It's Dr Marlene Street Forrest and Dr Gordon 'Butch' StewartThursday, July 22, 2021
MARLENE Street Forrest, managing director, Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), has expressed gratitude to the University of the Commonwealth Caribbean (UCC) which conferred on her an honorary doctoral degree in public policy at their 2020/2021 virtual commencement ceremony on Sunday.
The late Gordon “Butch” Stewart, founder of the Sandals Group, was also conferred posthumously with an honorary doctoral degree in business administration at the ceremony which saw close to 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students receive their degrees.
While she has received several awards, including the national honour of Order of Distinction, commander class, Street Forrest said, “this was a welcome surprise. I did not expect to be considered but it makes me feel so blessed and appreciated.”
In its citation to her, the UCC said: “Marlene Street Forrest, CD, JP, is an exemplary leader who has blazed a trail of firsts and extraordinary achievements for Jamaica in the complex and intricate world of stock market exchanges. Under her stewardship the JSE became demutualised and the US denominated market and Junior Market launched. She has also spearheaded the Registrar Division of the Jamaica Central Depository where she served as general manager for this subsidiary of the JSE.
“Today, the JSE is one of the largest stock exchanges in the Caribbean both in size and market capitalisation. It is also one of the most diverse exchanges in the region encompassing sectors like banking and finance, retail, manufacturing, insurance, leisure, communications, conglomerates, services and real estate,” the citation said.
Praising her for excellence in what has traditionally been regarded as a man's world, the UCC said that “Marlene Street Forrest has positioned the JSE in the conversation among much older world leaders like the London Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
“She has won respect not only for herself, but serves as an inspiration for all women for blazing a trail of excellence internationally in the securities markets and financial services industry.”
Accepting the degree conferred on Stewart, his son Adam, now executive chairman of Sandals Resorts International, said his father was “humbled and honoured” when he got the news in 2019.
Referencing his dad's death in January 2021, he said, “Although dad isn't here to see this, I know he was tremendously happy to receive this honorary degree and the family humbly and graciously accept on his behalf.”
He continued: “Gordon 'Butch' Stewart was committed to Jamaica and the Caribbean. Everything he did, every decision he made and the businesses he created were underpinned by a passion for the development of Jamaica and the Caribbean region to its limitless potential. He had an undeniable knack for business and so it is incredibly fitting that this degree is for business administration.”
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