Oluwande "Wande" Elam was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. She moved to the United States for college at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas where she graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor's degree in international Studies and Spanish. She went on to Washington University in St. Louis School of Law where she completed her law degree on a full tuition scholarship. Wande spent the first ten years of her legal career as a corporate restructuring attorney at international and boutique law firms.
Subsequently, she joined the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, a U.S. Department of Defense entity providing goods and services to soldiers and airmen worldwide, where she served as Associate General Counsel in the Business Law department for three years. In October 2019, Wande joined Toyota Motor North America, Inc. in a newly created role as Senior Counsel for Toyota Connected North America, Inc., the startup at the heart of transforming Toyota to a mobility company through connected intelligence services. She was promoted to Managing Counsel in January 2022 and she continues to serve Toyota by providing advice and counsel to business units in a variety of global and cutting-edge transactions and projects.
Wande is passionate about helping others find their purpose and fulfillment and to that end, she maintains a private executive and professional coaching practice where she holds space for her clients to explore their goals, desires, dreams and visions. In December 2021, Wande completed her Master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Development with a focus on Executive and Professional Coaching at the University of Texas at Dallas. She recently received her Associate Certified Coach credential from the International Coaching Federation.
In 2021, Wande was appointed by the Dean of Washington University in St. Louis School of Law as an inaugural member of the law school’s Dallas Regional Council for a two-year term running from 2021 to 2023.
“VOOM Foundation welcomes Ms. Wande Elam to the Board of Directors,” states Mike Essien, board secretary. “Over her ongoing illustrious career, Wande has worked in many legal and corporate (international and domestic) organizations and is a Certified Coach to boot. VOOM is pleased that she will bring her enormous skills to boost the work of our Foundation as we embark on more opportunities to provide cardiothoracic surgery and other health programs to Nigeria and beyond. VOOM Foundation thanks Wande for carving out time out of her super busy schedule to serve with us.”
"I am delighted to join VOOM Foundation at such an exciting time when we are looking to expand the crucial humanitarian medical services that VOOM Foundation provides in Nigeria to underserved communities” states Ms. Elam. “Together with the leadership team, I look forward to helping VOOM Foundation continue to create positive and impactful change in Nigeria and beyond."
Wande is married to author Tim Elam, and they have two sons.
September 2021, Lagos Nigeria - Hammed Afolabi, arrived unexpectantly at First Cardiology Hospital in Lagos, after hearing about VOOM Foundations partnership with the Healthy Heart Foundation/Nigeria to provide free open-heart surgery to patients in need. Hammed is a married indigent with three young children and runs a three-wheel bicycle to support his family. His job is the lifeline to his family’s success.
Victor Ogbonna, age 15, was on his way to a doctor’s appointment at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital in Enugu, Nigeria in May 2108. He was carrying his scans to be delivered to his neurologist as he is one of thousands of indigent children in charge of his own healthcare. He was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, brain cancer and needed surgery following by radiation therapy.
Dr. Jeffrey McNeil, retired U.S. Colonel and cardiothoracic surgeon from Austin has accepted a position on the VOOM Foundation board of directors. Prior to his acceptance, Dr. McNeil attended two open-heart medical missions with VOOM Foundation, recruiting two medical teams while leading the VOOM education and training program at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital in Enugu.
VOOM Foundation recently signed memorandums of understanding with three teaching hospitals to deliver education and training to cardiac medical teams in Nigeria. The three institutions, The Univeristy of Nigeira Teaching Hospital in Enugu, Lagos State Teaching Hospital in Lagos and The University of Calabar Teaching Hospital in Calabar have all committed to partnering with VOOM who will provide the education and training during open-heart medical missions.
The Voom Foundation pediatric open-heart mission team from the United Kingdom has arrived in Enugu, Nigeria, and began surgery at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital. Led by pediatric heart surgeon, Dr. Ikenna Omeje, the volunteer team will work diligently throughout the week to address Nigeira’s sickest children.