First Look

Stellar presenters for PAJ Forum

Press Association Jamaica Of Jamaica | 2014-11-21 00:00:00

There’s an impressive line-up of presenters for the Forum on “Investigating and Prosecuting Financial Crime” being put on by the Press Association of Jamaica, in association with the US Embassy and National Integrity Action, for National Journalism Week. The forum will be held on Monday, November 24th, 2014, from 9 am – 12 noon at the Knutsford Court Hotel.

One of the presenters is Professor Martha Steffens, Chair in Business and Financial Journalism at the Missouri School of Journalism, teaches business and financial journalism, economics for journalists, and entrepreneurial journalism.

She has organized more than 100 workshops for journalists in 28 countries. In the U.S. and Canada alone, Professor Steffens has trained more than 500 journalists in understanding concepts from covering local business to reporting on U.S. financial markets, as well as personal finance and local economies.

She serves as one of two U.S. members on the executive board of the International Press Institute, a 60-year old press-freedom organization. For IPI, she has organized journalist training in Taiwan and Jordan. Professor Steffens was also chief editor of the 2011 IPI Report: Media and Money, and the 2013 Report: Reflections on the Arab Spring.

Prior to her academic career, Professor Steffens spent 30 years in journalism, including stints as  executive editor of the San Francisco Examiner, as well as the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, New York, and editing posts at the Los Angeles Times, Orange County (Calif.) Register, Minneapolis Star, Dayton Daily News and Evansville (Ind.) Courier.

Also presenting is US prosecutor Juan Antonio Gonzalez, who has racked up a string of impressive accomplishments. At the age of 22, Mr. Gonzalez became the youngest prosecutor hired by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office, where he worked in the Racketeering/Organized Crime and Public Corruption Unit, specializing in wiretap investigations of police officers and organized crime figures.  He has also worked  in the US Attorney’s Office as an Assistant US Attorney in the Narcotics Section, including an assignment to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force. 

Mr. Gonzalez has investigated and tried many complex, high-profile cases.  In 2000, he received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance for his prosecution of United States v. Bordon, et al., a complex money laundering case.  In 2007, he received the Attorney General’s John Marshall Award for Trial of Litigation for his prosecution of United States v. Battle, et al, a 61/2 month, multi-defendant RICO conspiracy trial involving numerous murders, arsons, and acts of illegal gambling, money laundering and narcotics trafficking. 

Bringing a local perspective to the issues will be well-regarded police officer Senior Superintendent of Police Clifford Chambers. SSP Chambers is the Commanding Officer of the Organized Crime Investigation Division within the Jamaica Constabulary Force. He has over 24 years experience in the security industry.

He has held several positions within the Constabulary Force serving as Security Attache': Embassy of Jamaica, Washington D.C., USA; Assistant Staff Officer to the Commissioner of Police; Assistant Administrative Officer: Assistant Operational Officer - Clarendon Division.

He holds a Master of Business Administration in Public Sector Management from the Mona School of Business; a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) honours from the University of London; a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Public Sector Management from the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. He has also been awarded Post Graduate Certificates in Governance and Security in the Americas & Strategy and International Security (SIS), from the National Defense University, Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies in Washington D.C., USA.

Other activities throughout the Week will be a church service at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church, at 12 Slipe Road, in Cross Roads.  Wednesday will see the PAJ honoring some of the stalwarts of the profession at the yearly Veteran’s Day Luncheon, hosted by Wray and Nephew. This year’s honourees will be Lindy Delapenha, Keith Brown and Ben Brodie. On Thursday, the PAJ’s Journalists’ Lyme, sponsored by LIME, will take place at the Countryside Club, 7 Courtney Walsh Drive, Kingston 10, starting at 6 p.m. National Journalism Week ends on Friday, with the prestigious Awards Banquet to be held at the Jamaica Pegasus.

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