Board of Directors


Ana-Maria V. Zaugg, President

Personal Interest in Guatemalan Textiles

My connection with Guatemala is my mother, Ana-Maria Orive Goubaud de Zaugg, which relates her also to Beltranenas and Pokornys. I went to Guatemala often as a child and teenager and purchased textiles throughout. I joined the FOIM to help advance US knowledge of the Mayan weaving excellence and tradition. My academic studies provided a good socio-anthro foundation as well. I look forward to devoting more time to Museo activities now in retirement, with a special interest in the photo archive (both my father and aunt were excellent photographers), on making the websites valid and valuable, and on creating easy-to-use exhibit modules for educational use in the US.

Work Background

I last worked Chief Marketing Officer for IMS (2005-2011) with global responsibility for branding, company positioning (including advertising and global website development), and my regional and country teams developed local promotion, positioning, and sales support materials. My team also generated competitive intelligence, client and competitor primary research, and support of alliance and acquisition work globally. Work was captured and codified in several company-wide knowledge management repositories.

Previously, I was responsible for global strategy and competitive intelligence and presented the global pharmaceutical industry review to client and external industry audiences. I joined IMS in 1991 and advanced within Marketing, including stints in business development. Former employers were Merck and McKinsey.


MBA in Marketing and International Business from Columbia University (1977), and a BA and MA in Latin American-Studies from Smith College (1971) and Stanford University (1972) respectively.

Yolanda Alcorta, Vice-President

Yolanda Alcorta is a longtime Board member of the FIOM.  She has been collecting textiles for thirty-five years and curated Maya textile exhibits at Longwood Gardens and the Morris Arboretum. She has a Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education from George Washington University, and a Master of Science in Biology/Botany, from the University of Michigan. She began her work as a museum educator at the Mexican Museum in San Francisco where she established the Education Department when the museum opened in 1975. In 1992 in Philadelphia, she co-founded Raíces Culturales Latinoamericanas—Latin American Cultural Roots - now a respected Latino cultural center. As Executive Director of Raíces she worked closely for 16 years with the Latino community in Philadelphia and developed numerous education-centered programs on Maya textiles and traditions.

Currently, Yolanda resides in Washington, DC with her husband Chris.

She has been a committee member of the GuateFest, a large annual Guatemalan community festival. She also served on the board of the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission.  As a board member of the Humanities DC, she is the Board Secretary and Co-Chair of the Development/marketing Committee.

President of Alcorta Connections, Yolanda is a bilingual consultant to museums and the non-profit community.  Most recently she has presented and developed programs for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, including events featuring full Mayan trajes, traditional dance with live marimba music and a traditional sawdust rug.  She has also worked on various interpretive projects at the National Museum of American History and at the National Museum of Natural History.  One of her many current projects is the formation of a women’s weaving cooperative, Weaving For The Future, sponsored by FOIM.

Alejandro J. Malespin, Secretary/Treasurer


Originally from Nicaragua, Alejandro Malespin is a Financial Advisor based in New York City. Alejandro has 22 years of wide ranging experience in the financial industry, including investment banking, asset management and private banking. For almost two decades, he has concentrated on clients in Mexico and Guatemala, advising families and companies in the region. Alejandro’s interest in Guatemala and Guatemalan culture started when he lived there to study economics at Universidad Francisco Marroquin, on whose campus the Ixchel Museum is located. There he met his Guatemalan wife, Joanna Bartlett, further cementing his ties to the country. Alejandro Malespin holds an MBA from Harvard University, and a B.S. Cum Laude in economics from Universidad Francisco Marroquín.

Alejandro resides in Rye, NY, with his wife, Joanna, and has two sons attending college in the Northeast United States. Besides his activities supporting the Friends of the Ixchel Museum, he is also active in philanthropic activities in his native Nicaragua. 

Joseph J. Borgatti

Current Affiliations

  • The Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund (BAEF), Chairman of the Board of venture investment company (publicly funded, privately managed) operating in Bulgaria. Since 1996, Director and member of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Audit Committee.
  • The America for Bulgaria Foundation, Founding Director since 2007. This legatee of the BAEF is a $400+ million U.S. foundation assisting in the development of a free and democratic Bulgaria.
  • The Friends of the Ixchel Museum, Secretary & Treasurer, Founding Director since 1984 of this U.S. foundation that supports the efforts of the Ixchel Museum in Guatemala to document, preserve and propagate the weavings of the Maya.
  • Center for Algorithms and Scientific Software, City University of New York: Research advisor since 2002.

Past Affiliations

  • J J Borgatti Associates, President (15 years), Consultants providing advice on the design, execution and evaluation of privatization programs to the Center for Privatization, Wash. DC, and in 16 countries including Russia, Tanzania, Egypt, Mexico, Nicaragua and Argentina. Also contracted for financial and management consulting by a variety of businesses & governments as well as the World Bank, United Nations, USAID, and Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Atlantic Group for the Development of Latin America (ADELA), President & CEO (5 years). ADELA was formed in the1960s by 230 of the largest financial and industrial corporations in Europe, Asia, North and South America, to stimulate private enterprise in Latin America through injections of development services, technology and funding. As CEO for 5 years, he guided the company through financial reorganization and rehabilitation of its investment portfolio, which involved restructuring of dozens of industrial enterprises.
  • EXMIBAL S.A. a subsidiary of INCO Ltd. President & CEO (10 years). Negotiated an operating agreement with the Government of Guatemala in the 1970s, saw to the construction and bringing into production of a $250+ million nickel mine and smelting-refining plant plus urban infrastructure, a road system and maritime transport facilities.
  • CITIBANK, Vice President (17 years). Started in Latin America as management trainee; became branch manager, regional vice president and ultimately responsible for operations, including computers at the New York head office.


  • B.A. in History from Harvard College
  • M.B.A. with Distinction, from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

Other Activities

  • As a member of the American Participant Program of the U.S. State Department, Mr. Borgatti lectures and provides privatization seminars to foreign government officials, students, and journalists both in the U.S. and abroad. Has lectured at conferences and courses on privatization at Columbia University and Baruch College in the U.S.
  • A member of the Agribusiness Promotion Council of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for 5 years during the 80s (until its disbanding), a private sector advisory committee to the Secretary.
  • Has written “The ADELA Story” a book on development based on the experience of the Adela Investment Company, an initiative by international corporations to spur private sector development in Latin America.

Emilie de Brigard

Emilie de Brigard is an independent scholar of film history and visual anthropology. She curated the first retrospective program of anthropological films in an American museum (The Museum of Modern Art, New York) in 1973, and produced the last film made about Margaret Mead ("Margaret Mead: a Portrait by a Friend"), directed by cinema-verite pioneer Jean Rouch in 1978. She taught courses in visual anthropology (at Harvard) and African cinema (at Yale) in the 1980's. Her "History of Ethnographic Film" (in "Principles of Visual Anthropology") has been translated into eight languages, and her entries on African cinema appear in "Africa: a New Encyclopedia."

Since 1995 she has chaired the Schools and Scholarships Committee of the Harvard Club of Connecticut, and she has served on the boards of organizations such as the Amistad Center for Art and Culture, Arden Seminars, International Film Seminars, and the Wadsworth Atheneum. She was President of FOIM from 2005 to 2007.

She is married to Raul de Brigard Herrera and divides her time between Connecticut and Guatemala.

Chase Davis

Chase was born in Guatemala and while he spent most of his life in the United States, has returned to visit Guatemala and retains strong ties to his country of birth.  Chase’s parents have a long involvement in Guatemala through their work in the US Foreign Service, the Ixchel Museum, and Universidad del Valle. 

Chase currently works for Locust Electric Sales, a leading manufacturers representative firm of commercial electric equipment.  Chase also has worked as an Export Sales representative for AMCO International and Davis Elliot International, both based in the Philadelphia area.  Additionally, Chase has lived in Costa Rica for two years where he worked in the village of Bri Bri with Agro Apta, an agricultural cooperative, as a Business Development Officer and as a volunteer in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge.

Chase has a BA in History from Temple University.  He enjoys spending his free time playing tennis and paddle tennis, coaching his daughters’ field hockey teams, serving on a Paddle Tennis Committee and volunteering as a class fundraising captain for the Agnes Irwin School.  Chase currently resides in Malvern, Pennsylvania with his wife, Shannon, and his children, Caroline and Sara.

Chase looks forward to bringing enthusiasm and a passion for Guatemalan history and culture to his work with the Friends of the Ixchel Museum.


   Chase & Shannon Davis


Shannon Davis

Shannon Davis was first introduced to the Ixchel Museum by her (then to be future) in-laws Suzy and Charlie Davis.  She later was able to travel to Guatemala and fell in love with the vibrant culture and the country. 

Shannon is the Chair of the World Language Department at Harriton High School in the Lower Merion (Philadelphia Area) School District.  She has worked as a mentor and liaison for the K-12 World Language program as well as a leader on the Transformative Curriculum Committee of the recent Strategic Plan.  Shannon has worked as an ESL, Spanish, and bilingual teacher for almost twenty years.

Prior to her work in the United States, Shannon was a volunteer with the WorldTeach Program, through Harvard University’s Institute for International Development.  With WorldTeach, Shannon lived and taught in rural Costa Rica for two years.  She also taught at Mont Berkeley International School in San José, Costa Rica.

Shannon has a BA in Political Philosophy from Loyola University of Maryland and a MA in Educational Leadership and Administration from Immaculata University. Prior to living and working in Costa Rica, Shannon lived and studied in Belgium at Katholieke Universiteit of Leuven.

Shannon enjoys photography, music, and traveling in her free time.  She lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband Chase, and their daughters, Caroline and Sara.

Abby Sue Fisher


Abby Sue Fisher has been a collection care consultant throughout her career. She specializes in preventive conservation, creative storage solutions, and collection planning.  Fisher recently retired from managing the Division of Cultural Resources for the United States National Park Service at Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco, California.  Abby Sue is a Latin Americanist and her academic work in textiles and clothing focused on the socio-cultural aspects of dress and adornment. She based her 1983 Master’s Thesis on research conducted at Museo Ixchel in the late 1970s. Abby Sue is widely published, has taught numerous workshops and presented talks on a variety of preservation topics. Fisher earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1992.


Elisa Maria Dyer de Fitzpatrick

Lisa has a special love for  Guatemala, its rich culture and Mayan heritage as her mother, Lucrecia Herrera Ibarguen de Dyer was a born and raised Guatemalan. Although she grew up in DC, she spent her childhood through college summers visiting her grandmother and extended family and one of her earliest jobs was at a store called Sombol that sold typical Guatemalan textile clothing and gifts.  Since the 1970s, when she explored the markets of Chichicastenango and Solola, she was fascinated with the vibrant colors, textures and designs of the Guatemalan weavings. She has seen, over the years, the decline in quality of traditional weaving but a recent revival has brought  new diversity to their styles and designs.

Lisa has a BA from New York University in New York (NYU) in 1974,  with a major in Romance languages, Spanish and French. Afterwards she taught English in Ashiya-Shi, Japan. Married and now with three grown children and two grandchildren, she has followed her husband around the world. Upon retirement, they have made their home back in Guatemala City. She is presently on the boards of several family businesses.     

Maya Fledderjohn

Maya Fledderjohn is now a dual member of FOIM and the Ixchel Museum boards. She has been President of the Asociación of the Ixchel Museum since 2013.


Maya has a diverse cultural heritage and a degree in international relations and diplomacy. Her family originally arrived in Guatemala to work with US foreign aid projects.   She considers Guatemala home and has raised a son and twin daughters there.  She owns and operates two businesses: a relocation consultant company and a gift shop.


Maya is actively involved in the day-to-day activities of the Ixchel Museum and is in charge of maintaining relations between the Museum and the international, diplomatic and business community in Guatemala.

Carlos Nottebohm

Carlos was born in Guatemala, then educated in the United States where he now lives in Gladwyne, PA with his wife Renee.  His sister-in-law, Holly Nottebohm, has been an active member of the Museo Ixchel’s local Board in Guatemala.

He has extensive business experience, having worked in Guatemala, Germany, Switzerland and the United States.  Past work experience includes being a Partner of Bernhard Rothfos KG (Hamburg, Germany); Director and Manager of Transcafe and also Director of Bero Kaffee (both in Zug, Switzerland); and  Chairman of the International Coffee Corporation (New Orleans, LA).  He is currently doing research on Macadamia cultivation.

Carlos is at present a Board Member of several organizations in addition to our FOIM:  Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology,  American Friends of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and American Friends of the University of the Valley in Guatemala.  

His special interest is Maya Civilization.

Susan M. de Riojas

Susan Moore Riojas, a British citizen, was born in South America and moved to Guatemala as a child.

Susan has worked with the Museo Ixchel de Traje Indigena as both a member of the local Board of Directors and as a volunteer for over thirty five years!  She has been a member of the Board of FOIM for over ten years.

She studied Mexican Folklore as well as Art History in both Mexico and  England, giving her a deep appreciation for textiles.  Her love for weaving began at an early age,  with various Andean pieces her grandmother collected in the early 1930s and later as a young adult, became an avid “collector” during the 1970s.

She worked with the Canadian Government in Guatemala and for the past ten years owns her own General Sales and Travel Agency.

She is married to Ricardo, a Mexican national and has three children.

Margot Blum Schevill (Emeritus)

Margot Blum Schevill is a museum anthropologist who has been working with Maya textiles since 1978. She studied backstrap weaving in San Antonio Aguas Calientes. She has curated many exhibitions and has written numerous articles about weavers and textiles of Guatemala. She is an independent textile consultant and lives in Berkeley, California.

Raymond Senuk

Raymond Senuk has been a collector of historic Maya textiles for over thirty-five years. His collecting interests focus on textiles that date prior to 1940. Currently, the collection consists of over 1,200 pieces. The goal of the collection is to acquire a wide range of textile material of the highest quality with the eventual goal of placing the collection in the public sector. At this point in time, over 1,500 pieces have been donated to various museums and educational institutions including: the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., the Lowe Museum at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, the Casteñada Museum of Ethnic Costume, Tucson, AZ, the University of Southern Indiana at Evansville and the University of Southern Florida at Orlando.

What was originally an avocation has turned into a scholarly pursuit of the subject. Mr. Senuk has authored books and articles on the subject. He has curated numerous shows and lectured extensively on the subject. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Anthropology from Brooklyn College, (City University of New York) and Yale University. He is currently President of the US Foundation, Friends of the Ixchel Museum. He resides in Antigua, Guatemala and St. Louis, Missouri.

Nika Snodgrass

Born in Berlin at the outbreak of the Second World War, Nika attended school and university in Germany. In 1964, inspired in part by Kennedy’s visit to Berlin, Nika decided to put her career as an educator on hold and moved to New York for a year “to see what America was all about”. There she met her future husband, Bill, who was about to be assigned to Latin America with Bank of America. Soon they were married and living in Panama City. Panama was followed by assignments to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela and France.

In 1972, upon arriving in Guatemala, Nika joined the newly formed ‘Comite de Artes Plasticas’ and was introduced to Sue Borgatti, Baysis Hempstead and the textile committee of the ‘Association Tikal’. With a life-long interest in ethnology, she soon became an avid supporter of the project to establish the Museo Ixchel.

In 1975 Nika and her family moved to Caracas where, in the aftermath of the 1976 Guatemalan earthquake, she organized an exhibit of Guatemala textiles to help the people of Venezuela better understand the rich cultural heritage of Guatemala. The exhibit was mounted at the Museo de Ciencias Naturales in Caracas and became the first international showing of textiles from the Museo Ixchel collection.

Nika and Bill moved back to the US in 1981 where Nika became active in community organizations. For several years she served on the council of trustees to the Temple of Understanding, one of the oldest NGOs, working to develop understanding and tolerance among the religions of the world. She is an active supporter of the United Nations and the National Council for International Visitors.

Since 1999, Nika and her husband live in Saint Marcet, France where they have restored a farmhouse in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Their three children and five grandchildren live in Germany and in the US.

Nika joined the FOIM board in 2005.

Loa P. Traxler

Dr. Loa P. Traxler is a Research Scientist in the American Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Loa pursued her undergraduate education in Fine Arts and French at Manchester College in Indiana, and upon completion of her bachelors degree, she worked for a time as a graphic arts designer. After studying Pre-Columbian art and traveling in southern Mexico, Loa became interested in Mesoamerican archaeology. While working in biotechnology at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she began coursework in Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Pittsburgh. Following the recommendations of her U. Pittsburgh advisor, Jeremy Sabloff, she applied to enter the graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania, whose University Museum is known for its history of major research projects in the Maya area. After several years of study and long-term field excavations, she received her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2004.

Loa’s research interests focus on the architectural evolution of Classic Maya centers and the nature of sociopolitical organization of these societies. As an archaeologist and surveyor she has worked with the Early Copan Acropolis Program for the University of Pennsylvania Museum since 1990. In her field research, Loa conducted numerous excavations within the Acropolis that documented the architecture and related burials, caches, and other primary deposits within the royal precinct of this Classic Maya capital. Loa also supervised the architectural mapping within the excavated tunnel network, and her lab analysis of the survey data has resulted in a variety of maps, graphics and architectural reconstructions. With the Penn Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology, she has surveyed archaeological sites with additional projects in the American Southwest and the Near East.

Loa is the American Section coordinator for the publication of archaeological reports based on Penn Museum’s excavations in the Maya area. She is a volume editor and author for the Copan Acropolis Reports, now in preparation, based on the ECAP investigations. In 2007 she co-organized the Penn Museum International Conference, The Origins of Maya States, from which an edited volume of scholarly papers is in preparation. Author of numerous reports on her research, her recent publications include the completely revised sixth edition of The Ancient Maya (2006, Stanford University Press) written with senior author and husband, Robert J. Sharer, Curator in Charge of the American Section. Along with her research activities, Dr. Traxler also serves as the coordinator for the Annual Maya Weekend at Penn Museum. Held every spring, the Maya Weekend is a public conference combining scholarly talks, hands-on workshops in Maya epigraphy and iconography, engaging films, and temporary exhibits related to the conference theme.

From 1998 until 2003, Loa was the Assistant Curator of the Pre-Columbian Collection at Dumbarton Oaks (Trustees for Harvard University), Washington DC. With a wide range of duties, Loa managed the Robert Woods Bliss collection and was responsible for the development, design, and installation of displays within the famous Pre-Columbian pavilion designed by Philip Johnson. As a curator, Loa has organized exhibitions focusing on the artistry and history of indigenous peoples in the Americas for the University of Pennsylvania Museum and Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC. Recently, Loa has focused on data analysis and collections management of the ECAP archaeological collections maintained in Honduras by the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia as well as the ECAP research archives and database at Penn Museum. Recently, She has begun developing a major traveling exhibition for Penn Museum, entitled The Ancient Maya City, which will highlight recent research at Copan.