Mark Tucker – Co-founder and CEO
Mark Tucker has more than 30 years of experience in business and entrepreneurship. He began his career in information technology, holding various management positions in Standard Bank and Anglo American Corporation. He later established Buzzmark Holdings Ltd, a Canadian company that develops and operates Great Clips for Hair franchises in British Columbia and Alberta. Mark also served as Senior Pastor at Heritage Mountain Community Church, in British Columbia, which he helped establish. Mark was born in Canada and raised in Zimbabwe and South Africa. Mark co-founded Phakamani Foundation with his wife Shirley Tucker. Both Mark and Shirley are South African citizens.
Gabriel Rapatsa – Operations Manager
Gabriel Rapatsa has more than 15 years of experience in development micro-finance operations in South Africa. Prior to joining Phakamani in 2009, he worked as a Branch Manager, Zonal Manager, and Acting Training Manager at Small Enterprise Foundation in Tzaneen. At Phakamani, Gabriel leads field operations and development, with all branches reporting in to him. Gabriel has a Senior Teachers Diploma from Limpopo Province, and a Micro-Enterprise Foundation and Development Certificate from Naphuno College of Education in Limpopo. He has also completed several microfinance courses and other continuing education seminars, including at the Coady International Institute, at St Francis Xavier University, in Nova Scotia, Canada. Gabriel is the son of a poor woman who herself took out a micro-loan, which gives him a special perspective on Phakamani’s work.
William Chauke – Manager: Quality Assurance and Human Resources
William Chauke joined Phakamani in 2009, bringing a diverse range of skills and project experience to the team. His main role is to manage staff training programs and to conduct internal audits of branch operations. Previously, William performed administration and book-keeping duties. Prior to Phakamani, William was a lecturer and teacher in several institutions, most recently at the Nelsville Combined School in Nelspruit. William has a Diploma in Education from Mkoba Teachers College in Zimbabwe, as well as Certificates in Microfinance Management (University of Pretoria), Project Management (Maqhawe College) and Ministerial Theology (Phumelala Bible College.) He is currently completing a professional qualification in Management and Administration from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, and he is enrolled in a BCom HR Management programme at UNISA.
Asanda Qotyana – Manager: Administration
Asanda Qotyana joined Phakamani in 2011 with experience in financial and tax administration for small business and micro-enterprise lending. At Phakamani, Asanda oversees a small administration team for loan processing, and she manages Phakamani's own accounts. Prior to Phakamani, Asanda worked at BVK Tobias Chartered Accountants in Nelspruit. She also worked as a bookkeeper at the Nelspruit office of Women Development Business, a development micro-finance organisation. Asanda has a BTech in Cost and Management Accounting from Durban University of Technology and a National Diploma in Accounting. She is currently studying at the University of South Africa for an Honours Bcomp (CTA).
Allison Scuriatti – Head: Communications and Development
Allison Scuriatti joined Phakamani in 2011 as a part-time volunteer to assist the CEO in developing strategic communications, external partnerships, funding, impact monitoring, and industry relationships. She has nearly 20 years of professional experience in international organisations, non-profits, as well as the private sector. Allison is nearing completion of her stay in South Africa, where she has also earned a Certificate in Microfinance Management at the University of Pretoria's Centre for Inclusive Banking in Africa. Allison holds a Masters of International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies at the University of Geneva, in Switzerland. She was raised in Canada but maintains her permanent home in Washington, DC.