Business | Keneisha Brown-Plunkett - A Natural Nurturer
“Mentorship is something I enjoy doing. It comes easy to me and that’s why I believe young people are usually drawn to me – it attracts them,” Keneisha Brown-Plunkett shared with a warm smile.
For many years, the St Andrew High School alumnus-turned-‘charge d’affaires’ for FLOW’s Business to Consumer (B2C) army has been mentoring and coaching various young persons in her trust, along with several others who she says have just been “pulled” to her gentle and endearing spirit.
“I have always been in a situation where I am well placed to give back and touch the lives of others both in my personal life and at work,” said Brown-Plunkett, who lists her aunt, a teacher by profession, as one of her greatest influences. “I grew up in Norman Gardens in east Kingston seeing both my aunt and my mom, who is a baker, take care of persons who were less fortunate than us,” she highlighted. It’s therefore no surprise that caring for others through professional and personal mentorship or through philanthropic service (through the Gift of Love Ja non-profit organisation) remains an immovable commitment in the busy executive and mother’s life.
At FLOW, Brown-Plunkett is in charge of retail sales, compliance, quality assurance and development across the more than 70 stores across the island. “I have worked in almost every customer-facing capacity across this business – from call centre agent to sales coordinator, to store supervisor and manager at the Sovereign store, to the role I serve in now. Basically, I ensure that the team keeps the ‘wow’ in every customer interaction,” she smiled. Keneisha maintains, however, that while she is no longer attached to a specific store location, she still makes it her business to frequently meet on board and interact with all her teammates across FLOW’s B2C network.
“I am able to relate to them because I have lived it. What is interesting to hear is some of the big dreams and aspirations that some of our young team members have,” she says with a proud grin. “I have young retail team members who are aiming to get into medical school, we have aspiring actuaries and pharmacists,” she shared. “Many of them find my office or call to seek guidance not only on business matters but also to get counsel and coaching on personal matters,” she reflected.
TEACHING LIFE LESSONS
For Brown-Plunkett, it is a privilege to be given the opportunity to help nurture their future aspirations while also teaching them some valuable life lessons through what is, for many of them, their first ‘real job’.
“I am honoured to ‘stand in the gap’ for many of these young women and girls who simply need a non-judegmental ear to listen to them and to provide unbiased advice. A big part of this is dependent on me being non-judgemental or ‘holding things’ against people. I remain cognisant that they are growing up in a world quite different from the one I grew up in.” Seeing these young adults flourish and accomplish their goals is all the reward Brown-Plunkett needs to keep her going, while she also motivates her three personal mentees aged 11, 15 and 20 years old.
Her husband Stephen remains the ‘wind beneath her wings’ and is one of her strongest supporters. Outside of her many ‘adopted children’, her 9-year-old son Karim remains her unrivalled pride and joy, and the pleased parents are already instilling the value of giving back and service to others from a tender age. “We are raising him to be respectful of others, to aggressively pursue his dreams and to never forget to help anyone he can,” the proud mother beamed.
As far as gender parity goes, Brown-Plunkett believes that both men and women bring unique offerings to the table and so balance is key. “Women, however, bring a more holistic and human view-point, and that is key,” she pointed out.