After a two-year hiatus, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Emerge Summit is back! The personal development platform co-founded by Naomi Garrick, Catherine Goodall and Rochelle Cameron hosted their first hybrid event at the AC Hotel in Kingston on Sunday, September 18, 2022. Offering both an in-person and virtual experience for 'Emergers' — as Garrick affectionately calls them — near and far, in partnership with Sagicor, the event was staged under the theme, 'Emerging Without Limits.'
The proceedings kicked off with complimentary make-up touch-ups by Gabby Glam and professional headshots by Studio Craft courtesy of Sagicor, followed by a series of high-energy, thought-stirring presentations from nine speakers. The speakers who shared their stories and lived experiences with the Emergers included performing artiste and co-creator of the YouTube programme Meet The Mitchells Wayne Marshall; VP of Group Marketing Sagicor & Executive Director, Sagicor Foundation Alysia Moulton White; CEO Paramount Trading Jamaica Ltd Hugh Graham; CEO, Sagicor Bank and author Chorvelle Johnson Cunningham; CEO, Dolla Financial & Founder of Dequity Capital Management Kadeen Mairs; Managing Director Gabrielle Waite of Gabby Glam cosmetics company as well as the Emerge co-founders CEO, Prescient Consulting Ltd Rochelle Cameron; marketing strategist, Co-founder, Redefine Business Services Catherine Goodall; and CEO, Garrick Communications Naomi Garrick.
Whilst each speaker delivered useful nuggets of wisdom, it was the practical, words shared by CEO, Sagicor Bank and Author Chorvelle Johnson Cunningham and, too, CEO Paramount Trading Jamaica Ltd Hugh Graham that electrified the space.
"When I started my business I had the responsibility of a mother and a father; I was the CEO of my life more then than I am now.
"I got an opportunity to attend Calabar after passing the Grade Nine Achievement Test (GNAT), graduated fifth form and at that point I was left with the option to go back to the country with my mother or to figure things out in Kingston. Growing up, people would always say that I was black, good for nothing and wouldn't come to anything; I tried my best to put this aside, to change the narrative.
As it relates to politics], I went to north-west St Catherine to give back to the community, whether it was helping out with school fees or providing mattresses for people, whatever the case was, the opportunity to serve as a councillor came, I contemplated the decision because of what everyone would usually say about politics, but I remembered what my mother said to me, 'If God put you somewhere, he will protect you and take care of you.' So when I look at where I am coming from and what the good lord has done for me it is only right for me to give back."
For her part Johnson Cunningham tracked her journey to becoming a CEO. "I left high school with two CSEC subjects. I resat my CSEC and passed all with distinctions, as my parents were persistent on me completing my studies. To this day I am forever grateful for their commitment and support. It is important to know who you have in your inner circle and the people who will always help you when you fall short. My parents are a part of my inner circle," she said.
As we are here today under the theme, 'Emerging Without Limits,' I would like to say, living a life without limits is indeed possible. The first thing is to know yourself. Do you know yourself? Do you know what your purpose is and why you were placed on Earth? I went into teaching because I wanted to help people, although I'm [now] in banking, I'm still teaching because I am always finding ways to help people figure things out.
The second thing is to believe in yourself. If you don't believe in yourself, who is going to believe in you? You have to believe in yourself."
Other noteworthy speakers who spoke at the latter part of the summit, were Wayne Marshall and Rochelle Cameron who shared their thoughts on pivoting in one's career and establishing a life with work and family, respectively.
Friday Social takes you inside the Emerge summit.