Born into a Jamaican family that goes back many generations, Paula Kerr-Jarrett, the daughter
of Christopher Bovell, Attorney-at-Law and Michelle started her early education in Jamaica and
completed high school in the UK. She continued her education there, going on to read Law and Politics at the University of London, where she gained both her BA and LLM degrees. Paula moved back to
Jamaica in 1990, and was called to the Jamaican Bar thereafter.
Over the following years, as she re-assimilated into the Jamaican culture, she had many experiences
which allowed her to recognize and appreciate the tremendous assets that Jamaica had to offer,
particularly in the people. Her primary passion has since then, been to help develop and establish Jamaica and its environs into one of the most highly sought-after locations to visit, live and work.
In order to realize this goal, she cultivated a role as a “social entrepreneur”, connecting various
individuals; charities; business and government organizations in order to create a synergy of ideas,
always where possible, aiming to advance the prospects of Jamaicans from all levels of society. This role involved her in numerous projects, involving religious, charitable and educational organizations, and
eventually led to her become a candidate in the national elections. It was in this forum that she was able to fully understand the economic, social and educational disparity that often exists in developing
countries. This led her to establish “Hanover Hope”, a non-profit foundation focusing on raising
awareness and funds to provide scholarships (based on meritocracy as opposed to political affiliation) for many young people across the island.
Over the years, her role has evolved to be both in the capacity of fund raising as well as heightening the awareness of various sections of the local and international community to the needs of the less educated and under-served in Jamaica. Her goal, if it could be put in a nutshell, would be “fair
opportunity for all”. This is because she has a strong belief that your past should not determine your future, nor should your address or social background predetermine your potential prospects: “Everyone deserves a first, second and third chance”! This belief has challenged her to study extensively in the area of philanthropy as well as to attend and participate in many seminars that highlight the importance of education and self-development for sustainable success. The importance of self-awareness and cultivation of confidence in your abilities, she believes, is an essential ingredient for every person who aspires to experience a dynamic and exciting
future. She continues to highlight wherever possible, her strong conviction that the businesses and
professional community, through their participation, can help to unleash a culture of leadership in our Nations. This support and involvement she insists, should encompass, not just areas of traditional precepts of literacy but the sharing and facilitating of meaningful “real life” opportunities where
possible. This, along with practical experiences, mentoring and guidance, ultimately leading to the restoring of character ethics on a broad scale.
Paula has been a Director of the Barnett Group of Companies for over 30 years, where she has had
direct oversight of company investments and the business development strategy of the Barnett group, in particular the Barnett Tech Park as well as other developmental aspects of the business. She has also been involved in start ups that have successfully gone public, and enjoys the dynamism of working with a team to position new companies for growth.
She served as a Director on several government boards which involved specific oversight of trade; economic development and education.
From a philanthropic perspective, Paula continues to make herself available to assist with projects that focus on “community”. She was a founding member of the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship
(Caribbean) Board and still serves as a Director. She is involved in several other charitable organizations,
being a board member of the “We Care for Cornwall Regional”; Ambassador for the UWI (Western
Campus) and a member of the Economic Growth Council. She was recently appointed Ambassador of Investment and Philanthropy by the government of Jamaica.
Paula recently remarried and her husband, Danny Wegman shares her passion for the people and
communities in Jamaica. They receive enormous fulfillment in assisting those around them to thrive, whether this is by using their resources where possible, or by simply a word of encouragement and hope to anyone they may encounter along the way. Paula has two children, Joshua and Rebecca, who share in this passion for people and life!