The multifaceted Howard Ward
Howard Ward, founder and proprietor of Ward's Power Tools and Supplies Limited, has been the leading service provider of tools and equipment for sales and rental in western Jamaica for more than 15 years. He epitomises persons who have multiple careers during their working years rather than doing one job until retirement.
While attending the Muschett High School in Wakefield, Trelawny, Ward decided to take home economics classes. At the time, it was taboo for males to take home economics or culinary classes, but Ward was not deterred. "I fell in love with the kitchen and cooking became my passion," he said.
He spent one year in training at the then Jamaica Hotel School and began working in the tourism industry shortly after. His first job was at the then Wyndham Hotel in New Kingston and, after one year, he worked as a chef for Royal Caribbean Cruises. After three years of touring the Caribbean and serving up scrumptious delights for his guests, Ward did another stint at the Miami Intercontinental Hotel.
It was here that he started soul-searching upon realising that his creative energy had begun to diminish and he had to find something new to rekindle it. Venturing into uncharted territory once more, Ward had several clever as well as landscaping ideas.
He landed a contract with Florida Power and Light, an investor-owned utility company providing electric power throughout Florida. For several years, he complemented design with the right plants, flowers and shrubbery that enhanced his clients' business.
However, it was while building a house in Jamaica that Ward had a "lightbulb moment" - why not operate a business in heavy-duty equipment and tools in Jamaica? "We were building a house in Jamaica and every time we returned to the island, persons asked us to take back tools for them on the next trip. So, I got the idea to start selling these tools and to also offer a service in this area," Ward said.
Today, Ward's Power Tools and Supplies Limited, specialises in heavy-duty generators, hand/electrical tools, industrial tools, pumps, mixers, welding equipment, landscaping tools and supplies, plumbing, electrical and hardware supplies.
Included in Ward's impressive inventory of equipment for sales and rental are telescopic forklifts, bobcats, light towers, compressors, vibrators, compactors, generators from 6 KVA to 1000 KVA, hydraulic hoses and fittings.
"We can provide power for just about any building in Jamaica. If a generator should lose power, we provide temporary power for permanent solutions that can last up to three months. Once we go into a building, within an hour we can restore power as long as there is no internal damage," Ward said.
"We also provide outside lighting plants and generators for many of the major events in Jamaica. We are the primary source of power for Rebel Salute, Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival and Sumfest, among others. Our generators will work up to 99 per cent of the time without stopping," Ward added.
The showroom, retail sales and rental services located at Lot 1, Ironshore Estate, Montego Bay, also provides a wide range of services, including crane service from 15 to 55 tons, trucking and flatbed service, wrecker service, lowboy service and more.
"During the hotel boom in Jamaica a few years ago, we decided to capitalise on the need for heavy-duty equipment and rental in this sector, so many of the hotels in the Montego Bay area are our clients. Most of the equipment and the tools they needed were not readily available and we decided to source them and make them available for use here in Jamaica," Ward said.
The RIU group, Iberostar, Palmyra, Grand Palladium, Half Moon Hotel and the former Ritz Carlton are also among the companies that they partner with to provide construction tools and equipment supplies.
As a result of its outstanding work, Ward's Power Tools and Supplies Limited, has earned for three consecutive years the prestigious award for Most Outstanding Dealer from Multiquip Inc, one of the leading suppliers of generators and construction equipment in the United States.
According to Ward, the company values its customers and endeavours at all times to provide professional service. "We pride ourselves for delivering excellent customer service and affordable prices. We are aware at all times of our position in the marketplace and pledge to continue to uphold the highest standards of service delivery," Ward said.