GK introduces new strategy unit, overhauls foods division

GK introduces new strategy unit, overhauls foods division

BY AVIA COLLINDER Business reporter collindera@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

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GraceKennedy Ltd (GK) has indicated that it will make organisational changes between January 1 and April 1, 2017, restructuring both its finance and investment divisions and GK Foods.

According to CEO Don Wehby, the company has introduced a new Strategy, Investment and Corporate Planning Unit headed by Steven Whittingham — Chief Investment Officer, GK Group, and Managing Director of GK Capital Management Ltd. The unit will begin operating effective January 1, 2017.

GK Capital management was created following the sale of the group’s brokerage business to Proven Investments Limited for $3 billion. The new company is an investment and advisory firm focused on offering investment opportunities and financial products.

Members of the new Strategy, Investment and Corporate Planning team will include Toni Spence, manager - Corporate Planning & Strategy; Caryn Spencer, manager - Business Intelligence, and Tricia Martin - head of Customer Loyalty and Engagement.

In further finance division changes, effective January 1, GK indicates that the role of Grace Burnett, CEO GraceKennedy Financial Group Ltd. will be expanded to assume oversight for the GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) business which continues to be led by GKMS CEO Michelle Allen.

GraceKennedy CEO Don Wehby will continue in the role of Chairman of the GraceKennedy Financial Group Board and Chairman of GraceKennedy Money Services Caribbean, SRL, which is the joint venture entity with Western Union.


The company is also giving its top revenue earner — GK Foods — an overhaul.

The GraceKennedy Group earns in four major segments: Food Trading, Banking and Investments, Insurance, and Money Services. In the last financial year, the Foods segment generated the largest share of revenue, accounting for 79 per cent, compared to 77 per cent in 2014.

Under the current reorganisation, Debra Dodd, Chief Audit Executive, will be appointed to the role of Divisional Chief Financial Officer — GraceKennedy Foods. Debra’s appointment will take effect on April 1, 2017. Radcliffe Daley, Senior Audit Manager, will act in the role of Chief Audit Executive as of April 1, 2017.

Gilroy Graham, who is currently Senior General Manager for Grace Foods & Services (GFS) within GK Foods Jamaica, will take up the role of Executive Chairman of GraceKennedy (Belize) Ltd. He will report to Ryan Mack, CEO of Grace Foods International, in his new role.

Andrea Coy, CEO GraceKennedy Foods - Jamaica (Domestic), will assume direct responsibility for GFS while continuing to oversee the Global Category Management Unit (GCMU) and GK Foods Domestic.

Angeline Gillings, Chief Category Management Officer, will be assuming the overall responsibility of marketing for Grace Foods Jamaica. She will also continue to provide marketing support for Grace Foods USA in addition to other global brand management responsibilities.

Danielle Longman, Head of Planning & Strategy — International Business (GK Foods), will additionally assume oversight responsibility for GraceKennedy Ghana Limited and Grace Foods Latin America & Caribbean (GF LACA).

In her new role she will continue to report to Ryan Mack, who continues to have day-to-day responsibility for GK Foods (USA) LLC as well as oversight of GraceKennedy (Belize) Ltd, GraceKennedy Ontario and GK Foods UK.


The group is also making changes to its Group Corporate Secretariat & Legal Department following the upcoming retirement of Karen Chin Quee Akin, chief corporate secretary & general counsel, on March 31, 2017. Senior Legal Counsel Gail Moss-Solomon will assume the role as of April 1, 2017.

CEO Don Wehby said that Michael Ranglin will continue as executive chairman of GraceKennedy Properties, while relinquishing his role as a core member of the GK Executive Committee, effective January 1, 2017, "in order to intensify his focus on the construction of the new Corporate Headquarters, while maintaining his various property management responsibilities".

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