Three female stalwarts have been honoured for their significant contributions to the maritime industry locally and regionally.
They are Valerie Campbell, Claudia Grant, and Antonette Wemyss-Gorman.
Antonette Wemyss-Gorman is a Commanding Officer of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Coast Guard.
She enlisted in the JDF in 1992, and she was appointed the first seagoing female officer.
Wemyss-Gorman rose through the ranks to become the first female commanding officer of the JDF Coast Guard.
She also served in the capacity of Deputy Director of Marine Transport at the Ministry of Transport through a secondment arrangement, and also did a stint as second-in-command of the JDF Air Wing.
She became the first female in the JDF to attain the rank of Commander (2014) and also Commodore (2019).
Wemyss-Gorman is the most senior-ranking servicewoman in the JDF and in the Commonwealth Caribbean.
She commands one of the largest formations in the force, with responsibility for the Maritime Air Cyber Command Operations.
Another of the recipients, Valerie Campbell, is the first Terminal Manager of Kingston Wharves Limited, and was the first woman to serve in the capacity of Operations Manager at the facility (2013).
She served in various other capacities, including Safety Manager, Security Manager and Claims Manager.
The 18-year veteran certainly has asserted herself in the male-dominated field of port operations.
The other awardee, Claudia Grant, is Deputy Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ).
She has dedicated almost three decades to the maritime profession.
Grant, who previously served at the CARICOM Secretariat, spearheaded the establishment of the MAJ.
She also successfully managed the Project Unit at the Ministry of Transport, and was instrumental in the development of policies, systems and procedures for establishment and operation of the Jamaica Ship Registry.
The three women were awarded at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston recently during a fundraising dinner hosted by the Women in Maritime Association Caribbean (WiMAC).
WiMAC is the regional arm of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) women’s movement.
President of its local chapter, Nicole Wickham, told the state-owned Jamaica Information Service that celebration of the three women is in keeping with the IMO 2019 theme – Empowering Women in the Maritime Community.
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