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Meet our Board Members

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Karaine Holness, President

As one of the founding members of the Jamaican American Connection, Karaine Holness became president of the organization in 2014.  Born in Jamaica, she moved to the United States in 1987 where she settled in New Haven, Connecticut. Within eight years of her move to the U.S., Karaine opened Hair’s Kay Beauty Salon, which celebrated 24 years of business in January of 2019.  In addition to owning a salon, Karaine also sits on the board of the Nathan Ebanks Foundation (NEF), Jamaica.


Karaine makes it a priority to be active within the greater New Haven community and has done so in many ways.  She is the founder of the New Haven Caribbean Heritage Festival and also organizes an annual Women getaway to Jamaica, called Sistahs Jammin’ which provides women with an opportunity for personal development and getting a local experience of the island. Additionally, every summer, she partners with the Jesse Homeless Outreach Project (JHOP) to give free haircuts to the homeless. Karaine is happily married with three children. 

Craig Brandon,Vice-President

Craig is originally from the beautiful island of Jamaica and now resides in Hamden, Connecticut. While in Jamaica, he attended Jamaica College where he received his High School Diploma and Portmore Community College where he received his Associate of Science Degree in Computer Application and Business Studies. After migrating to the US, He continued his studies at the Housatonic Community College and received his Associate of Science Degree in Graphic Design. He furthered his education at the University of Bridgeport, Shintaro Akatsu School of Design where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. He is also a member and Vice President of the Jamaican American Connection of Greater New Haven. Craig enjoys doing freelance graphic design, photography, socializing, playing volleyball, soccer and watching basketball.


Richard Simpson, Treasurer

Rich is a resident of New Haven and has been a member of JAC since 2011.  He has a BS in Biochemistry from Fairfield University and an MBA in management from Southern CT State University. Rich is a Senior Engineering Manager, R&D, with Medtronic, a leading medical device manufacturing company based in Minnesota. 


Rich is an avid photographer, cyclist, mountain biker, and loves to spend time with his two daughters.


Norris Anderson,
Assistant Secretary

Born in Jamaica “Land We Love” where she lived most of her life.  A graduate of St. Elizabeth Technical High School, she worked in government and the private sector. After many years she with other family members started and built a successful business which she managed for seven years before migrating o the USA.  She has one son who is pursuing a pastoral degree in Jamaica. Noris now calls Hamden home for the past nine years where she lives with her husband. 


She has been working for FedEx Office for the past eight years.  She enjoys watching a game of cricket and football (soccer).

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