HER FINEST HOUR: Street-Forrest (centre) and her team have led the JSE to unprecedented success.
FOR the past five (of the 20) years that Marlene Street-Forrest has been with the Jamaica Stock Exchange, she has been serving in the post of Managing Director. To say the least, it’s a job fraught with countless challenges, but she has a surefire strategy for continuing to get the work done with such remarkable results. And as the records show, the results form a long list, including the JSE’s distinction of being named the world’s best performing stock exchange for 2018 and landing among the top four for 2019.
“I have a fantastic group of people that loves the work they do. The best way to describe them is committed and conscientious. And with an event like our annual JSE conference, it draws on all of their skills and their dedication. I just get out of the way and allow them to execute,” she told TALLAWAH with a river-wide smile at the recent closing session of the conference (now in its 15th year), which climaxed with Street-Forrest being honoured with a prestigious leadership award – Business Leader of the Decade – from the International School of Greatness, presented by world-renowned motivational speaker and executive coach Alex Ihama.
According to the citation, the plaque is in honour of Street-Forrest’s efforts to heighten the vision and image of the Jamaica Stock Exchange with a series of strategic initiatives inspiring the next generation. “I am simply overwhelmed. Obviously, I was wasn’t expecting it. I am really humbled by it,” says the team leader, who sports a plump five-feet-six-inch frame and whose previous honours include the National Order of Distinction (in the rank of Commander) from the Jamaican government.
Like a true leader, Marlene Street-Forrest is always looking ahead to what’s next. “As we approach the end of our 50th year, we eagerly look towards the next stage of our existence, which we anticipate will be to continue the expansion of our borders combined with preparing for the changes that are coming to our markets,” she notes in the souvenir magazine for this year’s conference. “We strive to ensure that our stellar performance is not only recognized as being one of the best performing stock exchanges over the years, but that our regional people can feel the positive impact on their lives through wealth creation and social advancement.”