HUGE will be a counterpart of United States’ initiatives for the region that will connect the private sector of the member countries and encourage key decision-makers to create a favorable environment for strategic investments that will ultimately create new, well-paid jobs.
We partner and collaborate with industry leaders to increase employment, revenue, economic growth, and social benefits for a more stable, prosperous, and just region for all.
The HUGE Business and Investment Council promotes inbound investment projects, from the United States, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, that capitalize on the competitive advantages of the Northern Triangle region. These strategic investments lay the groundwork to generate significant, sustainable revenue and employment opportunities within these countries.
In close cooperation with civil society, and both private and public sectors in all four countries, our mission can be accomplished.
We identify and activate the best and most transparent mechanisms to support regional growth, while overcoming regulatory, institutional obstacles that impede progress. At the same time, we seek out and invest in projects to increase the competitiveness of our countries.
Our institutional support will be complemented by an independent equity fund. These efforts will work in tandem to deliver on our goal to drive growth and create jobs that will allow people to take destiny into their own hands.
Unprecedented Potential in the Northern Triangle
The United States, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have a historic opportunity to capitalize on competitive advantages of the Northern Triangle through coordinated regional activities.
The HUGE Business and Investment Council brings together private sector industry leaders from these countries in order to seize the moment ripe for advancing democratic capitalism in the Northern Triangle. Our activities include a particular focus on export markets and investment in the formation of strategic industry clusters that will open doors to new commercial arenas, economic development, and job creation opportunities.
Northern Triangle by the Numbers
Latin American Economy
billion dollars per year of trade with the U.S.
of Central American trade with the U.S.
of Central America’s GDP
of the Central American population
Source: SIECA, IDB
This initiative fundamentally consists of an institutional pillar and is poised to develop an additional pillar focused on investments. Initially, the objective is to integrate companies with like-minded goals, thereby bringing about improvements to the regional investment climate through the promotion of strategic projects across the region. Following the successful identification of these opportunities, an Equity Fund will be created to mobilize and channel funds to various business projects that meet a defined set of criteria generally focused on:
Volume of jobs created
Project sponsors will need to focus their efforts on the region as a whole, rather than each individual country.
Category of investment
Priority sectors will include Manufacturing, Infrastructure, Knowledge and Technology, and Agribusiness.
Social and environmental awareness and responsibility
All projects must have a social focus, achieving developments that are sustainable in the long-term.
We are united in a firm commitment to pair strategy with action that delivers measurable, socially and environmentally responsible growth for the United States and the Northern Triangle.
Dr. Juan José Daboub
Dr. Juan José Daboub
Dr. Juan José Daboub, Ph.D., is the President of HUGE Business and Investment Council; Chairman and CEO of the Daboub Partnership, and the Founding CEO of the Global Adaptation Institute. He was Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Climate Change (2012-2014) and Vice-Chairman of The Dorado Group, LLC (2010-2020). He has taught at Princeton University and is a member of several Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards of both public and private industries and non-profits in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.
As Managing Director of the World Bank, from 2006 to 2010, Dr. Daboub oversaw operations in 110 countries in Africa, the Middle East, East Asia and Latin America. He was also responsible for the oversight of the Human Development and Sustainable Development Networks, the Information Systems Group, the World Bank Institute, the Department of Institutional Integrity, and the Arab World Initiative.
Prior to the World Bank, Dr. Daboub led the expansion of his family-owned businesses and worked with non-profit organizations on public policies to promote liberty, stability, and growth throughout Latin America.
From 1999 to 2004, Dr. Daboub served concurrently as El Salvador’s Minister of Finance and as Chief of Staff to the President. In these high-profile dual roles, Dr. Daboub helped to navigate his native country through several regional economic challenges including securing and sustaining El Salvador’s investment grade rating, “dollarizing” the economy, and completing a Free Trade Agreement with the United States. During this period, he also oversaw the emergency reconstruction of El Salvador after two major earthquakes in 2001.
Dr. Daboub’s leadership began in the private sector, where he led his family-owned businesses for nearly a decade before joining the Board of CEL, El Salvador’s electric utility, and presiding over El Salvador’s electric distribution companies. Subsequently, he was named President of ANTEL, the state-owned telecommunications company, which he restructured and privatized through a competitive and transparent process that also demonopolized that strategic sector. He held high Government positions in El Salvador for 12 years (1992-2004), working for three different Administrations without belonging to any political party.
Dr. Daboub holds a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University. He is married with four children.
Camilo Atala is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Grupo Financiero Ficohsa (GFF), a regional conglomerate with more than 27 years of experience. GFF is known for its innovation, solidarity, commitment, and growth, and is proud to align with the UN Global Compact to achieve sustainable development, which can be accomplished through a balance between economic growth, environmental care, and social welfare. GFF’s corporate purpose is to facilitate solutions that transform lives.
GFF operates in banking, insurance, pensions, brokerage, and money exchange with a presence in Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the United States, and has over 6,000 employees at the regional level who provide innovative and competitive products and services.
Atala began his career in Honduras in 1990 as a businessman and entrepreneur. One year later he founded Financiera Comercial Hondureña S.A. In July 1994 he led the transformation of this financial firm to a commercial bank, Banco Ficohsa. Currently Banco Ficohsa is part of the largest financial group in Honduras and is one of the most important brands in the Central American region.
Ficohsa Foundation, also led by Atala, is a nonprofit institution that provides aid by leading the construction, maintenance, and operation of more than 149 preschools which have benefited more than 137,000 children between 3 and 6 years of age in the Central American region.
Atala is a recognized leading entrepreneur who is committed to promoting sustainable economic and social development throughout the Central American region. Atala’s leadership positions include President of the Honduran Foundation for National Identity, Member of the Board of Directors of INCAE Business School, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hondufuturo. Atala was also President of the Business Council of Latin America (CEAL) from 2016 to 2018. He holds a degree in Business Administration from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.
Anderson "Davis" Warlick, Jr.
Anderson “Davis” Warlick, Jr.
Davis Warlick graduated from the Terry School of Business, University of Georgia, BBA, in 2008 and received his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from Wake Forest University in 2015.
Mr. Warlick’s primary concentration is leading the Parkdale Mills International Textile Division. His responsibilities include the management of Parkdale’s manufacturing assets in Mexico and Columbia, South America, and three distribution facilities in Latin America. Additionally, his responsibilities include leading the sales and marketing divisions that serve these three regions.
Mr. Warlick serves on the Board of the Cotton Council International (CCI), a member of the National Cotton Council and the Advisory Board of the Gaston College Textile Technology Center.
Richard Aitkenhead is Founder and President of Grupo IDC and has over 25 years of experience in providing economic and financial advisory services in Central America, as well as in mergers and acquisitions. He is the founding member of several investment and private equity funds, the most recent one is IDC Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on technology companies in Europe. He has served as a Board Member at INCAE Business School and Rafael Landivar University. He also served as Minister of Economy and Minister of Finance in Guatemala between 1991 and 1994. Aitkenhead was part of negotiations for the Peace Accords in Guatemala in 1996. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Economics from Rafael Landivar University.
Aitkenhead served as President of the Board at FUNDES International from 2008-2020, a nonprofit institution that supports the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in Latin America. Since 2016, he has been the Director of AVINA, a leading foundation promoting environmental sustainability and the resolution of social issues in Latin America. Through a collaborative process, AVINA seeks to make a positive and sustainable impact. Aitkenhead also leads a Social Impact Fund designed by IDC to support vulnerable sectors in Guatemala.
Jesús Canahuati is the founder and President of ELCATEX Group. He was born in Honduras and after finishing his Industrial Engineering career at Georgia Institute of Technology in 1987, with his father's guidance, he founded Elcatex to bring competitiveness and flexibility in expanding the family business. As a result of Canahuati's vision and entrepreneurship, he has since founded the following operations: 6 Industrial Free Trade Zones of around 8,000,000 square feet, which provide jobs to around 55,000 employees, benefiting approximately 275,000 people in total. A new free zone is currently under construction, the 7th Industrial Free Trade Zone, with an area of 4,000,000 square feet - it will be the largest in the region.
Canahuati began his career in the energy sector in the early 90’s, with the development of thermal electric power generation plants, evolving in the following years into the generation of approximately 140MW of renewable energy including hydro, biomass, biogas, and solar. In the agricultural sector, he founded Honduran Green Power Corporation – a project that manages 4,621 hectares of king grass, cacao, and precious woods. This company stands out for its implementation of precise agriculture, where GPS systems are used to save inputs. It also uses waste from the industrial operation processes, such as biomass effluents and ash, as fertilizers.
As a transformative leader who seeks the common good, Canahuati’s vision is to create sustainable areas oriented towards the generation of employment in the development of industry and commerce, housing, health, and education. ELCATEX Group generates over 11,000 direct jobs, impacting approximately 55,000 people in total. He is a key player in boosting the country's socioeconomic growth, standing out as: Member of the Board of Directors of the Honduran Manufacturers Association (President during the period 1999-2007), Co-founder of the Foundation for Technical Education in Central America, (FUNDETEC), Active member of CEAL-Honduras and the Honduran Foundation for Development Studies (FHED), President of Honduran International Social Club, and Director of the Honduran Council of Private Enterprise (COHEP).
Canahuati was recently selected as part of the 7 members around the world to be part of the Target Owned Brands Business Partner Think Tank Community, developed with the purpose of making significant changes and moving industries forward. He is a faithful advocate of high-impact social projects and programs such as initiatives focused on education, economic development, environment, and health for his employees and their communities. His passion to help others has been reflected for more than 28 years as a volunteer on the Board of Directors of the Saint Vincent Foundation. Canahuati recognizes his driving forces are God and his family.
Greg Huger, Executive Director of HUGE Business and Investment Council, brings to his work extensive global management and senior leadership skills gained through more than 40 years of challenging government and private sector engagements spanning different world cultures, regions, and socioeconomic conditions.
He has held senior executive positions across the public and private sectors – from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Peace Corps to Unocal Corporation, Deere & Company, and Bechtel International – with postings across five continents. Huger leverages expertise gained through these experiences to tackle problems in both the public and private spheres, including significant experience in leveraging private capital to finance and achieve international development objectives.
As a USAID official in El Salvador, Huger supported key local business leaders to create FUSADES, a transformational social and economic development foundation aimed at helping El Salvador negotiate peace, build democracy, and advance economic recovery. In Egypt, he supported the creation of private sector institutions that significantly increased non-traditional exports to Europe, developed micro-enterprise programs that have provided more than $1 billion in small business loans and guarantees, and supported private sector leaders to create the Egyptian Center for Economic Studies. In Afghanistan, Huger supported private sector led efforts to bolster Afghan exports to India and the Persian Gulf, and to generate electric power. Similarly, in Ukraine, he orchestrated partnerships between USAID and major United States agribusinesses to modernize Ukrainian agriculture. In these and other instances, he targeted United States development resources and influence to reduce the risk of private investment in complex environments.
Huger’s private-sector experience includes leading Unocal’s efforts to implement corporate responsibility policies in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines, and other Asian nations. This eliminated a major corporate risk and thus facilitated Unocal’s sale to Chevron. Among his other private sector engagements, Huger was John Deere Marketing Manager for Latin America and Spain and headed up Bechtel’s efforts to recruit and train more than 200 local companies to work under a $3 billion USAID post-conflict reconstruction contract in Iraq.
A Georgetown University graduate, Huger attended Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies, and attained the rank of Minister Counselor in the U.S. Foreign Service.
Reina Irene Mejía
Reina Irene Mejía
Reina Irene Mejía Chacón, a Honduran citizen, served as Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) from December 16, 2020, to May 31, 2023. She also served as president a.i. of the IDB from September to December 2022. From June 2023 to December 2023, she worked on the transition of the new EVP.
In her role as Executive Vice President and as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the IDB she oversaw the quality control and risk management of all Bank operations. She served as Chair of the Operations Management Committee, responsible for the Bank’s operational activities and provided oversight and direction to the Vice Presidents and all other senior staff.
Also, she currently serves as the external public sector expert member of the “Performance Management Board” of the United Nations. This board advises the UN Secretary-General on matters of senior-level performance as well as strengthening accountability and transparency across all UN Secretariat entities.
Prior to joining the IDB, she spent nearly 25 years at Citibank. She was the CEO and Corporate & Investment Head of Citibank Honduras from 2013 until 2020. She also served as Secretary of the Board of Banco de Honduras, from 2014 to 2020 and Secretary of the Board of Grupo Financiero Citibank Costa Rica from 2017 to 2020.
Among some of the several roles prior to her appointment as CEO, Ms. Mejia served as Institutional Clients Group Director for Honduras and Nicaragua as well as Corporate Business and Public Sector Head. During her tenure at Citibank, she was a central actor in all major corporate transactions, supporting all clients. Ms. Mejía also served as President of the Honduran American Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of the Association of American Chambers of Commerce in Latin
America and the Caribbean (AACCLA) in the years before joining the IDB. Reina Irene supported the development of the Women Network within Citibank Latin America Region and in Thailand. She also served as “Guest Reviewer” in many audits performed in several regions of the world, including, South America and The Caribbean, Canada, and Asia.
Among positions in her early career, she was General Manager of FUNDES Honduras, a consultancy firm specializing in the development of MSMEs.
In addition, Ms. Mejía has held Board positions or senior roles at several other financial and educational institutions and has been active in a range of women’s business-leadership initiatives. She also founded and worked for more than a decade as treasurer of the Honduras chapter of Operation Smile, which has helped more than 5,000 children by providing surgeries to correct cleft lip and palate.
In 2023, 2021 and 2018, she was selected by Forbes Centro América as one of the most influential women of the region, and among the leaders who are making a difference at the national and international levels in the field of business, multilateral organizations, science, and sports. In 2023, “Vida y Exito” Magazine, named Reina Irene Mejia as one of the Central American and the Caribbean Women to Highlight during this year.
Strategy and Business magazine named Ms. Mejía one of the most influential women in the region in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Mrs. Mejia holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and an MBA from Southern Illinois University. She has completed additional graduate courses in Leadership and Customer-Centric Growth from Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania.
Adriana Kania is HUGE’s Director of Operations and as part of this role, she also leads communications efforts for the organization.
Adriana joins HUGE after years of experience working in fast-paced, constantly changing environments which she attained while serving in the Executive Offices of several federal agencies, including the US International Development Finance Corporation and the US Department of Transportation.
Adriana began her career as a scheduler at the United States House of Representatives, where she managed operations in the offices of several Members of Congress, after graduating from James Madison University with a degree in Foreign Languages and Political Science.
HUGE Business and Investment Council Founders are champions for sustainable, ethical industry. Explore how their commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business is advanced in the companies they represent.