Group Chief Financial Officer at Kingston Wharves Limited, Clover Moodie has achieved the distinction of being one of two Jamaican women, and only one of three from the Caribbean selected to participate in the International Women’s Forum’s (IWF) 27th Annual Class of Fellows Programme for 2020-2021.
The IWF is a membership organisation founded in 1974, which seeks to accelerate the professional advancement of women by honing their leadership skills through mentorship, networking, high quality training and exposure, among other measures. It currently comprises some 7,000 “diverse and accomplished members drawn from 33 nations, who are leaders in a range of fields.
A cohort of 28 high-achieving women leaders from 14 countries are participating in the prestigious programme.
“I am elated. I see this as a major opportunity and an accomplishment. It is an honour to have been selected to participate in a programme that not many people get the chance to apply for, much less to be selected to represent their country,” Clover notes.
Clover has been CFO for Kingston Wharves for the past seven years where she is integrally involved in the strategic direction of the organisation, with specific responsibility for the financial performance, customer operations and information technology.
Prior to that, she was Vice President—Financial Control of GraceKennedy Limited banking and investment subsidiaries, Chief Financial Officer at Chukka Caribbean Adventures Ltd. and an Auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She also currently volunteers as treasurer for the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA), and the Jamaica Trail Project (restoration of trails in the Blue and John Crow Mountains, a UNESCO World heritage site).
The 12-month IWF fellows programme will see her attending executive leadership programmes at Harvard Business School and the INSEAD Business School in France. Other components of the programme include an element of mentoring, with each person assigned a mentor for the duration of the course; two international conferences, and development of a legacy project.
The fellowship comes as a fitting reward for a hardworking and dedicated professional who has made tremendous sacrifice to achieve success.
Clover Moodie was inspired by the example of her parents and other mentors throughout her professional life who impacted her development in significant ways.
“My parents instilled positive values in me. I also learned the value of hard work, humility, a spirit of excellence and the ability to persevere through trials,” she notes. The resilience modelled by her parents kept her strong through difficult circumstances. The values they instilled in me were my foundation and those are what were seen by many people,” she says.
Also learning from her parents the value of charity and giving back, she sponsors needy students from her own resources among other charitable acts to needy individuals. “I live by the principle from Luke 12:4 in the Bible, `To whom much is given, much is required’ and by the Winston Churchill mantra, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give,” Clover explains.
Even though she is part of the IWF women’s programme, Clover attributes her success to both men and women who mentored her over the years. Her career went through PricewaterhouseCoopers, Grace Kennedy, where she spent a significant amount of time, and later Chukka Adventures and then Kingston Wharves. “I think of the many mentors I had in each of these organisations; it was their willingness to share their wealth of experience that helped to shape me as a young professional.”
“At GraceKennedy, I credit Don Wehby with changing the trajectory of my life for the better. He was instrumental in my transfer from Internal Audit to Corporate Finance and shortly thereafter to the Trafalgar Commercial Bank (now First Global Bank) as Chief Accountant. This transfer was in a matter of days and hence there wasn’t much time to adjust, but the person that I am I threw myself into it. Working with the team at the bank, I made great progress and the experience expanded my horizon,” Clover shares.
Observing that working at Kingston Wharves with former CEO Grantley Stephenson and current CEO Mark Williams, has built another layer on her professional life, she notes, “Mr. Stephenson was inspirational, always encouraging me to take some risks I was not ready to take, but which paid off in the end. In fact he was the one who pointed me to the IWF Fellows Program.”
In addition to being mentored, she has been a strong mentor for others. “I have always surrounded myself with good people. I identify persons with potential and develop them. Some of them are CFOs and VPs doing well in their careers today,” she observes.
Clover holds an MBA from Florida International University (recipient of the Academic Award of Excellence); a BSC in Accounting (Hons.) from the University of the West Indies and certification from the Institute of Certified Internal Auditors. She is a Fellow of both the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) & the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (FCA) and a Member of the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee of the ICAJ.
She intends to use the experience garnered in the IWF Programme to enrich her current role as Group CFO and in her work with a number of Boards. However, she also sees the programme as a springboard to future career exploits.
“I am looking forward to what I will learn and the new experiences I will garner from this fellowship. The programme will afford me the opportunity to work along with a mentor who will help to advance my career, strengthen my leadership skills and help me to build a legacy that will endure long after I leave the corporate world,” Clover concludes.