Meet Our Team
Hania Abu-Eid is the Director of Communications at Open Road. Over the last decade, she has led successful communication initiatives in the corporate, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. Hania most recently led communications at Ending Pandemics, an organization she helped spin out from the Skoll Global Threats Fund.
Prior to joining Ending Pandemics, Hania served as the Marketing and Communications Officer at the Skoll Global Threats Fund. In this role, she managed all aspects of the organization’s internal and external marketing and communications strategies and its threat-specific initiatives, including climate change, pandemics, nuclear proliferation, and water security.
Prior to joining SGTF, Hania was a Communications Manager at Kiva Microfunds, where she conceptualized ongoing marketing, branding, and PR campaigns garnering the highest site traffic in Kiva’s history. Hania also worked at Edelman PR. At Edelman, she created Sprout, a global service providing PR counsel to early-stage startups, VCs, and small entrepreneurial ventures.
Hania holds a B.A. in Communications and Marketing from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In her spare time, she serves as a mentor for organizations promoting the development of social entrepreneurship around the world. Hania also supports a variety of local and global humanitarian causes and believes that economic opportunity is a human right.
Denise Amisial is the Senior Data Systems Manager for Open Road, where she brings experience in the fields of database administration, fundraising operations, marketing automation, and data analysis. Prior to Open Road, Denise led the build and adoption of Salesforce and other business systems at Idealist.org.
Denise holds a B.S in Psychology and a B.A in Sociology from Tufts University. She is currently a Certified Salesforce Advanced Administrator and Certified Pardot Specialist.
Caroline Bressan is the Chief Executive Officer of Open Road. Prior to Open Road, Caroline was an Investment Principal at D. Capital, the investment advisory wing of Dalberg. There she focused on D. Capital’s impact investment advisory offerings, building a pipeline of investment opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa, specifically in energy and agriculture. Caroline also worked on the design and structuring of innovative financing mechanisms, including impact bonds and social impact insurance.
Previously, Caroline was an Investment Officer at Calvert Foundation, where she managed its $20 million portfolio, mainly focused on Latin America. At Calvert Foundation, she originated and managed a pipeline of lending and investment deals focused on the sustainable trade, social enterprise, and financial inclusion sectors. In addition, Caroline designed and launched a revolving line of credit product, the first of its kind for Calvert Foundation, and helped launch the international component of the Women Investing in Women Initiative (WIN-WIN). She also sat on the investment committee of the Haitian Emergency Liquidity Fund, created to provide funding to microfinance institutions in the aftermath of the 2009 earthquake. Caroline has previously worked in Bolivia with Pro Mujer designing a business education program for clients.
Caroline received her MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. She speaks English and Spanish.
Vanessa Chrifi Alaoui is an Investment Officer at Open Road Alliance.
After a 12-year international career in Investment Banking, Vanessa switched to a career of purpose in the impact investing ecosystem.
Vanessa started her career at BNP Paribas in Singapore and moved to New York in 2011. As a relationship manager, she was responsible for the structuring and underwriting of tailored debt solutions for a portfolio of global commodity merchants active in the natural resources supply chain. Her journey in Impact Finance started at Kiva Labs, where she used her underwriting and credit expertise to fund mission-driven social enterprises and non-profit organizations. During her career, Vanessa engaged with a diversity of stakeholders on sustainable finance topics and led philanthropic programs in education.
Vanessa holds a Master's Degree from the University of Paris Dauphine in International Affairs, with a Major in Economics and Finance. She is fluent in French and English.
Sarah Howe is the Director of Portfolio at Open Road. Prior to Open Road, Sarah was part of the Sustainable Investments group at Deutsche Bank / DWS. As an Investment Manager, she was responsible for managing and structuring investments in financial institutions and social enterprises with exposure to MSME segments in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Sarah also led the group's work to integrate social impact analysis throughout the investment process.
Sarah has 13 years of international experience, working to support MSME development and impact investing. Sarah received her MPA from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and holds a B.S. from Cornell University. Sarah lives in New York City.
Joe Liszewski serves Open Road as the Director of Operations and Finance, where he manages the organization's internal operations, including Human Resources, Finance, Operations, and Virtual-office management. Prior to working at Open Road Alliance, he was the Program Director of the NorthSky Nonprofit Network, the capacity-building program of Rotary Charities of Traverse City. In this position, Joe was responsible for the management of the NorthSky Nonprofit Network, including organizational counseling and managing consulting engagements with nonprofits throughout the region. Working with the Rotary Charities' Leadership Team, he managed programs and services to meet community needs, particularly in the areas of network and organizational capacity building.
Previously, Joe served as Executive Director of California ReLeaf, where he was responsible for the organization's overall direction, including advocacy, fundraising, and program administration. Joe joined California ReLeaf in 2005 and served as the Program Director before being promoted to Executive Director in 2010. While there, he managed numerous state and federal grants, including the administration of over $6 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. Before California ReLeaf, Joe worked as a Program Manager for the National Tree Trust in Washington, DC.
Joe brings extensive organizational and program management experience to Open Road. He has a Bachelor of Science in Botany and Environmental Science from Miami University.
Laurie Michaels, Ph.D. is an individual philanthropist based in Aspen, CO. Prior to founding Open Road Alliance in 2012, Dr. Michaels maintained a practice in clinical psychology.
Through Open Road Alliance, Dr. Michaels and her team provide fast, flexible, and affordable funding—in both grants and loans—to nonprofits and social enterprises facing discrete, unforeseen financing gaps that threaten to derail their impact. Her experience has led her to actively advocate for change within the philanthropic sector by highlighting the need for better risk management in grant making. She is a contributor to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, SSIR, and Forbes as well as a speaker at forums such as Fail Forward, GEO, The Aspen Institute, and Global Philanthropy Forum.
Dr. Michaels currently serves as Board Member for the peace-building organization, Search for Common Ground. She is a former Board Member of PATH and served on the board of the Aspen Community Foundation for 12 years, including four years as a Board Chair.
Dr. Michaels earned a B.A. from Williams College. She holds a Ph.D. in Counseling.
Franklin Mora supports Open Road as an Investment Principal after working in Investment Banking at Wells Fargo Securities. There he worked on providing advisory services and creating financial models for companies ranging from large-cap telecommunications to diversified media focused on debt and equity raises, M&A, and IPOs.
Previously, Franklin worked as Deputy Director for the Queens Economic Development Corporation where he developed an award-winning Social Enterprise program helping Immigrant entrepreneurs in the construction contracting sector within New York City. Franklin has worked for and consulted with companies including Google, NBCUniversal, ACCION USA, and Cisneros Group of Companies as well as small businesses and social enterprises located domestically and in emerging markets.
Franklin is an MLT fellow alum, Consortium fellow alum, and NLC fellow alum. Outside of work Franklin spends time in the woods with his dog Oscar, checking out new ethnic restaurants, reading recommended books, and planning his next adventure. Fun fact: Franklin lived out his teenage dream of becoming a rapper by performing to a crowded venue of over 200 people during business school with a band called “Risky Business.”
Franklin holds an MBA from the University of Michigan – Ross School of Business, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont. He is fluent in English and Spanish.
Emily Praktish is a Portfolio Associate at Open Road. Prior to Open Road, Emily was part of the Institutional Partnerships group at Georgetown University. As their Assistant Director, she was responsible for corporate and foundation partnerships for the McDonough School of Business, McCourt School of Public Policy, and Walsh School of Foreign Service. Emily also worked to build and support University-wide initiatives such as the Global Cities Initiative, the HOPE Initiative, and the Georgetown National Urban Fellows program.
Before her time at Georgetown, Emily spent a year working in rural Rwanda, focusing on community development projects, grant writing, and partnerships. Emily received her MBA from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business with a focus on International Diplomacy and holds a B.A. from Samford University. Emily currently lives in Washington, DC.
Tom Schumacher is the Director of Investments at Open Road, prior to which he was a Digital Finance Specialist at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) under the ProInspire Fellowship in Digital Finance where he identified, evaluated, and structured opportunities in fintech and financial inclusion. Prior to OPIC, Tom was a Senior Advisor at USAID’s Global Development Lab where he made grants to social enterprises, nonprofits, and impact evaluations within several innovation programs including Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) and the Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge.
Tom has experience in international development, startups, and financial markets through a variety of positions including as co-founder of Tala, a fintech company committed to financial inclusion globally.
Tom holds a M.P.P from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland. He lives in Maryland with his wife, son and two dogs.
Ivon Silva is the Portfolio Administrator for Open Road. Her broad experience includes work at New York University, the North Star Fund, and The Ford Foundation. Specifically, Ivon’s experience is in the fields of information technology, communications, development, and grantmaking.
Ivon holds a B.A. in Political Science/Public Policy from Stony Brook University and an M.A. in Economics, and Political Economy from Brooklyn College.
Maya Winkelstein is the Chair of the Open Road Impact Fund Advisory Board. Formerly the CEO of Open Road, she spent a decade expanding Open Road's mission to Keep Impact on Track.
Since its inception in 2012, Open Road has made over $70 million in loans and grants to impact organizations across the globe that have encountered unexpected roadblocks. Through this strategy, Open Road has kept over $800 million of impact on track across all sectors and geographies, for both registered nonprofits and for-profit social enterprises.
Maya also served as Open Road’s inaugural Executive Director. She previously worked as an Associate Director with the consulting firm williamsworks, where her clients included the Eastern Congo Initiative, Nike Foundation, PATH, Tostan, and TOMS Shoes. Prior to williamsworks, she served in multiple roles across the nonprofit and government sectors focusing on program development, fundraising strategy, and corporate partnerships.
Maya writes and frequently speaks about Open Road’s work. She is a regular speaker at forums, including the Financial Times, Global Philanthropy Forum, and Skoll World Forum. Her work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Foundation Review, and many other publications. In 2017, Maya was featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s ‘On the Rise’ series and Huffington Post’s ‘Women in Business.’ She is a former Board Member of the Global Press Institute and a current member of the Leadership Advisory Council for GrantAdvisors.org.
Maya holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and is certified in Finance from Georgetown University. She currently lives in Georgia with her husband and two young sons.