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For More Information: Dr. Rupert Francis, 909-994-2490
Unified Diaspora USA Leadership Summit Concludes with One Voice
New York, NY (November 27, 2018): The historic event in Morrow, Georgia from the 16th to 18th of November was billed as a “unified Jamaica Diaspora USA Leadership Summit”. This first-time effort was envisioned by the three US-based Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board Members to promote a cohesive and viable Diaspora community starting with the joint convening and discussion to initiate the creation of USA Diaspora Development Plan.
The Summit apparently concluded on several high notes with the general consensus around the need for a structure with clear purpose to galvanize and unify the US Jamaican Diaspora. A post-Summit report is expected in December highlighting the various activities and recommendations from participants. The Advisory Board Members and leadership then plan on undertaking widespread consultations across the Diaspora with diverse stakeholders in an effort to strongly inform the creation of a Development Plan. Along with periodic updates including media releases and other communiqués to the Diaspora community, the team is aiming to submit a progress report by the June 2019 Biennial Diaspora Conference in Jamaica.
Summit opened with participants hearing from different dignitaries including the Hon. Earl Jarrett, OJ, CD, JP, LLP, CEO of The Jamaica National Group (premier Summit sponsor) who highlighted that as “we meet at an important time in history”, the Diaspora is to not become isolated but to help and support each other and to “Stand up, stand strong, and be counted.”
The keynote address by Minister of State with specific responsibility for Diaspora Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT), Senator the Hon. Pearnel P. Charles, Jr. noted that “This ground-breaking Leadership Summit is the first of its kind from a Jamaican Diaspora context. It has caught the attention of the wider Diaspora and will consequently serve as a model for collaboration and cohesiveness among Jamaicans globally.”
Before closing, the Minister used the opportunity to announce that the 8th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference will convene in Kingston from 16th – 20th June 2019.
Strongly endorsing the Leadership Summit through financing was premier sponsor The Jamaica National Group along with Hardware & Lumber Ltd., Jamaica Tourist Board, Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill and Tru-Juice. The Atlanta Jamaican Association, Inc., under the leadership of President Tony Gray, was the non-profit fiscal sponsor and a major supporter.
The Summit featured sessions where leaders of varying competences engaged in a highly interactive process to discuss shared Diaspora vision and values; identifying what makes the Diaspora great and the challenges confronting it; and the creation of a legal institutional framework for Diaspora leadership and governance. The closing breakout sessions engaged leaders in dialogues around currently trending issues impacting the Diaspora and how they may collaborate across the nation despite their individual affiliations.
In the final analysis, it was evident by the gravity of discussions that included Mr. Earl Jarrett and several other guests, as well as attendees from the MFAFT, that those who came were engaged in the opportunity that was provided for them to share their thoughts and raise their proverbial hands to move to the next steps. Reportedly, many left the Summit feeling optimistic because they were engaged in a way like never before and are anxious to engage in recommendations outlined.
Entities desiring to learn more about the Summit and the strategic development planning process are encouraged to contact email@example.com.
The US-based Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board Members and their respective regions are Mrs. Akelia Lawrence-Maitland (Northeast USA), Dr. Rupert Francis (West/Mid-West USA) and Mr. Wayne Golding Sr, Esq. (Southern USA). They are members of the Jamaica Diaspora Advisory Board that advises Minister of State with specific responsibility for Diaspora Affairs in Jamaica’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Pearnel P. Charles, Jr. with advisement on matters related to the Jamaica Diaspora.
October 24, 2018
Appointment of JA. Honorary Consul to Atlanta
Senator Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade recently announced the appointment of Dr. Elaine Grant-Bryan as Jamaica’s newly appointed Honorary Consul to Atlanta with effect from 1st October, 2018.
As Honorary Consul, Dr. Bryan will provide consular services to Jamaicans and persons wishing to visit Jamaica, and to promote the development of social, cultural and commercial relationships between Jamaica and Atlanta.
Dr. Bryan succeeds Mrs. Jewel Scott, who resigned from the position in December 2017.
Dr. Bryan is a former educator in the Atlanta School System and is now a real estate entrepreneur. She is also the founder and chair of The Elaine Bryan Foundation.
During her tenure as educator, Mrs. Bryan has worked diligently with young persons as a motivational speaker empowering high school and college students through mentorship programmes. Then as a Microsoft Education Partner, Dr. Bryan collaborated with the Microsoft team to develop and establish Microsoft-GECG STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) for the students conducted through enrichment workshops.
She is the recipient of several awards and commendations for her outstanding contribution to Education. She was also recognized as the Gleaner “2007” Phenomenal Woman.
She is married to Gregory Scott Bryan and they both work together on global projects for The Elaine Bryan Foundation and the Global Education Consultants Group.
Consulate General of Jamaica
October 19, 2018
Oliver Mair assumes appointment as Jamaica’s new Consul General to Miami
Jamaica’s newly appointed Consul General to Miami, R. Oliver Mair has assumed his position at the Consulate in downtown Miami. He will be responsible for consular affairs in 13 States of the Southern USA, as well as Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.
Mr. Mair succeeds Mr. Franz Hall who has since assumed position as Acting Director of
Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Kingston.
Consul General Mair settled into his office two weeks ago ready to engage positively with the Jamaican community, and is confident that his love and belief in Jamaica “as one of the most powerful brands in the world” will augur well in his mission to serve both Jamaica and the Diaspora community.
He has been described as a dynamic and visionary leader with some 20 years’ experience in Jamaica’s private sector working in travel/tourism, entertainment, agro-processing and real estate industries. He also has extensive involvement in sales and marketing, strategic planning, project management, public relations and government corporate relations.
Unlike his predecessors as career diplomats, Mr. Mair embarked on his career as an operations officer at Jamaica Broilers. After a year, he joined the staff of Air Jamaica where he remained for the next eleven years rising through the ranks from flight attendant/purser/In-flight supervisor; routes operations supervisor, and ultimately regional marketing manager – Jamaica and the Caribbean. Leaving Air Jamaica, Mr. Mair returned to Jamaica Broilers where he served first as sales manager, and later marketing and sales manager a position he held until he then founded his own company, supplying Jamaican agricultural produce to local hotels. He also worked with several projects including the Portland Jerk Festival, Jamaica Broilers Group- Fun In The Sun and applied his sales skills in real estate as a realtor for Coldwell Bankers Limited.
He cites among his priorities during his tenure as working with the Jamaican community to focus on issues related to education, health, youth and business investment in Jamaica, stressing that there are strong investment opportunities in Jamaica and he is ready to work with Jamaicans and other interested parties in the United States to take advantage of these opportunities as Jamaica continues to gain high marks as prime for investment. While he considers the Consulate staff a very efficient team, he is confident that they will continue to steer the office right as he steps out and engage the community. “Engaging the community is my goal.”
Mr. Mair has expressed particular interest in having the Jamaican Diaspora organize itself to undertake and support the Jamaican Health Ministry initiative to adopt and develop one or more health clinics in Jamaica. While he commends the various community groups for their ongoing commitment to Jamaica’s national interest and economic development, which includes contributions to healthcare, he is looking forward to working diligently to improve healthcare, especially in the rural areas through collaborative efforts.
Mr. Mair has also extended himself to community outreach through volunteer leadership projects where he has trained inmates on life leadership skills at the Tower Street Correctional Prison.
As an all-rounder, Mr. Mair also has an avid interest in the arts, and has applied his creative side to the theater. At Laugh It Off Productions he served as producer/writer and produced a 9-time nomination Actor Boy play which had a successful 9-month run. He also performed with the University Singers and the Jamaica Musical Theatre Company. On the side of sports, he has played table and lawn tennis, football, 5K running and practiced yoga.
A graduate of Campion College and Wolmers Boys’ High School, Mr. Mair holds a Bachelors of Arts in Management Studies and English Literature from the University of the West Indies, and a MBA in Business Administration from Nova South Eastern University, Florida.
A family man, Mr. Mair is married to his wife, Tanya and the couple has a daughter.
Consulate General of Jamaica