In The Field
Program Director: Ian McGroarty
Ian graduated from the Pennsylvania State Universitys Smeal College of Business with a B.S. in Economics, a minor in International Business, and a focus in International, Development and Transition Economics. After working in both New York City and Washington DC in development related NGO´s and foundations, he moved to Peru in 2009. Since then Ian has worked in the creation and implementation of community, education and economic development projects as the General Coordinator of Nexos Voluntarios in Urubamba and as an Economic Development Project Coordinator in the District Municipality of Maras. Ian began working for Alma on July 20, 2011. He hires, trains and manages our Project Coordinators and teachers. He is involved in the creation of all of our community projects and he creates all of our curriculum. Ian spends most of his time in the communities where we work and lives with his wife and daughter in Urubamba Peru.
Project Coordinator: Octavio Quispe Checca
Octavio is from the town of Huancarara, in Paruro province, Peru. He completed his higher education studies at the Valle Grande Institute in Cañete, Lima, Peru. Following graduation, he worked three years as a classroom teacher for the Pro Rural Schools. Octavio joined the Alma team two years ago, as a classroom teacher for our Colcha Biblioteca project. He now works with our Project Manager Ian, as a Project Coordinator for the Cusco Region.
Project Coordinator: René Sanchéz Velasco
René graduated from the Universidad Catolica La Paz (Bolivia) with a degree in Systems Engineering and has completed post-graduate courses in education program management. He has worked in Trinidad for a variety of educational organizations in the field of program implementation and measurement. “Coqui” speaks Quechua and has a love for working in indigenous communities. He became our second program coordinator in the jungle region of Bolivia in January of 2018.
Project Coordinator: María Elena Estívarez Cruz
María Elena Estívarez Cruz is the project coordinator at Beni and has been a member of Alma since April 2019.
For me, becoming part of the Foundation represents, in addition to the great joy it has brought me, it is a huge challenge. Since education is an area somewhat forgotten in my Department, there is a lot of work to be done. I hope to contribute what I can to help achieve the goals set by Alma.
Board of Directors
Alan is the Founder and President of Alma. He is a Director and Portfolio Manager at ScotiaMcLeod where he has managed socially and environmentally responsible portfolios since 1987. Alan started his first charity at the age of 27 and has shown a weakness for founding social purpose organizations since then. He has held senior roles in a variety of civil society initiatives and has sat on several charity boards, most recently Variety Village, Bereaved Families of Ontario and Small Change Fund.
Anatol von Hahn is the former Group Head, Canadian Banking, at Scotiabank. Anatol was born in Chile and has lived and worked in several Latin American countries. He has held various senior positions in both Canadian and International banking at Scotiabank. Anatol has been involved in several charitable initiatives dating back to his University days and currently sits on the board of Ronald McDonald House and UNICEF.
Sandy is the President of the Metcalf Foundation, a leading private Toronto-based foundation focused on sustainability, creativity and social justice. Sandy has a background in law and mediation and has worked as a consultant and advisor in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. As a volunteer Sandy has served on numerous boards and committees and was the founding Chair of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation.
Rob Djurfeldt is the Managing Director, Head of ScotiaMcLeod. Previously, he managed Scotiabank’s brokerage operations in Mexico. He has lived in several South American countries and shares our passion for the welfare of children in those countries. Rob and his sons have visited our projects in Peru in each of the past three years.
Michael is a senior executive at Flybits. Previously he was the Director of Software Solutions at Hewlett Packard. He has held senior management roles in Fortune 500 software companies for 25 years. In the not-for-profit world, Michael worked for TV Ontario and The Art Gallery of Ontario.
Trevor is a Senior Wealth Advisor at Genuity. After visiting our remote communities in 2013, and witnessing our work, Trevor began fundraising and organizing events for Alma. Trevor is a devoted father to his two children Jason and Megan and enjoys spending time at the cottage in Honey Harbour with his dogs Manhattan and Rio in tow.
Ana Maria is a real estate consultant and former Director for Retail Investment Products at Scotiabank. Ana Maria managing all of the Alma partner projects and created the “Alma kids” program. She has two young children and is passionate about providing youth with fair opportunities for quality education, particularly in the poorest areas of her home country.
Dan Donnelly became involved with Alma in 2016 on our Peruvian Fundraising committee and joined our board in 2019. Dan is VP International Wealth Business Delivery at Scotiabank, prior to which he was a member of the Compliance Department at Scotiabank, Legal Department at CIBC and partner at Torys LLP. Dan is also on the board of Dixon Neighbourhood Homes, and his previous his not-for-profit participation includes Chair of Board at Dixon Hall Neighbourhood Services, board member at Parkdale Community Legal Services and volunteer with Big Brothers and Covenant House.
Walter Meekes is the founder of the HoPe Holland Peru Foundation. He has lived in Cusco Peru since 1991 doing social development programs. HoPe has built over 150 schools in small remote communities, trained over 500 teachers in bilingual and intercultural education and developed educational material in Quechua (the local indigenous language).
Partners and Donors
In addition to our hundreds of individual donors, the Alma Children’s Education Foundation is grateful to the following organizations for their ongoing support and commitment:
We are very grateful for the 50+ volunteers who dedicate their time, energy and skill to our organization. Our impact would not be possible without the talent and passion of our volunteers.
Interested in Volunteering?
We are currently looking for passionate leaders to join our volunteer team. We are seeking team members in the following areas:
- Fluency in Spanish and English required
- Website editing
- WordPress experience required
- Fundraising & outreach
- Social media
- Instagram Manager
If you are interested in any of Alma’s current volunteer opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.