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Jamaican to be recognized at World Diversity Leadership Symposium

NEW YORK – Michael Lee-Chin, Executive Chairman of Portland Holdings, AIC Limited, Berkshire Group of Companies, National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited and Senvia, is among world leaders including Nelson Mandela, who will receive awards and deliver speeches at the third annual World Diversity Leadership Symposium (WDLS) to be held June 4-6, 2007 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

The UN Global Compact will host the conference, which is the world’s premier gathering of senior corporate executives, experts, and policymakers focused on global and local diversity management practices. UN Global Compact is designed to bring companies together with UN agencies, labor, and civil society organizations to support universal environmental and social principles.

Michael Lee-Chin

Mr. Lee-Chin, a Jamaican-born Canadian billionaire and philanthropist, will be specially recognized at the Conference, joining over 20 others including John Hutton, Minister of Works and Pension in the Office of the British Prime Minister, and Commissioner of Major League Baseball in the United States, Bud Selig. Other honorees are Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Bennett College for Women, The Chicago Sinfonietta Symphony Orchestra, Procter and Gamble, HSBC, Adecco, Aviva and MGM Mirage.

“It is with a feeling of honour and humility that I accept recognition from this prestigious global leadership conference,” said Mr. Lee-Chin. “I am very happy to represent Canada and the Caribbean. We are part of a global community and that’s why we are committed to maintaining world class standards, products and employees.”

The World Diversity Leadership Symposium has a fundamental belief that multinationals working with key policy makers, unions, and non-government organizations can help include members of society who have something to offer but are typically excluded.

The world’s leading corporations and media outlets agree, as the WDLS has attracted the sponsorship support of the New York Times/International Herald Tribune, Sun, Hilton, Arrow Electronics, KPMG, Toyota, Motorola, ProGroup, Minority Food and Hospitality Alliance, the Network Journal and Sovereign Bank.

The conference will be featured in the June 3rd Sunday New York Times business section and June 5th International Herald Tribune business section.

Douglas C. Freeman CEO of Virtcom Consulting, the global diversity management consultancy, which founded the World Diversity Leadership Symposium, notes that, “effective Global diversity management should positively influence the impact of globalization on diverse communities, suppliers, governments, workers, and customers.”

“When multinational corporations integrate global diversity management tools into their core business operations, they tangibly improve business performance in diverse markets, and uplift societies around the world,” notes Mr. Freeman.

George Szell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact states that “Thousands of companies from all regions of the world, along with international labour, and civil society organizations are engaged in the Global Compact, working to advance 10 universal principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. Mr. Szell also notes that, “Global Compact Principle 6 focuses on anti-discrimination in the workplace which directly aligns with the goals and objectives of the World Diversity Leadership Symposium.”

This year’s innovative conference, “Globalization and Diversity: Unleashing the Power of Diverse Workers, Suppliers and Customers,” will consider the impact of diversity on topics such as academia, global supply chains, major international cities, global workers, customers, and sports. Virtcom’s Diversity Value Chain(TM) will also be unveiled in a case study report of 4 corporations, and will finally explain the financial foundations of the “Global Business Case for Diversity.”

For the first time, the conference will feature a CEO Roundtable, which brings together seven eminent multinational corporate chief executive officers to discuss their views on global diversity and how global diversity fits into their companies’ goals and strategies.

AIC commenced operations in 1985 and has grown to become one of Canada’s largest privately-held mutual fund companies with assets under management exceeding $8 billion.

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