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To effectively work with a diverse group of social entrepreneurs you need a team with an equally broad set of skills and experience. Alterna is fortunate to have a team of committed professionals from all over the world with the talent and passion required to make a lasting impact in Guatemala and beyond. See below for additional information about the men and women who have made Alterna Guatemala’s premier center for entrepreneurship and innovation.


Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

Daniel Buchbinder

Prior to founding Alterna, Daniel devoted several years of his career to consumer marketing as a senior executive for a leading international health and beauty company. Daniel has more than ten years of experience in marketing and strategy in the private sector as well as extensive experience in the public sector where he served as a consultant for several NGOs. Since dedicating himself to social entrepreneurship, he has played a key role in cultivating and launching social ventures throughout Central America and Mexico. Daniel received a degree in business administration from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México, an MSc Environmental Geography from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and an MSc in Environmental Technology with specializations in business and the environment from Imperial College London, where he studied pursuant to a scholarship from the Mexican National Council on Science and Technology (CONACyT). Daniel loves challenging the status quo and is captivated by the myriad possibilities for creating change that can arise when people are truly empowered. He believes there’s no better way to empower people than through entrepreneurship!


Chief Administration Officer

Yomara Quiroa

Prior to joining Alterna, Yomara served as a consultant for the European Union, International Solidarity, and AECID, where she focused on gender equality, development, and sustainability. She has significant experience advising firms in the fields of ecotourism and agro-forestry and has worked on numerous development projects in various departments of Southwest Guatemala, focusing on agricultural irrigation, tourism and economic development. In addition, she has served as a professor at Landivar University in the Economics School and Agricultural Science School. Yomara received a BA in business management and an MS in development and project evaluation from San Carlos University. She is excited to be working with such a diverse team as it works to achieve positive and lasting environmental and societal change throughout Guatemala and beyond.

Mercedes Pérez Millán

Director of Outreach and Sustainability

Mercedes Perez

Mercedes has developed her career in various fields within the private, public and NGO sector. She worked as a financial consultant in Europe; in Latin America she worked in international trade and as an economic advisor. At Alterna, Mercedes develops partnerships with the private sector and promote social entrepreneurship as a form of development. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and Management from Loyola University Andalusia and thanks to a Fulbright scholarship, a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

Tyler Hollenbach

Country Manager, Guatemala

Tyler Hollenbach

Tyler developed his extensive knowledge of financial operations and strategic planning through years of work in public accounting. Throughout his career, Tyler has focused on business process evaluation, development and improvement. At Alterna, Tyler is focused on the design and implementation of premium-quality, tailored business solutions that improve managerial oversight and increase operational efficiency for each of Alterna's cultivation clients. In addition, Tyler oversees Alterna's impact investment program, which provides social entrepreneurs advice on investment options and guidance to build powerful, effective cases for investment.


Cultivation Program Manager

Sophie Anastassiades

Sophie joins Alterna after stints working for several NGOs and social enterprises throughout Latin America, where she specialized in operations, logistics and project management. Sophie worked in Honduras as a project management and business development consultant for the United Nations Development Program, where she helped restructure and develop a strategic plan for an NGO focused on empowering local indigenous women. She also worked in Peru in logistics and administration for FAIRTRASA, a global farmer development organization and fair-trade pioneer supporting marginalized small-scale growers in developing countries. Sophie received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in business with a focus on sustainable development from Kedge Business School in France. She believes that social entrepreneurship is a great way to create social and environmental awareness and to help people become self-sufficient. Sophie is very excited to be helping Alterna’s social entrepreneurs have a positive impact on local communities throughout Guatemala.

Zinder Garcia

Special Projects Manager

Zinder Garcia

Zinder comes to Alterna with deep experience working with businesses and NGOs in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. She has managed a wide variety of different projects related to Business Administration and Art & Culture, and within those sectors, managed the coordination, logistics, volunteer recruitment and execution of events. She is a graduate of Universidad Rafael Landivar with a degree in Business Administration. Previously, she was a member of the Asociación Scout de Guatemala for 10 years participating in the Scout Program as a Facilitator for Western Guatemala. Zinder's has always been interested in involvement in projects with a social vision that contribute to development and support sustainable wellbeing. She joins Alterna to help develop new responses to social challenges, which aligns with her personal and professional values.

Laura Smulian

Communications Manager

Laura Smulian

Laura joins the Alterna team with a background in cause-related communications and marketing. She brings extensive experience launching public awareness campaigns, executing community engagement strategies and coordinating nation-wide initiatives to raise awareness about women’s rights issues. She is a strong advocate for the power of storytelling to build and connect networks across sectors, and is excited to develop and guide Alterna’s communication strategies. Laura graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in International Political Economy and Spanish Literature.

María Rosal Juvé

Outreach & Sustainability Associate

María Rosal Juvé

Maria has always been linked to the NGO and entrepreneurship sector. She has worked as a consultant and as a volunteer in different NGOs in Spain and Guatemala. She worked as a social consultant for the Momentum Project, a social entrepreneurship program led by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, ESADE Business School and PwC. At Alterna, Maria is working to promote social entrepreneurship as an economic driver through events and outreach. She is also working with social entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses. Maria is a graduate in Business Administration from ESADE and holds a Masters in Marketing.

>Mauricio Castillo

Strategic Development

Mauricio has a degree in Psychology from Universidad Iberoamericana in México and a Masters degree in Applied Social Sciences from the University of Bordeaux in France. He has worked with low-income communities and both local and international NGOs, principally in the subject of capacitation, campaigns and human rights. Mauricio joins the Alterna team to tackle the question of how to construct an ecosystem that supports the social sector that NGOs already work in, and to learn more about business development. His main focus is on strategic development, expansion, el Programa Nacional de Biodigestores de Guatemala and other special projects.

Meet Our Fellows

Marco Grisenti

Business Development and Cultivation Fellow

Marco has developed his professional experience in the banking sector, working as a financial consultant in the pricing methodology and modeling department of UniCredit Group in Italy and completing various internships in Italy, Luxembourg and Spain, where he strengthened his accounting and investment skills in the private sphere. At Alterna, he is in charge of the advanced entrepreneur Cultivation Program, supporting local enterprises in the definition of their business growth models, financial figures, and in the achievement of their social impact. Marco holds a BSc in International Business Administration and a MSc in Financial Analysis at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.

Patrick Woolpert

Business Development Fellow

Patrick developed his background in finance and accounting while working at a real estate investment company in southern California. He had previously focused on social entrepreneurship, while gaining a BA in Finance at Georgetown University, working with students to develop their social businesses. Here at Alterna, Patrick will continue in that same work, aiding local entrepreneurs in the development of business plans and strategies to grow and succeed.

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