Who Are We
Who are the principals behind the Mana Project?
MK Advisors has developed an extensive community of partners and subject matter experts around the world. MK Advisors means, first and foremost, Mana Kalani. This phrase describes the essence of their work: "Mana Kalani" means "energy, or spiritual power, from the sky/heavens". The power developed by MK Advisors goes beyond the literal application of electrical power. Just as the sky does not just describe how they support renewable and sustainable resources.
Having always believed that empowering communities for sustainable development would require trust with stakeholders, a proper translation to convey that reality, and the interpretation of the language of the markets-- they altogether make way for increased economic development activity.
"Mana" from the sky, means more than light and wind. The sky means breadth and limitless scale--unlimited potential. This is what MK Advisors' extensive ecosystem of professionals, advisors, and advocates has brought not only their team but their customers, too. The ecosystem provides access to proven expertise at every level of the energy community, both domestically and abroad. It's this passion that inspires MK Advisors to seek out unique technology solutions and financial models that can spur meaningful impacts for communities around the world.
Michelle Klassen Merrigan is President of MK Advisors. The Mana (“Mana”) box concept was born from a concept “Mich" (as she's called in SA) dreamed up one day, when envisioning a world where women and girls created the "mesh network" of stories--integrated realities of various communities to build communion, understanding, and greater acceptance--for the realization that we are more powerful when bound together--by our stories.
We are better when we reveal our truth. We grow when we share our traumas. We evolve when we share our lessons. Mich learned in Hawaii that it is through this native storytelling that we find communion...reality...embrace...healing. Liberation, and freedom.
Empower a woman and you empower a community
Anni Wilhelmi is the Lead of Supply for the Project and Founder of CrossRoads Business Advisory. which provides Organisational strategy and impactful goal tracking services. She is Head of Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) South Africa and Chairwoman/Founder of Women in Business Accelerator (WiBa), both organizations focused on entrepreneurial development.
With an appreciation for entrepreneurial challenges and wise from her own business successes and failures, Anni believes that dignity and hope is extended to women if they are self-sufficient, either through gainful employment or by creating their own. Handouts should not be perpetual in a woman’s life. Equipping women with business knowledge empower so much more than just one family – an entire community reaps the reward.
A Life-saving Project
Anni has sourced the products for the Mana boxes through her vast women in businesswomen peer advisory networks. The reach extended throughout rural and major centers of South Africa and included African refugees. The only criteria were informal and small women owned/led organizations or NPO’s impacted by COVID 19 who would use women to create the product and who would source raw materials where women would benefit.
Mich and Anni have been the best of friends for years, working through the commonalities of womanhood, child-rearing, and business. Their friendship – along with Anni and her networks - activated Mana into a real, life-saving project.