GRACE Burnett has been elected chair of the Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI) for the 2022-2024 term. She replaces Renee Menzies McCallum, managing director, iProtect (member of the Guardsman Group), who recently completed her three-year term.
Burnett, CEO of GraceKennedy Financial Group, and president/CEO GraceKennedy Money Services, is a former treasurer of the WLI, a special committee of the United Way of Jamaica currently celebrating 18 years of service to Jamaica in the areas of education, advocacy, mentorship and women's development.
Burnett serves on several boards across GraceKennedy. She is a former director of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Jamaica and Junior Achievement Jamaica, and past chairman of the Agro-Investment Corporation. She holds the distinction of being the founding president of the Jamaica Society for Insurance Professionals and Technicians and in addition to being a long-standing member of the WLI, is a member of the Jamaican Bar Association, The Chartered Insurance Institute (UK) and Toastmasters International.
An attorney-at-Law, Burnett gained a Bachelor of Laws from The University of the West Indies and her chartered status from the Chartered Insurance Institute. She has participated in several leadership development courses including the leadership journey at the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania and GK's Executive Leadership Development Programme.
Other elected members supporting Burnett at the executive committee level of the WLI will be Roxann Linton, deputy chair; Mellissa McHargh, chair, membership committee; Chorvelle Johnson Cunningham, deputy chair, membership committee; Marcia Erskine, chair, PR fund-raising & events committee; Renee Menzies McCallum, deputy chair, PR fund-raising & events committee; Nadine Heywood, chair, advocacy committee; Herma McRae, deputy chair, advocacy committee; Sharon Lake, chair, education committee; Roxann Linton, deputy chair, education committee; Eva Lewis, chair, mentorship committee; Lezanne Azan, deputy chair, mentorship committee; Amanda Beepat, treasurer; and Annette Osbourne, deputy treasurer.
The WLI has over the past 18 years made considerable contributions to the basic school at the Voluntary Organization for the Upliftment of Children, providing equipment and teaching aids, funding a special needs teacher, and helping to develop the institution to attain early childhood education certification.
The organisation is also working with other institutions to end child sexual abuse by hosting "Darkness to Light" seminars for teachers and caregivers in child care institutions on how to prevent, detect and treat with child sexual abuse. Their Conversations With Boys seminars also started in 2018, and are designed to give young men a platform to discuss/gain guidance on issues which concern them.