Position: Chair / Country: Costa Rica
Francis Durman is a mechanical engineer graduated from Texas A&M University and currently oversees the holding company that watches over his family’s investments, which include a technology products distribution business, a hospital with facilities in two different locations, a logistics enterprise, two free zone parks, and a helicopter charter flights operator. Previously he served as the CEO for the Latin American chapter of Aliaxis Group, and was the CEO of Durman Esquivel PVC, a family-owned pipes and fittings factory that his father started in 1959. Under his leadership, the company expanded into Mexico, Central America, Peru, and Colombia. Today Mr. Durman is the Director of BAC San José, a leading credit card financial bank in Central America; Chairman of the Board of Manga Rica, Central America’s largest mango farm; President and Chairman of the Board of the Pan-American School; a member of the Board of Purdy Motor Company, Costa Rica’s leading automotive dealer and of the Board of GDC, one of the Central American Region’s largest developers of tourism-oriented projects.
Michael G. Besançon
Position: Vice Chair / Country: United States
Michael Besançon is the former Senior Global Vice President of Purchasing, Communications and Distribution for Whole Foods Market where he also chaired the National Green Mission Task Force. He recently became a member of the Product Advisory Board for Frequentz. He has more than 40 years of experience in the natural and organic foods industry, having spent his career as an advocate for sustainability in agriculture and promoting environmental awareness on a global level.
Position: Secretary / Country: Ecuador & Costa Rica
He is the President of EARTH University since 2017. At EARTH, he has led the design and implementation of the University’s strategic plan, as well as the creation and launch of EARTH Futures, a global platform to promote the transformation of university education for leadership, and the development of innovative solutions with the potential to transform millions of lives in rural areas of the developing world. He was Rector of INCAE Business School between 2007 and 2015 and for two decades he was Dean, Director of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development, and professor in the area of strategy, competitiveness and sustainable development. He obtained his doctorate in business strategy and competitiveness from Harvard Business School and his MBA from INCAE Business School. Dr. Condo also serves as a Senior Research Associate at the Harvard Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness led by Prof. Michael Porter. He has been a professor in master’s and executive education programs and is the author and co-author of articles, books, and case studies on the topics of strategy, international business, competitiveness, and sustainable development.
Position: Member / Country: Costa Rica
Adriana Echandi is the CEO for the travel retail division of Grupo Britt N.V. She started her professional career in 2001 when Café Britt decided to create a new business division for travel retail stores starting as a sales person and quickly advanced to join the leadership team. During the 16 years working for Britt, she has fostered different social programs within the communities that have given her the opportunity to work with local artisans; helped them to innovate their techniques, facilitate them with full knowledge of business, as well as introducing new products. Ms. Echandi was named one of the 40 most influential leaders under 40 by El Financiero. She graduated from Universidad Internacional de las Américas in Costa Rica and did a Global Executive MBA at INCAE Business School. She is a fellow of the 13th class of the Central America Leadership Initiative (CALI) and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Position: Member / Country: Costa Rica & United States
Hernan is a Partner at Bain & Company based out of Dallas. He is head of Global Performance Improvement practice. He has extensive expertise across a number of industries, including airlines, consumer goods and retail, industrial products and services, distribution and healthcare. He also supports clients on corporate and business unit strategy, growth and international expansion, and organizational and supply chain realignment. Hernan holds an MBA and an MILR from Cornell University, an M.S. in Economics from Stanford University, and a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University. He serves as a member of the leadership council of the SC Johnson College of Business (Cornell), where he is also a visiting senior lecturer. He was named a “Global Top 25 Consultant” by Consulting Magazine.
Member / Country: Ecuador & Mexico
Tanya Avellán is the Director of Information Technology and Chief Commercial Officer of Coca-Cola FEMSA SAB de CV since 2018. Previously, she served as Commercial Planning and Strategic Development Officer of the company and as General Director for Central America. She has been with FEMSA since 2002 and is the only woman and the only non-Mexican member of FEMSA’s executive team. Previously she was 18 years with Bain&Co. where she became Vice-President and Partner, working at the firm’s offices in Costa Rica, Mexico and Spain. She has extensive experience with different clients in consumer goods and retail. She was the first Latin American woman to become Partner at Bain. Ms. Avellán earned an Executive MBA from INCAE Business School and a BA in Information Systems from ESPOL University in Ecuador. She supports Grupo Ellael, a non-profit supporting orphan children in Mexico, as well as other NGOs focused on the promotion of the arts.