On Saturday, May 16th 2015, the first annual Men’s Leadership Conference – Wealth, Power and Success: Dream Big was a resounding success. The one day conference was presented by The Cave Hill School of Business/UWI (CHSB/UWI), in collaboration with First Citizens Group as they sought to provide a relaxed atmosphere for a number of men, and a few women, of diverse professional backgrounds to gather at (CHSB/UWI) to network, learn and receive valuable insight from experienced specialists drawn from various sectors. The panel ofspeakers included: Rev. Dr. Marcus Lashley – Clinical Psychologist; Mr. Larry Mayers – Radio Broadcaster; Mr. Matthew Farley – Educator; Mr. Ronnie Morris – Music Executive; Dr. Scott Cooley – Chiropractic practitioner; Mr. Christopher Harper – Entrepreneur and Mr. Richard Blades – Business Consultant and Trainer. The moderators were Mr. Unri Babb – Research Consultant, Mr. Sheldon Browne – CEO, ECM Inc and Mr. Jeremy Stephen, President of the Barbados Economic Society while Mr. Paul Puckerin– Educator, was the Master of Ceremonies.
Mr. Larry Mayers and Rev. Dr. Marcus Lashley were the featured presenters of the first segment “Growing Up Male in the Caribbean”. Mr. Mayers shared his views on the role of the media as it relates to the development of the youth throughout the region while Dr. Lashley provided scintillating descriptions of his early childhood experiences, which are detailed in his new book “Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Rum Shop”. Through humorous anecdotes, he maintained the attention of the audience as he covered topics such as “Men and Shame”, “The Value of a Name”, “Rituals of Passage” and “Absent Men”, among others.
The topic of increasing wealth is always well-received and the same can be said of the segment “Step ‘Up’: A Practical Guide to Building Wealth”, which featured presenters Mr. Chris Harper and Mr. Richard Blades. The members of the audience received useful advice on the approach to increasing their savings and gained insight on local opportunities for investment. Mr. Blades also dished out some food for thought through his discussions of “What Makes a Man Wealthy”, “How is Wealth Defined” and “Seven Questions to Success”.
As it relates to the area of men’s health, all issues brought to the fore were adequately addressed by Dr. Scott Cooley, who presented a lively discussion of Health and Wellness. Though filled with rich content, the conference was a light and entertaining affair which included Ronnie Morris’ revelation of his survival from a “shot” to the chest and near fatal “drowning” during the segment, Achieving Success for Moving On Up, which also featured Mr. Matthew Farley. Mr. Farley gave a wonderful depiction of his early life and the influence which his mother and grandparents played in his success. He shared what he believed to be the “Building Blocks for Achieving Success”.
Members of the audience also shared their own experiences, with one participant inviting his counterparts to invest their time and become mentors to male youth, who may need guidance through life’s challenges. By the end of the day, there was unanimous agreement that a grand time was had by all in attendance. Participant, Mr. Adrian Sealy summed up the event when he stated “This conference was an excellent opportunity for us to come together and discuss very relevant issues and concerns affecting men. It was also an excellent opportunity to hear from community experts and leaders on how we can improve ourselves as men in society”. The participants lauded the coordinators of the event for the distinguished panel selection and the smooth facilitation of the entire event.