20+ women to watch in 2022

Debra Edwards
Stephanie Lyew, Debra Edwards

January 10, 2022

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With an aptitude for innovation, positive mindsets, leadership qualities, drive and ability to help others rise, there are so many women who inspire us daily. With 2022 on the move, Flair has compiled a list of 20+ fantastic and forward-thinking women from different fields to watch out for this year.

Nicole Campbell — Chief executive officer and founder of AIM Online Academy, and Goal Accelerator lead strategist

With extraordinary discipline and focus, Nicole Campbell continues to win. ‘Winning’ might be one of her favourite words. Campbell is dedicated to seeing Jamaica’s pupils successfully get into college through her company AIM Online Academy, she is also committed to helping other women and girls achieve their goals through her Goal Accelerator Club (GAC). For 2022, she intends to expand the impact of AIM Higher grants and scholarships for sixth-form students and hopes to start funding University of the West Indies students. Expect more from GAC and, with the help of her husband, Agent Sasco, the opening of eco-resort and creative retreat Mulberry Valley Estate.

Kerry-Ann ‘Chiney K’ Collins — owner of Joli Faire, influencer and radio host

Kerry-Ann ‘Chiney K’ Collins becomes ever more influential as the years roll on. In the past 12 months, the entrepreneur-turned-radio host has proven to be a strong contender in business, media and marketing. Collins has extended the reach of her brand Joli Faire with her organic, hair growth nourishing oil; created a niche on traditional and social media; landed a job as a radio host, and defeated her competition on the Social House series, where she won the $1-million prize. Before 2021 ended, she also landed a prestigious deal to work with the marketing team of Netflix’s Money Heist. She has two big objectives: to grow her company and add a wider range of hair and beauty products, and become a mainstay in the local and international landscape.

Ann Marie Clarke — Fashion buyer, merchandiser and Inclusive Consultancy co-founder

Back on the ‘Rock’ from London, fashion buyer and merchandiser Ann Marie Clarke is set to shake up the local fashion scene with her presence. The statuesque stunner, who has impeccable taste, was part of the team that brought us Bang! Swimwear, spotted on the likes of Rihanna and Cara Delevingne. Being all too familiar with the lack of representation and inclusivity that plagues the fashion sector, Clarke then co-founded Inclusive Consultancy in 2020 and is now home in Jamaica to expand local fashion and lifestyle offerings.

Syntyché Clarke — Caribbean Global Network director and host of ‘Chasing Purpose’

This NY transplant, who now calls Jamaica home, is a fashionista on a mission to have us all live out our true purpose with her The Bridge 99 FM and Irie Jam show, Chasing Purpose, where guests have candid conversations about nurturing their faith, pursuing aspirations, setting intentions and living boldly. Affectionately known as ‘Syn’, Clarke has big plans for Chasing Purpose and Caribbean Global Network in 2022, while simultaneously championing the creative endeavours of many locals.

Symone Currie — Chief executive officer and creative director of Metal X Wire

Designer Symone Currie is giving jewellery lovers something to lust over. Her unisex demi-fine jewellery line Metal X Wire is pushing the envelope with its delicate balance of elegance and edgy heirloom pieces. In 2021, the new brand caught the attention of international publications such as ELLE Magazine and POPSUGAR, and this year Currie is slated to launch her new collection ‘The Legacy’ with a mammoth campaign inspired by the West Indian culture. Flair got the scoop that Currie is currently working on a jewellery collaboration with a major designer that is slated to launch in April 2022. Her ambition is to continually inspire her community with pieces dedicated to celebrating the power of self, and she is definitely one to keep your eyes on.

Elaine Thompson-Herah — Sprinter and Olympic champion

An honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Technology is just one of the accolades Dr Elaine Thompson-Herah received last year. The iconic sprinter also won three Olympic gold medals at the Tokyo Games last summer. She also claimed the national record over 100m and was named the World Athletics’ Female Athlete of the Year. In a September interview in THE STAR, Thompson-Herah said she had her sights on the World Championships, which will take place in Oregon in 2022, where it is hoped that she will not only garner more individual success, but possibly the double. “I’ve not yet achieved a World Championship title, and I’m just gonna give it my all while I prepare,” said Thompson Herah.

Kibebi Johnston — Chief executive officer of Johnston Development Group, Barcode Jamaica, and Shoppable Jamaica

With the devastating loss of family members and the entertainment industry still grappling with lockdowns, due to the pandemic that affected her mobile bar service company Barcode, 2021 was not an easy one for Kibebi Johnston. However, through it all, she has held her head high and continued to ‘boss up’, pivoting with the start of online shopping hub Shoppable Jamaica and at the top 2022 announcing the birth of her newest venture, Johnston Development Group, which has been a lifelong dream of hers and will launch its first project in a few weeks. Word also has it that she has yet another venture coming for 2022, so we’ll be watching and wish her all the best.

Spice — Recording artiste and entrepreneur

There is no doubt that the year 2021 belonged to Spice. In June, the consummate entertainer kicked off a trio of performances with the Good Morning America Summer Concert Series, followed by Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Wendy Williams Show, performing Go Down Deh, her collab with Shaggy and Sean Paul. She released her debut album, 10, on VP Records label and was nominated for a Best Reggae Album Grammy Award. To top it off, Go Down Deh found its way on Barak Obama’s playlist. There is no telling what lies ahead in 2022.

Tanya Lee Perkins – Lead strategist of LEEP Marketing

As an athlete manager who has worked with notables such as Elaine Thompson-Herah, Briana Williams and Damion Lowe, LEEP Marketing lead strategist Tanya Lee Perkins will be expanding into the Caribbean and other international markets this year. “I’m increasing my portfolio to include a trailblazer in women’s football, with that announcement to come in a few weeks. I’m also expanding into other Caribbean markets, with a Trinidadian cricket legend to be added to the portfolio as well,” said Lee Perkins. “I’m partnering with a few stakeholders in media and marketing to host a series of workshops for 2022. It’s critical that our sports marketing and management efforts in the Caribbean evolve to match the talent of our athletes, and I would like to spearhead those conversations. I’m passionate about sports and will do what I can to further professionalise the sport industry.”

Sheree Martin- Head of retail banking and customer experience, National Commercial Bank

Sheree Martin has embarked on a thrust to delight customers who choose to bank both in-branch and online. While we can’t quite let the cat out of the bag as to exactly how just yet, we can tell you the financial maven has big plans to revolutionise the way we think of banking in 2022, ensuring that customers feel heard and seen. Look out for solutions geared at addressing and solving some of those pain points. “This year, our focus will be meeting the needs of Jamaicans everywhere who want to fuel their financial dreams and make powerful things happen for themselves and their families,” she told Flair.

Lititia Myers-Gray – President and CEO of Beryllium Limited

In 2021, she wowed us with the rebranding of Guardsman Armoured to Beryllium. For 2022, Lititia Myers-Gray will focus on the company’s expanded suite of services, particularly finance and technology outsourcing. As revealed at their relaunch event last November, she is leading a team that is working on a ‘BE Metaverse’ to support Jamaica’s transformation to digital, so that customers can make data-driven, insightful, and faster decisions. “We will also be moving into a new headquarters in the art district downtown and acquiring other properties across the island to house our expanded business offerings and talent pool,” said Myers-Gray.

Kimberly Patterson – Make-up artist and actress

Kimberly Patterson has been an established figure in the television and film industry for more than five years, working as a production assistant and wooing the cast with her knowledge of beauty care and skills in make-up artistry. Years of working behind the scenes paid off, as the vivacious personality zoomed further into the possibilities and landed her first acting role as the lead actress in the Nick Cannon-directed feature film King of the Dancehall in 2016. She has since been cast in featured and leading roles, and her most recent feature includes playing ‘Ruby’ in BET’s family crime drama series The Family Business. She continues to impress entertainment executives and members of the casts — such as veterans in the film industry Ernie Hudson and Valerie Pettiford — with her dynamic blend of talent, striking image and contagious spirit. She’s bound to charm her way into the hearts of many on the international film circuit.

Yendi Phillipps – ‘Odyssey With Yendi’ host

The former beauty queen and lover of life has us tuned in weekly to her show Odyssey With Yendi to see who she will interview next. Her innate ability to have real, candid and open conversations with guests, including Wayne Marshall, Shenseea, Ding Dong and many others, keeps us intrigued. This year, Phillipps plans to take Odyssey with Yendi global via interviews with international guests. Yes, people, as she likes to say, “That’s a word,” and we are on the edge of our seats to see what gems we will gain and who the 2022 guests will be.

Kalilah Reynolds — Chief executive officer of Kalilah Reynolds Media Limited

She’s our go-to lady for all things stocks and investments. Having carved out a niche for herself, this year Kalilah Reynolds of Kalilah Reynolds Media (KRM) is doubling down and investing in herself with a brand new studio, where her show Taking Stock will be filmed. KRM is a recipient of the Development Bank of Jamaica’s 2022 Ignite grant, and we can expect more breaking news and tons of engaging content coming from her company. She recently launched her masterclass and ebook Investing For Beginners, and will have more digital products coming this year. With an equal focus on information and entertainment, you may now also check KRM out on TikTok. “I really think this is going to be our breakthrough year,” she told Flair.

Shenseea — Recording artiste and entrepreneur

Shenseea continues to capture our attention. In 2020, she was the most streamed Jamaican artiste. Then, at the beginning of 2021, Shenseea received BET’s stamp of approval — being named the #BETAmplified Artiste of the Month, and continued on a rising trend, being featured on Grammy Award-nominated albums. Shenseea has also created history by being the first female to win the Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Award for Best Reggae Act. The past two years were defining for the entertainer, but there’s more to come, especially with her hinting that fans will not have to wait for much longer for her debut studio album, which is slated to be released early this year.

Dionne Sinclair – Registered nurse and fitness professional

At five feet four inches, Dionne Sinclair stands like a pillar of strength and success. Born in the parish of Manchester, Sinclair has come a far way to earning the position of vice-president of Complex Care & Recovery, and chief nursing executive of the largest mental health facility in Ontario, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. And she did not stop there. The new year just began, but Sinclair is already turning heads — named one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women for 2022 — she has been added to a list of women trailblazers in healthcare, academics, entertainment, fine arts, philanthropy, law and politics. Sinclair shared her recent achievement on Instagram, stating that she was “humbled” by the honour that has been bestowed on her.

Jacqui ‘Juicy Chef’ Sinclair – Nyam and Trod principal

“Food is love and should be shared” is Jacqui ‘Juicy Chef’ Sinclair’s motto…and we thank her for it. She started Meatless Monday Global in Jamaica circa 2011 and is part of the team that brought us Kingston Kitchen. Now she keeps us salivating on fun Caribbean flexitarian journeys with her boutique food brand Nyam and Trod. Expect fantastic grub, cocktail recipes and much more from this nomadic food-loving soul through Nyam and Trod in 2022.

Daniela Stone — Fashion designer, owner of DTS Swim

Luxury swim and resort wear designer Daniela Stone made her debut on the runway of Miami Swim Week, which featured well-known and upcoming designers from more than 60 countries. The show, which took place last summer, introduced the designer and her 15-piece, all-white, hand-made collection to a large international audience which boasted attendees such as hip-hop socialite and designer Angela Simmons and rapper Saweetie. Stone said she is in the midst of stitching her Easter collection, which should be released late March, and has high hopes to be on another major runway; if not, to return for another round of Miami Swim Week. Her swimwear designs keep away from the traditional bikini and monokini prototype, embracing textiles of all types and patterns, and including elements of her culture that she proudly promotes with names like ‘Banga’, ‘Gwan Suh’ ‘Cocoa Gyal’, among others. Anxious to see what she has in store for 2022? So are we.

Monique Walcott — Chief executive officer and founder of MSW Events

There is no mention of top Jamaican wedding and events planners without mentioning this go-getter. Monique Walcott is the mastermind behind events for some of Jamaica’s most high-profile figures, and she pioneered the mass wedding event known as 14-14-14 in 2014 – a one-of-a-kind experience for couples who believed they could not have the wedding of their dreams. With plans to relaunch the event placed on hold due to the pandemic, the innovator says she has “returned to the drawing table and has lots of ideas that MSW Events will bring to life” this year, while she works on several other projects with other collaborators in the entertainment, hospitality and tourism industries.

Chenele Wallace — Fashion designer and owner of Cochen Experience Ltd

Part of the mother-daughter team behind Cochen Designs, Chenele Wallace has long dreamed to transform the brand into a brick-and-mortar business. And while many entrepreneurs played it safe in 2021, Wallace dared to defy the pandemic. She started by opening the doors to her store in Kingston before the final quarter — it proved not only to be a dreamland for brides, but fashion-forward women and girls of all ages. Cochen Bridal, under the Cochen Experience, has gained recognition as the brand that meets the expectations of brides who want beautiful wedding gowns on a budget. As Wallace prepares to launch her website for the brand, it’s likely she will not only catch the eyes of women getting ready to say ‘I do’, but international fashion magazines are likely to say ‘we do’ want to feature this Jamaican designer.

Briana Williams — Sprinter and Olympic medallist

If you have been watching the growth of this track star from high school, you know that 2020 was just the beginning of her making her mark on the field. Sprinter Briana Williams is already a record holder and has received several awards, including the Austin Sealy Award at the CARIFTA Games. Williams’ ambitions don’t stop at winning awards and world titles. Once she continues to progress at her present rate, she could easily emerge as a star at the World Championships in Eugene, and the Commonwealth Games in the United Kingdom.

lifestyle@gleanerjm.com

Debra Edwards

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Debra Edwards

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