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Our newest member of the Primacy team has lived  in the Cayman Islands, is a passionate organic gardener and is planning to lead a Primacy Farm to Table employee garden right in our backyard. He also leads our daily and long-term QA efforts. Meet Jim Matheson, Senior Quality Assurance Analyst.

1. We all dream about packing up and moving to an island, but you made it a reality. Tell us about your big adventure in the Cayman Islands.

Jim Matheson

In 2004 my wife and I decided to move to Grand Cayman. We committed to going and basically packed up all of our possessions and moved. It was definitely an adventure starting from scratch in a new country. But, within a very short time we found a home and I had landed a successful career with AT&T working in Account Management. We ended up living in Grand Cayman for three years and eventually moved back to the states to be closer to our families. It was very challenging to make a quick trip back home and as great as it was to live on an island, we missed the connection and closeness with our family.

2. What inspired you to pack up everything and move?

My wife and I had stopped there on a cruise and we fell in love with the island – the standard of living was excellent and much different than other Caribbean islands we had visited. The timing was perfect; we had no kids and no mortgage, so the idea was to do it now while we could. It took a lot of planning; almost a year and a half, plus we were delayed by Hurricane Ivan, but we were committed to make it happen.

3. What did you learn from your time there?

Grand Cayman is the second largest offshore banking industry and the fifth largest offshore business community in the world, so there are a lot of international banks, law firms, and businesses. I got a ton of international experience without having to travel around the globe. For example, I had clients that were German, English and South African and my time there gave me a lot of experience doing business internationally and working with different cultures.

4. How did you get into gardening?

My time down in Grand Cayman introduced me to the benefits of local agriculture – it was very expensive to import food on to the island. It really got me thinking about where my food came from. When we moved back to the U.S., I was already bitten by the gardening bug. I had read that one of the top 10 farmers markets in the US is in New Haven and I made a note to check that out when I got back. I’ve been volunteering with City Seed, the non-profit that organizes the farmers market, for the past five years. I have an ever-advancing garden, as much land at home as I can utilize, and I’ve been home gardening for about four years. I initially started with two raised beds, now I’m up to six and a ground level garden. Lately I’ve been getting into edible landscaping, essentially trying to make all of the gardens on my property edible. I typically grow garlic, tomatoes, herbs, raspberries, peas, beans, lettuces, eggplants, squash, rhubarb, onions, peppers, potatoes, and whatever else I can get my hands on.

5. Rumor has it there is a garden in the works at Primacy…Whats the plan for that and your motivation behind it?

We’re in the beginning stages of planning the Primacy Employee Garden as well as a Primacy composting program. We’re going to incorporate both into the Primacy wellness program. It’ll be open to anyone that is interested in growing organic fruits and vegetables. I’m really looking to give people access to a garden and educate them on the ease of gardening and how much food can be produced. Also, and just as importantly, I want to create awareness of where your food comes from and get people thinking about that.

6. Tell us a little bit about your role at Primacy.

I’m a Senior Quality Assurance Analyst and my goal is to make sure that all of our client projects adhere to the Primacy standard of quality. I use my knowledge of the client’s business and their use-cases and test the completed project from the end user vantage point to make sure it works the way it was scoped out and designed.

7. What’s the most important lesson you learned last year?

Having a goal is just as important as slowing down and identifying the best way to achieve it.