Kim Mair-Powered by service
A life filled with red carpets and the constant clicking of wine glasses was not enough for the now chief executive officer of Joan Duncan Foundation at JMMB.
Kim Mair lived a glamorous life as the brand manager at Estate Distributors. Taking Flair on a trip down memory lane, she spoke of the frequent parties, rubbing shoulders with the big names and who's who in Jamaica. Back then, she was earning her pay and all was well with the world.
In photo: Kim Mair.-Ricardo Makyn
Mair recalls having a conversation with a member of Food For The Poor, and that conversation had her reflecting on her life. He had invited her to accompany him and a team on a mission, and not entirely sure what to expect, she agreed after giving it some thought - taking the time off from work.
Mair's trip through the length and breadth of Jamaica was nothing short of a life changer. "I remember thinking to myself ... I have done nothing to deserve what I have." She questioned how she and others who were privileged enough to have the basic necessities had this air of entitlement. Her heart split into a million pieces as she said she got down on her hands and knees and crawled to the cardboard dwelling of a man to give him food items.
The trip was very impactful. So much so that she resigned from her job of glitz and glamour and committed to a life of service. It was later that she realised that the drive to help others did not happen overnight.
Mair grew up in a household of givers. Both her parents were service-oriented and she tagged along with them on some of their charity runs, and for others where she was not physically present, she was also encouraged to give a helping hand. So it was quite confusing when her father expressed his disappointment and concern when she left her job to give handouts. As with any father, he was worried about her sustainability, especially seeing that with her previous employment she was financially independent. Like most daughters, she rebelled and told her father that this was actually his influence as she had grown up seeing him serve all his life, whether it was to the neighbours or on a larger scale through service clubs.
Kim Mair (right), CEO, JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation, takes the time to have a chat with a resident of the Golden Age Home at the Feeding of the 5,000 charity initiative, where the JMMB team partnered with Feeding of the 5,000 to share the love and spread Christmas cheer to residents of inner-city communities, homeless persons and golden agers through this feeding initiative.-Contributed
The financial gains were by no means the same, but the feeling of well-being in touching the lives of individuals, making their lives more bearable and more worthwhile was very rewarding one.
Her desire to help others intensified when she left Food For The Poor and went to the Cancer Society of the Jamaica. This job hit close to home as her mother was a cancer survivor. Here, she did not view her tasks as work, instead, she thought it was a blessing to be a part of the lives of these beautiful, strong women.
Mair's professional life continued in this vein. Mair in her current position is leading her team to build a better Jamaica. "We need a country that is prosperous, abundant, and it is ours, so we are responsible." Focusing on education and entrepreneurship, they are on a mission to ensure that the lives of Jamaicans are meaningful and comfortable. Mair boasts that her team is like a close-knit family who do not hesitate at the call to volunteer. She chuckled as she added that at times she has to specify how many persons she needs so as to not have the entire office showing up at different events. This is quite comforting for her, as she believes this small group is a reflection of the wider society, so over time, persons will answer the innate call of service, eventually resulting in the paradise in the tourist advertisements.
In photo: JMMB team members and their family members came out to lend a hand in packaging donations during the recent Feeding of the 5,000 initiative which saw more than 1,000 individuals being fed, including residents of inner-city communities, golden agers and homeless persons, while the volunteers came out to spread Christmas cheer and share the love during the Yuletide season. Sharing in the moment are JMMB volunteers (from left) Suzie Haughton, Sophia Kennedy, Kaela Girod, Kelsey Girod, Abigail Mair, Kim Mair, Janet Francis and Carla Girod. -Contributed
Mair's life is quite the balancing act. However, she keeps up with the support of her family. She, along with her husband, who is the director of Food For The Poor, has passed on the helping genes to their three children, who are with her whenever possible at her charity events.