Executive Director

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Ron Severson

Ron serves as MAPLE's executive director.  He received his Ph.D. in cultural studies, teaches communication, conflict resolution, and social entrepreneurship  as senior instructor of management at the University of Oregon, and, together with former students, founded MAPLE Microdevelopment in 2008.  He also has taught graduate courses in microfinance and development for several summers at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.  He has a passion for working closely with communities to design and implement culturally appropriate, sustainable models for development and for working with youth as the next generation of leaders and social entrepreneurs.  

U.S. Board Members

Mike Sullivan

Mike is the current President of the MAPLE U.S. board. He has worked for over 30 years in public community and economic development with an emphasis on small business development and financing. He has managed a variety of revolving loan funds that support small business growth and development. Mike is passionate about grassroots entrepreneurial and business development. He has an appreciation for the capital needs of small developing businesses and has seen the positive impacts that these businesses have on small communities. Mike sees MAPLE’s programs and vision as an effective and culturally appropriate strategy to improve the lives of people living in the communities that we serve. 

Anna Kovach

Anna is a University of Oregon graduate with a degree in Business. She supports MAPLE with website design, social media, and finance. In her free time, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, singing, and spending time with her friends and family.

Ruth Vargas-Forman

Ruth is a Chilean psychologist with a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Salamanca in Spain. She worked at OHSU for fifteen years offering mental health services to asylum seekers from Central and South America. She has collaborated extensively with international human rights organizations in providing culturally sensitive psycho-forensic evaluations. She is the author of a book that documents the experiences of indigenous Mapuche leaders in the justice system in Chile and their search for justice at the Inter American System of Human Rights. In addition, Ruth has been offering expert testimony at the Inter American Court of Human Rights.    Currently she is providing therapeutic services at Options Counseling Services in Eugene and traveling to Chile every year to document human rights abuses against indigenous communities and environmental leaders. Ruth has been teaching and offering workshops at graduate and under graduate levels in Chile and in the USA. 

Ruth is a member of the Maple Board of Directors since August 2013. During her visits to the MAPLE project in LLaguepulli Lof in Chile, she witnessed the deep commitment of the community and MAPLE team with the implementation of the first self-determined Mapuche financial institution.  Ruth shares the values of MAPLE; believing in cultural resilience, trusting the capacities of communities to overcome barriers and collaborating for the development of sustainable financial institutions, all which facilitate the expansion of wellbeing for communities and their environment.

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Jesús Sepúlveda

Jesús Sepúlveda is a Chilean poet who lives in Eugene and teaches Spanish composition, creative writing and poetry at the University of Oregon.  He is the author of eight collections of poetry and three books of essays, including his green-anarchist manifesto The Garden of Peculiarities (2002) and his book on Latin American poetry Poets on the Edge (2016). His collection Hotel Marconi (1998) was made into a film in Chile in 2009 and his selected poems were collected in Poemas de un bárbaro in 2013.  He is a regular contributor to the magazine Fifht Estate.

Sepúlveda’s work has been published in more than twenty countries and partially translated into ten languages, leading him to participate in many poetry festivals and poetry readings throughout the world.   

Dr. Sepúlveda holds a PhD in Romance Languages and became a board member of Maple in September 2018. 

Molly Frazier

Molly is a University of Oregon graduate, who studied Business and Spanish. She currently lives and works in Seattle, Washington. Molly enjoys supporting MAPLE with corporate giving, video creation, and program development. In her free time, she can be found biking the trails of Seattle or reading a good book.



Corrine is a University of Oregon graduate who studied Finance and Sports Business.  Her involvement with MAPLE started in 2013 as an intern in Lira, Uganda, where she spent her time helping develop a youth sports program designed to keep kids in school.  In her free time, Corrine can be found traveling, hiking, or outside playing with her dog.


Emily currently works in donor and nonprofit relations for Bright Funds, a San Francisco-based start-up that powers charitable giving platforms for companies. She recently completed an M.A. at the University of Oregon in International Studies with a certificate in Nonprofit Management, and hold a B.S. in Communications and Spanish. She shares MAPLE’s commitment to grassroots, community-centered development projects, and its vision to build more equitable and accessible financial tools to improve livelihoods while fostering self-determination.


Uganda Team: Lira

Mark Egeny

My names are Mark Egeny and I am 22 years of age, I live in Uganda in the Northern town of Lira, and working for Maple since 2013 as a baseball Coach, and a field officer helping with VSLAS’  specifically the Community-Managed Savings and Loans Associations located mostly in rural areas in the District of Lira- Uganda. Ever since MAPLE introduced this program in Lira, a lot has been achieved from the Locals as Maple Business skills training has helped these groups to generate more income and has increased their well-being and the communities around them.

I work for MAPLE as a Baseball Coach as well. It’s a year now ever since this after school program was started by MAPLE here in Uganda, we as coaches are proud of what MAPLE does in developing life skills of the youths and the kids as this has already succeeded here in Lira where Baseball and Softball league is taking place. Kids age 7-12years are playing competitive softball and Baseball which used to never exist but now competitive baseball and softball is being played at both Primary and Secondary Level, and we as coaches are working hard and playing great roles not only in the sporting life of these kids but also in the everyday life of the kids and participants we do coach. We as coaches have also got the potential to influence not only the development of sports specific skills and performance of the kids but also the participant’s development as a person and their aspects of their life. We salute MAPLE for sustaining this program as these kids are always at school and always have fun hence making them to always stay at school and continue with their studies up to Secondary Education, MAPLE program here also focuses on keeping these kids in school while strengthening life skills and their literacy.

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Acut Moses

My name is Acut Moses, I am 26 years old and I live with my parents and other family members in Lira District northern Uganda, I started my work at maple on the 14th/08/2012 as a volunteer and I began as an extension/field worker in agricultural department for over 4 months. I was training groups under maple on how to utilize their small plots since most of these groups are located within town, the training was based on planting valuable crops that take a short period to be harvested like vegetables such as tomatos, onions, eggs plant and others.  After 4 months of Volunteering, I was confirmed as a full Maple Worker. Now I have so far taken 3 years working with maple as a field officer doing various activities such as business skill training focusing on increasing members saving through advising them on the right  type of  business that they should start, where and management tools in order to save more. My other role at Maple is to train groups members under maple on appropriate Agricultural skills in growing crops that are time saving, valuable, and easy to plant.  So far this year one group called Erute Old Boys are benefiting a lot because they know how to bud oranges as a result of training offered to them by Maple through me.  Most of the members have started budding oranges for sale ever since this program was introduced to them by MAPLE. Some group members have started earning cash from the improved oranges while other members are yet to receive the training.

Currently am also involved in training baseball to the Lira baseball kids. I started Working on the Baseball project early this 2014. And I was on the team that travelled to Mpigi to participate in the Baseball Championship in May. I am very proud with what MAPLE is doing in Lira as it has changed people’s lives and lastly I thank all the MAPLE board members including our Country Director for being  with us right from the beginning until now, I wish  MAPLE success, growth and Development. 

Bernard Abei

I am Bernard Adei and 27 years old from Soroti, and an Iteso by tribe and a Ugandan citizen. I went to St Noah Mawaggali ss in Jinja for my high school studies, I completed IT essentials and CISCO trainnings at Makerere University in 2011 and 2012 repectively. I participated in the MLB baseball elite camp in Italy in 2009-2010. I also introduced a baseball development program in Soroti targeting youths with potential talent, established a little league baseball program with the aim of feeding ballplayers to secondary school for talent development, and taught baseball in as a National team player. Introduced MAPLE little league in Lira in 2009.  I then introduced a baseball program at Lango college school, then St Katherine girls school for softball.  I coached the AVRS little league team that represented Uganda and the rest of Africa in the Europe and Africa baseball regional tournament in Kutno Poland, became champions of Europe and Africa region, and represented Europe and Africa region at the Little League world series baseball Williamsport, PA.  I was awarded a certificate of participation at the World Baseball Softball Confederation WBSC in Kampala in 2016.  I have acquired knowledge on business skills from interns and MAPLE staff, but am passionate about talent development in all kids. I am open to new learning lessons from expertise and love to inspire and motivate through doing and sharing experiences.

So lets ROCK and ROLL MAPLE.

Ugandan Team: Mbale


Rogers Raymond Muduku

My name is Rogers Raymond Muduku, I am 26 years old and I come from a family of 5 children where I am the fourth born. I have 2 brothers and 2 sisters. My Parents live in Entebbe so I was born and grown up there though they are originally from Mbale. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Major in Accounts from Makerere University. And I am currently pursuing to attain a professional accountancy qualification (C.P.A). I have worked with Maple since the 15th of October 2010 when I came on as an Intern just after finishing my first degree at the University. Through time, I have been able to occupy different positions and serve in various capacities within Maple in Uganda. Through diligently working hard, I have moved through ranks and I am currently serving in the position of Country Director since 2012. And I am the first Country Director at MAPLE who is Ugandan and am proud of leading a wonderful team of Maple employees here in Uganda.

Before being promoted to Country Director Position, I served an Intern when I first came on board and later got promoted to Field Officer Position. From there, I was promoted to be the program Leader for the Business skills/Business Development Department then to being in charge of finances due to my accounting background. And from there, I got the promotion to Country Director Position.

As Country Director, I am involved and concerned with all Maple operations in Uganda

It gives me joy seeing that there is a change in the lives of the people who obtain our services because of this, I enjoy working with Maple and love what I do. The fact that people have an independent way of thinking and are able to make wise independent decisions on the use of their finances is a great sign that Maple services and trainings are of high Value.

Great thanks to the Main Brains behind giving birth to Maple and all the persons attached to Maple in any kind of way.

Remember…….You Rock, Maple Rocks

Christine Kamede

My name is Christine Kamede a.k.a Tina, a member of the Maple team in Mbale (Director of the Rose Program and Field Officer). I am 28 years old and I hold a bachelor’s degree in social work and social administration from the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU). I am the first born of three children. I have a sister and a brother. My parents live in Kawempe located on the out skirts of Kampala but our ancestral home is in Pallisa District found in the Eastern part of Uganda a few miles from Mbale. I enjoy reading books, meeting new people and socializing in my free time.

Kimono Suzan

My name is Kimono suzan, 22 years old and I am working with MAPLE as a field officer (Intern). I like the job very much, am currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in business Administration at Uganda Christian University Mbale campus optioning in Accounting. I joined Maple on 13th January 2014 and I enjoy working with the community.  I am Ugandan, and a Mugisu by tribe from Manafwa district eastern Uganda a couple of miles from Mbale Town.  During my free time, I like socializing with others.


Kwaga Sharon Irene

I’m Kwaga Sharon Irene, a Ugandan by nationality, with a bachelor of development studies from Uganda Christian University. I work with MAPLE micro development as a volunteer in Mbale. I am a self driven, self motivated, result focused and flexible lady of integrity who is quick at grasping new ideas and can work under minimum supervision.

My hobbies include; travelling, swimming, dancing, reading novels and magazines.


Alanyo Grace Fay

Alanyo Grace Fay is my name, 34 years old, an Acholi by tribe and a Ugandan.  Attained a bachelor degree in business administration from Gulu University and currently working with Maple Micro development as a Field officer in Lira branch, Northern region.

Chilean Team

Silvia Calfuqueo Lefio

Silvia Calfuqueo Lefio has been a teacher for 10 years before she decided in 2014 to stay home with her family and dedicate herself to work on projects in her community. Since then, she joined the management team of the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo, and together with Nadia, and the Mapuche filmmaker Juan Raín, has collaborated with MAPLE Microdevelopment in documenting the creation of the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo. Her involvement has been ensuring the group has a self-sustainable business to support the management team and family agriculture. She has also collaborated with the Llaguepulli Community’s School Kom Pu Lof Ni Kimeltuwe and the Mapuche School of Filmmaking, a summer camp for Mapuche youth in the region organized by Mr. Raín in collaboration with Canadian partners. Over this time, she was able to start her Artisan business jointly with other Mapuche women from the region. She is also a talented weaver and mother of three.

Viviana Calfuqueo Caniunir

Viviana Calfuqueo Caniuñir has been part of the management team of the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo since its formation in 2014, and is currently collaborating with MAPLE in the participatory design and implementation of a livelihoods program in Allipén, a  community neighboring Llaguepulli, leading a newly formed Artisan women group, Kazau Zomo, for the revitalization of Mapuche traditional art expressed through textiles and basketry. Through several capacity building and entrepreneurship programs, including those with MAPLE, she has developed excellent leadership qualities. She has also been a Cultural Leader, Parents Association President, and Community Liaison for a road improvement project (2016). She is also a mother of four, a women leader, entrepreneur and skilled weaver of the traditional Mapuche vertical loom weaving, or witral.

Fresia Painefil Calfuqueo

Fresia Painefil Calfuqueo was delegated in 2012 by The Llaguepulli Community as one of MAPLE-Llaguepulli’s team members and has been involved with the project ever since, as part of the preparatory research with MAPLE Microdevelopment in 2013. Since 2014, she has formed part of the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo’s management team. She has a tourism management degree and 10 years of experience with the Mapuche Lafkenche Lago Budi Tourism Committee, leading Mapuche community-tourism while forming alliances regionally and worldwide. She was part of the International Forum for Indigenous Women in 2016 and has had the opportunity to travel to India, Italy and Canada to participate in forums and conversations about indigenous communities around the world. She is also a Mapuche artisan, a daughter, a sister, and a community leader.

Nadia Painefil Curiqueo

Nadia Painefil Curiqueo and her family are pioneering cultural tourism with the Mapuche Lafkenche Lago Budi Tourism Committee since 2008 (lagobudi.cl). In 2012, she was delegated by the Llaguepulli Community as a liaison with MAPLE Microdevelopment. She has since become a leader first in the initial participatory research team with MAPLE in 2013, and since 2014, as part of the management team. Together with Silvia Calfuqueo, and the Mapuche filmmaker Juan Raín, she has collaborated with MAPLE Microdevelopment in documenting reflections of the creation of the Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo. She enjoys sharing with others her Mapuche culture, history and ways of life, and she currently offers a unique demonstration of traditional practice of textiles to visitors, where each symbol has its own meaning. Nadia is a leader in establishing relationships with other First Peoples communities, participating through MAPLE in an exchange of gifts with the Siletz Nation of Oregon in 2015, and in 2016 representing the Mutual Support Group in a tour to New Zealand for exchange of Maori/Mapuche self-development experiences.

Ignacio A Krell

Ignacio is a Chilean sociologist with over 15 years of experience in rural development collaborating with Mapuche communities. In his college years at the Universidad de Chile (1998-2003) he participated in the defense of the Biobío river, an experience that led him to a deep commitment with the wellbeing and rights of indigenous communities of southern Chile. From 2004 to 2008, he founded and directed an ecotourism joint venture with Mapuche communities focusing on responsible tourism as a means for strengthening indigenous rights. Since 2005, he has conducted participatory academic and applied research on political ecology, indigenous rights, and ecotourism. In 2013, after completing his Masters in Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon, Ignacio moved back to Chile as part of the MAPLE team assisting our community partners in lake Budi region to design and establish the first-ever Mapuche-managed community finance institution. In these last 4 years, Ignacio has also had a key leadership in developing culturally-appropriate environmental and agroecology projects jointly with Mapuche leaders and families and other stakeholders in the region.  

Alison Guzman

Alison received her BA in International Studies/Multi-Ethnic Studies and MA (2008) with a focus on Human Rights and Social Justice from The American University, School of International Service, in Washington DC. Born in the U.S., but growing up overseas in Latin America and Africa, she began her career with international development organizations involved in project management, Monitoring and Evaluation, and access to finance initiatives, including SME banking and microfinance projects in Trinidad and Tobago for the Caribbean region. Following her interest in community-led development, she joined MAPLE in 2010 while working for social, cultural and environmental justice projects in Oregon, US. In 2012 she became the initiator of MAPLE’s programs for indigenous self-development in Latin America and since 2013 is co-directing MAPLE’s program in the Araucania region in southern Chile. She has specialized in indigenous development through co-design and participatory implementation of financial and cultural management tools, including strategies to add value to traditional Mapuche arts and textiles and support women entrepreneurs. She has also managed multiple collaborations in Chile and internationally, with partners such as First Peoples Worldwide, The Sacred Fire Foundation, the Latin American Travel Association, Aid to Artisans, VOZ, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, while working closely with MAPLE team in Oregon for developing sustainable community-to-community philanthropy. 

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Fernando Quilaqueo

Fernando Quilaqueo Calfuqueo, born and raised in the Mapuche Lof of Llaguepulli, is an Agricultural Technician with experience collaborating in various productive and cultural projects with Mapuche-Pehuenche Communities in the Lonquimay Mountains and with Lafkenche Communities in Saavedra and Teodoro Schmidt. In search of better job prospects he migrated to the capital Santiago.  After more than five years far away from the Community, MAPLE offered him the opportunity to join our team as Field Coordinator for the Program for Strengthening Family Foods and Livelihoods with and work in agroecology and agroforestry, his areas of interest, with the families of his own community, in a project he describes as an “innovative proposal for the development of my own Community”. Fernando and his wife also collaborate with a family tourism business focusing in bird-watching and Mapuche traditional herbal medicine.   



Juan rain

Within the process of reconstruction of the Mapuche nation, Mr. Rain has assumed a role of communicator. For him, “There is a need for the territory to revalue all aspects of our way of life or vision of the world that we have as a Mapuche people, so I joined this project (MAPLE) because it strengthens our process of visibilizing the mapuche lafkenche economy of Aylla Rewe Budi, an ancestral territorial space that forms part of the Mapuche Lafkenche (people of the sea) located between the river Traitraiko (Imperial) on the north and the river Toltén on the south, corresponding administratively to the communes of Puerto Saavedra and Teodoro Schmidt (IX Region) by the Chilean State. This is where our work of socio-political, cultural and spiritual restructuring of our territory is centered.” It is in this context that Rain has conducted different experiences that aim to revalue the ancestral forms of communication incorporating the new technologies and creating an instance of formation and reflection around the Mapuche communication, addressing the issues of importance for the Aylla Rewe Budi, as the Cultural meaning- historical and spiritual aspects of territorial spaces. Mr. Rain directs "Lafken Ñy Zugvn Comunicaciones", an agency that coordinates audiovisual communicators in his territory. He is also part of Werken Kvrvf community radio and a member of the team that runs and produces "The Ayu Rewe Budi School of Cinema and Communication".