Crawford has launched a social enterprise designed to make an enormous impact for producers and disrupt the global coffee market. He has developed a proprietary platform, Propina, which is a marketplace value add to provide financial tools and market access to smallholder farmers around the world. Starting in coffee and cacao, the group has plans and a strategy to empower smallholder farmers and connect consumers more deeply with their producers.
After graduating from the University of Virginia, Crawford started his career in investment banking before transitioning to portfolio management at two renowned hedge funds. He has discovered a true passion for Colombian coffee and the culture, history and people of Colombia. He lived on a coffee farm this year in Colombia, picking coffee and learning about the current coffee crisis. He sees glaring flaws in the supply chain and the antiquated concept of fair trade coffee. Paying a premium for specialty coffee TODAY may help a select group of farmers, but it does very little to address the acute needs of millions associated with the coffee sector TOMORROW. He has recruited a team of talented Colombian-born partners, software developers and coffee supply chain experts to bring the solution.
Viviana Salazar is an investment banker with over twelve years of experience in corporate finance and capital markets. In the last ten years, Viviana has lived in New York, and recently Los Angeles, working closely with US and Latin American corporates contributing to their growth by optimizing funding strategies and executing tailor-made financing solutions. She recently served as Director of Capital Markets for the largest port operator in North America successfully leading and executing $1.5 billion debt capital raise and managing the company’s working capital and investment strategies.
Viviana served as the Head of Debt Capital Markets at BBVA in Bogotá, Colombia. In her role as Head of DCM, she was responsible for structuring fixed income solutions for Colombian corporates and infrastructure projects. She played a key role in the development of the Colombian bond market as a source of financing not only for local firms but also for companies in the region. Viviana has served as senior advisor for CFOs and C-suite executives on financing goals and business initiatives in a variety of industries ranging from maritime and oil and gas to consumer and technology firms. Viviana met her co-partner, Crawford Hawkins, while they were both completing their Masters in Business Administration at Columbia Business School.
Valentín Sierra Arias graduated in May 2019 with a Master's in Public Policy (MPP) at Harvard University. He was a member of the prestigious Leadership Institute of the Harvard Graduate School and also holds a Master's Degree in Economics and Finance from The Johns Hopkins University. He served as President of the Harvard Colombian Student Society, a student organization with more than 100 members. In his leadership role with the organization, Valentín has promoted important discussions and meetings about the future of Colombia. He has convened the most prominent leaders of Colombia at Harvard to collaborate with students and researchers.
Valentín comes from the city of Manizales, Caldas, in the heart of the Colombian coffee belt. As the first to attend college and complete a Master's in his family, Valentin has counseled hundreds of young Colombian students on setting and achieving academic and philanthropic goals. Valentin has an innate ability to connect with people and make an enduring social impact on the world. He has a promising career ahead of him in Colombia, which we sincerely believe can take him to the highest office in the country, His own goal is to work assiduously to make an enormous social impact in his home country with a focus on rural, sustainable development in the coffee regions where he was born and raised.