Q&A with Tim Strong, Regional Agriculture Finance Adviser, Branchless Banking
- Years with Opportunity: 2 wonderful years
- Favorite Part About Your Job: Watching local staff become excited about new ways of serving rural clients
- Distance Traveled: I see about 50 clients per week and, to do that, travel 1,500 miles by car per week, plus 6,000 miles by plane per month
- Something You’ve Learned From a Client: Since I was a child, I’ve always been drawn to orchards; I’ve always felt a sense of reverence in every farmer I’ve met that works with trees. There is a unique type of patience, a prayerfulness, required to believe that a perennial tree will grow from seed until it finally fully fruits. I find the same to be true in clients that work with tree crops. In Mubende, Uganda, I was with a group of coffee farmers and a young woman named Salome commented that she was taking out loans so that her work today would establish the coffee trees that her children and her children’s children would inherit. I hope for the grace to have the same impact in my life.
- Big Dream for Opportunity: Just as Salome sought for her work to provide for her children and grandchildren, I dream that Opportunity continues to have a generational impact on all the clients that choose to work with us.
- Your Family: I met my wife, Jackie, seven years ago while she was a peace corps volunteer in Malawi. Having a partner that shares a similar vision and love of a country has made a tremendous difference in our life, family and career decisions. We are still putting off having children for a few more years, but to satiate our nesting instincts, we’ve accumulated a dog, two dozen chickens, twenty rabbits, some goats and a small herd of cattle.
- Personal Philosophy: “It is not from ourselves that we will learn to be better than we are.” —Wendell Berry
- Secret Skill: Ever since high school, I’ve been an avid gourmet mushroom hunter, particularly morels, porcini and chanterelles.