Meet Our Leaders
Tevis Howard, Founder & CEO
Tevis has spent 10 years building Komaza, with no end in sight. He was an award-winning science nerd in his youth, and earned a B.Sc. in Neuroscience from Brown University. He has since been recognized by several leading impact investors and was named as a Forbes 30 under 30 social entrepreneur. Originally from Palo Alto, California, he now lives in Kenya full time.
Ayesha Wagle, President
Ayesha joined Komaza in 2013, bringing a wealth of financial and investment experience. Previously she was Senior VP at MCE Social Capital, running an innovative social impact loan portfolio, and a Wall Street currency trader at Morgan Stanley. She holds an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins and a BA in Economics & IR from U Penn.
Tiffany Card, CTO
Tiffany joined Komaza in 2016 to lead development of our new technology platform - merging farmer, inventory, climate, mapping and behavioral data to scale our operations. A seasoned Silicon Valley founder, her prior experience includes leading a mobile commerce company, a behavioral health company and four years as a designer at IDEO. She holds an MBA & Engineering Masters from Stanford and BS from Yale.
DAN MCGOVERN, FIELD OPERATIONS
Dan joined in 2016 to lead rapid scaling of Komaza's forestry operations with smallholder farmers. He previously ran East Africa Training operations at One Acre Fund, East Africa's fastest-growing farmer organization, and brings four prior years of teaching experience. He earned a MA in International Education from Columbia and BA from Macalester College.
Charles Gitahi, Nursery
Charles joined Komaza in 2012 to develop our seedling nursery, and brings deep technical expertise on tree propagation. He grew up working at Kenya's largest nursery, the Tree Biotechnology Program Trust, and has previously established a successful landscaping business. He holds a BA in Landscape Architecture from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
Chris Swanson, Expansion
Chris joined Komaza in 2017 to lead the company's expansion into new markets and partnerships. Previously, he was Director of Field Operations in Kenya for One Acre Fund, East Africa's fastest-growing farmer organization, and also brings with him entrepreneurial, corporate sales, and teaching experience. He earned a MA in Development Practice from the University of Minnesota and a BA in Business & Marketing Management from the University of St. Thomas.
Helen Antoni, Harvest
Helen joined Komaza in early 2016 to develop our tree harvesting supply chain. Previously she was Head of Department for Supply Chain at Civicon, Kenya's largest construction company, where she managed complex procurement, logistics and transportation operations. She has an MBA from University of Cape Town and grew up on Kenya's coast.
Corien Herweijer, Sales
Corien joined in early 2017 to grow Komaza's wood sales. She brings nine years of experience working in Kenya, primarily managing agri-business sales, including selling plantation Teak wood from South Sudan. She holds an MSc in Business from Erasmus University Rotterdam, BS in Business from Radbound University, and Professional Diploma in Marketing.
Patrick Wambua, Finance/Admin
Patrick joined Komaza in 2014 to lead continuous improvement of our finance and administration departments. He has over 9 years of experience running multi-million-dollar budgets for international organizations in Kenya prior to Komaza, and worked for 3 years in California as a CPA and auditor. He holds a BA in Business Administration from Fresno Pacific University.
Erin Tyburski, Business Development
Erin is a skilled project manager who joined Komaza in 2011 as an Operations Associate, and has been repeatedly promoted for demonstrated excellence with several complex projects across the company's entire value chain. Previously, she served in the Peace Corps, supporting dryland farmers in rural Kenya. Erin holds a BS in Business Administration from University of Oregon.
Emanuel Dominic, People Operations
Emanuel has seven years of Kenya HR experience, and joined Komaza in 2015 to drive fast growth. He was most recently People Operations Director at Bridge International Academies, where he led recruitment and training of thousands of teachers. Originally from Germany, he holds a BA in International Trade from the Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
Meet our Board
With Tevis, our California Board includes leaders in East African and global business:
Steve Beck is Co-Founder & MD of Novastar, a Nairobi-based VC firm, and Komaza's largest investor to date. Formerly, he led an investor circle backing East African startups; was CEO of Geneva Global, doing due diligence on development programs; and has done a decade of strategy consulting as MD of Monitor Group and Gemini Consulting. Steve has a Stanford BA in Economics & IR and PhD in Government from LSE.
Joris De Vries is Investment Manager at HRSV, a Dutch impact investor, and was the first investor in Komaza's for-profit entity. He brings 6+ years of East Africa operational experience, concurrently serving as MD of FT Kilimanjaro, a rural multi-sectoral development program in Tanzania. He was Director of Strategic Partnerships at Millennium Promise, and holds a BA & MA in African Studies and an MBA from Fordham University.