Fostering great minds ...
Campus director of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Western Jamaica Campus, Dr Luz Longsworth, and her staff outdid themselves by successfully executing the launch of the Mona School of Business and Management's (MSBM) inaugural international conference on Wednesday.
Longsworth and her team pulled out a full amphithreatre of conference attendees and well-wishers on the grounds of the western campus.
It was also a night of pride, as it was president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, William Mahfood, making his maiden speech since taking up the mantle.
The MSBM had brought together some of the greatest minds in business, investment and commerce, while drink sponsor, Caribbean Producers Jamaica, had them 'unwine' with some of the best wines available in this country.
It would be safe to say that the group of academics shared their knowledge for the two-day event, which ends today at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort, the host hotel, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.
Luz Longsworth, not known to remain quiet, and mayor of Montego Bay, Councillor Glendon Harris, welcomed the conference attendees, with Longsworth lauding the MSBM for finding the balance between academia and industry practitioners in the programme.
"This is the true role of the University of the West Indies, and, indeed any university, to provide a space that is conducive to the fertile exchange of ideas and practices that will ultimately lead to an improvement in the quality of life of our citizens," she said.
Holding the conference in Montego Bay, she said, was also a recognition of the university's commitment to move outside of its physical walls, "to quote the late professor Nettleford, 'bring the university to the people'".
Even more significantly, the conference is being held in Montego Bay where the business community is growing rapidly in large and small enterprises.