CHARLENE CURRIE - ROLE MODEL & AMBASSADOR
MANAGING DIRECTOR & A NATIONAL PRESIDENT
Officially Inducted into the “National Wall of Role Models” on June 7, 2014 ( See full list www.BlackCanadianAwards.com
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am an Executive MBA graduate from Western University's Ivey School of Business. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University and also earned a Project Management certificate from Humber College. I possess over 10 years of Banking Operations experience with a distinct focus in operations, business strategy formulation and process optimization. I'm recognized as a pragmatic, results-driven leader. I'm passionate about continuous learning; I love to travel and equally important, I enjoy volunteering and giving back to the community.
To this end, I am incredibly proud to be the President of the National Black MBA Association Toronto Chapter, a non-profit organization that connects professionals within our community accelerates professional development and builds leaders of tomorrow. Presently Managing Director, SKYLINE Management Consulting.
What's your inspiration and how do you get motivated?
I am blessed to have an amazing family, including parents who have instilled within me the value of education and operating with excellence while simultaneously maintaining my faith and remaining grounded and humble. I am also blessed to have strong role models who continue to inspire me to achieve greatness.
Giving back to the community remains a priority for me. I am motivated to encourage the younger generation to dream big and be resilient and tenacious when pursuing their dreams. Simply do not give up.
How did you get to where you are now and what more should we expect?
If I were to answer this question in one word, it would be "commitment". The success that I have achieved thus far is based on my willingness to remain committed to my goals despite any challenges I encounter. For instance, while pursuing my undergraduate degree at York University I was ineligible for student loans; yet, I continued to attend school full-time and worked full-time while completing my degree. Was it hard - absolutely. Did I feel discouraged - sometimes. But, I remained committed. And in the end, I learned so much about myself and my capabilities, including that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.
In terms of what you can expect, I would like to continue to seek opportunities to make a meaningful impact within the community and help others.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered as an authentic leader that contributed to the betterment of humanity.
How do you balance work, family, friends and leisure?
Balancing work, family, friends and personal me time is truly about prioritizing. Experience has taught me that living a balanced lifestyle is essential. Time is one of our most precious resources.
What's your favorite food, book, music and movie?
Favourite Food: My top 3 Caribbean Cuisine are (1) Steam fish with Okra and Bammy
(2) Ackee and Saltfish with provisions (3) Rice and Peas with Jerk Chicken
Favourite Book: Outlier written by Malcolm Gladwell
Favourite Music: R&B, Jazz, Reggae, Hip Hop and Country Music
Favourite Movie: Invictus (based on Nelson Mandela)
Should and do Blacks support black music, events and businesses?
As the President of the National Black MBA Toronto Chapter, I can attest to the support received from the Black community. As an example, within our Chapter, we have a number of dedicated volunteers that consistently commit their personal time to give back to the community. Additionally, there have been several instances when I have reached out to Black Executives to be a keynote speaker or a panelist at an event and they were ready and willing to assist.
Some claim we have musical artists and talents in Canada that are as good or better than those in the US?
Canada is filled with a roster of incredibly talented musical artists that have achieved remarkable international success. For instance, as cited on cbc.ca, Tamia is the first Canadian female to be nominated in the Grammy's best R&B album category. Drake, who I consider to be a Canadian musical genius, has also dominated the musical charts internationally. And, these are simply two examples from a long list of Canadian artists that continue to demonstrate the solid musical talents possessed here.
Note: Link to cbc.ca website is http://music.cbc.ca/#/blogs/2013/2/Tamia-makes-Canadian-RBsoul-history-at-the-2013-Grammys
Mention a few of your favorite Black Canadian Artists?
I have a strong appreciation for many music genres. A few of my favourite Black Canadian Artists include Tamia, Melanie Fiona, Drake, Deborah Cox, Steele and Jully Black.