Mr. Leighton Smith currently serves as the Acting Chief Representative Officer at Victoria Mutual Group in London, United Kingdom. Mr. Smith holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of New Orleans and has over 15 years in the Financial Services sector.
Mr. Smith has held posts such as Retail Branch Manager with GraceKennedy Financial Group, Senior Manager - Advertising & Marketing Promotions with Capital & Credit Financial Group and Assistant Vice President - Sales & Service Victoria Mutual Building Society in Jamaica before taking up his current post in London.
With over 15 years of experience in the geospatial sciences with engagements spanning several territories across the Caribbean region, Valrie is helping government and corporate entities develop data driven geospatial solutions to address organizational challenges and meet corporate goals. She is the immediate past president of the Caribbean Urban Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Chapter, a former board member for URISA International, a member of United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) Americas Caribbean Project Technical Committee. She maintains several certifications, affiliations and memberships. Valrie is not only involved in her industry but in enabling Entrepreneurship regionally and specifically in working with women Entrepreneurs. She is an accredited facilitator by the World Bank/ Infodev Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC) Accelerator Program. She is the immediate past president of Women Entrepreneurs Network (WENC) Guyana Chapter. She is the Chairperson of the Small Business Council, Guyana.
Valrie has received several recognitions and awards including NCB, “Women in Business” Award for 2013, The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce (JCC) Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2014, The University of Technology Trailblazer award in 2015, The Commonwealth Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2015, and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Young Business Executive Award (2016), ROSA Distinguished Alumni Award (2017)
Her academic background includes a BSc. degree in Geology from the University of West Indies and a MSc. in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Environment from the Manchester Metropolitan University, and post-graduate studies in Entrepreneurship.
Mrs. Jacqueline daCosta has held many senior positions in the Jamaican Government. These include Consultant Coordinator Special Programmes and Projects in the Cabinet Office, Technical Advisor to a number of Cabinet Sub-Committees and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Land and Environment, which included overseeing Physical, Urban and Sustainable Development Planning, Land Policy, Administration and Management and Environmental, Watersheds, Disaster Management and Hazard Mitigation, Mining and National Spatial Data Infrastructure. She also serves as the Senior Adviser on Land Policy and Physical Development to the Prime Minister of Jamaica and as a Consultant working in the Private Sector. She has been President of a number of Professional Associations including the Commonwealth Association of Planners, The Professional Societies Association in Jamaica and the Jamaica Institute of Planners.
Mrs. daCosta currently chairs the Land Information Council of Jamaica, the National Best Community Foundation and sits on several Boards and Committees including the Nature Preservation Foundation, the Jamaica Protected Areas Trust and Women's leadership Initiative.
Mrs. daCosta has received numerous awards both internationally and nationally. These include the UN Habitat Scroll of Honour, for her outstanding contribution to the development of shelter strategies both nationally and internationally. She has also been recognized by the Nature Conservancy for her service to conservation of Jamaica’s Natural Heritage; by the IMBAJ for her outstanding contribution to the Construction Sector; by the Government of Jamaica with a National Honour - The Order of Distinction, Commander Class (CD) for her contribution to the Public Sector; by the Commonwealth Association of Planners for her contribution to the organization while she served as its Vice President and the President. She also received a number of Awards from ESRI and URISA for her contribution to GIS development, Land Policy, Administration and Management in Jamaica and the Caribbean region.
Dr. Thelwell has over 25 years experience in business financing, accounting and investment management in various public and private sector organizations. His last public sector engagement was that of being the General Manager of the Jamaica Mortgage Bank, a government entity. He is currently President and CEO of the Financial Consulting Company, THELWELL INVESTMENTS LIMITED.
Dr. Thelwell is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter holder with the CFA Institute. He hold a Certificate in Education from Mico University College, a BSc. Degree in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies, a MBA in Finance and Investments from Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York, and a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from the University of Phoenix.
His passion is Economic Development.
Mr. Greg Babinski currently serves as the Finance & Marketing Manager at the King County GIS Center in Seattle, USA. He holds both a bachelor's and masters degree in Geography from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan and has worked as the finance and marketing manager for the King County GIS Center in Washington State for the past 15 years. The King County GIS Center is an internal service entity within the county.
Mr. Babinski is is credited with spearheading a study of the long-term cost benefit of an Enterprise GIS in King County from 1992 until 2010. It revealed that during that 18-year period, King County accrued net benefits of between $776 million and $1.7 billion, with costs totaling $200 million.
Greg is also a long-time associate of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), where he has served in various national leadership positions, including secretary; treasurer; and, most recently, president. Mr. Babinski recently announced the GIS Management Institute (GMI), a new initiative by URISA which will develop resources and services that focus on promoting the advancement of professional best practices and standards for the management of GIS operations.