Lucia de Vries is a Phoenix Sr. Associate who is a journalist and communication consultant with a special interest in development issues, media training, human rights issues, oral history, children’s books and film making.
Lucia is the founder of various publications, including the popular magazines Face to Face and Haka Haki, and has decades of experience as an editor. With a Master’s degree in Peace Studies, she is not only fluent in journalistic editing but also has experience with academic editing.
Jigs Gaton is the CEO and founder of Phoenix Consulting and Training Worldwide, and for his entire career he has helped large organizations do better. His skill set includes large-scale Project Management, IT, Media Design & Production, and his trademark training & facilitating.
Ever since landing his first real job with IBM back in 1979, Jigs has managed large teams of professionals and helped them accomplish some amazing things:
Known by some as the inventor of the F1 key, Jigs led his IBM team to develop one of the world’s first online help systems that included graphics, video and hypertext together.
Again at IBM, Jigs Gaton managed the Creative Lab (an incubator for new products) where Try & Buy was hatched – the precursor to Internet retailing. This was back when software was pressed and delivered on CDs, and customers would try the software before buying by calling in using a 1-800 number – how quaint!
While a Sr. Project Manager with the World Bank in Washington DC, Jigs led teams that developed the Image Bank and the renowned World Bank Knowledge Bank, an online archive of projects dating back to the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference.
Now as a consultant, Jigs has trained well over a thousand participants with his Power to Plan Workshop, which is a customizable programme (usually 3-5 days long) that gets project managers up to speed using the latest in PM techniques & technology.
Ever since high school (where Jigs had access to an IBM mainframe) he’s been enamored with IT, computers and anything to do with applications that make life easier for the human race. Here are just a few of the projects he has had the opportunity to work on:
Jigs helped incorporate a version of the IBM 7535 Robotic Arm system into the high-volume manufacture of floppy diskettes – yes, he’s that old!
Jigs worked with the IBM team that first mixed text & graphics for output on IBM laser printers using AFP and the Print Service Facility.
Jigs also worked worked on the IBM 4731, one of the world’s first ATM machines; there he wrote a bit of code and managed the testing department.
Jigs was also one of the many developers who brought forth the now defunct windows-like operating system: OS/2 Warp.
Jigs Gaton has kept up well with his IT skills over the years, and can be found at any moment tinkering with a Microsoft Project Server or otherwise researching tools that will make project management tasks just a little bit easier.
Media Design & Production
Related to his IT skills, Jigs has always been involved in designing information in multimedia formats, from his patent on Object-Oriented Writing (OOW), to his founding of Phoenix Studios Nepal, he has been incessant in designing better ways to deliver information to the masses. For example:
Jigs has helped organizations like UNICEF put reports and conference proceedings onto digital media (eDVDs).
He has edited countless documentaries, promotions and presentations that have helped both large & small organizations explain (in simple terms) what they are about, and what they are doing.
Jigs has just developed a new workshop (The Power to Persuade) for graphic designers or anyone who wants to present both persuasively and visually.
Training & Facilitation
Jigs Gaton is well-known in Asia, Africa and the UK for his workshops on Project Management, Communication Skills and Professional Management – where he has trained well over a thousand professionals in the fine art of better managing large projects using technology, and in communicating better using professional writing & editing techniques. For example:
While working with the Empowerment Learning & Development Centre (ELD), Jigs brought MS Project software into their professional-management mix of courseware.
While working with Adam Smith International (ASI), Jigs Gaton has trained Project Managers & Analysts on how to mind-map out large-scale projects, and then schedule the projects using Microsoft Project software.
And just to do something completely different, Jigs can often be found holding talks in local primary schools regarding the plight of captive elephants, or how to better care for pets. (Jigs is also one of the original founders of this popular NGO in Nepal: www.animalnepal.org)
Jigs Military Service
Jigs is also a Vietnam-Era Veteran (oh so many years ago) and he served in the U.S. Army (4th Infantry Division) as a combat construction specialist – in other words, he blew things up! Now averse to loud noises and deaf in one ear, Jigs has many old war stories to tell to anyone who will listen.
Shraddha Shah is our top HR Officer (CHRO) here at Phoenix, and she also works as an Operations Analyst within the World Bank Group, Nepal. Prior to that, she was engaged with the WB Education Sector. She holds an MBA from the Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand), and has several years of experience working in the Netherlands and South Korea. In Nepal, she has worked for several other development organizations, to include: Action Aid Nepal, United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and the Women’s Environment Group (WEG).
Project Support Services
Shraddha Shah has extensive experience supporting projects where liaisons between GoN and development partners are key. For example, she has been a key contributor in the implementation of Nepal’s school reforms and implementation of vocational programs.
In addition to her excellent networking and communication abilities, Shraddha is a great researcher. For example, she helped Siemens Ltd. in Thailand develop their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) model through sound research techniques. Likewise, she helped Action Aid Nepal research the impact of conflict on rural Nepali women.
As well as being a great coordinator and researcher, Shraddha is highly qualified when it comes to developing marketing and awareness raising materials. For example, she has developed videos and print materials that are helping conserve Nepal’s Snow Leopard through the Snow Leopard Conservancy of California. She has also helped coordinate the media-rich training program for the K-Water Corporation located in Daejeon Korea.
Human Resources Support
Shraddha is not only responsible for our HR management, but also helped the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, Netherlands with their HR initiatives, and now brings our clients informed HR advice and support with international experience.
Shraddha Shah is a member of the following local organizations: