MIAMI – Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks, who is based in Washington, D.C., will pay her first official visit to the state of Florida from April 9 to April 13.
Mrs. Marks will also be the special guest at the seventh annual American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) gala, to be held on Saturday, April 9, at the Jungle Island in Miami.
This year, international reggae artiste and philanthropist, Orville ‘Shaggy’ Burrell, will be honoured by the AFJ, for his efforts in enhancing health care for children in Jamaica.
The Consulate General of Jamaica, in conjunction with several community associations and civic officials, has organised a number of activities for the Ambassador’s visit, during which she will interact with the Jamaican Diaspora community and civic officials in South Florida and Orlando.
Ambassador Marks will join in fellowship on Sunday, April 10, at the Holy Family Episcopal Church, located at 18501 NW Seventh Avenue, in Miami Gardens. The service will be officiated by the Reverend Horace D. Ward.
The following day, Ms. Marks will be guest of the City of Orlando, where she will be meeting with City officials. This will be followed by luncheon to be attended by members of the Jamaican American Association, the Central Florida chapter of the Caribbean Bar Association, the Central Florida Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce, and other Diaspora and civic leaders in the Central Florida community.
On Tuesday, April 12, Ambassador Marks will be the guest speaker at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Jamaica-USA Chamber of Commerce, in association with the Consulate General, at the Sheraton Airport Hotel, Dania, beginning at 7:30 a.m.
The Broward County Commission will welcome the Ambassador at 10:00 a.m. at the Commission’s Chambers in Fort Lauderdale, where she will be presented the keys to the County.
Later that day, Ambassador Marks will be guest lecturer at the Nova Southeastern University, Davie campus, where she will address students and faculty at the Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship.
The Ambassador will then interact with nationals and friends of the Diaspora at a public Community Forum to be held at 6:30 p.m., on the Nova campus.
Mrs. Marks, Jamaica's 10th Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), assumed duties in May 2010.
Ambassador Marks holds both a Bachelor and Master degrees in Business Administration from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, and Nova University, Florida, USA, respectively.
A career entrepreneur, Ambassador Marks is the founder of Paymaster (Jamaica) Limited, a multi-transaction company, which she conceptualised and started in 1997. It is the first of its kind in the Caribbean.
Prior to her appointment, the Ambassador served on several private and public sector Boards in Jamaica. She holds the distinction of being the first female President of the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica (AMCHAM), an organisation which promotes investment and trade between the United States and Jamaica.
She is the recipient of numerous citations and recognition from her peers and various organisations for her pioneering work, entrepreneurial endeavours and commitment to social causes.
Married with two daughters, Ambassador Marks enjoys playing golf, mentoring young adults and spending time with her family.
By CHERYL WYNTER