WIADCA executive retires after 41 years of service

WIADCA executive retires after 41 years of service
Associated Press / Kathy Willens, File

Long-standing West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) Trinidadian-born executive Jean Alexander has retired after 41 years of service.

“I am deeply saddened to inform you that I must submit my retirement from the West Indian American Day Carnival Association (WIADCA) from all positions effective immediately,” said Alexander in a letter, dated Jan. 5, to the Brooklyn-based WIADCA president Williams R. Howard and chairperson Angela Sealy.

“Thanks to each of you and the members, past and present, for the opportunities given to me as a member and board/executive member of this institution,” she added in the letter, copied to reporters last week. “I truly appreciated working with my colleagues and feel satisfied that I have done my best for WIADCA over the past 41 years.

“I sincerely hope my contributions to the mission and purpose of WIADCA have met with your approval, and I have returned, in some small measure, all that WIADCA has afforded me,” continued Alexander, stating that she was available, on a limited basis, until Jan.19, 2018.

“I wish WIADCA a future that is both successful and in perpetuity,” she said.

In separate correspondence, Alexander said she asked that former president Yolanda Lezama-Clark take over marketing, “with Michelle Gibbs and Sabra Richardson as Yolanda’s assistants.

“Thanks to each of you for your many, many years of support and corporation every time I asked,” she said. “Please know I am forever grateful.

“I will be devoting more time to the Caribbean American Center of New York, so don’t think I am going to Florida or Trinidad,” she said.

In 1971, Alexander said she migrated to the United States with her entire family, “unaware of the obstacles” she would face as an immigrant “but fully cognizant of the opportunities in America and 100 percent determined to achieve for herself and her children.”

A mother of five youngsters, Alexander said she set out to become educated and to develop a career — even while educating her children and “providing a wholesome and moral environment for their development.”

She said her obvious potential led to her to being employed by The New York Daily News and Merrill Lynch, the Wall Street-based brokerage firm.

After graduating from Borough of Manhattan Community College in 1976, she said she pursued higher education at Baruch and Hunter Colleges, City University of New York.

But she said it was her commitment to hard work and her natural ability to communicate with people at all levels, of many cultural backgrounds, that propelled her career and resulted in her being selected for “increasingly responsible and challenging roles.”

Alexander said she was “voted in and served as secretary of WIADCA Board of Directors for almost 10 years.” She was also “voluntary Director of Marketing, Public Relations, Media and special events for over 41 years.”

Alexander who is also co-founder and presently serves as the “voluntary executive director” of the Brooklyn-based Caribbean American Center of New York, Inc. (CACNY).

Founded in 1987, the non-profit CACNY provides free services in education, youth programs, STEM Classes and SAT Tutoring, immigration, internships, scholarships, skills training, cultural arts programs, holiday events and gifts to thousands of children living in NY City’s temporary homeless shelters, and other needy youth in New York City at Easter, Christmas and Three Kings Day for almost 20 years, Alexander said.

In addition, in 2010, Alexander said CACNY started an international arm in providing assistance to Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Guyana, Dominica, Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago.

“Jean P. Alexander has fulfilled the American dream and is making it possible for others to do the same,” she said in her biography.