Warren Vernon browses the Internet in his office at the NCTVET complex in Gordon Town, St. Andrew. - Contributed photos
Warren Vernon is an information technology whiz going places. He's not your regular techno-geek, satisfied to spend hours solving computer-related problems and writing new programmes. He has infused his vast knowledge base with a dynamic entrepreneurial spirit.
Warren and his associates have launched an exhilarating and refreshing business website, GroGoo.com, which brings a breath of fresh air to the crowded and fast-paced cyber world. The website, which is registered in Canada and Jamaica, offers users the ability to upload advertisements on goods and services provided from a wide range of companies and individuals - from the corporate giant to the gardener. It also provides a medium for the world to upload jobs, rsums, life tips and events for free.
The site is visually appealing; that's because Warren is a young man with his finger on the pulse of what's the rage in the Internet community right around the globe.
Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica's second city, young Vernon's story is typically Caribbean. Raised by a single mom, he attended the Maldon High School in St. James, where he distinguished himself as a prefect and student leader.
From Maldon High he enrolled at the HEART Trust/NTA's Kenilworth Academy in Hanover, pursuing courses in informational technology and accounting. While at Kenilworth, Warren was a model student. After completing his course study, he was invited by then manager, Samuel Bowen, to return as a demonstrator and part-time instructor.
After one year, he was promoted to systems administrator at Kenilworth. His skills were also utilised by the Informational Technology Centre (ITC) of the National Training Agency in western Jamaica.
In 2000, Warren was seconded from Kenilworth to the ITC head office in Gordon Town, St. Andrew, as he prepared to read for his first degree in computing & information technology at the University of Technology. While excelling on the job, he also topped the classroom, graduating from UTech with honours, at the same time earning a promotion to systems engineer at work.
Warren has since completed his Master of Science Degree in Computing and Management Information Systems at the University of the West Indies, Mona. He has already applied to York to read for his PhD in Operations Management and Management of Information Systems.
Computer buff Warren Vernon reads from a Dell manual as he keeps up with the latest information in the IT world.
The 27-year-old IT dynamo says he owes much of his professional development to the HEART Trust. "I grew with the organisation. I am proud to say I am a product of HEART. They gave me a sense of direction and guidance at a time when I needed it most, and they really helped me to focus on my career and soft skills. For me HEART has been a lifesaver," says Warren.
The young entrepreneur is excited about his business venture GroGoo.com, which he hopes will take Jamaica and overseas by storm. "GroGoo.com came out of a need for small and large businesses to have another option to advertise. With our website, companies and individuals are able to upload their own ads and change their messages without paying additional fees. Also, they are able to view important ad statistics, such as how many people are seeing their products and services, and this can only enhance their competitiveness."
The website's slogan 'Where sellers meet buyers' says it all. GroGoo.com is an interactive website and a superb marketing tool. Since its launch in November 2006, the site has registered significant hits and is poised for phenomenal growth.