Manufacturers take helm of the new JMEA
The first annual general meeting of newly formed Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) featured elections, which saw manufacturing leaders Metry Seaga and Richard Pandohie slide into the positions of president and deputy president, respectively.
While former head of the Jamaica Exporters Association, Michelle Chong, was nominated for deputy president alongside Pandohie, the Seprod CEO got 42 out of 73 votes to claim the position. Chong also leads a manufacturing outfit as CEO of Honey Bun Limited.
Seaga, who headed the Jamaica Manufacturers Association, pre-merger, and served on its board since 2008, is the managing director of Jamaica Fibreglass Products Limited.
He was the only nominee for the post of JMEA president.
Eighteen new directors were also selected to serve, while Richard Coe, who was the only nominee for treasurer, returned to the post, which he also held under the JMA.
The two associations already had some overlapping membership, but JMA was the larger of the two. Their combination, therefore, has resulted in a smaller base, of more than 600 members, but Seaga said membership contributions would be used more effectively now that they no longer have split operations to finance.
Fees across the two entities ranged from $10,000 to just over $200,000 per year, but changes are expected to the structure under the JMEA.
After the election, Seaga praised Chong for her pivotal role in the merger of the industry associations, which was effected earlier this year.
"I want to personally thank Michelle for her vision and resolve," he said, while assuring members of the former JEA that the interests of the export community will be represented.
"One of the organisation's main priorities is the strengthening of international trade representation. We continue to be very active in the trade negotiating forum and the last board of the JMA committed to sending representative to every COTED meeting," Seaga said.
He added that JMEA was close to securing factory space at significantly discounted rates from the Factories Corporation of Jamaica for small and medium JMEA member companies.
Seaga said the association was also advanced in cementing key linkages, through which the body expected to drive higher domestic sales, in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Jamaica Business Development Corporation, Jampro and RADA.
The 18 newly elected directors of the JMEA are:
- Stephen Dawkins - Wisynco Group
- Simon Roberts - GraceKennedy
- Michelle Smith - Chocolate Dreams
- Christopher Powell - P.A. Benjamin
- Steven Sykes - Continental Baking Company
- Howard Mitchell - Corrpak Jamaica
- Ricardo Nuncio - Red Stripe Jamaica
- Aswad Morgan - Therapedic/Poly Flex Foam
- David Martin - JP Tropical Group
- John Minott Jr - Jamaica Standard Products
- Christine Wong - King Pepper
- Lisa Johnston - Jamaica Producers Group
- Raymond Miles - Sun Island
- Kathryn Silvera - Caribbean Foods
- Robert Scott - ARC Manufacturing
- Winston Stona - Associated Manufacturers
- Lynden Nugent - Industrial Chemical Company
- Danielle Cunningham - Lasco Manufacturing