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Meet one of Jamaica's tech queens - Stacey Hines

Inspirational mover & shaker shares the secrets of her success

On her LinkedIn profile, Stacey Hines is described as a “strategist, business techie, muse and boundless enthusiast” but many more tags could be added to that list – entrepreneur, facilitator, inspirational speaker, author, expert communicator, a networker of note, proud mother of three and breast cancer survivor. As one of the most dynamic leaders in Jamaica’s IT sector, Stacey is keenly aware that she is a role model for other women in tech.


She spends much of her time helping others articulate and bring to life their vision of their best selves and she has an impressive track record in the corporate world doing the same with companies. With more than 16 years experience in the technology field for start-ups as well as established organizations, Stacey now serves as Group Strategic Planner of the ICD Group of companies, Chairperson of the board for Lifespan Water Company Limited and DRT Marketing & Communications as well as Director on the Board of Innovate 10X a new innovation center slated to open in Kingston, Jamaica.

Stacey credits her father for inspiring her to pursue a career in IT. As a child, she loved it when he would take her to work with him when he lived in New York. “He was a systems operator for a large firm and often worked nights. I would sit in the large server room with all these huge computers and watch him on his ‘green screen’ making magic. I wanted to be a part of the tech world ever since.”

She went on to obtain a BSc in Computer Information Systems from Georgia State University and completed an MBA in International Business and Technology in 2002.

After having worked in America and Canada, Stacey relocated to Jamaica and she felt encouraged by the thirst for advancement through the use of digital solutions. “The island network is small and tightly knit. You have the ability to create connections much easier once you can find a network that sees and appreciates the value you bring.”

Being one of the key influencers in the Jamaican IT landscape at a time of major change is an invigorating experience for Stacey. She talks of the “vibrant, Silicon Valley-like energy” in Kingston that is evident in lots of small, yet meaningful tech movements taking place inside larger organizations, as well as the invigorating “buzz” in the tech entrepreneurs and start-ups community.


“Our Angel Networks, where entrepreneurs can connect with investors looking to invest in Jamaican projects and companies, are picking up momentum and universities have thriving technology programmes.

“There are also indications of this energy in the way our government is prioritizing their internal tech processes and where agencies are seeking to support the development of the different aspects of the tech ecosystem. I am very excited by what I’m able to observe and participate in and look forward to us being a relevant influencer in our region (and beyond) in the digital age.”

Stacey is particularly proud of the impact she’s had on empowerment projects. In Canada, she was the co-founder of the Network of Black Business & Professional Women. “In Jamaica, I’ve served and continue to serve on boards both in the public and private sector and I am chairman of two amazing companies. I believe there is nothing more empowering than building businesses that create opportunities for employment, in particular when these businesses are lead by women.”

Motherhood has had a transformative impact on Stacey’s life. “From the moment I had my first child to now being a mother of three, I continue to evolve to ‘be better’ and ‘strive higher’ because they’re watching. I see them and feel them watching – looking to me for examples, answers, inspiration, and recovery from failure. They are ever-present reminders of the need to break every glass ceiling I come across, including the ones I create. The responsibility of motherhood is something that has guided most of my decisions for the past 19 years.”

Stacey has documented her personal and professional milestones in a memoir that will be published soon entitled “5 Year Love Affair”, to share her insights about being a woman in an executive leadership role at a tech start-up and managing the love she has for her career while facing significant life challenges. “I’ve learned that I’m stronger than I think and that the life skills that women are equipped with uniquely positions us to be strategic, creative and intuitive, all of which are required to take on the ever-evolving and fast-paced world of technology.”

Constantly embracing new technology has been one of the keys to Stacey’s success. She singles out the implementation of “ICD Goes Google” as a recent highlight and she is full of praise for the way Grove, EMEA industry leader and global Google partner, helped ICD become more innovative and cloud savvy. The move to Google Drive that Grove facilitated has enhanced her team’s productivity and created a more collaborative, connected and real-time working environment, Stacey explains.

“Being able to have document management that is available anywhere on any device in a relatively easy to access way is priceless. And let’s not get started on the unlimited storage! Having this available to my digital marketing team has removed the on-going stress and concern for too much content or content storage issues.”

Grove has been a very valuable partner to ICD’s G Suite experience, Stacey says. “From the moment we became a prospect to post-implementation, the feeling of being catered to has been consistent. When we experienced implementation roadblocks or challenges, technical or even with stakeholder buy-in, Grove provided exceptional service by making themselves available resources for advice, expert insights and alleviating concerns.”

Stacey emphasizes the importance of collaborations but adds that strong leadership and a clear vision are the foundations of effective teamwork. “Everyone needs to know where they’re headed and who’s guiding them there. That should be followed by a co-created plan that all team members can buy into and see how they add value. Once you have this, tools like the ones in G Suite are the glue that holds it all together.” Her leadership philosophy aligns with this insight. “A vision without a plan is just an illusion because everything is created in the mind first and then becomes your reality. As a leader, it is my role to design that reality.”

For Stacey measuring success is not about personal gain, but all about positive impact. “I see the impact I make through the positive change in people’s mindsets, often times exhibited through a shift in their behaviour. I see this both with the leaders I co-create with and also team members that I lead.”

STACEY HINES SHARES INSIGHTS ABOUT THE BARRIERS WOMEN EXPERIENCE WHEN THEY ENTER THE IT FIELD


Being the only one: I have had the ‘feel alone in tech syndrome’ in different ways at varying points in my career. At one point I was the only young, female, black woman in technology, at other points I was the only female, black executive in technology… This created not a sense of being exceptionally bright but more of being the odd one out.

Not having mentors: I did not have other black women in technology leaders to lean on and therefore learned most things including how to navigate the day-to-day challenges of being in this field on my own. I take mentoring (tech or non-tech) young women very seriously.

Feeling undervalued: This one is huge. I think I am just now settling into standing for the value that I bring. While men tend to be openly lauded and rewarded for their contributions, especially at the executive level, I haven’t always received this type of acknowledgment from my leadership or colleagues in an open way. Now, I am clear on the value that I bring which was the first step to overcoming the fear of demanding acknowledgment and remuneration for same. I still have work to do here but I will add that stepping into the paradigm of my worth is what shifted persons around me to recognize me for the same. This is not only evidenced when working within an organization, but also when sending out proposals for speaking or consulting. There definitely is still a lean towards males as a first option. My goal is to always be the highest value contender despite the others in the room.

Underpaid: While I could spend days talking about this, I feel there are enough statistics that already speak to this. I would however like it noted because this is VERY VERY valid.

The Old Boys Club, Tech Style: I’m very familiar with this one because I’ve had a ringside view of the business trips, golf meetings, closed-door meetings that includes someone else attending on your behalf. Not because I couldn’t make it but because I wasn’t invited. Enough said.



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Tags: G Suite Business, Grove's Jamaican rendezvous a huge success, ICD Group

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