David Betty is the newly elected President of the Jamaican Canadian Association (JCA). To give everyone a sneak peak into who he is and what makes him tick, here is an excerpt from a recent JCA Newsletter.
Tell us about David?
I was born on a Sunday in St Mary, Jamaica to a preacher and a domestic helper and dressmaker. I grew up in St. Mary and attended the Ramble All Age school and St. Mary’s High School. I moved to Kingston where I completed sixth form at Jamaica College. I completed my undergraduate degree and a postgraduate degree at the University of the West Indies.
I started my work life in banking and spent 10 years with the National Commercial Bank and 4 years with the Jamaican Government at the Fair-Trading Commission as its first Senior Economist and later it’s Acting Executive Director.
I migrated to Canada in February 2001 and soon thereafter returned to the financial sector, where I spent another 15 years in various roles, including debt collection, foreclosures, legislative compliance, and debt solutions. During this time, I acquired two additional designations: a Certified Professional Accountant and a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist.
In 2016, I decided to try something different and embraced the real estate industry on a full-time basis. I acquired my own brokerage and became a real estate broker both in the same year. I am married with three boys and 2 granddaughters. No dogs and no cats!
What is your vision for the JCA under your leadership?
My vision is simple! Go further! Do more! I think of the parables of the ten talents! I believe it was Matthew and Luke who both recalled this parable as it was told to him by Jesus. And so, we are told that the master, before he heads off to distant land gave his servants talents. One he gave 10 talents, one other 5 talents and the other 1 talent. You know the rest of the story so I will stop here and say we will not be burying any of the talents! We will seek to deepen the existing relationships while exploring others where there are synergies.
The overarching goal is to be that organization that sets the standards for stability and sustainability. There is greatness in our race, and I will do my part in highlighting it. The unofficial motto of Jamaica is ” Wi likkle but wi tallawah”. Areas of focus will continue to be Children and Seniors, but we also want to address areas like adult literacy and financial literacy. We will also focus on housing and food insecurity.
What motivates you?
Let me explain it this way. I am a Taurus! We don’t know when to quit! However, this may be my calling to serve, to try and be that difference… to be the change. I believe Jamaicans are a special set of people and if you are given the opportunity to put up the mirror to their face, as individuals and as a collective so they can see how special they are… wouldn’t you seize the chance?
Others before me have paved the way and so I have all these shoulders to stand on. It is their vision; I am only a humble servant who has been called on to serve. It is the ancestors’ work that motivates me!
Any advice for aspiring volunteers and leaders in the community?
Our ultimate purpose in life is to serve others. Some of us figure this out earlier than others! See where you can make a difference and do it. Do it because you truly care and not because someone will admire your work or reward you for it. There is reward in giving!
What’s a fun fact about you and a fun activity you enjoy?
I love music and always wished I could master the art of deejaying. One of my favourite songs is ‘Discrimination’ by Ras Karbi.
To learn more about David Betty the new President of the Jamaican Canadian Association, contact the JCA at 416-746-5772 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org