Karen Larson – President & CEO

Karen joined Friendship Bridge in May 2009 as head of our leadership team. Prior to her transition to international nonprofit work, she was the President and COO for Key Equipment Finance, Global Vendor Services, a division of KeyCorp for 10 years where she had responsibility for the vendor leasing business in 26 countries. Karen began her career in the public finance arena providing critical financial solutions to state and local governments. She went on to spend 12 years with AT&T Capital, the financing arm of AT&T, at the time of the Bell companies’ divestiture, helping to successfully finance the critical telecom equipment needs of state, local, and federal governments.  As AT&T Capital grew to an independent finance organization, Karen was instrumental in building and managing numerous IT manufacturer private label customer finance programs globally. As an industry leader, Karen had been a frequent speaker and author on the subjects of global leasing, outsourced partnerships, women in leasing and leadership training. Karen received a BA in economics from the University of California, San Diego, and completed executive education programs at Duke University, the Fuqua School of Business and Case Western University.  Karen’s passion for the work she is doing at Friendship Bridge is a combination of her long term commitment to empower women in the workplace as well as contributing to sustainable solutions for alleviating poverty.

Heidy Garrido – Guatemala Country Director

Prior to being promoted to Country Director, Heidy started in early 2017 in the newly created position of Director of People Services. Heidy brings to Friendship Bridge’s leadership team a long track record in human resource management, training, career development, defining and monitoring of key success indicators, and advisory of business women and entrepreneurs. She worked for 10 years as a leader and executive at the Guatemalan Managers’ Association (AGG in Spanish). Most recently, Heidy worked at Energuate as Manager of Social Management and Corporate Social Responsibility, monitoring and evaluating social and commercial projects, working on the recovery and sustainability of clients, leading the area of social intelligence for assertive decision making, supporting conflict resolution and managing strategic alliances.

Daniel Cotto – Finance Manager

Daniel began working with Friendship Bridge in early 2017. He is a Public Accountant and Auditor. Daniel has a Master Degree in Tax Consulting. He brings to the organization 18 years of experience in microfinance with Share Association of Guatemala. His last position he was Sub Financial Manager, however he started as a loan officer, he was in internal audit, credit and more recently in finance. In addition, he is bringing to the organization specific knowledge of accounting policies, internal controls, implementing changes in processes and systems, budgeting, investor relations and customer service. In his last position, he worked with a team of 10 and contributed to the sustainability and healthy growth of Share Association’s portfolio.