I have never won anything this big before

I have never won anything this big before – Roxanne Brown

Roxanne Brown, a native of Ocho Rios in St Ann, has the academic credentials to be considered a standout among administrative professionals, often referred to as secretaries.

Her positive attitude towards work and life is also worthy of emulation.

Therefore, it is not far-fetched that Brown, representing St Ann, has been declared the All-Island Administrative Professional of the Year 2018, outperforming four other finalists – Manchester, Portland, Kingston, and St James.

“I am absolutely elated and humbled,” she told The Jamaica Beacon. “I have never won anything this big before. This is important to me because I get to represent administrative professionals across Jamaica, who I believe are under-recognized in some instances.”

Brown’s knack for the job perhaps is an offshoot of her childhood experience, watching her late mother Faith Johnson sift through piles of paperwork at her desk inside Ocho Rios Branch Library for roughly two decades.

“She had been my inspiration,” Brown said, adding that the death of her mother in 2004 was a major blow to her.

“She did a lot of secretarial duties at the library. I still remember how she answered the phone at work, and I try to mimic that sometimes, but I don’t think anybody can get it right. I remember how she carried herself – always with a smile.”

“I used to go to the library where she was working; I was one of those children who didn’t get to watch cartoon,” added Brown, who spoke highly of her father Oscar Johnson too.

Not watching too much cartoon perhaps paid off for the scholar, who holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Lincoln University in the United States, as well as a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media and Communication from the University of the West Indies, Mona.

That is not the end of the academic journey for Brown.

“I really want to get a doctorate in human resource development in the very near future; I definitely will be called Dr Brown before I die,” added the past-student of Buckfield Basic School, Ocho Rios Primary, Westwood High, as well as Moneague College – all in St Ann.

Brown told The Jamaica Beacon that one of her secrets to success is that she treats each opportunity as a stepping stone to the next opportunity.

“Look at every opportunity as preparing you for the next opportunity,” she advised especially administrative professionals across the island.

“Don’t remain stagnant; don’t just be satisfied or done settle. Motivate yourself to move on and experience all that life has to offer to you.”

That’s the type of message Brown, a former sales associate at Victoria Secrets in the United States, wants to resonate with people, including those who have been reaching out to her.

Brown stated that being declared the All-Island Administrative Professional of the Year 2018, for example, was achieved through teamwork – through people reaching out to her during the ‘nerve-wracking’ competition, which focused on areas such as qualification, deportment, and answers to questions.

“I had a very supportive and prayerful team behind me prepping me and encouraging me even when I didn’t believe in myself,” Brown said.

She expressed gratitude to her entire team, including Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios where she has been working for the last four years as Executive Administrative Assistant to General Manager Arnold Nugent. “I have a very fantastic boss; and I am not saying it because he is my boss,” Brown commented in relation to Nugent.

She further noted the sterling contribution made by the St Ann Chapter of the Jamaica Association of Administrative Professionals, as well as her family – including her daughter Chezzenne and the fireman she married 10 years ago, Dalton Brown.

“My husband is never shy to boast about my success, and it is really nice to have such source of motivation in my life,” Brown told The Jamaica Beacon – her voice filled with sincerity and gratitude.

– Horace Mills

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