'Hospitality Person of the Year' to be named in honour of Ken Kennedy
Claudia Gardner, Assignment Coordinator
WESTERN BUREAU:The Gleaner's tourism-trade publication, Hospitality Jamaica, has named its 10th anniversary Hospitality Person of the Year award in honour of the late Ken Kennedy, a former adviser to the publication.
Kennedy, who died in 2006, was one of the persons behind the establishment of the tabloid which focuses on news and views from within the tourism industry.
The award will be presented at the publication's award and gala at the Montego Bay Convention Centre on Saturday, October 25.
In making the announcement, Hospitality Jamaica Awards committee chairman, Dennis Morrison, said the person selected by the group of adjudicators must have given exemplary service to the hospitality sector, while having played the role of unofficial ambassador for the industry.
"Ken Kennedy played an invaluable role and brought worldwide experience and knowledge to the sector. The person who is selected to carry on his name must be able to walk in his shoes," said Morrison, who is also chairman of the Airports Authority of Jamaica.
He described Kennedy as a consummate professional, with an unparalleled understanding of the tourist industry.
"It will be a pleasure watching a member of the hospitality sector walking away with this trophy on October 25."
Kennedy, who served for more than 30 years in the sector, was a former managing director of the Tryall Club. He died in what was described as a freak accident outside his home in Bogue, Montego Bay, after he was hit by a wall that crumbled.
He boasted an illustrious career in the sector, and was called upon for consultancy by many, even after his retirement.
Hospitality Jamaica Coordinator Janet Silvera said there are numerous stalwarts within the hospitality industry who remind her of Kennedy, who was also one of the earliest winners of the Caribbean Hotelier of the Year award.
"Ken Kennedy was very committed to the industry, he was one of those persons who gave their all to this country. I am honoured to have got a chance to work with him," said Silvera.
The Hospitality Jamaica 10th Anniversary Award is being staged in collaboration with the Jamaica Tourist Board, which has committed to being a platinum sponsor. Hundreds of nominations have been received from persons who have selected entities they believe deserve to be named the country's 'Best EP Hotel', 'Best All-inclusive', 'Best Small/Boutique Hotel', 'Best Eco/Sustainable Hotel', 'Best in Cuisine', and 'Best Purveyor', as well as 'Best in Transportation' or Destination Management Company, 'Best Attraction' and Best Entertainment and 'Best Convention' Facility.
Other sponsors of the event include the Montego Bay Convention Centre, The Gleaner, Power 106FM and Music 99FM, Rainforest Seafoods, Caribbean Producers Jamaica, Tai Flora,ß∑ and John Swaby Entertainment.