UTech, Ja/JMMB Joan Duncan Memorial Lecture to Offer Lessons on Leadership During Crisis

This year’s staging of the Joan Duncan Memorial Lecture to be broadcast live on TVJ on Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm will offer practical and timely lessons on “Leadership During Crisis.” The guest speaker, Keith Duncan, who is the CEO, JMMB Group; President, Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) and Chairman, Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) will leverage his vast experience in leadership to offer applicable advice in navigating crisis, such as the ongoing disruption brought about by the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

Bringing his expertise and experience to bear, Duncan will explore the role of transformational leadership at the corporate, industry and national levels. He will also delve into the need for public/ private sector partnerships in creating a pathway for nation-building and the realization of a shared vision, while also discussing the opportunities presented in this crisis and the importance of digital transformation.

The annual Joan Duncan Memorial Lecture, is hosted by the Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership (JDSEEL), University of Technology, Jamaica in partnership with the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation. The memorial lecture honors the vision, mission and passion of the late corporate leader and JMMB co-founder, Joan Duncan.

Duncan has served as Group Chief Executive Officer of the JMMB Group since 2005, where his financial expertise has significantly benefitted the Group, and also the Jamaican financial sector. He has been recognized as a true visionary and strategist, charting the strategic direction of the JMMB Group and building one of the strongest trading teams on the island.

Keith Duncan’s extensive years of service include roles as former President of the Jamaica Securities Dealers’ Association, Ambassador of Financial Wellness for the Environmental Health Foundation, and as board member for the National Youth Service (NYS) and the Youth Upliftment Through Employment (YUTE), among others. He has also held the post of vice president at the PSOJ from 2012 to 2014.

Duncan’s contributions in the areas of finance, business, youth empowerment and community development were recognized in 2020 by the Government of Jamaica, with the conferment of the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD). He continues to contribute his service to Jamaica through various roles, as a member of public boards and committees.

Chairman, JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation, Patricia Duncan-Sutherland notes that the theme for this year’s lecture is extremely relevant as, “This is unprecedented time and calls for leaders to have a strong vision, be possibility thinkers, and solution-oriented in their approach, even as they demonstrate courage in taking their businesses, communities and the nation forward with strategic decision-making and high trust environment where partnerships can be built and leveraged for a fruitful outcome. We want to use this lecture to challenge individuals who are leaders in their respective spheres of life, to lead with integrity, passion, purpose and resilience, even in times of adversity.”

Acting President, UTech, Jamaica, Professor Colin Gyles stated that this year’s lecture is particularly timely given the increasing need for leaders who will provide “innovative, strategic and unconventional ideas to guide our nation through the storm of this pandemic”, adding that “the practical lessons this year’s lecture will provide will redound to the benefit of all sectors of society.” He notes that the Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership (JDSEEL) at UTech, Jamaica “continues to be impactful in carrying out its mission to prepare graduates who are well grounded in the principles and best practices of entrepreneurship, business ethics and leadership.”

The public is invited to tune in to the live broadcast of the lecture on TVJ. on Sunday, May 16, 2021 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Background on the late Joan Duncan & JMMB Group

Joan Duncan is seen as the pioneer of the money market business in Jamaica, having co-founded the Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) Limited in 1992 with Dr. Noel Lyon. The company was formed after the late Joan Duncan was unable to convince the established financial houses to enter the money market. As a result, she braved all difficulties and entered the market through a joint venture with National Development Bank, Mutual Security Bank, Jamaica Producers Limited, Jamaica Venture Fund and Antrim Ltd.  

This tenacity and drive has been a legacy left by Joan Duncan (who transitioned at the age of 58), to start a company where any Jamaican could walk in off the street, take a few hundred dollars out of his or her pocket and invest it. Her dream also encompassed the creation of a different kind of work place from the traditional organizations she had encountered in the Jamaican business world. Instead, she built a company based on the Vision of Love, where employees would work in a fun-loving atmosphere, with a commitment to innovation and creativity, integrity and responsibility and each member of the team has the opportunity to learn and grow.

The company has become one of the leading financial groups in the Caribbean, boasting over 350,000 clients and J$7.07 billion (as at March 2020) in net profit.  One of Duncan's most notable achievements was being honoured posthumously, in 2011, through the official renaming of the University’s School of Entrepreneurship - The Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership, (JDSEEL).

The Joan Duncan School of Entrepreneurship, Ethics and Leadership (JDSEEL)

The JDSEEL, UTech, Jamaica is the first school of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean to offer a specialized B.Sc. degree in Entrepreneurship. The school officially started in February, 2010, and graduated its first cohort in November, 2014. It is also the first school of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean to have an active business entrepreneurship incubator centre – The Technology Innovation Centre (TIC) - for start-up businesses. The TIC has clients enrolled in various programmes and has recently been certified by Growth Wheel – one of the world’s leading incubation management programmes.

Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299 
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm