ACCION Board of Directors Welcomes New Chair and Members

Boston, Mass.,  July 09, 2007 –ACCION International, a pioneer and leader in global microfinance, today announced that it has elected four new members to its board of directors and has appointed Mr. Alvaro Rodríguez Arregui as its new chair, effective June 8, 2007.

Mr. Rodríguez Arregui brings extensive expertise in international finance and economics to his new role as board chair.  A member of ACCION’s board since 2003, Mr. Rodríguez Arregui also sits on the boards of Banco Compartamos, an ACCION partner microfinance institution; Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies; LASPAU; IMEF (Mexican Institute for Finance Executives); and UNIDOS Lo Lograremos, A.C., a Mexican nonprofit dedicated to the social integration of mentally and physically disabled persons, where he also serves as chair.

Mr. Rodríguez Arregui has been involved in microfinance for over 10 years, including having worked at ACCION.  He was also the CFO of Grupo Salinas’ retail arm, Elektra, and one of the founders of Banco Azteca, among the two largest banks in Mexico in terms of coverage.

Mr. Rodríguez Arregui is the founder and chief executive of Ignia, an enterprise-building investment firm based in Monterrey, Mexico, focused on investing in and developing commercial enterprises serving the base of the socio-economic pyramid.  Formerly, he served as CFO of Vitro, one of the largest glass manufacturers in the world.  Mr. Rodríguez Arregui, 39, holds a M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a B.S. in economics from the Instituto Technológico Autónomo de México (ITAM).  In 2005, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.  He will be assuming the chair from Nancy S. Truitt, senior advisor of the Tinker Foundation, who has been named ACCION board member emeritus.

“We are enormously grateful to Nancy for her long years of dedicated service to ACCION, and we are thrilled to name Alvaro as board chair,” said María Otero, president and CEO of ACCION.  “His experienced leadership, enthusiasm, and innovation are major assets to our mission of bringing microfinance to millions more people around the world.”

ACCION also recognizes the dedication and work of outgoing board members Pamela Flaherty, senior vice president, Citigroup; Kathy Waldron, president, Baruch College; and John W. Scott, retired corporate vice president of CPC International, who will continue his service to ACCION as board member emeritus.

Michael Chu, former president of ACCION, has been appointed vice chair of the board, and ACCION is also welcoming the following new individuals to the board: Gabriel Rozman, president, Tata Consultancy Services; Michael Schlein, president, International Franchise Management, Citigroup; and Jane M. Siebels, chief executive and investment officer, Green Cay Asset Management.  Returning to the board for second terms are Anne Stetson, president, Lighthouse Consulting; and Robert Strassler, vice president, Riverside Capital Management.

About ACCION International
ACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need—microenterprise loans, business training and other financial services—to work their way out of poverty.  A world pioneer in microfinance, ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil.  ACCION International’s partner microfinance institutions today are providing loans as low as $100 to poor men and women entrepreneurs in 23 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and in the United States.  In the last decade alone, ACCION partners have disbursed more than 17.9 million loans totaling more than $12.3 billion; 97 percent of the loans have been repaid.  Selected for the fourth consecutive year for its pioneering approaches to poverty alleviation, ACCION was among 43 organizations awarded the 2007 Social Capitalist Award by Fast Company magazine and The Monitor Group.  ACCION has also been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest rating—four stars—for efficiency and sound fiscal management.  For more information,

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Media contact:
Bruce MacDonald
VP, Communications
ACCION International
Tel: +1 617-616-1546

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