As a disaster relief responder, Julie Colombino-Billingham first visited Haiti in the wake of the devastating 2010 earthquake. Feeling lost amidst the devastation, she prayed and cried out for help. The only word she remembers hearing was “Listen.” And so she did. Not long after did a woman tell Julie, “I don’t want any water, but I need a job.” So, doing what any reasonable person would do, Julie sold everything she had and moved to Haiti, where she set out on a mission to do just that – create business-driven solutions for survivors.
Since the inception of her social enterprise, REBUILD globally, she has been a champion for impact-oriented businesses that are leading social change around the world. REBUILD globally is making an impact in Haiti by operating a hybrid business that provides education and job training to the most vulnerable, which then serves as a direct pipeline to dignified living-wage employment at deux mains, the Haitian owned and operated sustainable luxury goods business she incubated. Fuelled by the strength of the Haitian people, deux mains evolved into a job creation hub where artisans are valued, and each collection is intelligently designed, made, and manufactured in their solar-powered Port-au-Prince factory.
Under Julie's leadership, since 2010 there has been a dramatic transition from earthquake recovery to a sustainable and eco-friendly business that has quickly propelled into the world of ethical fashion. REBUILD globally has created partnerships with the United Nations, Kenneth Cole, supermodel Heide Lindgren, and soccer star Aurelien Collin to fight poverty and strengthen families in Haiti.
Julie was the 2016 Martin Bell Scholar and received her MBA from Rollins Crummer Graduate School of Business. She received her Master of Nonprofit Management from UCF and is the proud recipient of the 2014 Credo Social Business Award; the 2013 Rally Award; the 2013 Young Leaders for Haiti Global Humanitarian Award; the 2012 Business Innovation and Growth Award from the Chamber of Commerce; the 2011 UCF’s Alumni Community Service Award; and the 2011 Public Administration New Professional of the Year Award.