The Digicel Foundation has wrapped up its 15th Anniversary celebrations and is looking to the New Year and to new leadership. CEO Karlene Dawson has announced her intention to step down, effective December 31, 2019 as she prepares to migrate. Stepping into the position will be Charmaine Daniels, a longtime volunteer with the Digicel Foundation and the current Vice Chair.
“In this, the 15th year since the Digicel Foundation was launched in Jamaica, there is so much to celebrate,” said Dawson. “The work of the Foundation has been fulfilling. While I will miss our team and our grantees, I am confident that Charmaine will successfully carry on the legacy which the Digicel Foundation has built.”
Daniels currently serves as the Head of Group Retail at Digicel. However, this St. Thomas native has always had her eyes set on charitable work. Serving others has been a trademark of Daniels’ life. Both her parents were missionaries and, before segueing into corporate Jamaica, she worked for an NGO that offered microfinancing loans to budding entrepreneurs.
“We are pleased that we were able to fill the CEO role with top candidate Charmaine Daniels from within the Digicel organisation,” said Jean Lowrie-Chin, Chairperson for the Digicel Foundation. “We are very grateful for the dedication of outgoing CEO Karlene Dawson who also served as a Board Director for nine years. The Foundation has gained tremendously from the contribution of both these exceptional leaders.”
Daniels described the work of the Foundation as “critical to improving the lives of Jamaicans – not just for those with Special Needs, but also at the community level.” Drawing her inspiration from Foundation patron, Denis O’Brien, Daniels hopes that the role will allow her to impact marginalised groups through the Foundation’s Community Development, Education and Special Needs portfolios.
Daniels holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree from the University of Florida. In 2001, the same year that Digicel launched its business operations in Jamaica, Daniels worked alongside Anbell — a dealer with whom Digicel had a close working relationship. In 2006, she joined Digicel Group as the Store Operations Manager and in 2015 became Head of Group Retail.
Daniels will begin her role as CEO of the Digicel Foundation on January 1, 2020.