The iF Foundation seeks to improve the health and well-being of families living in farming regions of Northern Haiti through the development and support of sustainable solutions aimed at poverty alleviation, education and economic development.
The iF Foundation believes that charity is not the answer, and that the disadvantaged seek dignity, not dependence. The organization’s entrepreneurial approach to solving global poverty gives philanthropists an opportunity to transform communities by helping to create sustainable economic opportunities for the disadvantaged. A private foundation, the iF Foundation is governed by an independent board of directors. Tom Iovino, Founder and CEO, has always had a passion to create sustainable economic opportunities for the disadvantaged in the developing countries of the world. The iF Foundation is the culmination of that vision, helping to transform the lives of farmers and their families in Haiti.
Below are some of the historic accomplishments leading to the development of the iF Foundation and our mission to create sustainable economic opportunities for the disadvantaged in the developing countries of the world, enabling and empowering the people living in these communities to create their own pathway out of poverty.
2002 – 2007
2002 — the Iovino Family Foundation is founded
2002 – 2007 — the Foundation awards grants to various domestic organizations
2007 – 2012
January 2007 — the Rev. James E. Byrum is hired as the first Managing Director and leads the Foundation in its first international development ventures
Partnerships are formed with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Bangladesh, Haiti, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Ethiopia, the Sudan, Zambia and Ghana, with the mission of preventing disease and illness caused by the lack of clean, potable water
October 2007 — the Foundation broadens its vision to include projects aimed at child welfare, education, healthcare, environmental conservation and micro-finance banking; to maximize impact, efforts are focused on two rural areas in northern Haiti, Thibeau and Dubre
Edlyne Cange and Jean Magnus Regis, two local Haitians and graduates of the Georgetown University CASS Program, are hired as the Country Directors to lead the Foundation’s efforts in Haiti
2012 – 2013
The Foundation celebrates its tenth anniversary
The Foundation focuses on the development and execution of Haitian Pride Poultry and the Haitian Pride Breakfast Program at Saint Joseph’s School in Dubre
Due to the generous support of donors, the Haitian Pride Breakfast Program expands to include 6 schools in northern Haiti
After 7 years of loyal service to the Foundation, Rev. James E. Byrum announces his retirement
David Doherty joins the Foundation as the new Managing Director to lead the implementation of the organization’s large-scale agricultural program in Northern Haiti
July 2013 — the iF Foundation is incorporated in the state of New York as a new entity and receives public charity status from the IRS; the Iovino Family Foundation is a major contributor, financially and strategically, to the new public charity
July 2013 — the Frank & Raffaela Iovino Technical Center opens
October 2013 — launch of our first crop season
November 2013 — the inauguration of the Frank & Raffaela Iovino Technical Center
2014 to Present
The iF Foundation is officially registered and published in Haiti
The Breakfast Program expands to 16 schools, serving over 3,500 children a nutritious breakfast every day during first school break
iF Foundation’s soil laboratory is constructed
Internship program for local and foreign students is launched
iF Foundation is awarded grants from FOKAL, the Haitian branch of the Open Society Foundations
iF Foundation receives external support from Cordaid
The Foundation introduces drip irrigation and solar pumps
Foundation is sub-recipient of IDRC grant award for an aflatoxin research project, in partnership with Laval University
The Foundation introduces peanut peanut farming in its Milot intervention area
The Foundation signs its first peanut sale agreement with Meds & Foods for Kids
Ongoing collaboration with technical partners including CIAT, Soil Biotics, USDA-NRCS-National Soil Survey Center
The Foundation’s multi-faceted agricultural program enters its 11th season, supporting over 1500 farmers in northern Haiti, to include four communes in the Nord District: Milot, Plaine du Nord, Acul du Nord and St-Raphael.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER
The journey that started nearly two decades ago in New York has now become a lifelong commitment of empowering families in rural Haiti to create their own pathway out of poverty. In 2002, when the Iovino Family Foundation was created, I had no idea that during the next 10 years we would evolve into the iF Foundation, an international non-profit organization with a focus on global economic development.
Today, we are working with small landholders to improve agricultural practices, increase crop yields and make farming more profitable. With 60 percent of Haitians relying on agriculture to feed their families, a revitalized farm sector is critical for long-term growth. Cut off from access to training and technical assistance, Haitian farmers often lack basic knowledge of techniques that would help them transition from subsistence farming to earning a living wage. Giving farmers access to better-quality seeds and fertilizer are simple steps that have tremendous impact. Crop diversification reduces risk by eliminating reliance on one or two crops, and creates new sources of revenue. We are also addressing the need to develop local market linkages, helping farmers maximize their earning potential and building transparency into the buying and selling of agricultural products. We are engaging farmers in a way that will have a lasting, direct impact on families and livelihoods.
As we move into a new decade of creating a brighter future for farmers and entire communities, we are firmly committed to supporting smallholder farmers as the most effective way to stimulate economic development and reduce poverty.
By developing and diversifying promising sectors, we can create a brighter future for farmers and entire communities. Join us as we implement our compelling vision for change and alleviate the root causes of global poverty.
To a brighter future for Haiti,
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Our trustees bring diverse backgrounds and expertise to the board, sharing a passion to create sustainable economic opportunities for the disadvantaged in developing countries throughout the world.
Founder & CEO
Tom Iovino is the Chief Executive Officer of Iovino Enterprises, a leader in civil, electrical, mechanical, track, remediation and demolition infrastructure. Headquartered in New York, Iovino Enterprises is the parent organization to a family of heavy construction companies that includes MLJ Contracting, TC Electric, Welkin Mechanical, J-Track and Environment & Infrastructure Group (EIG).
In addition to the iF Foundation, Thomas Iovino serves on the Board of Trustees of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a member of the President’s Council at Cooper Union, the Moles, the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the New York Building Congress, WPO, the Construction Industry Roundtable, Chief Executives Organization, and First Vice President of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Contractors Division. Tom’s public service includes 20 years of weekly volunteer work at Huntington Hospital and more than 15 years at the Family Service League. Tom received his BS and Masters degree in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic.
Dale S. Okonow is a Partner in The Watermill Group, a strategy-driven private equity investment firm based in Lexington, Massachusetts. At Watermill, Dale is involved in the day-to-day operations of the firm, including oversight of financial and operational functions, the negotiation and financing of acquisitions, and oversight and divestitures of portfolio companies. Dale serves on the Board of Advisors of several Watermill portfolio companies and Iovino Enterprises.
Dale is very active in the philanthropic community, serving on the Board of Trustees of Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Greater Boston, where he founded the Parkinson’s Family Support Program. He also serves on the Hematology Oncology Visiting Committee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where he helped establish the Okonow/Lipton Family Lymphoma Research Fund. Dale is a member of the Development Committee of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, also serving as the Co-Chair for the 2011-2012 Annual Campaign. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Temple Beth Elohim Endowment, and the Board of Trustees of The Rashi School, the Boston-area Reform Jewish Day School.
Dale received a B.S. (with distinction) from Cornell University and a J.D. (Magna Cum Laude) and M.B.A. from Cornell University. Dale and his son Ben have been actively involved in the Special Olympics of Massachusetts, and together have coached a Special Olympics basketball team in Belmont, MA for the past four years.
Frank T. Cara is a partner in the Construction Law Practice Group of Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the New York office. Mr. Cara focuses his practice on contract review and drafting, preparing claim submissions to owner agencies, advising on employment, labor and union issues, representing clients in construction/commercial litigation matters as outside counsel and drafting corporate documents.
Prior to joining Pepper, Mr. Cara was a partner and co-chair of the Construction Law practice at Connell Foley in New York. Before that, he was executive vice president and general counsel at Iovino Enterprises.
Edlyne joined the iF Foundation in 2009 as Country Director and became Executive Director in 2018. Edlyne oversees the administration, programs and strategic plan of the iF Foundation. She ensures that the organization’s mission and objectives are fulfilled and reports directly to the board. Edlyne maintains relationships with organizations and various partners and represents the iF Foundation in various meetings and events. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from American InterContinental University in 2012. She also earned an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Individual Technical Studies Water Management Technician from Fox Valley Technical College in 2008. She is fluent in Creole, French and English. Outside of her work with the iF Foundation, Edlyne enjoys sewing, among other activities.
Magnus started with the iF Foundation as Country Director in 2009. He has been acting as the Director of Operations since 2013. Magnus organizes and oversees the daily operations of the iF Foundation and staff management. He maintains relationships with third parties, and works closely with the Executive Director to ensure that foundation’s objectives are met. Magnus earned his Associate Degree in Natural Resources Technology from Mt. Hood Community College in 2008. He also received special training in agroforestry. Outside of his work, Magnus is a well-respected leader in the community. He enjoys rooting for soccer teams, in particular Haiti’s National team.
Director of Operations
Louissaint joined the foundation in 2012. He started as the Breakfast Program Manager and has served as Deputy Director since 2015. As such, Louissaint supports in project development and management and participates in organization building. He also nurtures external relationships and provides representation for the Foundation when required. Louissaint holds a diploma in Economic Science from the Faculte de Droit, des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion du Cap-Haitien (FDSEG) in 2011. He also has a diploma in Plumbing that he earned in 2006 from the Centre de Formation SOS du Cap-Haitien. When not working for the iF Foundation, Louissaint is involved with church activities, both as a committed layman and a choir member. He enjoys rooting for soccer teams, including Haiti’s National Team. He also enjoys music, particularly Haitian Compas.
Fulguens joined the iF Foundation as an Accountant in July 2013. She is responsible for all accounting activities, including bookkeeping, invoice organization, payroll, taxes and financial reports. Prior to working for the iF Foundation, Fulguens worked as a teller at Fonkoze in Jacmel, where her primary function was to process and record current transactions and perform tasks such as preparing bank drafts and converting currency. Fulguens earned her diploma in accounting from the Institution des Hautes Études Commerciale et Économique d’Haiti (IHECE) in 2012. When not working for the iF Foundation, Fulguens enjoys baking.
MARIE FULGUENS JEAN-LOUIS
Hebert Pierre has been working for the iF Foundation since 2015. His primary role as IT Manager is to maintain the iF Foundation’s information technology infrastructure and databases. Prior to working for the iF Foundation, he worked for Excellence Service, where he was responsible for IT equipment maintenance. He also worked as IT Manager at IFTEI (Institut de Formation Technique d’Entrevue Internationale, and as a teacher at a professional school. He earned his degree in Computer Engineering at INUQUA in 2012. When he is not working, Hebert volunteers, and enjoys playing soccer and listening to music.
Perpétue Ducléon joined the iF Foundation staff in November 2014 as an Agricultural Technician. She works with farmers within the Farm Input Program, providing training and on-farm technical assistance. She currently works with farmers within 5 localities. Perpétue completed her studies in Agriculture Technique at École Agricole Fondation Vincent and earned her degree in 2015. Outside of her work with the iF Foundation, she enjoys music and reading, and is also an entrepreneur.
Rodlyn Clerphé joined the iF Foundation in May 2015. He works as an Agricultural Technician within the Farm Input program, providing training and on-farm technical assistance. He works with farmers within 3 localities. Rodlyn earned his degree in Agricultural Technique at Centre Agriculture Saint-Barnabas de Terrier-Rouge in 2014. Prior joining iF, he worked for Gamme d’Agro-Entreprise Vision Large. He enjoys reading and music in his spare time.
Dabel Ismith started at the iF Foundation in June 2015 as an intern and was promoted to an Agricultural Technician that September. He was initially assigned to the iF Foundation’s research activities, but started working primarily with rice farmers in 2018. Dabel earned his degree in Agricultural Technique in 2016 at École Agricole Fondation Vincent and is currently pursuing a license in Development Science at Université Polyvalente d’Haiti. Besides work, he is a passionate music, internet and travel aficionado.
JAMES KERBY FÉLIX
James Kerby Félix started at the iF Foundation in June 2015 as an intern, and then received training to work as a Laboratory Technician that same year. His main tasks consist of collecting samples and performing tests, including soil, aflatoxin, germination and humidity. In addition to his lab work, he has been assigned to do credit follow up within the Farm Input Program with farmers in St-Raphael. Kerby earned his degree in Agricultural Technique in 2016 at École Agricole Fondation Vincent. When he is not working, Kerby enjoys sports, TV shows, music and beaches.
Gesner Vil joined the iF Foundation in June 2015 to work as a Laboratory Technician. As such, His main tasks include collecting samples and performing tests, including soil, aflatoxin, germination and humidity. Prior to working for iF, Gesner worked as Medical Laboratory Technician at Hôpital Universitaire Justinien du Cap-Haitien. He earned his license in Medical Laboratory Technique at Institut Supérieure de Technologie Médicale in 2012. Outside of work, Gesner enjoys sports, TV shows, reading and beaches.