BRIAN Jardim, chief executive officer of Rainforest Seafoods, hosted 12 enthusiastic students from Iris Gelly Primary School for the Jamaica Observer's Salut! Applaud It! luncheon yesterday at Rainforest Seafoods' headquarters on Slipe Road.
The luncheon, which was hosted in the boardroom, is the latest in the initiative to have heads of companies meet and interact with the next generation, and was also attended by Danville Walker, managing director of Jamaica Observer Limited (JOL).
Iris Gelly Primary School is located in the community of Arnett Gardens, which is a five-minute drive from the 30,000-square-foot food-processing operation in Cross Roads.
CEO Jardim, upon hearing of the school's water plight from principal Veronica Gaynor, pledged to truck as much water as the school needs -- from the company's well. There are 1,080 students enrolled at Iris Gelly.
He also committed to provide the school with three computers to assist with its Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) preparations.
The Kingston 5 school has developed a reputation of excellence in Television Jamaica's Junior Schools' Challenge Quiz; its present literacy rate is 79.2 per cent; and the GSAT results are well above the national average. Gaynor also boasted that one of their students, Makaio McCarthy, was awarded a GSAT Government scholarship as the second best boy in the island and now attends Campion College.
During the luncheon, the students -- who were also accompanied by vice-principal Sybil Vidal -- were able to enjoy Rainforest Seafoods dishes prepared by corporate chef Evrol Ebanks, as well as discuss career choices.
General Manager Ernest Grant spoke to the students about the myriad careers that were available within the company -- from the processing and packaging plant to the executive offices.
The students also had the chance to participate in conversations with Maxwell Jardim, business development manager; Roger Lyn, marketing manager; and Bethany Young, assistant marketing manager, and were guided on the correct way to handle their silverware by Novia McDonald-Whyte, Jamaica Observer senior associate editor -- lifestyle & social content.
The 12 students were also happy to learn that they will be a part of Rainforest Seafoods' taste-test cohort -- and will be able to sample and give their opinion on new and reformulated products.
The students were gifted with Rainforest Seafoods products and JOL GSAT Guides at the end of the luncheon and were invited to the company's Christmas treat on December 14.
-- Monique Edwards Davis