MEET THE TEAM
Co-Founder and Managing Director
Ron Bevacqua is a US citizen with 25 years’ experience in banking and finance in Asia. He was the chief economist for Merrill Lynch and Commerz Securities in Japan (1993-2002), and has been a contributing editor for the Economist Intelligence Unit, covering Asia business and finance, since 2004. His career in microfinance began in 2005 when he established the Japan office for the international NGO PlaNet Finance, during which time he was invited to sit on the microfinance strategy-setting committee of the Japan International Cooperation Agency JICA). In his current role he has managed large assignments for international organizations such as World Bank, IFAD, ADB, European Union, Agence Française de Développement, JICA and others.
Co-Founder and Chief Technical Director
Connie Hina is an international consultant and a development management practitioner. A seasoned prime mover in strengthening institutional capacities of microfinance/financial service providers in 18 countries across Asia, East Africa and Eastern Europe, she has about 29 years ofprofessional and diverse experience, 24 years of which specializing in microfinance/financial inclusion, in various capacities as international trainer, training curricula developer, mentor, coach, manager, researcher and program evaluator in developing countries across civil society/NGO, business and public sector working environments.
Her fields of expertise include microfinance operations management, credit and risk management, effective governance and leadership in MFIs, human resource management, organizational development, diagnostic and evaluation of MFIs and rural finance programs, financial performance analysis, microfinance strategic business planning, social performance management, gender mainstreaming in microfinance, financial education, and enterprise development.Her short- and long-term mission assignments were funded by various donors such as European Union (EU), International Finance Corporation (IFC), Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), CARE Netherlands, etc., in Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Nepal, China, Uganda, South Africa, Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Italy and Spain and Philippines.
Connie previously served as the Director of Microfinance in the Office of the Philippine President’s Anti-Poverty Commission, where she helped develop a national framework for microfinance and generate resources for a national capacity building fund.
Connie holds a B.S. Agricultural Business Management and a Master in Management, major in Development Management degrees from the University of the Philippines and received international certificate courses under fellowship programs from the International Agricultural Center (IAC) – Wageningen, the Netherlands; Microenterprise Development Institute – University of Southern New Hampshire, USA; Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Frankfurt, Germany.
Chief Operating Officer
Jay Supetran has more than 30 years’ experience in financial inclusion, enterprise development and organizational development.
His fields of expertise include agri- and value-chain finance, savings mobilization, and farm and rural enterprise development.
Jay established and managed ACCESS operations in Cambodia and Vietnam between 2010-2013, providing technical support to microfinance institutions in both countries as well as advisory services to industry stakeholders such a regulators and networks. From 2014 to 2017, he established ACCESS operations in Myanmar, working with several institutions providing technical support to set up community-based cooperatives providing financial services to rural areas. He was also involved in supervising the conduct of several value chain studies in support to economic development activities in various States in the country.
Philippine Country Manager
Edwin Peraz has been a development oriented trainer, coach and mentor since 1997. His career in microfinance began in 1999 when he conceptualized and implemented non-financial programs such as youth development and community enterprise support for the NGO-MFI Center for Community Transformation.
His fields of expertise include financial institution assessment, training and capacity building; agri-finance, and savings product development.
Edwin was previously the executive director of Space Provider and Capability Enhancer, Inc. (SPACE), a technical assistance provider to microfinance institutions, where he pioneered the use of the CERISE Social Performance Indicators (SPI) tool in the Philippines.
Vietnam Country Manager
Hien Tran has 19 years’ experience in microfinance and rural development. After obtaining two degrees in accounting and economic law, Hien began her professional career designing and implementing accounting systems for a Vietnamese non-profit organization specializing in grassroots integrated rural development. Her exposure to microfinance and financial inclusion began when she became the coordinator for an internationally-supported microcredit program, during which time she was responsible for establishing and scaling up its commune-level operations. Subsequently, she became the finance manager of a local microfinance service provider, where she was in charge of its accounting, finance and internal audit.
Since joining ACCESS in 2010, Hien has been lead the delivery of training and technical assistance to microfinance service providers, wholesale lenders such as the Credit Support Fund, and industry stakeholders and supporters such as the Vietnam Women’s Union and the State Bank of Vietnam.
In addition to her expertise in financial management, Hien specializes in delivering training and consulting services on to financial service providers on governance, strategic and business planning, and product development, especially agri-finance.
Nepal Country Manager
Abhaya Singh has more than 14 years’ experience in the development sector with a focus on financial access. He has worked as microfinance practitioner with an MFI; as technical assistance providers to MFIs and with regulator (central bank) in various organizations and projects. He has worked with different UN organizations – FAO, UNDP and UNCDF.
Abhaya specializes in rural financial inclusion, financial literacy, and agribusiness and agriculture value chain finance.
Financial Inclusion Consultant for Nepal
Sabin has 15 years of work experience in financial inclusion. His main expertise is on designing and delivering contextually relevant training to SMEs and MSMEs on financial literacy and business literacy.
Through exercises, role-plays and other experiential learning techniques, Sabin’s training imparts financial skills to SMEs and MSMEs so that they can collect and interpret information and prepare for growth. He has also delivered the training to factory workers, people with disabilities, people with HIV, and women entrepreneurs.
Sabin also has worked as a trainer for national-level apex banking and finance academies that provide programs to enhance the competence of the personnel in Nepal’s banking industry.
In 2017-2018, Sabin was a part of the team that conceived, designed, and organized Nepal’s first seed and angel investment fund. He helped raise funds from private investors to finance the growth of selected SMEs.
Sabin joined ACCESS in 2019 to lead our delivery of financial education training to Nepali migrants and migrant families.
Agri-Value Chain Specialist
Jeewan Acharya is an analytical agriculturist. He has been engaged in value chain and rural agri-enterprise development in Nepal for 8 years. He specializes in advance agriculture crop production and agri-value chain promotion.
Jeewan conducts value chain research and market assessments, identifying key issues and their solution in relation to the different value chain actors and supporting financial institutions to understand the technicalities in advanced agriculture and serves as a bridge between the farmers and financial institution in developing financial products.
Japan Country Manager
ACCESS’s Japan country manager, Wakako Matsuura, has 7 year’s experience in financial inclusion. She managed the JICA-funded financial inclusion projects in the Philippines, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Egypt in 2011-16, providing advisory services to the microfinance institutions/programs as well as stakeholders such as private sectors and regulators. She specializes in rural finance and project management.
Saw Hein Htet Win
Myanmar Country Manager
Saw Hein Htet Win is an entrepreneur who specializes in farm and rural enterprise development. In Myanmar, he has led ACCESS’s value chain research and development practice.
Hein Htet holds a master’s degree in business management from the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (AIIAS) in the Philippines.
Daw Myo Myo Htun
Cooperative Formation Consultant
Daw Myo Myo Htun leads ACCESS’s work on cooperative formation and development, which has built five savings and credit cooperatives
in Kayin State and Mandalay Region. She is an effective trainer and has mentored cooperative organizers and village mobilizers.
U Myo Min Htwe
Cooperative Formation Consultant
U Myo Min Htwe began his career as a village mobilizer, where he learned the process of forming a cooperative. He joined ACCESS as a consultant supervising cooperative formation in the Ayeyarwaddy Region, particularly in Pathein Township.
BROAD OF DIRECTORS
Helen (Kim) Reyes
ACCESS’s Chairperson, Helen (Kim) Reyes, C.P.A., has 34 years’ experience in the fields of finance, accounting and audit. During her professional career, she has been involved in financial planning and control measures, management Information system (MIS) planning and design, and financial evaluation as a financial manager, accountant, consultant and lecturer. She is currently the Finance and Administration Manager of the Local Governance for Support Program for Local Economic Development (LGSP-LED), a collaborative Program of the Governments of the Philippines and Canada, geared towards strengthening the enabling environment for good governance and sustainable local economic development. Previously, Kim spent seven years as the Director of Finance and Administration for a microfinance institution in the Philippines, and also served as the Asia Regional Finance Manager of the international NGO Planet Finance. Kim is a practicing accountant and presently a part time lecturer on accounting in the University of the Philippines and the Canadian Institute of Hospitality Industry.
Joseph (Wek) Alaban
Joseph (Wek) Alaban has over 15 years’ experience as a consultant and trainer in financial inclusion, the development of financial systems, mobile-deployed and connected platforms, vocational training and the development of training and learning programs. He is currently based in the Lao PDR, where he is overseeing the deployment of mobile-based buyers’ utility interfaces and service design architecture for renewable energy. He also supports concept incubation for sectors that needs innovation in Laos. He was previously Vice-President for Retail Banking at BPI Globe BanKO, a joint venture established between the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and Globe Telecommunications. It was the first mobile banking platform established in the Philippines, and he was responsible for defining the framework for skills upgrading and training of the retail group to improve overall market penetration of the bank. Prior to that he was Executive Director of RIMANSI Organization for Asia and the Pacific Inc., which promotes access of poor households to sustainable risk managing financial services such as microinsurance through establishment training and capacity skills building of Mutual Benefit Associations. He has worked as a consultant and financial inclusion specialist for organizations such as ADB, EU, AusAid, GIZ, IFC, CCA/CIDA, CORDAID, IFAD and with private sector institutions, and his career has taken him from the Philippines to Timor Leste, Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Lao PDR. Wek is an Agricultural Economics graduate of the University of the Philippines.
Jose Raphael N. (Joel)
Jose Raphael N. (Joel) Mercado has 18 years’ professional experience in the fields of rural and agricultural development, and is currently based in Myanmar on development and humanitarian work.
He has worked as an Agribusiness Development Specialist engaged in enterprise development work for land reform beneficiaries under an ADB-funded project and a Market Development Specialist promoting market-led enterprise development work for a World Bank funded project.
He previously worked with USAID to promote commodity production in Mindanao, which included the piloting of the Emergency Livelihood Assistance Program for rebel returnees in post conflict areas in Muslim Mindanao.
Joel began his professional career in the Agribusiness/Aquaculture Department of San Miguel Corporation, assisting in development of the production protocol for intensive prawn production. He later managed SMC’s prawn contract farm projects.
Joel holds a Master’s degree in Agribusiness Management and a Bachelor of Science in Biology, both from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños, Philippines.
Khamphat Boulom a Lao citizen and the founder and CEO of TACDO Consulting Center since 2000. He has 14 years’ experience as manager and trainer on human resource management and staff capacity building, SME and microfinance, marketing, public administration and community development. He has been the lead consultant on various projects involving microfinance rural development, project feasibility study for community development and business investment analysis for organizations such as UNDP, Red Cross, World Bank, and ADB. Khamphat holds a post-graduate degree in Finance and Banking from the University of Sydney, and Master degree in Public Administration from the National Institute of Development Administration in Thailand, and a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) certificate from the Ministry of Finance of the Lao PDR.
Si Len is the General Director of Taing Bun Chheng, one of the leading agricultural machinery companies in Cambodia. Prior to this, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Maxima Mikroheranhvatho, Plc., one of the largest microfinance institutions in Cambodia and simultaneously adjunct lecturer on Human Resource Management & Leadership for MBA students at the Cambodian University of Specialties.
He has expertise in several areas in banking and financial institution management, including corporate finance, SME finance, corporate account management and HR management. He has held senior management positions in a number of Cambodian and multinational institutions, including General Manager of the Association of Banks in Cambodia and Executive Director of the Cambodia Microfinance Association.
Si Len holds a bachelors degree in business administration from the National University of Management and a Masters in Management from Paññasastra University of Cambodia. He is a certified professional trainer in business membership organization management & policy advocacy by the International Finance Corporation and International Labour Organization.
Bernardita (Ditas) M. Ravanilla
Bernardita (Ditas) M. Ravanilla is ACCESS’s treasurer, a non-voting member of the board. She is currently Dean of the College of Accounting Technology and simultaneously administrator of the Asian Training and Educational Center, Sorsogon Branch. She has 14 years’ experience in microfinance and financial inclusion, having begun her career in the field as a loan officer before becoming the bank’s internal auditor. A certified public accountant, she has been in private practice for 30 years while serving as executive director for an MFI in the Philippines. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Accounting, Colegio de la Milagrosa and a Master in Business Administration from the Divine Word College of the Philippines.