits, set-up accounting and financial systems and performed consultancies in more than 10 countries. Gerald serves as a director on the boards of Business Partners East Africa LLC, Rockway Mennonite Collegiate, Woolwich Youth Soccer Club and is the past Chair of the Board of MennoHomes Inc.

MICHAEL WHITE, Chief Strategic Engagement Officer

Michael joined MEDA as the Chief Strategic Engagement Officer in April, 2017. He has held both not for profit and private sector roles of increasing responsibility at World Vision and in the high-tech industry. Mike has experience in facilitating reorganizations to optimally align marketing division structure with strategy as well as major donor funding. In addition, he has over 20 years of sales and high tech with a proven ability to build and lead teams as well as personally nurture strong staff and donor relationships. Mike’s commitment to sustainable development has grown along with the opportunity to visit international development projects in Asia, Africa and Latin America. His educational background includes an MTS from Tyndale, an MBA from Schulich School of Business and an Engineering Degree from the University of Waterloo.


AMIE MCPHEE, Senior Director, Corporate Finance

Amie joined MEDA in 2004, serving as Assistant Controller prior to her appointment as Director, Corporate Finance in 2010. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant and holds a B.A. and Masters of Accounting from the University of Waterloo. Prior to joining MEDA, Amie worked as a Senior Associate in a public accounting firm for three years. She currently serves as Treasurer for two non-profit organizations in her community.

BRENT STEINMANN, Senior Director, Finance, Field Operations and Risk Management

Brent first joined MEDA in 2009 as Assistant Controller. His position expanded and, after leaving MEDA briefly, Brent returned in 2016 in a Director level role. In his role, Brent provides financial and risk management oversight to all MEDA field programs. His team is responsible for all aspects of field financial management including proposal development, budget preparation, financial management oversight and financial reporting.

CYNTHIA ATKINSON, Senior Manager, Corporate Administration

Cynthia joined MEDA as Executive Assistance in 1995. Her position has since expanded to include both roles of Senior Manager of Corporate Administration as well as Executive Assistant to MEDA’s Board of Directors. Cynthia provides direct support to both the President and Board of Directors in all matters relating to the Board and corporate systems. In addition, she leads our Administrative team in coordinating support for staff and the Waterloo Office.

IRENE BURNS, Senior Director, West Africa/MENA Programs

Role at MEDA - As Senior Director of the West Africa/MENA region of programs, Irene provides direction and management to achieve overall success for development of MEDA’s work in that geographic area. She ensures an environment that allows for effective delivery of contracts and consulting assignments, including effective staff management, visiting programs and managing consultants. Irene also encourages MEDA’s technical leadership by ensuring that all team members are actively participating in one of our technical teams and contributing, as appropriate, to consulting opportunities, publications, and industry contributions while exploring new and innovative products and development of tools. In addition to this, she undertakes new business development for the West Africa/MENA team.

Experience - Irene has an extensive background in international development, including an MBA in International Business.  She has 20 years of experience managing and implementing projects in small and medium-sized (SME) enterprise development, value chain competitiveness, capacity building, business enabling environment, and regional trade and investment in developing and transition countries for USAID.  She has worked as a Senior Development Specialist in private sector development and economic growth.  Her extensive experience managing USAID programs includes positions as Chief of Party (COP), Acting Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP), and Team Leader for over 7 years with DAI. She brings a deep understanding of USAID project management rules and regulations, policies and procedures, including financial management and budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management, reporting, staff management, operations and management of multiple field offices. Most recently, she was a Director for DAI in Washington.

JERRY QUIGLEY, Senior Vice President, Programs

Role at MEDA - Since 1990, Jerry has worked in various management positions with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). Jerry is currently Senior Vice President of Programs at MEDA, providing oversight to MEDA's three geographic areas of focus; West Africa/MENA Programs, Eastern Southern and Central Africa Programs, and Global Programs. He has served on numerous boards including several years as chair of the board of IMON microfinance bank in Tajikistan, chair of the board of Agro Capital Management in Ukraine and the chair of IMON Foundation in Tajikistan. Jerry is a seasoned consultant having executed a wide array of assignments including business and marketing plans, program designs and evaluations.

Experience ‒ For nearly twenty-five years, Jerry has successfully integrated the disciplines of business and development through practical entrepreneurial experience, progressive management roles and numerous consultancies. Jerry has founded and managed two commercial enterprises for development organizations with a wide range of successful business activities. Jerry Quigley is a graduate in economics and development studies from the University of Guelph.

KATIE TURNER, Senior Director, Global Programs

Role at MEDA ‒ As the Senior Director, Global Programs, Katie is responsible for developing and overseeing MEDA’s programming in Asia/Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and cross-regional. These programs cut across MEDA’s core technical areas in market systems and financial sector development: sustainable agriculture, financial inclusion, investment and blended finance, empowerment of women, youth workforce development, and the business of health. Katie leads a talented and experienced management and technical team on the design and implementation of ground-breaking projects in challenging environments.

Experience ‒ Katie has over 10 years of experience supporting private sector led development projects with a focus on SME investment and agribusiness development . She has strong field experience coupled with extensive knowledge of gender, technology adoption and microfinance as they apply to rural development. Katie holds an Honours BA in Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Post Graduate Degree in International Development. She has worked in Armenia, Ecuador, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Morocco, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Peru, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Ukraine and Vietnam.

Languages ‒ Katie is fluent in English and Spanish. She is learning French.

LINDA JONES, Vice President, Partnerships and Innovation

Role at MEDA - Linda’s leads a team whose efforts are focused on leading business development partnerships in collaboration with all regions. In addition, she is responsible for coordinating MEDA’s Technical Teams with an emphasis on technical innovation, technical direction and technical positioning.

Experience - Linda is a globally recognized expert in the field of inclusive economic development, with a focus on the integration of vulnerable populations into market systems and financial sectors. Recently rejoining MEDA, Linda has held senior positions at the Aga Khan Foundation in Geneva, the Coady International Institute and Open Text Corporation. As a consultant, Jones has advised on a wide range of bilateral, multilateral and non-governmental development programs, with extensive experience strategic development, field research, building the capacity of program teams, and training policy makers and practitioners through recognized institutions such as the ILO, Boulder Institute and CGIAR among others. Jones has contributed to building the inclusive economic development field as a volunteer in key areas such as: co-founding and chairing the Canadian Forum for Impact Investment and Development; serving as a board member and chair of the SEEP Network (DC); advising the Eurasia Foundation on women’s enterprise development; publishing extensively from articles in peer-reviewed journal to books and reports; and serving as editor of the Enterprise Development and Microfinance Journal. Jones holds a Master’s and Ph.D. in Anthropology and Linguistics from McMaster University in Canada where she received numerous awards for academic excellence including a Commonwealth Scholarship and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada graduate fellowship.

Languages - English

MARCIA SCHEFFLER, Senior Director, Human Capital

Marcia has an inter-disciplinary background in business, development and Human Resources.  After completing a Master’s degree Political Science with focus on Public Administration and International Development from York University, she worked as successful a business co-owner/manager in quality control equipment industry.  She then transitioned to roles in Human Resources in both the private and not-for-profit sectors, obtaining her Certified Human Resource Leader (CHRL) and Senior Certified Professional with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM-SCP).

MICHAEL MILLER, Senior Director, Resource Development

Michael has an extensive background in sales, marketing and financial advising. From 1991 to 2010, he worked for Mennonite Mutual Aid in Goshen, Indiana – nine years as regional sales manager/regional vice-president, and the past 10 years as regional representative/vice president with the Mennonite Foundation/MMA Trust Company. Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from the Williams College in Williamstown, MA. Working from his home office in Kansas, Michael is responsible for the US Mid-West territory.

RACHEL HESS, Senior Director, Eastern, Southern and Central Africa Programs

Role at MEDA - As Senior Director, Rachel leads MEDA's ESCA program,

  • supporting a team of development professionals to implement projects that facilitate sustained change
  • developing program strategy
  • coordinating new business development

Across the region, MEDA delivers business solutions to poverty by drawing on expertise in market systems development, empowerment of women through economic advancement, integration of youth into employment and business, inclusive financial systems development, investment and blended finance.

Experience - Rachel has extensive experience with programs designed to reduce poverty through inclusive economic development, both internationally and in North America. With MEDA she has managed programs focused on assisting women to improve production and business skills to more effectively participate in viable market systems. Her specialities include market systems analysis to identify opportunities for greater inclusion of women and other marginalized groups and monitoring of market-based interventions. She has conducted project evaluation, market analysis and project design assignments in a range of international settings and has lived in Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Tanzania. She has also directed a Women’s Business Center committed to assisting women to start and grow businesses in south central Pennsylvania. Rachel has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Virginia.

Language - English

SCOTT RUDDICK, Senior Director, Security

Role at MEDA - Scott Ruddick, is Senior Director, Security. Working closely with project offices, he manages global security systems for MEDA’s programming. He undertakes risk assessments; manages field security teams; oversees crisis management and recovery planning; and develops and delivers security training for MEDA staff. He is also responsible for case management of security investigations.

Experience - Scott has extensive experience in protective security; risk analysis; security management; and crisis planning in an aid and development context. Previous to MEDA, Scott was a consultant in international development; an adjunct faculty member at York University's Schulich School of Business and Royal Roads University; and spent a decade in a variety of front line law enforcement roles. His practitioner knowledge is underpinned by Board certification in security management, an MBA and graduate diplomas in security management, law enforcement and investigative techniques.

Scott has activity contributed to building the aid and development security field. He serves on the Crisis Management and Business Continuity Council of ASIS International, where he is Associate Editor of the Council newsletter. He is a volunteer with the Canadian Interagency Security Advisory Forum.

THOMAS DIXON, Senior Director, Partnerships and Innovation

Role at MEDA ‒ Thom takes an entrepreneurial approach to design, test and integrate organization-wide methodologies for MEDA to partner with the private sector in finding business solutions to poverty. His primary focus is on partnering with businesses that engage global business models to generate sustainable livelihoods for poor families.

Experience ‒ Thom’s background includes ten years in program management and project advisory roles in Tanzania, ten years of food manufacturing experience in Costa Rica, two years as a strategic management consultant in northern Europe, and freelance consulting on private sector strengthening in sixteen nations on three continents. He pioneered new business models in East Africa by linking smallholders to global pharmaceutical companies in cultivating the feedstock critical to manufacturing malaria treatments, empowering African farmers to participate in producing cures for illnesses that primarily impact Africa. Recognizing government’s influence on the private sector in developing economies, Thom has persistently sought to educate policy makers on the impact of their decisions on business and health. Thom holds a B.A from Earlham College and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

Languages ‒ Thom is fluent in English and Spanish; he has limited conversational French and Swahili.