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Caribbean MBA Conference a success

Published:Saturday | January 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Laura Redpath, Senior Gleaner Writer

Nicholas Scott (left), a panelist at the 8th Annual Caribbean MBA Conference at the Hilton Kingston hotel on Thursday, talks with President of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica Joseph M. Matalon. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

BUSINESS STUDENTS, professionals and entrepreneurs gathered at the closing lunch of the Caribbean MBA Conference where they discussed management and investment strategies.

The eighth annual conference ended yesterday at the Hilton Kingston hotel.

Stacey-Ann Johnson, co-organiser of the event, said overall, the conference met her expectations.

"Everyone has truly spoken their minds," she said. "No one held back on the panels."

Johnson, with Jamaican parentage, lives in New York and will be completing a master's in international studies and her MBA early this year.

"This is the Caribbean MBA Conference and what I wanted to do was make it relevant to everyone who was here."

Persons from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana, the United States and Jamaica attended.

Michael Millington, MBA candidate at Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania and president of the Caribbean Institute Club, said the conference was designed to attract MBA students as well as locals who hoped to pursue MBAs in the United States.

Millington said discussing "issues of the day" was also on the agenda. These issues included raising capital in the Caribbean to encourage entrepreneurship.

"We wanted to discuss how to overcome those challenges."

luxury marketing

Other attendees included Letica Fox-Thomas, an MBA student at New York University Stern, who lamented tax difficulties and hopes to carve her niche in luxury marketing.

"I told the persons at FirstCaribbean that if they could relieve my debt, I'd happily come to Jamaica and invest. [However], I have to spend my time working to pay it off," she said.

Joni McKenzie of Rustique, Travelling Grill described the conference as "mind-blowing and insightful".

Attendees at the conference listened to Oliver Clarke, managing director of The Gleaner Company, share his insight on management and developing sustainability in Jamaica.

"Jamaica needs a foreign policy that builds our economy, and we must work out with the United States, Canada, Britain and our Caribbean friends, a foreign-policy arrangement that encourages harmony and support of mutual interests," Clarke said in his speech to those who were present.