WASHINGTON — The United States-based National Association of Jamaica and Supportive Organisations (NAJASO) will stage its 34th annual convention from July 14 to July 16 at the Marriott Hotel Renaissance Centre in Detroit, Michigan.
Just over 100 delegates and participants are expected to attend the event, which will be held under the patronage of Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks.
“This convention is important as it will give us the opportunity to review our performance and to look at finding new ways to improve our organisation as well as to assist our beloved country,” said NAJASO’s President, Roy Davidson.
He told JIS News that this year’s event theme: ‘Remembering the Past-Impacting the future’, reflects the commitment to build on the foundation that has been laid over the past 34 years to have a significant impact on the future.
Mr. Davidson stated that the organisation’s leadership is committed to encouraging Jamaicans residing in the United States, as well as American corporate interests, to renew their focus on Jamaica.
“It is important that new opportunities for investment be communicated to the Jamaican public at large and to those in the American business sector, who have an interest in developing economic partnerships with local players in the Jamaican marketplace,” he said.
The NAJASO President noted that in addition to facilitating trade and investment, the organisation is also focused on education. “This has always been one of our primary areas of emphasis. Since 1988, NAJASO has funded at least 20 scholarships in higher education at the University of the West Indies (UWI). This contribution has been broad… rationale is to make funding available regardless of the academic discipline,” he noted.
The scholarships, which average US$2,000, is made available each year to two students, who have distinguished themselves academically, but who also present a credible case for financial support.
Meanwhile, the annual convention will commence with a welcome reception with Mayor of Detroit, Dave Bing, delivering the keynote address. Activities on July 15 include an education and health seminar; luncheon; and business seminar featuring representatives from Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS), JAMPRO, Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and the McDonalds Corporation.
On July 16, the 34th annual general meeting and election of a new board will take place and the convention will end with the annual awards banquet and the induction of the new president later that evening. The keynote speaker at the banquet will be President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VMBS, Richard Powell.
A non-profit organisation founded in 1977, NAJASO is the umbrella association of Jamaicans and supportive bodies throughout the United States.
By DERRICK SCOTT, JIS Reporter