Business

Joseph Esau honoured on retirement from GK board

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

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GraceKennedy on Wednesday, February 27 paid tribute to Joseph Esau, who served on the company's board for 12 years.

A veritable list of who's who in Jamaican and Caribbean business gathered at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston to express their appreciation for the Trinidadian who has been hailed as an icon of Caribbean industry.

“For over three decades, Mr Esau has consistently given transformational leadership in both the public and private sectors, whether serving in the capacity of chairman, CEO, or as director in many boardrooms,” said a citation read by GK chairman, Professor Gordon Shirley.

The citation detailed Esau's successful journey from being a trainee accountant, to becoming an accomplished entrepreneur and one of the most sought-after consultants in the region. His outstanding record of achievements eventually caught the eye of now retired GK Chairman and CEO Douglas Orane, leading him to invite Esau to sit on the GK board in 2006.

“When Joe speaks of GraceKennedy, he speaks about the company as the standard by which others can be judged,” said GK CEO Don Wehby. “Joe, I want to tell you that you helped in large part to foster and maintain that culture within this great company, so when you speak about GraceKennedy, I want you to feel great pride in knowing that you contributed significantly to who GraceKennedy is today and what the company represents.”

He added that he had taken the opportunity, when it presented itself, to ask Esau to chair the board of “one of the most strategic companies in GraceKennedy — GK UK”. According to Wehby, “I was happy when Joe agreed, and I am so pleased to have him in that capacity because I know that he is already putting his whole heart into it, and we are seeing the impact of his chairmanship there.”

Among the esteemed gathering were several industry giants who came in from Trinidad specifically for the event. They included Arthur Lok Jack and his son Nicholas, Ronald Harford, Christian Mouttet, and Robert Bermudez. Ardelle Dalla Costa and Stephen Facey were among the specially invited guests, which also included GraceKennedy's board of directors.

In his response, Esau thanked his colleague directors, the GK executive, his friends and colleagues, and his wife, Lucita, also in attendance, “for her understanding of my travels, and her consistent support. I thank Doug Orane for being a gentleman and friend, my colleagues, and the board”.

“Being on the board of GraceKennedy is a great honour for which I will be forever thankful,” he said, noting he was proud to have worked with a company which he deems to be “a shining example of best practices not only in the region, but in the hemisphere”.


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