Impact investing is simply that; investing with impact.
There is a way to support sustainable economic, social and environmental change and seek an ethical profit and MEDA can help you do that.
The Jordan Valley is a highly educated region, yet aspiring entrepreneurs face multiple obstacles in business. For women and youth in the region, entrepreneurship and innovation are hindered by a lack of community supports and cultural restrictions.
Through strategic partnerships with the private sector, JVL aims to increase the contribution of women and youth to Jordan’s economy.
1,595 women and youth entrepreneurs trained on technical skills, business planning, access to technology
5,224 aspiring and existing women and youth entrepreneurs received financial education and soft skills training
3,115 women and youth entrepreneurs participating in formal business networks (including incubators)
2,703 women and youth entrepreneurs participating in informal business networks
3,439 market linkages established and facilitated for women and youth entrepreneurs
2,416 women and youth entrepreneurs linked with mentors
Classroom 109/Teaching Centre | Columbia Bible College | 2940 Clearbrook Road | Abbotsford, BC V2T 2Z8
In 2010, MEDA launched the EDGET project, with a focus on increasing incomes for 10,000 men and women farmers and weavers. The project aimed to help smallholder rice farmers and small-scale artisans access much needed supplies, finances, support services and hands-on training. The goals included helping to increase their access to growing markets and improve their productivity through more effective techniques. As a result of MEDA’s work, many Ethiopian rice and textile entrepreneurs are producing high-quality products and reaching new and growing markets, which is driving growth and improving incomes and livelihoods. We see that the project indirectly helped to increase education, health and opportunities for their children and family members. ,
Today, EDGET continues to demonstrate positive, sustainable and GROWING impact on the livelihoods and businesses of small entrepreneurs in Ethiopia.
Since project close, producer incomes continued to increase by an average of 34%. Producers have nearly doubled their assets since project close.
73% joined a savings and loan group and continue to see benefits today.
EDGET-initiated loan program to support business growth.
30 Chencha-based weavers continue to supply garments for Ethiopian Airlines flight attendants under an EDGET-facilitated contract.
82% received Gender Equality training that continues to have positive impact today.
Women reported more respect from husbands as a result of training and business activities.
One in four of the 53 million people living in Myanmar live below the poverty line and those living in rural areas are the most vulnerable. Rural women are among the country’s most marginalized groups. Though they play an active role in agricultural production and markets, women still experience barriers that prohibit them from fully participating in a growing economy. A wide wage gap between women and men also exists, and women often struggle to access financing, market information, and higher-growth markets.
I am doing a 100 mile bike ride in Kingston this Sunday, the Limestone Century Ride, and I would like to use the opportunity to raise $1,500 to help 15 women from Myanmar. Because of the funding from Global Affairs Canada, every dollar you give will have over $7.00 of impact. I hope you will decide to join me by donating $100 to help hardworking women like Daw Nan, who although she was not able to attend school herself, through this project is now able to provide an education for her children.
MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) aims to strengthen the participation and status of 25,000 women in the Myanmar economy. We will support rural women and women-owned businesses involved with vegetables and rice to grow their productivity and incomes, increase their access to financial services, and take on leadership positions in market and community systems.
Every gift has an impact, no donation is too small – if five people give $20 each that will make an enduring difference in the life of a woman in Myanmar. Thank you.
Join us on June 7 for a special opportunity to engage with the MEDA Board while also networking with other professionals and entrepreneurs in the fields of economic development, impact investing and gender equity.
Hear from expert, Majid Mirza, Sr. Program Manager at MEDA on addressing the trade financing gap for small and medium enterprises in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Learn how you can be part of creating business solutions to poverty.
Doors open at 7pm | Presentations begin at 7:30 | Networking reception to follow in foyer | Appetizers served | Free admittance
Burlington Hotel & Conference Centre
3063 South Service Rd
Burlington ON L7N3E9
$159 per night.
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Quality Hotel Burlington
950 Walkers Line
Burlington, ON L7N 2G2
Quality Hotel web page
$149 per night
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In the Jordan Valley, entrepreneurs in general have poor and limited access to markets, business development services, and finance; these constraints are particularly exacerbated for women and youth. In addition, societal and cultural perceptions towards women’s and youth’s work and their role in entrepreneurship are neither encouraging nor favorable. As a result, promising entrepreneurs are not able to bring their good ideas to fruition or to develop job-creating businesses at a time of heightened economic fragility in Jordan. Entrepreneurship, innovation and risk-taking among women and youth are hindered by the lack of support, infrastructure, and cultural restrictions.
MEDA's origins are rooted in the aftermath of the second World War when thousands of Russian Mennonites fled as refugees to the country of Paraguay. There, they established strong communities that were grounded in peace, justice and entrepreneurship. Many of the people that fled violence in Russia were skilled craftspeople and capable farmers and were eager to set up their own businesses, but they lacked financial capital, and key resources.
Mennonite Economic Development Associates was born out of the need to provide small businesses with capital, business training, microloans and investment. That's what we continue to do today.
In 1969, the founders of MEDA moved their services and expertise to countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The members realized that other communities around the world were struggling with some of the same challenges the Mennonite refugees faced in Paraguay - lack of access to finance, credit, business training and investment. As businessmen, they understood that it was not lack of will, rather, it was lack of access to knowledge, skills and capital. They realized that they could be part of the solution and help people raise themselves out of poverty by supporting small businesses all over the world. This new awareness inspired a new mission and vision - to create business solutions to poverty.
Creating business solutions to poverty that are sustainable, scalable, replicable, and measurable is at the core of what we do. Our responsibility is to respond to the needs of our clients and adapt our services to best suit their families and businesses. How can we do this? Through the consistent monitoring of our impact through qualitative and quantitative measures.
MEDA strives to make informed decisions that reflect the needs of our clients and partners. Ongoing learning is the foundation of our measurement systems. We work to confront our assumptions and respond when our solutions need adaption. Listening to the needs of our clients is paramount to creating business solutions to poverty that are sustainable and change the world for the better.
With staggered client entry, our projects use a rolling baseline methodology that allows us to understand the starting point of their well-being and business performance. Program participants are assessed before they work with MEDA and then again throughout their interactions with us.
Surveys are used to establish cause and effect relationships. Surveys are comprehensive, attributable and allow us to gather the data needed to assess indicators related to the business success and wellbeing. Usually conducted annually, they allow us to measure results over time.
Mobile phones or tablets are used in rural and inaccessible places to collect and manage data. Mobile data collection platforms allows us to customize surveys to collect specific data needed on income, enterprise performance, capacity, and take photos and GIS coordinates. The flexibility of mobile data collection allows MEDA to quickly pivot and make decisions based on the realities on the ground.
Focus group discussions are interviews with 6 - 10 participants. Designed to elicit qualitative data, focus groups are safe places for clients and partners to share about their experiences with MEDA's trainings, tools, and interventions. Questions are asked of the group and the researcher records the vital information shared by the group.
The stories of change approach is a form of participatory monitoring and evaluation. MEDA involves stakeholders at different levels to discuss the changes expected and to review which are the most important. This method is valuable for learning about what types of unanticipated changes may be occurring in a project.
At its core, this form of story collection is a simple process of asking our clients what changes they have seen in their lives since working with MEDA, and why these are important. Story collection is an effective monitoring tool because it can occur throughout the program cycle and provides information to help people manage and adapt the program over time.
These stories evaluate project efforts because they provide data on impact and outcomes to assess programmatic performance. Stories are not based on pre-defined indicators but instead involves a systematic process of selecting the most significant stories, chosen by a panel of designated stakeholders.
In Myanmar, women face many barriers to banking services, access to credit, business training and leadership opportunities. Nang Khin Swe is one women in her community who is challenging the status quo by making the transition from farming to sales agent. In her new role, Nang enters communities to buy produce and bring it to sell at the market. Nang received training and support from the MEDA Myanmar team in marketing, customer behavior and produce quality. This ultimately helped her learn her new duties as a sales agent and eventually recover previous losses. Nang’s second effort in collective crop selling was a huge success resulting in 2,228,000 MMK ($1,450 USD) profit, which created interest in other farmers to follow her lead. “This opportunity created a profession for me.” Through MEDA, Nang sought training for her farmers to increase agricultural processing quality so they could sell their produce for a higher price.
MEDA takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the complex environmental issues our programming encounters. We incorporate a range of environmental assessments that ensures our work provides ecologically sustainable approaches to poverty alleviation. Across our programming, environmental experts assists both MEDA staff and clients to realize a more equitable and sustainable approach, one that ensures their work is ecologically sound.
MEDA believes that the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation can empower business people of all income levels to act as leaders of environmentally-responsible growth. We work with businesses and entrepreneurs, and local partners to promote the business case for good environmental management and addressing climate change. Our Environmental Management System (EMS) includes screening and assessment tools designed to mitigate environmental and climate change risks associated with our work, while supporting entrepreneurs in climate change adaptation and improving local environment conditions. MEDA also reflects our commitment to environmental stewardship by promoting sustainable waste and energy-use practices within our offices globally.
MEDA’s Environmental Sustainability and Climate Resilience framework adheres to two core pillars and six points of action. Each of the points of action have accompanying tools, training and additional resources to support project staff in the field. A visual representation of the framework, at a high-level.
We recognize the relationships between communities and their environment and how environmental issues affect human health. We support environmentally friendly practices that promote proper use of natural resources, agricultural inputs and safe use of equipment and tools.
We strive to reduce GHG emissions and use natural resources in more efficient ways within projects and support our partners to do the same.
We work with financial service providers and their clients to develop green business models and create financial products that promote environmentally sustainable business practices.
We acknowledge the gendered impacts of climate change and support women and other more marginalized clients to adapt through targeted strategies and activities, while leveraging their specialized knowledge and leadership to respond to climate-related risks.
We support clients and partners, of all types and sizes, to adapt to a changing climate by building more resilient business models and value chains.
We bring like-minded stakeholders together and promote public discussion on shared activities to foster local ownership of climate resilience and environmental sustainability.
MEDA ensures environment and climate action is championed in its projects. MEDA also disseminates information on climate action, technology development and stakeholder engagement within the organization broadly, fostering a sense of awareness and commitment to integrating a climate-focus into all our work. The ECC team also provides environmental sustainability and climate change training to all project staff and partners, including annual refresher training.
Our Environmental Management System (EMS) includes screening and assessment tools designed to mitigate environmental and climate change risks associated with our work, while supporting entrepreneurs in climate change adaptation and improving local environment conditions. In addition, the EMS guides field offices in adhering to their own national environmental regulations as well as donor standards relating to environment and climate change.
MEDA volunteer auditors support MEDA’s vision that all people may experience God’s love and unleash their potential to earn a livelihood, provide for families and enrich their communities.
We leverage volunteer auditors to assist MEDA’s internal auditor with audits in our field offices around the world. Each audit is usually one to two weeks in length.
…then serving as a volunteer auditor with MEDA might be for you!
Ideally, volunteer auditors have finance or audit experience, but we are interested in hearing from individuals who have some accounting knowledge. The ability to speak the local language in the field and international travel experience are assets.
MEDA asks that Volunteer Auditors consider covering the full cost of their trip as a gift to the MEDA project they are auditing. However, if this is not within your means, we still encourage you to apply as an auditor.
It’s the biggest MEDAx gathering of the year! For an enriching long weekend you’ll never forget, register for Tucson 2019.Close
MEDA specifically seeks out opportunities to support women and youth such as Ahmad and Waed in Jordan who are championing clean technologies. Read more about their story on the MEDA blog.Close
Community Network hubs host local events and activities. Plug into a hub in your community to raise awareness for MEDA in your own backyard.Close
Everyone and anyone can be a philanthropist, because every dollar—even a single dollar!--counts. At MEDA, donations are leveraged by major institutions. That means that one dollar is leveraged up to six times. Consider casting your vote for empowerment-driven economic development by becoming a MEDA Monthly Donor.Close
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Media contact: Krista O'Brien, email@example.com, 226-499-9038 or 1-800-665-7026
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Below are MEDA Logos in various formats for your use. Please use Adobe Illustator or Adobe EPS files whenever possible to maintain high resolution on printed material.
|Pantone 356U||Black||White (no black)|
Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) is an international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to alleviate poverty. We work with 400 partners in 62 countries to help 910,000 clients unleash their potential to earn a livelihood, provide for their families, and enrich their communities. Donations to MEDA are multiplied in impact seven times on average. MEDA has offices in Waterloo and Ottawa, ON, Washington, DC, and Lancaster, PA, and internationally. Visit www.meda.org for more information.
MEDA Logo History
The original MEDA logo was developed in the early 1970s at the time of MEDA's incorporation. The symbol was initiated by Milo Shantz and designed by Glenn Fretz in 1974. The colour green and the images of the globe and leaf symbolize growth, renewal and our international scope of operations. The logo was refreshed in 1996, making it more contemporary with current design. While it has been changed to a word mark, it retains its original green colour, Pantone 356C (Hex#007A33 - R0 G122 B51 - C91 M4 Y100 K25), incorporating the globe into the letter D, with a leaf stemming from it.
For many years MEDA was depicted by a globe-shaped symbol which the corporate statement described as follows: "Many persons in the world community are suffering because of spiritual, social and economic needs. Hope and new life for a broken world is symbolized by a growing leaf. By showing concern and sharing, the void is filled and wholeness is restored."
Previously MEDA had used a symbol of a handshake to represent "brotherhood economics."
In 1974 a new charter was acquired for MEDA Canada, and the original MEDA charter in the U.S. was changed from profit to non-profit status. The timing was right for a new symbol. "We wanted something fresh," Shantz recalled later.
The symbol was revised in 1996. The new visual identity built on the old by utilizing a contemporary typeface along with a stylized "D" that retained the globe and leaf motif. It, too, was designed by Glenn Fretz.
Do you have accounting or audit experience? Consider serving as a Volunteer Auditor at a MEDA field project! We require volunteer auditors to assist MEDA’s internal finance team with audits in our field offices around the world.
Do you have expertise in a technical area of business? MEDA recruits individuals for short-term business/technical expert volunteer roles with our projects around the world. These opportunities are for experienced individuals who would like to make an impact using thier business and/or technical skills in an international development context.
You can make a difference in the world! Explore MEDA’s local and international internship opportunities! Click here to learn more.
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Climate change not only impacts agriculture through weather events such as drought – it also is expected to exacerbate current gender inequalities.
Women are on the frontlines, which is why the impacts of climate change – weather events like floods, droughts, storms etc. – further burden them disproportionately in terms of:
The agricultural sector is often the biggest contributor to a developing country’s GDP. It is often the sector most of the population relies upon for their livelihood in these countries. Women make critical contributions to agriculture in developing countries: On average, women comprise 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries (20% in Latin America to 50% in Eastern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa).
One thing women have in common across regions is that they have less access than men to productive resources and opportunities – land, education, finance, labor and decision making/leadership roles.
The depletion of natural resources and decreasing agricultural productivity caused by climate change place additional burdens on women and reduce their time to participate in decision-making processes and income-generating activities.
Climate-related disasters have been found to impact female-headed households more severely, too, particularly where they have fewer assets to start with. If women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields, ultimately raising total agricultural output in developing countries, which could in turn also strengthen food security.
Climate-related shocks can include:
Such shocks also can impact those who are not poor and drag them into poverty – for example, a flood destroying a microenterprise, a drought eliminating a herd, or contaminated water making a child sick. Over 96% of disaster-related deaths in recent years have taken place in developing countries. Often, climate shocks can set back the development process for decades.
Climate change impacts various issues and sectors:
We need to re-frame development by recognizing the links between climate action and poverty.
Those who are most vulnerable are often most severely impacted by the negative impacts of climate change. That vulnerability may be:
A climate sensitive development approach requires the understanding that these vulnerabilities, especially those that come with climate change, may impact different populations differently.
Climate change threatens the developing world in new ways, and it would be counter-productive to our goal to ignore this reality.
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MEDA’s strength is found in its passionate people and positive work environment. We believe in MEDA’s mission and are purposeful and entrepreneurial in creating business solutions to poverty.
Work is more than earning an income at MEDA. We provide competitive total reward packages like competitive pay, comprehensive benefits, flexible working arrangements, and supportive employee programs.
We are a diverse team committed to our core performance values: respect, entrepreneurship, collaboration, and accountability. These values reflect our Mennonite roots and our commitment to business solutions to poverty.
We are dedicated and talented team who are committed to making an impact. We trust, collaborate, care, and support each other and celebrate together.
MEDA’s senior leadership team is committed, ethical, visionary, and has an open door to all. We foster an environment that encourages leadership from all levels of the organization.
MEDA places a high priority on staff growth and development. We provide opportunities for professional development initiatives that contribute to career growth and organization expertise.
Groups of dedicated MEDA supporters meet all across North America to discuss faith and business, poverty alleviation, inequality, entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and how business can be a noble calling.
These Hubs are ongoing committee-operated affinity groups whose goal is to build awareness of MEDA in their local community through events and activities. Through these Hubs, you have the opportunity to connect what you do locally with MEDA's global work to create business solutions to poverty.
There is a way to support sustainable economic, social and environmental change and seek an ethical profit and MEDA can help you do that.
The international community has the goal of eradicating poverty by 2030. By transforming economies, these goals are achievable. You can respond to the challenge of financing sustainable development through investment and blended finance.
Investment is a solution to poverty. We've been doing it since 1953.
The MEDA Risk Capital Fund (MRCF) provides early stage capital, an important source of funding for young companies. MRCF invests in promising companies in developing countries that have an excellent prospect of financial success and economic benefit to communities in poverty. An investment in MRCF is an investment in sustainable change.
MEDA is experienced in structuring blended finance partnerships that allow for different types of capital to achieve commercial and impact objectives. An early leader in blended finance, MEDA partnered with the Government of Canada in 2013 to pilot the use of concessionary finance to raise private capital for development-related investments in private equity and trade finance. A key aspect of these partnerships is the provision of technical assistance to funds and SMEs to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
MEDA develops bespoke technical assistance packages, delivering services directly to funds and SMEs in gender lens investing, environment social and governance (ESG) integration and impact measurement and management. Through partnering with more than 20 fund managers and 37 companies across 21 countries, MEDA has supported improved business performance and impact including the development of groundbreaking toolkits like the Gender Equality Mainstreaming Framework.
Gender and Social Inclusion
Environment and Climate Change
MEDA Convention 2019
MEDA Convention 2018
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MEDA Convention 2016
MEDA Convention 2016 - MEDA Next Talks
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Dr. Dorothy Nyambi is the President and CEO of MEDA. Dorothy leads MEDA’s global corporate strategy and implementation. Dorothy's 25+ years career in the international and entrepreneurial sectors is informed by her unique life experiences working on the ground in developing countries (long-term development and humanitarian), with a lifelong focus to ensure women and girls are not left behind.
Bilingual in English and French, with a tested C-suite experience across CEO, COO, Executive Team and organizational phases of start-up, rapid growth, crisis and turnaround, Dorothy's professional experience includes strengthening business processes and mobilizing funding in support of grassroots movements, community impact, and diversity in Africa, North America, Eastern Europe, Asia , Latin America & Caribbean, and the Middle East.
Passionate about gender equality and inclusion, Dorothy has been a leader and founding member of Gender Summit Africa (Cape Town 2015 and Kigali 2018); member of AWID for the past 15 years; board director, Kigali Collaborative Research Centre (KCRC) - Carnegie Mellon University; member of the Board Room Africa focused on mentoring and getting young African women into governance roles across the continent though selection, training and mentoring.Close
Michael White is MEDA’s Chief Marketing & Development Officer. With over 12 years of fundraising experience and 100 million dollars of success in cultivating transparent, meaningful and trusting relationships, Michael is dedicated to journeying with people in realizing their philanthropic vision. Michael is passionate about listening to the knowledge, wisdom and values of MEDA donors and helping them discover the impact of their giving. An optimist, Michael is excited to help individuals and communities blend their philanthropic passions with ethical business. Michael believes that MEDA supporters are the key to MEDA’s success to create business solutions to poverty around the world.Close
In this role, Susie provides direct administrative support to the CEO and Board members. Susie brings her organized and professional work ethic to manage the administration of the MEDA board, including the coordination of national and international board meetings, document management and ongoing communication. She holds a masters in Local Economic Development from the University of Waterloo and has experience serving clients in the Canadian financial sector and coordinating programs for provincial environment initiatives.Close
Leah Katerberg is MEDA’s Vice President of Innovation and Impact. She is a seasoned development professional with over 15 years of private sector development experience across the globe. Leah ensures MEDA’s technical expertise is developed, honed and integrated into all MEDA projects for the benefit of clients and partners. She also leads the implementation of MEDA’s impact measurement, learning and digital solutions.
Throughout her career, Leah has inspired creative and determined approaches to solving complex problems and navigating intersectional challenges to achieve strong outcomes in diverse settings and environments. She has a proven track record of delivering results by motivating teams to develop and continually improve strategies that result in impact.Close
Marcia Scheffler, MEDA’s Vice President People & Culture. Marcia provides oversight and direction to a global team of human resource experts and leads overall corporate strategy including MEDA’s people and culture strategy, talent management, acquisition, development, organizational design and HR systems and metrics.
She’s supported by a People & Culture team based out of the MEDA Waterloo Headquarters that includes Human Capital, Security and Administration.
Marcia has her master’s in political science and a graduate diploma in Democratic Administration from York University. She also has post-graduate Human Resources Management certificate and holds her SHRM-SCP and CHRL designations, with HR experience in business and non-profit organizations.Close
Orvie Bowman is MEDA’s Chief Financial and Investment Officer (CFIO). As CFIO, Orvie provides strategic leadership to achieve MEDA’s financial, investment and legal goals.
Orvie has held positions in both private and public institutions including Allianz Global Assistance Canada as CFO and senior level roles at Sun Life Financial and Manulife.
Throughout his career, Orvie has been a transformational partner on leadership teams and has championed strategic plans that generate growth and drive process improvements for financial systems.
Orvie holds the professional designations of Certified General Accountant and Chartered Professional Accountant and he graduated from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Applied Business Administration with Honours: Accounting and Information Technology major.Close
Simon Carter is MEDA’s Interim Sr. Lead of Global Programs. Simon has over 30 years’ experience in agricultural research, post-harvest systems, agricultural development, geography, environment and climate change, and international development. He brings technical expertise in climate change adaptation, environmental governance, and rural development to the MEDA leadership team. Over the course of his career, Simon has held senior leadership positions with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Kenya and Canada.
Simon brings a people-centred approach to his work. He is committed to building trust with communities and creating productive teams that serve in the best interests of clients. Simon has first-hand experience leading and implementing projects in over 20 different countries in the Latin American, Caribbean, and African regions. Simon is fluent in English and Spanish and proficient in French.Close
Rachel Hess is the Regional Director of MEDA’s Eastern, Southern and Central Africa (ESCA) team. In this capacity, Rachel directs MEDA programming in the ESCA region, supporting project teams on implementation and leading efforts to expand MEDA’s contribution to inclusive economic development. Throughout her career, Rachel has employed many poverty alleviation approaches including promoting fair trade, supporting small business growth in developing regions and facilitating change in market systems for more inclusive growth. Rachel has a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Virginia and has worked in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Egypt.
Dr. Pierre Kadet is MEDA’s Regional Director of the West Africa, Middle East and North Africa region. He brings to MEDA over 15 years of academic, headquarter and field experience. He has served for diverse institutions, including United Nations agencies, international non-governmental organizations, and research institutes. Prior to joining MEDA, Pierre worked for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO), Care Canada and Action Against Hunger.
Pierre is a passionate environment, climate change and food security specialist and strong advocate of smallholder farmers, especially of women and youth, who account among the 500 million family farmers feeding the planet. Pierre has lived and travelled for work to more than 15 countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia, leading humanitarian aid and development assistance initiatives.
Pierre is bilingual in French and English and holds a Ph.D. in Physical Geography & Rural Planning from Montpellier University in France and a Master of Geography and Environment from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal.
Katie Turner is the Regional Director of MEDA’s work in the Latin American and Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Pacific region and provides strategic direction, management and business development of this region. Prior to her current position, Katie was the Technical Director of Investment with MEDA where she led the integration of impact investing into MEDA’s economic development programs, while also designing and managing a variety of blended finance initiatives with a focus on environment, social and corporate governance (ESG) technical assistance, gender lens investing and impact measurement. Katie serves on the board of the Canadian Forum for Impact Investment and Development (CAFIID) and brings extensive experience supporting the development of agriculture market systems. Katie holds an Honours BA in Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Postgraduate Degree in International Development. She has worked across Latin America, Africa and Asia and is fluent in English and Spanish.
Jennifer Denomy is the Technical Director for Gender Equality and Social Inclusion at MEDA. In this role, she develops and leads MEDA's strategy to promote increased economic inclusion for excluded populations, particularly youth, women, refugees and rural populations. She has expertise in incorporating women and youth into markets, supporting entrepreneurship, promoting financial inclusion and increasing access to business services. Recently, she managed GROW (Greater Rural Opportunities for Women), an agricultural value chain project in northern Ghana which improved food security and economic empowerment for over 23,000 women.
Publications include “Enterprise development: starting and building businesses,” a chapter from the recently released book Women’s Economic Empowerment: Transforming Systems Through Development Practice and “Putting Technology into the Hands of Women,” an impact study on the GROW project. Countries of work experience include Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Uganda, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, El Salvador and Mongolia.
Nikesh Ghimire is the Technical Director of Financial Services at MEDA and provides technical leadership for MEDA across its various projects and delivery of support for financial services. Nikesh brings over 10 years of experience in senior roles within the banking system in small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) credit, marketing, digital finance and micro finance. Nikesh has directly overseen or supervised a team that managed portfolios in micro finance, SME finance, mid market and corporate finance. Nikesh brings additional five years of experience in the development sector in senior advisory roles for projects in Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ghana. Nikesh has led the inception and operation of a microfinance institution, two fin-techs and lead large teams in the financial sector towards introducing innovative new products, expanding to new markets and introducing new technologies to financial institutions.
Jennifer King is MEDA’s Technical Director of Market Systems. As an economic development professional with strong technical and programmatic expertise in market systems and private sector development, women’s economic empowerment, and gender lens investment in Canada and around the world, Jennifer provides valuable expertise in inclusive market system development to MEDA’s leadership team.
Before becoming a Technical Director, Jennifer focused on women's economic empowerment, agricultural market systems, and gender-inclusive private sector development at MEDA. During this time Jennifer was a Senior Project Manager of a six-year project in Myanmar, and consulted internally and externally on projects in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Nicaragua, and Indonesia.
Prior to MEDA, Jennifer was the founding Executive Director of Social Venture Partners (SVP) in Waterloo Region and helped establish Capacity Waterloo Region (now Capacity Canada). Jennifer's background also includes work in regional economic development and ecosystem development, and work in Sri Lanka strengthening the organizational capacity of the Rural Enterprise Network, a Practical Action social enterprise facilitating training and market linkages to micro-scale rural producers, most of whom are women, as well as those affected by the tsunami.
Dennis Tessier is the Technical Director, Environment and Climate Change (ECC) at MEDA. In this role Dennis has organization-wide responsibility to build capacity, develop strategic approaches, document best practices, mentor staff and oversee the provision of technical support to all of MEDA’s programming to ensure ECC is championed broadly. Additionally, Dennis’ role includes sharing learnings and impact from MEDA’s ECC Technical area internally and externally, and representing MEDA at key external events.
Dennis brings more than 15 years of expertise to MEDA, including 12 years experience in East Africa where he founded and operated a pioneering non-profit organization and three clean energy social enterprises. Dennis brings expertise in clean energy, environmental sustainability, climate change and entrepreneurship in the Global South to MEDA’s leadership team.
Dennis is a graduate Intercultural Communications and Community Development from CEGEP Marie-Victorin in Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec, has a BA(Honors) in International and Comparative Studies from Huron University College and a Masters in Development Studies, Poverty Resource Management, from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Dennis is fluent in English, French, and Swahili.
Jessica Villanueva is MEDA’s Technical Director of Investment. Jessica holds over 15 years of management experience with emphasis in business development programs and agribusiness investment projects in Latin America. Jessica is a seasoned economic development professional with field experience providing management, financing and technical assistance to rural and urban financial institutions. Her projects often emphasize microfinance, rural finance and agribusiness as a solution to poverty. Jessica also has experience in due diligence of loan and technical grant projects with private companies, NGOs, producers’ associations, microfinance agencies and banks.
Prior to working at MEDA, Jessica worked with the World Wildlife Fund – Peru (WWF) as Conservation Finance Director. In this position, she supported green finance in the Amazon region. Prior to joining WWF Jessica worked in the private sector in asset management, impact investment and development banking at responsAbility and Inter-American Development Bank. Jessica hold a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Masters in Finance from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. Jessica is fluent in Spanish and English.
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.Book for speaking engagement Close
Ruth brings six years of successful fundraising experience in Mennonite education to her new role. Ruth most recently worked at Hinkletown Mennonite School, where she led a major capital campaign as their director of advancement. Previously, as an executive advancement associate at Lancaster Mennonite School, she launched an international development program.Book for speaking engagement Close
Bethany is in her 14th year of professional fundraising. She comes most recently from Central Christian School in Kidron, Ohio, where she provided leadership to fundraising and marketing efforts as advancement director. Prior to that, she served as development associate and communications coordinator at Mennonite Mission Network. Bethany earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication and public relations from Goshen College, a certificate in fundraising management from Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis, and her MBA, in leadership from Goshen College.Book for speaking engagement Close
Dean is originally from Elmira, Ontario and has worked in the Mennonite Community early in his career with the Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU). After leaving MSCU he worked for 5 years in the private sector for a company called GrowersFlowers Inc. (Thiessen’s Greenhouses) in Leamington, Ontario. There he was responsible for Marketing and Sales. After GrowerFlowers he worked for a non-profit Trade Association called Flowers Canada (Ontario) Inc., in the areas of Business Development and then Marketing. When the Executive Director of Flowers Canada retired, Dean was promoted into that position and continued in that role for 5 years.Book for speaking engagement Close
The Executive committee meets 5 times annually to review the organization status, ensuring alignment between strategy and performance. The committee reviews board nominations and supports the board chair in setting meeting agendas.Close
The Finance Committee is responsible for overseeing MEDA's administrative and financial activities.Close
The Audit Committee is responsible for ensuring that reliable financial and management audits are carried out on MEDA projects and that audit policies are current, safeguarding the effectiveness and efficiency of operations.Close
The Board Membership and Nomination Committee is responsible for identifying, recruiting, nominating and training new members of the Board and its committees. It ensures the recognition of the services of retiring directors, staff, advisors, and others who merit recognition by MEDA. In addition, this committee ensures performance evaluations are completed for the Board and individual directors.Close
Jenny Shantz retired in 2018 after 27 years at Mercedes Corp and Stone Crock Inc. These family businesses developed a diverse portfolio of enterprises across the food, retail, hospitality and real estate sectors until they sold the majority of their assets in 2018.
Jenny was critical to the development of the St. Jacobs region as a tourist destination and was closely involved in multiple aspects of her family’s ventures over the course of her career.
Jenny describes MEDA as a creative and effective organization that partners with those in need to become economically active and create sustainable livelihoods for their families. She says, “The world needs more MEDA because it's a positive force for good.”
Jenny is vice chair of the Grand Philharmonic Choir, past president of the Waterloo Region Centre for Family Business, St. Jacobs Daycare, and currently serves on the board of The Mennonite Story Inc.
Jenny and her husband, Willem Moolenbeek, live in Waterloo, Ontario. They attend St. Jacobs Mennonite, and St. Paul's Anglican in the summer months.Close
Greg Gaeddert is a managing partner with B12 Capital Partners and B12 Real Estate Advisors - private equity investment firms located in Kansas City, Missouri. He has experience in investments focused on manufacturing, distribution and real estate-related entities. Greg has an operational background in manufacturing and commercial banking, with equity investment and fund management roles at Capital for Business and the B12-related entities. He has an MBA from the University of Kansas, and serves on the boards of numerous manufacturing, distribution, financial services and non-profit entities.
Greg is a firm supporter of MEDA and resonates with its work in blended finance. Greg and his wife, Terri, live in Leawood, Kansas. They have three sons and are members of Rainbow Mennonite Church in Kansas City.
Karin Krahn works for an oil and gas company (Nexen, A CNOOC Limited Company) in Calgary, AB. She is currently the Manager, Operations and G&A Accounting for the Canadian Operations. Previously she was the Manager, Risk Management and Internal Controls for the company. Karin received her Canadian CPA designation in 2002 after graduating from University of Saskatchewan with a BA, majoring in Psychology and a BComm, majoring in Accounting. In between degrees, she worked with adults with developmental disabilities placing them into wage-earning positions.
While serving on the Abundance Canada (formerly Mennonite Foundation of Canada) board, Karin met Abe Fehr, a current MEDA board member. After many conversations about similar values and interests, Karin found herself drawn to the mission that MEDA has to reach out globally to assist people to enhance their livelihoods and support their families through business opportunities that they see, but need a little assistance.
Karin and her partner, Harold, enjoy watching sports, specifically football, both Canadian and the NFL. Both have spent time travelling with previous jobs and roles so spending a little more time around home and at their little place in Radium Hot Springs, BC are high on their relaxation list.Close
Gary Leis is President and CEO of Leis Pet Distributing Inc., which distributes pet food and supplies to independent pet retailers across Eastern Canada. Between the head office in Wellesley, Ontario and a second location in Moncton, New Brunswick, Leis Pet employs 65 full and part time employees.
As a long-time social and peace activist, Gary has always struggled trying to justify feeding pets for a living but has found comfort in MEDA. "Belonging to an organization like MEDA, meeting other business people and financially supporting the poorest of the poor in an entrepreneurial setting has given me a sense of social responsibility. What better way to achieve world peace by meeting the basic needs of people around the world?"
Gary was first introduced to MEDA through the local Waterloo chapter, where he became a member of the local board for nine years and served six years as Board Chair. As a semi-retired person, he felt the need for a new challenge. It was his belief in MEDA's mission, coupled with his business experience, that made MEDA a natural fit.
Gary says it's not only important to help people start businesses, but also to complete the value chain from producer to the end user, as MEDA does. He added how rewarding it is to see their lives improve in a sustainable way. "My MEDA dollars are multiplied many times over by government and other funders. The management and staff at MEDA are second to none. I trust them with my donated dollars."
Gary and his wife, Brenda Sauder, have three children and six grandchildren. Active in his community, Gary is a member of the Wellesley Lions Club and is a member of Stirling Avenue Mennonite Church. His hobbies include golf, hockey, camping and fishing.Close
Abe Fehr is a serial entrepreneur and founder, owner and President of Uni-Fab, one of Ontario's largest metal fabricators. Uni-Fab has the expertise to custom manufacture to the finest detail and the highest tolerance required for any size application. A family business which began over 28 years ago with fabrications for the machine tool market has grown to become one of the automotive industry's premier providers of fabrications in North America under Abe’s leadership.
Uni-Fab has grown and expanded its capabilities and equipment and is now housed in an 103,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, with a portfolio that includes machine enclosures, hydraulic reservoirs, platforms and mezzanines. Uni-Fab serves the automotive, aerospace, machine tool, and oil and gas sectors in Canada and internationally.
Abe believes in MEDA’s approach of building business solutions to poverty, and has visited several of MEDA’s projects internationally. Seeing projects first-hand reinforced Abe’s support for MEDA, and has added a valuable dimension to his role as the chair of the MEDA board audit committee.
Abe and his wife Lisa, have three adult children and one grandchild. They reside in Leamington, Ontario and attend Leamington United Mennonite Church.Close
Albert D. (Bert) Friesen is founder, CEO and Chairman of Medicure Inc. He is also founder of Genesys Venture Inc. (GVI), which provides the expertise for launching and managing emerging health and biotechnology ventures.. Dr. Friesen has been instrumental in the founding and development of several health industry companies, including ABI Biotechnology (now Apotex Fermentation), Canada's first profitable biotech company, and the Winnipeg Rh Institute, where he led the development of Canada's first biotech product, WinRho. Bert has also played a key role in a number of regional and national organizations, including a founder and first Board of Director Chair of the Industrial Biotechnology Association of Canada (now BIOTECanada). He holds a Ph.D. in protein chemistry from the University of Manitoba.
Bert was attracted to MEDA by its mission to explore the intersection of work and faith, and its emphasis on efficiency and sustainability in building business solutions to poverty. His appreciation for the organization’s work deepened when he visited MEDA’s projects in Paraguay, Peru and Bolivia, witnessing the entrepreneurial spirit and impacts of the projects there first-hand. Bert and his wife Lee live in Manitoba, Canada, and attend Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship in Winnipeg They have 3 children and 9 grandchildren.Close
Andreas Quiring has served as the managing director of Andreas Hermes Academy in Germany since 2008. The Academy offers continuing education for individuals and their companies, with a focus on agricultural studies, the food industry, and rural areas. Andreas studied Agricultural Economics at the University of Bonn.
Andreas brings Agricultural and Development Experience and the German/European Mennonite Perspective to the MEDA board.
He was drawn to engage as a director by MEDA’s passion for its work and a desire to contribute to MEDA’s continued presence in Europe.
Andreas has 3 daughters and lives with his family in Bonn, Germany, where they attend Ev. Mennonitengemeinde Neuwied church.Close
Bethany Fosdyck is the founder, owner and president of Bushbaby a children’s outfitter offering functional apparel and gear. Bushbaby operates with the goal of fostering healthy outdoor activities for youth and their families.
After graduating college, Bethany worked in Kenya with Mennonite Central Committee as a handicraft design liaison with Ten Thousand Villages. She has served on several boards in her community, including the Illinois Mennonite Conference’s Missional Leadership Team and the Peoria PlayHouse Children’s Museum fundraising committee. Bethany brings experience in management, merchandising and business operations to the MEDA board.
Drawn to MEDA by its work enabling sustainable livelihoods, Bethany holds a deep respect for the organization’s vision and mission.
Bethany lives in Illinois with her husband Russ, and attends First Mennonite of Morton Illinois.Close
Crystal Weaver is a visionary entrepreneur who thrives on creating businesses that contribute to the social landscape of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is passionate about creating job opportunities within the hospitality sector that are meaningful, empowering and forward-thinking while also connecting people to places in ways that have lasting impact.
Her strong work ethic and commitment to the city have been evident in the success of Prince St. Cafe, Passenger Coffee Roasting, as well as prior city business ventures in a market stand and residential housing. Crystal is co-owner of Commons Company, Passenger Coffee Roasters, Prince Street Café, Surveyor Hotel and Blue Line Lancaster. She is active on multiple organization boards, including Fields of Hope and the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design.
Crystal brings expertise in human resources and business management alongside a background in psychology from her studies at Westminster Theological Seminary. Her experience running a B Corp Company and leveraging the capacity of business to address social issues brings a social entrepreneurship lens to her role with the board. Crystal became a director in 2017, led by her belief that business is a force for good.
Crystal lives in Pennsylvania and attends The Worship Center church.
Dallas Steiner is CEO of Venture Products Inc. with its headquarters in Orrville, Ohio. Venture is a global company that designs and manufactures two product lines: VENTRAC, a compact tractor with over 30 commercial grade, and TILMOR, a small agricultural tractor built for small-scale farms. With more than 40 years of experience in designing, manufacturing, and marketing outdoor power and agricultural equipment, Dallas is responsible for leading product growth in global markets and provides leadership to expanding export sales. He has vast experience in global networking and relationship building around the world.
Dallas’s first acquaintance with MEDA goes back to the late 1970s when he served with Mennonite Central Committee in Bolivia and worked collaboratively with MEDA's agricultural team. "MEDA provides that spark of hope in a person's life that can ignite into a flame," Steiner says. "When that flame ignites, it makes such an impact and changes their own personal life, their families, schools, churches, communities and countries. I am honored to be a part of this type of activity!"
Dallas lives in Ohio with his wife Rhoda. They have 5 children and 11 grandchildren, and attend DaySpring Christian Fellowship in Massillon OHIO.Close
Donovan Nickel enjoyed a 30 year career in the high technology industry, primarily in semiconductor and enterprise computer system development. He served as VP at Hewlett Packard, leading global business divisions providing enterprise IT servers and storage equipment. After an early retirement, he has been involved with business and investment management, consulting, home construction, a farm operation of wheat, corn, and beans in Kansas, and engagement with nonprofits. Donovan has BS and MS degrees in Electronics and Computer Engineering, and an MBA from Lehigh University College of Business.
Donovan appreciates MEDA’s track record of effectiveness in creating positive development outcomes in frontier market countries. His values align with MEDA’s focus on sustainable economic and opportunity development through market based business principles and investments.
Donovan and his wife Jewel live in Colorado, and have three daughters. They attend church in Crested Butte.Close
Elke Horsch is a teacher at the Gerhardinger Schule in Schwandorf, Germany. The school has an emphasis on teaching kids with a migrant or refugee background.
Elke has a Master’s in Psychology from the University of Mannheim. She was born in Romania in a German family and emigrated in 1981 with her family to Germany. Elke is fluent in English, German, French and Romanian.
Elke has been an active member of MEDA for many years. She is thrilled by the idea of helping people to make a sustainable living, and has chosen to engage as a MEDA director out of this passion.
Elke lives with her husband Philipp in Schwandorf, Germany. They have three children. In 2005, they joined with 4 other families to establish the Mennonite church Evangelische Freikirche, Mennonitengemeinde Schwandorf where they continue to attend.Close
Jeremy works in global sales and scale engagement with nonprofit customers in the Microsoft Philanthropies Technology for Social Impact group. He has worked for both Microsoft Ireland and Microsoft Vietnam, recently serving as Chief Operations Officer and Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft Vietnam. Jeremy is an avid learner, earning degrees from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, George Washington University, and Rose-HuIman Institute of Technology.
Jeremy first connected with MEDA when he was in college through the Northern Indiana chapter. He appreciates MEDA's intersectional values of faith and development through the medium of business with a focus on vulnerable populations in emerging markets. Jeremy has acted as advisor of several technological improvements at MEDA over the years prior to joining the board.
Jeremy and his wife Pa'lee have enjoyed raising their three children across different cultures and being active members of church communities wherever they are living. Currently they are members of Soma Eastside Church in Seattle, Washington.
Jim Alvarez is chief financial officer of Everence, a financial institution with over $3 billion dollars in assets which offers banking, insurance and financial services with community benefits. Jim joined Everence in 2006 after gaining broad industry experience in food processing and international grain markets in Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Texas. He got his start in the family grain and feed business in 1988 after earning an MBA in Marketing from Pennsylvania State University and a BA Economics from Goshen College. Jim has served as Goshen College’s Director of Family Business, and as an Assistant Professor of Business. He brings expertise in strategic planning, finance, and economics to the MEDA board.
Drawn to MEDA by its focus on business solutions to poverty, Jim appreciates MEDA’s close connection of donors, staff and board members to project clients around the world. Jim describes his involvement with MEDA as a fulfilling experience, and the interactions with clients as bringing him “tremendous joy.”
In addition to his role as a board director with MEDA, he serves as board member for the Goshen Health System in Goshen, Indiana, and Mennonite Health System in Puerto Rico.
Jim lives with his wife Diane in Indiana. They attend Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship in Goshen, Indiana.Close
Jim Miller is founder and CEO of JMX Brands, a Florida e-commerce company recognized as one of the top 1,000 internet retailers in America. The company’s flagship brand, DutchCrafters, is the largest e-commerce brand of Amish-made furniture.
Jim was also founding director of Goshen College Sarasota, and has taught at Goshen and Eckerd colleges. He served as associate pastor at Bahia Vista Mennonite Church (1993-1998), in various capacities with Southeast Mennonite Conference, and in a transitional role as bi-vocational pastor at Covenant Mennonite Fellowship (2011-2013), where he still attends.
A graduate of Goshen College, he earned a Master’s Degree in management from the University of South Florida, and studied at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Eastern Mennonite University and Bethel Theological Seminary.
Jim gives generously of his time through community service, including twice as president of MEDA’s Sarasota chapter and playing a formative role in the chapter’s development. He is currently a member of the board of directors at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana.
“For me MEDA’s faith perspective is compelling. MEDA blends compassion with effective solutions to change economic systems. While this is not the only appropriate response to poverty, it certainly resonates with me as a way to use my gifts as a business leader to following the way of Jesus in a complex world.”
Jim and his wife, Linse, have two adult sons, James and Alexander, and two teenage daughters, Alysa and Brielle. His interests include tennis, boating, fishing, reading and traveling.Close
After graduating from UBC with a BSc degree in horticulture in 1980, John and his wife, Kelly, established Valleybrook Gardens Ltd. This wholesale perennial nursery grew into one of Canada's leading nurseries, with locations in British Columbia and Ontario. Recognized for its innovation and marketing, Valleybrook successfully created several plant brands to build leading market share. After forty years in the industry, John and Kelly sold their last nursery in 2019. They retain ownership of the plant brands and the perennials.com website, and continue to lead garden and nursery tours around the world through Valleybrook International Ventures Inc. John and Kelly were finalists in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year program, and winners of the Canadian Outstanding Young Farmer competition, among other awards and recognition.
John has been involved with MEDA since his university days. MEDA's work with small-scale producers in developing countries resonates with his own entrepreneurial spirit. "I love to see opportunity, get something started, get in there and be hands-on," he says. "I've always been a great fan of using good business principles to solve problems," he says. "I'm passionate about helping to identify and remove road blocks preventing enterpreneursentrepreneurs in developing countries from reaching their potential as well."John and Kelly have four daughters and twelve grandchildren. They attend South Abbotsford MB Church in Abbotsford.
Joyce Bontrager Lehman has been working in international economic development for the past 20 years, first with the MEDA Consulting Group and most recently as a Program Officer with the Financial Services for the Poor team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she managed a $100 million grant and contract portfolio that funded projects throughout the developing world. From 2003 through 2007, Joyce spent most of her time in Afghanistan working with the World Bank, USAID and other bi-lateral donors to establish and support a microfinance sector. Currently, she is an independent advisor with a focus on financial inclusion using digital delivery channels.
Joyce has a Master of Science in Taxation from Bentley College Graduate School of Business, and serves on the board of several organizations, including MiCredito (a microfinance institution in Nicaragua), First Microfinance Corporation of Egypt (a microfinance bank), and IMON (a microfinance bank in Tajikistan).
Joyce aligns closely with MEDA’s work, and appreciates the intentional involvement of board members in field projects and investments. "The business approach to poverty encourages, even demands, innovation and flexibility in project design. Things change quickly in the industry and MEDA has been good at responding to new priorities...if I didn't love and believe in what the organization is doing, I wouldn't be able to support it.”
Joyce loves to travel, and is nearing her goal of travel to 100 countries. Living in New Hampshire, she has two adult children who live on the west coast – one in Seattle and one in Portland, Oregon. Joyce is a member of the Mennonite Congregation of Boston.
Marianne Unruh is a serial entrepreneur and the owner of Fresh Solutions. Fresh Solutions provides fresh fruit and vegetable quality inspections for retailers and food service customers throughout North America. Prior to starting Fresh Solutions, Marianne worked for Loblaws, as the fresh grape and tree fruit category manager. Marianne brings expertise in the agri-food sector, business planning and operations, and an entrepreneurial spirit to the MEDA board. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, where she studied biology.
Marianne joined the MEDA board because of its alignment with her faith values and commitment to collaboration, accountability, transparency and innovation. She lives in Selma, California, USA and attends First Mennonite in Reedley.
Myrl Nofziger has had a 54-year career in real estate. He is board chairman of Hoogenbomm-Nofziger, which has led the development of has developed many properties in the vicinity of Goshen, IN, including apartments, commercial, retail, office, bank and industrial buildings. Myrl holds several residential and commercial real estate certifications and brings expertise in business management to the MEDA board.
A graduate of Goshen college and Indiana University, Myrl has served on many boards in his community - churches, businesses, banks and public companies. He is passionate about philanthropy, estate planning, deferred giving and working with endowments for non-profits. A long-time MEDA supporter and Sarona investor, Myrl has attended many conventions and traveled to various MEDA projects.
Myrl and his wife Phyllis, split their time between Goshen, where they attend College Mennonite Church, and Palm Springs California. They enjoy spending time with their four children and six grandchildren.Close
Rick is general manager of Wallenstein Feed & Supply Ltd., Ontario's largest feed mill. The business his father began in 1958 provides a complete range of nutritional solutions for Ontario's livestock and poultry farmers. WFS currently feeds about 25% of the farm animals in Ontario. WFS’s 240 employees include Rick’s wife Nancy, their youngest daughter Stephanie Rempel, and her husband Brian Rempel. Rick joined WFS in 1981 after working six years at General Motors. He has a Bachelor's in Math from University of Waterloo and an MBA from York University.
Rick sits on the board of directors for several organizations, including Kids Ability, Chesley Lake Camp and Hallman Chapel. Rick is an enthusiastic supporter of MEDA’s approach to “creating business solutions to poverty”. Rick and his wife Nancy, live in Elmira, Ontario and attend Floradale Mennonite Church. They have two adult daughters and two grandchildren.Close
With a background in Property and Casualty Insurance, following her graduation from Hesston College Verda established her own agency, Mutual Aid Services, working there for 20 years and overseeing day to day operations, human resources, fiscal management and marketing. Verda has belonged to several associations over the years, including the Professional Insurance Agents Association of Sarasota/Manatee County, the Professional Insurance Women’s Association of Sarasota/Manatee County, as well as several civic organizations and church boards in her community. Verda was recognized as Woman of the Year of Sarasota County based for her involvement with professional, civic, church, and child advocacy organizations.
Verda's 25 years of involvement with MEDA has inspired a passion and interest in international development, experiencing different cultures, and meeting new people. Prior to serving on the MEDA board, Verda engaged as a board member with the Sarasota, FL MEDA hub, assisting with audits and helping plan MEDA board tours to Tajikistan and Tanzania.
Verda lives with her husband, Dale, in Florida USA. They have 2 children and 6 grandchildren, and attend Cape Christian Fellowship in Cape Coral, Florida.Close
Yvonne Sieber is the Chief Philanthropy Officer of Bluestem Communities, a growing corporation of retirement communities in South Central Kansas. An alumnus of Hesston and Bethel Colleges, Vonnie obtained her MBA from Friends University in Kansas and has worked as Vice President of Advancement at Hesston College. Her career has spanned several executive roles across the healthcare industry, including positions in human resources, finance and philanthropy.
Yvonne was drawn to MEDA by its results-oriented business approach to poverty solutions, its focus on innovation, and the quality of leadership in the organization.
Yvonne and her husband, Gerry Sieber, live in Kansas. The couple has two adult daughters and 6 grandchildren. They attend Hesston Mennonite Church in Hesston, KS.
Zach Bishop is a Managing Director of Public Finance for D.A. Davidson & Co. in Denver, where he manages a team of bankers that specialize in raising capital for real estate development. He joined the board of MEDA in 2012 and is currently the Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee in addition to roles on subsidiary boards. Past and present board service includes MicroVest Capital Management, the Colorado Municipal Bond Dealers Association, and SupperBell Inc. Zach has an MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and a BA from Goshen College.
What drew Zach to MEDA was its sustainable, market-based approach that multiplies donor dollars with outside capital and focuses on combining technical assistance with investment. Zach has seen project impacts first-hand in Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and most-recently, in Jordan. He and his wife, Christina, live in Denver with their two young sons.Close
MEDA's expertise includes a full range of economic development tools: financial services, improved technology, business training, better access to markets and equity investment. Our work most often focuses on women, youth and people living in poverty in rural areas.
We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to earn a livelihood and that unleashing entrepreneurship is a powerful way to alleviate poverty.
Here's how we do that:
Without investment, businesses cannot expand their climate-smart initiatives, integrate women into value chains and build the capacity of local partners. MEDA provides assistance to enhance the impact of investments and help entrepreneurs build profitable businesses serving poorer customers and reducing investor risk.Learn More
Women, youth, ethnic minorities and other marginalized groups are often overlooked by service providers who do not view them as viable market segments. MEDA aims to reduce social and systemic barriers to their ability to earn a dignified livelihood by starting and running a business.Learn More
Disorganization and inefficiencies within supply chains and market systems leads to unsustainable solutions that exacerbate poverty. MEDA analyzes and understands target communities, sectors and market actors, associated barriers and opportunities, and the approaches that can sustainably shift behaviors and attitudes.Learn More
MEDA provides technical assistance to over 40 microfinance institutions and banks in 22 countries, encouraging the development of products. We specialize in technology for financial transactions, community-based savings and lending, and support services for micro to medium-sized enterprises.Learn More
MEDA incorporates a range of environmental assessments that ensures our work provides ecologically sustainable approaches to poverty alleviation while also partnering with businesses and entrepreneurs to promote the business case for good environmental management.Learn More
At MEDA, measurement matters. We don’t wait until the end of our projects to evaluate success. From the moment a project begins, we gather data to understand whether our interventions are achieving the results we expected, what we can learn, and which approaches need to be refined to help our clients reach their true potential.Learn More
|gifts that give back – gifts that benefit MEDA clients and your family|
Become a Legacy Partner … By making a planned charitable gift.
What are your goals for the present and future? Some of them may be big, while others are small. Yet if you are like most of us, you are looking for some important basics:
These can include:
It is possible to achieve all of these goals with some planning.
Please follow the links at left for learn more about the many benefits of gift plans for US and Canadian residents.
|make a gift to MEDA in your will|
|A charitable bequest is a gift that anyone can arrange at any life stage. If you have children or own property, you need to have a plan for the future. We hope you’ll include MEDA. A charitable bequest is still the easiest way for you to help our mission.
Your attorney can include language in your will or trust directing that a gift be made to MEDA. Your estate will benefit from an estate tax charitable deduction and you will have peace of mind knowing that you have helped create business solutions to poverty.
|create a lifetime income for yourself|
|There are a few things in life we can do for ourselves that also benefit others. A charitable gift annuity (CGA) is one of them. A CGA is a simple contract between you and MEDA, where you agree to donate a sum of money, stock, or other appreciated assets to MEDA. In return, we agree to pay you a fixed percentage of that amount every year for as long as you live.
There is a solution – a plan that provides you with fixed payments for life. You may avoid capital gains tax and leave a lasting gift to MEDA.
|grow your assets|
| Did you know there is a way to make a gift to MEDA and receive income that could grow over your lifetime? A charitable remainder trust is an arrangement funded with your cash or appreciated assets. The most common trust will pay you income each year based on a percentage of the trust assets.
Your income has the potential to increase over time with growth in the trust. This means more income for you and more remaining assets to help MEDA in the future. To view an illustration of the benefits of a charitable trust, call us today!
|receive income later in life|
You may not be ready yet for retirement, but if you are thinking about the future, a deferred charitable gift annuity is one way for you to make a gift now for income in the future.
When you make a gift of your cash or an appreciated asset (like stock) to MEDA today, we will promise to begin paying you income at a future date. This income will be fixed, meaning it will never change and will be paid to you at a rate based on your age and the payout date you select.
MEDA - Mennonite Economic Development Associates - is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. For over 65 years, MEDA has been creating business solutions to poverty that are sustainable, scalable, measureable and replicable.
MEDA began as an association of Mennonite business people who believed they were called to be faithful in generously sharing their abilities and resources. Continuing in that Christian tradition, MEDA welcomes all who share our values and want to join us in our mission.
MEDA has worked in over 70 countries and brings a unique market systems approach to project design that integrates technical assistance and access to capital. As an early leader in blended finance MEDA leverages public and private funding to advance social enterprises around the world that are positively impacting social, environmental and governance challenges in their communities.
That all people may unleash their God-given potential to earn a livelihood, provide for families and enrich communities.
MEDA creates business solutions to poverty.
Collaboration: We value inclusive and diverse partnerships regardless of income, gender, race, class, ethnicity, nationality or religion. We build relationships of trust and peace.
Accountability: We manage human, financial and environmental resources with care and integrity.
Respect: We treat clients, colleagues and partners with respect and dignity.
Entrepreneurship: We seek sustainable innovation. We promote justice by partnering with entrepreneurial people experiencing poverty to attain business success.
MEDA's origins are rooted in the aftermath of the second World War when thousands of Russian Mennonites fled as refugees to the country of Paraguay. There, they established strong communities that were grounded in peace, justice and entrepreneurship. Many of the people that fled violence in Russia were skilled craftspeople and capable farmers and were eager to set up their own businesses, but they lacked financial capital, and key resources.Learn More
MEDA's work is built on a foundation of Mennonite business roots and faith-based values, within the global context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We believe business solutions are effective interventions to address poverty. Through a market-systems approach and strategic partnerships, MEDA enables access to finance and provides business and technical expertise to build transformative agri-food market systems that create decent jobs, allowing traditionally excluded groups to become active participants in a sustainable economy.
If you would like to donate to MEDA through your bank, you may do so using the MEDA banking information below. Donors will receive a German donation certificate by mail, which is valid in other EU countries. Contact our office at the information below to arrange easy monthly donations.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49 2622-906184 or email Titus at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Bank account for Europe:
Bank name: VR-Bank Neuwied-Linz
IBAN: DE 60 57460117 0001151281
Freistellungsbescheid vom 11. April 2011
Your donation will be in US dollars.
Your donation will be in Canadian dollars.
MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) is an association of compassionate women and men who invest in people living in poverty around the world so they can unleash their potential to earn a livelihood to provide for their families and enrich their communities.
MEDA gratefully acknowledges the support of these key donors:
INFRONT: Impact Investing in Frontier Markets
INFRONT is working throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America to expand the ability of SMEs to access investment capital, adopt and implement enlightened business practices, and accurately measure social impact.
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a pivotal role in driving economic growth in emerging economies, however they face significant challenges to improving their businesses.
Led by MEDA, and in partnership with Sarona Asset Management and the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, INFRONT is comprised of two key components:
GroFin provides investment and business support to growing businesses in Africa and the Middle East. GroFin helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses through tailored finance and value-added business support.
Over a one-year period, MEDA advised GroFin on the development and implementation of a differentiated and responsive Gender Lens Investing (GLI) strategy.
Informed by in-depth market research in Ghana, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa, the GLI strategy focuses primarily on closing the persistent access-to-finance gap faced by women-owned businesses in the markets in which GroFin’s SGB Fund invests.
In addition, the GLI strategy seeks to increase economic opportunities for women throughout portfolio company operations including the workforce, supply chain and customer base.
The consultancy included setting GroFin’s strategic GLI direction, establishing a gender policy and creating a GLI toolkit, training and impact measurement framework to build capacity of the GroFin team to champion and apply the GLI strategy in practice.