Cost controller Ronaldo Reid a tourism success story
People see Ronaldo Reid today and admire his professionalism, leadership skills, and penchant for discipline.
Reid, the cost controller at Sandals Dunn’s River, is naturally pleased that those characteristics have impressed his colleagues and won him their admiration, but he quickly acknowledges that his life — a testament to the indomitable human spirit — was shaped by his mother, Geraldine, and his early experiences.
“I’m not from a wealthy background,” Reid shares as he recalls the challenges his mother faced working tirelessly as a security guard to provide for her nine children.
Reid’s stepfather, who raised him throughout his primary and high school years, also played a crucial role in his upbringing. Their close relationship instilled a sense of independence in Reid as he learned from a young age the importance of taking the initiative and getting things done on his own.
Reid also had to navigate the challenges of growing up in the heart of an inner-city community in Montego Bay. One event, in particular, had a profound impact on his life when a bullet pierced their front door, hitting his hand and his niece. That experience served as a turning point, reinforcing his determination to choose the path of goodness and inspiring him to become a Christian.
Armed with his mother’s sage advice, “It doesn’t matter where you start, what matters is where you’re determined to go” Reid’s journey into leadership and success began in the Jamaica Combined Cadet Force.
That experience instilled in him values of discipline and leadership that shaped his future as he honed his leadership skills, progressing through the ranks and ultimately achieving the rank Warrant Officer Class 2.
While attending Rusea’s High School in Hanover, he faced the demanding task of juggling school and part-time work.
“I remember leaving school at 2:30 pm each day to get back to Montego Bay for a 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm shift at Burger King,” recalls Reid, who was elected deputy head boy when he got to sixth form.
He maintained that demanding schedule until he had to make the difficult decision to leave Burger King to give full focus to sitting the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination. At the same time, he continued to climb the ranks in the cadet corps, further fuelling his drive and instilling in him the belief that nothing worthwhile comes easy.
Reid’s path eventually led him to a career in the hospitality industry.
“Honestly, I had no idea what cost controlling was,” he admits. After a brief stint at Sangster International Airport as a sales representative, he realised that that field was not for him. Determined to find his true calling, he applied for a position at a hotel and was offered a cost control clerk job in 2016. This marked the beginning of a journey that eventually led him to Sandals Dunn’s River where his passion for cost control grew as he excelled in the field.
“For me, it is all about sacrifice,” he emphasises. “Based on my background, failure was not an option for me. When you have the correct attitude coupled with the aptitude, you are halfway there. Cost control for me is not a profession but a passion.”
Sandals Dunn’s River Financial Controller Davatte Smith fondly recalls the early chapters of Reid’s journey, long before the hotel’s doors swung open.
“He is someone who never disappoints when it comes to delivering what is required,” Smith says, hailing him as her most cherished success story.
“Ronaldo not only stands out as a prominent figure at Sandals Dunn’s River but also serves as an enduring wellspring of inspiration for all fortunate enough to be part of his professional journey,” she adds.
Christina Plumber, the assistant cost controller at Sandals Dunn’s River, agrees.
She, too, points to Reid’s leadership skills and meticulous attention to detail.
But even more impressive for Plumber is Reid’s commitment to the growth of his team.
“His mindset is amazing because he encourages us as a team to grow with him and genuinely desires to see us succeed,” Plumber says, adding that even in moments of frustration and difficulty Reid’s patience and steady support are reassuring.
Opening a hotel is a formidable challenge, but Reid’s passion and exceptional team played a vital role in the grand opening of the resort in May 2023.
He believes that leaving a lasting impact at Sandals Dunn’s River is essential.
“It is my hope to leave my footprint here at Sandals Dunn’s River for years to come, where my team members can see themselves as leaders too. Sandals is my home,” he says.