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Thank you, SVG


Thank you to the readers of this column, sponsors and supporters who helped to make last Saturday’s first annual Karen Hinds’ Phenomenal Woman Conference a smashing success. Many of you stopped me just to say you came because you read my articles, and I thank you for reading them over the last 10 years. Keep reading, please.{{more}}

For me, the conference was a realization of a dream over a year in the making. What I enjoyed most was seeing the eyes of women as they connected with a particular point made by our speakers. Knowledge truly is power, and there is absolutely no reason for men or women not to have access to information that can positively change their lives. So many of you talked about the mental shift that occurred in your lives on Saturday. Just remember, this is a process, and over the coming months you will need to keep renewing your mind to maintain your growth.

Mrs Lessie Williams from Rose Hall stole the programme. Her story should be a reminder to us as a nation that we should treasure our senior citizens, as in them lies wisdom to learn how to live better lives. I am honoured to have met her. Her spirit, faith, enthusiasm, and perfect eyesight even at 95 years old are an example to us all.

Thanks to Neil Savariau, Allison Demers-Campagna, Jenifer Johnson and Rosanne Small-Morgan, our speakers who made the conference exceptional. Each presenter resonated with different members of the audience, as it should be.

Planning this conference has confirmed so many things.

Quality people live here. There are lots of quality people in St Vincent and the Grenadines who are hungry to grow and learn and want better for themselves. We are no different from other societies. If you look closely, you will notice that we have world-class talent right here on our shores and we cannot afford to have them overshadowed or overlooked. Our planning team was excellence personified, as eight women with many differences united for a common goal; and it worked. This can be duplicated to build our nation.

Opportunity blockers abound. I watched as people who were given opportunities to pass on to others stalled the process, withheld information or just simply dropped the ball. It pained me to think so many can be so selfish and self-serving, especially when their job is one that is supposed to create or identify opportunities for others. Be careful when you block someone’s blessing.

Our young people are eager and smart. We had a stellar team of volunteers, the majority of whom were all under 30 years old, and all the people who introduced our speakers were secondary school students from Bishop’s College Kingstown, Thomas Saunders Secondary and the Girls’ High School. Our young people are sharp, and they are looking for positive examples and opportunities to shine. In the coming months, my company will begin laying the foundation to bring our Teen Success Institute to St Vincent, so we can make a contribution here.

Service is suffering. We aim to continue to attract women from different countries to attend. We had five countries represented this year, and next year we anticipate even more will come, as we market the programme and our beautiful island. Unfortunately, many businesses are not ready and neither is the public sector. Lines are still too long, and it’s not uncommon to enter an office/store and have five or more people sitting and yet no one greets you or asks how they can help you. Our contribution here will be to introduce our Distinctive Service programme to those companies who may be interested.

Maybe I am naïve or even idealistic, you can even call me “too American”, but I must believe that my SVG, our SVG, is capable of a turnaround—one where we truly shine as the Gem of the Antilles that we say we are. We can shine in offering exceptional service; we can care for our seniors and young people; and we can work together as a team to make St Vincent work. Yes, there are barriers to achieving this, but if we all start small in our own lives, we can make SVG sweeter.

We are already planning next year’s conference, so save the dates: April 11 and 12, 2014. Again, we will welcome people from different countries and showcase SVG on the global stage. We want to thank our sponsors: Lime, SEARCHLIGHT, Grenadine House, Acute Cosmetics, FirstCaribbean International Bank, Dynamic Guys, Vitamalt, OAS, Community Foundation of St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Mountaintop Springs. We also want to recognize Fedex, Allan’s Bakery, Coreas Hazells, Oasis Spa, Multigraphics, Dellightful Designzs, Dawn Smith, Rosemarie and Thyme, Basil’s Bar and Restaurant, Beachcombers, Beauty Shack, Sunshine, Veejays and Erica’s Country Style. Thanks to Dr Ken Onu of Healthy Lifestyles, who made it possible for women to attend who could not afford to. To the many companies who sent their employees, thank you for your support. Thank you, St Vincent and the Grenadines!

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected]
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