*Photo by Nicola Muirhead
*Photo by Nicola Muirhead

Joanne MacPhee is the executive director of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce and the face behind many of its initiatives.

Mrs MacPhee was part of the team that organised Fashion Night Out recently, an annual event that brings retailers together for a night of shopping, fashion and fun.

She was also part of the group that launched the offbeat More Pink Bermuda campaign this summer.

The 54-year-old’s background is in marketing, communications and public relations. She spent 13 years in the financial services sector, first with the Bermuda Stock Exchange and more recently KPMG.

As the executive director, Mrs MacPhee has overall responsibility for the day to day operation of the Chamber and oversight for the Chamber’s strategic direction.

Mrs MacPhee lives in Warwick and is married with two step-children and a grandson.

21 April 2010

Your earliest memory?

Being propped up on the counter top in the kitchen of our home on Stokes Point Road in St. George’s watching my Mother and sisters drive off into Hamilton for what I learned later was the first day of school. I was not even quite one then.   


What were you like in school?

Very chatty, always organizing things, a little precautious and not a particularly good student. I have report cards going back all the way to nursery school and up until my A levels and there is a recurring theme throughout:  ‘If Joanne put as much effort in to her studies as she does talking she would be a very good student’!  


Who is your hero/heroine?

I am not sure I have one 


Which human trait do you dislike the most?

Dishonesty, followed closely by ignorance in the presence of knowledge


Human trait you value most in others?



Which film character would you be?

Pretty much any charterer played by Diane Keaton

When did you last laugh out loud? And why?

I laugh out loud a lot – I am easily amused.  J


Do you believe in fate?



Your greatest fear?

Failing, once I apply myself I hate coming up short; that and living too long.


Most embarrassing moment?

Too many to retell!


Property aside, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve bought?

Our car, but on a more personal note my Husband’s Rolex


Your ultimate ambition?

To die happy


Your most unappealing habit?

I have a really quick temper, I also talk too much

Describe yourself in three words

Honest, opinionated, kind


Best party you’ve ever been to?

My 40th I threw myself black tie event and had the Tom Ray band there with Ronnie Lopes on drums. Great night!


Anyone you’d like to say ‘sorry’ to?

I have actually done a really good job of making amends over the years.


Worst job you’ve ever done?

I worked in Council run retirement home in Camden Town in London, many of the residents should not have been there, they were simply discarded by their families, it was very sad.  


Biggest disappointment?

That the world is not a kinder, gentler place


Biggest regret?

Not pursuing an acting career when I had a chance and not traveling more when I was young


Closest you’ve ever come to death?

When I tried swimming out to sea during a Tropical Storm– bad idea!


Your desert island song?

‘I will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor


What animal would you be and why?

A beloved dog, because then I could go for car rides, hang my head out the window and flap my ears in the wind. It looks like so much fun when my dog does it!


What do you do if you can’t sleep?

That happens to me a LOT I play silly alphabet games in head to take my mind off what is really bothering me.   


If you had a time machine, where would you go?

Victorian England would be interesting and on my way back, Bermuda in the thirties.


 Your most memorable dream?

I wish I could remember!  Seriously I have some great ideas in my sleep and I would be a bestselling novelist if I could only remember the plots in the morning.     


Most unpleasant exchange you’ve have had with a person?

I find any altercation motivated by racism particularly unsettling.


Best advice you have ever taken?

‘The best revenge is living well’


 If you weren’t a nine to five worker bee what would you be?

A successful novelist and philanthropist 


What do you most dislike about you appearance?

Ugh, so many things so little time, probably the sun damage I have done to my face.


 What do you like best about your appearance?

My husband likes my smile


 What’s your attitude to money?

It is incredibly useful and I wish I had more of it.


 Which cartoon character is most like you?

I relate best to Dilbert. I had a boss who used to send me Dilbert clips all the time, really made my day!


 Nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?

I love you.


 Define romantic love.

My marriage, neutering, sensuous and always forgiving


 Tell us a joke.

Sorry no, I love jokes but I am really bad at telling them, plus as I mentioned I have terrible memory


 Most treasured possession?

Rufus, a teddy bear I have had since I was seven. We have been through a lot together


 A dream location for a home?

If money were no object a home in New York or London would be fun.  


 What keeps you up at night?

Work, and when I cannot conquer the problem I turn to the silly mind games  


 Guilty pleasure?

Ice cream, I do not allow myself to have it very often anymore but when I do it is a real treat.


Name some favourite:

TV shows/TV series – Big Bang Theory

Movies - I do not tend to like watching movies over and over again but the Men In Black series is funny

Books – Nothing too deep, I like a good who done it 

Dishes – Stuff artichokes are hard to beat, that or lamb chops with asparagus 

Vacation spots- I am still trying to get to the Greek Isles, I also love Barbados 


 Your attitude to exercise?

A necessary evil


 Your proudest achievement?

Is still to come


 If you were a pigeon, who would you poop on?

Too funny! There are few who people have pooped on me in life and it would be fun to get back, but I am not naming any names!


Pet peeve?

The stupid little USDA stickers on fruit. More seriously, I am beyond incensed by animal cruelty


If you won a million dollars, what would you do with it?

Pay off my mortgage, take care of some pressing family matters and see the other side of the world.  I would also make my first significant philanthropic donation.


Most daring thing you’ve ever done?

Starting my own Advertising /Public Relations firm back in the eighties. 


What would you most like to be remembered for?

Being a good human being and making a difference.


Most important lesson life has taught you?

Don’t give up, it gets better.