Business in brief: Local students learn from science and tech professionals

Suzanne Klein, Richard Abbott and Dr. David Chestnut with STEM students from John Gray High School.

Three science, engineering and technology professionals from companies based in Cayman’s special economic zone shared their career path and success stories with local students at a STEM Ambassador’s Club workshop at the University College of the Cayman Islands’ STEM Caribbean Conference 2016.

Cayman Enterprise City has been a sponsor of the conferences, and the Ambassador’s program is part of an ongoing partnership between CEC and UCCI to interest young Caymanians in pursuing careers related to science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).

Suzanne Klein, Richard Abbott and Dr. David Chestnut with STEM students from John Gray High School.
Suzanne Klein, Richard Abbott and Dr. David Chestnut with STEM students from John Gray High School.

Students from John Gray High School, Clifton Hunter, St. Ignatius, Cayman Prep, Cayman Academy and Triple C heard diverse presentations in a workshop delivered by David Chestnut, a Caymanian Ph.D. scientist from Fabrilink SEZC, Suzanne Klein, CEO of WriteSteps SEZC, and Richard Abbott, president of Abbott Aerospace SEZC Ltd.

Dr. Chestnut, an expert in lasers and fiber optics, talked about finding and pursuing a career in cutting-edge technology. He said that with the development of Cayman Enterprise City, new STEM-related jobs are starting to be created in Cayman.

Ms. Klein from WriteSteps SEZC shared her personal entrepreneurial journey with the students. Formerly an elementary teacher from Michigan, she realized a few years ago, that as a “generalist” she needed tools to help her do her job better. To solve the problem, she developed WriteSteps, an innovative company with an online learning platform that offers a classroom-friendly series of programs that teachers and students can use to take advantage of emerging technologies, as well as video and digital technology. Her company employs people in all 50 U.S. states and five other countries and, she said, is transforming the way children learn.

The students learned about the world’s aerospace industry from Mr. Abbott. A mechanical engineer who originally was in the music industry, Mr. Abbott has worked with clients in the U.K., Europe and North America on civil and military aircraft development, modification and weight optimization projects.

“CEC has been an active supporter of UCCI’s STEM conference and Ambassador’s Program over the past three years and I am delighted that we were able to bring experts from zone companies to share their real-life experiences with the students at this event,” said Charlie Kirkconnell, CEO of Cayman Enterprise City. “We look forward to continuing to support the Ambassador’s Program throughout the year and see this as an excellent way to get young Caymanians interested in STEM careers and positioned to take advantage of the opportunities being created by businesses that set up in the special economic zone.”

Pineau nominated for World Chambers Federation council

Chamber of Commerce CEO Wil Pineau is one of 47 nominated Chamber leaders from around the world who are standing to fill 20 seats on the World Chambers Federation general council.

The Federation unites a network of local, regional and national chambers.

All 47 candidates will stand for election in November to serve a term from 2017 to 2019.

“The quality of candidates for the WCF General Council reflects the global aspirations that our chambers have for ensuring a strong WCF,” said Peter Mihok, World Chambers Federation chairman. “Both WCF and council members benefit from a unique and truly global forum, that not only helps our chambers innovate, but unites globally on issues common at the grassroots level in their respective communities and within their organizations.”

Maples and Calder advises Western Digital on acquisition

Maples and Calder has advised Western Digital Corp. on the Cayman Islands law corporate and financing aspects of the acquisition by its wholly owned subsidiary Western Digital Technologies, Inc. of SanDisk Corp., which valued SanDisk at a total equity value of approximately US$19 billion.

Under the terms of the transaction, each outstanding share of SanDisk’s common stock was converted into the right to receive $67.50 per share in cash and 0.2387 shares of Western Digital common stock.

Hilary Brooks is the latest addition to the HSM law firm.
Hilary Brooks is the latest addition to the HSM law firm.

Commercial and property litigator joins HSM Group

Hilary Brooks has joined law firm HSM, where she will practice in the areas of property and finance.

Ms. Brooks began her career by earning a bachelor’s degree in hotel and hospitality management from the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, in 2003 and went on to study law at the University of Liverpool, graduating with honors in 2009. She then undertook the Professional Practice Course from the Cayman Islands Law School in 2010, achieving a commendation. She was called to the Cayman Islands Bar in 2012 and has been a notary public in Cayman since 2008.

Thianna Grant has joined  NCB Cayman.
Thianna Grant has joined NCB Cayman.

New associate investment adviser at NCB Cayman

Private bank NCB Cayman has appointed Thianna Grant to its investment management team in the Cayman Islands.

Ms. Grant has joined from NCB Jamaica to take on a new challenge as an associate investment adviser, a role which deals with managing accounts for high net worth customers, assisting wealth advisers with preparing investment policy statements, and ensuring daily reconciliation of trades processed.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of the West Indies. She was then certified by the Jamaican Securities Course, having completed the mandatory program for those wishing to work in the Jamaican investments sector.


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