Chief Executive Officer
Prior to working at Esperanza, Alex worked in a major government defense company for 11 years. She began serving in Esperanza in March 2012 as the Vice President of Public Affairs and Caribbean Investment prior to taking on her new role in February 2014. Alex received her MBA from Belhaven College, a B.S. from Eastern Mennonite University, and graduated from the Lifework Leadership Program in 2012. Alex was asked to join the Board of Directors in December 2014.
Finance & Administration Manager
Pedro Castillo holds a Bachelor Degree in Commercial Education with an emphasis in Accounting from the School of Accounting and an Associate Degree in Business Education from Dominican World University. He has more than 40 years working in community organizations of which 9 of these years have been with Esperanza International.
Nelly has more than 15 years of experience in microfinance in the Dominican Republic. She earned degrees in both accounting and education. Nelly identifies with Esperanza’s love for Jesus and wants to focus on serving impoverished communities.
Merari holds a degree in Industrial Psychology and has more than 10 years of experience in the Human Resources field. Before starting with Esperanza she worked in Human Resources for organizations in the financial sector. In 2011 she received her Masters in Strategic Management of Humans Resources Talent. She started working with Esperanza in 2013 to strengthen the Human Resources Department, understanding that staff are the most important and valuable asset of Esperanza International.
Darlyn Gratereaux Alcántara
Darlyn started with Esperanza in 2011 as a microfinance accountant and later an Account Manager in 2016. She has an account degree from Universidad Tecnologica de Santiago, with additional studies in Taxes, Evaluation and Credit Management. Darlyn has also completed workshops in Microfinance and Analysis of Financial Performance Indicators for Microfinance.
Dave is a former MLB player; he played for the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers during his 13-year professional career. Dave was a color commentator for the Seattle Mariners TV and radio broadcasts, and since 2007, he has co-hosted the post game show on the Mariners’ radio network. He was also named the manager of the Everett Aquasox, an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, for the 2014 season. In 1995, Dave founded Esperanza International together with his wife Victoria.
Ashley is a graduate from Baylor University having received her Masters in Social Work with a certificate in Christian Ministry and Religion. Ashley has a background in public policy, having worked at the Texas Capitol in nonprofit advocacy and policy development. She is now a part of The Initiative Network’s 72 Program in the Dallas area, and is a Reading Buddy to elementary-aged children. Ashley served alongside Youth With A Mission in the Dominican Republic while in college and runs a small hand-lettering business during her free time. Ashley joined the Esperanza International team in July of 2017 and is passionate about empowering the poor through sustainable, life-giving opportunities.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dave Valle cofounded Esperanza International in 1995 with his wife, Victoria after playing winter baseball in the Dominican Republic and seeing the needs of the children on the island. Dave is a former Major League baseball player for the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and Texas Rangers from 1984 to 1996. In 2000, Dave was asked to become the President and CEO of Esperanza and has grown the loan program to 235,000 loans disbursed, totaling more than $74 million dollars. During that time, both the school and water loan programs were implemented.
Chairman of the Board
Toby Kilgore is an experienced business leader with an extensive track record of over 25 years working with leading domestic and international institutions to successfully address core issues of strategic focus and differentiation, operating model effectiveness and scalability, and organizational alignment and transformation. Toby received an MBA from Harvard University, and a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Toby was a partner at A.T. Kearney where he had various responsibilities, including Co-Head of the North America Financial Institutions Group and lead partner on a number of key accounts. Toby also held senior positions at Bank of America and in PwC’s Strategy Consulting Group. From 2005 through early 2017, Toby was a partner in the Strategy and Operations practice of Deloitte Consulting. Firm leadership roles included Deloitte’s Australian banking consulting practice leader and advisory board member of the Deloitte Center for Banking Solutions.
Chief Executive Officer
Prior to working at Esperanza, Alex worked in a major government defense company for 11 years. She began serving with Esperanza in March 2012 as the Vice President of Public Affairs and Caribbean Investment prior to taking becoming Director in February 2014. Alex received her MBA from Belhaven College, a B.S. from Eastern Mennonite University, and graduated from the Lifework Leadership Program in 2012. Alex joined the Esperanza Board of Directors in December 2014.
Cheryl received a BS degree in Education from the University of Minnesota. She began her career teaching in the Minneapolis school system, With 45 years of experience in the restaurant industry, she was a franchisee for Dairy Queen and McDonald’s and was a Director for McDonald’s Corporation. Currently, Cheryl is living out her life’s mission: trusting in the Lord to use her skills to encourage and influence business people who desire to become all God has called them to be, while providing for their families through impacting their community and God’s Kingdom. She has four children, three of whom are adopted and have great stories about how they came into her family.
David works for HOPE International, a partner of Esperanza. As the vice president of operations, he leads HOPE’s network of credit and savings programs in addition to overseeing technology and spiritual integration activities. David graduated magna cum laude from Duke University with a degree in mechanical engineering, then worked for Capital One Bank for 17 years. At Capital One he served in a variety of leadership roles in operations, marketing, product development, and credit management. David lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife Jennifer and two children.
Jenn serves as the Cofounder and CEO of Winnable, a technology startup, and she and her husband own a retail location for Shaka’s Hawaii. Jenn spent nearly 6 years with HOPE International growing the West Coast donor base, and ultimately serving as a Regional Development Director assisting with the growth and leadership of the national and international team of regional representatives. She also served on the Executive Team at HOPE for 2 years. Jenn began her career in executive recruiting after graduating from the University of Southern California. She and her husband, Kevin, live in Orange County, California.
Executive coach and trainer. Jerameel specializes in leadership and team development through his firm Achieve Consulting Group. He also leads Crown Financial Ministries in his home country, Dominican Republic, serving as personal finances and career coach. Jerameel holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from UNPHU University and master’s degree in Executive Management from INTEC University. Certified Master Trainer of the Career Direct® career orientation system for the Spanish market. Father of three and loving husband to one for more than 20 years.
Scott Olson has more than 18 years of diverse legal and business experience. His prior legal experience includes serving as a Managing Partner with Larson King, LLP from 2002-2003; founding and serving as Managing Shareholder for the Dallas office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP; and serving as Co-Founder and a Managing Director of asset-based hedge fund PBL from 2006 to 2010, which managed over a billion dollars in investments. Currently, Scott is a Partner with Turtle Creek Holdings, an investment partnership focused on private equity and venture capital investments. He is also the CEO and President of Pathway Healthcare. Scott graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and also holds a JD from Vanderbilt Law School, where he sat on the board for three years. Further, Scott serves in his church as a lay leader, deacon, teacher, and board member of the church foundation. He and his wife Erin have been married since 2000 and have three children.