Andy Feldman, Executive Director, has spent over 5 years involved with DLG in various capacities, and is continually inspired by the dedication and drive of small-scale coffee farmers. He enjoys biking, Latin American films and books, and playing with the Antigua ultimate club. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Yale University.
Timoteo Minas serves as agricultural trainer, designing and implementing peer-to-peer programs to teach best practices to DLG's partner cooperatives. Timoteo helped found the San Miguel Escobar co-op in 2006 and has held a number of leadership roles. His coffee fields are on Volcan Agua, with a hike of at least 45 minutes at his speed (and much slower for those of us from lower altitudes). His wife is a mean cook, so if you are lucky enough to get on his tour, make sure you include the meal.
David Wilson, Programs Coordinator, fell in love with Central America over the course of several origin trips while working as a roaster in the United States, and leapt at the opportunity to join the team of De la Gente in a more permanent capacity. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Architecture, and after several years in that field made the switch to coffee full-time in 2013. Since then he has worked as a barista, trainer, head roaster, and currently is co-owner of Vertical Coffee Roasters, a cafe and roastery in Reno, Nevada.
Julio Castellanos, Assistant Tourism Coordinator. Originally from Antigua, he has spent the last 11 years working in the tourism area in Guatemala & Costa Rica. Julio enjoys taking photos of landscapes or his home town of Antigua. He also loves music, playing guitar, bass, and singing. Julio currently plays in a band and released an album in 2016. An animal lover, he rescued 5 street dogs that he adopted, 3 in Costa Rica and 2 in Guatemala.
Emmy Grace, Director of Community Engagement, is excited to be in Guatemala working with incredible community members and being part of an organization that offers visitors unique experiences. Emmy is passionate about environmental issues and enjoys Zumba classes and traveling in Latin America. She holds a M.A. in International Affairs and Natural Resources and Sustainable Development.
Laura Benoit, Director of Marketing & Communication first came to Guatemala to work with artisans and women's groups; it was during this time that she fell in love with the culture, people & places. Laura was very happy to return after completing a fellowship focused on scaling social ventures in Peru. Laura is excited to work in the coffee sector with an organization that places such high value on sustainability and people. She holds a M.A. in Public Administration & Social Venture Management.
Jaime Vielman, Director of Finance, was born and raised in Jocotenango, Guatemala. He studied accounting & auditing at Mariano Galvez University of Guatemala and brings a plethora of experience in the world of budgeting. Jaime is excited to be a part of De la Gente, where his passion for improving the lives of co-nationals is part of his daily job, managing payments to cooperatives and farmers. In his free time, Jaime enjoys practicing English, meeting new people, salsa dancing, and all types of outdoor activities!
Alice Bayer, Director of Development. Alice spent most of her teenage years in the coffee shops of Vienna, Austria, and feels lucky to combine her love for coffee with her passion for improving the lives of its producers. After completing a Masters in Development Studies at SOAS and working for indigenous peoples' rights from an office in London, Alice followed her dream by relocating to Latin America to work for community development initiatives in Colombia, Mexico, and now Guatemala.
Joe Lawrence, translator extraordinaire, is originally from the south of England. He has been living and working in Latin America for close to five years, starting in Colombia and Ecuador, and more recently exploring Nicaragua and Guatemala. Joe loves his job because it gets him on the plantations with the farmers, hiking and enjoying the wonderful views from Volcán de Agua.
Les Stoneham: Les is an experienced and accomplished coffee professional. His constant drive to learn and develop others' passions and talents shapes the culture of his company, Deeper Roots Coffee. He has been involved in all aspects of the coffee industry from roasting, technical work, training and sourcing. In 2009, Les founded Deeper Roots Development to sustain his continued work with coffee farmers in Guatemala and further development work with coffee growers worldwide.
Rupesh Shah is an experienced business and product leader with leadership and management experience in a variety of different domains including corporate, social enterprise, nonprofit, and as a CSR leader. Most recently he was Executive Director of LAUNCH, an innovation platform and start-up accelerator. Previously, Rupesh led Simpa Energy’s end-to- end customer experience including the product, technology, marketing, and customer service. Rupesh has consulted for AmeriCorps, the Presidio Leadership Center, the Corporation for National Service, Gorbachev Foundation, the United Nations and various other leading social organizations around the world. He has a MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University, and a BA from the University of California, San Diego.
Deborah Feldman: Debbie has served in numerous leadership roles at Congregation Beth El, Sudbury, and is currently an ESL tutor, teaching assistant, and test administrator for immigrants learning English through the FAESL+ and Literacy Unlimited programs. She has written many successful grant applications for the Framingham Public Schools. Previously she was a software engineer at Stratus Computer and a senior staff consultant at Arthur Andersen & Co. She holds an A.B. in Philosophy from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the University of Michigan.
Catriona Forrester: Catriona's international equities experience of over seven years as both analyst and portfolio manager has provided her with expertise in financial modeling and analysis, portfolio management, building relationships with investors, and contributing to capital raising efforts. She has a BA from University of New South Wales and postgraduate degrees in finance, accounting and commercial law from Macquarie University, Deakin University and University of Technology, Sydney.
Professor Ira Silver: Professor Silver is an associate professor of sociology, Framingham State University. His research focuses on economic opportunity and philanthropy. He has written or edited 4 books, most recently Giving Hope: How You Can Restore the American Dream and authors the blog Opp for all. He holds a B.A. summa cum laude in sociology from Amherst College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University.