• Team

    Monique Clarke

    Co-Founder & Managing Partner

    Monique Clarke is an Attorney-at-law admitted to practice in Jamaica. Along with her role at Block eM Ledger, she is a partner in the firm Clarke and Vassell, Attorneys-at-law and also an Associate at the Dispute Resolution Authority at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in the United Arab Emirates. She is part of a team that drafts strategic policies and governance for the Courts of the Future initiative. She conducts research into LegalTech and produces policy notes and strategies. She also provides directions regarding emerging technologies and other related disputes. Her research and policy directives include the current performance and reputation of Courts as perceived in relation to handling of the disputes of the future including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and potential disputes in relation as to who is liable for decisions made by AI and robotics applications, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and regulatory risks; 3D Printing and Intellectual property (“IP”) law; Blockchain and any possible disputes and the related breach of trust issues and insurance policy disputes. Her research also focuses on whether current mainstream dispute resolution avenues are appropriate for technology disputes, and will they be suitable to deal with the concepts of blockchain, smart contracts and decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs).

     

    Her research and work also extends to judicial excellence and innovation for the International Conference on Court Innovation and Excellence. Aiding the court on maintaining and improving their knowledge and performance towards disputes, developments and trends in the arena of international dispute resolution.

     

    Monique remains a member of the Publications Committee of the Jamaican Bar Association, where she was the former co-chair. Monique is currently the Company Secretary and Director for the Jamaica Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Association, with direct control over UNESCO Clubs of Jamaica. She was the delegate for Jamaica at the World Congress of the World Federation of UNESCO in Beijing, China where she presented landmark arguments for the promotion and use of technology for education and health.

     

    She is the author of several short articles including ‘Renewable Energy: a case for legislative intervention’, ‘Blockchain and Smart Contracts: Today and Tomorrow’, ‘Intellectual property rights and technology enabled markets’, and ‘Money goes Mobile’ which was featured in the Fintech forum a publication dedicated to fintech published monthly that explores the explosive world of financial technology, blending first hand insight, opinion and expertise with observational journalism to provide a balanced and comprehensive perspective of this rapidly evolving industry.

     

    Monique has spent a major part of her career working for some of the most prominent firms including Hume Law Firm, Alton E. Morgan & Co., and Cohen Smith Chang. During this period, she gained solid backgrounds in civil law, legal research and office management. She blends her deep legal insight with strong analytical skills in preparing and drafting legal documents, while maintaining privacy and confidentiality at the highest level.

     

    Monique holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica, W.I. and a Bachelor of Law LLB (Hons.) from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados, W.I. She holds professional certifications from the Faculty of Built Environment, University of Technology and Harvard Law School.

     

     

    Melissa Powell

    Co-Founder & Managing Partner

    Melissa is an entrepreneur , podcast host, international speaker, mentor and advisor. Along with her role at Block eM Ledger, she is the founder of Pocmi Inc.; and cofounder of Invest Human LLC.

    Melissa is also on a mission to facilitate nation building through technology. In her earlier years she facilitated this within the sustainable architecture and built environment space as a LEED AP. More recently she has done so by zooming in on professional migration and its positive effects on the economics of individuals, companies and countries. This lead her to create Pocmi Inc which is an HR and Immigration technology company focused on creating and bringing to light innovative ways to improve the movement of high skilled labor across borders. Melissa, through the ability to work outside of her home country, has become an experienced business development professional who is an innovative, entrepreneurial thinker with broad based expertise in talent management, operations and project management. She has the proven ability to quickly analyze key business drivers and develop strategies to grow the bottom line, regardless of the industry.
     

    She has been featured on Virgin.com, SiliconCaribe.com and The Business Year. Melissa has previously led panels and given presentations internationally. She is a part of the Project Entrepreneur Class of 2018, a Branson Legacy Entrepreneur, a Mentor and Founder Graduate of the Founder Institute. She participates in future of work and technology initiatives such as i4j (Innovation 4 Jobs) and various women and blockchain groups. Melissa holds a Masters degree in International Business, an MSc. in Construction Management and a BA. in Architecture, and also holds various certifications from reputable international organizations such as Harvard Business School and International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation.

    Stacey-Ann Wilson

    Co-Founder, Innovations Director & Corporate Secretary

    Stacey-Ann Wilson is a political economist and a Lecturer in the Department of Government at the
    University of the West Indies, Mona and Senior Research Fellow for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship at the Centre for Leadership and Governance, Mona. Her areas of interest are broadly focused on culture, critical political economy, sustainable development, science, innovation and information technology for development, and entrepreneurship ecosystem development and diversification.
    Stacey-Ann has more than 15 years experience in governance, serving in a variety of leadership roles on a variety of boards ranging from academia, public and private sector to international intergovernmental agency program boards and steering committees, in both developed and developing countries. She serves as a strategic advisor for a select number of tech startups and scale ups in Canada, Jamaica and in Africa (a Pan-African women’s tech company, spanning 10 countries).
    Stacey-Ann has more than 9 years experience working in ICT4D in rural and remote Indigenous communities in Australia, on First Nations reservations in Canada and in urban Jamaica. She is co- founder of the first officially recognized FabLab (digital fabrication lab) in Jamaica and TechEd program coordinator for 2 schools in Queensland, Australia, addressing diversity and tech inclusion.
    Stacey-Ann is a blockchain enthusiast and works closely, as an advisor, with 2 startups utilizing Blockchain technology. She teaches Blockchain Disruption in her graduate level eGovernance course and as of October 2018, she will be co-hosting half day and 3 day Blockchain Seminars for Executives in Jamaica to build awareness and to explore digital transformation and use cases in the Caribbean environment.

    Dr. Wilson was a Steering Committee member of the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Programme (CMIP), a 3 year (2014-2017) Canadian government funded, World Bank managed project. She is the designated Jamaica member of Startup Nations, the entrepreneurship policy forum within the Kaufmann Foundation-funded, Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and a community affiliate of the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network. Dr. Wilson is also a member of the Internet Society, ICT4D Academic Network and the International Association of Innovation Professionals.

  • Advisors

    Sandra Ro

    CEO, Global Blockchain Business Council

    Sandra Ro is CEO of the Global Blockchain Business Council, where she serves the GBBC and blockchain community to foster education and build bridges across enterprises, governments, and start-ups to help fulfill the potential of blockchain technology to solve real world problems and help society.

    As a fintech entrepreneur, blockchain / crypto keynote speaker, hackathon judge, crypto trader, angel investor and advisor, Sandra is focused on delivering financial access and products to people and communities using technology to enable next generation market infrastructure and financial products.

    Sandra was named to the Innovate Finance, Women in Fintech 2016 Power List and holds directorships / founding memberships on several industry boards as well as advises several emerging tech start-ups. Previously, she served as a former Treasurer and founding board director of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and founding member of the Post Trade Distributed Ledger Group (PTDL), founding member of Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger.

    Previously, Sandra was the former Executive Director of Digitization at CME Group, where she was responsible for the company’s digital asset and blockchain/distributed ledger technology (DLT) initiatives. Previously as Executive Director Foreign Exchange (FX) Research and Product Development, she was responsible for the global development of CME Group FX solutions within listed and cleared OTC products.

    Prior to joining CME Group in 2011, Ro led the EMEA M&A FX and interest rates derivatives advisory group at Morgan Stanley, London and worked at Deutsche Bank as a FX structurer on the London trading floor. Ro holds a M.B.A. in Finance from London Business School and a double B.A. Degree in History and Studies in the Environment from Yale University.

    Mark Hugh Sam

    CEO at Palladisio Capital, Inc.

    Mark Hugh Sam has over 30 years experience in the financial services industry with extensive experience in equity research and a background in proxy battles, management buyouts, public and private financings. He joined Maison Placements in November 2013, where he is focused on investment banking transactions internationally in technology, agriculture, real estate and infrastructure and has worked on deals in China, Japan, Southeast Asia, India, South America, Africa and the Caribbean.

    Mr. Hugh Sam currently is developing Global Building Blocks, Inc., a platform company to invest and build affordable homes primarily in developing countries.

    Mark consults via his personal firm Palladisio Capital with Mirach Capital Group. He is focused on international transactions in real estate, infrastructure and technology.

    Prior, Mark was at Capital Canada Limited as a Partner. Prior to joining Capital Canada, Mr. Hugh Sam was a partner and Director of Research at $300 million Chicago-based hedge fund.

    Mr. Hugh Sam was instrumental in developing a U.S. hedge fund’s growth which started from $16M in 2005 to $300M, including raising $30M from Canadian institutions. He also conducted a successful proxy fight and gained control of a NASDAQ publicly traded company, and served as a director. Mr. Hugh Sam has a history of identifying small growing companies and major technological trends.

    In addition, Mark has previously worked at Morningstar, Manulife, Dundee Securities, Unilever, KPMG and Ernst & Young.

    Mark has previously wrote and passed the exams and qualifications for the Canadian Chartered Accountant (CA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), the exempt dealers exam, Ontario Securities Exam and his MBA from York University and B. Comm from McGill University.

     

    Ayanna Samuels

    ICT 4 Development Consultant - Caribbean and Europe

    Ayanna Samuels is a Rocket Scientist and dedicated International Development Professional with over 14 years of progressively responsible global experience in leveraging ICTs as fulcra for human development. She also works at the intersection of Gender, Policy and ICTs towards closing the gender gap in Tech. Ms. Samuels has steeped experience working with leading multilaterals on development projects, which have involved project management and fiduciary responsibilities.

    As a Technology Policy specialist, Ms. Samuels has worked with a gamut of issues related to the regulatory and institutional frameworks of the Caribbean ICT sector. She has also conducted research on Gender Equality in the ICT sector and has given many keynotes on this topic. She is wholly committed to being a game changer in the realms of Gender and STEM policy!

    In addition to governments and industry leading private sector entities, Ms. Samuels’s clients have comprised the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organisations, the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC), CARICOM, the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, the Caribbean Development Bank, the International Telecommunications Union, the St. Lucia Coalition of Services Industries and the International Institute for Communications and Development. Her body of work has resulted in ICT4D related knowledge products and the establishment and execution of tangible capacity building programs.

    Emily Landis Walker

    COO, Sweetbridge Financial

    Emily Landis Walker is a senior financial services executive acknowledged globally for her strategic contributions to business development and fundraising, emergency preparedness, and corporate responsibility initiatives in global markets. Emily Landis Walker has developed a strong reputation for devising and realising innovative strategies that deliver market performance, and for maintaining strong global relationships through an on-going network of board memberships and professional organisations.
    Emily was the Global Head of Corporate Affairs for OCSiAl; a senior contributor to the business development of Simudyne and helped to foster private sector investment in Iraq. She also provided advisory work in Private Sector Preparedness including Information Security Policy for a major Central Bank based on ISO 27001 and, pent over 15 years as a Managing Director at Citigroup in the Emerging Markets Corporate Bank, Asset Management, Global Wealth, and Traveler’s Live and Annuity. In addition, she was head of Corporate Affairs at Barclays. Prior to this career in the private sector, Emily Landis Walker was US Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Executive Secretary to the US Secretary of the Treasury Nicholas Brady, and Assistant to the U.S. Director at the International Monetary Fund.

    Emily Walker developed and implemented Citigroup’s Corporate and Investment Bank’s global partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The Emergency Network, launched at the 2007 World Economic Forum in Davos, established a pre-planned response mechanism for corporations to donate goods to the WFP.

    Marc Ramsay

    Attorney-At-Law

    Marc is an attorney-at-law admitted to practice in Jamaica, Belize and Barbados. He has a keen interest and experience in public international law including Caribbean Community Law, and international trade and development and diverse international work and training experience in various jurisdictions, in the private and public sectors. He has appeared before international tribunals, including the Inter American Commission on Human Rights and the Caribbean Court of Justice, and co-drafted the successful pleadings in the landmark decision of the CCJ in Shanique Myrie v Barbados, which clarified important laws and rights concerning the functioning of the Caribbean Community. Currently, Marc's practice focuses on corporate and commercial law and international consultancy work in Jamaica, along with serving as Chairman of Aeronautical Telecommunications Limited and Director of the Jamaica Civil Aviation Authority.