About

LOS ANGELES MICROFINANCE NETWORK

PANTONE & CMYK (without CompName)

Mission:

The Los Angeles Microfinance Network (LAMN) educates, informs and connects individuals interested in the field of microfinance. Our mission is accomplished through informative speaker events, conferences and networking activities that highlight current issues, help practitioners build relationships and make a positive impact on the field.

Objectives:

Provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and information about microfinance practices and social entrepreneurship
Help develop a community of microfinance advocates in the Los Angeles area
Share information about career and professional development opportunities
Facilitate campaigns to support domestic and international micro-lending
Develop partnerships with like-minded organizations committed to relevant social causes

LAMN Current Officers

Raheem Parpia - President - Raheem discovered Microfinance in the first week upon switching disciplines from Business Administration to International Relations. It was a short essay on Kiva.org that piqued his curiosity. Upon this discovery, he went on to co-found and lead the first USC Kiva chapter which, after only three semesters in existence, recruited nearly 200 members and raised over $12,000 in the form of loans for entrepreneurs in the Third World. That number stands at $56K and is only continuing to grow. Raheem graduated with a minor in Business Administration and currently resides in Marina del Rey, where he enjoys cooking, making smoothies, and reading.

Caitlin Ames - Caitlin first became interested in Microfinance as a student at the University of San Diego studying International Relations. After taking her first Economics class, she picked up Dr. Yunus’s book, Banker to the Poor, and became infatuated with the subject. She has since completed a fellowship with the Women’s Initiative for Self Employment, a microenterprise training organization for low income women based in Oakland, and is focused on reading every paper, book, and blog she can on the subject to stay immersed in the Microfinance world. She brings a research oriented perspective to LAMN and believes in the importance of spreading knowledge and understanding of this crucial field so that it may continue to positively impact the lives of the world’s poor.

LAMN Founding Members

Ivana Darmawan - Ivana currently works in finance in the internet industry.  Ivana is a graduate of UCLA Anderson School of Management, focusing on Entrepreneurship and Finance. Prior to UCLA Anderson, Ivana worked as a Structured Finance Analyst at Wilshire Associates, Inc and during the summer before her studies, she spent the summer in Indonesia, working as an intern in an acquisition deal of a microfinance bank. Ivana is inspired to help alleviate poverty in Indonesia through microfinance and thus has spent much time learning about how to carry it out in her home country. In her spare time, Ivana enjoys training her dog, practicing yoga as well as trying out good food.

Andrew Lewis - Andrew is a technologist, writer, and analyst with 12+ years experience in the IT industry, from positions in software development and consulting with public firms to a variety of independent projects and causes. He co-founded the Los Angeles Microfinance Network in order to help build a local hub for students and other parties interested in the Microfinance community, a goal that was accomplished by attracting a group of active officers and providing them with an organization. Before that, Andrew was the grand champion of his 6th grade school district’s annual spelling bee.

Akbar Thobhani - Akbar Thobhani was a 2008 Summer Associate at Lehman Brothers’ Investment Banking Division covering Technology firms.  He is a second-year MBA student at MIT Sloan School of Management and a member of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program.   At MIT, Akbar serves as the president of the  Finance club and has served as a VP of Venture Capital Conference. Prior to Sloan, Akbar worked as a Program Manager at Stamps.com where he focused on company’s turnaround initiatives.  His efforts on company’s e-commerce systems and postage security systems contributed to six patents in on-line fraud detection and electronic postage printing.  Previously, he was instrumental in launching Investment Technology Group’s Canadian operations.  Akbar serves as a Chairperson of Microfinance for National Alliance of Financial Services, and has served on various leadership positions with Aga Khan Education Board.  Akbar started his career as a software engineer at NASA where he pioneered a new reusable data processing system, which was published in IEEE.  He is a recipient of NASA’s group achievement award.  Akbar graduated magna cum laude with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration and Computer Science, with a minor in Mathematics from CSU Northridge.