President & CEO
Karen joined Friendship Bridge in May 2009. Prior to her transition to international nonprofit work, she was the President and COO for Key Equipment Finance, Global Vendor Services, a division of KeyCorp where she had responsibility for the leasing business in 26 countries. In addition to KeyCorp, Karen spent 12 years with ATT Capital, the financing arm of AT&T, successfully building and managing numerous technology manufacturer private label customer finance programs. As an industry leader, Karen has been a frequent speaker and author on the subjects of global leasing, outsourced partnerships, women in leasing and leadership training. Karen received a BA in economics from the University of California, San Diego, and completed executive education programs at Duke University, the Fuqua School of Business and Case Western University.
Astrid Cardona de Paiz
Guatemala Country Director
Astrid Yerlin Cordona Morán de Paiz, a native of Guatemala has a strong finance background, including six years with KPMG and two years as a finance consultant with the World Bank. She was most recently an accountant for Pepsico Beverages C.A. before moving from Guatemala City to Panajachel, Sololá, to focus on helping rural Guatemalan women. Astrid graduated cum laude from the Universidad Francisco Marroquín located in Guatemala City. Astrid is a CPA and has her MBA from ESAB, La Escola Superior de Alta Gerencia.
Daniel began working with Friendship Bridge in early 2017. He is a Public Accountant and Auditor. Daniel has a Master Degree in Tax Consulting. He brings to the organization 18 years of experience in microfinance with Share Association of Guatemala. His last position he was Sub Financial Manager, however he started as a loan officer, he was in internal audit, credit and more recently in finance. In addition, he is bringing to the organization specific knowledge of accounting policies, internal controls, implementing changes in processes and systems, budgeting, investor relations and customer service. In his last position, he worked with a team of 10 and contributed to the sustainability and healthy growth of Share Association’s portfolio.
Rebecca has two decades of hands-on experience in accounting and finance for small, private organizations, including nonprofits. Prior to joining Friendship Bridge, she worked primarily in the medical devices industry, serving as an original team member in seven startups. She helped achieve successful exits for the original shareholders in most of these startups and spring boarded three to industry leaders. Rebecca’s nonprofit work includes co-directing an organization that provided video-filmmaking education to high school students in and around Boulder, Colorado. Rebecca has a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois.
Director of People Services
Heidy started in early 2017 in the newly created position of Director of People Services. Heidy brings to Friendship Bridge a long track record in people management, training, career development, defining and monitoring of key success indicators, and advisory of business women and entrepreneurs. She worked for 10 years as a leader and executive at the Guatemalan Managers’ Association (AGG in Spanish). Most recently, Heidy worked at Energuate as Manager of Social Management and Corporate Social Responsibility, monitoring and evaluating social and commercial projects, working on the recovery and sustainability of clients, leading the area of social intelligence for assertive decision making, supporting conflict resolution and managing strategic alliances.
Vice President, Global Communications & Partnerships
Brandi was most recently the Director of Development for the Boulder County AIDS Project. Prior to this role, she served as the volunteer coordinator for Deutsche Bank’s Social Investment Funds Group, in addition to holding her full-time position on the Securitization Team of the Loan Exposure Management Group at DB in New York City. Her volunteer position with DB secured her a role on the Board of Directors of the Microfinance Club of New York where she served as Events Co-Chair. In this role, she organized monthly events and panels on microfinance. In addition, Brandi served as a consultant through DB for two months at an MFI in western India called Mann Deshi Bank. Brandi has fundraised in paid and volunteer positions for multiple organizations including The New York Botanical Garden and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. She has studied abroad in Northern India, China, the UK and Italy, in addition to volunteering at an AIDS Outreach Center and Orphanage in Tanzania. Brandi is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and holds a B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University. Brandi lives in the foothills of Boulder, Colorado with her husband, daughter and dog, Bubs.
Social Performance Manager
Caitlin is responsible for Social Performance Management (SPM) at Friendship Bridge. She works with leadership to develop a strategy to keep Friendship Bridge at the cutting edge of industry advances and trends, standards, and certifications. In addition, she created and leads a team that is responsible for monitoring and evaluation activities within the organization. Caitlin joined Friendship Bridge in 2000, when she began volunteering and interning for the organization, and she became an employee in 2009. Prior to becoming Social Performance Manager, Caitlin served in many positions in Friendship Bridge including Program and Project Manager, Development Associate, and Office Administrator. Caitlin holds a Master’s degree in international development, with a concentration in microfinance, from the Josef Korbel School for International Studies at the University of Denver. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado at Denver with a degree in international affairs with a minor in Spanish. Caitlin is trained as an advanced user for the Progress out of Poverty Index® by the Grameen Foundation, was the first external Certified Trainer for the PPI®.