An organization's leaders have the privilege and responsibility of determining the organization's strategic direction and shaping its character. Get to know HOPE's leaders by reading their biographies.
Peter Greer, President & CEO
Peter Greer joined HOPE in July 2004, following extensive education and experience in the field of microfinance. Peter received a B.S. in International Business from Messiah College, and he earned an MPP with a concentration in Political and Economic Development from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Prior to his education at Harvard, Peter served as Managing Director for URWEGO Community Banking in Kigali, Rwanda, for three years. He also served as a technical advisor for Self-Help Development Foundation (CARE Zimbabwe) in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and he worked as a microfinance advisor in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. While at Harvard, Peter studied HOPE’s work in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a graduate thesis project. He says his interest in working for HOPE grew as he saw “its unique desire to combine physical and spiritual ministry through the tool of microfinance.”
David Wong, Chief Financial Officer
David Wong joined HOPE International in January 2010 after a 30-year career in banking and financial services that included roles as Partner and Director at Arthur Andersen LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Prior to that, he had served in banking executive roles as Vice President and Corporate Controller, Operations Division Executive and Product Development Executive at Tokai Bank, JPMorganChase, and Citigroup. His capstone assignments included the turnaround of the Commercial Finance Division as a Vice President of Dell Computers and the startup of the financial services business as the Vice President of Financial Solutions at Stryker Corporation. David holds an MBA in Accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a B.S. in Management Communication from Adelphi University.
Jesse Casler, VP of Administration
Jesse Casler has been with HOPE since October 2004. His education includes a B.A. from Eastern Nazarene College and both an M.A. in International Relations and an MBA from Boston University. The field of microfinance falls at the intersection of these degrees, combining Jesse’s heart for developing countries and his business expertise. Prior to and during his graduate work, Jesse gained experience in international banking at State Street Corporation’s international headquarters in Massachusetts and later at a subsidiary of Advent Software. He has traveled extensively throughout Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Jesse has served the finance and accounting, operations, and administration teams while at HOPE, and brings a broad perspective to his work. He has served as a church board member and Treasurer and is deeply committed to HOPE’s Christian mission. Jesse lives in Lancaster with his wife, Krista, and their two sons.
Dave Wasik, VP of Operations
As Vice President of Operations, Dave manages HOPE’s microlending and saving programs worldwide. Prior to joining HOPE in July 2011, Dave was a Senior Vice President at Capital One Financial Corporation, where he had worked since 1993. During his time there, Dave played a variety of leadership roles, including leading the firm’s small business credit portfolio and managing collections for all of its credit card and loan portfolios. Earlier in his career, he led marketing to existing Capital One customers and managed a team of analysts that improved the efficiency of Capital One’s operations. Dave lives in Richmond, Va., with his wife, Jennifer, and their children, Ben and Allison, and attends Christ Church Episcopal, where he has served on the Vestry, as treasurer, and as a Sunday school teacher. He received a degree in mechanical engineering from Duke University. Dave is inspired by HOPE’s mission: “HOPE is advancing the world’s most urgent and important causes—spreading the Word of God, alleviating poverty, and improving financial literacy and business skills.”
Chris Horst, Director of Development
Since starting in 2006, Chris Horst has served in a variety of roles at HOPE. As Director of Development, Chris employs his passion for advancing initiatives at the intersection of entrepreneurship and the Gospel to share HOPE’s story with new and existing supporters. In addition to his role at HOPE, Chris serves on the boards of the Denver Institute for Faith & work and the Colorado Microfinance Alliance. Chris has been published in Christianity Today and is co-authoring Mission Drift with Peter Greer (arriving Spring 2014). Chris received his B.S. in business from Taylor University in Indiana and his MBA at Bakke Graduate University. He and his wife, Alli, have one son, Desmond, and live in Denver, CO, where they are active members of City Church Denver.
Matthew Rohrs, Director of Spiritual Integration
Matthew Rohrs joined HOPE as Director of Spiritual Integration in 2010, bringing with him a passion for finding synergy between ministry and business. A graduate of Taylor University (B.S., business systems) and the University of Notre Dame (MBA), Matthew spent nearly a decade in pension investment consulting and earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation before joining HOPE. While working in the marketplace, Matthew developed a deep love for the Church and discipleship. His eight years of service as a small group leader and four years as a church elder blossomed into a desire to empower the Church on a global scale. As Matthew’s interest in the ministry of microfinance and sustainable approaches to poverty alleviation grew, he became the founding member of HOPE’s regional board in Indiana. Matthew remains an active volunteer member of the regional board and now serves professionally with HOPE, helping the organization fulfill its core objective of honoring and obeying Christ in all aspects of its work.
Matthew and his wife, Jeanne, have two children, Isaiah and Jackson.
Phil Smith, Director of Savings and Credit Association Programs
Phil Smith joined HOPE International as Director of SCA in December 2012. Phil brings a wealth of knowledge from his six years at World Relief where he served as Rwanda Country Director for many years before transitioning to Vice President of Operations for Marketing and Church Engagement. While at World Relief Phil also served as Vice Chair of the Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB) board, working closely with HOPE during that time. Prior to World Relief, Phil served as Executive Pastor at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, CT. Prior to this, he was with Pitney Bowes, where his roles included leadership of their financial services divisions in Canada, Europe, and the US. As Director of Savings and Credit Association Programs (SCA), Phil will lead the growth and expansion of HOPE’s SCA programs worldwide. He will also serve on the Executive Team.
Phil is deeply committed to addressing Jesus’ call to active engagement in serving the most vulnerable. He comments, “In its mission and work, HOPE is responding directly to that call to serve. I’m excited to be of part of it.”
Phil holds a degree in Business Administration from Azusa Pacific University. He and his wife, Becca, have 2 sons, Sean and Iranzi, and reside in the Lancaster PA area.
Kevin Tordoff, Director of Marketing
Kevin joined the staff of HOPE in March 2008. Kevin spent more than 15 years in the premium sporting goods industry, with the majority of his time spent leading the marketing communications efforts for the running shoe brand Saucony. Following his work with Saucony, Kevin established a business importing and marketing fair trade home décor products made by artisans in developing countries and consulted for two faith based non-profits focused on sustainable development. Kevin holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Gordon College. Kevin and his wife, Sue, have three children: Luke, Kaitlyn, and Hannah.
Christine Baingana, Savings and Credit Association Specialist
Christine Baingana joined HOPE as the Savings and Credit Association (SCA) Specialist in 2010. Christine’s extensive background in financial services and management, her desire to use her skills to advocate and educate those on behalf of the poor, and her commitment to HOPE’s mission make her an ideal fit for the SCA Specialist role. Her leadership and expertise will prove vital in growing the current SCA program and expanding the model to partner with other churches in Rwanda.
Christine holds a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a bachelor’s of business administration from Newport University, UK, and a diploma as an associate of business executives from Cavendish College. Her professional background includes over 15 years of experience in financial services, corporate management, and development work.
While working in Kigali, Rwanda, from 1995 to 2009, she held the following positions: program coordinator at Tulane International LLC; managing director of Imprimerie Nouvelle Du Rwanda; director of banking operations at the Bank of Commerce, Development, and Industry; senior manager for the Credit Department where she launched the first electronic payment service in the country; and manager in the Private Banking and Branch Network.
Andre Barkov, Managing Director, HOPE Ukraine and Russia
Andre has been with HOPE Ukraine since May 1999 when he started as a loan officer in Zaporozhye. A year later he became expansion officer, opening new offices and running new branches. In May 2003 he became the program operations manager for HOPE Ukraine. He now serves as director of HOPE’s programs in Ukraine and Russia.
Jeffrey Lee, CEO, Urwego Opportunity Bank (Rwanda)
Jeffrey Lee brings more than 30 years of commercial banking experience to his role as CEO of Urwego, which he began in February 2009. As CEO of Shinhan Bank America, he led the integration of several branches as well as the expansion of the bank through mergers and acquisitions, growing assets to $950 million. In his previous role as CEO of Premier Bank, he led its expansion from one to several branches and grew total assets from $8.5 million to $136 million over a seven-year period. Jeffrey earned an MBA from the University of Southern California and studied leadership at Denver Seminary. He has been actively involved in Christian education and mission work for more than 25 years and founded a mission mobilization ministry called Project BGAN (Bringing the Gospel to All Nations) in 2011.
Vlad Mihut, General Manager, ROMCOM (Romania)
Vlad Mihut has been working with ROMCOM since 2003. He is currently responsible for the strategic management of the ROMCOM group, which includes ROMCOM SA (microfinance), ROMCOM INVEST (consulting), and ROMCOM Training (training). Vlad is successfully working to continue to leverage the existing loan fund of ROMCOM S.A. by attracting additional financing and increasing ROMCOM's pool of clients. He is also responsible for the strategic development of the ROMCOM network, which at the end of 2008 counted six branches in five cities of Romania. Prior to his work with ROMCOM, Vlad worked with Evanston Capital Advisors in Bucharest, Romania. Vlad received a degree in business management from Emanuel University in Oradea, Romania.
Erisa Mutabazi, Managing Director, Rwanda Savings Program
With his strong academic credentials, extensive experience in microfinance, and pastoral heart, Reverend Erisa Mutabazi brings a unique perspective to his work in Rwanda. Before joining HOPE in January 2012, he worked as a program manager with World Vision, providing overall strategic planning and supervision and participating in the program design of Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC). Prior to that, he was a field operations manager with World Relief. Erisa has two master’s degrees: an M.A. in theology and leadership and an MBA in project management. A native of Rwanda, Erisa is passionate about helping Rwandans living in poverty through HOPE’s Savings and Credit Association program.
Ghenadie Russu, Executive Director, Invest-Credit (Moldova)
Ghenadie has been the executive director of Invest-Credit since January 2005. He acquired his diploma of license from the Academy of Economic Studies, Chisinau, and his MBA from Grenoble Graduate School of Business. He since has been involved in numerous microfinance and other economic development initiatives.
Carlos Sanchez, President, Esperanza International (Dominican Republic & Haiti)
Carlos Pimentel Sanchez joined Esperanza International as country director in 1998. After over 10 years of exemplary leadership, Mr. Pimentel was recently promoted to president, directing and supervising all functions of Esperanza International’s operations in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Mr. Pimentel received his Bachelor of Science in business systems analysis and design from APEC University in 1990.