meet the team

At the intersection of heart and mind are Esperanza employees. Our leadership team combines private sector experience with compassion for the poor. We bring marketplace best practices to the management of nonprofit operations and strive to glorify God through tangible care for his people.

Dominican Republic

Alex Nuñez

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Prior to working at Esperanza, Alex worked in a major government defense company for 11 years. She began serving in Esperanza in March 2012 as the Vice President of Public Affairs and Caribbean Investment prior to taking on her new role as … February 2014. Alex received her MBA from Belhaven College, a B.S. from Eastern Mennonite University, and graduated from the Lifework Leadership Program in 2012. Alex was asked to join the Board of Directors in December 2014.

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Merari Muñoz

Human Resources Manager

Merari holds a degree in Industrial Psychology and has more than 10 years of experience in the Human Resources field. Before starting with Esperanza she worked in Human Resources for organizations in the financial sector. In 2011 she received her Masters in Strategic Management of Humans Resources Talent. She started working with Esperanza in 2013 to strengthen the Human Resources Department, understanding that staff are the most important and valuable asset of Esperanza International.

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Darlyn Gratereaux Alcántara

Account Manager

Darlyn started with Esperanza in 2011 as a microfinance accountant and later an Account Manager in 2016. She has an account degree from Universidad Tecnologica de Santiago, with additional studies in Taxes, Evaluation and Credit Management. Darlyn has also completed workshops in Microfinance and Analysis of Financial Performance Indicators for Microfinance.

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Pedro Castillo

Complementary Services Manager

Pedro Castillo holds a Bachelor Degree in Commercial Education with an emphasis in Accounting from the School of Accounting and an Associate Degree in Business Education from Dominican World University. He has more than 40 years working in community organizations of which 9 of these years have been with Esperanza International.

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Nelly Ulerio

Microfinance Manager

Nelly has more than 15 years of experience in microfinance in the Dominican Republic. She earned degrees in both accounting and education. Nelly identifies with Esperanza’s love for Jesus and wants to focus on serving impoverished communities.

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United States

Dave Valle

Founder

Dave is a former MLB player; he played for the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers during his 13-year professional career. Dave was a color commentator for the Seattle Mariners TV and radio broadcasts, and since 2007, he has co-hosted the post game show on the Mariners’ radio network. He was also named the manager of the Everett Aquasox, an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, for the 2014 season. In 1995, Dave founded Esperanza International together with his wife Victoria.

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Elizabeth Pishny

VP of Development and Marketing

Elizabeth Pishny is the Vice President of Global Marketing and Development at Esperanza International, leading the team responsible for marketing and donor engagement throughout the United States and Dominican Republic. She creates the strategies and partnerships that accelerate Esperanza’s growth and build brand equity within core markets. Prior to her current role, Elizabeth provided change management consulting to Fortune 500 clients at Accenture working in Mexico, Spain, and Russia. She later led digital marketing and client services with Bazaarvoice, starting their Asia Pacific operations in Singapore. Elizabeth believes that economic empowerment is the most sustainable solution to poverty alleviation and joined Esperanza to combine her business background with her heart for the hurting. She received her B.B.A. with Honors in Finance and Marketing from Texas Christian University.

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Courtney Groos

Digital Marketing Lead

Courtney is the Digital Marketing Lead at Esperanza International overseeing all branding, digital strategy, and major campaigns for the organization. Courtney graduated from The University of Texas at Austin having received her B.S. in Corporate Communications with certificates in Business Foundations and Social Entrepreneurship & Nonprofits. Previous to her current role, Courtney served alongside partner organization Edify in the Dominican Republic and worked for World Vision International to develop a substantial content audit tracking audience engagement across all WVI country and program digital platforms. Courtney leads a Prayer Team through Ascend Life Skills jail ministry and is a YoungLife leader in the Dallas area. Courtney is passionate about and committed to galvanizing support for Esperanza’s mission to free families from poverty through microfinance and holistic empowerment initiatives.

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Ashley Howard

Office Manager and Event Coordinator

Ashley is a graduate from Baylor University having received her Masters in Social Work with a certificate in Christian Ministry and Religion. Ashley has a background in public policy, having worked at the Texas Capitol in nonprofit advocacy and policy development. She is now a part of The Initiative Network’s 72 Program in the Dallas area, and is a YoungLife volunteer. Ashley served alongside Youth With A Mission in the Dominican Republic while in college and runs a small hand-lettering business during her free time. Ashley joined the Esperanza International team in July and is passionate about empowering the poor through sustainable, life-giving opportunities.

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dave Valle

Founder

Dave Valle cofounded Esperanza International in 1995 with his wife, Victoria after playing winter baseball in the Dominican Republic and seeing the needs of the children on the island. Dave is a former Major League baseball player for the Seattle Mariners, Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and Texas Rangers from 1984 to 1996. In 2000, Dave was asked to become the President and CEO of Esperanza and has grown the loan program to 235,000 loans disbursed, totaling more than $74 million dollars. During that time, both the school and water loan programs were implemented.

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Alex Nuñez

Executive Director

Prior to working at Esperanza, Alex worked in a major government defense company for 11 years. She began serving with Esperanza in March 2012 as the Vice President of Public Affairs and Caribbean Investment prior to taking becoming Director in February 2014. Alex received her MBA from Belhaven College, a B.S. from Eastern Mennonite University, and graduated from the Lifework Leadership Program in 2012. Alex joined the Esperanza Board of Directors in December 2014.

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Cheryl Hunter

Chairman of the Board

Cheryl received a BS degree in Education from the University of Minnesota. She began her career teaching in the Minneapolis school system, With 45 years of experience in the restaurant industry, she was a franchisee for Dairy Queen and McDonald’s and was a Director for McDonald’s Corporation. Currently, Cheryl is living out her life’s mission: trusting in the Lord to use her skills to encourage and influence business people who desire to become all God has called them to be, while providing for their families through impacting their community and God’s Kingdom. She has four children, three of whom are adopted and have great stories about how they came into her family.

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Stephen Brookshire

Board Member

Steve began his career in Dallas, as a Texas CPA on the audit staff of Arthur Young after graduating magna cum laude with a BBA from Baylor University. Currently, Steve works with Pegasus Ablon, a Dallas-based firm providing real estate investment, development, property management and leasing, where he leads day-to-day oversight of its property management and leasing operations. He has 32 years of experience in the financial and accounting aspects of commercial real estate.

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Daniel Devine

Board Member

Originally from Tennessee, Dan graduated from the University of Florida with his Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He also successfully completed Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program. Dan founded the Compass Knowledge Group, which eventually merged with Embanet. He served as the merged company’s Vice Chairman until it was sold to Pearson. In 2010, he won the prestigious Ernst & Young Florida Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in the technology category.

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Toby Kilgore

Board Member

Toby Kilgore is an experienced business leader with an extensive track record of over 25 years working with leading domestic and international institutions to successfully address core issues of strategic focus and differentiation, operating model effectiveness and scalability, and organizational alignment and transformation. Toby received an MBA from Harvard University, and a BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Toby was a partner at A.T. Kearney where he had various responsibilities, including Co-Head of the North America Financial Institutions Group and lead partner on a number of key accounts. Toby also held senior positions at Bank of America and in PwC’s Strategy Consulting Group. From 2005 through early 2017, Toby was a partner in the Strategy and Operations practice of Deloitte Consulting. Firm leadership roles included Deloitte’s Australian banking consulting practice leader and advisory board member of the Deloitte Center for Banking Solutions.

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Rick Logsdon

Board Member

Rick began his career in TI in 2003 providing corporate governance and finance counsel to support their SEC and stock exchange compliance requirements. In 2010, Rick transitioned to supporting TI’s business operations, providing general business counsel and advising on intellectual property licensing, and other complex contract negotiations. Rick earned a B.A. in Bible and Philosophy from Hardin-Simmons University, a Masters of Theological Studies in Ethics from Vanderbilt Divinity School, and a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School.

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Jenn Tarbell

Board Member

Jenn serves as the Cofounder and CEO of Winnable, a technology startup, and she and her husband own a retail location for Shaka’s Hawaii. Jenn spent nearly 6 years with HOPE International growing the West Coast donor base, and ultimately serving as a Regional Development Director assisting with the growth and leadership of the national and international team of regional representatives. She also served on the Executive Team at HOPE for 2 years. Jenn began her career in executive recruiting after graduating from the University of Southern California. She and her husband, Kevin, live in Orange County, California.

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David Wasik

Board Member

David works for HOPE International, a partner of Esperanza. As the vice president of operations, he leads HOPE’s network of credit and savings programs in addition to overseeing technology and spiritual integration activities. David graduated magna cum laude from Duke University with a degree in mechanical engineering, then worked for Capital One Bank for 17 years. At Capital One he served in a variety of leadership roles in operations, marketing, product development, and credit management. David lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife Jennifer and two children.

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