Ms. Kay McConney
Businesswoman and Retired Diplomat
Described by She Caribbean magazine as a “dynamo moving the region forward”, Barbadian born Kay McConney has leveraged her multi-faceted talents to champion the interests of Barbados, the Caribbean and small vulnerable economies (SVEs) internationally. Kay’s distinguished service extended to international diplomacy, international development, and international trade. She served as a high-level diplomat at the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland; and as a trade negotiator at the World Trade Organisation (WTO). As an international development consultant, her work on programmes of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was published by the European Commission (EC). She has served as an expert resource, leading capacity building consultancies for international development programmes in the Caribbean, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); and other international organisations.
She was the youngest Consul-General to be appointed by Barbados when she blazed trails in Canada as Dean of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Consular Corps, piloting such stellar initiatives as the Caribbean-Canadian Literary Expo (CCLE). CCLE brought together Caribbean and Canadian publishing companies and literary artistes from across fourteen Caribbean countries to open minds and build bridges for the development of the region’s literary industry. Over the past twenty years, Kay has been a champion for entrepreneurship development in the Caribbean region. She has collaborated on enterprise and youth initiatives sponsored by the Organization of American States (OAS); and in 2016 she was awarded for leadership by the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) of Barbados - the country’s signature national programme for emerging entrepreneurs, which she spearheaded in 1995.
Currently, Kay McConney heads The Executive Minds, a company she founded in 2009. The Executive Minds specialises in strengthening institutional and individual capacities for 21st century environments, through training, coaching and consulting. TEM works with governments, non-profit organisations, private businesses and international development agencies. Its reach extends from Canada to the Caribbean, with a brand that combines neuroscience, systems thinking and strategic coaching. In the Caribbean and Latin America region, The Executive Minds has impacted some thirty organisations. In 2014, Kay collaborated with international best-selling author, David Krueger M.D., as a contributing author to his book, Successful Life Story Transformations: Using the ROADMAP® System to Change Mind, Brain and Behaviour.
Outside of work, voluntary community service keeps Kay anchored. In Canada, she has been a Training Facilitator for the Canadian Multicultural LEAD Organisation for Mentorship and Training for the past eight years. She serves on the Program Advisory Committee (PAC) of the Ryerson University-based, Lifelong Learning Institute’s Leadership By Design Program. She was an expert resource for York University’s (former) Global Leaders Retreat. South African Women for Women has honoured her for building cultural bridges beyond the Caribbean community with their Friendship Award. She was awarded for community leadership by the Barbadian community in Canada for the establishment of their premier event, which funds educational scholarships and sponsors health-care initiatives that benefit Barbados and the Caribbean.