Founder and CEO, Cheetah Development
Leads with his visionary solution for a huge, previously intractable problem.
When Ray Menard visited Africa in 2008, he was struck by the pervasive problem of poverty. A serial entrepreneur across varied industries, he began to study the challenges facing small business through his lens of business startup, capitalization, and growth. As he applied what he learned to help small and medium enterprises (SME) succeed in the challenging African environment, he has successfully tested models that fill the gaps that exist in the value chain. As a result, he has become convinced that it is possible to lift one billion small holder farmers out of poverty, and that is now Cheetah’s vision. Ray possesses an extraordinarily varied set of innovation and implementation skills and experiences across multiple functions and industries, including twenty patents. A notable accomplishment was leading the logistics and security for all debris hauling at the World Trade Center recovery effort. In a setting of extreme pressure with dozens of agencies and organizations, he led the completion of the effort in less than one quarter the expected time and budget, saving billions.
Senior Vice President People, Culture, and Growth
Vice President, Operations, Reservoir Tanzania, Ltd.
Leads the people processes and culture development that will allow Cheetah employees, leaders, partners, and farmers to grow, thrive, and share Cheetah’s success.
Leads our Reservoir solar dryer business, improving food security, nutrition, and income for smallholder farmers.
Joy Hazucha spent more than 30 years advising many of the World’s leading organizations in how to better align their people with their strategy, while also helping to build one of the premier global Human Resource consulting firms. She applies scientific principles to define the type of talent needed, measure the current state, and close the gaps with development and/or recruiting. In addition to providing strategic HR consulting services to clients, she has at various points led the R&D/ IP function, leadership talent analytics, and contributed to thought leadership. She has published research on global leadership, succession, women in leadership, and leadership development through experiences. She has lived and worked on three continents, and enjoys the richness of cross-cultural interactions.
She joined Cheetah because she is passionate about its mission, using business as a tool for economic development, and the opportunity to build a transformative culture that supports fast business growth.
Vice President Field Operations and President, Pearl Foods
Leads operations on the ground in Africa, across multiple businesses and countries.
Marco Johnson’s career has focused on expanding economic access for the less fortunate in many difficult regions of the World, with a proven track record of producing high impact results in challenging environments. These mission-oriented projects have included repatriating over 5,000 refugees and IDPs in the former Yugoslavia, designing and fundraising for programs that assisted female-headed refugee families returning to Afghanistan, facilitating over 1,200 Farmer-to-Farmer cultural exchanges between the US and developing countries, and providing access to microfinance for vulnerable women in post-tsunami Indonesia. Marco's private equity experience includes building Ukraine’s largest cable TV and internet service provider through the acquisition and merger of more than 50 companies across 19 cities.
He joined Cheetah because, while development initiatives do generate localized successes, he understands that it will take the enormous capital mobilization of the private sector to effectively address poverty and development issues. He believes that impact entrepreneurship is the solution to lifting a billion smallholders out of poverty and generating lasting social and environmental development.