A vibrant visionary: Valerie “Miss V” Veira

A vibrant visionary: Valerie “Miss V” Veira


Sunday, September 13, 2020

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Awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) for stellar public service and visionary leadership in the field of industrial development last year, this week's Q10 guest is beyond ordinary.

A woman of wisdom and insight who has the years and experience to match, she epitomises the strength and beauty of a true African queen. Always decked out in her dashiki or other cultural garb including our native bandana, this lady is an expert in the area of business development with a soft spot for entrepreneurs and other small players in the business arena. Having been at the helm of her organisation since its inception, she has pioneered much of its accomplishments through her stellar negotiation skills and passion to serve. Hailing from the cool parish of Manchester, this week Q10 features Valerie Veira, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC).

Q10. How would you describe yourself?

VEIRA: I would describe myself as a perfectionist which can be irritating to some people. I am very proactive and always seeking new challenges.

Q10. What was yourexperience like growing up?

VEIRA: It was an active one. Nature connected, exploring the countryside and sharing with “real” people off the beaten tracks. Lots of learning moments at the kitchen table and learning what is really important in life coupled with laughing and chatting on the back verandah of my family home.

Q10. Who do you admire most in life?

VEIRA: I admire and love senior citizens who share unfiltered information on their life experiences. It gives me a feeling of connection to the good old days, where people really cared and shared with each other.

Q10. What do you love about your job?

VEIRA: I have the good fortune of having a job which provides me the opportunity to grow ideas, to support people (entrepreneurs and staff) in helping them to develop and also to actively contribute to national development.

Q10. What does family life mean to you?

VEIRA: Family life is about respect for each other and their opinions. Lots of laughter when we connect, celebration of each other's' success. There are no “in laws” so the family keeps growing with each marriage. The young ones are part of a village with multiple “mothers” and “fathers”.

Q10. If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?

VEIRA: I would have started my exercise programme earlier and I would have learnt how to play a musical instrument.

Q10. What do you love most about Jamaica?

VEIRA: The beauty of nature which is evident in so many “beauty spots” in Jamaica – mountains, rivers, green fields are all so picturesque. I am so emotionally connected. I love to just sit quietly and absorb the scene. I get totally lost. I am totally “in love” and would not willingly choose to live anywhere else.

Q10. How do you define success?

VEIRA: Success for me is to be able to look back at my life and enjoy the reviews. Success is the peace in your soul in knowing that you have done your honest best and that the errors made were genuine and not by design or out of ill will. Most importantly, is that my integrity has remained solid over the years.

Q10. If you could only speak one word today, what would that one word be and why?

VEIRA: Positivity, because with a positive perspective, solutions will always come your way.

Q10. How do you plan to retire?

VEIRA: I plan to spend the first few weeks adjusting to not being at work. Then I will start re-reading numerous novels. I enjoyed studying but now will be reading for enjoyment and with eyes of experience. I am so looking forward to this with excitement.

Also the many countries that I have travelled to during my work life, — I am going to journey to all of them again, hoping to see more of their history, culture, among other things, that I may have missed on previous visits. I also plan to watch the old movies in my collection such as Dr Zhivago, South Pacific, The Sound of Music and others— I am a romantic and these have never left my memory. Retirement? No man I will be retrying”— going on a heart relaxed joy ride.

— Compiled by Kellaray Miles

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