Embracing the four Y’s
Yoni Epstein is looking forward to his second happy landing. The second time, we reckon, will be a lot easier.
Epstein and his wife Lisa gave birth to Island Outsourcers six months ago and hit the ground running in the quest to “show clients why Jamaica has the reputation of being one of the best near-shore outsourcing options in the world”. This as a result of the advanced telecoms infrastructure, experienced workforce, low attrition rates, cultural affinity, proximity to North America, and significant savings to customers.
delivering a biological bundle of joy, is to expand their 11,000 sq ft-facility to a self-contained 20,000 sq ft- state-of-the-art Contact Centre. There are, too, plans to expand outside of Jamaica.
Expect to hear more on their four Y's: quality, integrity, reliability and family. Epstein, wearing the hat of chairman of the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica, will bring more awareness to Jamaica as the near-shore destination to meet outsourcing needs.
The Dream Team
Vidal Dowding, founder of Atelier-Vidal Ltd, and his team of six young designers, all under 30, are the design team behind the redevelopment of the Trident Hotel in Portland. So impressed were billionaire Michael Lee-Chin and Geejam Collection principal Jon Baker with Vidal Dowding, a registered architect and member of the Jamaican Institute of Architects, that they asked him to be the lead designer on their Portland Renaissance Project, with the Blue Lagoon redevelopment, starting in 2013.
Dowding, formerly a design studio tutor at the Caribbean School of Architecture, hired some of his best students and experienced colleagues to complete a total rebranding of the Trident Hotel. Completion time was just eight months.
Dowding refers to his style as Tropical Contemporary, using minimalist principles and contextual materials. The design team reused the shell of the existing Georgian buildings and created modern spaces with a connection to the outdoors. The style is even more apparent in the new buildings designed at the Trident, including the contemporary spa with a cantilevering yoga deck and a beach bar with trees growing through the timber decks.
The Dynamic Duos
SEAN PAUL HENRIQUES AND JODI
We clutched our pearls ever so tightly at the thought that 'happily ever after…' came under threat on the cusp of the new year as we learnt of Sean's alleged former lover Susanne Persson's demands of US$80m in damages. If Kim K's pregnancy and the resurgence of her sex tape are anything to go by, then let's hope the renewed media interest in Sean Paul translates into a spike in sales for Tomahawk Technique in 2013.
ARNELLA CHIN AND PIERRE GOUBALT
The consummate party boy (think Dream Entertainment) popped the question, and the horse-racing consultant and Food Awards judge said 'yes'. We reckon wedding bells will ring in 2013!
CHRISTOPHER MARTIN AND CE’CILE
Let's just say Chris's Chill Spot has now been redesigned to include a nursery (not that it rivals Blue Ivy's). For fan mum Ce’cile, we know she's obsessed with that oh-so-gorgeous bod' and we simply can't wait for her return to the stage some time this year!
GARY AND TINA MATALON
Consider it a fact, not fiction (get it), that Gary and Tina Matalon — as part of the KLE Group — will be upping the ante when it comes to offering Jamaicans attractive nightlife packages. One word: Famous!
WAYNE MARSHALL AND TAMI CHYNN
2012 was a relatively quiet year for these dancehall lovebirds, but things steadily picked up with their hosting the Fiwi Choice music video countdown show and being named ATL ambassadors. Let's see what they make of these gigs in 2013.
The son has indeed risen and we're proud of the strides he's making to protect his father's legacy. He's the consummate host, and Jamaica is still rocking from that ultra-fab ATL World party in MoBay. Might we hasten to add, ATL Autohaus — designed by Germans and built by 200 Jamaicans — will do much for the economy and the city's backdrop when it opens later this year.
SEAN LYN AND KIBWE MCGANN
From bridal expos to boutique stagings, these young'uns are steadily making a name for themselves and their company, Intuit Concepts Team, as forthright event planners. Let's see what else they whip up in 2013.
After his role in the inking of a near $17-b loan agreement between Facey Commodity Group and Scotia Investments in February of this year, we’re guessing banker Lissant Mitchell is as pleased as punch. But we’re also sure there's much more to come.
DOUGLAS AND MELANIE GRAHAM
Not an obvious choice when we think of 'Ones to Watch' but these Palace Amusement directors — who would have thunk it? — brought lofty Met Opera matinees to Carib. There was, too, the 3D experience… most notably Cirque du Soleil, Avengers and Madagascar, to name a few.
JAIME AND MARK MCCONNELL
With their Orijin brand of juices becoming the preferred sip of The Rock, we're excited to see (and perhaps taste) what else this fab couple will be putting out on supermarket shelves islandwide.
Ity and Fancy Cat
The 2012 season of The Ity and Fancy Cat Show w a s hilarious… and we're sure the 'comedy of errors Jamaican life oft spawns will give these clowns enough fodder in 2013.
As a result of unmet demand from Macintosh computer users IT practitioner Garfield Bolt left a full-time job to start GB IT Consulting. He has been carving out his own niche and delivering highly personalised and differentiated service to his own base of residential and small business clients, using his passion for Apple Computers and Consumer Electronics, to demystify technology for anyone in need of professional, reliable technical support services.
He predicts that 2013 will be the year “that Internetenabled devices completely revolutionise the television industr y, overtaking traditional cable TV as the main source for network TV content. This trend is already underway, but exciting new products expected from companies like Apple will bring mass market adoption. In short, You Tube clips will not be the video content most accessed online. We'll all watch what we want, whenever we want, from unlimited video libraries in the ‘cloud’.
The Money Makers
MICHAEL LEE CHIN
Portie-chic just got a whole lot more relevant with the opening of the island-haute Trident. And let's not forget his stake as chairman of the National Commercial Bank and AIC Finance Company Limited. The helipad awaits… need we say more?
TEAM BCW CAPITAL
(From left) Paul Simpson, G Charles Chambers, Jonathan Thompson, Kerrie Baylis and Gerald Wight. They're the proverbial new kids on the block, but this cadre of experienced, dare we suggest, easy-on-the-eyes bankers definitely has some old insights that will prove useful to their business during this, its introductory phase.
In charge of billions of dollars at only 30 years old, Tracy-Ann Spence, Assistant Vice-President, Investments at NCB Capital Markets, is tasked to 'make it happen' despite the challenges of a tough economy in 2013.
Scotiabank's point guard in Trinidad; let's see how her knowledge of the Jamaican and T&T markets will influence greater financial opportunities for both island states in 2013.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Geejam Collection principal Jon Baker will in 2013 launch the Jolly Boys reality show as well as their independent movie It’s Never Too Late. There'll also be the US release of Ellis Hall's first album on Geejam recordings.
Naturally, the Port Antonio Renaissance movement will continue with the Blue Lagoon as the main focus.
The ‘Weir’-Wolf shocked with his bronze medal finish in the 200-metre finals at last summer’s Olympic Games in London. With his recent engagement to high school sweetheart Natalya McGhie and a promising track career ahead, we’re expecting big times in the next twelve months.
Set to bring the convenience of electronic insurance quotes to The Rock (think the eSurance model) with his Safe and Reliable Insurance For All (SARIFA), Chris Blythe will stake his claim (pun definitely intended) in the new year.
Muse and Musicians
Mission Catwalk’s first winner has managed to stay relevant and it’s no surprise that her pieces continue to be a staple in the wardrobes of the island’s style set (including the perpetually fab Ann Marie Vaz).
We’re still getting goose pimples at the thought of Saint International model Shena channelling the inimitable Grace Jones at the Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2013 runway show… we reckon her star will continue to rise across the world's major fashion meccas.
With a pout that would make Scar Jo envious, and gorgeous chocolate pins, we reckon magazine covers will continue to love our Pulse girl Jeneil in the new year.
Dancehall’s ‘femme d’un certain age’, Lady Saw has gotten her groove back. And don’t think the feud with the young’uns will stop her either, for we reckon with her new Heels On video — featuring ‘Mr Boombastic’ Shaggy as her leading man — things will definitely heat up.
A harmonic mixture of what can only be described as John Legend-meets-Jah Cure, this newcomer’s Behind Curtain received rave reviews in late 2012. And his upcoming singles aren’t half bad either. Listen out for this one.
Controversial and candid, Konshens ruled dancehall in 2012 showing his predecessors that the idea of paying your dues before attracting stardom went out with the LP45.
Tommy Lee Sparta
We’re not too impressed with his musical stylings, but hey… radio land and those with a penchant for dancehall seem to be on to the self-professed demoniac. We’re guessing his star will continue to rise, especially with his “Daddy” Kartel still behind bars.
We saw the Facebook rantings and are simply curious to know when the tell-all will hit shelves!
Mission to Mogul
We're keeping a watchful eye on designer in the making Katie Bowen. Katie, who is no stranger to Jamaica, and whose dad happens to be Bruce Bowen, president and CEO of Scotia Group Jamaica, is currently a second-year student at London College of Fashion, having successfully completed her Foundation Year and created a portfolio to apply for her BA (Hons) in Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear. The second year of the programme, known as the 'year in industry', requires students to complete an internship for a designer or at a fashion house during one of the three terms.
Bowen, who wanted to intern in New York, applied to Marc Jacobs (one of her favourite New York designers) last September, and was accepted.
This budding designer has interned for two other fashion designers in London: Ryan Lo, who showed his debut collection at London Fashion Week last September and Bahar Alipour, a Central Saint Martins MA graduate who started her own label called SVEK. The label is only on its second collection but as a result of its positive reception the S/S13 collection went on to show at a trade show in Paris during Paris Fashion Week last September. Bowen, who was integral in preparing the collection (mostly pattern cutting and sampling), was asked by Bahar to form part of the trade show team to Paris Fashion Week.
Now in the New Year, completing her first week at at Marc Jacobs - her internship will last three months - Bowen will be working in the sample room for the duration of the internship.
"We are currently preparing for the AW13 show for New York Fashion Week in February. Therefore, I do a lot of errands with other interns: picking up and dropping off fabric, trims patterns, garments, etc, between the studio and production, as well as keeping the studio organised. A huge part of this is archiving old fabrics, trims and fastenings for future collections reference. Starting next week it will get very hectic until the show date arrives!"
Bowen will, on completion of her internship at Marc Jacobs, return to
London to complete her programme in Womenswear design. But already she
has her sights set on her next internship - Christopher Kane: - "He's
one of my favourite London designers", she shares with SO.
Post-graduate courses are part of her long-term plan too, with her
final goal being her own design label. Hmmm, let's see if years from
now she'll be part of our SO 'Who Knew?'
Eschew all thoughts of this young’un being trapped in her sister Jodi Stewart’s shadow — she graduated top of her class from Marvel School in Toronto, Canada, and has been practising hairstyling for a little over five years having trained at top styling schools Farouk University, Redken, Avlon, and Matrix to name a few — Traci will be one to watch in 2013 when she relocates, in February, to her Kingston 6 location.
Mission to Mogul
First, there were 15. Let's see who'll be left standing come March.
At just 26 years old, Tyrone Wilson can lay claim to launching Jamaica's first online television network, iVu TV. There are, too, a slew of electronic magazines that suit the demands of those who need info on the go. It doesn’t hurt, of course, that the eMedia Interactive company managed to raise over US$350,000 through a private placement deal with Sagicor Bank (formerly PanCaribbean Financial Services) earlier last year.
A man-about-town in the truest sense, Bankay can be found anywhere there's an opportunity. From the DJ booth to his stake in Dream Entertainment, event management to public relations, he does it all. We're curious to see what’s on the horizon for this young mover and shaker in the new year.
Mission Catwalk enters its third season this year, having been syndicated on cable and distributed all over the Caribbean. We’re expecting our girl to add yet another dimension to Mission as she improves her TV prowess. Her recent Christmas collection marked her return to the runway after a three-year hiatus. We reckon the best is yet to come in 2013.
His papa, Brian Jardim, helms the largest seafood distribution company on The Rock, his granddad Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart is our much beloved chairman, so it goes without saying that Max and Fish Pot, the city’s newest on-the-go eatery, are destined for greatness. The inaugural Seafood Festival with 100 per cent proceeds slated for We Care — Cornwall Regional Hospital will be just one of the initiatives to look out for.
Rayan ‘Rocky’ Russell
With the nation’s youth performing abysmally in CXC mathematics, Russell has positioned himself to become tutor extraordinaire. His Math Junkies workshops featuring uber-high-tech interactive boards and ‘the-cool-uncle personality’ got the attention of Education Minister Ronnie Thwaites in 2012. And from what we hear, the numbers will come into play in 2013.
Duane and Teasea Bennett
Never ones to limit themselves, Rêve Jewellery & Accessories directors Teasea and Duane Bennett are upbeat about 2013. Their plans on the local scene include Rebel Salute, Style Week Jamaica and the second staging of the annual Rêve Wellness Festival. Internationally, Rêve will be in London for LFW and France in early August for a private show.
However, one of the most exciting developments for 2013 will be the Rêve Jewellery relaunch of the REVEJEWELLERY.COM and debut of the company’s second website jewellerylinx.com.
Both sites will facilitate e-commerce for Rêve Jewellery designs and other local producers. This will also be the platform to keep abreast of the company’s development, events and other updates.
He will, we reckon, hang on to track superstar legendary status. Does he have the currency however, to lure some of the biggest names to The Rock for his weekend experience slated for April 18-21? The possibility of raising US$5 million for his Usain Bolt Foundation makes him SO… one to watch for 2013.