Our People

Overseeing the staff is the Board of Directors. Advising our Board of Directors is a specialized Advisory Council. Our Living Proof Advisory Council and our Board of Directors provide guidance, vision, strategic thinking and innovative program development. Supported by Living Proof Fellows and Associates, our work is done through a global network of volunteers who are committed to our mission locally owned enterprise development for stable, healthy, economies.

Join the Team


Advisory council members are selected by the Board amongst a field of knowledgeable Entrepreneurship, Education, and Exchange practitioners developing communities. Our Advisors serve as specialized consultants of Living Proof providing us with guidance and expertise.


David Pedersen

Financial Advisor

David is a financial analyst at Partners Group, a leading global investment firm specializing in private markets. He is passionate about building a bridge between the financial markets and under-served communities to improve livelihoods for everyone involved. He has experience teaching at a non-profit school in India, working on a social microfinance programme in Ghana and most recently completed an assignment with the Impact Investment Exchange in Singapore.

David is a GLOBE Scholar and holds a Masters in Finance degree from The London School of Economics.


Marcelo Teixeira

Microfinance and Insurance Advisor

Marcelo is a manager of the Banco do Nordeste, a Brazilian bank that specializes in microfinance, and has pioneered BOP lending strategies in South America. In 1997, he started microfinance in Brazil through the bank’s Crediamigo program and managed operations for 15 years before moving to insurance, administration, SME and agribusiness management positions for the bank. He holds a degree in business administration and a master’s in economics.



Rafael Teles

Social Media Coordinator/Community Manager

Rafael is a polylingual supply chain management and agribusiness expert based in Brazil. He experience spans from working with the smallest of farmers to managing purchases of the second largest sugar cane crusher in the world.  He is also a digital media communication expert. Passionate about people and cultural exchange , Rafael is a citizen of the world and uses his global knowledge and experiences to ensure supply meets demand.

SledgeMychalMychal Sledge

Mentoring and Community Relations Advisor (New York City)

Mychal Sledge is the co-founder and the CEO of The Sledge Group Inc., a unique non-profit community based, family-oriented program, which provides male and female adolescent mentoring groups, tutorial services and a support network for the parents of the youth who participate.  The Sledge Group, Inc. strives to empower, uplift and provide positive influence in the lives of urban youth.

Mychal is a servant, father, husband,  community activist, changed agent, a published writer. He is an inspirational and motivational speaker. Mychal is also an accomplished martial artist, a former member of United States Karate Team, winner of two Pan-American Games gold medals, and was listed in the World Almanac five consecutive years.


Our Staff keep us Organized. They are the key to our success in effectively and efficiently serving others. Our staff serve as the global connectors, project managers, executive and administrative assistants that keep us alive, and living.


Chanel Nicole Dennis

Director of Partnerships

Chanel Dennis is a strategic outreach professional and global change agent with a background in diplomacy, communications, local community engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Chanel brings to bear a cross-section of non-profit, private and public sector global experience. She has successfully developed programs to strengthen social impact through public-private partnership. As an associate at Goldman Sachs she served on the Environmental, Social and Governance team initiating and managing numerous community outreach initiatives including partnerships with iMentor, Taproot Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Rising Tide Capital.

Chanel also served as a Foreign Service Officer and has lived and worked in diverse global communities supporting initiatives for U.S. educational and scientific exchange, global entrepreneurship, and economic development. Through her noted influencing capability and cross-sector experience Chanel is well-positioned to build bridges across industries, interests and borders. Chanel leads our Social Business Trust connecting corporations to high-impact social engagements which effect positive change for their employees, suppliers, shareholders and communities.

Chanel holds a B.A. in Political Science from Temple University and is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs where she studied Economic and Political Development. Ms. Dennis remains deeply committed to U.S.-African socioeconomic exchange and youth advocacy both at home and on the Continent.

rupesh profile pic

Rupesh Manne

Operations Director, Living Proof India

Rupesh leads Living Proof India. He is a passionate social entrepreneur. He obtained wide exposure in the social enterprise sector especially in Asia. He was chosen as Ashoka youth venturer by Ashoka foundation, USA in 2009. His venture idea of creating a mobile commerce platform for agro industry was incubated with support from Singapore’s government. He also holds leadership roles in Youth organizations like Rotaract.

Rupesh holds an Msc in Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Professional Development Program from Stanford University, USA. He did his bachelors in Mechanical Engineering.
Rupesh’s interests include Technology for development, agriculture, environment, clean energy, and enterprise development.


Venkat Baggavan

Social Media and Field Coordinator

Venkat specializes in social media marketing and web presence. His passion is social entrepreneurship. After graduating in Electronics and Communication Engineering he wrote “Engineering Mathematics I”, a book for 1st year students of JNTU University, Hyderabad, India. The book was published by SVM Publications.

In 2010 he partnered with “Strata Infosys Inc.” of New Jersey, to start Indian operations “Strata Infosys India” which does social media marketing, web designing and development. He was Managing Partner and Sr. Business Development Manager for more than 3 years. He is also trained in solar power technologies.

Since 2010, he has increased his involvement in civic issues and advises on social responsibility in the print media edition of “India News Today”. His major contribution to social entrepreneurship is making documentaries on social and environmental issues. He aims to have an impact in culture and human values through film making.


Fellows are student volunteers who are enrolled not less than half-time in high school, undergraduate or graduate programs in accredited educational institutions. They work on key initiatives to acquire career-related educational experience, serve as peer-mentors, and as Living Proof Ambassadors representing us by supporting community development initiatives in Entrepreneurship, Education, and Exchange.


Associates are our entrepreneurs, educators, students, mentors, and other exchange conduits that form our global network of responsible community developers. As essential components of our team, associates utilize multiple skill-sets to support us.