Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey P. Marks will pay her first official visit to Florida beginning Saturday (April 9) through Wednesday (April 13). Ms. Marks begins her visit as guest of the seventh annual American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) gala to be held on Saturday (Apr. 9) at the Jungle Island in Miami. This year, international reggae artiste and philanthropist, Orville “Shaggy” Burrell will be honored by the AFJ, for his efforts in enhancing health care for children in Jamaica.
The Consulate General of Jamaica in conjunction with several community associations and civic officials has organized a schedule of representative activities as Ambassador Marks interacts with the Jamaican Diaspora community and civic officials in South Florida and Orlando.
Ambassador Marks will join in fellowship on Sunday (April 10) at the Holy Family Episcopal Church, at 10 a.m. The service will be officiated by the Reverend Horace D. Ward. The church is located at 18501 NW Seventh Avenue in Miami Gardens. The following day, Ms. Marks will be guest of the City of Orlando, where she will be meeting with City officials. This will be followed by luncheon to be attended by members of the Jamaican American Association, the Central Florida chapter of the Caribbean Bar Association, the Central Florida Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce, and other Diaspora and civic leaders in the Central Florida community.
On Tuesday (Apr. 12) Ambassador Marks will be the guest speaker at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce in association with the Consulate General at the Sheraton Airport Hotel, Dania, beginning at 7:30 a.m. The inaugural event titled “Movers and Shakers” will begin the quarterly series of the Chamber’s breakfast sessions.
The Broward County Commission will welcome the Ambassador at 10 a.m. at the Commission Chambers in Fort Lauderdale where she will be presented the keys to the County. Later that day, Ambassador Marks will be guest lecturer at the Nova Southeastern University, Davie campus, where she will address students and faculty at the Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship. Ambassador Marks will then interact with nationals and friends of the Diaspora at a public Community Forum to be held at 6:30 p.m., on the Nova campus.
Ambassador Marks, Jamaica’s tenth Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), assumed duties in May 2010. Ambassador Marks holds both a Bachelor and Master degrees in Business Administration from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, and Nova University, Florida, USA, respectively. A career entrepreneur, Ambassador Marks is the founder of Paymaster (Jamaica) Limited, a multi-transaction company which she conceptualized and started in 1997. It is the first of its kind in the Caribbean.
Prior to her appointment, the Ambassador served on several private and public sectors boards in Jamaica. She holds the distinction of being the first female president of the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica (AMCHAM), an organization which promotes investment and trade between the United States and Jamaica.
She is the recipient of numerous citations and recognition from her peers and various organizations for her pioneering work, entrepreneurial endeavours and commitment to social causes. Married with two daughters, Ambassador Marks enjoys playing golf, mentoring young adults and spending time with her family.