SO BEST Jamaicans on a Mission of 2012

Sunday, December 30, 2012

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In keeping with Jamaica's 50th year of Independence. SO highlighted noteworthy Jamaicans who have made their mark on the world stage. The inspirational pieces, written by contributor Heather Elliott and NMW, showed the limitless possibilities every Jamaican can aspire to attain.

Jamaican on a Mission: Creations by D'Marsh, July 1, 2012

A son of the Manchester soil, sought-after couturier and stylist Glenroy Marsh — known in fashion circles as D'Marsh — caught up with SO in-between sips of crème de menthe stingers at Los Angeles' Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood. The 29-year-old is a chosen name for A-listers, but getting him to disclose names in his Rolodex remained a mission not yet accomplished.

Jamaican On A Mission: Jenna Wolfe, July 29, 2012

As one of NBC's star anchors, we are ever so proud to trace Today Weekend Edition co-host Jenna Wolfe's birthplace right here to The Rock. Just ahead of the Olympics, Wolfe, one of NBC’s star anchors, was back home (with co-host Lester Holt whose grandparents are, incidentally, Jamaican too) to film scenes of island life for her television network's coverage of the historic games. She gave us insights into her history here and life in the TV fast lane.

Jamaican On a Mission: Brian Gaynair, August 12, 2012

No matter where in the world you are, it's said a Jamaican will be found there. Little surprise, then, that the Big Apple's Great White Way is home to St Andrew-born Brian Gaynair, who is manager of the iconic Sam S Shubert Theatre. An important player on the Broadway scene, Gaynair has worked at the Shubert for 17 years, which has been home to big-ticket productions such as Chicago: The Musical, Monty Python's Spamalot, Gypsy and Memphis.

Jamaican On A Mission: Roxanne Beckford, July 22, 2012

Readers were introduced to Hollywood actress and entrepreneur Roxanne Elizabeth Beckford, who has been featured in over 50 films with the likes of Diane Keaton and funnyman Steve Martin, and has worked with the illustrious actor Jack Nicholson. Beckford was born at Nuttall Hospital, right here in Kingston, to Jamaican S Douglas Beckford and his wife at the time, Englishborn Christene Ann Crawford, in November 1969, seven years after Jamaica gained its independence.

Jamaican On A Mission: Keyshia Ka'Oir, June 24, 2012

The stunning visuals paired with the inspirational story of St Thomas-born Keyshia Ka'Oir were a favourite for many of our readers. Ka'Oir, who once dominated the rap music video scene, is now a self-made millionaire with her Ka'Oir Cosmetics line.

Jamaican On A Mission: Sheryl Lee Ralph, August 5, 2012

Our series continued with Tony-nominated actress and HIV educator Sheryl Lee Ralph, who shared fond memories of participating in the celebration of Jamaica's first year of Independence in Mandeville. SO caught up with Ralph while she was on her US book tour for her autobiography Redefining Diva: Life Lessons From The Original Dreamgirl, for what proved a revealing and honest interview.

Jamaican On A Mission: Sheldon Shepherd, July 1, 2012

The multi-talented Sheldon Shepherd proved he is a Jamaican on a mission when he made waves in the film industry internationally with the Storm Saulterdirected film Better Mus' Come. Shepherd, who is also a member of the artsy music group No-Maddz, collected the Best Actor prize at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) in South Beach, Miami, in late June.

Jamaican On A Mission: TV Star and Entrepreneur Peter Thomas, July 8, 2012

We were thrilled to share The Rock connection of Peter Thomas, star of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. The suave 50-something-year-old reminisced about his childhood in August Town, Jamaica, and even gave insights into his love story with supermodel wife Cynthia Bailey.

Jamaican On A Mission: Adam Miller - Potosi Farms, August 19, 2012

The articulate and forward-thinking Adam Miller gave SO a riveting, firstperson account of his journey to helming Potosi Farms with his wife Marika. While we had long known of Miller's enterprising vision, and had recognised him with the prestigious Producer of the Year award at this year's Jamaica Observer Food Awards in May, PUMA got wind of his accomplishments, making him the subject of a glowing profile on their website in August.

Jamaican On A Mission: Lyriq Bent, Hollywood Actor, July 15, 2012

Clarendon native Lyriq Bent was also a favourite in our Jamaican On A Mission series. Bent, who shared that he often taps into childhood memories to keep him centred and motivated, has guest-starred in TV shows such as CSI Miami with David Caruso, UPN's Kevin Hill with Taye Diggs and USA's Kojak opposite Ving Rhames. Bent can also boast starring opposite heavyweights Mark Wahlberg and Andre 3000 in John Singleton's megasuccessful film, Four Brothers. The Saw franchise pulled in over a billion dollars in ticket sales overall.

Paulette Randall Sets the Jamaican Olympic Stage, September 2, 2012

To our surprise, one of the geniuses behind the impressive opening ceremony of the London Olympics was Paulette Randall, a woman of Jamaican descent. She not only shared the gruelling planning process of the ceremony, but also her professional journey in the film, television and writing industry.

Jean Tomlin: A Jamaican On A Recruitment Mission, August 26, 2012

As the human resources director of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, Jean Tomlin — a British-born daughter of Jamaican parents — held the mighty challenge of recruiting the right people (100,000 contractors, 70,000 volunteers and 6,000 paid staff) to coordinate and execute the historic summer games. We caught up with this elegant high achiever just ahead of our departure from London after attending the well-oiled machine that was the Olympics. Take a bow, Ms Tomlin!

Jamaican On A Mission: Jenny Mein, August 5, 2012

We exchanged notes with Jenny Mein over a delightful breakfast meeting at Sumner Place private club in South Kensington, London, this past summer. The proud Jamaican — daughter of a chemist, wife of a decorated English military man, and classmate to Cindy Breakspeare and Kenny Benjamin — told SO about trips to distant foreign lands with her sister and the story behind her Jamaican-themed bone china line.

Oraine's African Mission, September 9, 2012

SO turned the spotlight on Pulse model Oraine Barrett who was part of a celebrity team that visited Equatorial Guinea to participate in an African summit organised by the Leon H Sullivan Foundation. Barrett worked with a local orphanage, bringing hope and cheer to the youngsters there.






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