Sat | Nov 28, 2020

Valerie Veira recognised for stellar contribution to public service

Published:Friday | August 9, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) Valerie Veira has been awarded the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) for stellar public service and visionary leadership in the field of industrial development.

The announcement was made on Independence Day.

With an illustrious track record in business development, Veira has distinguished herself as a highly motivated communicator with organisational, negotiating, and industrial-development skills. She has led the JBDC since its inception in 2001, when she was appointed by then Prime Minister P.J. Patterson.

The JBDC, which is the premier government agency providing business development services to Jamaican micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs), has grown exponentially under her watch.

“When one thinks of MSME development in Jamaica, the name Valerie Veira comes to mind, and that’s why we call her ‘Mother of all MSMEs’. I have had the honour of working side-by-side with her for more than 20 years and have seen her build JBDC from ground zero. When we moved to Camp Road in 2001, what we found was a canvas to begin our art. But her excellent negotiation skills and passion for the MSME sector were the pillars on which we stood. Today, the JBDC stands proud as the thought leader and only business-development entity of its kind offering a full range of services ‘From Concept to Market’”, said JBDC’s Deputy CEO, Harold Davis.

Veira has served on several boards, including the Devon House Development Company Ltd, the National Youth Service, the Museum of History and Ethnography (Institute of Jamaica), the Churches Cooperative Credit Union Ltd, the Centre for the Development of Enterprise –Belgium, the University of Technology, Faculty of Education and Liberal Studies, among others.

She holds several academic qualifications including a master’s degree in public administration from the prestigious Harvard University.

“Despite her many accolades, she is still that girl from Mandeville who came to Kingston and won the hearts of many on her way to making an indelible mark on the ordinary Jamaican with a dream of becoming an entrepreneur. In fact, she prides herself on the ability to work effectively as part of a team, relating to all levels in the chain of command and clients at all levels and size of operation,” Davis added.

Veira is among 143 persons set to receive national honours in a ceremony on National Heroes Day, October 21.