CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Carmina strongly believes that education is the key to any nation's advancement. As a college student, she was already managing multiple scholarship funds through her youth organizations. Over the past 8 years, she has also trained more than 5,000 youth in topics of employment, financial literacy, peace building, and entrepreneurship. Following her curiosity about how business models played a role in social change, Carmina worked with Smarter Good Inc. to raise millions of dollars for youth-focused social enterprises. She also worked on projects with leading institutions such as Ashoka, World Bank, Australian National University, Lutheran World Relief, UNDP, and USAID.
After years of immersion in the problem of education financing, both locally and globally, Carmina decided it was time to start InvestEd. Her dream to this day is to see a world where every young person has the opportunity to fulfill their dreams and help others do the same.
Carmina has a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of the Philippines and an Entrepreneurship, Startup Management and Data Strategy Certificate from the Asian Institute of Management.
When she has time to zone out, she plays soccer and reads sci-fi and fantasy books.
CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER
Mel joins InvestEd with a developing career in social entrepreneurship, with her core advocacies being education, women’s empowerment and world hunger. Committed to her passion for education, she previously worked as a preschool teacher in the Alphabet House Creative Learning Center. A true social entrepreneur, Mel also worked as an Advocacy Officer for Sinaya Cup, a Philippine social enterprise that helps marginalized women in rural areas access eco-friendly hygienic products. She was also a volunteer for Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya, a non profit organization that delivers renewable technologies to urban poor in resettlement communities. Mel graduated Cum Laude in Mechanical Engineering from the University of the Philippines and was also an Oblation Scholar, having been part of the Top 50 out of 70,000 UP Entrance Exam takers. When Mel isn’t working on her advocacies, she likes to read, knit or try to do new crafty things even if she is creatively challenged.
DATA & RESEARCH OFFICER
Claro brings years of operations consulting, engineering and banking experience to InvestEd. He currently handles customer feedback and process improvements in one of the country’s leading universal banks. In the past, Claro has consulted for medium to large companies and was also an instructor of systems simulation, engineering mathematics, and methods engineering for students in the University of the Philippines. He holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering with specialization in Operations Research and has also won national engineering competitions back when he was an undergraduate.
Claro believes that giving everyone access to higher education can help solve society’s most pressing problems. When he isn’t tinkering with excel spreadsheets, Claro is either out meeting new people or writing in his blog, “Engineering the Philippines”.
Ro taps into five years of corporate experience in finance, marketing, data analytics and project management as InvestEd’s business officer. Ro graduated Magna Cum Laude and top of his batch in Business Administration at the University of the Philippines and is presently taking his Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Toronto. Ro’s advocacy has always been education- aside from four years of volunteer work in child development and teaching programs, he also founded Squala, a school management system with an online classroom, web enrolment, and real-time attendance tracking.
Back in college, Ro needed four scholarships just to finish his degree. InvestEd is Ro’s way of helping individuals who were like him- those who were unable to maximize college due to financial struggles. In his spare time, Ro is in the gym lifting weights.
Niña holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from Far Eastern University Manila. Back in college, Niña almost didn’t graduate due to financial difficulties. This gave birth to her passion in enabling more college students to access quality education through InvestEd. Niña utilizes her great people and project management skills to search and screen the most deserving and financially in need students out there.
During her college years, Niña was an active publication attaché in FEU’s International Studies Society and an altruist member in Tamaraw Volunteers Organization. She was also an intern in AFS Intercultural Programs, an international non-government organization that promotes foreign exchange education. During her internship, Niña was assigned to support more than a hundred foreign exchange students to become future leaders. Her college thesis entitled “From German Antisemitism to American Islamopobhia” was presented in Far Eastern University’s Research Colloquium and was chosen as one of the best thesis in her batch.
In her free time, Niña likes to work on her cooking skills.
Hannah was a working student and scholar in University of the Philippines Los Baños, when she was finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. Due to her experience, she believes that lack of financial capacity should not be a hindrance to education and personal growth. As a loan officer at InvestEd, Hannah assists students regarding their career and financial challenges, ensuring that their needs are met on a timely basis and that they are empowered to succeed in life. She also ensures that InvestEd’s social impact is properly monitored and measured.
Back in college, Hannah was an active member and officer of both academic and business organizations – UP Socius and APEX: The UPLB Business Network. Prior to InvestEd, she also worked with Innovations for Poverty Action as a research field officer, where she evaluated the impact and effectivity of social programs. Eventually, Hannah dreams of putting up her own social enterprise.
Outside work, Hannah enjoys exploring and relaxing in the countryside.
Jasmin De Castro
Having grown up with nine siblings, Jasmin knows firsthand how costly education can be to the average Filipino family. Immediately after graduation, she grabbed the opportunity to work with InvestEd, because of the company’s crucial role in tackling the high cost of education. Jasmin works closely with InvestEd’s founders in managing human resource, legal and financial matters. Everyday, she ensures that the company has a strong and healthy foundation for success.
Jasmin earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Colegio de San Juan de Letran- Manila. Back in college, she was the Batch Representative and Finance officer of The Letran Politics and an active member of Association of Political Science Organizations of the Philippines, Kabataan Partylist, and Rotaract Manila Maharlika. Jasmin also took her internship at the Senate of the Philippines where she gave direct administrative support to the Legislative Committee. In the future, Jasmin plans to finish her law degree specializing in Labor Relations.
In her free time, Jasmin likes to try the latest food trends around town.
Gia is one of InvestEd’s student borrowers and is a senior taking up Bachelor of Fine Arts at Bulacan State University. Design has always been her passion; she has been drawing and designing as far back as she can remember — from cars, houses, and portraits, to anything that piqued her interest. This passion motivated her to pursue a major in visual communication.
Before getting a loan at InvestEd and joining our team, Gia had to work multiple underpaid jobs at a printing press and a cooperative — performing a variety of tasks, from bookkeeping accounts, sorting files, cleaning the office, to binding books. Her previous employer covered her tuition fees and paid her Php100 (less than $2) per day for her labor.
Currently, Gia is a proud Investee. Her loan covers both her daily allowance and tuition fees. In addition, she has access to career and financial training sessions and a support network through her InvestEd mentor and co-Investees.
MASS MARKET LENDING
Mr. Eugene S. Acevedo is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC). Previous to that, he was Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking & Corporate Banking at UnionBank of the Philippines. Mr. Acevedo served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Philippine National Bank from May 21, 2010 to July 31, 2011. He has 23 years of banking experience focused on treasury operations at Citibank. He serves as Chairman of the Board at City Savings Bank, Inc. Mr. Acevedo served as a Vice Chairman of Philippine National Bank until August 2011. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of San Carlos in 1984 with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Physics. He studied at the Asian Institute of Management where he secured his Masters in Business Management in 1987 ranking first in his graduating class.
Ted Levinson is the Founder of Beneficial Returns, a new impact investing business focused on social enterprises in emerging markets that work in the areas of sustainable agriculture and energy, poverty alleviation and waste reduction. Beneficial Returns borrows money from Donor Advised Funds and Foundations and uses this capital to make loans to social enterprises that need equipment to grow their scale and impact. Ted spent seven years at RSF Social Finance where he was the Senior Director of Lending, managing an $85M portfolio of loans to US and Canada-based social enterprises. He was responsible for setting strategy and policy, managing a team of finance professionals, and business development. Ted is the Treasurer of Social Enterprise Alliance, and a 2015 Aspen Ideas Fest Fellow. He has completed consulting assignments in Indonesia and Appalachia for institutions considering the launch of their own impact investing funds. On his fellowship, Ted traveled to India and Indonesia where he met with social entrepreneurs and social finance professionals. The experience opened his eyes to the need and opportunity for debt financing for social enterprises in the developing world.
Robin Wolaner is a noted entrepreneur and executive -- founder of Parenting Magazine, executive with Time Warner and CNET -- who capped a storied career in media and technology with two nonprofit C-level positions: at Vittana, a pioneer of higher-education loans in developing countries, and We Care Solar. She is also the author of Naked in the Boardroom: A CEO Bares Her Secrets So You Can Transform Your Career (Simon & Schuster, 2005), and subject of one of the most popular case studies in Harvard Business School history. She currently sits on the boards of directors of CredoMobile and Upaya Social Ventures. Robin holds a BS in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Jane Leu is an internationally recognized social entrepreneur and Ashoka Fellow with more than 20 years of experience in founding and leading social enterprises. She is the Founder and former CEO of Upwardly Global, a 18-year-old $6M US national organization that integrates more than 2,000 skilled immigrants and refugees annually into permanent jobs in the US workforce through strategic partnerships with leading corporations, organizations and governments. She is the CEO/Founder of Smarter Good, a professional services firm that is focused on improving global social sector efficiency and effectiveness. Smarter Good was founded in and is based in the Philippines, works with more than 40 organizations around the world concurrently, and operates as a profitable social enterprise.
She serves on the Board of Directors or Advisory Boards of Welcoming America, On the Level, Needslist, Five One Labs, Human Mobility Initiative, Migration Policy Institute, Workership, UNDP Philippines Social Impact Fund, Peery Foundation, and AshokaU. She is a co-author of Unicorns Unite: How Nonprofits and Foundations can build EPIC Partnerships. Jane is also a Lecturer in Management, Center for Social Innovation, Stanford Graduate School of Business. She holds a MA in International Policy from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, a BA from Tufts University.
Emily serves as an Adviser of the De La Salle University Graduate School of Business. Ms. Abrera served as Chief Executive Officer and President of McCann Erickson Philippines, Inc., since January 1992 and also served as its Chairman from January 1999 to March 2004. Ms. Abrera is the President of the Maria Montessori Children's School Foundation and the Foundation for Communication Initiatives. She serves as Chairman of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Ms. Abrera has been an Independent Director of Splash Corporation since June 11, 2011. She serves as a Director of Pioneer Insurance. She served as Director of Bank of the Philippine Islands since March 29, 2007. Ms. Abrera served as Independent director of ABS-CBN Corporation since 2005. She occupied key positions in the Advertising Board of the Philippines. She serves as trustee of: Museo Pambata, Children's Hour, Inc. since 2009, Philippine Board on Books for Young People, Philippine Eagle Foundation, Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation and Nayong Pilipino. In 1979, she joined the Philippine subsidiary of McCann Erickson, a global advertising communications Group, as creative director. She serves as Chairman of the Board of the Cultural Center of the Philippines since 2006. She is Chairwoman of the Board of CCI Asia. She has been Independent Director of Teleperformance SE since November 27, 2012. She served as an Independent Director of 2GO Group Inc. (Formerly Aboitiz Transport System Corporation) since May 2008. She is a founding member of the Women's Business Council. In May 1999, Ms. Abrera received the 'Lifetime Achievement Award' from the Philippine's Creative Guild. She studied Mass Communication at Maryknoll College and Journalism at the University of the Philippines.