Kimone Gooden is originally from Portmore, Jamaica. She currently resides in the California Bay Area where she works in Silicon Valley as a Management Consultant for her own agency, Enomik Business Group.
• Kimone is the Chair of the the Jamaica Diaspora Agriculture and Co-Chair of
the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force.
• The Jamaica Diaspora Agriculture Task Force is committed to Sustainable
and Organic Farming, Food Security and new markets for Jamaican Farmers.
To date JDAT has supported Organic farming training of hundreds of small
Farmers and recently launched an Investment Circle to further facilitate direct Diaspora investment in Jamaica’s Agriculture sector.
• The Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force is committed to promoting
technology in Jamaica and is currently partnering with the Ministry of
Education to equip every primary school across the Island with laptop carts.
• Kimone has also served as the elected Diaspora Advisory Board Member of
the US-West/Mid-West region, Chair of Stanford's Caribbean Student
Association, President of the Jamaica Association of Northern California,
Board Member for the Nor Cal Caribbean Heritage organization, COO of Future Women Leaders, a non-profit committed to developing emerging
women leaders, Citizen Teacher for Citizen Schools, an organization focused on closing the achievement gap in low income middle schools. And as Mentor for Upwardly Global, Upwardly Global provides workforce integration support for under-employed professional Immigrants.
• She was the recipient of Obama’s Presidential Volunteer Service Award in
2014 and 2015.
• In 2017 she established a Jamaica Diaspora Investment group with the help of a small group of Jamaican Business Owners who are combining resources to invest in Development projects in Jamaica.
• The investment group is currently building a tech entrepreneurship lab in
partnership with the Caribbean Maritime University.
Kimone Gooden, Chair, Jamaica Diaspora Agriculture Task Force
Neil Curtis is the Founder and Executive Director of Farm Up Jamaica Limited. A progressive self-starter, Neil Curtis comes from a family of Jamaican agricultural entrepreneurs. He grew up in a family-owned Caribbean grocery and catering business in Long Island, New York. The buying and selling of Caribbean food and running the commercial kitchen became his full time responsibility at the age of just 11 years old and would take him well into his college years.
Returning to his family’s Legacy, in 1996 Neil visited Jamaica and resuscitated a callaloo business that he invested only $1000 in and would gross over $60,000 within six months of his stay. Having to return to the U.S. he always remained cognizant that agriculture is the sleeping giant of Jamaica.
Since then he has become an aggressive real estate investor and Air Rights broker in the New York City Area.
In 2013 Neil journeyed back to Jamaica to attend his last surviving uncle’s funeral. While on the island he was told that it was now his responsibility to manage a 60 acre family-owned cocoa farm. He began to seek farmer assistance but quickly realized that there was none.
Around the same time he attended the 2013 Diaspora Conference in Montego Bay and began the agricultural discussion with members of the Diaspora. To his surprise they were very interested and agreed that they should form a diaspora agricultural organization. It’s mission would be to unite Jamaicans worldwide to help reduce the importation of foreign food and bolster young Agri-Entrepreneurship, while reducing poverty and crime, thus Farm Up Jamaica.
Neil Curtis, Founder and Executive Director of Farm Up Jamaica Limited
Paul Guenette, ACDI/VOCA Chief Communications Officer, is an economic development manager with expertise in agribusiness and trade. Mr. Guenette oversees a communications team and provides leadership in corporate planning and developing public-private partnerships with external corporations. He is Corporate Secretary for ACDI/VOCA and its affiliate ASI, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington Chapter of the Society for International Development.
Mr. Guenette has designed and managed large, integrated, sustainable development programs in a career spanning 40 years and 70 countries. His experience includes long-term development assignments in West Africa, East Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean leading agribusiness programs that incorporated activities in policy reform, cooperative and other business group strengthening, equity financing and investment promotion. His consulting assignments have included designing and implementing agribusiness programs for USAID, conducting international marketing workshops for the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, analyzing agribusiness global trends for the World Bank, and designing a farmer organization program for IFAD.
Guenette speaks fluent French. He earned his B.A. at Kalamazoo College and his M.B.A. at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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