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Jamaican Community leaders honored at Jamaican trade expo in South Florida

DAVIE – Twelve Jamaican nationals in South Florida were recipients of the milestone awards at the second annual recognition luncheon of the Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce (JAUSACC), last Friday (May 25) at the Signature Grand.

A special trailblazer award was presented to Jamaican national and aviator, Captain Barrington Irving, Jr., who is nearing completion of his mission to be the youngest and first black pilot to fly solo around the world.

Awards were presented to:

Ms. Ann John-Latimer, real estate and construction agent;

Ms. Brenda Forrest in the area of social services for her active involvement in the Caribbean Heart Menders Association;

Ms. Inez Grant owner of Aunt I’s Restaurant, and Ms. Judy Jackson of Coast to Coast Healthcare Solutions, Incorporated.

Others included:

Messrs. Neville Stewart of Starbank Financial Incorporated;

Earl Christian of E.C. Worldwide Travel;

Desmond Miles of the Mighty Vikings Band for entertainment and culture;

Joseph Rhoden of Antilles Freight Corporation for trade and cargo;

Tyrone Robertson of Caribbean Marketing and Media Corporation and Mike Owens and Omahar Stephenson of Business Events Magazine both companies for technology and media;

Commissioner Winston Barnes of the City of Miramar and Commissioner Hazelle Rogers of Lauderdale Lakes for community leadership.

Ribbon Cutting at opening of Jamaica Expo

Guest speaker at the awards ceremony attended by members of the JAUSACC and the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) was Mr. Ray Chang, Chancellor of the Ryerson University, Canada, who lauded the recipients for their outstanding achievements in their respective professions.

Mr. Chang, who is also a Jamaican national, continued to praise Jamaicans for their resilience and tenacity, noting that they made a difference wherever they go.

Chairman of one of Canada’s largest investment company, CI Financial, Mr. Chang, also a successful businessman, commended his countrymen for their accomplishments despite the competition and adversities they encounter in their respective communities and professions.

He also called on his compatriots to embrace their adopted countries, giving back in time and resources.

People, he continued, are the most important ingredient in any form of business, and urged his audience to continue to apply a positive attitude, skills and training as the end result to success is a solid education background.

Regarding the development of the Jamaican economy, Mr. Chang noted that manufacturing is crucial is the nation’s development. In that regard, he reiterated the need to be innovative, creative and keep abreast of information and technology and technology, keep on lobbying, at the same time removing all barriers.

Citing some of the negatives encountered in the Jamaican business climate, Mr. Chang mentioned the numerous opportunities as well as the potential for growth that Jamaica was faced with. He appealed to his audience to take advantage of the country’s strengths and build on them. Some of these, he indicated were evident in our physical location ideal for business and tourism, the port facilities, human resources, among others.

The awards ceremony followed a two-day trade expo – Buy Jamaican, Brand We Love – at which more than 60 manufacturers, buyers, distributors, retailers and promoters of Jamaican goods and services as well as local US companies showcased their products in the US marketplace.

Wright Muir P.A. booth at Jamaica Expo

The expo was launched by Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, and was coordinated jointly by the Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce in Florida and the Jamaica Manufacturers Association.

Other Jamaican service organizations that had participated in the expo included the Jamaica Trade & Invest (formerly JAMPRO), the Jamaica Exporters’ Association (JEA), the Jamaica Business Development Center (JBDC), the Jamaica Tourist Board and Air Jamaica Limited.

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