Our Team

USA Team

Tyler Gage
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Tyler Gage

Co-founder & Co-CEO

Tyler was born and raised just outside of Berkeley, CA. After his freshman year at Brown University, Tyler was given the unique opportunity to study Amazonian plants and languages in South America, and he soon became fascinated by the richness of the native culture and their relationship with the rainforest. He spent the better part of three years living throughout the upper Amazon and during that time, Tyler developed a passion for working with the indigenous communities, striving to find new, sustainable ways for them to earn a living while preserving their culture. While in Ecuador, Typer discovered guayusa, a local plant brewed like tea that has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years throughout the Ecuadorian communities. This little plant became Tyler\'s opportunity to help these communities thrive in the modern world. Tyler loves sharing guayusa and believes deeply in the transformative power of Runa\'s work. For his work, Tyler was named a Forbes \"30 under 30\" in the January 2013 issue. In his free time, Tyler enjoys playing soccer, frisbee, practicing yoga, traveling, and eating good food. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY near the Gowanus Canal, which will never be mistaken for the Amazon River.
Dan MacCombie
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Dan MacCombie

Co-founder & Co-CEO

Studying conservation and marine biology at Brown University, Dan took a life-changing three-month trip to Latin America where he connected with the rich cultures and landscapes and ultimately dedicated himself to supporting forests and the need to preserve and enhance the livelihoods of those who lived there. After graduating, he acted on this passion by developing Runa, a company whose commitment to the indigenous farmer and their forests aligns with Dan\'s devotion to sustainability and cultural conservation. For his work, Dan was named a Forbes \"30 under 30\" in the January 2013 issue. Dan lives in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn and enjoys music in all forms, hiking, scuba diving and exploring all corners of Brooklyn and NYC, often on a stereotypically single-speed bike that he\'s finally admitted to owning.
Jackie Lee-Peckham
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Jackie Lee-Peckham

VP of Operations
Hometown: Scotland UK

Jackie is our Executive Vice President of Operations. Jackie grew up in Scotland UK; she went to college in NYC then moved permanently to the USA when she was 20
years old. She graduated in 1987 from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC with Bachelors in Marketing and Business. Jackie brings 18 years of experience in the Natural and Specialty Food and Beverage industry to Runa. In her spare time, Jackie loves to ski, enjoys hiking, cooking, traveling, loves Runa and just chilling with friends and family.
Sara Perkins
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Sara Perkins

EVP of Finance
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

Sara joined Runa in June 2013 as the Executive Vice President of Finance and manages all aspects of Runa’s finances including forward business planning, historical reporting, internal controls and processes, fundraising, working capital finance and strategic business analysis.

Prior to joining Runa, Sara advised and invested in high growth consumer companies at Alliance Consumer Growth, a consumer-focused private equity fund. Sara has been involved in transactions with innovative consumer companies such as Chop’t, The Honest Kitchen, Krave Jerky and Shake Shack. Earlier in her career, Sara worked for Quilvest Private Equity, GE Global Sponsor Finance and Citigroup Corporate Investment Bank.

Sara holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Sara’s hometown is Minneapolis, MN and her favorite Runa flavor is guava all the way!
CJ James
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CJ James

Designer
Hometown: Kissimmee, FL

CJ James is the in-house designer for Runa. He oversees all design, websites, promotional materials, and more. In addition, he assists in creative storyboarding for many Runa marketing plans and enjoys educating others in creative design applications. Prior to Runa, CJ has been a graphic designer in a variety of industries including fashion, progressive politics, medical and radio. CJ hails from Central Florida and is a proud UCF Knight. He enjoys learning new things and is currently exploring new adventures in cooking, travel and the lifestyle that is Brooklyn.
Chris Kajander
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Chris Kajander

Director of Marketing / Southwest Sales Manager
Hometown: Houston, TX

Chris discovered guayusa while completing a graduate degree in International Education at Harvard. By chance, one of his roommates was Kichwa from Ecuador.  They became fast friends, and he and his wife introduced Chris to guayusa, breaking his addiction to coffee and fostering a love for the leaf.  After graduating he moved to Brooklyn and started working with Runa. In his free time, Chris plays basketball on the street-ball courts of Bed Stuy, Brooklyn and lights up dance floors in 2 of the 5 Burroughs. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese fluently, and he has backpacked through much of Latin America.
Sean Makau
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Sean Makau

Rocky Mountains Sales Manager
Hometown: Chico, CA

Sean came to Denver by way of a road trip, liked it, and began envisioning a market for Guayusa and Runa in the Rockies. Since graduating from Humboldt State, in Small Business Management, he has worked for several tea companies and began a Blog. He began blogging about Guayusa in 2009, and got hooked on Runa’s vision and values. He enjoys biking, travel, Lacrosse, and he recently discovered the ski slopes of the Rockies. Favorite quote: \"if you don’t have dreams, you have nightmares.” –Unknown
Nick McCorkmick
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Nick McCorkmick

VT Sales Representative
Hometown: Omaha, NE

Nick\'s love for indigenous culture and passion for sustainable development led him to write his senior thesis at the University of Portland on Argo-forestry.  He noticed after sifting through the esoteric realm of Carbon markets that conventional approaches grew “very little corn” for the native communities living on the land being traded.  When he discovered Runa, he resonated with their recognition of a much deeper value system, one that connects an ancient tradition and an international market.  This radically different approach inspired a cover letter for a job that had not yet been posted and he’s been spreading the Runa love around the country ever since.  Nick is a proud new Father of Orion Sage, a 1stgeneration Vermonter.
Angela Mohamed
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Angela Mohamed

NYC Marketing Associate
Hometown: Queens, NY

Raised in a large family, Angie has always been a team player and leader. A do it yourself attitude and proactive approach is what makes her stand out from the pack. Angie is never afraid to dirty her hands and attack challenges at their core, head on. In her high school and college days Angela was a standout athlete and captain of her softball teams. Angela was also an avid traveler during her youth. Before her time at Runa, she helped in the family business by running her father\'s gelato cafe, \"LaSalle\" in midtown Manhattan.
Mike Murray
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Mike Murray

California Sales Manager
Hometown: Milford, MA

Mike is Runa’s California Sales Rep and loves spreading the word about guayusa to anyone who will listen. Prior to Runa, Mike worked in the wholesale seafood industry for 5 years in the Bay Area, selling high quality and environmentally responsible seafood to some of the best restaurants in North America. To help him through the early morning hours, Mike developed a crippling addiction to coffee that would literally leave him sick to his stomach. Mike has since switched to guayusa which energizes without the negative physical effects. Outside of work, Mike can often be found surfing at Ocean Beach, hiking in Marin, or riding his bike around his adopted home of San Francisco.
AJ Nocito
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AJ Nocito

Brand Ambassador
Hometown: New York, NY

AJ Nocito hails from the grand city of New York. As an avid music and movement enthusiast he enjoys sparking the passions of others. Primarily a drummer, he also dabbles with singing and playing guitar. Between yoga and parkour keeping it moving is his way of life. He was also the first employee at KBBK Kombucha Brooklyn where he headed sales, markets and events. His passion for the arts and music are why he vibes so well with Runa. Runa helps him love to love the things he loves to do.
Angela Nokes
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Angela Nokes

Accounts Payable
Hometown: TBD

TBD
Oliver Berlic
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Oliver Berlic


Oliver \"Oli\" Berlic has been professionally riding and teaching Kiteboarding for over 7 years throughout Brazil, the Caribbean and the East Coast U.S.A. He is the New York Sales Representative and Pro-Team Manager for Runa.
Corey Scult
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Corey Scult

Marketing Manager
Hometown: Wayland, MA

Growing up in a small town near Boston, Corey always enjoyed being outdoors.  At Brown University he studied economics and biology, focusing specifically on conservation and contemporary environmental issues.  These interests led Corey to Runa in Brooklyn, where he is excited to be part of a business that has a positive environmental and social impact.  As Runa’s Marketing Coordinator, Corey enjoys the responsibilities of a “jack of all trades.”  Among other roles, he oversees the summer internship and college ambassador programs; coordinates events, partnerships, and tradeshows; and manages social media.  Corey has a passion for juggling, running, watching Red Sox games, and waterskiing (though usually not all at the same time).
Thea Stutsman
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Thea Stutsman

Administrative Coordinator
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Originally from sunny Southern California and a long-time tea lover, Thea graduated from Dartmouth College and emerged from the woods of New Hampshire into the bustling city of New York to join the Runa team. She became interested in the effect of cross-cultural social enterprises within the Americas after spending time in Nicaragua.  At Runa, Thea manages HQ operations and helps glue the Team together. When not at Runa headquarters, Thea can be found cooking up a storm in her small Brooklyn kitchen, exploring the outdoors, and seeking out live music.
Sol Tangvik
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Sol Tangvik

New England Marketing Coordinator
Hometown: Boston, MA

Sol Tangvik recently graduated from The University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelors degree in History. As Boston native, Sol has been involved with community development non-profits for 8 years. Through her travels in Africa, Central America and Europe, Sol has developed an understanding of the positive social impact Runa is having on the indigenous communities of Ecuador. She is very excited to be part of Runa and help spread the word about guayusa!
Eugene Tomat
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Eugene Tomat

Bookkeeper
Hometown: TBD

TBD
Helene Rotolo
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Helene Rotolo

NYC Marketing Associate
Hometown: Holbrook, NY

Helene comes to Runa with a passion for social entrepreneurship and the beverage industry. A start up junky, she has spent the last three years cultivating her skills in sales, marketing, business development and recruitment. Outside of the office she explores NYC, urban hiking with her dog Tubs, searching for the best cupcakes along the way. Helene is currently expanding our team of Brand Ambassadors to help convert consumers into Runatics nationwide through sampling and events.
Amelia Adler
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Amelia Adler

Customer Service and Logistics Manager

Growing up in the woods of Woodstock, NY, Amelia has always enjoyed the tranquility of nature. After graduating from Muhlenberg College with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Public Health, Amelia headed to New York City where she received her Masters degree in Food Studies from New York University. Amelia’s interest in how food and beverage can impact the world started when she was just 12, and visited her first Factory Farm. This also sparked her lifelong interest in Vegetarianism. At Runa Amelia is responsible for processing orders and shipping Runa Guayusa out to all of its fans.
Dan Segal
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Dan Segal

Finance Associate
Hometown: Harrison, New York

Segal was born in Canada but grew up in NY state. After graduating from Boston College he worked at Pepsi in Finance and Strategy. He then went on to the startup world at SK Energy Shots prior to joining the Runa Team. Segal still plays men’s league hockey and lacrosse, and loves to ski.

 
Walker Townsend
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Walker Townsend

Southern California Territory Manager
Hometown: Amherst, MA

Walker comes to Runa after years of sales and marketing experience with various organic food and drink companies. He graduated from the George Washington University with a B.A. in American Studies, hopped from NH to DC and now calls LA home. Walker is presently spreading the word about guayusa while building the Southern California market. He can be found riding his beach cruiser all over Venice and Santa Monica, at the farmers markets, the paddle tennis courts or hiking the nearby mountains.
Brenden Eggert
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Brenden Eggert

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Originally from the \"Heart Of It All\", Columbus, Ohio. Brenden graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Communications. He has come to Runa after working in grocery side of the food and beverage world for over a decade. He discovered Runa after deciding to step out of the grocery world in search of working with an organization with strong social impact. Brenden is excited to spread the word about Guayusa and its power, physically and socially. Outside of work he can be found riding his bicycle around Boston, reading Pitchfork Magazine, cooking, and drinking IPA\'s.
Kyla Basher
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Kyla Basher

New England Sales Rep - Southeast

Kyla recently completed a graduate degree from Goddard College in Sustainable Business and Community Development. Armed with a background in environmental education and ecotourism Kyla\'s commitment to sustainability through place-based development has brought her to experiences with Ithaca\'s EcoVillage, traveling to New Zealand and Tasmania to study indigenous cultural preservation as well as studying the applications of Permaculture and Systems Thinking. Kyla has been enthralled with unique ecosystems and endemic species since her time abroad as they highlight the significance of the power of place and believes they shape our own identities. She Kyla\'s a native New Englander with a hearty pride. She\'s shameless about her chocolate and tea addiction and she excited to bring RUNA home.
TJ Leenders
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TJ Leenders

Director of Sales for the East Region.

TJ joined Runa in February 2014 as the Director of Sales for the East Region. TJ oversees all aspects of sales, up and down the east coast.
TJ has spent nearly a decade in the beverage business, working for small entrepreneurial companies and helping them to grow. He spent 4 years working for glaceau, and most recently had a 5 year run with ZICO Coconut Water.
TJ just made the jump from Boston city living, to the suburbs. When he’s not working, he can be found ripping up slopes with his wife in Killington, VT, or honing his golf game throughout the summer.
His favorite Runa flavor is Unsweetened Guava. He swears it makes him run faster…
Jimmy Christensen
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Jimmy Christensen

Hometown: Westerly, R

Jimmy Christensen grew up in Westerly, RI the smallest town in the smallest state. He decided to leave small town life for Boston, Ma. Jimmy graduated with a bachelors degree in architecture from Wentworth Institute of Technology.  After graduation he traveled the US by train hitting 17 cities in 28 days.  Upon return he utilized his cooking experience to obtain the role of head chef at Lolita Cocina and Tequila bar in copley square.  After 2 years as head chef Jimmy became hooked on guayusa and decided that this was the key to the next step in his life! Jimmy\'s new mantra is: breath culture, eat amazing food, and live Runa!

Ecuador Team

Alex Hermosa
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Alex Hermosa

Field Technician
Hometown: Archidona, Napo Province, Ecuador

Born and raised in Archidona, Alex developed a love for kayaking early on in his life. After graduating from high school and then the Escuela Politecnica Amazonica, he even worked as a white-water kayak guide out of Tena. Now working for Runa, he finds satisfaction in his daily work developing farmer's ability to earn evermore needed money while preserving the cultural heritage that is guayusa.
Alexandra Humanante
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Alexandra Humanante

Technical Director of Projects
Hometown: Riobamba, Chimborazo Province, Ecuador

After graduating from the Escuela Superior Politecnica de Chimborazo in Ecuador's Sierra, Alexandra moved down into the Ecuadorian Amazon to study at the Docente Universidad Estatal Amazonica. There, she strengthened her background in agriculture and botany, two knowledge sets she now uses to direct the technical side of Runa's Ecuadorian field operations. She sees Runa as an opportunity for Amazonian inhabitants to share guayusa with the world while bettering their own lives. Through Runa, Amazonians, Highlanders, and Westerners alike have the chance to form one cohesive group and do just that.
Alexis Agreda
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Alexis Agreda

Head of Accounting
Hometown: Quito, Ecuador

Alexis studied at the Universidad Andina de Colombia and has a degree in Business Administration. Before Runa he worked for the EmpresaInduvallas, a company which rents fences and public spaces at the national level. He came to Runa because he is enthusiastic for the chance to work together with the communities and share the knowledge he has had the opportunity to learn, as well as to use his professional experienceto help Runa, an Ecuadorian company that is quickly becoming a top competitor.
Angel Tapuy Shiguangoector Vargas
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Angel Tapuy Shiguangoector Vargas

Field Technician
Hometown: Las Maravillas (Archidona), Napo Province, Ecuador

Angel is easily the friendliest and kindest man you will find in Archidona. His smile could melt an iron heart. While guayusa harvesting is in full swing, you will find him operating the guayusa-processing machinery. In between harvests, he helps out in the 70,000 plant nursery near his home. There in Las Maravillas (\'Wonderland\'), he lives with his big happy family on the outskirts of Archidona.
Angel Yumbo
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Angel Yumbo

Field Technician
Hometown: San Luis, Napo Province, Ecuador

Angel graduated from high school with a degree in Agronomy. He brings to Runa knowledge gained from working in community development and agriculture at the FundacionDyA, the ministry of agriculture, livestock, and fishing, and a Napo-based chocolate cooperative called Kallari. Angel feels his cultural roots strongly and when he is not in the field working for Runa he is at home working on his farm and “following in his parents’ footsteps.” Guayusa is a part of his cultural heritage and he is excited for the opportunity to share his culture with a world in a way that also increases the incomes of his fellow Kichwa.
Bayardo Andi
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Bayardo Andi

Field Technician
Hometown: Atacapi, Napo Province, Ecuador

After graduating from high school with a degree in agroforestry, Bayardo worked for years in cacao production in the Napo province. He came to Runa for the chance to help the people of the Napo region but is particularly excited for the agroforestry potential provided by guayusa. He loves the idea of integrated farms growing both cacao and guayusa and brings his extensive knowledge in both industries to the task. When he is not working Bayardo enjoys spending time with his family.
Edgar Aguinda
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Edgar Aguinda

Factory Worker
Hometown: Archidona, Napo Province, Ecuador

Edgar is a dynamic Kichwa man who is quite serious in the best meaning of the word. He is incredibly intelligent, a fact that is evident after mere minutes of conversation. When asked what he enjoys doing outside of work he responded that he wants to learn in any way possible and when he is not fulfilling his family responsibilities he likes to take personal time to think. He graduated from high school with a degree in Accounting and before Runa he worked for his family’s bicycle business. He loves guayusa and wanted the chance to work with the plant; when he found there was a guayusa project he jumped on the opportunity to be involved. He expresses his enthusiasm for the word Runa and the guayusa plant, both of which “encompass the identity of the Amazonian Kichwa and are indispensable for the people of the area.”
Elias Alvarado
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Elias Alvarado

Field Technician
Hometown: Tena and San Chambira, Napo Province, Ecuador

Elias was born in the community of San Chambira and spends his free time back at home working on his family farm. He graduated from the Tecnica Ambato with a degree in Agronomy and Production and worked for seven years at Kallari, a Napo-based cacao cooperative, in a variety of positions including field technician, assistant manager, and manager of production. After Kallari he had a brief stint in the agricultural quality control division of the Ecuadorian government before leaving to come work for Runa. He is most enthusiastic for the opportunity to work with Kichwa communities and provide them with support as they continue to develop.
Elisa Shiguango
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Elisa Shiguango

Nursery Assistant
Hometown: Ruckullakta, Napo Province, Ecuador

Elisa is a fun-loving girl who works in Runa’sguayusa nurseries. She came to Runa right out of high school where she graduated with a degree in Agronomy. She loves to dance but has a phobia of rivers and hates swimming. She came to Runa because she loves working with plants and making things grow.
Fernando Grefa
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Fernando Grefa

Field Technician
Hometown: Tena, Napo Province, Ecuador

As one of the oldest (and wisest) tecnicos, Fernando brings an unmatched sense of calm and poise to the offices of Runa. After graduating from high school, he somehow ended up in the forests of Colombia developing cacao and coffee projects with Fundacion Al Tropic. Now back in his hometown, Fernando contributes to what is Team Runa. He sees guayusa as a both a cultural custom and a practical solution to the physical demands of life in the jungle. More importantly, he sees his work as an opportunity to build upon ancient Kichwa knowledge through shared experiences and experimentation with the local guayusa farmers.
Francisco Mantilla
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Francisco Mantilla

General Manager
Hometown: Quito, Pichincha Province, Ecuador

Francisco is our General Manager in Ecuador. He brings to Runa both his knowledge of project management in the public sector as well as a strong entrepreneurial spirit cultivated in the private sector. After living in the US for two years, he returned convinced of the need to bring Ecuador's rich and diverse products to the world market. He studied international business focused on coordinating and overseeing the entire import and export processes. He developed great negotiation skills working with the American, Asian, and European markets. He then entered the public sector working for the Ministry of Environment on development projects throughout Latin America. He is starting a part-time MBA program at the Universidad San Francisco in Quito while he works with Runa.
Lucio Yumbo
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Lucio Yumbo

Harvest Technician
Hometown: Tena, Napo Province, Ecuador

Lucio loves to laugh and enjoys making fun of his co-workers as much as he loves being made fun of himself. He was born in the neighboring province of Orellana and spent time there in construction after graduating from high school with a degree in agriculture and livestock. He came to the Napo region to work for Kallari, an indigenously-governed cacao cooperative, where he worked for two and a half years. During this time he got to know the indigenous people of the area and became invested in tackling the problems present there. This interest led him to Runa. He is excited to bring a new market to the indigenous people which, because guayusa is grown alongside other plants, will generate new income without reducing the farmer’s current production of subsistence or cash crops; he has been known to talk at length about his excitement.
Marina Alvarado
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Marina Alvarado

Field Technician
Hometown: Lucianta, Napo Province, Ecuador

Marina began her working career as a viverista, or nursery technician, in Runa’sguayusa nurseries. Impressed by her passion and skill, Runa promoted her to field technician. Having recently taken a hiatus from both school and work to have her first child, Marina is back in force at both. During weekdays she works for Runa and during the weekends she is hard at work finishing her high school degree in agriculture and livestock. Why work at Runa? For “el amor de guayusa” of course!
Patricio Andy
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Patricio Andy

Field Technician
Hometown: San Pablo, Napo Province, Ecuador

Hailing from a long line of shamans, Patricio tells stories of Kichwa ancestry with unmatched ease and fervor. His laugh is infectious, his love for life…palpable. After graduating from high school, he attended university in Cuenca and went on to work on cacao-agroforestry projects with Proyecto Productivo Fonakin, a local project involving the Kichwa community Pueblo Kichwa; and Kallari, a Napo-based indigenously-governed cacao cooperative. While deeply connected to the history of guayusa and its importance to Kichwas, he also promotes its commercialization and the reasoning behind it: its ability to provide additional income to local families and communities at a time when Western values and markets are eroding ancient Kichwa traditions (e.g. rituals surrounding guayusa).
Pedro Grefa
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Pedro Grefa

Field Technician
Hometown: Tena, Napo Province, Ecuador

Although originally a "city boy" (a relative term here in the Amazon), Pedro first began working after high school as a member of an oil exploration team deep in the jungles of Ecuador's Oriente. He is always happy to share his crazy tales of the long, trail-blazing days and ant-ridden, bamboo-bed nights over the course of his expeditions. Stick around long enough and he may slip into accounts of more hilarious happenings from his life. Working along the Napo River from Puerto Napo down to Misahualli, Pedro shares with the rest of the team a deep commitment to his farmers and their progress. He also loves to share ancestral Kichwa knowledge with outsiders and vivid Kichwa jokes with his friends, often the same farmers he works with everyday.
Rodrigo Tapuy
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Rodrigo Tapuy

Factory Worker
Hometown: Tena, Napo Province, Ecuador

Rodrigo graduated from high school in Tena with a degree in Accounting and is currently pursuing a second degree in Public Administration. Before Runa he workedas a security guard and, later, at the Transit Commision. He enjoys his job at Runa because he appreciates the opportunity to help his fellow Kichwa by providing them with the income they need to improve their standard of living in a manner thatalso respects the environment.
Sandra Cando
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Sandra Cando

Accounting Assistant
Hometown: Tena, Napo Province, Ecuador

Sandra came to Runa fresh out of the ESPOCH Riobamba University where she graduated with a degree in accounting and auditing. She loves to sew and while she was in university helped sew uniforms for a local high school. She came to Runa to learn more about the business and for the work experience but is particularly excited by the opportunity to support people in the rural sector and to introduce a taste of the Amazon to people around the world.
Silverio Mamallacta
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Silverio Mamallacta

Field Technician
Hometown: Santo Domingo, Napo Province, Ecuador

At one point the Dirigente (director) of Pueblo Kichwa, the largest organized community of Kichwas in the area, Silverio stands out as one of the most well known faces at Runa. Under the auspices of his father Don Vincente, the regional Kichwa spiritual leader, Silverio grew up in the realm of old Kichwa culture and its shamanic traditions. Ask him to tell you a little about it, and he may recount stories, often hysterical, for hours. He was also a promising boxer in his youth. Faced with the opportunity to fight in a Junior International Boxing circuit, he instead chose to stay and finish high school. Before Runa, Silverio worked as a field technician for both Proyecto Productivo Fonakin, a local cacao agroforestry development project; and Kallari, a Napo-based indigenously governed cacao cooperative.
Sofia Pazmino
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Sofia Pazmino

Administrative Director
Hometown: Quito, Pichincha Province, Ecuador

After high school in Quito, Sofia moved down into the Amazon to attend the Escuela Superior Politecnica Ecologica Amazonica where she studied accounting and finance. Since then, she has worked in the financial sections of a Tena-based loan and credit cooperative and the local chapter of the Red Cross. To her, Runa is the opportunity to improve Amazonian farmer's quality of life while sharing guayusa, its ancestral culture and its life-changing properties with the world.
Tania Iglesias
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Tania Iglesias

Administrative Director
Hometown: Quito, Ecuador

Tania has a degree in Foreign Trade and Integration from the Universidad TecnologicaEquinoccial. She brings to Runa extensive knowledge gained from working as a specialist in administration and foreign trade for EmpresaBigbamboo, a Quito-based company that works primarily in the agricultural production and exportation of bamboo. She chose Runa because it “is a business that demonstrates ability in management and team coordination, as well as high levels of responsibility, ethics, and honesty” and because it “is committed to its goals, objectives, and politics.”
Victor Grefa
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Victor Grefa

Factory Worker
Hometown: Archidona, Napo Province, Ecuador

Victor was born in San Pablo, a community near the Runa offices in Archidona, and when he is not at work he returns home to work on his farm. He is a talented orator in both Spanish and Kichwaand never fails to leave his audience spellbound, whether it is an assembly of Runa farmers or a solitary volunteer. He attended the local high school in Archidona and graduated with a degree in Accounting. Before Runa he worked at a Chinese oil company. He is excited to work for a guayusa company because, in his words, “guayusa is central in the culture of my grandparents.”

Runa Foundation

Eliot Logan-Hines
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Eliot Logan-Hines

Executive Director

Eliot has worked extensively in the non-profit sector in latin america. Prior to working with Fundación Runa, Eliot served as Executive Director of Finca Project, a reforestation and environmental education initiative in Costa Rica. He has worked as an environmental consultant and advisor to climate change negotiations at the United Nations. Eliot received his masters degree in environmental management from Yale University where he studied tropical forestry and conservation finance. Eliot brings to Runa his expertise in agricultural cooperative development, tropical forestry, and non-profit management. He is a professional adventurer and a good cook.
Aliana Piñeiro
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Aliana Piñeiro

Director of Monitoring and Evaluation

Aliana first came to Fundación Runa as a community development intern in the summer of 2011. After five years of working in asset management in New York City, Aliana realized that her true passion was development. Following her experience in Ecuador and the completion of her masters degree in International Affairs at The New School, she joined the team to measure all the good that Runa does in the region. Aliana is our resident Runa mom and brings New York style to the jungle.
Juan Dueñas
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Juan Dueñas

Director of Research

Juan is from Quito but recently returned from New Zealand where he completed his Masters degree in Bio-protecion and Ecology at Lincoln University. Prior to that, Juan worked as a research assistant at the herpetology division of Universidad Católica Zoology museum and as a naturalist guide in sustainable tourism operations both at the Amazon and the Galapagos Islands. Juan is passionate about nature and outdoor sports. His training as a scientist had a strong focus on translating knowledge from biological sciences into applications that help to protect our ecosystems, and he is particularly interested in mitigating the impacts of human activities within natural ecosystems while searching for potential synergies between primary industries and nature. In his free time, Juan is always keen for some rock climbing, mountain biking or scuba diving.
Maureen Stimola
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Maureen Stimola

Program Manager and Science Coordinator

Maureen is a Princeton in Latin America fellow and recent graduate of Columbia University with a degree in Environmental Biology. Her laboratory and field research experience includes involvement in microbiology, conservation ecology, botany, and animal physiology projects. While working on an organic farm in her home state of Vermont, she discovered a passion for sustainable agriculture. She loves learning languages, new recipes, and salsa and bachata moves.
Ian Cummins
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Ian Cummins

Director of Cartography and Supply Chain Mapping

Cummins joins the Runa team after working for the last two years in Indonesia doing conservation, concession valuation, sustainable supply chain mapping and REDD+ development. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies specializing in GIS, remote sensing and tropical forest management and has prior work and research experience in Honduras and the Peruvian Amazon. Ian likes to argue politics, make maps and play soccer.
Lindsay McGeehon
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Lindsay McGeehon

Peace Corps Volunteer

Lindsay lives in Archidona. Lindsay is an agricultural volunteer and studied Animal Sciences at the University of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She is currently working on community needs assessment, compost projects and agroforestry research with Runa. In Rukullacta, Lindsay is helping to build family gardens in the community and teach English. Lindsay likes to go hiking in the jungle and has earned the nickname \\\"Mud Queen.\\\"

Board of Directors

Bill Harrington
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Bill Harrington

Co-founder & Co-CEO

Bill is a consultant, investment advisor and investor in social enterprises. He is a principal in Vista Ventures LLC in Philadelphia, a small firm that provides advice to social entrepreneurs, socially motivated investors, NGOs and businesses, often located in developing countries. Mr. Harrington has twenty-five years of business experience including about eight years consulting with microfinance institutions and small-and-medium-size enterprises in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, usually on behalf of MEDA, an international NGO. He is a principal in Vista Ventures, LLC, a small firm that provides advice to social entrepreneurs, socially motivated investors, NGOs and businesses, often located in developing countries. You can check out the website he edits, MoneySpentWell.org, a website for impact investors in social enterprises in developing
Brian Goldberg
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Brian Goldberg

Board of Advisor+

Brian grew Sweet Leaf Tea as their CFO and COO from their early days in Austin, Texas into a nationally successful brand that was ultimately acquired by Nestle. Brian now works with Runa to strengthen strategic financial management and help scale operational capacity.
Luke Weil
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Luke Weil

Board of Director

Luke is Vice President of International Business Development, Latin America for Scientific Games Corporation. His family’s investments office was the lead investor in our Series A round. Luke has become very passionate about Runa’s mission in Ecuador and is providing major support weaving Runa into high profile events and networks in New York. His additional business ventures include Andina Acquisition Corp. (Co-Founder and Financial Sponsor), lead investor at technology company SkuRun, and contributing partner at LW Air. Luke also serves on the Board of Directors of the Fortune Society. He was an analyst at Bear, Stearns and Co. from 2002 to 2004 and an Associate at Business Strategies & Insight, Inc. from 2004 to 2006. Luke earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics at Brown University in 2002 and received a Masters of Business from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business in 2008.

Board of Advisers

Richard Kirshenbaum
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Richard Kirshenbaum

Board of Advisor

- co-founded Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners advertising agency. Agency for Snapple, Hennessey, etc. - pioneered integrated marketing concepts such as the pop-up store, sidewalk advertising and other forms of high-visibility guerrilla marketing.
Tim Sullivan
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Tim Sullivan

Board of Advisor

- PepsiCoSenior Group Manager Supply Chain Planning Systems, 2005-2010 - PepsiCo UK General Manager Logistics 2001-2005 - Expert in Logistics & Supply Chain
Bob Burke
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Bob Burke

Board of Advisor

- Natural Products Consulting, Principal: 1999-2010 - Stonyfied VP of Sales and Corporate Development: 1986-1998
Bill Stone
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Bill Stone

Board of Advisor

- Outside GC, Principal: 2002-2010 - Expert in start-up growth, business law, and investment negotiations
Neil Kimberly
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Neil Kimberly

Board of Advisor

- Director of Innovation, Hershey
Margaret Bradley
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Margaret Bradley

Board of Advisor

- Director, Marketing Communications - Consumer Brands and Director, Public - Relations Safeway Inc. 1998 – 2008 - Launched O Organics and Eating Right brands for Safeway
Danny Warshay
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Danny Warshay

Board of Advisor

- CEO of G Form & DEW Ventures Principal - Former Director at Health Business Partners, Principal at Cullinova and Brand Manager at Duncan Hines
Matt Palevsky
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Matt Palevsky

Board of Advisor

- Movement Strategist, Purpose - Former editor, Huffington Post, Bureau Chief, Real News
Charlie Harding
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Charlie Harding

Board of Advisor

Charlie is a partner manager at Google.org, which focuses on technology driven solutions to global problems. He works with NGOs, foundations and technology providers, primarily focused on solving internet access challenges in developing countries. Before Google, Charlie co-founded Runa, creating guayusa blends and launching the brand. He continues to advise Runa on general business and leadership.