The inspiration behind the name – Baobridge Social Investment Consultancy
Why we chose the Baobab as our brand?
The baobab tree of Africa is called The Tree of Life, reflecting the resilience, cultures and tradition of the African people. Baobab trees have been known to live up to 5,000 years and are able to store hundreds of gallons of water that maintain the tree branches down to the roots throughout the dry seasons.
Like the roots of the mighty Baobab our company, Baobridge has a strong solid foundation that we offer our investors and entrepreneurs. Through support and governance we treat each social investment project like a unique seed that germinates into a strong sustainable tree that will be able to withstand all seasons.
United States Office – Gwen Martinez
Gwen is CEO of Baobridge Social Investment Consultancy US office. Prior to launching Baobridge Gwen was the joint owner of Shade ‘N Net, a manufacturer of Shade systems utilizing architectural fabric membrane technology. Their company headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona was one of the pioneer companies to introduce this concept from South Africa to the United States market over the last 18 years. Read More/Less» Prior to the shade structure industry, Gwen ran the Zimbabwe Convention Bureau (ZCB) in Zimbabwe with the designation of International Professional Conventions Organizer. ZCB successfully canvassed and managed major international conventions to Zimbabwe hosted under the President’s department. Notable meetings included the World Economic Forum, World Council of Churches, CITES (Convention on International Trade for Endangered Species) and the like. Head office secretariats of these organizations are headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland where bidding and canvassing of same took place. Gwen is pragmatically known for spearheading international projects globally beginning from embryonic conceptual outlines to result in small to medium scale enterprises. She brings both grassroots African business experience as a wealth of deal experience in global markets, together with 15 years US business experience.
Zambia Office – Gilbert Vlahakis
Gilbert Vlahakis is CEO of Baobridge Zambia. Gilbert has 30 years’ experience managing his own businesses in farming, trucking and trading and employs 28 members of staff. Upon completion of his education in England, he worked in ranching and trading cattle in the Southern Province of Zambia. Thereafter, Gilbert worked with Lonrho and Dunavant Cotton, distributing cotton seed and collecting cotton harvests from out-grower farmer networks in Southern Province. He has been the Marketing Director of MRI Agro since its inception, and is still promoting and supporting the rural agent network programs in Southern and Eastern Provinces through the provision of training, mobilizing and forming farmer networks and distributing and marketing MRI Seed.
Zambia Office – Sharon Marguerita Milne
Sharon is Operational Manager of Baobridge Social Investment Consultancy Zambia – Lusaka Office. Prior to joining Baobridge Sharon was involved in the African banking sector in Zimbabwe. Sharon is a Zambian citizen, she resided in Zimbabwe for 27 years. She was responsible for setting up and managing the General Services Department of the merged entity of African Banking Corporation based in Zimbabwe (now BancABC) where she worked in various administration, training, treasury, public relations and secretarial positions for 17 years and prior to that, had several years’ executive secretarial and administration experience. She also worked as Assistant Manager to the Managing Director of the largest shop-fitting company in Zimbabwe (Architectural Aluminum) before running her own company (ProSat P/L) dealing in and importing electronic and electrical products into Zambia and Zimbabwe from Dubai, before moving back to Zambia in 2010. Read More/Less» Sharon has experience in teaching children and adults and is a qualified Trainer and a TEFL teacher. She has designed and facilitated workshops to assist students to enhance their learning and study skills and to motivate teachers and parents. Sharon is also a registered Counsellor with the Zambia Counselling Council helps to promote the work of SHARPZ (Serenity Harm Reduction Program Zambia) against alcohol and drug abuse. In an endeavor to promote and implement Conservation Agriculture in Zimbabwe by assessing its impact on urban and rural communities in Zambia, Sharon organized and conducted “Look & Learn” Agriculture Tours for Welthunger Hilfe (WHH) with the full collaboration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Conservation Farming Unit, PROFIT, MRI Seed, Stockists and other training/research institutes and projects. Since then, she has been developing material; facilitating counselling and training workshops, programs, video seminars and retreats relating to family life education, personal & career development, pre/post marital counselling services, HIV awareness and customer care.
Zambia Office – Julian Simpson
Julie is Administrative Manager of Baobridge Zambia, responsible for screening and analysis, performing due diligence on projects to ensure they are investor ready for review by team. Prior to joining Baobridge Julie was responsible for Human Resource Management and operating accounting and finance for security business that managed 7,000 security guards in Lusaka. Julie is involved with ‘St. John of God’ Ministries that service the low-income women population in the Southern province of Zambia who are taking care of children with mental and physical disabilities, providing education and therapeutic intervention and integrating them into mainstream education. The program also has an income generating scheme which teaches the mothers to start project such as chicken rearing and market gardens.