A Celebration of Women's History Month
March 8, 2024
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As Women's History Month unfolds, the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture proudly commemorates the indomitable spirit and remarkable achievements of only a few of the women who have shaped the island's business landscape. Beyond boundaries and stereotypes, these trailblazers have shattered glass ceilings, carving paths of excellence and innovation. Moreover, a noteworthy accolade adds to this celebration: in a 2015 report by the International Labour Organisation, St. Lucia ranked 3rd globally, out of 106 countries, for the highest percentage of women bosses, underscoring the island's commitment to gender equality in the workplace.


Mrs. Hettie Cox-Beaubrun – Pioneering Entrepreneur

In an era when domesticity defined a woman's role, Mrs. Hettie Cox-Beaubrun defied conventions. In 1926, she embarked on a journey that would redefine entrepreneurship in St. Lucia, founding Cox & Co—a family business that burgeoned from humble beginnings to a multifaceted conglomerate. Cox & Co's legacy, spanning generations, remains a testament to Mrs .Cox-Beaubrun's vision and resilience. Her business acumen and determination propelled the company to diversify its offerings, from a small grocery shop to a prominent enterprise encompassing shipping, travel, and tourism services.


Dr. Charmaine Gardner – Advocate for Women in Business

Dr. Charmaine Gardner's ascent to prominence in the private and public sectors reshaped the narrative of women in business. As the first female President of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture and subsequently, the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce, her leadership paved the way for future generations. Dr. Gardner's legacy, deeply rooted in family heritage and entrepreneurial vision, continues to inspire. Her tenure as Managing Director of Carasco and Son Limited underscores her dedication to advancing business interests and fostering economic growth in St. Lucia.


Mrs. Thecla Deterville – Champion of Leadership Development

Mrs. Thecla Deterville's commitment to organisational development and leadership training exemplifies resilience and dedication. As the Managing Director of Celestial Self Development Corporation, her journey from corporate leadership to entrepreneurial stewardship embodies empowerment and transformation. With over 35 years of experience in organisational and people development, Mrs. Deterville's consultancy and training firm has become a cornerstone of capacity building in St. Lucia and the East Caribbean. Her expertise in motivational speaking, career coaching, and recruitment projects has left an indelible mark on countless individuals and organisations.


Mrs. Karen Fontenelle-Peter – Advocate for Professional Excellence

Mrs. Karen Fontenelle-Peter's journey from accounting to executive leadership epitomises determination and excellence. Her trailblazing career at Caribbean Metals, coupled with her 3-term presidential tenure at the Chamber, reflects a steadfast commitment to driving economic growth and fostering inclusivity. As the General Manager of Caribbean Metals, she oversees operations with precision and dedication, ensuring the company remains at the forefront of the industry. Mrs. Fontenelle-Peter's leadership extends beyond boardrooms, championing initiatives that empower women and promote diversity in the workplace.


Mrs. Margaret Monplaisir – Leading the Rum Industry

Mrs. Margaret Monplaisir's illustrious 37-year career in the rum industry transcends boundaries, marking her as a visionary leader. From pioneering brands to chairing prestigious associations, her journey epitomises innovation and resilience, inspiring future generations of women in the industry. A trailblazer in the rum industry, Mrs. Monplaisir has not only transformed St. Lucia Distillers into a global powerhouse but has also shattered glass ceilings as the first woman to chair the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association. Her dedication to excellence and her pioneering spirit have cemented her as a trailblazer in the Caribbean rum industry.


Ms. Cheryl Renwick – A Legacy of Leadership

Ms. Cheryl Renwick's stewardship of Renwick & Co Ltd exemplifies continuity and excellence. Her journey from hospitality to distribution underscores resilience and adaptability, shaping the future of her family's business. Starting her career with her father's distribution business, Ms. Renwick played a pivotal role in its growth, transitioning from administration to sales and marketing before assuming the mantle of Managing Director. Today, Renwick & Co Ltd stands as a testament to her leadership and commitment to excellence.


Ms. Deborah Edward – Champion of Gender Equality in the Energy Sector

Ms. Deborah Edward stands as a formidable force in the Caribbean's energy sector, her journey marked by tenacity, intellect, and a deep commitment to making a lasting impact. Armed with a diverse educational background, she holds her undergraduate from UWI and a Master's certification also from UWI. She subsequently completed her law degree with the University of Huddersfield, broadening her perspective. Beyond her impressive career in energy, Ms. Edward has etched her name as a trailblazer through her unwavering dedication to empowering the next generation of leaders. Passionate about the rise of women in all spheres, Ms. Edward utilises her current spotlight to inspire others, advocating for gender equality and creating opportunities for women in the energy sector.


Mrs. Ruth McFarlane – Driving Innovation in Business

Mrs. Ruth McFarlane, CEO and Managing Director at Admac Ltd,exemplifies ambition and entrepreneurship. As the founder of Admac Ltd, Mrs.McFarlane's vision and determination have propelled the company to success. Hercommitment to excellence, customer service, and environmental sustainabilityunderscores her leadership in the industry. Mrs. McFarlane's dedication tocontinuous improvement and community engagement sets a benchmark for aspiringentrepreneurs, inspiring innovation and progress in St. Lucia and beyond.


During Women's History Month, the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture celebrates these extraordinary women and their enduring contributions to the island's economic landscape. Theirs are just a few stories that inspire us to break barriers, defy stereotypes, and strive for an economically safe and diverse future.

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Frequently asked questions
Where is the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce located?
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The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture is located at Orange Park Commercial Building, 1st Floor, Bois D’Orange, Gros Islet.

Is the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce part of the government?
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While most chambers work closely with government, they are not part of government  

What are the benefits of being a member of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce?
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Advocating on behalf of members with the public sector. Increased visibility and credibility. Business training and education information sharing and networking.

What is the main purpose of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce?
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A chamber of commerce is an organization of business owners and entrepreneurs who promote the interests of their local business community. Chambers of commerce provide access to valuable resources, discounts, and relationships that help businesses save money and market their products.

What powers does the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce have?
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Chambers of Commerce will act to promote public policies that are in the best interest of business, in general. Specific Chambers of Commerce may also attempt to promote policies that serve specific industries or geographic locations.