Kaylene Alvarez, Founder & CEO of Athena Global
Kaylene is a development finance specialist with over 25 years’ experience in both the private and public sectors in impact investing, access to finance, SME/Entrepreneurial financing, gender lens investing (GLI) and risk management. Over the course of her career, she has worked in grass roots level organization in community development and microfinance, as well as on Wall Street in Mergers & Acquisitions for financial services companies in emerging markets, and for International Finance Corporation (IFC). She launched Athena Global to help bridge the gap for providing impact and blended finance capital to grow sustainable businesses in emerging markets, with a focus on SME, gender-lens and tech-enhanced financial services businesses.
Kaylene believes passionately about using finance as a tool for social good. She is on the impact investing committees for Convergence Design Funding Window (Asia), The Denver Foundation, Gary Community Foundation (Denver) and Indonesia Women’s Empowerment Fund (IWEF). She also mentors a variety of SME businesses. Kaylene finished her MBA from the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She is a returned US Peace Corps Volunteer, an avid reader, novice Vipassana meditation practitioner and textile aficionado.
Danielle Givens, Head of Operations
Danielle Givens has more than 15 years working in the international non-profit sector focused on building gender equity within integrated development programs. She started her career with the US Peace Corps serving in Romanian and has spent most of her career working closely with communities at the end of the road in various countries in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. She is skilled in participatory approaches to programming that incorporates sustainability models and outcome oriented M&E within partner organizations. She places a strong emphasis on valuing women, not counting them and applies this methodology to organizations to help shift their focus from women’s empower to gender equity. Danielle has managed programs in over 15 countries covering a variety of integrated programming, from health and malaria to livelihoods and gender based violence.
Danielle is dedicated to empowering women through the language of finance. Most recently Danielle has focused on the intersection of philanthropy and finance, working to empower local women owned small businesses to have a firm understanding and grasp of their businesses; from finance and accounting to marketing and sales. She works through a profit first model, which helps small business owners take control of their spending and prioritize positive profits and sustainable growth. Danielle has a Master’s in International Development and speaks Spanish, Romania and working Portuguese. She lives in Todos Santos,Mexico with her family.
Katherine Baez, Financial Inclusion & Risk Specialist
Katherine Baez is an experienced consultant in risk management and risk quantification, financial modeling, market research and business development with more than 15 years of professional experience focused mainly on finance, investment, insurance, and pensions.
Katherine is also an international consultant on financial inclusion and social protection, participating in projects mainly in LAC for multinational companies and institutions such as the World Bank and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF). Katherine is an economist with a Master of Actuarial Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and an MBA from Barna Management School.
Alvaro Espitia, Data & Business Model Specialist
Alvaro is a data & business model specialist with over 6 years’ experience in the private and public sectors in investment banking, market research and data management. He has worked in trade and regional integration at the World Bank, as well as part of the founding team of KIDU, a Polymath Ventures company, leading the market analysis and financial analysis for the rollout of a USD $550K company focused on serving working mothers in Latin America.
Jose Luis Martinez Gomez, SME Specialist
Jose Luis is an entrepreneur in the storage services sector; providing consulting and advisory services in the expansion and
development of businesses and products for SMEs. He worked for more than 10 years in the financial sector (as a stock broker) in product areas for SMEs; generating new products and services, seeking business opportunities, participating in projects for clients of the SME segment and strategic planning.