Mark Rostal is an expert in designing financial services and products for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries, offering directly applicable technical expertise and senior management experience.
Mr. Rostal has managed various DAI projects in the field and backstopped projects in DAI’s home office over the course of his twenty-five year career in finance and banking.
His professional experience extends throughout Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the transitional economies of the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and Eurasia as well as in private U.S. banking.
He has worked full-time in Kenya since 2004. Mr. Rostal holds a M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
Deputy Team Leader
Deputy Team Leader/Rural & Agricultural Finance Product Development Specialist
Gabriel Kimweli is a microfinance and rural enterprise expert. Previously at TechnoServe, he oversaw agricultural value chain projects, targeting smallholder farmers and MSMEs, he designed microcredit programs and he provided business development services and market linkages support.
As a consultant, Mr. Kimweli led training sessions on credit operations, business appraisal, risk and delinquency management and financial analysis for MFIs, SACCOS and banks.
He also worked for DAI on the turnaround and privatization of the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) of Tanzania. Mr. Kimweli holds a M.Sc. degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Nairobi.
Grace Mwai is an experienced finance, grants and contracts manager, having worked extensively with local implementing partners, donors, and international development agencies.
At FIRM, she manages all aspects of project operations, including: finance, accounting, budgeting, compliance and administration.
Ms. Mwai has experience throughout East and Southern Africa and she has worked successfully at every level of grants and contracts management including pre-award assessments, technical reviews, financial analysis, financial and program results reporting, compliance, M&E design and close-out.
Previously, she served as the Grants and Contracts Manager for the World Bank at the Kenya ICT Board. Ms. Mwai holds a M.B.A. from the University of Nairobi and she is a fully-credentialed certified public accountant (C.P.A.).
M&E and DCA Manager
Linda Kagota manages FIRM’s M&E and results reporting, including the Development Credit Loan guarantee program – one of USAID’s largest portfolios worldwide. The M&E team includes a Statistician, a Data Analyst, a Communications Coordinator and an IT/ Database Coordinator.
Previously, Ms. Kagota oversaw the Kenya Access to Rural Finance (KARF) program’s monitoring and evaluation function. Before joining DAI, she worked for the Technoserve Gates-funded Coffee Initiative and Barclays Bank.
Ms. Kagota holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Nairobi and she is currently pursuing a M.A. in Gender and Development Studies at the Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies, University of Nairobi.
Titianne Donde is a career banker with extensive experience structuring deals and designing products for SMEs in the agriculture, ICT, and manufacturing sectors.
While at Stanbic Bank and, earlier, at the African Banking Corporation (ABC Bank), she designed and managed supply chain finance products and worked with FinAccess to develop a value chain finance product.
She also developed a special overdraft product for Safaricom dealers and a financial product for agriculture exporters to hedge against currency fluctuations.
She has experience working with donor institutions in SME financing, including the East African Development Bank. Ms. Donde holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Limkokwing University and is pursuing a M.Sc. in Entrepreneurship from the University of Nairobi.
Benson Njiru is a retail and commercial lending professional who, prior to joining FIRM, spent his career at Barclays Bank of Kenya, NIC Bank, and the Southern Credit Banking Corporation developing financial products for a range of clientele.
He is an expert in evaluating creditworthiness, writing credit proposals, building customer relations and managing loan portfolios, specifically for SME clients.
He is skilled in product design and relationship management.
Mr. Njiru has a B.A. in Economics and Math from Moi University and he is currently pursuing a M.B.A. with a finance concentration from the University of Nairobi.
Joseph Kimotho has worked extensively as a credit manager, specializing in risk analysis and portfolio management. Prior to joining FIRM, he worked at the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF) as a product team leader.
He was instrumental in the expansion of the YEDF’s product base and in the initial creation of its credit department. He managed a regional portfolio and relationships with banks, SACCOs, community-based organizations and NGOs.
Before joining YEDF, he worked at Equity Bank where he managed SME and corporate lending relationships. Mr. Kimotho holds a B.A degree in Anthropology.
He is also a member of the Institute of Credit Management (Kenya).
Gacoki Kipruto has a wealth of experience in market research, the development of financial products, and designing marketing strategies for financial institutions.
Prior to joining FIRM, she worked with Equity Bank where she managed a team that conducted in-depth market research necessary to develop customized pro-poor youth savings products.
Before Equity Bank, she worked at IPSOS Synovate, an international research firm. At Synovate, Ms. Kipruto undertook research projects for a number of financial institutions and many other clients.
Ms. Gacece holds a M.A. degree in Strategic Marketing from Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia.
Clemencia Ouma has over thirteen years of experience in SME research. Prior to joining FIRM, she worked for PACE, a project where she coordinated gender assessment that informed the development of the USAID Country Development Cooperation Strategy for
Before that, she worked for Youth Empowerment Foundation in Nigeria to increase financial access for women and youth throughout the country.
Ms. Ouma holds a M.A degree in Project Planning and Management from University of Nairobi and a B.A in Community Development and Business Administration and Management from Daystar University.
She is a member of the Kenya Institute of Management.
Contracts Administration Specialist
Rose Kimeli has 5 years of experience in accounting, procurement and grants management.
Previously, Ms. Kimeli worked as a Grants Manager for the USAID/OTI Kenya Transition Initiative (KTI) program.
In that role, she oversaw a grant portfolio, negotiated contracts, evaluated budgets and ensured compliance.
Ms. Kimeli holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Business Management from Moi University.
She is currently pursuing a M.B.A. at the University of Nairobi.
Evarista Ing’aa has over 7 years of experience in finance, accounting and business administration.
Prior to FIRM, Ms. Ing’aa worked as an accountant for the USAID/OTI KTI program where she ensured compliance with USAID guidelines as well as DAI policies for three field offices.
She holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Accounting from the University of Nairobi.
She is a fully-credentialed C.P.A. and she has a postgraduate diploma in Human Resource Management.
She is also currently pursuing a M.B.A. degree from Daystar University.
Joyce Litunya has 10 years of experience in office management. Previously, she worked as an administration officer for the USAID/OTI KTI program.
In addition, Ms. Litunya has worked for a number of DAI projects, funded by USAID, including: Conflict Prevention and Mitigation Response (CPMR), Kenya Microfinance Capacity Building Program (KEMCAP) and Kenya Access to Rural Finance (KARF).
For these projects, she oversaw day-to-day office operations, technical documentation, event records and inventory management.
She holds credentials from the Center for Corporate Governance and a management certificate from the Kenya Institute of Business Training. She is also pursuing a business degree from Daystar University.