VWEEP Advisory Board [October 2016]
Founder and Lead Coach
Institute of Ultimate Potential Nairobi Kenya.
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Seraphine Ruligirwa-Kamara is an author, coloumnist, executive coach, image expert and seasoned entrepreneur.
As the founder and lead coach of The Institute of Ultimate Potential, her clients include high-level executives at The World Bank Group, Barclays Bank, Ecobank Kenya & South Sudan, Maersk, CFC Stanbic Bank, National Bank, Federation Of African Women Educationists, Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital, Insurance Regulatory Authority and other high net-work corporate and private professionals. Seraphine is a Proctor Gallagher Institute certified expert on leadership development, a professional image consultant educated by The Studio For Image Professionals.
She is an established entrepreneur in advertising – an industry that she lends her wealth of experience in advertising, brand and corporate communication. Seraphine is the founder and CEO of EG BrandHouse, a respected advertising enterprise providing innovative, functional and distinct brand collateral since the year 2002. The company’s client portfolio is a reference for leading brands such as IBM, General Electric, Microsoft, EATON, British American Tobacco, GlaxoSmithKline, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Hoffmann La Roche, Monsanto and AIG among many others.
Prior to this, Seraphine spent over 10 years working in various capacities in multi-cultural organizations in the airline, mobile telephony and advertising industries.
Learn more: http://www.iuponline.com
Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont
The Network Journal.
New York City, U.S.A.
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Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont is the editor-in-chief of The Network Journal, a New York-based business magazine for Black professionals and entrepreneurs. She is the author of the newly released, award-winning non-fiction title, Africa: Strictly Business, The Steady March to Prosperity (The Network Journal Communications Inc., 2009), and the groundbreaking novel–Middle Ground (Beckham, 2006). She is also a partner in McLymont, Kunda & Co., an international trade and business development strategy firm serving clients in the United States, Africa and the Caribbean.
McLymont has more than 20 years’ experience as a writer, speaker and adviser to small and medium-sized companies on global business and entrepreneurship. She was an international trade reporter and ultimately managing editor at The Journal of Commerce, one of the United States’s oldest daily newspapers, which specialized in international shipping and trade. Her coverage earned her critical acclaim in the annual Media Guide to America’s top financial writers, frequentappearances on CNNfn to comment on the impact of global events on U.S. trade, a guest column in America Economía, a leading business magazine in Latin America; and guest lectures at New York University’s graduate program in Latin America and Caribbean studies. Her articles on international business appeared in such publications as The Journal of Commerce, World Trade, Business Standards, Minority Business Entrepreneur, Transport Topics, Quality Digest, and Shipping Digest.
An authority on emerging markets and business development, McLymont provided entrepreneurship training for African women through the United Nations Development Program’s Gender Program, and for women in Russia through the Alliance of Russian and American Women. She provided expertise on accessing U.S. markets for the American and African Business Women’s Alliance conference in Botswana in 2002; was an adviser to the Institute on African Affairs; and served as an executive board member of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation.
Prior to becoming a journalist, McLymont taught English and French in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She is a past fellow of the European Community Visitors Program, was named a “Woman History Maker” by the Caribbean-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and has received awards from the New York Association of Black Journalists, the International Black Women’s Congress, the CEJJES Institute, the National Minority Business Council, the New York Regional Chapter of the National Association of Health Services Executives, and the City of New York Office of the Comptroller.
McLymont was born in Guyana and speaks French and Spanish. She has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, a bachelor’s degree in French from The City College of New York, and a Certificate in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Madrid. She has a Black Belt in T’ai Chi, which she teaches in New York, and is a certified ZUMBA GOLD fitness instructor.
DAWN WARD STITH
Founder and Principal
IntegrityWise Consulting, LLC
New York City Metro, U.S.A.
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Dawn Ward Stith is a founder, advisor, strategist, and trustee.
As the Founder and Principal of IntegrityWise Consulting, LLC, a New York City Metro Area based firm with a focus on organizational effectiveness, Stith helps organizations prepare for entry or expansion into new markets with an emphasis on the right leadership, operations and policy. She also evaluates management, operations and governance for new and existing companies in target frontier markets.
Stith has over 20 years of professional experience providing services in the areas of project and engagement management, compliance, human resources and business process improvement in financial services, government, defense, consumer and industrial products. Prior to starting her own firm in 2011, Stith worked for several consultancies including two Big 4 advisory firms.
A long-time advocate for STEM education and supporter of literacy and health initiatives in Africa and the United States, Stith has advised non-profits, provided workshops for pre-college and engineering students and partnered with volunteers to plant a library in Ethiopia that serves over 3400 students and community members.
Stith currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the African Technology Foundation whose mission is to globalize African technologies by providing access to resources that effectively address and manage the most pressing technological challenges on the continent.
She is also a former member the Corporate Responsibility Association (CRA) Professional Development Committee. In 2013, her firm was a nominee for the Global Sourcing Council’s 3S Award for Community Engagement. Stith holds a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law and a B.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University. She is admitted to practice law in New York.
Learn more: http://integritywise.com
President and CEO
Networks, Research Business Capital Inc. (NRBC)
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Njeri Rionge: Portfolio Entrepreneur, Corporate Director, Business Strategist and investment liaison to African projects. President and CEO of NRBC (Networks, Research Business Capital) Inc.
Described as ‘One of East African’s most successful serial entrepreneurs’, by Forbes. Njeri has over 2 decades of leadership experience working with both start-ups and large corporates. Njeri is the Founder of NRBC Inc, a business advisory and financial services firm for entrepreneurs and investors focused on African investment opportunities (www.nrbcinc.com).
Njeri is best known as the pioneering co founder of East Africa’s first mass market oriented ISP, Wananchi Online (a Swahili word meaning ‘citizen’) in 2000, which made Internet connectivity affordable for the first time to the average Kenyan household. She grew the business from a typical start-up to become the largest Triple Play Operator in East Africa, with a network of five regional offices and a strong recognized brand in a particularly challenging regulatory and economic environment.
Following the success of Wananchi Online, Njeri founded Ignite Consulting & Investment Limited in 2006, an executive coaching and skills training business specialising in improving organisational effectiveness. Ignite also has a subsidiary focused on hyper spectral imaging natural resources in Kenya. In 2008 she was asked to oversee the restructuring of Telkom Kenya, a previously state owned corporation soon after the merger with France Telecom, and was instrumental in the retail brand launch of the Orange brand into the country and the iPhone 3G was her super product launch. Njeri then created the third Kenyan business in her portfolio the following year, a software development company that specialises in cloud solutions to help businesses harness the power of online technology, Insite Ltd.
Njeri is also a seasoned corporate director and has held board positions with Unilever Tea (Brook Bond Kenya), Institute of Directors (IOD) Kenya, Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA), Ambulance Air Rescue (AAR) Holdings, Wananchi Nominee Holdings and Wananchi Online Ltd now Wananchi Group. She is a certified corporate board director who’s passionate about corporate governance and believes in creating value beyond profits. Prides herself as a global citizen telecommuting between her Nairobi and Toronto office to do good.
Women’s Leadership Development Mentor and Personal Branding Consultant
Nova Scotia, Canada
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Eleanor Beaton is an internationally recognized women’s leadership expert, speaker, certified coach, corporate trainer and award-winning writer.
Eleanor has been recognized by entrepreneurial expert Ali Brown as “one to watch in the women’s leadership space”.
She is the go-to coach for highly accomplished executive and entrepreneurial women who are looking to dial up their impact, results and love the process.
As a consultant and coach, she has worked closely with celebrity entrepreneurs, leaders of major corporations, and founders of international movements including Arlene Dickinson, former Home Depot CEO and NRStor founder Annette Verschuren, co-creators of the Dove Real Beauty Campaign Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, and Canada’s two-time top female entrepreneur Kelsey Ramsden.
In addition to her work with established leaders, Eleanor trains up-and-coming professional women to position themselves as credible leaders that others will follow, listen to, promote and buy from.
A former journalist and speechwriter, Eleanor won numerous top journalism prizes for her coverage of fast growing, women-led companies and has co-written several best-selling books.
Eleanor is a graduate of the United World College of the American West, the University of Toronto, the University of King’s College and the Martha Beck Coach Training Program. She is a wife to Leon, mother to two fabulous boys, Noah and Tobias.
Corporate Affairs Director, Southern Africa & Central Africa
Johannesburg Area, South Africa
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Sibonile is the Corporate Affairs Director (Southern & Central Africa) for Unilever. She has over 15 years’ experience working in Corporate Communications, Employee Engagement, Media Relations, Government Relations and Sustainability. She has held various positions within multinational companies in diverse industries amongst them Ford Motor Company and Nokia.
Her knowledge of the African markets was gained during her tenure at Blue Financial Services where she was in charge of the Public Relations and Communications portfolio of 14 countries for the Micro-Finance Institution.
At Unilever, Sibonile is responsible for leading the company in the delivery of an effective Communications strategy in South Africa and the Southern African region countries of Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Previous to Unilever, Sibonile worked for a German specialty chemicals company, LANXESS AG, where she was Head of Corporate Communications for South Africa. She is married with three children.
She has a Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Sociology, a National Diploma in Journalism and is completing a Master of Management in Strategic Marketing at Wits Business School.
Country Manager: China for Brand South Africa in China
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Tebogo Lefifi is the Country Manager: China for Brand South Africa in China. She is tasked with establishing the first office of Brand South Africa in China – and indicator of Chinese market importance in to South Africa. As a brand custodian in China , she is tasked with positioning ,messaging and promoting positive awareness of South Africa’s competitiveness as a trade , investment and tourism destination for Chinese companies.
Lefifi a China based Overseas Business Development specialist with special focus on China-Africa. She is the founder Africa@Work, a consulting company that conducts research on China-Africa affairs. The company advises and represents multinational companies, banks, SME, government agencies and think tanks on investment, trade and relations between the two regions. She is also co-founder and director of Sino Africa Centre of Excellence (SACE Foundation) China-Africa business think tank headquartered in Nairobi with special focus on China-Africa market intelligence and development of emerging China-Africa experts. Founding Council Member of China Africa Wildlife Conservation Council. An Advisory group established by Africa Wild Life Foundation and Aspen Institute.
Lefifi is fast becoming household name in the China-Africa business landscape. For her work, she has been featured and interviewed in South African media and China state accredited media such as CCTV Dialogue ,CCTV News , People’s Daily online, Charitarian magazine, ChinAfrica magazine, Beijing Youth Daily and LensAfrique.
She is dedicated to building Africa’s capacity in its engagement with China and promotes China Africa-exchanges through her in various Africa leadership organizations: Founder and Chairperson of the Young African Professionals and Students (YAPS), Director at South Africa China Business Association (SACBA), Established Africa2Point0 China Chapter, China advisor and Affiliate with Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance and Board Advisor at Youth For Change. Africa Leadership Network ALN honoured Lefifi as “2012 New Generation Leader for Africa”. She is a pioneer and a mentor in developing a pipeline of premium Africa professionals and graduates with China expertise. Currently studying toward an LLM in China Business Law .
Executive Director of Capability Trust
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Effie Cooke’s experience in Human Resources spans the continent, having led HR leaders and teams in 9 countries in Africa as Regional Director for Human Resources for Opportunity International, a global nonprofit providing opportunities for women to access finance and grow their businesses.
A strategic HR leader with over 20 years experience in both operational and strategic roles leading teams and supporting senior executives in organizational and people development. With a comprehensive and strategic understanding of Human Resource Management, Learning, Leadership Development and Organizational Development, Effie specializes in helping organizations create an engaged and high performing culture.
Currently Executive Director of Capability Trust, Effie is the Chief Talent Acquisition and Engagement Strategist helping organizations hire and develop great people and create great workplaces.
Effie is passionate about people and their development and has particular focus for developing women leaders. A facilitator and speaker at various women and HR leadership events she thrives in creating opportunity for women to advance professionally.
Human Resources Director
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Bimpe Ayo-Elias has a Masters degree in International Human Resource Management from Cranfield University, UK. Her HR experience spans over 25 years in various sectors of the economy such as banking, HR consulting and telecommunications, developing and implementing their human resource strategies to achieve diverse organisational goals – from recruitment, HR process reviews, learning and development, compensation surveys and business development.
In her consulting days, she led several engagements geared at improving the competence of HR and HR service delivery. She is very passionate and knowledgeable about human resource management and the value it creates for organisations. She fully understands the value levers for HR and solutions that drive improvement, with a tenacious approach to delivery and quality of output.
A member of the Institute of Director, Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Adebimpe is also an Accredited Hay Job Evaluator that is customer focused, financially aware, visionary and people person with an engaging interpersonal and communication style. She operates at strategic and operational levels to drive change and continuous improvement. A team builder and team player with proven leadership capabilities, unafraid to push beyond the team’s comfort zone. Culturally sensitive with extensive multicultural and international experience. She is at home with technology and how it can transform work and workforces, consulting skills, diagnosis and teamwork.
Bimpe displays integrity, she is self-motivated and self aware.
To date, Bimpe works with ALCATEL-LUCENT Nigeria as Human Resources Director for Nigeria She is happily married and blessed with wonderful children.
New York City, U.S.A
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Obiamaka (Obi) P. Madubuko focuses her practice on anti-corruption and fraud matters and advises U.S.-based companies doing business in international markets.
Obi advises companies on a host of compliance and transactional due diligence issues arising under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), UK Bribery Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) and other global trade regulations. She also assists clients with internal investigations, risk assessments and independent audits, as well as drafting, evaluating and updating corporate policies to ensure compliance.
In addition to her corporate advisory work, Obi is an experienced trial lawyer who has defended individuals and corporations in complex civil litigation and white collar criminal cases. She has represented clients before state and federal courts and agencies, including the United States Congress, the United States Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Federal Election Commission, and other federal and state authorities.
Obi has represented clients in complex litigation matters across a broad range of industries including aerospace and defense, consumer products, energy and mining, financial services, health care, intellectual property, manufacturing, media and entertainment, real estate, securities specialty chemicals, technology and telecommunication, and white-collar crimes. She also represents clients in international litigation matters and has assisted clients to procure documents and witness testimony from foreign persons and entities located outside the United States; litigated claims against foreign companies seeking immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act; and represented corporate clients in civil actions to enforce domestic judgments against foreign entities.
Obi has an active pro bono practice where she represents clients in domestic violence, immigration and asylum cases, in addition to mentoring young lawyers, law students and high school students interested in pursuing careers in law.
Prior to joining the firm, Obi was a partner at an international law firm where she served as co-chair of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) & International Anti-Corruption Group and was in private practice in New York and Washington, D.C. She also served as a federal law clerk for the Honorable Constance Baker Motley of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Direct: +1 212.801.2195
Kemi B. Fadojutimi
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
All Eyes On Africa Communications
Washington DC, USA