Cabo Verdeans United (CVU) was founded in 2001 by two sisters, Genie Lomba and Tila Adams, who were born on the island of Brava, Cabo Verde and immigrated to the United States in 1979. Genie and Tila believed it was important to invest themselves in work that would create a positive impact on youth growing up in Cabo Verde. After forming CVU, "Project Sandbox" was initiated with the goal of building at least one playground on each of the nine inhabited islands of Cabo Verde. A team of committed CVU board members and members of the Cabo Verdean-American community work tirelessly to ensure CVU’s success. The organization’s primary source of funding is raised through participation at annual Cabo Verdean cultural festivals in Providence, RI and Onset, MA, where CVU sells traditional food as a local vendor. Other sources include formal dinner fundraisers, merchandise sales, and cash donations made by supporters of CVU.
In 2006, CVU received its official 501(c)3 charitable status retroactive to its inception date in 2001.
Genie Lomba, President
Genie was born on the island of Brava, Cabo Verde and immigrated to East Providence, Rhode Island at the age of fourteen. She graduated from East Providence High School and received a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Bryant University. Genie married her high school sweetheart, John Lomba, and moved to Connecticut where she currently resides.
Genie and John are proud parents of three daughters, Jacinta, Sara and Sofia. Genie is employed by Trinity Health of New England at Saint Francis Foundation, in Hartford, CT, and she is also a co-founder of Cabo Verdeans United. Genie enjoys photography, reading, gardening, meditating and spending time with family and friends. She is truly passionate about serving her community, and she is committed to putting smiles on the faces of children in Cabo Verde.
Joao Junior Goncalves, Vice President
Joao was born in Brava, Cabo Verde and migrated to the United States with his family when he was an infant. Joao was first introduced to CVU when he attended a Valentine’s Day Fundraiser event in 2004, and felt inspired by the cause of supporting Cabo Verdean children. During a family trip to Cabo Verde, Joao realized that there is a great need for play and educational opportunities on the islands. He first started volunteering at CVU fundraising events and has since taken on responsibilities as a board member, planning fundraising events, publicizing the efforts of CVU on social media, and working to bring smiles to the children of Cabo Verde.
Joao has worked for many Cabo Verdean organizations in the past. He is one of the original founders of Cape Verdean American Community Development (CACD) and currently serves as the Chairman of the Board. He served as President of the Cape Verdean Heritage Sub-Committe of Rhode Island, and he also worked for Cabo Verde Television Productions (CVTP) as a technical director and editor for "Kontact,” a weekly cable television show based in Rhode Island.
Joao is a graduate of Rhode Island College. He currently works as a Senior Consultant for Guidewire Software in South Florida.
Tila C. Adams, Treasurer
Tila was born on the Island of Brava, Cabo Verde and immigrated to the United States at the age of eleven. She co-founded CVU with her sister Genie Lomba in 2001, and has been on the board of directors for CVU since its founding.
Professionally, she is employed by the Rhode Island School of Design in the position of Campus Retail Director. She is on the board of directors for New England Buyer Consortium (NEBC), where she currently holds the position of Treasurer.
Tila enjoys quality time with her son, family and friends.
Stephanie A. Ramos, Secretary
Stephanie is a second generation Cabo Verdean-American born in Milford, Connecticut where she currently resides. Her mother’s family is from Brava and her father’s family is from Sao Nicolau. She graduated from Milford High School with honors in 1982 and received an Associates Degree in Fashion Merchandising and Marketing from the University of Bridgeport in 1985. Her thirty plus years of experience in fashion retail includes management at Joan and David Boutique in Stamford, Connecticut and Neiman Marcus in Westchester, New York and presently at Saks 5th Ave in Greenwich, Connecticut.
After a trip to Cabo Verde in October of 2000, Stephanie returned with a strong desire to do something to help those in need, particularly for Cabo Verdean children. Shortly thereafter, she learned of Cabo Verdeans United and attended their annual fundraiser. She felt it was a perfect opportunity to fill that desire to help by joining CVU, which she did in April 2002. She holds the post of Secretary. In her free time, Stephanie enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, music and dancing, cooking, and watching her favorite sports teams.
John J. Lomba, Operations
John was born on the island of Brava, Cabo Verde. He immigrated to Lisbon, Portugal in his early adolescence before moving to East Providence, RI. John has been an essential member of CVU from its inception, and leads the playground installation process. John is central in the construction of all CVU playscapes.
John married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Genie. They currently reside in South Windsor, CT with their three daughters, Jacinta, Sara and Sofia. John enjoys spending time with his family, listening to music, and he loves building things.
Marie Elena Almeida, Board Member
Andrea (Andy) Frasca, Board Member
Cabo Verdeans United Org.
3 Jared Ct.
South Windsor, CT 07064
Call for more information: 1-860-644-6953