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Impacting Jamaica

Business & Economics Podcasts

There is an abundance of positives taking place across Jamaica and the diaspora. Impacting Jamaica is an initiative to provide exposure to positive happenings, acts of kindness, activities and investments positively benefiting communities at every level, across every sector – to inspire, motivate and excite people everywhere.




There is an abundance of positives taking place across Jamaica and the diaspora. Impacting Jamaica is an initiative to provide exposure to positive happenings, acts of kindness, activities and investments positively benefiting communities at every level, across every sector – to inspire, motivate and excite people everywhere.







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Lifespan’s success brings joy to Nayana Williams and team

Giving up wasn’t an option for Nayana Williams despite the struggles to get business going 18 years ago. She had no money, and financial institutions were unwilling to help. Notwithstanding, she started a bottled water company – Lifespan – in Portland after returning home from abroad with her husband. Today she and her team – which moved from three to over 150 – are celebrating their achievement. On National Heroes Day in October, Williams will accept a national award – the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer – for entrepreneurship and philanthropy. She joins Impacting Jamaica host Keisha Hill to talk about her journey and tells those who want to enter business to always remember that “the effort comes before the reward”.


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Counselling psychologist Kevin Bailey is urging men to always be open and willing to adjust to thrive. “Don’t make a bad situation worse…be ready to make changes,” he told a group of men at a recent virtual health and wellness summit. He told them too that “we must have a mission statement of our personal life”; and that there is need for good mental health to cope in certain situations. Mr. Bailey, in the following excerpts from the summit, urged men not to join the 99 Club. What’s that? Find out in this episode of Impacting Jamaica.


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Storytelling at its best with Amina Blackwood-Meeks, OD

On National Heroes Day, October 17, 2022, Dr Amina Blackwood-Meeks will accept the conferment of the Order of Distinction, in the Rank of Officer, for her outstanding contribution to arts and culture. Dr Blackwood-Meeks is happy that she is being recognised for her stellar work, especially storytelling, that is world-renowned, especially in Africa. The highly acclaimed international storyteller has been featured in festivals in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, Mexico and across the Caribbean. She joins Impacting Jamaica and shares her fascinating story with host Keisha Hill.


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JPS powering electric vehicles in Jamaica

With the impact of motor vehicle emissions on climate change becoming more obvious throughout the world, the switch to electric vehicles from traditional petrol-powered ones is set to accelerate in coming years. Jamaica’s electricity provider, the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), is playing a critical role in this change. In this episode of the Impacting Jamaica podcast series, Dionne Nugent, Director, Business Development at JPS, discusses, among other things, the company’s roll out of charging stations across the island and its partnerships with public and private sector stakeholders in building an ecosystem for the growth of electric mobility in Jamaica.


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JPS sheds light on electricity bill

The electricity bill is a source of angst and frustration for many Jamaicans as the cost of this indispensable commodity continues to soar. Efforts to keep electricity costs under control have been futile for many. But here on the Impacting Jamaica podcast Ruthlyn Johnson, Customer Service Manager for Area East at JPS, breaks down your light bill in simple terms - what aspects you can control, what’s out of your control, what appliances are the big contributors to your bill; and how you can use them optimally. Don’t miss this opportunity to understand your electricity bill and plan to keep your bills to a reasonable level in the future.


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WANTED: Everyone for Jamaica’s Project STAR

Jamaica is set to feel the impact from what is being described as its largest Social Transformation and Renewal initiative - Project STAR. Project STAR is an initiative of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) in partnership with the Jamaica Constabulary Force and a plethora of non-governmental and civil society organisations. The $2 billion, five-year project is community-led and is designed to involve Jamaicans locally and in the diaspora. Join Impacting Jamaica host, Shelly-Ann Harris in her discussion with Keith Duncan, President of the PSOJ and Project STAR co-chair. Mr. Duncan is calling on 'All of Society' to be a part of the impactful movement.


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Electricity customers empowered by JPS

The advent of big tech companies like Amazon and Google have significantly influenced consumer behaviour and expectations worldwide, including in Jamaica. COVID-19 pandemic has also reduced access to in-person interactions and hastened the transition to online services. Electricity provider JPS has been adjusting to its customers’ changing needs, by digitalizing its Customer Service, the introduction of its Mobile App, as well as other Self Service Options giving customers choice and control in their use of electricity and the payment of bills. Shanique Donaldson-McIntosh, Manager, Customer Experience at JPS, elaborates on the changes and the benefits, especially to Jamaicans in the diaspora and those involved in the Airbnb business.


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Donovan Thomas would kill to end suicide

“Listen with your eyes and your heart” when dealing with suicidal persons; that’s the advice from Dr. Donovan Thomas, founder, and president of Choose Life International, a non-profit organisation that has been working with suicidal persons since 2008. Dr. Thomas, who is also the author of the book, ‘Confronting Suicide: Helping Teens at Risk’, also warns parents against comparing children; and offers other helpful strategies. He tells Impacting Jamaica host Shelly-Ann Harris that he is happy for the focus now being placed on mental health in Jamaica today.


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Pusey District gets an Oasis from its own

Rhenay Harris is excited that her life-long dream of building a library and literacy centre for children in her community of Pusey District, in Point Hill, St. Catherine, has been realised. The facility, funded from her own pockets, was built in memory of her grandparents, Lucille, and Bertram Pinnock, who played an integral role in her early childhood development. Harris joins Impacting Jamaica host, Keisha Hill, and tells us about her experience growing up in this quaint community, and how thrilled she is that Pinnocks Oasis is no longer a dream, but a reality. Pinnocks Oasis will officially open its doors on July 29, 2022.


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Getting the best out of us

Principal of Great Start Academy Sheron Bent is passionate about doing all she can to help students fulfil their greatest potential. Mrs. Bent has countless stories of how just a little dedication can shape a positive outcome for students who may be ‘lagging behind.’ As we take on the summer holidays, she advises that the programmes should be well structured and focus on both the social and academic needs of students. As Jamaica also marks 60 years of Independence during the summer, she expresses that she is proudest of the strength and the resilience of the Jamaican people. Listen to her hopeful and insightful perspective as she chats with Impacting Jamaica host Shelly-Ann Harris.


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Burger King fuels the ‘academic rocket ships’

The ambition of children is unfathomable, but achieving those dreams is not something that can be done alone, they need help to get there. Burger King aspires to give their academic rocket ships the fuel they need to chase their dreams. This year, Burger King has committed to providing over 25 scholarships and book grants to high-achieving children and young adults across Jamaica. Joining us in this episode of Impacting Jamaica are Anna-Kay Hudson and Zaira Ferguson, past winners of the coveted Burger King Open Scholarships. They will share how the scholarships have helped to change their lives and bring them closer to their dreams.


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VM Foundation transforming people, communities

The VM Foundation is on a mission to help build Jamaica. Launched in May 2018, the Foundation aims to positively transform the lives of Jamaicans in the areas of leadership and nation building; youth empowerment; and health and family life. To date, the VM Foundation has impacted millions of lives and it continues to embrace charitable causes that are relevant to the betterment of Jamaica. The VM Foundation is committed to empowering individuals and communities, locally and in the diaspora, with programmes delivered through a dedicated team of volunteers and partners. Samantha Charles, the Chief Executive Officer at the VM Foundation, joins Impacting Jamaica host Keisha Hill, to share how the Foundation creates opportunities to positively impact people and communities.


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Businessman Stephen Hill: It’s time to embrace the diaspora market

Stephen Hill has been there, done that. Now the boss of CIN TV, the number one television broadcaster of Caribbean-centric programmes in the New York tri-state area, is encouraging Jamaican businesses to recognize the value and aggressively take on the lucrative diaspora market as he has done. In this edition of Impacting Jamaica, with Host John Myers, Jr, Mr. Hill emphasises the benefits of tapping this growing market for Jamaican food and other goods and services. He shares how he first started out in this highly competitive market; and the roadmap he used to select and broadcast programmes that would captivate this large group of Jamaican viewers in a fast-paced, multicultural metropolis. After 29 years of dominance in providing television content for Jamaicans and other Caribbean nationalities, he gives advice and tips for local producers of uniquely Jamaican goods and services aiming to make their diaspora entrance.


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Championing black culture, Jamaican style

Marianne Sunshine is a writer, cultural commentator, and publicist. She is of Jamaican and Dominican heritage and has contributed to Black platforms, including The British Blacklist, Melan Magazine, and The Voice Newspaper. She began her career as an international publicist for Warner Music and Universal Music. Marianne is a leading voice in the Black British community and has also appeared on SKY TV, BBC Radio, and BBC News to discuss politics, parenting, and Black culture. She joins us today on Impacting Jamaica with host Sinai Fleary, an outstanding British journalist.


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Turn the money you have into the money you want!

In these times, many people are exploring how to make their money work for them. Plus, markets are showing a distinct shift towards counting many more millennial investors among their ranks. And investors are getting younger these days. In Jamaica alone, for example, millennial investors ages 25 to 40 has jumped significantly, according to available data. Keisha Bailey is an investment educator and chief executive officer of Profit Jumpstarter. She spent 17 years making money for wealthy individuals and corporations before shifting her expertise towards serving the up-and-coming generations of wealth builders. She joins Impacting Jamaica host Keisha Hill to help us ‘un-struggle the struggle’ of the wealth game. She is passionate about teaching investors how to turn the money they have into the money they want, using the stock market to build generational wealth.


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Malta invests in Jamaica’s future

Malta is the drink of choice that fuels energy for everyone. They are committed to giving back to caregivers; and supporting children-based initiatives such as the hosting of annual back-to-school events, the sponsorship of sporting activities in addition to supporting teams involving students. Melissa-Kim Johnson, Malta Brand Manager, and Cavell Robinson, Assistant Malta Brand Manager, join Impacting Jamaica host Keisha Hill, to discuss the role Malta has played in supporting caregivers who oversee the welfare of the island’s children. They also speak about past and future activities geared towards the benefit of children, the nation’s future.


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Barita Foundation: Impacting lives, building communities

The Barita Foundation was formed out of Rita Humphries Lewin’s passion to serve Jamaica’s children, especially in early childhood education. They foundation has emerged as an expanded form of the Barita Education Foundation, and its mission today is to contribute to national development goals. It is therefore supporting partnerships in education, youth development, entrepreneurship; and health and wellbeing in order that Jamaica may achieve its Vision 2030 agenda. Tanketa Chance Wilson, Executive Director of the Barita Foundation, joins Impacting Jamaica host, Keisha Hill, to share the outstanding achievements and partnerships, that the foundation has undertaken since its inception.


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‘Tandedeh’ dreams of a different Jamaica

Many across the length and breadth of Jamaica, know actress and comedian Kathy 'Tandedeh' Grant as just that. What many don’t know, is her passion for education. All jokes aside, the trained drama teacher wants to see young people thrive and wants to see a day when Jamaica takes its culture so seriously, that a visual and performing arts high school for children who are so inclined becomes a reality. Join her for an easygoing chat with Impacting Jamaica host, Shelly-Ann Harris.


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Jamaican gets honour for public service excellence

In his 40-year career in the public service, Joe Halstead, a leader in the business and recreational sectors of the City of Toronto and the Province of Ontario who is now retired, says he has never taken on a role which did not provide him with satisfaction. Some, he says, may define that as being successful. He served as Commissioner, Economic Development, Culture and Tourism, City of Toronto (1998-2006) and the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Culture (North York 1994-1998). Before that he spent 24 years with the Government of Ontario in a broad range of management positions, rising to the position of Assistant Deputy Minister in the Provincial Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Recreation. A prolific volunteer, he was the former Chair of the Festival Management Committee, organizer of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, and was the Co-Chair of the Jamaica 50th Anniversary Steering Committee, Toronto Chapter in 2012. Recently, the Black Business and Professional Association announced that he is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at its prestigious 40th Anniversary Harry Jerome Awards this year. Host Neil Armstrong chats with Mr. Halstead in this episode of Impacting Jamaica.


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Past students helping to transform Cornwall College

As the education sector in Jamaica rebounds from the paralyzing effects of the global health crisis, members of the Cornwall College Old Boys’ Association are ready and willing to offer much-needed help and support to the present cohort. Their bold rescue plan includes a robust mentoring initiative, bursaries to needy students and improvements to the e-learning platform. President Barry Harvey; Treasurer Helwig Stewart; and Director Charles Barnett are confident that they are onto a good thing for their alma mater and want others to join the process and be engaged. In this episode with Impacting Jamaica with host Aubrey Campbell, executive members talk about a range of initiatives, including a major November 19 event set for New York.