FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2012
Five Talents International
P.O. Box 331
Vienna, VA 22183
New Executive Director Takes Helm of Christian Microenterprise Development Organization Five Talents
Vienna, VA – The Five Talents Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Sonia Patterson has been hired as the Executive Director of the growing Christian microenterprise development organization.
She will be following Craig Cole, the founding chief executive, who is stepping down from the organization after more than 12 years of service. He was honored at the 2012 Spring Gala held recently at a private country club in Bethesda, MD.
"We are so very grateful to Craig for his passion, his integrity and his service to the poor," said Dr. April Young, Chair of Five Talents' US Board. "He built Five Talents into an international organization from the very ground up and has helped tens of thousands of the poor. This is his legacy."
Patterson, who grew up in Chambersburg, PA, and currently lives in Reston, VA, was first introduced as the new Executive Director at the Spring Gala. She brings 15 years of entrepreneurial experience in developing business, non-governmental and community relations in the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
"Sonia's wealth of experience will help Five Talents' programs reach new heights," said Dr. Young. "We are so happy that she is joining us."
Fluent in English and Spanish, Patterson holds a B.A. from Wittenberg University and an M.B.A. from Thunderbird School of Global Management, where she concentrated on global entrepreneurship.
Patterson has developed businesses in Latin America and in the Caribbean, and she has had outstanding success in building and maintaining relationships with key corporate and government decision-makers, both domestically and internationally. She has held leadership positions in both for-profit companies and non-profit organizations, the most recent of which was as Financial Services Director for World Vision United States.
"I am excited to start this new chapter with Five Talents, building on the organization's dynamic legacy of empowering micro-entrepreneurs in the developing world," said Patterson. "I'm looking forward to working alongside supporters and partners to fight poverty and transform lives."
Five Talents currently works in 12 developing countries, promoting the formation of savings groups, making small loans and providing business skills training as a way to create jobs and help whole communities to move from poverty to self-sustainability.