The Geno Team
Paul Macdonald is a Trustee and Chairman of Geno. He is currently the managing director and major shareholder of Helvetica Deutschland GmbH, a property management company in Berlin. Furthermore Paul is a non-executive director of PME African Infrastructure Opportunities plc and Qatar Investment Fund plc. Paul became involved with Osika and the Geno project in 2005, when he and Solomon started it, and he has been supporting the project financially and professionally ever since. His vast business experience and strong relationships with the community and the project mean he is the ideal person to chair the Geno Project.
Solomon Ariko is originally from the village of Osika, within the Homa Bay District. Solomon retired in 2005 from his position at Nairobi airport, after which he met Paul Macdonald. Since he has become a leading figure within Osika and neighbouring communities Nyagowa and Alegro, and together with Paul has worked on a number of projects to develop the community, of which Geno is one of them. Solomon is married to Rebecca and they have four children, three boys and one girl. Although Rebecca still works in Nairobi, Solomon spends most of his time in the village of Osika.
Iona Macdonald is also a Trustee and has BA Honours in Finance from the University of Strathclyde and is a qualified chartered accountant. She has gained extensive experience while working within the Audit department at Deloitte. Iona is in charge of completing the accounting requirements and business processes within Geno. Furthermore she will utilise her business experience to develop Geno and achieve the greatest benefit for the community. Iona initially visited Kenya in 2007 when she met a number of the key members of the Osika community. Iona has established strong relationships with the Osika community and has participated in current projects.
Seonaid Macdonald, also a trustee, started her own property company with her sister Iona and manages this on a day to day basis. She is also a graduate from the University of Strathclyde with a BA Joint Honours in Human Resource Management and Hospitality and Tourism Management. Her main focus lies with interacting with sponsors when fundraising as well as managing the daily admin requirements. Furthermore Seonaid arranges fundraising events for Geno and maintains regular contact with Roselyne and Solomon. Her first visit to Osika occurred in 2009 and since she has been back to the village numerous times. These visits have helped her develop a strong relationship with the Osika community and provide her with great insight into the needs and desires of the community.
Murray Mathieson, also a Trustee, is the owner and operator of Positively Legal®, which was established in 2001. The company provides specialist coaching, consulting and training services to law firms, in house legal departments and other businesses.
Murray is a non-practising solicitor and accredited business coach, with extensive legal and business experience.
Murray’s son Campbell visited the village of Osika with Paul in 2013 to get a first- hand experience of the projects and the community. Since then both Murray and Campbell have been highly interested in the development of the project, with Murray also visiting in 2016 with our other Trustees.
Leonard O’Brien, the final Trustee, become an Associate of the Institute of Taxation in Ireland in 1989 while working at Coopers & Lybrand in Limerick, after which he obtained a BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from the Dublin City University. In 1995 he qualified as a chartered accountant while working with KPMG in Dublin as well as in Philadelphia and New York. In 2011 he established his own company called Salamander Group, based in Geneva which specialises in Private Equity, Asset Management and Financial Services. His extensive business experience greatly benefits Geno in his position as a Trustee.