Have you ever worked with someone who has a genuine interest in your success and who is not all about themselves and their own narrow self-interests?
Someone who can articulate a clear vision and who then influences and inspires you to reach beyond your fears and perceived capabilities in seeking to attain that vision?
And did you achieve remarkable results that surprised even you?
Then you may have been working with Lititia Myers Gray, a leader who is synonymous with, in her words, transformative results.
This is the story of how Lititia transforms people and organisations.
Although you could not tell by looking, Lititia came from humble beginnings not too far from the cockpit country.
She hails from a district in St James that is usually a destination. The kind of place you get to experience when a co-worker’s grandmother dies, and you take the company bus to the funeral.
Ever heard of Garlands? Ever heard of Tangle River? Google it.
Lititia’s mastery of things financial started in her grandmother’s shop in the hills of St James. Lititia did not like the pace at which business was conducted in the shop, so she decided to computerise it.
Not being able to afford a computer at the time Lititia did the next best thing and became the computer.
After assisting customers, grandma would begin working out the bill in her notebook. But before she could finish writing down the numbers, Lititia would announce the total - faster than any computer known to man at that time.
Or so it was said in Tangle River.
That was the first business she transformed, but there was much more to come.
After attending Mount Alvernia High School, she pursued her first degree in finance at Northern Caribbean University and later graduated from the Florida International University with a top 5% honours MBA.
How she found the time to be on the track teams of her high school and college is hard to imagine. But she did. I am taking bets that she can outrun her ex-army husband even if she is wearing water boots.
Today, Lititia is a President and CEO of Beryllium Limited, the Caribbean’s market leader in Currency Management and High Risk Business, but that is not where she started.
She started as a receptionist.
She was also a secretary.
And not surprisingly, she assisted with marking examination papers for Calculus and Accounting.
Her journey towards supremacy began in earnest when she joined the National Commercial Bank as a teller. This is when all the lessons learned in her grandmother’s shop bore fruit – earning her teller of the month awards and accolades even before her three months’ probation was up.
Since then, Lititia has spent over 15 years transforming herself in the areas of leadership, crisis management and financial management in various industries. But it was in the security industry that she has shone the brightest.
Lititia joined The Guardsman Group and became the financial controller for Guardsman Armoured.
She then became general manager and led the island wide implementation of an end-to end Electronic Cash Management System that facilitated more simplified cash management for retailers and commercial businesses.
Whether she did this in order to collect cash from shop owners in Garlands and Tangle River is still the subject of much speculation.
In any event, her transformative successes saw her being promoted to Managing Director where she successfully steered Guardsman Armoured to being a Full-Service Currency and Coin Management Organization.
The company has meanwhile grown into the largest Banknote Processing Centre in the Caribbean, with seven HighSpeed Cash Sorters with the capacity to count, verify note authenticity, and sort cash, at speeds of up to 2000 notes per minute – almost as fast as she used to make change in her grandmother’s shop.
In her current capacity as President & CEO of Beryllium Limited, her passion for results and commitment to exceeding expectations was the catalyst for organizational transformation and today Beryllium stands head and shoulders above its rivals - a pioneering Jamaican company with global ambitions within the high-risk finance and technology BPO sector.
Lititia’s personal transformation was inspired by her two role models, her mother and grandmother.
In turn, she has taken it upon herself to inspire other females by mentoring them in leadership development and empowerment as she prepares them for corporate and professional life.
One can imagine Lititia inspiring her audience with her personal motto; “...move towards that next challenge or opportunity, while using your fear as motivation and the determination to succeed”.
That, indeed, is the essence of personal transformation.
She did slow down long enough to get married to our immediate past chairman Capt. Garth Gray, CPP, PCI, PSP and together they have a son Alex.
Lititia, your transformative work on Garth is not finished.
Mrs. Lititia Myers Gray, for your transformative and visionary contribution to Industrial Security in Jamaica we take great pleasure in presenting you with an Award of Merit.