Encinitas resident Jaye Connolly-LaBelle is one of three new members elected to the board of directors for the nonprofit Promises2Kids, an organization that focuses its efforts on foster care and children’s welfare. Karen Sedgwick and Paul Zamora were also elected to the board.
“Promises2Kids is truly honored to welcome Karen, Paul and Jaye to our board,” said Tonya Torosian, the organization’s CEO. “These individuals bring a wealth of expertise and leadership to Promises2Kids. We’re excited about their vision and enthusiasm for our mission.”
For Connolly-LaBelle, the opportunity is another stepping-stone in her lifelong service to underprivileged kids. “I have been supporting underprivileged children, including foster care and orphans, throughout the world for the past 20 years,” said Connolly-LaBelle. “To help those kids who were simply born into the wrong environment has been a mission for me personally. I have been familiar with Promises2Kids for many years and I am so impressed with the organization, its mission, programs, results and especially the amazing leadership.”
Connolly-Belle is the chairman and CEO of RippleNami, a global technology company that works in developing nations to help those who cannot gain access to technology readily. Connolly-Belle describes the company as a “global blockchain, artificial intelligence data visualization technology company.” In essence, the company’s technology connects billions of unconnected people through the mass adoption of smartphones in underdeveloped countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and the United Kingdom. The smartphone connection allows farmers, women, children, refugees and veterans to gain access to information they never felt was possible.
Traveling to underdeveloped countries to set up these systems was risky for Connolly-Belle, but she did it anyway. “There are challenges to conducting business in Africa, including political instability, loose regulations, disease and internal conflicts,” she explains. “Once, while trying to close a contract with an African leader, I was poisoned by an internal government minister who did not want the contract to go through. I closed the deal despite the attempt on my life.”
Connolly-LaBelle brings more than 30 years of leadership experience to her role, which she garnered from various positions held in the finance and mergers and acquisitions areas, as well as in key C-level roles she served in at both private and publicly traded corporations.
When she looks forward to her presence on the board of Promises2Kids, Connolly-Belle hopes to have an integral part in supporting foster-care kids throughout San Diego. RippleNami, the name of her company, means “a ripple of data turns into a tsunami of information.” She hopes to make the same waves in helping foster children at Promises2Kids.
Promises2Kids provides annually more than 3,000 current and former foster kids in San Diego County with the tools, opportunities and guidance they need to address the circumstances that brought them there. The nonprofit has several programs to support these kids, including Camp Connect, Guardian Scholars, Foster Funds, and the A.B. and Jessie Polinsky Children’s Center. For more information, visit www.promises2kids.org.