WOMAN OF DISTINCTION AWARD
HER EXCELLENCY AMBASSADOR
AUDREY P. MARKS
Her Excellency Audrey Marks is Jamaica's thirteenth Ambassador to the United States of America and the Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the Organization of American States (OAS).
Ambassador Marks assumed duties at the Embassy in Washington, D.C. on September 12, 2016. She previously served in the same capacity for two (2) years from 2010 - 2012, thereby creating history by being the first Jamaican female Ambassador to the USA, and also the first Ambassador to be assigned to the same Post twice.
ORDER OF THE GRIFFIN AWARD
DR. JOSEPH LLOYD TAIT
Dr. Joseph L. Tait a New York based retired veterinarian and JCOBA-NY’s primary benefactor, graduated from Jamaica College in 1953. He continued his studies at Mico Teachers college before matriculating at New York University, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1962. He subsequently attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1968 - the only person of colour in his graduating class.
His history of trailblazing continued when he became the first person of colour to establish a veterinary medical practice in New York City; the first person of colour appointed President of the NYC Veterinary Society and the first person of colour appointed to the New York State Board of Veterinary Medicine.
MASTER OF CEREMONIES
MS. CARON CHUNG
Caron Chung was born in Jamaica and spent her early childhood there before moving to Northern California with her family and eventually going on to college to study marketing at New York University in bustling Manhattan.
However, her heart has remained with the land of her birth and she has returned to it many times to visit, live and work. Since 2010, she has been able to fulfill a personal mission to help improve the lives of Jamaicans and raise the country’s economic profile through the dedicated non-profit American Friends of Jamaica, Inc. (AFJ).
Alan Hobbins, an acclaimed Jamaican-born pianist and alumni of Jamaica College, has found his artistic home in Canada. Renowned for his performances characterized by concise and clear beauty, his playing is accompanied by a captivating blend of passionate bravura. Alan's CD recordings have garnered widespread critical acclaim, celebrated for their poetic artistry and evocative lyrical imagination.
With his exceptional talent, Alan has delivered numerous successful solo and chamber music concerts in prominent cities such as Toronto, Waterloo, London, Ottawa, New York City, and Kingston. His performances have graced renowned venues including The Royal Conservatory of Music, Glenn Gould Studio, St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, National Library of Canada, Toronto Centre for the Arts, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York, and the Ward Theatre in his homeland of Jamaica.