Thu | Jan 24, 2019

WLI paying it forward

Published:Monday | March 16, 2015 | 12:00 AMRandy Bowman
Lisa Gomes and Enith Williams share their radiant smiles at the WLI 2015 International Women’s Day Awards at the Jamaica Pegasus, on Monday, March 9.
Eva Lewis, chair, WLI presents the WLI 2015 International Women’s Day Award to Therese Turner-Jones, Country Representative, Inter-American Development Bank.
Lezanne Azan, chair, advocacy and health committee, WLI presents the WLI 2015 International Women’s Day Award to Antonette Wemyss-Gorman, Commanding Officer, Jamaica Defence Force.
Rosemarie Voordouw, chair, membership committee, WLI presents the WLI 2015 International Women’s Day Award to Dr Polly Bowes-Howell, director, Voluntary Organization for the Upliftment of Children.
Contributed Photo Paying It Forward - Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) Chair, Eva Lewis (fifth right) with WLI 2015 International Women’s Day awardees (from left) Therese Turner-Jones, Country Representative, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); Marjory Kennedy, President, JEA and Chair, SOS Children’s Village of Jamaica Foundation; Cmdr Antonette Wemyss-Gorman, Commanding Officer, JDF Coast Guard; Thalia Lyn, Founder and CEO, Island Grill and a director of the Mustard Seed Communities; Eleanor Jones, Founding Partner & Consulting Principal, Environmental Solutions Limited; Paola Amadei, Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Jamaica; Dr Polly Bowes-Howell, Actg Director, Voluntary Organization for the Upliftment of Children (VOUCH); Dr Mona Webber, Senior Lecturer, Dept of Life Sciences, UWI & Director, Port Royal Marine Laboratory; and Laura Facey-Cooper, Artist.

It was a great occasion of women celebrating women, as the Women's Leadership Initiative celebrated nine outstanding Jamaican women for International Women's Day at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel last Monday.

Chaired by Chorvelle Johnson, CEO of Proven Wealth and deputy chair of the WLI's , education committee, she opened the evening's proceedings noting, "This evening we are gathered here to honour nine outstanding women who have been making strides in sports, military, arts, education, among others."

Despite the late start, the evening's proceedings went smoothly. In her address newly appointed chair of the WLI Eva Lewis, shared that she was delighted with the progress the organisation have been making over the years as it continues to support a wide range of projects, especially those involving early childhood education. In closing she noted, "As this ceremony seeks to highlight the achievements of the unsung heroes among us, I implore all of us in going forward not to ask, 'who isn't going to let me, but instead, who is going to stop me?"

Under the theme, paying it forward, the nine stalwarts - Eleanor Jones, Commander Antonette Wemyss-Gorman, Therese Turner-Jones, Marjory Kennedy, Thalia Lyn, Dr Mona Webber, Ambassador Paola Amadei, Laura Facey-Cooper, and Dr Polly Bowes-Howell.



Dr Polly Bowes-Howell


Acting director of the Voluntary Organization for the Upliftment of Children, commissioner at the Early Childhood Commission and a consultant in Special Education and Early Childhood Development. SHe has been working in the field of education for more than 50 years.

Laura Facey-Cooper

She has been sculpting her way into the hearts of art lovers for the past four decades. She has been lauded for interpreting the energy of the rich earth, lush forests and the constant river into the storytelling creations of her work.

Ambassador Paola Amadei

Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Jamaica, an organisation that has consistently funded a number of key projects essential to the country's human and economic development.

Dr Mona Webber

A Marine biologist for over 20 years, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences at the University of the West Indies and director of the Port Royal Marine Laboratory and was the first woman to head Life Sciences.

Thalia Lyn

The founder of Island Grill, along with her family-siblings and grandchildren, consistently raise funds for the Mustard Seed Communities locally and abroad and are currently focused on the resuscitation of Jacob's Ladder in Monegue.

Marjory Kennedy

A quiet giant in Jamaica's shipping and manufacturing sector, she has donated considerable time to helping to improve the life chances of children in the SOS Villages.

Therese Turner-Jones

Turner Jones has devoted an appreciable portion of her professional career to working with international lending agencies and governments in the region to achieve economic development. Under her leadership, Inter-American Development Bank staff have contributed to numerous nation-building and corporate social responsibility activities.

Commander Antonette Wemyss-Gorman

Enlisting in the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in August 1992, she was posted to the JDF Coast Guard as the first sea-going female officer to serve at the Unit. She believes in contributing to society by delivering motivational lectures to various groups and actively supports golden agers and bedridden persons in the town of Port Royal by facilitating regular medical checks and assisting in their mobility and health care expenses.

Eleanor Jones

A developmental professional with over 40 years of service in the private, public and non-governmental sectors in the areas of environment and disaster risk management, education, community development and training. She has contributed substantially to strategic planning and service delivery in multicultural environments.