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From one icon to another, Orane embraces 'Butch' Stewart

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dear Editor,

We don't often see enough Jamaican businessmen or professionals embracing or expressing open admiration for one another, sometimes because of sheer jealousy. That is why I wish to salute Douglas Orane for being different.

In his well-received speech at the recent quarterly Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) 'Lunch and Learn' event, Orane gave really helpful advice to young people looking to go into business.

“Don't be afraid to do something and fail, because that's the way we learn,” he urged the entrepreneurs, listing seven life lessons that are critical for the individual who wants to pursue business objectives.

Top of his list were integrity, excellence, and optimism. He then referenced one of the people who best represented those qualities — none other than hotel mogul and businessman Gordon “Butch” Stewart of Sandals fame.

“Integrity, because if people trust you they are more likely to do business with you; excellence and optimism in not seeing the glass as half-empty but rather as half-full,” Orane explained, and noted that Stewart was one such individual “who continued to do business and never quit despite the challenges”.

Coming from Orane I think that is an accolade of which Stewart can be proud, even with his many well known awards for high achievement over the years. And he could not have said it at a more appropriate place.

The 'Lunch and Learn' series was established to give existing businesses and potential entrepreneurs an opportunity to listen to the experiences of Jamaican entrepreneurs and business professionals who have successfully navigated the business landscape's many challenges.

Douglas Orane is best known for his exceptional leadership at GraceKennedy Limited, from which he retired as CEO in 2011. Every Jamaican is proud of GraceKennedy, which is taking the brand across the world. Orane also served twice as president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica, and as independent senator for four and a half years. He is an engineer by training and a graduate of Harvard Business School.

Most importantly, he is known for a robust social conscience and using his position as a leader of industry to promote the Jamaican brand whenever and wherever he can. I hope by now every Jamaican has read his book The Business of Nation Building, which encapsulates his passion for his country and solutions for its many social problems.

Orane honours another icon in Stewart, who continues his passionate thrust to build his unbelievable Sandals empire, employing thousands of people across the Caribbean and beyond.

To institutionalise philantrophy, Stewart's resort chain operates the Sandals Foundation and the Sandals Corporate University to provide training for staff, from janitorial to general manager, up to degree levels.

Honour to whom honour is due, from one icon to another.

 

Johnathan Arlington

jontonfairplay@gmail.com