By RON FANFAIR
The Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Associations’ (AJAA) first chairperson and current president, Paul Barnett, has been appointed to the United Way of Toronto Board of Trustees.
This results-oriented champion of change has over 35 years’ management, consulting and training experience in both the public and private sectors. He is the founding president of Paul A. Barnett & Associates which specializes in training, placement and merger acquisition for the financial industry.
A member of the United Way of Toronto Community Impact committee, which is chaired by former Jamaican Canadian Association president, Kamala-Jean Gopie, Barnett said he’s excited by the new challenge.
“I think it’s critical that we in the Black community seek opportunities on boards where decisions are made that affect our lives and the lives of our communities,” he said. “We must have representatives on various boards that will speak on behalf of our community and make decisions that will improve the lives of our people.”
Barnett, a longtime Oakville resident, has served on various boards and organizations during the past three decades. They include the Oakville Soccer Association, the Toronto Dominion Bank Employment Equity Corporate Committee and the Jamaican Canadian Association’s Capital Fundraising Committee.
He sits on the Jamaica HelpLine committee and The Learning Partnership Advisory Board and is a founding member of the Ardenne Alumni Association (Toronto chapter). He was inducted into the Ardenne High School Hall of Fame in 1987 and recognized with The Gleaner Company (North America)/Jamaica National Overseas (Canada) Honour award in 1995 and the Prime Minister of Jamaica’s Medal of Appreciation for Service in 2003.
Funds donated to The United Way of Toronto help support a network of 200 agencies, including Tropicana Community Service Organization and the Jamaican Canadian Association which provide vital social services.
Ryerson University professor and community activist, Grace-Edward Galabuzzi, also sits on the Board of Trustees with Barnett and Gopie.