BEPRO Black History Lunch Inspires Attendees

March 6, 2014

Held on Thursday, February 27, at O’Hara House [XL], Bermuda’s Emerging Professionals [BEPRO] first Lunch N’ Learn of the year proved to be a success.

A spokesperson said, “Entitled “Honouring the Past, Inspiring the Future,” the event was held in honour of Black History Month and featured prominent guest speakers including Dame Jennifer Smith, Former Premier of Bermuda, Cathy Duffy, SVP & Underwriting Manager of XL, and Kumi Bradshaw, co-founder of Firm Advisory Ltd, all of whom highlighted their academic and career background, while sharing wisdom with the 35 young professionals in attendance on persevering towards success.

“While the main objective of the Lunch N’ Learn was to advise attendees on how to achieve success in their chosen career, many were also inspired by personal stories of struggle and achievement shared by the speakers. Each speaker held the floor for fifteen minutes, with an interactive question and answer period rounding out the hour-long session.


“Cathy Duffy gave a personal recollection of her time in the insurance industry starting in the 1980s, covering her training in the US, her status as the first female CPCU in Bermuda, and her work experience in London UK, all very important elements of her success.

“Ms. Duffy encouraged the audience to drive themselves, to make their own names in Bermuda while showing empathy and respect for those around them. “Sometimes you will need the push of others in your life to help you realize your full potential,” she said while emphasizing that success is relative to one’s own happiness and self-image.

“Success is being happy with who you see in the mirror – always being true to you.”

“Kumi Bradshaw revealed struggles that became a crucial part of his success story, highlighting how he transitioned from a college dropout to a young entrepreneur, returning to school and subsequently rebuilding his career with the skills needed to support his innate intellectual drive. Mr. Bradshaw spoke to the importance of experiential learning and utilizing natural curiosity to explore new paths and push forward in life.

“He quoted Bob Marley when discussing the importance of being willing to be “uncomfortable” in pursuing success, saying, “Emancipate yourself from [your own] mental slavery.”

“Rounding out the speaker segment, Dame Jennifer Smith tied in the element of passion when it comes to achieving one’s goals, speaking about her own passion for the arts and education, and highlighting how it is the common denominator of success.

Event speakers Dame Jennifer Smith, Kumi Bradshaw, and Cathy Duffy:


“Sharing how her career in politics allowed her to focus on the artistic and educational aspects of Bermuda and explaining how her definition of success changed continually, she encouraged the group to value success outside the realm of one’s education, race, and social background. The setbacks Dame Smith encountered in the political sphere were many, yet she used those challenges to motivate herself, shaping her own course and becoming the first female Premier of Bermuda.

“Highlights from the question and answer period included ideas on traditional education and if expediting learned children through the education system was advantageous and inspirational thoughts on facing adversity and the role work experience plays on continued education.

“When asked what legacy they hope to leave behind in the Bermudian community, the speakers all spoke to living their legacy in the present and being a positive influence in some way.

“I want to be a person that the younger generation can come to and look to for encouragement,” said Dame Jennifer Smith.

Cathy Duffy said, “My legacy is still ongoing, however when I’m gone I hope my name will be spoken with respect and that I will be appreciated for doing my best.”

“I simply want to be able to contribute to Bermuda through my success so that the next generation will have more and better opportunities,” said Kumi Bradshaw.

“Overall, the Lunch N’ Learn motivated the attendees to reflect on their own career path and to overcome challenges in achieving personal success. Each person left the room with a new perspective and BEPRO is pleased that the takeaway message was that no matter who you are or where you come from, perseverance is key.”

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Comments (4)

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  1. Upsetwithverdict says:

    it was great and I look forward to enjoying more to come.

  2. aqua cadit resurgere says:

    embrace life ,embrace diversity…it is ok to embrace your selves…just not as fruitful…