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Gary Robinson

Chicago, USA

Gary Robinson graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1972 with a BA degree and High Honors in Finance .2 years later, when his father passed,Gary took over his father’s produce brokerage business, Ruby Robinson Co, Inc., at the tender age of 23. He was able to survive the storm and develop the business into a nationwide enterprise.
 In 1991, Gary retired, and kept busy by trading his retirement portfolio and some entrepreneurial-type investments in other businesses and real estate. Having been a 30+ year visitor to Jamaica, Gary found his calling in 2011. On the occasion of his 60th Birthday, he decided to forego personal gifts and instead asked his friends to help him build a climate-controlled computer lab at the Little Bay All Age and Infant School in Westmoreland Parish, in a partnership with Rockhouse Foundation, This very worthwhile project was completed in a matter of a few short months.
This extremely proud moment inspired Gary to create his own nonprofit called Cornerstone Jamaica.While on vacation in Jamaica in Dec, 2011,Gary met social media superstar Alexandra Ostrow Beach, who shared his passion to attempt to change things in Jamaica for the better.. The first project they collaborated on was to supply top-quality garments throughout the Negril community, primarily children. With the help of Gary's wife, Cheri, friends in Chicago, and a crew of people in Jamaica led by Terry Williams,Latisha Murray, and Eujorie Myrie. this quickly grew from servicing 11 people to 80 to 150, at which time they decided to change direction. “Handing out fish” was a wonderful thought--but they wanted to accomplish something more sustainable-- to”teach people HOW to fish”.. In July of 2013, Gary attended the NAJASO (National Organization of Jamaican And Supportive Organizations) Conference in Montego Bay.. It was there at a Young Professionals Conference that he met accomplished business executives Cassandra Chase, Ryan Davy, Rawl Banton, and Sheldon Dyer, who agreed to join forces in the hopes of creating a great new platform.. Also in the mix was another rising business star, Winthrope Wellington, Managing Director of the venerable Traveller's Beach Resort on Negril Beach.
Gary feels honored to have been chosen to be on the Negril International Hospital’s board of directors and for the opportunity to work side-by-side with Mr. Winston Wellington, a man he has come to admire, respect, and love in a very short time.
 Empowerment is what is being preached. Constructing a social media footprint to create a heightened awareness of how other people can help in this beautiful country is also on the short-term horizon for Cornerstone Jamaica.
Krystal Robertson
Krystal Paige Robertson

Krystal Paige Robertson is a sunny young professional hailing from North Miami Beach, Florida. Her Jamaican roots add spice to her infectious, bright, bubbly personality. It is the pride in her heritage and dedication to helping underserved youth that spurs her commitment to Cornerstone Jamaica.

Professionally Krystal works in Miami Beach as a Health Coach helping young professionals and creative artists make the transition from a state of confusion and uncertainty about their life’s direction to one of clarity, assuredness, and success. As a classically trained actress and professional media producer, Krystal’s specialty is for helping her clients and students “re-write” the story of their lives.

Krystal earned her Bachelors in Radio Television Film Production from Howard University in 2010 and her Masters in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago in 2012. As a community leader in the cities of Washington D.C. and Chicago, for five years, Krystal worked with underserved inner-city girls ages 8-18, as a mentor leading workshops on self-esteem, identity, education, sexual health, and career training.

Sheldon Dyer
Sheldon Dyer

Dr. Sheldon Dyer, born and raised in Portmore, Jamaica, has served the non-profit community for many years and has been successful in mentoring young individuals in Jamaica and across the US in both social and professional arenas. His passion for the development and advancement of young professionals has enabled him to enhance the lives of individuals through business and religious seminars, community participation projects, and career coaching.

A District General Manager by profession, Dr. Dyer has held various positions within a multi-billion dollar Corporation, and currently serves as an Adjunct faculty member at the Liberty University School of Business, as well as a member of the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations Young Professionals (NAJASO YP). Sheldon currently holds a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration, a Master of Business Administration Degree in Finance, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resource Management.

An avid sportsman, Sheldon has played collegiate soccer as well as a starting player on US Hispanic Major League soccer teams in IL and CA. Sheldon enjoys playing table tennis, travelling and exploring other cultures, and spending time with family and friends. His ultimate goal in life is simple; to add value to each and every person he comes in touch with.

Jessica
Jessica Davidson

Jamaica

A product of humble beginnings, Ms. Jessica Pethrene Davidson is a dynamic young teacher from the bountiful parish of Westmoreland Jamaica. For Jessica, the act of teaching is not just a profession but a lifestyle and a special call of duty. It is a field where your perception, principles and morals are just as vital as your skills in instructions. This privilege of facilitating knowledge now serves as fuel for her endeavours of “being the change she would like to see” through the empowerment of education.

Armed with a diploma in Secondary Education, a Bachelors Degree in History Education and guided by a deep love for her country’s special blend of Jamaican strength, Jessica believes that it is our responsibility as a people to build our country one community at a time using the talents we have been uniquely blessed with. Through use of various platforms, she seeks to impact and influence others in moulding a better Jamaica than what currently exist.

As a former Festival Queen, she has been shaped into a cultural ambassador, speaking at various community organized events, sessions and schools with an emphasis on educational empowerment and national pride. The future is what we as individuals make of it and so we must become an active participant in it.

The spirit of service has always enveloped a major Jessica’s life and has manifested through her membership with the Rotaract Clubs and Rotary family at large across the Caribbean. She further embraces this call as Jamaica’s Governor General’s “I Believe Initiative” Ambassador effectively modelling that “there is nothing that is wrong with Jamaica which cannot be fixed with what is right with Jamaica”.

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Ryan Davy

New York, USA

Ryan Davy is a digital media professional from Jamaica who now resides in New York. In 2005 he co-founded his company XR Studio and offers multifaceted services including but not limited Website development, Website Maintenance Digital Ad creation and hosting. His roster of clients has included recognizable brands such as: Gerber Life, Standard and Poor’s and Viagra.

 

When asked how he got his start doing web development Davy explains, “I started a fan base music website in high school just for fun. The website started to get real popular and soon after people started to ask me to create their own site. When I realized people would pay me for this I was hooked!”

 

Davy graduated from Monroe College with a degree in Computer Information Systems. “I learned most of my skills by investing my own time outside of class and taking on small projects,” Davy explains as a true entrepreneur. After graduating Davy got his first job working as a Web developer at an ad agency.

Ryan credits his father and uncle for inspiring him and wants to take their business acumen and build upon it even more in his efforts to continue expanding his client base and his company’s services. Regarding how to be and remain successful in business Davy explains his approach. “I've learned how to stay calm, deal (with people and situations) reasonably, never under value my services and make meaningful connections.”

Anika Robinson
Anika Robinson

Anika Robinson is a people person with a creative mind! She’s full of life, down-to earth and a lover of art in all forms.  

A graduate of the University of the West Indies, Anika holds a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism. She is presently a Media Practitioner (Writer, Producer and Editor) and a licensed Realtor who resides in Kingston, but considers herself to be a real ‘countrygirl’ from Westmoreland, Jamaica.

She has freelanced on a number of investigative journalism projects for Global Reporters for the Caribbean; producers for TV Magazine 18 Degrees North, Hype TV, Newstalk Radio, Television Jamaica (TVJ) and most recently a full time Producer at Business Access TV (batvja.com)

As young as she is, she has always believed and demonstrated the importance of giving back and positively impacting/shaping the minds of youths from executing community building projects to her involvement with other non-profit ventures.

She is very proud and excited about Cornerstone Jamaica, the vision of the organization and the endless possibilities it offers to young passionate souls to play their part to achieve a better Jamaica and by extension a better world!

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Winthrope Wellington

Negril, Jamaica

Winthrope Wellington was born and raised in Long Island in New York. He attended the University at Albany where he received a Bachelors of Science in finance and management.

 

From there, he joined his family’s business and migrated to Negril Jamaica to work with his father to help run their hotel, Travellers Beach Resort. After 4 years of being with the hotel and working his way up to become the general manager Winthrope decided to further his education and pursue his MBA at Babson College in Wellesley Massachusetts where he focused on Finance and Entrepreneurship. Upon graduating, he rejoined the family business and assumed the role CEO of Travellers Beach Resort.

 

Winthrope is also very involved in the local community where he currently holds the position of First Vice President of the Negril Chamber of Commerce and is a Negril councilor for the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA). He is also a board member for the Negril International Hospital, an initiative to build a hospital for Negril started by his father. In addition, he is the President of the Negril Education Environment Trust (NEET), another non-profit organization started by his father that focuses on educating the youth of Jamaica through it’s book and computer donation distribution, free computer literacy classes and building libraries and computer labs throughout the island of Jamaica.

 

Mark and Cate
Mark and Cate Toney

Mark and Cate Toney moved to Jamaica December 16th ,2014, three weeks after they got married.

They work hand in hand with three different ministries/nonprofits: Mission of Sight, Morning Star Ministries, and Cornerstone Jamaica. During the week they visit primary schools with a Plus Optix Portable Screener to do free eye testing on kids .On the weekend they travel way up into the mountain of Good Hope in Santa Cruz, where they work with a woman by the name of Nurse Karen, who started Morning Star Ministries after moving to Jamaica 15 years ago. A few years ago Nurse Karen took on about 5-10 boys and started investing in their lives. She started taking them through a biblical leadership class. The kids who have graduated from her class have gone on to work professionally in Jamaica and have become world changers. The Toneys now lead this ministry, and it has grown to over 40 kids. On Saturday Cate runs a day camp for the little kids (12 and under). Cate says, “These kids on the mountain have become our family and have so easily worked their way into our hearts. They don’t come from much and some have the hardest stories I have ever heard but when they walk up to us with a big smile on their faces, I have never seen more joy.”

Then there is Cornerstone Jamaica ..Cate says,” We have just recently become partners and could not be more excited. This is a way that we will always be able to stay connected to Jamaica”. In Jamaica there is no mandatory testing for kids before they get into school to get their eyes tested. Research shows that 1 in 4 children should have some sort of corrective lens. In Jamaica, however, in a school of 400, maybe 1 or 2 kids have eye glasses. It has also been said that 60% of kids in special needs classes in Jamaica are only in there because they can’t see well but don’t know it-- because their eyes have never been tested. Mark and Cate have partnered with Mission of Sight and Cornerstone Jamaica on their initiative called “See Better.Learn Better”. The effort is to not only get these kids custom eyeglasses, but also to work with the Jamaican Government to make eye testing mandatory for all kids before going to school. Mission of Sight and Cornerstone Jamaica work hand in hand, understanding the importance of these kids seeing better so they can learn better, because they are the future of Jamaica! Cate goes on to say, “ We were called here. Our first month here was tough and it was hard understanding the culture. But, once we got into the lifestyle of Jamaica we LOVED it. We love the food, culture, music, language, way of life, and most of all, the people..It is where we started our future, our marriage, our family, our giving of time and self, and where we have planted a part of our hearts. No matter where Mark and I live, Jamaica will always be where it all began. Cornerstone Jamaica is the backbone to what we do and why we love Jamaica so much.. One Love..” .

Alexandra
Alexandra Ostrow

New York, USA

Alexandra Ostrow is a passionate strategist for social impact and innovation who fell in love with the people of Jamaica, leading her to join Gary Robinson in 2011 in establishing Cornerstone Jamaica.
A former marketing director, Alexandra managed global accounts for brands such as Mattel, JP Morgan Chase, Medtronic Diabetes, The Michelin Guide, and Pepperidge Farm, as well as spent two years in Communications at Cardozo Law School, and three years managing a New York animal rescue.

After leaving her job at a top New York agency, Alexandra set out to support the nonprofit sector while also working to uncover the true potential of Corporate America: its potential to positively impact employees, communities, and industries.

Today, as the founder of WhyWhisper Collective, she empowers innovative business and nonprofit leaders to address social, economic, and environmental issues through research, strategy, planning, and project management.

Alexandra is in the process of writing a book on new models for work and life called "Re-Imagine: Lessons Learned After Quitting My Job", and has been featured in Fast Company, Inc., and Huffington Post.

A New York City native and NYU graduate, Alexandra currently lives in her East Village zoo -- alongside her partner, two dogs, and two cats.

Kenya Wagstaffe
Kenya Wagstaffe

Kenya Wagstaffe is an admissions associate at an independent school in Brooklyn, New York.

An advocate for the less fortunate and disadvantaged, Kenya has worked in the Albany, NY community as a social worker in a public high school and residential treatment facility for neglected children. Kenya spends some of her time outside of work mentoring youth, volunteering abroad, and supporting the annual NYC AIDS Walk campaign.

Kenya graduated from the University at Albany with a Bachelors of Arts in Africana Studies and a Masters in Social Work. In 2011, she spent nine weeks in Tanzania, East Africa teaching HIV/AIDS prevention and sustainable agriculture to secondary school students and adults of the Maasai tribal community. In 2016, Kenya volunteered on a medical mission trip to Jeremie, Haiti for Hurricane Matthew relief efforts, in which she aided in donating clothes and hygienic products, as well as serving hot food to families in need.

In her free time, Kenya likes to travel, read, and connect with people across all cultures and walks of life.

Kenya’s desire to give back to her parents’ birthplace of Westmoreland, Jamaica is what led her to Cornerstone JA. She looks forward to working alongside other passionate individuals towards the common goal of strengthening Jamaica.