Meet our speakers 2023
Speakers Youth program
Speakers seniors program
She attended school up to the seventh grade at George Williams School of the ACJ. Furthermore, she was a Peace Builder and Student Ombudsman in her new school, receiving recognition for her political and student leadership. She is a woman passionate about politics, soccer, and music. Her dream, which she has
been working towards since she was 10 years old, is becoming Colombia's President.
She has served as an Executive for Promotion and Event Acquisition at the Greater Medellín Convention & Visitors Bureau. She was a councilwoman in Medellín for the 2016-2019 term and was elected president of this Corporation in 2016.
In 2019, she was awarded the Order of Barlovento in the Grand Knight Degree by the Assembly of Atlántico for being the first Afro-descendant woman to preside over the
Medellín Council. As well as for her contribution to the development of the Afro-descendant population in the country.
She has worked as Deputy Director of Technical Management for Adolescence and Youth at the Colombian Institute of Wellbeing and as Deputy Minister of Sports in the previous government. She worked as a consultant and Director of Inclusive Communication and Pedagogy for the USAID-ACDI/VOCA Ethnic Gathering Program and as Executive Director of the Visible Hands Corporation.
She has been a member of the political party Polo Democrático Alternativo since the age of 14, taking on various roles in local and national representation, including being the party coordinator in her locality. Likewise, she has also been the National Coordinator of Polo Joven, (the youth wing of the party) and is now serving on the national board of the party while leading the youth in Bogotá.
Juanita was also part of the transition team for the current president, reviewing processes involving young people carried out by institutions in the country.
In her earlier years, she attended George Williams School and was involved in
volunteering activities with the YMCA.
Panelists general program
Loizza Aquino received her Honours Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Health Sciences from the University of Toronto, with a double major in International Development and Mental Health, a minor in Media Studies and a certificate in Global Development, Environment & Health.
She is an advocate for youth mental health and is dedicated to destigmatizing conversation surrounding mental illness and suicide, especially within marginalized communities. At 15 years old, Loizza founded a non-profit organization to create a safe space for young people to share personal experiences with their mental health. At 18, Loizza became one of the youngest recipients of the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award, and at 19 she received the YMCA Peace Medal in Toronto. This was the beginning of her journey with the YMCA as she later delivered a Keynote at YMCA175 and at YMCAs across Canada and the United States. Throughout the pandemic, Loizza hosted the virtual YMCA Youth-Led Solutions Summit, and delivered Keynotes/workshops to YMCA youth in North America, South America, and Africa. Last year, Loizza delivered a presentation at the 2022 Youth Assembly in New York to talk about how youth have been changing the world using technology. Most recently, Loizza delivered professional development sessions at the YMCA USA General Assembly, and also interviewed the United States Surgeon General.
In his current role, he led the response to the Covid crisis from early 2020 by launching YMCA-wide efforts for Movements to share and help each other, notably launching the YMCA Covid Solidarity Fund. Putting young people at the centre of initiating and leading change, he created the vision for the Youth Led Solutions Initiative, a series of Summits and projects launched in 2021 to empower young people with knowledge, networks and resources to lead change in their communities. He has been at the forefront of developing new partnerships with the public, private and ‘third’ (civil society) sectors, especially with the ‘Big 6’ youth empowerment organisations and the WHO and UN, in launching the Global Youth Mobilization in 2020-2022. Building on the three-part Covid response strategy of ‘Resilience, Recovery and Reimagination’, he spearheaded a Movement-wide process of conversation and consultation which led to the adoption of YMCA Vision 2030 at the 20th YMCA World Council in Aarhus, Denmark in July 2022. The vision puts young people at the centre of the YMCA’s mission, a direction he had promoted across his different roles since 2010.
His priority in his second term of office – from 2022 to 2026 – is to see Vision 2030 implemented across the Movement, addressing the 12 Strategic Goals of the four ‘Pillars of Impact’: Community Wellbeing, Meaningful Work, Sustainable Planet, and Just World. World YMCA’s first duty is to add value to its members.
Carlos Sanvee has been with the YMCA Movement for 50 years.
He joined YMCA Togo as a teenage volunteer in 1973, and became a staff member in 1987 as a youth worker and community organiser. He ultimately became the deputy National General Secretary.
He first joined World YMCA in January 1999 as Executive for Finance & Administration, a position he held until 2007. During this time he was secretary of the-then Youth Committee within the Executive Committee, and strove to integrate young people at all levels of the Committee, and not in separate committees.
He then worked as General Secretary of the Africa Alliance of YMCAs from 2007 until 2018, when he led the African YMCA Movements in articulating their collective identity with a shared vision around the ‘African Renaissance’. In this period he developed the Africa-wide YMCA ‘From Subject to Citizen’ programme.
From 2011 to 2018, he was also acting as a part-time Special Advisor to the Secretary General of the World YMCAs.
He holds a first degree in Physics and Chemistry from Université du Bénin in Togo, and a “Diplôme des Hautes études de pratiques sociales (DHEPS)” from Université Lyon Lumière II, France.
Previously, Josué served as executive vice president and chief operating officer at Salesforce.org, where he oversaw the overall strategy of the organization, go-to-market and sales master plans, enablement programs, corporate development and enterprise projects, as well as partner and alliances success. While at Salesforce, he was the executive sponsor of the Latinx employee resource group, Latinoforce. Josué has held executive roles at a variety of companies, including Gap Inc., DHL, and Procter & Gamble, and has extensive international business experience in Mexico, Brazil, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Spain.
Josué holds an MBA in marketing and strategy and speaks five languages. He sits on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of San Francisco and he Chairs the Diversity, Inclusion and Global Engagement Committee. In his free time, he enjoys running, cycling, and exploring his adopted town of San Francisco with his wife and children.
She previously spent five years as President and CEO of United Way Suncoast in Tampa, Florida, and 13 years at United Way of Greater Portland in Maine, including four as President and CEO. Suzanne also was CEO for both the American Red Cross of Southern Maine and the People’s Regional Opportunity Program in Maine.
Forbes named Suzanne to its 50 Over 50 list in the Impact category in 2023. The NonProfit Times recognized Suzanne in the Power & Influence Top 50, its annual celebration of the nonprofit sector’s top leaders, in 2021, 2022, and 2023.
She serves on the boards of directors of the National Fitness Foundation and Independent Sector. Suzanne holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Duke University and is an alumna of the Peace Corps.
With a solid experience of 2 years and 7 months in the field of technical consulting for youth reconnection and engagement, and an extensive background in the formulation and monitoring of youth public policies, she is a passionate advocate for the rights and opportunities of young people in Bogotá, Capital District, Colombia. Currently, she leads the youth engagement strategy and coordinates the social inclusion pilot for the employability of youth from the System of Criminal Responsibility for Adolescents in GOYN Bogotá. Her previous experience includes public policy consulting at ACDI/VOCA COLOMBIA and a 5 years and 2 months engagement with the District Secretariat of Social Integration, where she provided technical assistance for the implementation and monitoring of the 2019-2030 Youth Public Policy. Her skills range from drafting strategic documents to project management and public policy analysis. With a deep passion for youth engagement and a track record of leadership in this field, this panelist looks forward to contributing to the enriching panel discussion.
Coordinator of the 4th Marketplace of the Industrial Revolution at GOYN Bogota / Corona Foundation. MSc in public policy and administration at LSE with experience in program management and collaborations in the skills and employment sector. I have experience in design and implementation of
programs in the fields of education, labor and sustainable economic development, both in the public and private sector, working in programs of USAID and ACDIVOCA, the Organization of American States, the United Nations and the Colombian Development Bank. I am also a member of the Global Shaper Community, the World Economic Forum’s network of young leaders.
Stay tuned for our minute-by-minute coverage of the event coming soon!
Event organized by YMCA United States, Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean.