FRANCISCO RAFAEL BARQUERO, B.SC., M.SC., Ph.D. – ADVISOR TO THE BOARD
Francisco received a diploma in Administration and Finance from the National Commerce Institute in Managua, Nicaragua in 1987 followed by a B.Sc. in education science from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Nicaragua (with honors) in 1988. He received an M.Sc. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1994 and a Ph.D. in economic development and finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. In 2003, he received a Diploma in Banking and Banking Law from American University.
In the 1990s, Francisco was as Assistant Professor at the National University of Nicaragua – Managua. He has written two books on microfinance and has contributed to another. He has also written several dozen papers on microfinance, agricultural credit, credit unions, the evaluation of locally-based credit programs and rural development and education.
Francisco is an acknowledged expert in microfinance, small enterprise, and agribusiness. He has more than 15 years of experience working primarily in Central America in the areas of microfinance, business training, community development, gender issues, social finance, co-op development, value chain finance, agribusiness and fair trade. During his career, he has evaluated and monitored the financial performance and social impact of many savings and credit co-ops and microfinance institutions throughout Latin America. He has as well designed and implemented a local microfinance institution in Nicaragua.
Francisco has carried out due diligence and has evaluated financial performance and credit risk of microfinance institutions, credit unions, and cooperatives exporting coffee. He has as well managed a variety of executive, administrative, financial and lending operations. He has developed specific instruments to quantitatively and qualitatively measure the organizational, administrative, lending, financial and social impact performance of microfinance institutions.
BD&P Law have been our lawyers from the very beginning! They prepared our corporate documents and have advised us on business and taxation matters ever since. They have generously supported our fund-raising events. Mike Flatters, a partner with BD&P has sat on our Board of Directors from the outset and is our CLO. We are grateful for their help.
TD Canada Trust have been our banker from the outset and has supported our fund-raising events. They have been very responsive to our needs.
Western Union Business Solutions have handled our foreign exchange needs and international funds transfer for many years. They are a fast, efficient partner.
JILLIAN LAM, B Comm, CPA, CA
Jillian received a B. Comm. degree from Queens University and followed this with a CPA, CA designation in 2014. After attending Queens, she worked in accounting and audit functions with Nexen Energy ULC and then Ernst & Young as a Senior Accountant, Assurance. She recently joined ATB and is currently Senior Manager, Business & Agriculture Profit Optimization.
Jillian is conversationally fluent in Spanish and Cantonese and has volunteered for a number of charities as well as the Chartered Accountant School of Business. She has many interests including photography, travel, languages and sports.
Jillian’s role with Open to Grow includes preparing grant applications, fund-raising initiatives and accounting and financial matters.