Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Norma Bailey-Moore: Boss of her own destiny

Published:Monday | June 5, 2017 | 6:00 AM
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In her early years, Norma Bailey-Moore would have been comfortable with the simple luxury of a solid pair of shoes. A teary-eyed Bailey-Moore took deep breaths as she recounted her days of wearing her rubber slippers that she constantly had to repair with glue, and when the glue could no longer do the job, she simply went without.

In photo: Bailey-Moore. -Gladstone Taylor.

Bailey-Moore hit hard times when she lost her mother at age 12. Her schooling also came to a halt, as her father did not place a high value on education. The middle child of three, she used what she learnt through the formal system as well as pulling from different situations around her, and desperate to survive, she became a force to be reckoned with. Her goal was to be independent and to make something of herself.

At 22, she joined the workforce as an administrative assistant at Chukka Cove in St Ann. Then, the establishment was simply a polo club, with limited activities. Bailey-Moore thought that she could up the offerings, and so she took a leap of faith that landed her high on the ladder of success.

Being acquainted with members of the Norwegian cruise line, she approached them with a business proposal. She thought it would be added value if the visitors to the club had the opportunity to extend their ride to the beach as she has often witnessed the horses being exercised in the sea. And there it was, the barefooted girl from Guy's Hill made a significant impression on the hearts and minds of her bosses by landing a deal that transformed their business. The patrons loved the experience of riding into the waves.

She chuckled and the tears in her eyes started to sparkle as she reminisced on the monetary incentive she received. In fact, it was way more than she had bargained for, as she continued to build on the experience by adding new tours and experiences such as zip lining, river tubing, a bicycle tour and the ATV tour, which led to the company adding new locations in Belize and Bahamas. Soon, Bailey-Moore became a frequent traveller by air and sea, always ready to pull from different experiences to build on what she had.

 

PRECIOUS MOMENTS LOST

 

Mother of two, Jodianne Murdock and Judeane Moore, and grandmother of just as many, Myah Lee and Morgahn, Bailey-Moore's life has unexpectedly turned into a dream. She admits that there were the downfalls - being constantly on the move, travelling for her job - Moore lost precious moments with her first child, Jodianne. "Jody went through school without me being present at a parent-teacher meeting or a school fair," she told Flair. It was, however, extremely important that she was able to provide a good life for her family - one better than what she had endured. Bailey-Moore also expressed that because she had branded Chukka as being a place of family entertainment, it allowed her to pick up on those lost moments with her offspring, as after school she would meet her at the location until they were ready to go home. It was this that lessened the strain in the relationship, and it also facilitated the building of strong family friends with other employees.

All things do come to an end, and so was it that a powerful force behind the expansion and success of Chukka Tours, after 25 years, decided it was time for something else. After being home for a while, Bailey-Moore was approached by a friend who thought her vast knowledge and expertise were being wasted. Again, the pro stepped out and helped to build the empire that is now Mystic Mountain. She stayed there for seven years, wearing the hat of the sales and logistics manager, making a significant mark.

In photo: Bailey-Moore. -Gladstone Taylor.

At present, she is the owner and operator of Zedoj on the Ridge in Ocho Rios, a business venture to keep her on her toes while supporting her daughter who is an events planner. She also operates a fleet of buses.

Bailey-Moore continues to be a pillar of strength to the persons in her life, constantly motivating them and helping in any way she can to add to the value of their lives. As if she was delivering the keynote address to a graduating class she told Flair, "I believe people should enjoy their lives. Wear the best clothes, eat the best food and just be happy."

She makes it her daily goal to positively impact the lives of her daughters and their families, as well as anybody who she comes into contact with.

tickoya.joseph@gleanerjm.com