Board of Directors and Leadership

Steve Mark, Chairman of the Board  Steve Mark has extensive financial services experience as a management consultant and business leader, having led domestic and international growth strategies for asset management and financial advisory businesses. Steve has held leadership roles with TIAA-CREF, Fidelity Investments, and Wellington Management Company. Steve was a senior manager in the International Privatization Group of Coopers & Lybrand Consulting, and also led his own firm, SRM Associates. In addition, Steve has 10 years’ lending experience in the mortgage banking industry. Steve is a Chartered Financial Analyst, and has an M.B.A. from the Boston University Graduate School of Management, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Union College in Schenectady, NY. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and two teenage children, and enjoys travel, music, and skiing.


Rob Schmults, Treasurer Rob Schmults is Senior Vice President, eCommerce and CRM at Talbots. Previously, Rob held a number of roles as a retailer and as a solution provider to retailers. Most recently he was SVP at Intent Media, a company that enables retailers to generate advertising revenue to augment their online product sales. Before that he was Chief Marketing Officer for Smart Destinations, a retailer and platform provider for activity, tour, and sight ticketing. At GSI Commerce, Rob oversaw the teams responsible for 30 partners, including adidas, Bath & Body Works, Dick’s Sporting Goods, iRobot, and Major League Baseball. Rob ran the retail practice of Fort Point Partners, a leading e-commerce consulting and systems integration boutique, whose clients included J.Crew, Best Buy, and Restoration Hardware. He also worked for McKinsey & Co. advising retail and media clients on e-commerce strategy, both in the US and Europe. Rob’s initiation into the Internet took place in 1994, when he joined internet software pioneer Worlds Inc. Rob received his BA from Yale, M.Phil from Cambridge, and MBA from Harvard.


Nikhil Jain, Secretary Nikhil Jain is an investment professional with a background in private equity and management consulting. Currently with Bain Capital, he has worked previously at the consultancy McKinsey & Co, and at Bank of America. His professional experience encompasses a wide variety of organizational issues, ranging from strategy, cost-efficient operations, and financial management to efficacy measurement. Additionally, Nikhil served as a field research assistant with MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab in India, focusing on designing, implementing and managing two projects, one related to women’s election rates and the other to police efficacy. Nikhil was raised in both India and Canada, but has spent the last five years living and working in a mix of cities, including Jaipur, San Francisco, New York, Madison, Dubai, London and most recently Boston. Nikhil holds an AB in Mathematics and Physics from Dartmouth College.


Peter Ryan, Founder and CEO MicroLoan Foundation UK Peter Ryan is a Chiswick businessman with a background in starting up businesses for other companies in Europe and Africa. During a trip to Malawi in 1997 which he described as “mind-blowing” he was profoundly influenced by what he saw, particularly the disparity between the rich and the poor. Recognizing the need and opportunity for microfinance services in sub-Saharan Africa Peter founded the MicroLoan Foundation in the late 1990′s.


Jill Ward

Microloan Foundation USA board member Jill WardJill is an experienced general manager in financial and technology services for consumers, small businesses, and larger enterprises. Most recently, she was SVP/GM of the business units at Intuit that serve accountants, providing accounting and tax software & services that help accountants and their small business clients succeed.   Prior to that, Jill was general manager for a portfolio of industry specific business management software companies acquired by Intuit.  Before Intuit, Jill was division president of a customer contact outsourcing company serving enterprise clients in the financial services and technology spaces. Earlier, as an SVP at Fidelity Investments she was responsible for marketing investment products to small businesses and individual investors, and she also served in leader roles at strategy consulting firm Bain & Co.

Jill has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College and a BA from Wellesley College.


James Richardson A native of New York City, Jim has a degree in history from Connecticut College and served for three years in the U.S. Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa. He then earned an MBA from the University of Chicago. Since 2007 Jim has served as a director of BP Pension Trustees Ltd., overseeing one of the largest private sector pension funds in Europe. At about the same time, he began volunteer work for MicroLoan Foundation (MLF) UK, spearheading a successful effort to establish MLF in Namibia. Coincident with his relocation to the United States in 2009, Jim joined the Board of MicroLoan Foundation USA. Married and the father of three children, Jim lives in Concord, MA, and spends his spare time traveling, scuba diving and studying for the Master of Wine degree.


Lauren Maher Patrick

Lauren Maher Patrick photoLauren Maher Patrick comes to MLF with more than fifteen years of experience supporting global grantmaking initiatives and managing donor collaborations with leading organizations. Lauren has managed grant portfolios supporting reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, food security, microfinance, education, women’s and girls’ rights, and safe drinking water. She also designed and led issue briefings, skills-building sessions and donor learning trips. Lauren’s field experience spans Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia. She is currently a Program Officer with the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts. Her previous experience includes eight years with the Rockefeller Foundation- New York, NY, including six years as Program Coordinator for the Global Inclusion Program, serving as a Volunteer Field Manager on a water, sanitation and hygiene program with Vestergaard-Frandsen in Kenya, and serving as Program Officer for grants in Rwanda, South Africa, and Zimbabwe for the Firelight Foundation in Santa Cruz, CA.

Lauren earned her Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


Bridgette Herschensohn Brigitte Herschensohn has more than 20 years of business development, marketing, stakeholder engagement, and executive communications experience building global market share, brand, and revenues in 30 countries for multinational organizations. A Certified Expert in Microfinance by Frankfurt School of Banking, Brigitte brings deep communications and microfinance experience, recently serving as Chair of the Microfinance Communications Council (representing 235 MFIs serving 44 million clients) where she created and led strategy to improve the reputation and perception of the microfinance sector globally. Currently, Brigitte is Marketing and Business Development Director for Hogan Lovells LLP, a leading international law firm with a unique commitment to global citizenship and support of non-profit organizations and important causes. She was previously the Director of Global Communications and Engagement for FINCA, a microfinance organization operating in 23 countries. Brigitte is passionate about finding and delivering innovative, sustainable solutions for global poverty alleviation