By FELICITY INGRAHAM
Marisa Mason-Smith has made history in the world of utilities for the Caribbean, Central and South America. She is the first Bahamian to be elected to the position of chairperson of the CARILEC Human Resource Professionals Committee for the region. She is also the first Bahamian to be appointed to the board of directors training committee.
CARILEC is an association of electric services, dealers, manufactures and other stakeholders operating in the electricity industry in the Caribbean, Central and South America and globally.
Mrs Mason-Smith, upon receiving the honour, was invited to speak at CARILEC’s most recent conference held in St Maarten this year, where she addressed utilities professionals from across the region on accountability and transparency in the workplace.
The CARILEC Secretariat endeavours to improve communication among its members, providing technical information, training, capacity building and other services. The Secretariat plays a leading role in electric utility advocacy, growth and sustainability in the Caribbean region, Central and South America.
Due to her accomplishments, Mrs Mason-Smith was featured in CARILEC’s latest newsletter, which is shared globally.
The newsletter expresses the corporation’s confidence in Mrs Mason-Smith as a human resource professional whose experience and expertise spans the United States, the United Kingdom, the Caribbean and the Bahamas.
She proudly represented the Bahamas Power and Light Company (BPL), sharing tips on making the workplace more effective by motivating staff and creating transparent modules that cause every staff member of a utility corporation to be accountable in order for the organisation to run effectively.
“She continues to strategically create, develop and implement human resource policies that have left positive, indelible marks on staff and employees,” the newsletter said.
“Multi-talented, passionate and committed to the development of people, she has been recognised both locally and internationally to the development of people. She believes in maximising the potential of all people and always finds the time to encourage and support humanity with her time and treasures.”
Mrs Mason-Smith has a challenging job ahead of her as chairperson.
Currently, CARILEC comprises a total of 106 members. This includes 35 full members that are electric utilities; 66 associate members that are companies involved in some aspect of servicing the electric utility business, and five affiliate members.
Her confirmation as chairperson comes after spending two years as interim chairperson. Therefore, she has already gotten her feet wet and is ready to take on the mantle of leading human resource professionals in the Caribbean for CARILEC.
A Chevening Scholar, Mrs Mason-Smith has won the National Boss of the Year award, is a three-term chairwoman of the Women’s National Advisory Council, and also serves on several statutory boards and non-governmental organisations, including the Zonta Club.
CARILEC was established in 1989 with nine members as part of an electric utilities modernisation project funded by USAID and implemented by NRECA under a five-year ‘Co-operative Agreement’.
It has mandated itself to be the premier association of electric utilities and industry partners; facilitating the development of world-class electric energy services for all peoples of the Caribbean.
CARILEC plans enhance the effectiveness of its members by providing industry related services, creating regular networking, training and knowledge sharing opportunities, supporting mutual assistance programmes, and being an advocate for the industry throughout the Caribbean.