Regional

THE RACE IS ON

Three already vying for president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce

BY HORACE HINES
Observer West reporter

Thursday, March 15, 2018



MONTEGO BAY, St James - Campaigning for the top post of president of the Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) is expected to heat up over the next month as three individuals have so far thrown their hats into the ring to replace current president TShura Gibbs when the Chamber's annual general meeting is convened next month.

It is an open secret that Gibbs, who recently resigned from her executive post at the Jamaica Public Service to pursue her own business interest, will not be seeking re-election as president of the MBCCI for personal reasons.

Among the known candidates aspiring to replace Gibbs are businessman Brian Brown and bankers, Norman Reid and Winston Lawson.

The three contenders are all going after the top job, armed with impressive resumes.

Reid has been in the banking sector for 40 years and is now a company director, leadership coach and entrepreneur who has served western Jamaica for many years in various business capacities.

Brown is currently second vice president of the MBCCI and is the principal of LivewireACT, a communications and entertainment company. Brown has in the past spearheaded a number of Chamber initiatives.

Lawson is the assistant general manager of the Corporate Banking Division of the National Commercial Bank with responsibility for the Western Region. At present Lawson is a director of the MBCCI and is also a past president of the Manchester Chamber as well as a past president of the Rotary Club of Mandeville.

The former board director of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, Lawson told the Observer West that he grabbed the opportunity to vie for the MBCCI's top post at the behest of the outgoing president.

"I was pleased with the request; it is not unfamiliar territory that I am entering because I have tremendous experience in leading voluntary organisations," Lawson obviously in campaign mode stated.

"I am looking forward to doing the work, it's a part of my DNA. It's nothing new for me. Two of the three years when I headed the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, that Chamber was awarded with the Best Parish Chamber in the entire island of Jamaica."

Brown informed that he decided to contest the position now because he has been a very hard worker in the MBCCI.

"I've been a dedicated member of the Chamber for more than 15 years and has served as a member of the board for more than 10 years, working and supporting numerous presidents. Over the last three years, I've recruited more than 20 new members and have played a lead role in most of the Chamber's initiatives and programmes," Brown pointed out.

"As the board's most active member, I have represented sitting Chamber presidents at multiple events including engagements with the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, British High Commission, Ministries of National Security & Justice as well as numerous television and radio interviews on the Chamber's behalf.

"More than any other director, I am constantly engaged and connected with the Chamber's membership and have lead several campaigns for community support initiatives for the Barnett Street Police Station and William Street (Gully) flood relief programmes among others."

Reid for his part indicated that he decided to offer himself for the leadership role of the powerful Montego Bay Chamber because he is of the view that he can now serve as he now has enough time on his hands to make a meaningful contribution.

"I have never entertained the thought of running before because my job was transferable and I did not want to take a job and possibly have to leave it mid-stream," Reid argued.

"I have a strong track record in leadership, both at the level of working with non-profit and profit motive organisations. I have a very good track record of working with business owners in Sav, Negril and

Montego Bay.

"I have plans that business that will ignite the chamber to deliver in accordance with its core objectives," Reid said.

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