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Bermudian trio are ‘women of great esteem’

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Three Bermudian women joined the ranks of “Women of Great Esteem”.

Bermuda College President Duranda Greene, singer Gita Blakeney-Saltus and Business Bermuda CEO Cheryl Packwood were among six honorees at the 17th annual Women of Great Esteem Emerald Awards ceremony at the New York Ritz Carlton in New York City last Saturday.

Dr Greene is the first Bermudian to be honoured for her contributions to education.

“I’m glad I got to smell my roses while still on this side of the world,” Dr Greene told

The Royal Gazette.

“I was humbled as well as honoured to have received it.” She was pleased the event was also a fundraiser for the MACADEMY School of Science and Technology in Brooklyn, New York, which serves students from two to 14 years of age.

“I had the opportunity to have lunch with five of the middle schoolers who are getting ready to go to high school and they have some big dreams,” she said.

“They are preparing these young people to take leadership roles. The students are all articulate, engaged and just enjoying education. It was a pleasure.”

Ms Packwood was also honoured and humbled to be an award recipient. “Great women have preceded me in obtaining this honour and great women will certainly follow. I was so pleased to be in a group of such eminent companions from Bermuda. We had a tremendous evening,” she said.

While Mrs Blakeney-Saltus said: “I was humbled, proud and honoured to receive the business and entertainment award. I shared this wonderful moment with fellow Bermudians, Dr Duranda Green and Cheryl Packwood, and other exceptionally gifted women from around the globe whose outstanding work and contributions were recognised.

“Receiving this prestigious award highlighted my three passions: my professional commitment to the outstanding work being done by Caron Bermuda which helps individuals overcome drug addiction and lead productive lives; my company, Flowers by GiMi, which speaks to my entrepreneurial spirit and my lifelong love affair with singing and entertaining which is at the core of my soul.

“My husband Gary Saltus accompanied me to the dinner. The highlight of the evening, was being presented with the award by the former Premier of Bermuda, Ms Paula Cox. That was a wonderful surprise. I am truly thankful to have had this opportunity, and I will cherish it deeply.”

Also receiving the award this year were Jamaican Sabrina HoSang, chief operating officer of Caribbean Food Delights, who received the Entrepreneur award, Dominican Jean Joseph who received the Finance award, and Joyce Gilman from Trinidad and Tobago (Humanitarian award).

A press release from the WGE organisation stated that the honorees “represent women who develop and advance their communities without regard for race, ethnicity, religiosity, gender, age or national origin in the areas of education, finance, business and healthcare”.

WGE founder Bishop Sylveta Hamilton-Gonzales said: “The Emerald Award is a vehicle used for the empowerment of women, honouring them for their relentless efforts to nurture and serve their communities.”

Since its founding in 1995, the organisation has honoured over 150 women from 27 countries from North America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Bermuda, the Caribbean and Central America.

Other past recipients include former Bermuda premiers Paula Cox and Dame Jennifer Smith, US House of Representatives Reps Maxine Walters and Sheila Jackson Lee and Dame Pearlette Louisy, the Governor General of St Lucia.

Honoured: Bermuda's Cheryl Packwood, Dr Duranda Greene and Gita-Blakeney-Saltus are pictured together with former Premier Paula Cox (third from left) at the New York ceremony for 'Women of Great Esteem.’
Award: Duranda Green.
Award: Gita Blakeney-Saltus.
Award: Gita Blakeney-Saltus.

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Published May 10, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 09, 2013 at 11:08 pm)

Bermudian trio are ‘women of great esteem’

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