Rinda Thayne Hayes, Founder and Director of the non-profit organization, Kenya Keys, has been involved in international service work for 31 years. After working in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, the dumps of Mexico City, and a Romanian orphanage, she found her deepest passion was working with the people of rural Kenya. For the last ten years she has served a community there, building bridges of support and understanding between her American world and the disparate world of the African bush. Her Global Classroom initiative has impacted thousands of students, both in the U.S. and Kenya. She was chosen to speak with Nobel Laureate Jody Williams regarding the power of educating girls. Through providing sponsorships, libraries and dormitories, Kenya Keys has enabled hundreds of students to acquire long-dreamed of educations. Rinda’s hobbies include tennis, hiking, skiing, yoga, reading, and playing the violin. She is the mother of three children, two step children and grandmother of fourteen.
Board of Directors – USA
As a college student, Brent Hayes had the opportunity to live and work in Africa for two years. It was then that he fell in love with the people and gained some insight into their struggles and the depth of their strength and courage. He returned to college, received an MBA, and immersed himself in running small businesses for the next 28 years. He had visited Africa twice during those years, but it wasn’t until 2005 when Brent met and married Rinda that he was able to join her in her efforts to serve and learn from the amazing people of rural Kenya. Since then he has been able to use his management, accounting, and technological expertise to build a strong foundation for Kenya Keys. Visiting Kenya twice a year, Brent loves working with and observing young, energetic interns fall in love with the resourceful and amazing Taru community. If you ask Brent, he’ll tell you that his favorite part of all this is seeing the strong, dedicated, and caring Board of Directors and team in Kenya so capably run the in-country program.
When Linda first learned about Kenya Keys, she was drawn to the organization because of her deep love of education and her strong desire to make education available to those who live without its light. She brings many important talents and abilities to her work with Kenya Keys. Linda’s expertise in organization and data management are especially beneficial. She developed these, and other skills, while working with her husband to build Lease Dimensions, the business she and her husband own and operate. Linda has sponsored students through Kenya Keys and has volunteered in many capacities. As the Sponsorship Coordinator, her expertise and tireless efforts are invaluable. Throughout her life, Linda has been dedicated to volunteer work and improving the community and the world. She is particularly passionate about working with youth in school, church, and community settings. Linda loves travel and is an avid hiker, biker, and tennis enthusiast. She loves sharing any adventure with her husband, three children, and four grandchildren.
Dr. Jon Robinson is an active member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry and Crown Council. In addition to Kenya Keys, Jon volunteers dental care to people from Donated Dental Services and Give Back a Smile. These programs provide dentistry to special needs patients and also women who suffered from dental trauma at the hands of an abuser. He also is the Star Sponsor for the Oswego Friend’s of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation. Jon has been a Kenya Keys sponsor for many years. He and his wife Melinda have three children who all went to help, train, and teach Kenya Keys students in Kenya in 2018