Jennylynd James is an artist, writer and vocalist, with a long work history as a food scientist. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she was awarded a Canadian Commonwealth scholarship in the 1990s to complete graduate studies at McGill University. She earned a PhD in food science and worked in this field for more than 15 years, gaining international experience in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Canada.
James’ food industry experience included technical roles in R&D, quality assurance, food safety management and auditing, in growing, processing, distribution and food service; as well as crisis management and seafood sustainability. She developed her entrepreneurial skills when she started and ran a food business in Ireland for five years. James was nominated as a Produce Industry Leadership Fellow in 2002 by United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, Washington, D.C., in a program sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection. She also edited a popular food science textbook entitled ‘Microbial Hazard Identification in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Industry’ published by Wiley Interscience, New York.
James received a commission from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations to produce an industry guidance document entitled ‘Processing of Fresh-cut Tropical Fruits and Vegetables’. She developed curricula for two new food science courses in the food science and technology program at Centennial College, Toronto. She now works on a part-time consulting basis for the food industry assisting companies in establishing food safety programs, training staff, and auditing to meet international food safety and quality standards.
James is a single mother who arrived in Toronto with her teenage daughter in the winter of 2011. Not having family and friends in the city, she was resourceful in starting over her life and making a major career shift in just five years. She has explored and developed her artistic talents seeking to bring a love of the arts to enrich the lives of the general public. James has staged numerous solo art exhibitions and participated in art shows with local and regional art initiatives in Ontario.
James volunteers as a soprano with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in which musicians and vocalists strive to bring the best quality classical music to communities in the Greater Toronto Area through a year-long series of concerts. James has also volunteered at Culture Days at the Library, a weekend where artists bring cultural events to the public; conducting workshops and arts shows. She has written a series of travel memoirs to chronicle her many adventures in relocation. These memoirs sold on Amazon.com offer social commentary with lessons in resilience and thriving, serving to empower and motivate readers. She regularly does book readings promoting the traditions of storytelling and appreciation of literature and reading.
James’ recent awards include: recognition in the Book of Distinguished Diaspora by the Consulate General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Canada, August 2012; the Black Canadian Awards 2015 Role Model given by the Diversity Advancement Network in recognition as a role model inspiring members of the community positively with high achievement and contributions that are a source of encouragement to others. Her memoir ‘Escape from Ireland’ was nominated in the non-fiction category of the Harlem Book Fair, New York, in 2015, promoting Canadian literary works to an American audience.