Diana Thorburn launches Mayer Matalon biography at Liguanea Club

Diana Thorburn (second left) having a chat with Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke, and Joseph Matalon during the launch of her book Mayer Matalon: Business, Politics and the Jewish-Jamaican Elite.

Director of Research at the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) Diana Thorburn has authored an insightful biography on the life and times of the late business titan Mayer Matalon. The book entitled Mayer Matalon: Business, Politics and the Jewish-Jamaican Elite was launched at the Liguanea Club in Kingston.

Mayer Matalon is synonymous with the world of business and construction and serving as the chairman of the Bank of Nova Scotia for decades. What many pay scant attention to is his philanthropic work, social conscience and his efforts to uplift the Jamaican people.

‘His experience as a teenager on the road selling for his father introduced him to a wide range of people, honed his interpersonal skills and gave him the ability to talk to people from all walks of life.’

— Dr Dana Dixon

M.C. for the evening, Dr Dana Dixon, reading an excerpt from the book, said: “One of Mayer Matalon’s greatest legacies is as a negotiator. Some say a negotiator is born not made and one cannot learn to be a negotiator, rather it is in the DNA. Mayer Matalon was one of those. This innate skill was no doubt augmented over time. His experience as a teenager on the road selling for his father introduced him to a wide range of people, honed his interpersonal skills and gave him the ability to talk to people from all walks of life. His extraordinary emotional intelligence gave him an understanding of people’s psychology and motivations and he used that understanding in the negotiating process. He was more than a good listener, he would step into the shoes of the other person and see the situation from their perspective.”

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Those in attendance included: Wayne Chen, Peter Melhado, Jeffery Hall, Dr Omar Davies, Dr Nigel Clarke, Mark Golding, Bruce Golding, Peter Lindo, Ainsley Henriques, Justine and Jason Henzell, Suzie Benjamin, Vikram Dhiman, Matthew Pragnell and Joseph M. Matalon.