Meet the Team

Vashti Seth, Deki Founder and CEO

After building a successful career as a freelance production manager in the Australian film industry,  Vashti decided to move back to the UK to study Philosophy, and it was during her final year at University, that she founded Deki. Inspired by a young Tibetan refugee and a £2,000 legacy with a note to “do something good” left to her by her father.

Vashti has always held the core belief that everyone should have an opportunity to empower themselves, and is particularly passionate about empowering women to hold leadership roles within their communities and homes. Vashti believes that businesses are integral to shaping a fairer, more sustainable future and is dedicated to helping businesses to put positive impact at the heart of their company culture and create positive change.

She has also worked with local, national and international businesses to increase and measure their positive impact and has been featured in The Observer, The Guardian, Daily Mail, Red Magazine, Grazia and Marie Claire.

Vashti has won numerous high-profile awards such as; Bristol and Bath’s Businesswoman of the Year and IOD’s Third Sector Director of the Year; Vashti was also awarded an Honorary MBA from the University of West of England for her commitment to community and entrepreneurship.

Christian Kadangah, IADES Founder and Managing Director

With over 13 years of experience in inclusive microfinance and working with underpriveleged populations, Christian left his job at a microfinance bank in 2011 and used his savings to start IADES. He holds multiple qualifications in finance and accounting from the University in Lomé, Togo.

“For me it is clear that for vulnerable communitites to flourish, they need basic economic and social services such as access to healthcare, access to clean energy, clean water and education. We are pleased with the work being done with our sister partner Deki, which brings well-being and smiles to the rural communities.”

Shelby Alexander, Marketing and Communications Manager

Shelby joined Deki two years ago and has her finger on the pulse of all things marketing. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Documentary Photography and brings with her a natural flair for storytelling. Shelby is behind the design and copy of all of our marketing materials, keeps our website up to date and manages all of our social media channels. She uses her eye for detail to help us share Deki’s vision and maintain a close relationship with our supporters. She curates our content archive to make sure you see our best pictures in all of our newsletters and blogs and searches for the stories behind our entrepreneurs to send you regular updates.

 Shelby is currently studying for an L3 in Digital Marketing to support her role within Deki, whilst raising teenagers. Shelby is an instinctive care giver and her focus is always on finding the humanity and making positive changes to other people’s lives.

 Shelby still takes photographs at every opportunity and is responsible for our new team photos. She also teaches street photography workshops and is currently working on a long-term photography project working in Bristol’s drag and LGBT community. From her experiences, she has developed a deep understanding and empathy for minority communities and the issues affecting them.

 

Liz Stagg, Deki volunteer

Liz has been with us since 2014 and has become an integral part of the team and we would be lost without her. Her skills are limitless; from proof reading copy and project research and support to being our very own in house translator. Liz speaks and writes French fluently and joined us on our field trip to Togo last year. She is vital to us gathering information from Deki entrepreneurs and translating back and forth between team members from different continents.

Not only does Liz contribute to our website copy, she has also provided many of the photographs that she took during the Togo field trip in 2019.

An avid traveller, Liz has explored far reaching places, she has hiked the Himalayas and explored Patagonia. She is no stranger to the African continent where she has worked with a lion conservation charity and orphanage community projects around Zimbabwe.

Liz regularly writes travel blogs about her adventures in Antarctica, Greenland and Svalbard, a place she loves to photograph and longs to return to.

After a corporate career in the telecoms industry, Liz is seeking a more meaningful role – to make the world a better place; helping women in Africa to grow their way out of poverty.

Olivia Lassey, IADES Operations Manager

Joining Christian in 2013, Olivia is currently in charge of IADES’s operations and also heads up the Women’s Empowerment Collectives programme. She is deeply committed to empowering women and through her work she can help vulnerable women to become self-sufficient. Olivia holds a degree in Marketing and Strategy.

Gabriel Hini, Cooperative Project Manager

As Rural Manager, Gabriel is responsible for the day to day running of the Agricultural Cooperatives Programme. He joined IADES in 2019 after studying for a degree in Sociology, during which he specialised in social development. He feels proud to be part of IADES and to be working alongside farmers to help achieve the sustainable development of Togo’s rural communities.

Simon Djato, Akadi Project Manager

Simon studied Sociology at university and then worked as a volunteer in an association for a few months before joining IADES in May 2021. He is passionate about environmental issues and discovered the field of renewable energy with IADES. His mission is to implement marketing strategies to boost sales.

Cyril Gagban, Healthcare Project Manager

Cyril began working as a rural credit officer for IADES in October 2020. He holds a BTS qualifiaction in local development animation and enjoys challenges which allow him to develop his skills. In January 2022, Cyril became the Mutual Health Insurance Project Manager.

Deki’s Trustees

Consulota Price OBE

Consulota Price OBE

1st Chair of the Board of Trustees

Consulota has spent most of her career working in the developing world alongside and in partnership with organisations and individuals committed to empowerment, equity and capacity building. Consulota has extensive experience working in the UK and overseas with government and non-government organisations, in complex environments and with wide ranging risks.

“Deki’s simple and powerful goal of opportunity not poverty captures beautifully what attracted me to the role of trustee.

The focus on Togo, a country that does not feature highly on most funding agendas, means that Deki and our partners are truly able to demonstrate that no one is forgotten in their hope to lead healthy, fulfilling lives on a decent income.”

 

Simon Rimmer

Simon Rimmer

Treasurer

Digital Transformation / Agile Delivery Lead

Simon’s professional career is based in Digital, Finance and Technology across a variety of industries.
As one of our Trustees, Simon is passionate about bringing a fintech and digital perspective as key enablers to our projects and programmes.
With a background in designing and implementing multi-year, multi-million pound digital programmes, in highly regulated environments Simon also helps bring a lens of corporate governance and regulation to Deki as our Treasurer
Max Nino-Zarazua

Max Nino-Zarazua

Financial Inclusion and International Development Consultant

Max has a passion for financial inclusion with over 20 years of experience working for microfinance institutions, banks, development organisations and as an independent consultant. Max enjoys working with people from different backgrounds and disciplines who shared the same purpose: making a positive change in the world, primarily through microfinance. This is one of the reasons why Max joined Deki in 2016 as member of the Board of Trustees.

Max loves cycling and restoring bikes. Max is currently working with DAI as Programme Director leading the implementation of the British Embassy’s, Mexico Financial Services Prosperity Programme.

Steve Garratt

Steve Garratt

Founder of Studio Giggle, Writer & Director

Steve is a creative polymath with over 30 years of experience in Theatre, Video and Animation production. He is a passionate storyteller and has an MA in screenwriting from Bath Spa University. By day he is the Creative Director of Studio Giggle, Bristol’s leading Creative agency working with a global client base including, Facebook, Google, Manchester United and CVC capital partners.  He was drawn to Deki because of their ability to create meaningful change in people’s lives with targeted programmes that really work. These stories of transformation needed telling and he wanted to make that happen. Deki have worked with Studio Giggle for two years and their award winning work together has only just begun.

Please visit Deki’s home page https://deki.org.uk/ to watch our award winning animation Afi’s Story

Valentine Granet

Valentine Granet

Valentine is passionate about addressing food security and social justice internationally and is dedicated to improving food systems and the lives of marginalised communities. She is a certified agronomist in both Quebec and France, trained at McGill University, where she obtained a Bachelor’s in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (BSc). She also holds a Master’s of International Law with International Relations (LLM) from Kent University. Valentine has experience working for NGOs in France, Belgium, Canada, and Chile, serving diverse communities. She has experience as a researcher, project manager, legal case worker, and team manager. She was drawn to Deki because of its focus on addressing poverty in rural contexts to effect long term change, and its commitment to true collaboration, partnership, and mutual benefit with its field partners.

     Mark Burchfield

Mark Burchfield

Managing Director at CableCom Networking.

Mark’s professional interests focus on IT and in particular managed services, where he has successfully grown his company to be the market leader in both the UK and central Europe. He is delighted to suppport the work of Deki, helping disadvantaged adults in Africa to develop life skills, in parallel with real-world training opportunities. By providing individuals with the necessary experience, qualifications and financial support to start their own business, the longer term benefit is that whole communities become self-sustaining. Mark also has a particular focus on education and is the Chair of Governors for the Downs Preparatory school in Wraxall and Colstons school in Bristol.

 

Richard Tidswell

Richard Tidswell

Delivering hands on support to help small business owners find success & achieve their goals