Introduction: Glen Laman announced recently that he will be stepping down as the president of the Kingston College Old Boys’ Association of Georgia (KCOBA), to pursue advanced studies in management. This came as a shock, especially to many of the other community leaders in the Atlanta area. After all, over the years these leaders have enjoyed an immensely productive and extended working relationship with Glen.
To be an effective leader of any all-volunteer organization today, that leader must have impeccable strength of character, and probably the most highly developed set of business management skills and practices imaginable. Glen Laman fits that mold to a “T,” and has proven his worth, over time, as another of the uniquely qualified and committed leaders in Atlanta’s Caribbean community today.
KCOB-Style Leadership – The Formative Mold: In terms of his strength of character, Glen is obviously from the formative mold found, as another KCOB often describes it, “within the halls of that hallowed institution.” In fact, many KCOBs will remember from our 1965 KC school magazine the Lord Bishop’s published saying that the number one reason for KC’s success is “the type of education given, in which the aim is Christian character.”
April 27, 1996 I was deeply touched, further, by an important speech I heard at the KCOB Awards Banquet in NY. In what was probably one of his last public speeches, Michael Manley delivered a poignant tribute to KCOBs’ overall leadership skills and abilities. He said that, had he not gone to JC, he would most likely have wanted to be a KCOB. He envied us for “our strong and positive leadership abilities,” he said.
General Leadership – Required Skills: Although character is the number one criteria for solid leadership skills, there is an additional and important component to great leadership, that of being able to employ sound and advanced business management techniques and practices. This is where Glen shines; his management skills are very well developed, undoubtedly through highly successful years of service as a skillful manager in one of America’s most highly respected conglomerates.
Serving our Local Community – Glen’s Commitment: Even more, Glen is strongly committed to local community service for past-student organizations. High school students are often called on to do it. Churches do it as a group, too. In fact, more and more these days you see corporations and organizations, both large and small, that recognize the need to give something back to their local communities.
For those who don’t know us well, there may be some thought that we’re all about Kingston College…and nothing else. However, a brief visit to our Web site will quickly define who we are and what we are about.
True, as part of our mission we do raise funds for the College, and we provide direction and support for KC old boys and current students, but we also participate in an array of events designed to “benefit the greater Atlanta area and connected communities.”
This position to serve the local Atlanta area communities quite actively is one of the missions strongly promoted, advanced and supported by Glen Laman. In fact, when he was first elected KCOB-Atlanta president, he proudly announced his commitment in that regard, and during his terms of leadership, our organization made important strides along those lines.
Other Selected Thoughts:
From Barry Miller, KCOBA executive, Atlanta: Glen epitomizes the true meaning of the KC spirit: giving, selfless, and honorable. Most of all, his love of K.C. is unquestionable.
In my opinion, Glen has joined that distinguished list of alumnae who have served and represented the school at the highest level. He has served the Atlanta chapter with distinction over the last several years in various capacities.
I came to know Glen since joining the Atlanta chapter, and I’ve found him to be, in his own, quiet and self-effacing manner, a unifying force for the chapter. In my experience with his consensus-manner of leadership, every member is treated with a level of respect, which in turn endears him to you. No task is too much for you to accomplish and, I do know, behind the scenes, he is quietly doing his part.
Glen is a vital liaison with all the other high school alumnae associations and Jamaican organizations in Atlanta, and at every opportunity, he waves the flag of K.C. very high. Further, I would be remiss if I did not also mention his wife (Toni) who has also played a vital role in Glen’s success. As the saying goes: behind every successful man is a good woman, and she certainly fits the bill. Glen could not have been the success he has been to the Atlanta chapter without her support and patience, and so I want commend his wife as well.
From Heather Potter, community leader:
Glen Laman is what I would call "a consummate gentleman" - always willing to help and never an unkind word or thought. His involvement in KC and the Atlanta community knows no bounds and this shows in his commitment to both. I call him a friend and count it a blessing to have him be a part of my life.
From Joy Boothe, Atlanta Jamaican Association executive: While I've not had much interaction with Glen over the years since meeting him, the adjectives nice, pleasant, shy/laid back come to mind. But one impression has remained constant: he is one of the most unassuming, the coolest and most unflappable dudes I've observed in a long time! The Fortis successor will have well respected boots to fill.
Earl Adams, KCOBA executive / KC times Webmaster: Glen Laman has a quiet yet inviting disposition. He is the quintessential pragmatist. He has an uncanny gift of bringing people together around worthy causes. His ability to effectively manage events has handsomely borne fruit to our Atlanta Chapter. His community involvement has also served us well. Keeping in touch with other organizations within the Caribbean Diaspora has improved our standing in the community. Glen has continued to build on the successes of our previous leaders and has left an impressive legacy for others to follow.
His contribution to the KC Times magazine is matchless. The long hours of thankless service spent, burning the midnight oil, cranking out edition after edition has gone a long way in keeping us abreast of events at the Kollege and building the Forits community.. Thanks Glen, we will now double your pay.
I have no doubt that he will continue his service to the Jamaican Diaspora and to KC. His stepping down as President of The Atlanta Chapter is merely a prelude to more tactical and strategic service to our Alma Mata.
In Summary: Glen Laman has shown, over time, that he is another of the uniquely qualified, highly effective and fully committed leaders in Atlanta’s Caribbean community today. He is not going away, though; he is merely stepping down a level so that he may maintain focus on his advanced studies, in management, not surprisingly. Glen will continue to serve KCOB and the local communities, in a clear and unmistakable demonstration of his undying commitment and dedication to service.
Contributing Editor’s Note: We will update this article for our next publication, to include additional thoughts expressed by other community leaders.