L-R: Raphael U. Ugbonghara, UWGN Company Secretary, Teju Abisoye, Vice President Africa Region, United Way Worldwide, Joshua Motolani Phillips, CEO Phlexcom Technical Solutions, Sheila Ojei, Country Manager, African Management Institute, Nigeria, Dr Lanre Towry Coker, Past Chair, UWGN Board of Trustees, Joseph Olofinsola, Partner and Human Capital Consulting Leader, Deloitte, Bode Pedro, Chief Executive Officer, Casava Inc, Deola Durodola, Executive Director, United Way Greater Nigeria, Niyi Adenubi, Executive Director Commercial, VFD Group Plc
United Way Greater Nigeria (UWGN), an affiliate of United Way Worldwide (UWW), announces the appointment of distinguished and experienced professionals to its board of trustees. This newly constituted Board will provide oversight and guidance to UWGN, driving strategies and performance improvements in the areas of quality education, learning outcomes, youth productivity, decent jobs, women’s health, and empowerment, as well as food security for Nigerians in every community. The new Board is as follows:
United Way Greater Nigeria – Board of Trustees
Board Chair: Joseph Olofinsola
Joseph Olofinsola is the Partner and Human Capital Consulting Leader, Deloitte. He has over 21 years of experience in consulting, ten of which have been in human capital management. He is an expert in Talent Management Strategies, Executive Selection (Recruitment), Competency Modeling, Total Rewards Strategy, Project Management, Performance Management, HR Strategy, Customer Service Delivery, Staff Audit and Alignment. Joseph is a professional Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) member.
Sheila Ojei, a Country Manager at the African Management Institute, Nigeria, is a dynamic leader who has shaped the strategic direction and growth of multiple organizations. With a remarkable track record in impact communications, partnership development, digital transformation, and stakeholder management, Sheila has consistently driven results and fostered sustainable growth.
Her career spans impactful roles in the public and private sectors, including leadership at the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) and Jobberman Nigeria. Sheila is also celebrated for her artistry as a spoken word artist and for her acclaimed stage productions. Currently, she serves on the Board of a leading Pan-African salt refining company. She holds an MBA from Trinity College Dublin, an MA from Regents University UK, and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from St. John’s University USA. Her innovative mindset continues to drive success in her diverse endeavors.
Bode Pedro, the Founder and CEO of Casava, is revolutionizing Nigeria’s insurance sector. Under his leadership, Casava raised $4m in pre-seed funding in 2022, the largest in Africa’s Insurtech industry. His entrepreneurial journey began with Veda Technology 2008, pioneering local computer manufacturing in Nigeria.
Bode’s ventures extend to startup and digital media investment, including a pivotal role in elevating BellaNaija to the forefront of African tech media. His commitment to community and nurturing talent led to his founding of Astra Fellowship in 2023, empowering software engineers with leadership skills for success.
Bode’s accolades include the IT & Telecoms Entrepreneur of the Year (2009) and Future Awards Business Owner of the Year. He is a fellow at the Nigeria Leadership Initiative and a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.
He is also a graduate of Computer Science at UMBC and Harvard’s PLD EMBA in the United States.
Adeniyi Adenubi, the Executive Director and Co-Founder at VFD Group Plc boasts over 15 years of experience in Institutional and Corporate banking, investment management, and consulting. With a background in private equity and venture capital, he has served in pivotal Financial Advisory roles for notable entities like the Royal Bank of Scotland and ATOS Consulting. Holding the Chairmanship of Anchoria Asset Management, Niyi is actively involved in various boards, including VFD Microfinance Bank, and Interswitch-E’clat Healthcare, offering strategic guidance for optimal operational efficiency and good corporate governance.
Niyi is also a member of The Institute of Directors, underscoring his commitment to high governance standards. He’s also a trustee of the GAS FOUNDATION, a member of the Yinka Shonibare Foundation, and an avid art collector and patron.
Bunmi Akinyemiju, Founder, CEO, and Managing Director of Venture Garden Group, stands as a visionary force in the African tech sector, addressing reconciliation and payment processing inefficiencies. Armed with a Computer Science degree from Michigan State University and over 16 years of entrepreneurial experience, Bunmi has developed 20+ proprietary technologies with global applications across sectors like Aviation, Government, Education, Oil & Gas, and Banking.
Additionally, as a Founding Partner at GreenHouse Capital, a leading African venture capital firm, he actively contributes to the growth of early-stage tech companies, showcasing his commitment to innovation in Africa. Bunmi’s strategic leadership positions him as a key influencer in shaping the future of technology and venture capital on the continent.
Oke Maduewesi, the visionary Founder and CEO of the Zaron group of companies, has steered Zaron into becoming one of Africa’s robust and swiftly growing cosmetic brands. Prioritizing consumer needs, quality products at affordable prices, and contributing to Nigeria’s socio-economic development, Oke’s entrepreneurship journey exemplifies private sector-driven enterprise.
Before diving into business, she excelled as a profitable branch Manager at Zenith Bank International PLC but resigned in 2009 to pursue business education and fulfill her desire to become a business owner and employer.
With an MBA from the University of Leeds, UK, and a BSE in Economics, Oke’s diverse background has shaped her into a conscientious and resilient leader. Her biography reflects an entrepreneurship journey rooted in integrity, dedication, and a commitment to positive impact.
Joshua Motolani Phillips
Joshua Motolani Phillips is the CEO/Founder of Phlexcom Technical Solutions- a healthcare design & construction firm company based in Lagos, Accra & Abidjan.
He currently serves as the Inaugural Board Member/Non-Executive Director at Sokopong Nigeria, a social impact organization focused on women’s health. He also boasts public & private sector experience within previous roles within the finance, oil and gas & rural electrification sectors serving mostly in capacity as commercial/business development roles.
In addition to his professional roles, Joshua is also an avid angel investor with a portfolio spanning manufacturing, printing, gaming, human capital development, and AI e-commerce solutions.
Adesua Okunbo Rhodes
Adesuwa Okunbo Rhodes, a seasoned investment professional and CEO with over 15 years of experience, is the Founder and Managing Partner of Aruwa Capital Management. Leading one of the few women-owned private equity funds in Africa, she focuses on untapped investment opportunities in West Africa’s small to lower mid-market. A pioneer in advocating for gender equality, Adesuwa uses her fund as a case study, highlighting the business case for investing in women as fund managers and entrepreneurs. Launching her fund at 29, she is among the youngest female private equity fund managers in Africa.
Beyond finance, she engages in public speaking on finance, business, and social impact. Recognized among the 100 young African leaders under 40, Adesuwa’s contributions are pivotal to Africa’s economic development, serving as an inspiration to young women breaking barriers with determination and innovation.
Olakunle Gidado is currently Head of Nigeria for Lukoil International Trading and Supply Company (LITASCO) with a mandate to develop and grow LITASCO’s presence in Nigeria. Before this, he was Managing Director and Regional Lead for BP West Africa where he was responsible for delivering BP supply and trading West Africa strategy. Specifically in Nigeria, he served as BP Country Manager with the responsibility of championing the broader BP agenda in the country; providing support to BP Castrol and BP aviation in their quest to enter the Nigerian market. He was previously Head of BP LNG Structured Products & Sub-Saharan Africa origination where he led the drive to offer risk management products to Global LNG customers and the development of merchant LNG opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.
Mr. Gidado Joined BP’s Natural Gas trading business in Houston Texas in 2006 where he stayed until moving to London UK to serve as Chief of Staff to BP Global Gas Chief Operating Officer. Before joining BP he held senior commercial finance and accounting roles in Texaco Oil International and Cinergy Corp. He served on the board of Nigermed a BP/NNPC Joint venture in Nigeria. He currently serves on the board of the New Telegraph newspaper in a non-executive capacity. Mr. Gidado is currently a DBA candidate from the University of Warwick Business School and has a BSC in Accounting, an MBA, an MSC in Finance, and a postgraduate degree in Organisational Leadership from the University of Oxford.
Amaka Onwughalu, a seasoned corporate leader with over 30 years of experience, holds Degrees and Certificates from prestigious institutions such as INSEAD, Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School, and the University of Buckingham. Recognized for her valuable contributions, she has received awards from the National Merit Award for Accountability & Transparency. Paul Harris Fellow.
A Former Deputy Managing Director of Skye Bank Plc, she currently serves as a Non-Executive Director at Fidelity Bank Plc. Mrs. Onwughalu is committed to ethical business practices and actively mentors emerging leaders, showcasing her enduring impact on the Nigerian business landscape.
Ayobami Olubiyi has over 30 years in oil, gas, and consulting, focusing on risk and crisis management, and security. He’s an OSAC Award recipient and ex-general Manager at ExxonMobil Nigeria. Ayobami also chaired powerful industry committees and now consults and mentors post-retirement.
Speaking on the appointment, the Executive Director of United Way Greater Nigeria, ‘Deola Durodola, expressed optimism about the new dispensation’s ability to provide sterling leadership for the organization. “The team of staff members and volunteers of United Way Greater Nigeria is excited to welcome these esteemed corporate and business professionals as they join our board. Their rich experience and commitment to community development will undoubtedly enhance United Way Greater Nigeria’s capacity to tackle critical societal challenges. Their collective expertise will play a significant role in contributing to building a country where everyone can attain their full potential in education, sustainable income, and healthcare,” says ‘Deola Durodola.
About United Way Greater Nigeria
United Way Greater Nigeria (UWGN), an affiliate of United Way Worldwide (UWW) is a nonprofit organization that strives to improve the health, education, and financial security of everyone in every community. United Way serves 95% of U.S. communities and 37 countries and territories, including Nigeria. The Global Network raises about USD 5 billion annually and supports 48 million people every year. Through United Way, communities tackle tough challenges and work with private, public, and nonprofit partners to improve education, provide economic solutions, and provide access to health-related programs.
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