MONTEGO BAY, St James - Unlike most people at age 14, Horatio Brown Jr was juggling school and tunes as a deejay in his home community of Colgate, St Ann.
In an attempt to find a path where he could grow after six years as a deejay, his parents encouraged him to apply for a job at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort as a playmaker in 2011. However, he was denied what he thought was his dream job and instead hired as a concierge. Luckily for him this redirection was divine intervention as Horatio is now the assistant butler manager at Sandals Montego Bay.
“Where I am now at Sandals Montego Bay is more than what my younger self ever dreamed of becoming. I always had the ambition but when I wanted to join as a deejay, my then general manager, Mr Brian Roper, told me straight away that my charisma and zeal called for something where I could interact directly with the guests,” said Brown.
Brown was one of the first team members to be part of the rebranding of Sandals’ concierge department, now known as Club Sandals, at Sandals Ochi Beach Resort, an exclusive new club that redefined the concierge experience. He admits that he enjoyed his time as a concierge agent but longed to unleash his full potential.
“I loved being a part of something new within the company and I believe that my time in Club Sandals really prepared me for my role now as assistant butler manager. Back in 2013 I became so versed in my role that I would be called on to train newer managers coming in. I knew that there were opportunities within the company but still needed some time to truly buckle down,” he explained.
Not long after his stint at Club Sandals, Brown developed a whole new mindset that inevitably helped him to climb the Sandals ladder of success.
“In 2015 I set a goal to become a manager at Sandals within 10 years. I knew that once you have a goal at Sandals and identify the best route to get, there you will certainly accomplish it. I devoted myself wholeheartedly to my department which led to me winning the Diamond Team Member of the Year in 2017. A year after that I applied for the Management Training Programme (MTP), which is Sandals Resorts International succession planning tool, where successful candidates experience an intensive, accelerated and practical two-year learning and development programme, including exposure to all areas and departments of hotel operations, with a targeted specialisation of weddings, engineering, photo operations, spa, resort shop, butler, laundry, and watersports,” Brown stated.
Now that he is called to put his training to the test, he notes that his transition was seamless given his experience as a part of the MTP. Brown admits that the person who he was 10 years ago would be most impressed with who he is today.
“In 2018 when I was leaving for Sandals Grenada the pride that stretched across my parents’ faces when I rolled out with my suitcase was something I truly value, I thank Sandals for that opportunity,” he stressed.
Sandals Montego Bay’s former Butler Manager Hughill Simms, who is now based at Sandals Royal Caribbean, raved about Horatio’s performance noting that, “he is one of the most driven and focused team members in his job.”
“Horatio is also very dedicated to whatever task he is asked to complete. His eagerness to learn new things and the fact that he is never afraid to share what he knows, positions him to grow even further as he has the makings of a good leader,” said Simms.
Christopher Elliott, general manager of Sandals Montego Bay, praised Brown’s work ethic and is proud of how the MTP initiative has helped so many young people like him.
Brown plans to go much further with Sandals, stating that “I have once again set goals to become an operations manager within five years and I am sure I will be able to execute these plans because I work with a company that not only rewards hard work but gives you the tools to unlock your full potential.”