Marie-Gabrielle Isidore, Chief Executive Officer, Founder and President of BrandHaiti, graduated from Tufts University in Medford, MA where she majored in International Relations with a concentration in economic development of Latin America and Africa. She speaks French, English, and Haitian Creole. During her time at Tufts, she launched the BrandHaiti program as an EMPOWER Fellow at the Institute for Global Leadership (IGL), with which she also conducted economic research on the agricultural sector in Northern Haiti. Her rapidly growing organization served as a case study of marketing in the non-profit sector in 2012 at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy. Currently, as an initiative to feature successful Haitian business practices, Marie-Gabrielle is directing and producing a documentary on the business community in Haiti to deconstruct negative and fearful perceptions among foreign investors. Her work experiences as an analyst for Wellington Management in Boston, a portfolio manger for the African Stock Competition and African Business Group at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy, and an analyst for the Tufts Financial Group solidified further her commitment to ensuring a dignified and solutions-oriented future for young people in Haiti through pro-Haitian and non-exploitative economic development.
Ketsia Saint-Armand, Chief Financial Officer of BrandHaiti, is a junior at Harvard doing a joint concentration in Social Studies and African and African-American Studies with a language citation in Haitian Creole. She speaks Haitian Creole, Spanish, English, and French. Ketsia was born in Haiti but came to the United States when she was less than one year old. Her background is in culturally based educational nonprofits; she has worked for various programs since the age of 13 and directed a youth program this past summer. At Harvard, she served as the Outreach Chair for the Harvard Haitian Alliance and worked with the Haitian community in Somerville and Cambridge as the director of a visitation program for the elderly. Currently, she on a leave of absence from Harvard and is the Program Intern for the Haitian Cultural Exchange in Brooklyn.
Jennifer Lemke, Vice President of BrandHaiti, is currently the Manager of Wahoo Bay Beach Club & Resort in Côte-des-Arcadins, Haiti. After her studies in Madrid, Spain, Jen graduated magna cum laude from Florida International University with a degree in Hospitality Management in 2007. She has extensive experience in accounts receivable, quality control, inventory control, consumer behavior, personnel management, sales & marketing, and customer relations, which she acquired during her hotelier career in South Beach, FL at the Shore Club and the Mondrian Hotel of the Morgans Hotel Group. Despite her extensive success abroad, Jen decided to return to Haiti in October of 2010 to join the family business at Wahoo Bay, where as the current Manager she is overseeing events and renovations for the resort.
Ian Kershaw is a consultant to the BrandHaiti management team. Ian works in management consulting at L.E.K. Consulting, a top-tier global strategy and management consulting firm. Ian has experience in business analysis, business plan development, and strategy development for both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Ian’s professional work experience in business strategy has covered energy, airlines / aviation, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, nuclear technology, and retail. Ian’s non-profit work includes management of two non-profit organizations between 2003 and 2010, volunteering as a mentor for the YearUp organization, and volunteering for Inspire, a national non-profit consulting firm that offers strategic consulting services to schools and non-profits. Ian is a current board member of the Tufts Alumni Boston Chapter and was co-chair of the UAE Tufts Alumni Chapter while working in environmental consulting in Dubai, UAE from 2009-10. Ian graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University in 2009 with a B.A. in Economics and is also an alumnus of the University of Oxford.
Kris Coombs, Jr., Director of Communications & Publicity, is a current graduate student at Tufts University pursuing his Masters in Educational Studies. He is also a two-time graduate of Tufts, earning his B.A. in Political Science and Peace & Justice Studies in 2009, and his first M.A. in Child Development in 2011. Kris served as the Co-Director and Business Manager of Tufts Social Justice Arts Initiative; President of the Leonard Carmichael Society, Tufts’ 1000+ member community service organization; and the Graduate Student Council Secretary and Community Outreach Committee Co-Chair.
Felisha Pierre-Louis graduated from Cornell University in 2012 with a degree
in Government and triple minors in International Relations, Law & Society and
Inequality Studies. She served various roles in the Haitian Students Association,
winner of Cornell’s Outstanding Activist Award 2010, including President during
her senior year. Post-graduation, Felisha is based in the Boston area and working at
Raytheon as a member of the Operations Talent Development program. Currently,
she is supporting BrandHaiti’s Spring Break program to Haiti.
Natalie Paret is a junior of Haitian-Trinidadian descent at Columbia University (CU) majoring in Sustainable Development and Economics. Natalie is involved in the Columbia minority community and volunteered on a service trip to Grenada in 2011 with the Caribbean Students Association to promote higher education among the island’s youngest citizens. As the current Administrative/Professor Relations chair for the CU Black Student Group Consortium, she has worked to connect the Columbia/Barnard black community with each other, Columbia administration and faculty, and outside entities and has worked with many student groups including the Haitian Students Association. Natalie has also modeled in the Columbia Black History Month and Chinese Students Association’s fashion shows in 2011 and 2012. She is a member of Columbia’s Theta Psi chapter of Alpha Chi Omega and participates in community service with her sisters for causes like Relay for Life and domestic violence awareness. She is spending the summer in Beijing for a Chinese language program, and will also travel to Senegal in Spring 2013 for a development exchange program.
Nora David, Fashion Advisor for BrandHaiti, graduated from the Fashion School of Montreal (École Supérieure de Mode de Montréal) with a Bachelor’s in Fashion Design and a concentration in Industrial Management. Born in Port-au-Prince, Nora is the daughter of a stylist and an architect. She fluently speaks French, Creole, English and Spanish. Shortly after obtaining her degree, she jumped right into business and acquired a winter accessory company. Subsequently, Nora worked independently as a designer and fashion coordinator for a company making private labels. At the same time she assisted her mother, Maëlle F. David, renowned stylist in the fashion and cultural industry, with the management and coordination of her workshop as well as with the development of her Ready-to-Wear collections. To everyone’s surprise, in 2010, she left Montreal, leaving everything behind to pursue her dream of a better Haiti, where she created Collections Xaragua, a brand of handbags with an original style and a typical Haitian authenticity.
Samuel Buissereth is the Web Designer and Coordinator of Haitian Youth Outreach for BrandHaiti. He has served as the youth director for a large scale Haitian youth organization since 2007. Last year, Samuel expanded the work he did to advocate for Haiti so that he could be in the forefront of delivering new, positive, and accurate content about Haiti. This included translating a variety of content from English to Kreyòl, both in which he is fluent. As a web developer, he has worked on websites such as StillJaspora.org, HaitainYouth.com, and a variety of other web projects regarding Haiti. He is currently in the software development program at Kennesaw State Universty located in Kennesaw, Georgia, a part of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area.