Diana Stewart is known and celebrated as a leading socialite who has morphed her role as matriarch of the Stewart clan into that of also being a celebrated businesswoman. Along with her husband Richard, she was jointly nominated as Outstanding Business Leaders of the Year, in 2008.
She is a very hard worker, both in the family business and tirelessly as a philanthropist, lending a helping hand to many causes, charities, institutions and individuals, as she tries to be an agent of positive change.
Diana Stewart recently celebrated 50 years of marriage and lives life to the fullest, ever mindful of a near-fatal experience along her life's journey. That became a life-changing experience, socially and spiritually.
Today, we share 10 things you didn't know about the dynamic business leader and philanthropist.
1. She was born in Slough, Buckinghamshire, England, to Jamaican father and an English mother, and came to Jamaica as a child and thought it was the most beautiful country in the world. A fiercely loyal and committed Jamaican, she later received her citizenship.
2.She was educated both in England and Jamaica, completing her studies at the Immaculate Conception Business School after her parents refused her request to remain in England to study occupational therapy.
3.She had a major accident and, after being treated in Jamaica, her parents took her to the United States where they were told that she would never walk again or have children. A feat of endurance, she walked in 10 months and went on to have five children, two survived.
4.Taught fashion designing and pattern-making skills at her home to female residents of Industry Village, Gordon Town, in the evenings after completing her daily job at Stewart's.
5.Has served as a director of the board of supervision, focusing on care for the elderly and disenfranchised, and had a stint as a committee member of the National Chest Hospital and was able to engineer the much-needed reroofing of one of the wards.
6.Sponsored an east rural St Andrew cultural community group, comprising approximately 300 teenagers who participated in a 1980s Independence grand gala at the National Stadium. They later went on to win the gold for their performance of The Rise and Fall of Bedward. This was her way of giving back to the community, and an opportunity to empower members of the community.
7.She is an active member in community development and her role in AmCham enabled her to be an agent for enacting change. This saw her piloting the establishing and building the Community Policing Facility in Grants Pen, as well as the building of an upgraded and modern facility to house the Edna Manley Health Centre.
8.She is a conscious corporate citizen who has over the years concentrated in developing Stewart's Auto Sales into the world-class dealership it is today. An equally important aspect of her mission is the nurturing and development of the talents of members of staff.
9. She is the devoted grandmother of three granddaughters and three grandsons and a dog lover. She is 'mother' to eight dogs. An avid orchid lover and a homemaker, she enjoys entertaining but truly enjoys and is motivated by frequently organising numerous social and cultural interventions for the purpose of building bridges of communication and cooperation between marginalised communities and the police in these communities.
10.In 1962, at age 19, she married Richard Stewart.