Good afternoon.

Lady Allen and I are pleased to welcome you all to Kings House this evening for the launch of the book Profile of Excellence: Strategies for Extraordinary Achievement from 25 Years of Interviewing Remarkable People, by Ian Boyne and Glenford Smith.

This book has come at a time when many Jamaicans are in danger of sinking in the quicksand of negativity and pessimism. Profile of Excellence draws upon the legacy of optimism, resilience and self-belief derived from Ian’s popular televised programme Profile.  Its proven principles represent solid ground upon which all Jamaicans can stand, as we resolutely unite to overcome the economic and social challenges we face as a people.  Lady Allen and I are confident it will empower and inspire many Jamaicans for years to come.

On a personal note, I must say how pleased I was to have been asked to write the Foreword for this book. I am also pleased to host this momentous launch here at Kings House since the book’s message resonates so well with me.  It mirrors my own drive to celebrate excellence and inspire confidence and self-belief, as we seek to optimize our people’s use of their God-given potential to the advantage of Jamaica.

For 26 years, Ian Boyne and Television Jamaica, through the groundbreaking programme, Profile, have been promoting what is best about us, namely the many examples of Jamaicans who have excelled in their various fields of endeavour. I wish to commend Ian and TVJ for their unrivaled commitment in bringing before Jamaicans these models of excellence to inspire us as individuals and as a nation.

The conferment upon Ian Boyne, of the National Honour – Commander of the Order of Distinction- was an important statement of the value of his contribution to nation building through his unique brand of “positive journalism.” His dedication takes much more courage and commitment than it might at first seem. There are times when I read Ian’s columns and celebrate the freedom with which our press is blessed.


It is difficult to remain positive and to focus on possibilities and opportunities when so many others around us are highlighting and emphasizing the negative. Yet, that is precisely what we have to do if we are to transcend:

  • the potentially limiting challenges of crime and violence,
  • a struggling economy,
  • and the erosion of values and attitudes, to name a few.

Profile of Excellence encourages us to focus on the enormous potential of Jamaicans, a potential which must be harnessed for the good of our country. This book is, for Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora, an important record of some of the most influential Jamaicans who helped to shape the nation. It also does an admirable job of presenting the essential lessons in attaining personal excellence, culled from the hundreds of fascinating stories of triumph-over-tragedy, shared weekly on Profile. The book does a fine job of showing how people can unlock their own potential for success by learning from these resilient winners. Ian Boyne and Glenford Smith have produced a work of which they should be proud.

I said in my inaugural address that “There is nothing wrong with Jamaica that cannot be fixed by what is right with Jamaica.”  That conviction has been at the heart of my “I Believe” Initiative which was launched in this very room two years ago.  The vision of the IBI is to create pathways through partnerships and to promote programmes and projects that restore hope, belief, and sound values in Jamaica’s families, youth, and education.

Since its launch, the IBI has been partnering with the private sector, media, service clubs and other civil society groups to diffuse and amplify its transformative message.  I am encouraged by the impact that it is already having and ask you to go to the IBI website for a full picture of what we have been doing, as well as of our programme for this year.

I want to specially recognize Glenford Smith, coauthor of Profile of Excellence. In addition to his positive Gleaner Careers column every week, Glenford has been collaborating with the IBI since its inception, as a member of its management committee. As an I Believe Ambassador he recently delivered a series of workshops here at Kings House to a group of I Believe Ambassadors who will participate in the IBI Mentorship Programme. I also want to commend him on the publication of his highly inspirational and practical book From Problems to Power. Thank you, Glenford, for your work with the IBI and also for your dedication to empowering and uplifting our people.

Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in congratulating co-authors Ian Boyne and Glenford Smith, as well as Pelican Publishers, Television Jamaica and the Chase Fund who have made this wonderful book Profile of Excellence a reality.

Thank you.