Sun | Sep 23, 2018

Untold Stories of National Awardees | Lorna Myers has a strong passion for people development

Published:Wednesday | August 29, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Lorna Myers

Lorna Myers could be considered a trailblazer for Jamaican female entrepreneurs when 43 years ago she went after and secured the KFC franchise for Jamaica.

Today, Restaurants of Jamaica Limited operates both the local KFC and Pizza Hut franchises, both of which collectively have 46 locations and employ more than 2,000 Jamaicans.

Myers' personal mission was to provide a conducive work environment for staff development and personal growth, with emphasis on human resource development.

"It has been a joy to watch the young people develop under our care and improve their lives to become homeowners, managers and family leaders. I get great pleasure in knowing that we have played a role in that process," she said.

Now retired, this greatly admired businesswoman, who worked night and day to build her business, has handed it over to her three children, who embody the company's ethics.

Her aim was always to develop a successful business as a legacy for generations to come, while contributing to nation building through youth empowerment. So when she learnt that she had been awarded the Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD) for her contribution to entrepreneurship in Jamaica, she was overwhelmed.

"This was so unexpected and a great surprise. I worked very hard, but loved what I did. I just wanted to set a good example for my team members and family. There was never the thought that I would have been awarded for it," she said.

Her passion for young Jamaicans has never left her. In fact, it is her conviction that the future of Jamaica lies in the hands of the youth, the next generation.

But she believes that Jamaican youth need to be guided by business leaders through the practice of good work ethics and high corporate standards if they are to contribute to the country being the place where investors will want to come for outstanding customer service and high productivity.

"That is my vision for Jamaica," Myers said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com