JIS News

Using technology to drive Jamaica’s development will take centre stage at the upcoming monthly town hall meeting with Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Audrey Marks. This month’s “Let’s Connect” will take place on Thursday (22 July) at 7pm, EDT.

The event is being held in collaboration with the ‘Jamooglers’. The Jamooglers are a group of over 115 employees of world-leading search engine Google, who are of Jamaica origin and working in Google offices across the world. The group’s main purpose is to promote the development of digital skills among Jamaicans at home and abroad, and create a sense of belonging, especially for new employees of Jamaican descent.

The town hall meeting will feature outstanding Jamaican tech entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, such as special guest Kevin Reid – the former co-founder CEO and CTO of VirtuStream. The company was acquired by EMC for $1.2 billion, just seven years after he and his partner co-founded it. He is currently the co-founder at Blue Lagoon Capital and an active contributor to his family charity, which is focused on funding education and sport initiatives in Jamaica, among other ventures.

Also as special guest will be  Dr. Lloyd Carney, former CEO of Brocade until its acquisition to Braodcom for $5.5 billion. He is currently Chief Acquisition Officer at Carney Technology Acquisition Corp and an active contributor to the Silicon Valley Start-up Common (SVSC) which is an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, mentors and investors arranged to help get start-ups off the ground and growing. He also established Carney Global Ventures, LLC, an early round investor focused on proven individuals with creative technology ideas, and other ventures.

Ambassador Marks will be joined by David Sangster, COO for Nutanix software company and Honorary Consul at the Consulate of Jamaica in San Jose, California ,to cohost the event.

In announcing this month’s Lets Connect event, Ambassador Marks shared that it was decided to focus on Jamaicans in technology, highlighting the transformative developments being done by members of the Jamaican diaspora in the technology sector. It will also expose young Jamaican students and entrepreneurs to opportunities in this sector as Jamaica seeks to use technology to drive it’s post COVID-19 recovery.

Andrew Walker, convenor of Jamooglers, who works from the NYC offices of Google, said he was happy to be given the opportunity to connect with Ambassador Marks and the wider Jamaican family, “we are a ‘little but tallawah’ group that cares deeply about Jamaica and it’s future. Several of our members are engaged in meaningful projects giving back to Jamaica. We hope that this connection will help to build a framework that enables groups such as ours to expand our contributions to Jamaica’s digital development”.

The team meets regularly to discuss topics of national interest and hosts events on the Google campus celebrating their Jamaican heritage and culture.

“Let’s Connect” with Ambassador Marks offers members of the diaspora an opportunity to speak directly with the Ambassador about issues that are of interest to them, as well as to be updated on the Government’s policies and programmes and the Embassy’s activities.

The Ambassador will host various guests including ministers of government as well as key members of the diaspora, US government, and key players in various agencies in the monthly event.

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