A seasoned professional with 29 years of experience and a track record of excellence in the hospitality industry, Norris Reid manages myriad software applications on more than 100 workstations, maintaining separate Wi-Fi networks for guests and hotel administration and overseeing more than 15 servers. He is the information technology (IT) manager at Sandals Montego Bay and he oversees the complex web of interconnectivity and network infrastructure at Sandals' flagship resort.
He is Sandals Montego Bay's newly minted manager of the year.
Reid works in the intricate world of server rooms filled with switches, routers and other hardware that dance to a daily symphony that may seem chaotic to the uninitiated but is in fact well-composed.
Despite the daily demands of his position, he remains unflappable and ever more passionate about his work.
"I love my job," he said. "Perhaps what is most fulfilling for me is seeing that broad smile and hearing a genuine 'thank you' from a colleague after resolving an IT-related issue they were facing. I also take great pleasure in mentoring and training new team members or anyone interested in this field."
It's hard to tell that, initially, IT wasn't in his plans.
"My first love was always medicine, but I quickly realised after graduating from William Knibb High School in Trelawny, that a career in medicine was beyond my reach. So, I did the next best thing — information technology," he confessed.
Looking back, he thinks he made the right decision.
An alumnus of the University of Technology and Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom, Reid holds a Bachelor's Degree in Computing and Management Studies and a Master's Degree in Information Systems Security, which he recently completed through a partial scholarship from Sandals Corporate University (SCU).
"I'm forever grateful to Sandals for providing me with an unconventional IT experience and giving me a platform through which to expand my knowledge and constantly explore new technologies," he said.
Before joining the Sandals team, Reid embarked on various jobs in search of his true calling.
"After leaving high school at age 16, I worked as a library assistant, a medical records clerk and a bank teller," he said.
But he sensed that something was missing and decided to return to school as he believed the classroom held the missing pieces of his puzzle. His first step into IT was as a system administrator.
Sandals, though, was where Reid opened a whole new chapter in his career.
"At Sandals I found a work environment and atmosphere that I really enjoyed," he said.
He felt a sense of autonomy and was thrilled at the opportunity to be part of a dynamic and evolving team, always seeking improvement, and open to collaborative ideas.
During his time with Sandals, Reid has worked at seven resorts in multiple countries.
"I've had the opportunity to work with persons from all walks of life and it has made for one truly enriching experience," he said.
Dennis Waite, regional manager for Information Systems at Sandals Resorts International (SRI), described Norris as dependable and appreciates their shared passion for sports, particularly Liverpool FC.
"Norris is the go-to person for insightful feedback and training new IT team members," he said.
Hotel Manager Anna-Kay Wholas spoke of Reid's patience and grace in handling challenges.
"Nothing easily fazes him," she remarked.
One of the most valuable lessons Reid has learned from his career in IT, however, is the importance of embracing change. He acknowledges that change is inevitable and that success in life requires embracing and learning from it.
"Sandals has always embraced change; perhaps that is why I fit in here," he said. "I am happy to be a part of a journey focused on enhancing technology to improve our team's output while elevating guests' experiences throughout our resorts."