Be the change you want to see
How would you describe your immediate family
I am the wife to an absolutely wonderful, supportive husband of 12 years. I am also a mother of two amazing girls, who are now 11 and 4 years old respectively.
My immediate family is a loving bunch. They are full of fun and laughter, most of all very encouraging and uplifting.
What does your name mean and do you feel you live up to it
My aunt gave me my name. I never really researched to see its meaning… until now. In numerological terms it means
“having concern for or helping to improve welfare and happiness of people”
This discovery took me by surprise, as I really do feel that I am living up to the meaning of my name.
In another life what would you come back as
I believe that my steps on this earth are ordered and I have been put here for a purpose.
In another life, I would still be me.
Tell me something that made you smile or laugh recently
I couldn’t fathom why one my colleagues never heard about Y2K. I finally discovered that he was born in December 1999.
What is your favourite animal
My favourite animal is the penguin. I had the honour of meeting a few of them up close on a visit to the Falkland Islands in 2018. I love the way they waddle when they walk! So cute!
Tell me something that scares you ( we wont tell anyone ssssshhh)
I have a great dislike for frogs.
When are you at your happiest
I am at my happiest when I am spending quality time with my family.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety
I find a quiet place to reflect and thank God for the blessings that he has bestowed on me in the past and ask him to give me clear thoughts so that I can trust him with the plans he has for my future. I also vent a bit to my mom and my husband.
How do you celebrate your achievements
I pour a glass of non-alcoholic champagne and put my feet up for a second or two.
What made you decide to start your profession
I started in my role as GIS Manager coincidentally. The area was new and I was approached by the head of the department at the time, at my previous job as System Administrator for the Montserrat Social Security Fund.
He asked if I was interested in the role. I accepted the opportunity and ventured into paths unknown, at the time. I did a lot of on the job training and eventually took part in a training course in Redlands, California where my love for GIS was founded.
What do you love about your role
I love the fact that I get to help a lot of people. I help to resolve conflicts and offer solutions to difficult scenarios.
Most of all I get to help my beloved country of Montserrat and its people in our redevelopment efforts.
As Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager on Montserrat I have had the opportunity to contribute to aspects of its development.
With the use of GIS technology, I am able to contribute to many aspects of planning, land use management and disaster management just to name a few.
What are the typical challenges you face in your role
Some of the challenges I face are working with a limited budget and financial constraints which most Government’s face, working in a small team with limited human resources and balancing career and family life.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years
I see myself contributing even more to the re-development of Montserrat.
I would like to be one of the most prominent female GIS Specialists in the region, giving advice to local, regional and international organizations.
Would you have done anything differently in your career path
Yes. I would have preferred to continue on to earning my PhD after my second Masters. It is not completely out of the window though. Just delayed for a bit.
Do you have any pearls of wisdom you wish to share
Don’t complain. Be the change that you want to see and your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth.
What would you say have been some of your highlights in your career or life to date
I graduated from the Antigua and Barbuda Seventh-day Adventist Secondary School, with 10 CXCs O’levels. Since things were still unsettled in Montserrat, I did not return home right away. I was afforded the privilege of attending the Caribbean Union College in Trinidad to further my education.
I completed an Associate in General Business and a Bachelor’s in Computer Information Systems with Cum Laude (Honors) during my 4-year tenure there.
I continued my academic journey by obtaining two additional Masters Degrees.
I was awarded the prestigious Chevening Scholarship to undertake studies in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and I pursued my second master’s degree in Spatial Planning with Sustainable Urban Design where I received a distinction and was nominated as one of the students of the year.
This is the moment to shout out to a few people who have really encouraged, supported or even taking a gamble on you to allow your current success
My Husband – Kenaud Ryan has truly been my rock, my confidant and my motivator.
My mom – Cheryl White, my supporter in all things.
My daughters – Keilah and Kearah, life is so much more meaningful with them.
My stepdad – Kenneth Scotland, he has always believed in me and is always present to offer advice and give me a reality check when needed.
My siblings – Clyde, Shaun, Leon, Melissa, William and Leah – always ready to share a good laugh and lighten any dull moment.
Mr. Franklyn Greenway who gave me the opportunity to venture into the GIS world and Mr. Iftikhar Ahmed who was my first mentor in this career path.
My former school principal – Mrs. Hazel Riley who has always kept in touch and continued to motivate me throughout my career. She has never missed a GIS day on Montserrat
Former teachers – Wendy Irish, Sharmen Williams, Gweneth Tuitt,Mrs. Eulalie Semper who indeed laid the ground work and encouraged me to be the best that I can be.
Amazing friends – Pamela Bramble, Owena Farrell, Ayesha Walters, Racquel Assaye, Maria Gregoriadou.
All my work colleagues who have supported me along the way. A special shout out to Nicole L Duberry who makes work, a little less mundane.
Also thanks generally to all my family and friends.
How can the skills you’ve acquired help to benefit Montserrat
The skills I have acquired has helped and will continue to help Montserrat in many areas.
More specifically in planning, disaster management, land use management, environmental management and utility management just to name a few.
In August 2019, I registered my business, LRR Geospatial Consultancy. This venture is aimed at providing support, solutions and training in the use of Geographic Information Systems.
I also blog on my website: www.lavernrogersryan.com on topics which highlight the application of GIS to many disciplines. It is aimed at making this technical subject matter more relatable to diverse audiences.
Do you ever get involved with Volunteering
I am very passionate about helping others. In 2019, I applied and became a volunteer for MapAction, a UK based humanitarian charity which utilizes knowledge in geosciences to aid in humanitarian relief during disaster situations.
I was afforded the opportunity to attend an earthquake response exercise for the Asia-Pacific region in December 2019, which took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
I am also engaged in church youth related activities. I am an invested Master Guide and a counsellor for the Adventurer department of the Seventh-day Adventist church of which I am a member.
I love to encourage young people to make the right decisions and to remain focused on their goals.
What can we look forward to next from you
Continue to support the re-development of Montserrat by assisting in many of the capital projects which are to come on stream. I will be assisting in conducting hydrographic surveys which will aid in providing information for the port development project.
I will assist the Statistics Department in the 2021 Population and Housing Census and offer support in the general areas of planning and land use management and administration on Montserrat.
More blogs and also providing additional services under LRR Geospatial Consultancy.
What’s the best thing about Montserrat in your eyes
Peace of mind and serenity.
What do you love about living in Montserrat
I love that I do not need to drive for hours to get to my destination.
What’s your favourite thing to eat on the weekends
I love to have warm Johnny bakes and saltfish.
What would you love to see for Montserrat in 10 years
An economically thriving and bustling town centre, adequate medical facilities, reliable air and sea access in and out of Montserrat.
Montserrat Trivia time…..Without asking or googling- take a guess
What is Montserrat’s Motto
A people of excellence, moulded by nature, nurtured by God.
Answer: Correct as per wikipedia
What was the name of our first airport in Montserrat and 3 of the airlines that it was served by
Blackburn Airport – Liat, Montserrat Airways, not sure of the 3rd
Answer: Correct however Blackburn was also served in the past by Winair, Carib Aviation and sometimes American Eagle Airlines
Approximately how long does it take to get to Montserrat from the UK (including waiting time in Antigua)
If coming to Montserrat by air – approximately 12hrs, if coming to Montserrat by sea – approximately 15hrs.
Answer: Fairly accurate estimation
Give me your aspirational date of when you think Montserrat will be independent if ever
If ever, 2080.
Finally, when you think of Montserrat, how does it make you feel
Happy, alive and complete.