Cruise ship












Profiles (incomplete list) 

Lionel Delatour
26 Rue Mangones
Pétion Ville, Haïti

Since 1993, he has led thirty-four delegations of business leaders from Haiti on fact-finding visits to Washington. From 2002 to 2004, he provided consulting services to l’Association des Industries d'Haïti (ADIH) in drafting and promoting in Washington the textile trade bill HERO to help Haiti the same way as the African countries were benefiting from the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
ADIHHe was a leading advocate for the enactment of the follow-on HOPE legislation in 2006, the HOPE II legislation in 2008 and the HELP legislation in 2010, all of which gave Haiti trade benefits that transformed the dormant garment sector into one of the engines of job creation.
In April 2006, May 2008 and February 2009 he coordinated and participated in the three visits to Washington of President René Préval.
From July 2007 to date he has been a consultant for the CTMO-HOPE commission, a tripartite institution led by the government with representatives of business associations and labor organizations created to help improve and implement the various HOPE legislative initiatives.
Lionel Delatour is a graduate of Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and holds a masters in public administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He is a founding board member of the Haiti Democracy Project.
Christopher Etienne

ChristopherThird-year Student in Engineering
State University of New York, Buffalo

Christopher Etienne is studying engineering at the University at Buffalo where he expects to receive a bachelors of science in civil engineering in May 2015.  His GPA is 3.56.
He has had work experience at Saint Thomas University in Miami and has done an internship at Bureau d’Ingenerie et d’Expertise National in Cap-Haitien which he hopes to join when he finishes his studies.
Christopher is participating in this fact-finding visit to accompany his father Jean Dorvil Etienne who is not as fluent in English as French and Spanish.

Katleen Félix


International Consultant in Migration and Development
Outremont, Québec

Consultant who brings over twenty years of experience and commitment working with the Haitian Diaspora on sustainability projects in Haiti. Results-oriented, her practice includes entrepreneurship and investment programs, research and analysis, focus groups and capacity-building seminars. Although Haiti is the focus these projects and programs can be replicated in other geographic areas as required.

Specializes in migration and development with over fifteen years of experience as a senior financial officer for major corporations and twenty years in leadership and volunteer roles in not-for-profit organizations working with small and medium enterprises in Canada and the United States. She chairs the Haitian Hometown Associations’ Resource Group (HHTARG, also called the RG). The RG was formed in March 2008 by a group of HHTA (Haitian Hometown Associations) leaders for the purpose of strengthening community development projects in Haiti in order to foster economic and social growth with the aim of alleviating poverty. Katleen has done consultancy or research for Fonkoze, IDB, IFAD, CEMLA, Oxfam, and Value for Women, Boom Financial and Georgetown University. As project director and Diaspora liaison officer at Fonkoze she assembled a database of nearly 350 HHTAs and support groups worldwide.

Her work with the Haitian Diaspora includes organizing capacity-building programs and informational and networking activities for the HHTAs in New York, Miami and Boston. She is a founding member of the “crowd-funding” site where the public can directly support small growing businesses and social projects in Haiti. Her work Hillarywas commended by Hillary Clinton at the Diaspora Forum 2012 in Washington, and Zafèn is listed as one of the top ten crowd-funding sites by Forbes.
She is well integrated in the business scene and is the recipient of many awards.
Katleen holds a bachelors and masters degree in finance and international business from HEC Montréal (, the University of Montréal’s business school.
She is a member of the following associations and institutions:

  • Haitian Hometown Associations Resource Group (HHTARG)
  • Haitian Diaspora Federation
  • GRAHN - Economic development committee
  • HEC Montréal Alumni Association,  international committee
  • Advisory board Vincentian Family  (FAMVIN) in Haiti
  • Advisory board Micro-Finance Club of Montréal
Gesly Lévêque

Banque Populaire Haitienne
8, angle des rues Aubran et Gabart,
Pétion Ville, Haiti

Banque Populaire Haïtienne (BPH) was founded in August 1973 as a successor to Banque Populaire Colombo Haïtienne, becoming the first state-owned commercial bank in Haiti. Since its inception, BPH has increasingly invested in highly-attractive and competitive banking products in an effort to meet the needs of its diverse clientele. A new board of directors of BPH was installed in October 2011. Its  members are: Gesly Lévêque,  CEO; Myriam Jean, deputy managing director; and Yves Joseph, comptroller. BPH operates five branches in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.  
Since assuming its role, the BPH board of directors has advanced a variety of financially-viable projects with focus on medium and small businesses especially with women’s associations. The bank helps them understand the financial world and the power of money.
The BPH also designed a three-hundred-unit residential project, the Village Chateaublond, to provide affordable middle- and lower-middle-class housing at prices two to three times lower than typical private developments, and with mortgage payments often lower than renting. Because of shared infrastructure built together, the per-unit cost will be 30 to 40 percent lower than stand-alone houses. This housing will permanently replace capacity destroyed in the earthquake, which has since forced many Le Matinyoung professionals to move in with families or rent, when they are capable of owning.

Partners include foreign investors (the Bedford Group) and private Haitian investors (AD, Architecture & Development). The project will generate direct and indirect employment for many workers including the most destitute.

Gesly Lévêque with Myriam Jean comprises the first all-woman management of a state bank in Haiti. She has a law degree from l’Universite d’Etat d’Haïti. She studied banking for three years in Paris at the Centre d’Etudes Financières, Economiques et Bancaires and has a masters in accounting from UCLA. She served as financial analyst at Citibank in Los Angeles and Mellon Bank.
She is a member of the following organizations:

  • California Black Women Association
  • Red Cross Haiti, volunteer in fundraising
  • Association of Haitian Women in Finance
Maryse Pénette-Kedar

MarysePresident, PRODEV


  • Senior consultant to Royal Caribbean International and president of SOLANO, its affiliate in Haiti, since 2000
  • Saved Haitian tourist industry — kept cruise ships coming during difficult times, 2000–2005
  • Minister of tourism, 1995–2000
  • Former minister and counselor to the European Economic Union
  • Former ambassador to Brussels

She worked with the cruise line on creating l'Ecole Nouvelle Royal Caribbean in Labadie

See her on "60 Minutes" in 2010

PRODEV: Progress and Development Through the Youth of Haiti is a Haitian-led nonprofit, nonpolitical foundation, officially recognized by the government of Haiti.   PRODEV was established in 1995 by Max Pénette, Daniel Kedar and Maryse Pénette-Kedar, to empower the youth of Haiti through education.  Founded on the idea that edikayson se sel soliyson, “education is the only solution” in Haiti, PRODEV’s work has expended over time to address the evolving needs of Haiti’s children.  PRODEV operated a primary school within a detention center for minors.  In spring 2010, following the January 2010 earthquake, it ran fourteen elementary schools and eight kindergartens in tent camps around Port-au-Prince.  PRODEV opened its first independent school, Ecole Nouvelle Zorange, in October 2010.  For the 2012-13 school year PRODEV managed three schools in Labadie, Cité Soleil,  Zorange and a community center in Zorange.
Maryse Pénette-Kedar has dedicated her life and treasure to strengthening Haiti’s economic, social and political infrastructure. As the daughter of an iconic leader in education, Max Pénette, she is committed to continuing her family’s tradition of nation-building on the principle of quality education for all.
Pénette-Kedar’s devotion to Haiti is also evident in her professional accomplishments. She currently serves as the senior consultant to Royal Caribbean cruise lines and the president of SOLANO, Royal Caribbean’s affiliate in Haiti. She was Haiti’s minister of tourism during  1995-1999. In that capacity she  undertook a critically-needed inventory of Haiti’s natural assets, from pristine beach fronts to long-forgotten historical landmarks. Between 1987 and 1990, she was widely credited for having played a critical role in negotiating Haiti’s entry in the Lomé Convention, while serving as the chargée d’affaires  of the Haitian embassy in Belgium.
Maryse Pénette-Kedar holds a BS in accounting and a BA in Spanish from the Inter-American University in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  She did graduate studies in international politics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.  She is a member and past president of l’Association des Industries d’Haïti.  She is a member of l’AMCHAM and of l’Association Touristique d’Haïti.  She is on the board of the Fondation Solano.