25 influential women in business

Sunday, March 14, 2010    

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Females across the globe last week celebrated International Women's Day in recognition of the gender's economic, political and social achievements. Today, Sunday Finance shows our appreciation to Jamaican women who have made significant inroads in the field of business and who we all look upon as inspirational figures.

1. Audrey Marks

Managing Director, Paymaster

She introduced the one-stop shop bill payments concept to Jamaica when she started Paymaster in 1997. Over the last 13 years, the company has grown from a single branch at Sovereign Plaza in Liguanea with one client and five employees, to 156 locations across the island with 52 clients and over 400 staff members. Marks is a former president of the American Chamber of Commerce and is rumoured to be a serious contender to become the next ambassador to the US.

2. Jennifer Samuda

Principal, Jencare Skin Farm

She combined her entrepreneurial and cosmetic formulation skills to develop Jencare Skin Farm from a modest backroom operation in the early 1980s into the modern production facility and beauty parlours that it is today.

3. Dr Blossom O'Meally-Nelson

CEO, Aeromar Group of Companies

Jamaica's first female post master general and former pro-chancellor and chairman of Council for the University of Technology (UTECH). Against the background of her outstanding achievements in public service, O'Meally Nelson is making inroads in the private sector with family-owned logistics company Aeromar Group.

4. Thalia Lyn

CEO, Island Grill

Lyn rebranded and developed what was once Chicken Supreme into one of the most dominant and recognisable restaurant chains in the local fast food market. Plans are underway to launch of a new Island Grill restaurant in Barbados -- its second on the island -- in accordance with Lyn's regional expansion strategy.

5. Audrey Hinchcliffe,

Chairman and CEO, Manpower & Maintenance Services

In 1992, the former hospital administrator from Lorrimers, Trelawny founded Manpower and Maintenance, which today provides sanitation, maintenance and landscaping services to some of Jamaica's largest companies and public institutions. Hinchcliffe is a former president of the Jamaica Employers' Federation.

6. Donna Duncan-Scott

Group Executive Director, Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB)

The 47 year-old former managing director of JMMB steered her late mother's brokerage to the top of the financial services sector before handing control to brother Keith Duncan in 2005. Duncan-Scott has since assumed a human development role at the organisation with the mantra of social betterment espoused by her mother.

7. Audrey Chin

Senior Vice-President, NCB Insurance; Co-owner, Lasco

Audrey Chin is a financial sector veteran who has held senior management posts at various companies. She has also been a member of the CHASE Fund board since December 2002 and currently chairs the Finance Committee. But arguably, it was her victory against ex-husband Lascelles Chin in a 13-year legal battle to gain co-ownership in Lasco, which made Audrey such an influential figure to many women.

8. Grace Silvera

Executive Director, Jamaica Cultural Development Commission

One of the most respected marketers in Jamaica who spent many years at Red Stripe helping to drive the beer company's exports. Her key assignment is now to further the enhancement of 'Brand Jamaica'.

9. Kay Osborne

General Manager, Television Jamaica (TVJ)

Osborne served in executive leadership positions with US Fortune 500 companies for many years, and was even named by Ebony magazine as one of the 150 most powerful Black women in corporate America, before returning to Jamaica as TVJ general manager in 2004. Under her watch, TVJ has rolled out a number of popular programmes, such as Digicel Rising Stars, and remains a dominant force in the local electronic media landscape.

10. Minna Israel

CEO, RBTT Bank Jamaica

A career banker with almost 30 years of experience, Israel spent years as the number two behind William Clarke at Scotiabank Jamaica before spending three very successful years as Managing Director of Scotiabank Bahamas. She returned to Jamaica in 2008 to head up the operations of RBTT Bank Jamaica, with a mission to narrow the gap between RBTT and the top players in the local market.

11. Doreen Frankson

Managing Director, Edgechem

Now twenty-years since she started Edgechem, Frankson continues to defy the economic odds stacked against Jamaican manufacturers. The 63 year-old former head of the Jamaica Manufacturers' Association has for years been one of the most vocal voices championing the cause of local manufacturing.

12. Beverly Lopez

Managing Director, Kingston Hub Distributors; Co-founder Peak Bottling Company

Aside from running two successful companies, Lopez made her mark as a hard working president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ). During her tenure, the PSOJ led the memorable "Stand for Jamaica" which brought thousands of Jamaicans to Emancipation Park in a rally against crime.

13. Anya Schnoor

Executive Vice-President -- Wealth Management and Investments, Scotiabank Group; CEO, Scotia DBG

Schnoor is no doubt one of the most powerful under-40 corporate executives in Jamaica -- male or female. With responsibility for wealth management at Scotiabank -- the most profitable listed company, she has one of the most high profile roles in corporate Jamaica.

14. Eugennie "Glorianna" Minto

Principal, Glorianna Hotel

Hailing from the humble beginnings of Coopershop, St James, Minto's story of working her way up from abject poverty is inspirational to persons from all walks of life. Minto's achievements include successfully building and operating her 75-room hotel on Sunset Boulevard in Montego Bay.

15. Sancia Templer

President, Jamaica Trade & Invest

Bennett-Templer has had a wealth of experience transforming the national airports, both the privatisation of the Sangster International Airport and the expansion and upgrading project for the Norman Manley International Airport. She also has significant private sector experience and is regarded as a female pioneer in the shipping industry.

16. Kim Marie Spence

Co-founder, Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI)

At just 30 years-old, Spence is the youngest among our influential women. The former Rhodes Scholar walked away from a six-figure job in investment banking on Wall Street to focus on economic and social development in Jamaica. Spence, who has lived in a number of different countries, recently became the first Jamaican woman to ski on the South Pole.

17. Patricia Francis

Executive Director, International Trade Centre

Patricia Francis is an award-winning business facilitator who joined the International Trade Centre as Executive Director in June 2006, appointed by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and World Trade Organization Director-General Pascal Lamy. She is a former president of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation, now Jamaica Trade & Invest.

18. Marlene Street-Forrest

General Manager, Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE)

Street Forrest has effectively run the JSE as an efficient financial market for over 10 years. She played an important role in the formation of the Junior Exchange and is a major force behind the planned integration of regional stock exchanges.

19. Deborah Cummings

Chairman and Managing Director, Century 21 Heave-Ho Properties

Cummings founded Century 21 Heave-Ho Properties in 1990 after recognising the need for a customer-service oriented real estate company to serve clients wishing to buy, rent or sell properties. And she hasn't looked back since then. In 1998, she acquired the local franchise of CENTURY 21 Real Estate Corporation, with operations in over 50 countries, and she is widely regarded as one of the best brokers in the industry.

20. Valerie Levy

President, Valerie Levy and Associates

Levy is one of the most recognisable real estate brokers in Jamaica. She was president of the Realtors Association of Jamaica from 1990 to 1993, and has been a lecturer at the University of Technology for many years.

21. Dr Pauline Knight

Acting Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ)

Knight last year replaced former PIOJ boss Wesley Hughes. She advises the Government on major issues relating to economic, environmental and social policy and guides the staff of the PIOJ in undertaking research on national development issues.

22. Sharon Burke

CEO and President, Solid Agency

Burke made her foray into the local entertainment business as a promoter during the 1990s, especially famous for the Fully Loaded series of parties. Burke, now one of the most powerful women in the music business, is involved in many different aspects of the industry including event production and artiste management.

23. Jennifer Messado

Attorney-at-Law. Senior Partner Jennifer Messado & Co

This highly regarded real estate attorney, who calls many corporate bigwigs her clients, has one of the most revered track records in the field.

24. Gloria Palomino

Managing Director, Diesel Equipment and Services

This successful entrepreneur not only fixed diesel engines, earning a worldwide reputation for the 51-year Diesel Equipment and Service Company she launched single-handedly, she also used her positive, keen approach to restore hope and mend lives. Indeed, her business became one of the most successful training grounds for scores of Jamaican men, many of whom now have their own businesses.

25. Ethlyn Norton-Coke

Tax specialist and attorney

Coke is a former director at Deloitte & Touche. Coke's influence spans many sectors including accountancy, law, taxation, tertiary education and healthcare.





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