Mon | Oct 15, 2018

Women's Leadership Initiative celebrates 10 years

Published:Monday | October 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM
From left: Jean Lowrie-Chin, Tara Nunes, Pat Ramsey, Richard Lake, Christene King, Minna Israel, Celia Francis and Tashna Edwards pause for a photo at the Women's Leadership Initiative Awards Banquet. photos by Brian McCalla/Freelance Photographer
Diana Edwards and Dana Dixon conversing just before the commencement of the Women's Leadership Initiative Awards Banquet.
Two beauties elegantly dressed in black, Jamilia Taylor (left) and Jeneil Chang.
Celia Francis (left) and Rosemarie Voordouw wearing a red and black dress from Heather Laine's collection were elegantly attired for the banquet.

Cathy Risden, Lifestyle Writer

The Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI), a committee of the United Way of Jamaica, had their 10th Anniversary Awards Banquet at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, last Tuesday. Founded in 2004, the non-profit organisation fosters development, knowledge sharing and partnership between Jamaica and Florida's public and private sectors.

Struggling to complete her tertiary education, University of the West Indies student Harvin Sherika Thomas was enrolled to pursue a bachelor's degree in early-childhood education. After being made aware of Thomas' financial difficulties, the executive and members of WLI decided to assist. Thomas said that she has gotten this far by faith, and despite many instances of financial despair, God has always come through.

Ian Forbes, chairman of the United Way of Jamaica congratulated the WLI, and stated in closing: "Teamwork makes the dream work."

Dinner Time

The menu was just as attractive as the ambience of the Pegasus ballroom. The warm cream of pumpkin soup with jerked chicken, spinners and cinnamon croutons, and the organic green and marinated plum tomatoes drizzled with a June plum, beet root vinaigrette, used to whet the palates of the guests, paved way for the entrée - smoked salmon and garlic scallop timbale served with pink volute peppercorn, beef tenderloin, black bean barbecue sauce and roasted vegetables in a herb potato cup. Dessert followed shortly after. passion fruit cheesecake with butter-sweet chocolate curls.

While the guests indulged in the delicacy, they could not resist getting out of their seats to move to the rhythms of the live entertainment by the Warm N' Easy band being led by singer Mary Isaac, as she sang I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor.


Ahead of the presentation of the awards, guest speaker, former US Ambassador to Jamaica Sue Cobb congratulated the WLI team. She spoke of the group as being salt of the Earth and said that salt is closely associated with light which has always been a special commodity. "My friends of WLI, you are the salt of the Earth. Shine your light on to others; you are the light of society," said Cobb. She continued to congratulate the WLI for taking their time to help others: "Hold close your own personal values you add in the community. It is because of the light you all bring."