Gleaner journalist gets CMEx leadership award
Gleaner journalist Janet Silvera has received a Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx) Leadership Award at a ceremony in Miami last Saturday.
Recognised as an early champion of sustainable tourism in the region, Silvera was lauded by the CMEx panel for making a lasting contribution to Jamaica and the Caribbean’s tourism industry.
CMEx brings together journalists with government officials, private- sector and community groups to discuss the use of tourism to benefit not only the economies of countries and territories, but also to enhance the environment, health, education, and culture of Caribbean destinations.
“We are delighted to honour Janet Silvera who, early in her distinguished career, recognised the need to ensure tourism, the region’s largest sector of the regional economy, was carried out responsibly,” said CMEx President Bevan Springer. “At times, she has to communicate some uncomfortable information, but she fearlessly speaks truth to power.”
Silvera said of the many honours she has received, the CMEx Leadership Award was particularly close to her heart because of her long connection with the non-profit organisation: “Since I first participated in their meetings as a young journalist, I have seen CMEx successfully influence the coverage of sustainable tourism in the region, to the point where travel and hospitality developments have moved from the lifestyle columns to the business pages.”
Other laureates of the prestigious CMEx Leadership Awards were veteran airline executive Christine Kennedy of Delta Air Lines; Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen; Muriel Wiltord, director of The Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau; Commissioner of Tourism of the US Virgin Islands, Joseph Boschulte; Frank Comito, CEO and director general of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association; Andy Ingraham, president and CEO of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers; Neki Mohan, television news anchor and reporter; Marlon Hill, a leading business lawyer; Richard Garafola, senior manager, Royal Caribbean Cruises; and Dr Binoy Chattuparambil, clinical director and chief cardiac surgeon of the highly acclaimed Health City, Cayman Islands.
Silvera made history in June 2012 when she became the first Jamaican to receive the Marcia Vickery-Wallace award for travel journalism by the Jamaica Tourist Board, and in 2009 she was named the Press Association of Jamaica News Journalist of the Year. In 2006, she received the American Express/Caribbean Hotel Association award for Excellence in Tourism Reporting.
Spending her early career at the Jamaica Tourist Board, Silvera later moved to The Gleaner Company, where she was appointed coordinator and senior writer of the bimonthly tourism trade publication Hospitality Jamaica.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, with first class honours, in media and communications at CARIMAC, University of the West Indies, and also completed an event certification programme at George Washington University in Washington, DC.
She was elected president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry in June.
Silvera is an advocate for education and was chairman for six years at the Caribbean’s largest early-childhood institution, the Montego Bay Infant School. Also a philanthropist, she sees her most important achievements as creating MoBay City Run, which has raised more than J$23.5 million for education, and founding Sarah’s Children, which protects abused children and the elderly.