Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Evon Brown retires after 55 years in spirits industry

Published:Sunday | October 16, 2016 | 10:00 AM
Evon Brown

Managing director of the state-owned National Rums of Jamaica, Evon Brown, is demitting office after 55 years of service to the spirits industry.

Brown went on pre-retirement leave on October 1, but his retirement takes effect January 2017.

Brown was not available to respond to Gleaner Business queries about his years of service to the industry, especially given that the statutory retirement age for men is 65. However, a company official said the spirits company was accountable for the fact that he worked past retirement.

Apart from serving as managing director of National Rums of Jamaica Group, Brown also served as chairman of Caribbean Molasses Company for 39 years and chairman of the Spirits Pool Association for 20 years.

National Rums of Jamaica comprises Clarendon Distillery Limited, Long Pond Distillery Limited and Innswood Distillery Limited. The National Rums of Jamaica Group comprises National Sugar Company Limited, Demerara Distillers Limited and the West Indies Rum Distillery Limited, a subsidiary of Goddard Enterprises of Barbados.

A press release on his retirement said Brown has been a director of the West Indies Rum and Spirits Producers Association for 31 years and served several terms as chairman.

According to National Rums, 10 years ago he developed a plan to recapitalise the group with injection of new capital from Caribbean companies West Indies Rum Distillery of Barbados and Demerara Distillers Limited of Guyana, as well as the world's largest spirits company, Diageo.

"The result is that the group now operates one of the most modern rum distilleries in the region at Clarendon," the release said. "The group is now poised to be a more significant player in the international rum market." Chairman of National Rums Komal Samaroo said in the release that a replacement had been recruited to succeed Brown, but the new managing director was not named.

mcpherse.thompson@gleanerjm.com