John Mahfood is new JMEA presidentThursday, July 22, 2021
JOHN Mahfood, chief executive officer of Jamaican Teas Limited (JTL), was yesterday elected president of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) at the association's annual general meeting.
Mahfood replaces Seprod CEO Richard Pandohie, who served as president of the association for two consecutive terms. Pandohie was yesterday hailed for fiercely championing the needs of the JMEA membership and promoting inclusive and equitable growth in the wider productive sector.
Mahfood comes to the table as an experienced business leader, with a wealth of knowledge on local and international retail and trade, mergers and expansions. He also has over two years of service on the JMEA board of directors, through his appointments as vice-president and committee co-chair chairperson for membership and MSME programme development. He is also deeply invested in philanthropic work and is an avid social commentator on many issues that affect the productive sector and beyond, a release from the JMEA said.
In his acceptance speech, Mahfood stated that his views on the manufacturing sector have been formed over the past 35 years and will help to guide [him] in the role. “The organisation has laid out a strategy and 10-point plan for exports which I have inherited and which we will continue to pursue. Our small domestic market is not capable alone of sustaining a sufficiently important manufacturing sector. We must export in order to grow and have an efficient manufacturing base,” Mahfood said. “We as manufacturers must help and support each other to grow and expand in exports. We should not consider each other as competitors in the huge export sector.”
Deputy president of the association remains Jerome Miles, general manager of Rainforest Seafoods Limited, who ran unopposed. Sydney Thwaites, co-founder of Lubricating Specialties Company Jamaica, was elected as treasurer, assuming the role from Clover Moodie, chief financial officer of Kingston Wharves.
Six director positions became available during the election as one of the current directors was elected as president. This was contested by eight candidates. Successful in the bid were: Andrew Wildish, senior general manager of the Canning Division of GraceKennedy Food; Clover Moodie; group chief financial officer at Kingston Wharves Limited; Christopher Powell, director and factory manager, PA Benjamin Mfg Co Ltd; Stephen Dawkins, group export manager, Wisynco; Kareema Muncey, founder/CEO, Home Choice Enterprise Limited; and Robert Scott, general manager, Lifespan Company Limited.
In addition to the six newly elected directors, the following candidates retained their positions, now forming the JMEA's board of directors for 2021-2022: Novlet Deans, general manager, corporate affairs & finance, ARC Manufacturing Limited; Aswad Morgan, director, The Morgan Group; Kathryn Silvera, director and advertising marketing manager, Chas E Ramson Limited; Lisa Johnston, corporate affairs manager, Jamaica Producers Group Limited; Marc Frankson operations manager, Designs by Marc; David Martin, director, Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cake Company Limited; Alicia Bogues, head of marketing and regional development, CB Foods Limited; Andrew Gray, managing director, Gray's Pepper; John O Minott, Jr, general manager, Jamaica Standard Products Company Limited; Brett Wong, managing director, Coldfield Manufacturing; Dianna Blake-Bennett, general manager, Salada Foods Limited; and Richard Coe, managing director, Fleetwood Jamaica Limited/Orion Manufacturing.
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