Semilla Nueva is overseen by a Board of Directors comprised of experts in agronomy, business, and international development.
For 37 years, Keith L. Andrews labored in Central America in agricultural and rural development, in technological, academic, and international institutions. As a University of Florida professor, he researched and taught in El Salvador and Honduras. He was President of Zamorano University in Honduras for nearly a decade. Then he served as National Representative of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture in El Salvador and Guatemala. Keith is author or coauthor of over 100 refereed-publications as well as four books on Central American agriculture, education, and rural development. He now attempts to have a positive impact through his sculptural project, “100 People Who Deserve a Monument But Will Never Have One Unless I Do It For Them”.
Michael has a wide breadth of experience facilitating, leading, and executing demanding technical projects, holding a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University. Michael first learned of Semilla Nueva in 2013 during a 30 day trip to Guatemala. During his time with Semilla Nueva he participated in the testing and redesign of human-powered sesame and corn planters for the no-till soil program. Joining the board in December 2015, Michael is excited to help guide the future growth and positive impact of Semilla Nueva.
Dawn became aware of Semilla Nueva in 2011, through Rotary International. She immediately began volunteering with the organization, after hearing about the positive impact that Semilla Nueva was having. She has since visited the operations in Guatemala, and seen, firsthand, what the organization can accomplish. Dawn looks forward to her work on the board to help further the mission and vision of Semilla Nueva. She holds a BBA in Marketing with a minor in Communications from Boise State University and has worked in sales and marketing throughout her career.
John Lodal is a retired engineer from Hewlett Packard. He holds three US patents. He is a member of the Boise Sunrise Rotary Club. He is a cancer survivor. He is a musician who plays trombone in the Boise Straight Ahead Jazz Big Band as well as playing bass guitar for any ensemble that asks him to sit in. He has been to Guatemala three times and is fully supportive of the compelling value proposition that Semilla Nueva is developing This true root cause solution to endemic malnutrition is unique in the space of social entrepreneurship. In his spare time, John enjoys hitting the gym, skiing, gardening, travel, and chasing his three grandchildren. Let’s change the world together. Carpe Diem!
Jerry Brady is president of The Post Company, a family and employee-owned newspaper company in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Jerry has a strong background in international affairs and development, practicing international trade law in Washington, D.C, serving as assistant to Idaho Senator Frank Church, and holding leadership positions in the Peace Corps for five years. Jerry co-founded ACCION International, a world leader in micro-financing for entrepreneurs in the Third World.
John L. (Jack) Fiedler is a health and nutrition economist who retired in 2017 after working with the International Food Policy Research Institute since 2009. He has worked in international health and nutrition for more than 35 years in more than 50 countries. His work includes feasibility assessments, program design, cost and cost-effectiveness analyses, and assessments of a variety of nutrition programs including, fortification programs, community-based growth monitoring and promotion, supplementation programs, integrated child health packages and ex ante studies of biofortified staples. Most recently his work has focused on strengthening the use of household consumption and expenditure surveys as a tool for assessing population nutrition status and food systems. He has published more than 140 articles in refereed journals.
Kenneth has lived and worked in Central America for over 20 years. With post-graduate degrees from the Harvard Business School, he specializes in agribusiness management and economic development, with positions in academia and private sector consulting. A former Peace Corps Volunteer (Colombia), he has pursued a career combining academic teaching, research and management, serving as Associate Academic Dean at the INCAE Business School, Dean of the Arthur D. Little School of Management, and President of Zamorano University in Honduras. He has also led numerous consulting projects focused on agribusiness, rural development, health and nutrition.
Michele grew up in NJ, received her BS in Business at University of Idaho and MBA at BSU. She has worked in the financial sector for a variety of business sectors including high tech, construction and Head Start, a local non-profit. Michele’s passion is international development work. As a former Peace Corp volunteer in Kenya, she focused on small business development for farmers and the informal sectors. For the past five years Michele has worked on US AID farmer to farmer programs in Ghana, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan with the primary focus on small business development. Her and her husband are addicted travelers, taking advantage of every opportunity to explore the corners of the world. Thank you; I look forward to the opportunity to work with Semilla Nueva!
David Morgan has a master’s degree in Agricultural and Forestry Science from Oxford University in the UK. He retired from a 38-year corporate career in agriculture at the end of 2017. David has lived and worked in the UK, Venezuela, Canada, France, Singapore, USA, and Switzerland; he has helped farmers across the world to improve their productivity through the introduction of new technologies. David has held senior executive roles in companies such as Bayer and Syngenta. Since retirement, he remains connected to the agricultural industry through consulting work and as a board member of non-profit organizations, including Semilla Nueva. David lives on a 400-year-old farmstead in the Peak District National Park of the UK.
Dave Smith toured Semilla Nueva’s operations in 2018 and was inspired by its entrepreneurial spirit and approach to attacking malnutrition in Guatemala. Dave brings 40 years of business experience to the board role, including founding his own company (Marathon Partners, LLC) in 2002. Most recently, Dave owned and served as CEO of a frozen food company, Buddy’s Kitchen, Inc. In addition to Semilla Nueva, Dave serves on the boards of two for-profit enterprises: Dr. In the Kitchen, LLC and SR Realty Trust. Dave has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an BA in Economics from Macalester College.
Mr. Toasa is currently the Director of Operations and Public Relations at Wilkes Legal, an immigration law firm based in Takoma Park, MD. Prior to joining Wilkes Legal, Mr. Toasa spent ten years at the Inter-American Foundation as the Representative for Guatemala and Belize. Mr. Toasa is skilled at building relationships across sectors and borders. In addition to co-leading delegations of federal agency and congressional staff, he has engaged with officials at all levels of government, representatives from the international community and the private sector, community leaders, and everyday citizens. Since January of 2019, Mr. Toasa has served as a personal investor in indigenous-led initiatives in Guatemala. He is a native Spanish speaker and fluent in English.
Becca first learned of Semilla Nueva’s work while serving as the Director of International Giving for the David Weekley Family Foundation. Her portfolio focused on health, education, and economic opportunity with a geographic interest in East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America. During her tenure, she also served as an Executive Committee member for the Big Bang Philanthropy Group. Currently, Becca works in Business and Partnership Development for One Acre Fund, a social enterprise that supplies smallholder farmers with the tools and financing to grow their way out of hunger and poverty. Becca received her MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship from The Acton School of Business and a BA in International Community Development from Covenant College.
Thank You to Our Former Board Members
Ron Van Auker, Jr.