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 and Philippines Country Manager
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.
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.
Daw Myo Myo Htun
Myanmar Team Leader
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.
Indonesia Team Leader
Deanny Annisa is an expert in Islamic finance. She holds Master of Science in Islamic finance from accredited AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) university. Specializing in Islamic Finance literacy and Finance Halal literacy, Deanny has also been working as Islamic Financial Planner since 2015.
Since 2011, Deanny has participated in community service programs as an Agriculture SMEs trainer for Accounting and Management.
National Technical Consultant
Ichwan is a social activist, social entrepreneur and researcher. He led The Leader’s youth development program division participating in projects in Aceh, Java, and Center Sulawesi. He also founded Kitong Bisa Enterprise, a social enterprise which focuses on tackling unemployment in disadvantaged areas by creating and fostering inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystems.
Ichwan researches and writes on banking and financial institutions, cooperatives and MSMEs in Indonesia. His paper on policy recommendations related to digital banking in Indonesia was published in the journal of Islamic Monetary Economics and Finance.
BOARD 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 Managing Director of Gerry Roxas Foundation – Hublag Microfinance Foundation, based in Roxas, Capiz, that provides working loans to small farmers and micro entrepreneuers. Previously, Kim worked as the Finance Director of a 5-year USAID program award that supports sub grants to five categories: enterprise development, governance, counter trafficking in persons, education innovation challenge and biodiversity. Kim also 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 was a lecturer on accounting in the University of the Philippines for 20 years.
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.
Gloria Sollorano-Chavez is an educator specializing in entrepreneurship, organizational behavior and strategic management. She has devoted more than 40 years in development work focusing on enterprise development, livelihood and microfinance projects. She has served in the Board of various non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) such as the Urban Program for Livelihood Training and Development (UPLIFT) a French-Filipino NGO specializing in microfinance and the Livelihood and Enterprise Development Center, a microfinance NGO based in the Cavite Province, Philippines where she is currently the President of the Board of Trustees. Gloria has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor in Business Administration from De La Salle University. She was an Associate Professor at De La Salle University-Manila, Chair of the Business Management Department, Dean in De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, and President-Chancellor for the College of St. John-Roxas. During her career, she was instrumental in the development of the ENTREPRENEURSHIP THRUST of De La Salle University-Manila’s Business Management Department, and the Masters in Business Administration Program of the College of St. John-Roxas, Philippines. She has served as President of the Entrepreneurship Educators’ Association of the Philippines (ENEDA) and as a consultant to Cavite Council for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development of the Office of the Governor of the Cavite Province. She was with the Graduate School of Business of Assumption University in Thailand in 2015 to 2016 in its Organization Development and in its Masters in Business Administration Programs. She is currently on a Visiting Professor status. She is presently involved as Assistant Program Manager with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA) in a Project called Saliksik Likha “SALIKHA” a research project for Higher Education Institutions all over the Philippines.
Marites (Tes) Barrios-Taran
Atty. Marites Barrios Taran a private legal practitioner, a financial consultant and law professor who serves as ACCESS’s corporate secretary. She is a senior law partner of Meritt Law Office, a full service law firm based in Manila in 2007. Being a certified public accountant, she is also into rendering of professional services in the field of accountancy, audit and taxation, including realty, business and management advisory services. She has successfully handled a multitude of different civil and criminal lawsuits, and has earned several commendations/awards related to law practice. She specializes in general civil and criminal litigation. She is also into corporate and labor practice. She is very much involved in the academe, too, teaching criminal, commercial law and government management subjects in the undergraduate and Graduate School of Law. She holds a Masters degree in Government Management, and hold the prestige of being PLM’s first and only graduate of the Master of Laws in 2007. She was a City of Manila and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) scholar, and has represented the Philippines in several international conferences. Her other advocacies include education, child rights, agri-business, economics, finance, employment and planning, and environment protection.
Kathleen is a certified public accountant who serves as ACCESS’s treasurer.