Never a dull moment with Emanuel DaRosa

Never a dull moment with Emanuel DaRosa

A man whose warmth lights up the room

Sunday, November 17, 2019

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on route to success in the engineering field, this weeks' Q10 participant who has spent some 28 years in the electrical energy sector, working in the areas of generation, transmission and distribution, came to Jamaica to take up a top post vacated by a tiny woman with big footprints.

He is a warm soul, a caring and easy-going human being who values his family tremendously, confessing that he actively engages in sports and other physical activities in times that are not spent with them.

As a Portuguese native, he came to Jamaica and has fallen in love with our island citing the warmth of the people along with curry goat and oxtail as some of his greatest encounters. He says that he is ready to permanently settle here, if life happens to take that course.

Holding a professional engineering licence and an executive masters in business administration (MBA) he also boasts advanced experience in high level government relations and policy development.

As the first of his family to go to university, he became Sherry's husband, Deanna and Daniel's father and Jamaica's energy boss (as we already have an energy god). Relax and be warmed as this week's Q10 Emanuel DaRosa – president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) ignites the scene.

Q10. What was your growing up experience like?

DaRosa: I grew up as the youngest of three siblings in a working-class family. My two sisters took care of me when I was very young as both my father and mother worked. We emigrated from Portugal when I was three years old to live in Canada. As a young child, I learned to play hockey, along with other sports like football, which were more common in Portugal. I was a bright young boy, but liked to talk with other students when I should be working, so I visited the principal's office frequently while in grade school.

Q10. What does family mean to you?

DaRosa: Family is about supporting one another and helping each member meet their full potential. Functional families share a special bond that you cannot have with anyone else. When one member of the family is struggling the others recognise this and do their best to uplift that member. It's also about caring for each other and showing you care beyond the obligatory mother's/ father's day, valentines, birthdays and Christmas. Even when family members disagree they still care for each other and don't want others to criticise the other member. Family life can become routine, but it's important to spend time together and express appreciation for what they bring to your life. In the case of my family, I have a very supportive wife and two children.

Q10. What drives you to succeed?

DaRosa: Making a positive difference in the world is my main motivator. As CEO of JPS I can touch the lives of many Jamaicans and as such I strive to improve reliability of service and provide the most value possible from an efficient and effective organisation. Someday when I retire I wish to look back and see that I helped many people and was a positive role model to those around me. I also want to ensure that I didn't waste opportunities to make a positive impact and that I lived life to the fullest.

I'm also motivated by being a positive influence on my children and making my parents proud. My parents made many sacrifices to enable me to have opportunities they did not have. While my parents are both deceased, I believe I honour their memory by being successful while maintaining humility and helping others to also be successful.

Q10. What do you love about your job?

DaRosa: Definitely the people! The employees of JPS are easily the most talented team I have worked with in the five utilities that I have been at. Jamaica has a highly competitive job market. As such candidates must go above and beyond to secure a job. This results in a team that has very strong skills. The team at JPS is also highly dedicated in serving the people of Jamaica, as they are willing to go the extra mile to fulfil their expectations. Prior to my appointment at JPS, I served as the CEO of the Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC), for six years, where I led the organisation to becoming an industry leader within Canada.

Q10. How do you spend your free time?

DaRosa: By enjoying life and staying active I believe that you must make the most of your time here on Earth. As such I try to find time to see as much of Jamaica as possible. I have enjoyed the beaches of Negril and the beautiful sunset, zip-lining at YS Falls, climbing Dunn's River, and exploring the caves at Reach Falls. But my favourite parish is Portland with pristine views of nature and where residents are clearly proud of their communities.

On the point of staying active: An avid sports lover myself, I play football, golf, snorkel and have recently taken up tennis. I have come to love cricket, especially the T20 format, and even played it on a few occasions. People have heard me say it's more fun to watch T20 than baseball!

Q10. Where is your favourite place in this world?

DaRosa: My favourite place is also an island, and that is my birthplace Sao Miguel of the Azores, which is a colony of Portugal. The island is very green, has several inland lakes, has great cuisine and the people are very social and friendly. Sounds like Jamaica? Yes definitely. Your birthplace will always have a certain pull that others can't, especially when I have visited Sao Miguel most of my life. And then Jamaica is a close second. It will always be special to me, as in a short time we have made some lifelong bonds.

Now if you asked my wife Sherry, Jamaica would definitely top her list. 'Born in Canada, but built for Jamaica' is her new mantra.

Q10. If you could keep only five possessions, what would they be?

DaRosa: My wedding band as it symbolises a union with my best friend, a picture of my wife and children as they are what I cherish most, a picture of my parents as they supported me and helped to form me into who I am today, a picture of my entire family 'clan DaRosa', and my engineering ring which I worked very hard for.

Q10. What do you feel most proud of?

DaRosa: I am most proud of my children. My children are a direct reflection of my wife and I, they are our greatest legacy when we leave Earth. My son Daniel is an accomplished footballer having played in international tournaments at the provincial level in Canada, while now attending the University of Alberta in Canada. My daughter Deanna, is a warm and loving person who will stand up for those that can't do it for themselves, while not being afraid to step outside of cultural norms to say something is not right.

In my professional career I'm most proud of achieving the position of CEO at the age of 42. Being CEO is a challenging job with many demands. Being the CEO of JPS is no exception; there are many challenges to overcome and so many competing interests, that finding that middle ground — win-win at-times may seem impossible. To simply survive in a position like this is an accomplishment.

Q10. Outside of work what other activities are you involved in?

DaRosa: Outside of work I sit on boards and committees to help advance life and create more opportunities here in Jamaica. Some of these boards include: Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Foundation, Jamaican Energy Council, Junior Achievement Jamaica and the Energy and Environment Committee of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ). Playing sports is also one of my favourite past times. Growing up playing hockey has me wanting to teach Jamaicans to ice skate, but first we need an ice rink. However I'm hopeful that I may get to play roller blade hockey here someday and teach inline skating. Most of all I enjoy spending time with my friends and family.

Q10. What one interesting thing are you learning right now?

DaRosa: I am learning about Security Token Offerings (STOs) and how they, along with block chains, will change the world going forward. STOs are a way of selling products, services or ownership in the present or even into the future. STOs are somewhat like Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) with both having pros and cons. STOs have access to global markets while IPOs are generally limited to a specific stock market. IPOs are more regulated and some may say less risky while STOs are more cost effective. When all is said and done, I consider myself to be a lifelong learner.

— Compiled by

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