Former CEO of FMC Denise Herrera Jackson returns to IT

Denise Herrera Jackson

After ten years with the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, Denise Herrera Jackson has left the Festival Management Committee (FMC) which puts on the annual extravaganza, to return to the Information Technology field. 

“I’ve worked in Information Technology for many years,” she told The Caribbean Camera  in a recent interview.

“Just last summer when we began working on a digital presentation of the 2020 Toronto Caribbean Carnival, I remembered that I had worked with a start-up 3D computer graphics/animation company on a Virtual Reality product for high tech and the SOHO (small office and home) consumer,” she said.

“In  fact I had produced a user guide that accompanied the launch of the product as well as marketing materials, news releases, and articles for various industry magazines.”

Herrera Jackson joined the FMC in 2010 as the Chief Executive Officer.  Her last position  with the organization  was Director of Government Relations and Public Affairs.

She said that her interest in the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, formerly known as Caribana, has been  “long standing.

“I volunteered on the parade route as well as participated as a masquerader.

“This festival is a celebration of who we are. It contains history, culture, talent, passion, and it has the commitment of all the persons who make it happen.”

Herrera Jackson  had been ” an independent contractor in the technology industry for more than 10 years.

“I interacted with developers, technology and business personnel on business and process analysis, operational processes and procedures, and in creating training and technical documentation.

“I also prepared Statements of Work for projects using various applications.  Some of the projects were very interesting, such as  the one where I learnt to encrypt laptops for security purposes.  I even worked on a project for a plastic surgery company – so interesting.”

She  recalled that she had  worked with developers whom she never met .

“Many of them were far away in Europe, United States, India, Japan, South America, or various provinces in Canada. 

“I was virtually working on projects in different time zones. Fortunately, I was able to work from home with these developers whose time zones were twelve hours ahead of Canada.

” I’ve been in this work-from-home business for quite some time.”

Herrera Jackson said she is  now quite happy ” to return  to IT,”

“I have so many friends in the industry – people I have worked with on  varoious projects and at so many companies. We still keep in touch,” she said. 

As she recalled, it was one of the persons from her “technology circle of friends” who  reached out to her during the summer and recommended that she continue her education by taking ” a DASA DevOps certification course.”

 “We had worked together on projects in the financial industry.  She told me:’‘You have the skills and talent. All you need is the certification. I am teaching the course. You will begin the course next week,’

” So I took took the ten-week course and then the exam which I passed.”

Herrera Jackson pointed out that ” keeping up one’s skills and knowledge is important when working in the technology field  which continues to change.”

 “I am not a developer, but I am very comfortable working in the field of technology because I am a user of the technology.

And as she explained,” the skills and knowledge that I attained over the years can be applied in so many different areas  such as teaching / coaching, training, and self-improvement.”

But she said as she gets caught up in ” the world of IT once more,” she has not lost interest in the carnival arts.

” My interest in my culture and my community remains very much alive.”