Our Team

Our Team

CIMS, is a unique blend of academics, business consultants and agronomists. We believe that this mix gives us the well-rounded perspectives we need to think through the issues and find workable solutions. In addition to a small core permanent team, we work with a wide range of regional and international experts as and when projects demand it. See below for information on the team:


Lawrence Pratt, Executive Director

Lawrence Pratt is Senior Lecturer at INCAE Business School, Costa Rica. From 2009 to 2015, Mr Pratt directed INCAE’s Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development. Mr Pratt’s work focuses on incorporating sustainability into the strategic positioning of countries, industries and businesses. He lectures widely and internationally on sustainable business and on the design of policy structures to promote competitive advantage from sustainability. He is an advisor to various financial institutions, and manufacturing and natural resource-based companies in Latin America, the U.S. and Europea. Mr Pratt is a graduate of the College of William and Mary (Virginia, USA), and holds a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Management (Connecticut, USA).

Dr. Bernard Kilian, Research Director

Bernard joined CIMS in 2003 as CIMS Director of Research. He is also a faculty member of INCAE, teaching Agricultural Economics, Operations Management and Statistics. He has a Masters in agricultural science with an emphasis on applied economics from the University of Hohenheim, Germany. He also has a PhD in resource economics from the Department of Farm Management, from which he graduated in spring 2000. Bernard comes from good farming stock in Southern Germany.

Alejandro Roblero, Operations Director

Alejandro joined CIMS recently as CIMS Vice-Director. Alejandro Roblero holds a Master in Business Administration -with Honors- from INCAE Business School. He has dedicated his career to consulting and research – both academic and applied- at several issues related to sustainable development, such as strategic governance and management of climate change and water resources, eco-efficiency and value creation for rural development and Base of the Pyramid markets.

He has served both private sector companies throughout Central America (Coopeagropal, Grupo Nutresa, Grupo Multi-Inversiones, and Copa Airlines) as well as organizations like the World Bank, IADB, UNDP and UNEP. His most recent research will be published by University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and summarizes several cases of successful businesses based on renewable energy services at the Base of the Pyramid in Central America, and makes lessons and development challenges of this topic.

Emilie Dardaine, Key Account Senior Manager

Emilie Dardaine is a French agricultural engineer with extensive experience working with farm co-operatives and small agri-businesses in Latin America. She joined CIMS in 2012 after acting as advisor to Cooperativas Sin Fronteras, an alliance of 15 producer organisations focused on creating markets for fair trade and organic produce. She has worked both internationally (UK and Germany) as well as regionally (Central and South America). A long-time advisor to the Fairtrade International, she has led product development projects and developed business strategies to improve livelihoods for rural agricultural communities producing fruit, sugar, coffee and cocoa, amongst others. She has also managed projects focused on organizational change, as well as the evaluation and improvement of farm production costs, socio-environmental certifications and quality control. Her experience has necessitated a clear understanding of business, community consultation and strategy development. Emilie is based in Costa Rica and is a fluent Spanish and English speaker.

Andrés Guevara, Senior Researcher 

Andres is a Biotechnologist, graduated from the Costa Rican Institute of Technology. He is currently a MSc candidate in Food Science and Technology from the University of Costa Rica. He joined CIMS in March 2007 and since then, he has worked on a range of projects within the agri-food sector: Geographical Indications for specialty coffee, supply chain analysis, precision agriculture, sustainability performance analysis, monitoring and evaluation of agri-food projects , competitiveness and strategy. He also developed feasibility research for the sustainable energy sector focused on biomass and solid waste recovery. Key research partners include Holcim, Costa Rican Coffee Institute (ICAFE), Costa Rica Ministry of Agriculture, Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), the International Trade Center, Nestlé Nespresso, Rainforest Alliance, Technoserve and Wal-mart.

Juan Pablo López, Researcher

Juan Pablo recently joined CIMS as a researcher in 2013. He is an agronomist from the University of Costa Rica with relevant experience in the private sector, in a company such as HORTIFRUTI and in a multilateral context via the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA). He completed his M.Sc. in Sustainable International Agriculture with an emphasis in International Agribusiness and Rural Development Economics through a joint program from the Georg-August University of Göttingen, the University of Kassel-Witzenhausen (both from Germany) and the University of Talca in Chile. As part of the research undertaken for his thesis, he analyzed the effects of the Free-Trade Agreement between the European Union and Central America in the Costa Rican banana sector. Juan Pablo is fluent in Spanish, English, and German.

Melissa Menocal, Researcher

Melissa joined CIMS as a researcher in 2009, and has participated in a wide range of projects, including sustainable fishing and aquaculture for Central America, competitiveness of the onion sector in Costa Rica, coffee pricing studies, supply chain analysis, sustainability performance analysis, and energy and solid waste recovery, among others. Key clients include Holcim, the Ministry of Agriculture, Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), Nestlé Nespresso and Walmart. Melissa is an agronomic engineer and graduate of EARTH University (2005). In 2010 she completed her Masters in business administration with an emphasis in Marketing at the Latin America University of Science and Technology (ULACIT) in Costa Rica.

Yensy Corella, Administration Officer

Yensy has a degree in International Relations, from the Latin University of Costa Rica. She joined CIMS in July 2006. At CIMS she is responsible for managing and implementing all aspects of office administration. She is also responsaible for accounting and financial records, human resourses and external relations.

Liza Lort-Phillips, Senior Global Advisor

Liza was Executive Director of CIMS until April 2014, and currently supports CIMS in a non-executive advisory capacity.

A farmer’s daughter, Liza has 20 years experience working with the private, public and NGO sectors across Asia, Europe and Latin America. She joined CIMS in 2011 on sabbatical from the UK, where she both lead and supported CIMS project work until her appointment as Executive Director. Before joining CIMS she worked as Director of Supply Chain Strategy for a leading sustainability consultancy in London, advising global FMCG companies such as Mars, Kraft, Cadbury, Unilever and Diageo. Prior to this she worked as Private Sector Advisor for Save the Children UK, where she sat on the Board of Directors for the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). She began her professional career in China, initially in procurement for a European brewery, and latterly as Director of APCO China, advising companies on investment and sustainability strategies. She initiated the first joint AmCham-British Chamber conference on corporate responsibility in China in 2001. She is currently Director of Global Markets and Innovation at CottonConnect, a social enterprise focused on developing sustainable cotton supply chains in India and China. Liza is a graduate of Chinese Politics and has a MSc in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London.


Founders and Board of Directors

CIMS’ is proud to have the support and guidance of its founders and Board of Directors, all of whom come from a broad and high-level range of private, public and NGO sectors, local, regional and international.


  • Lawrence Pratt, CIMS, INCAE
  • Ana María Majano, CLACDS, INCAE
  • Christopher Wille, Rainforest Alliance
  • Daniele Giovannucci, Executive Director, Committee on Sustainable Agriculture (COSA)
  • Roberto Artavia, President, Viva Trust

Board of Directors

  • Alfredo Volio, President-CEO Upala Agrícola S.A 
  • Ana María Majano, Associate Director, CLACDS
  • Franz Tattenbach, President and CEO, International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • Manfred Kissling, President and Executive Director of Occidental Business Services
  • Rhina de Rehmann, Entrepreneur and Sustainable Markets Consultant