Four remarkable Jamaican women

Lisa Hanna, Israel Minna, Anne-Marie Campbell and Constance Witter By Claudette de la Haye Caribbean Financial Network News
Lisa Hanna, Israel Minna, Anne-Marie Campbell and Constance Witter
By Claudette de la Haye
Caribbean Financial Network News

As this year’s Black History Month comes to an end, it’s a good time to look at strong Caribbean female leaders from the political and commercial landscape both a-yard and abroad.
Looking for positive examples of Caribbean women, one could rightly ask, why are our women not being profiled globally outside of Jamaica and the Caribbean for their courage and intellect?
One reason may be that globally many Caribbean media outlets are owned by Black males who dominate print, radio, online and cable.
Here are four examples of Jamaican women who are giving men a run for their money and more.
MP Lisa Hanna, former minister of youth and culture and former Miss World.
Hanna was appointed to the portfolio on Jan. 6, 2012, and was MP for Southeast St. Ann which she represented since 2007 when she became the youngest female constituency representative in the People’s National Party.
At the University of the West Indies, she read for bachelors and masters degrees in communications. As minister her duties led a demanding challenge of 220 weekly reports of child abuse which are reported to the Child Development Agency (CDA) and Office of Child Registry (OCT). These reports kept her awake at night but Hanna maintained her staunch resolve for guidance, mentorship and protection of children both at home and in the Diaspora.
Hanna’s party lost to the National Labour Party in the recent election.
Israel Minna, first Caribbean female president, Regional Bank.
On Sept. 2, 2013, Minna was appointed special advisor to the vice-chancellor (UWI) on resource development. Prior to this appointment she held the position of distinguished business fellow at UWI Mona School of Business & Management, president of RBC Royal Bank Jamaica; managing director of Scotiabank (Bahamas); and executive vice-president and deputy CEO of the Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica.
Minna received a number of local and regional awards, the latest being the UWI Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
She was the first female elected president of the Jamaica Bankers’ Association, and is chairperson of the MSBM, a Rotarian and a member of the Women Leadership Initiative. Over the past year, Minna was appointed to a number of public and private sector boards including First Global Bank, RJR Group, Carined Ltd., National Housing Trust and Public Accountancy Board.
Minna holds an MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business and a BSc in management studies from UWI.
Ann-Marie Campbell, Home Depot executive vice-president, U.S. stores.
Campbell began her career with Home Depot in 1985 as a cashier in South Florida. Today as executive vice-president, U.S. stores, she leads the company’s three U.S. operating divisions comprised of nearly 2,000 U.S. stores and the bulk of the company’s nearly 400,000 associates.
She learned her first lessons in retail from her grandmother in Jamaica, a successful retailer in her own right. After more than 30 years with the company, Campbell boasts a deep understanding of Home Depot’s operations, culture and customers.
During her career at the company, she has served in a variety of positions, including store manager, district manager and regional vice-president. She has also served as vice-president of operations, vice-president of merchandising and special orders, vice-president of retail marketing and sales for Home Depot Direct, vice-president of vendor services and, most recently, president of the southern division of Home Depot.
She is a graduate of Georgia State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s in business administration She serves on the boards for Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business, Barnes & Noble and Potbelly Corporation. In 2014, Fortune Magazine listed her among the top 50 most powerful women in business.
Constance Witter, Jamaican activist behind President Barack Obama’s historic immigration policy, Dream Act.
Witter, popularly known as Connie, is a journalist, PR consultant, English teacher and drug addiction counselor. After graduating from Immaculate High School, she went to work as a reporter for The Gleaner Company which later awarded her a scholarship to pursue mass communication studies at the University of the West Indies. She subsequently received training in with the BBC in electronic media.
Witter was an advocate and initiator of the petition in which on June 16, 2012, Obama, speaking from the White House, announced a long-overdue policy that gives legal status to young immigrants, including students and members of the military.
Hundreds of Jamaicans are expected to benefit from what has been dubbed the Dream Act which is summed up in one sentence by the first African-American U.S. president: “It makes no sense to expel talented young persons who are, for all intents and purposes, Americans.”
She worked with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation (JBC) as a reporter and presenter before her promotion to the position of regional manager with responsibility for the parishes of Portland, St. Mary and St. Ann. She recently received a Congressional Award for voluntary work in the U.S. and as executive member of the Caribbean American Heritage Co