Tania Laden, Co-Founder & Executive Director
Tania earned her B.S. from Stanford University, where she graduated with a degree in Science, Technology and Society with a focus on Management Science & Engineering. Tania joined LivelyHoods at the end of 2010, bringing her global business acumen and experience to the organization. Prior to LivelyHoods, Tania worked as a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley, where she focused on assisting non-profits and social ventures manage their assets and investments. As a Business & Technology Analyst at EZLearn, an educational technology start-up in Brazil, Tania assisted with managing the technology team and customer outreach activities for over 10,000 customers. After serving as an adviser and volunteer for two years with KITO International, Tania moved to Kenya to build and manage iSmart, the first sales agent network created by LivelyHoods. Tania is recognized as a 2011 Mara Foundation Entrepreneur Fellow.
Brian Odhiambo, Director of Operations
Brian Odhiambo is an honors graduate from Yale University with degrees in Political Science and African Studies. A week after graduation, he joined the management team that started Jumia, a leading and award-winning e-commerce platform across Africa. He headed the general merchandise department of the business and helped grow profits across product categories month on month. Brian then moved to Zambia to co-found, Zamsolar, a last-mile distribution company focused on creating employment and delivering energy solutions to poor populations in Zambia. Brian grew the company’s national branch network from 1 to 10 branches and recruited and managed a staff of 20 full-time and 400 part-time personnel. With this team, he grew monthly revenues from $3000 per month to up to $40,000 per month in the company’s first year. This represents more than 5000 annual product sales and at least 15,000 lives impacted. Brian is a winner of several fellowships and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Fair Observer, Yale Daily News, Yale Monthly Magazine, Ayiba Magazine among others.
Alex Govinda, iSmart Kenya Co-Founder, Recruitment & Training Manager
Alex Beru Govinda has been a key advisor since the very beginning and was instrumental in the creation of iSmart Kenya. Alex grew up hustling on the streets of Kawangware, moving in and out of orphanages and centers for street children, but now happily says that he has finally found a home and future with iSmart. Alex continues to partner with staff on developing recruitment, operations, programming and business strategies. He is a high performer and his sales numbers have been unbeatable. He has dreams of starting his own business and meanwhile spends his free time pursuing his passion for hip hop, rapping under the name ‘Harakiri’.
Finorah Manyala, Sales Manager
Finorah volunteered to advance the iSmart Kenya mission for an entire year until it was discovered that she had the skills to manage the office. Because of her passion for development she studied social work received her diploma in Social Work & Community Development in 2008. Finorah found a new, unexpected way to help the community: by managing an effective business that delivers products that improve the quality of life for the customer and the community. She now dreams of studying business to continue growing her skills as she explores the field of social entrepreneurship.
Becca Gentile, Director of Finance, USA
Becca earned her MBA from LEEDS School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned her B.S. in Biology from Colorado College, where she graduated cum laude. Becca’s interest in business, development and East Africa led to her to begin working with LivelyHoods since its inception. Her background has made her an invaluable resource in the developing LivelyHood’s financial and operational foundation. She previously worked with the 52 Kids Foundation and Educate!, two social enterprises in Uganda. Working with various consulting groups and non-profits, Becca has researched and developed start-up execution plans, and sustainable business plans for social enterprises in emerging markets.
THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Maria Springer, LivelyHoods Co-Founder
Los Angeles, California
Learn more about Maria on LinkedIn: Maria Springer
Pamela Roussos, CMO of AppFirst
New York City, New York
Learn more about Pamela on LinkedIn: Pamela Roussos
Jade Van Doren, CEO of TechForward
San Francisco, California
Learn more about Jade on LinkedIn: Jade Van Doren
Carrie Feigel Bischke, Associate Director of Marketing of UbiSoft
San Francisco, California
Learn more about Carrie on LinkedIn: Carrie Feigel Bischke
Lisa Parrot, Director of Program Development and Quality, Save the Children
Learn more about Lisa on LinkedIn: Lisa Parrot