Founder - Louis Pope
Veteran entrepreneur and social innovator. Louis founded US Synthetic, a $400 MM manufacturing and engineering company in the US making diamond cutters for the oil and gas industry. He has spent years living in Africa managing enterprises for the foundation. MBA and BA in Mechanical Engineering. Louis has founded many NGO’s and sits on numerous boards including Unitus and Choice.
CEO - Esther Mutuma
Ms. Esther Mutuma serves as the Director and Chief Executive Officer, Asante Foundation. Her previous work experience includes Chief Operations Officer, Yehu Microfinance Trust. A natural charismatic leader, she is credited with turning around the Trust from losses to profitability. Prior to joining the microfinance, she held various senior management positions at Standard Chartered Bank in Kenya. She was a star at the bank and was entrusted with managing top corporate clients like Safaricom, among a list of other top notch clients. Before taking on Corporate Management, Esther was involved in Product Development, Customer Relationship Management and Credit Risk Management for Small and Medium Enterprises bank clients. Esther has worked across the borders in Southern Sudan during the post war reconstruction period, an experience that exposed her to working in a tough environment where she horned other skills like discipline, learner, activator and belief. Esther graduated from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom at the top of her class with a Masters degree in Social Entrepreneurship. She has a BA in Economics and Communications from the University of Nairobi and is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya. (CPA, K)
CFO - Troy Holmberg
Troy graduated with distinction from the Johnson School at Cornell University with his MBA. His undergraduate degrees are in Finance and Spanish. He spend 13 years at US Synthetic as the Director of Engineering Good and Social Innovation, improving lives in the community through STEM Education and building the next generation of problem-solvers and innovators. US Synthetic is the world leader in diamond solutions for the energy industry with nearly $400 MM in annual sales. Troy has founded several social enterprises including Coast Coconut Farms and Basa Body. He serves on several international boards and has a passion for social entrepreneurship.
Briquette General Manager - Jonathan Heaton
Jon Heaton has led his business, Combustion Resources, for almost 20 years. His company specializes in providing consulting and analysis services to industries that consume and create hydrocarbons. He advises on best practices and environmentally-conscious methods. He created and managed numerous humanitarian projects in Kenya, including constructing a coconut oil plant, a bakery, and fundraising for orphanages. He was also previously an advisory board member for the Asante Kenya Foundation, a humanitarian organization active in Kenya.
Veneer General Manager - Russell Jensen Kirk
Russ brings 20+ years of forestry and saw mill experience to the team. He started as an equipment operator at a small scale saw mill in north eastern Utah at age 17. He attended Utah State University in pursuit of a degree in Wildlife Biology. In 1996, He moved his Family to Northern British Columbia to work for one of Western Canada’s largest timber harvesting companies. Many of his years in the forest industry have been spent in a supervisory role managing multiple harvest, and road construction crews. He has owned, operated and managed his own successful timber harvesting company for 15 years. He has managed operations from large scale clear cut harvesting to small scale salvage logging, worked on private woodlots and has managed selective logging operations on his own plantation as well as with other land owners. He brings extensive knowledge and application of managing a successful Environmental Management System. He has played a role in implementing and reinforcing Safe Work Procedures, and finds great satisfaction in being involved in social impact projects.