MANDEVILLE, Manchester — It was a packed room at the Golf View Hotel here recently as the Manchester Chamber of Commerce (MCOC) hosted its Annual Awards and Banquet.
A diverse audience, including former Jamaican prime minister PJ Patterson, was entertained by Fab 5 band, and given a glimpse of the work of the Chamber as it strives to fulfill its mandate as the "united voice" of the business community.
The honourees were: S&G Road Surfacing Materials — construction; West Indies Alumina company (WINDALCO) — community impact; Exclusive Dental Care — customer service; Dr Stephen Mungal-Singh — health; restaurateur Merveline Hanson — hospitality; Bank of Nova Scotia — banking and finance; Jamaica National Small Business Loans — visionary; Baking Enterprises Limited — manufacturer; Treasure Box Jewellers — entrepreneur; Vicbern Aluminium and Asphalt Roofing — family business of the year; Fontana Pharmacy — business of the year; while Northern Caribbean University (NCU) received a separate award for education and technology.
Chamber president Wendy Freckleton, who is now completing her second term at the helm of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, reported on a number of successes during the past year and emphasised that the work would continue.
She cited the opening of MegaMart Wholesale Club in teh Manchester capital, which operators say will generate over 200 jobs, and increased community outreach efforts as major highlights for the organisation.
Freckleton said the Chamber's future plans include a drive to earn city status for Mandeville, as well as its development as a university town and a base for the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
With financial help from light and power company Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), the Chamber delivered on a promise to the Manchester police and handed over "three high-quality, heavy-duty mountain bikes" to assist them in carrying out their duties.
Other sponsors for the evening included Scotia Investments, Jamaica Observer, MegaMart Wholesale Club and DigicelBusiness Solutions.
Businessman Trevor Heaven copped the gate prize of a ticket for two to a Caribbean Airlines destination.