Semilla Nueva is overseen by a Board of Directors comprised of experts in agronomy, business, and international development.


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.

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!

Maureen O’Toole is Founder of the STEM AC Foundation and a champion for education. She combines her education and professional experience to connect
education with industry and individuals to fund life-shaping STEM experiences and opportunities across Idaho. Maureen served in leadership roles in the US Army for 26 years, participating in the regular Army, Army Reserves, and the National Guard. As an Idaho public school teacher and a private music teacher, she helped hundreds of young people create positive, powerful lives. While CEO of Girl Scouts of Silver Sage, she reconnected people, communities and businesses to this historic out-of-school education and leadership program. Maureen and husband Marty share 24 years together and three fantastic adult children.

Mike first became aware of Semilla Nueva in November 2011 through his association with Rotary International where he served as president of his local Rotary Club in Idaho. Mike continues to serve as one of the main contacts between SN and Rotary, helping to secure SN’s first significant grant from Rotary in 2012. He worked in various program management positions at Hewlett Packard for 23 years before retiring in late 2013, and has since returned to the working world as the Director of Materials and Strategic Sourcing for Smoke Guard, Inc. Mike has been to Guatemala to visit Semilla Nueva’s projects four times.

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.

Ron is an Idaho native, who grew up in Meridian and attended Meridian High School. He earned a BA in Business with an emphasis in Finance at the University of Oregon in 2005. After college he joined the family business, Van Auker Companies, in Meridian, which is a construction and real estate development company that his father founded in Caldwell in the 1960s. Ron has held many positions at the company, and is currently responsible for the day-to-day management of the business. Ron serves as a member of the Boise State University College of Business of Economics Advisory Council.