Sun | Dec 4, 2016

Loy Clarke a new breed of managers

Published:Saturday | April 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM
An external view of the Jack Sprat Shack, which is the newest addition to Jakes Hotels and Resorts, located in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth.
Jack Sprat Shack manager, Loy Clarke, 25, busy at work even on a Sunday.
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You may recall that not so long ago, to be considered for a manager's position in an organisation, experience and seniority were among the criteria a candidate would have to fulfil.

Things are changing in some organisations, such as Jakes Hotels and Resorts, situated in the quiet fishing village of Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth where senior managers have taken the reverse approach.

Younger persons are being handed the baton to become managers, as long as they demonstrate a high level of responsibility, among other qualities that satisfy management's expectation.

Loy Clarke is only 25 years old, but he has earned his boss' confidence to singlehandedly manage the Jack Sprat Shack Resort - the newest addition to the property. Loy is proud to hold that position.

Born and raised in the community, Loy resides just walking distance from work and each day he approaches his duty with the same level of motivation and professionalism as the previous day.

The Jack Sprat Shack, a renovated building, may be better described as a hostel, primarily catering to the younger folks, with a bunk area and self-contained kitchen sprawled on the lower floor that can accommodate up to 34 sleepers.

The property is fully powered on solar energy and accommodates a total of 54 persons. "Solar energy is cost-effective and is environmentally friendly, so it was a prudent to go solar," said Loy.

The upper floor

The upper floor caters to single- and double-occupancy clients with six rooms equipped with modern amenities, but ceiling fans and air conditioners are optional as the location of the rooms allows for natural and frequent puffs of air to flow throughout the building unencumbered.

The experience is even more appreciable at nights for the nature lovers, as the 'peenie wallies' and crickets come out to entertain. Doors can be swung wide open at nights for a gaze across the pasture and into the distance where the Treasure Beach Sports Park comes alive with night football matches among competing parish clubs.

Traditionally, St Elizabeth enjoys a very low crime rate and crime is usually literally nil in Treasure Beach, so visitors and locals trek the thoroughfare late into the night.

Clarke said since the opening of Jack Sprat Shack in October 2014, it has become a favourite vacation spot among foreigners, as well as the definitive weekend getaway location among locals. Their first guests were the Jamaica National Under 23 football players.

'Eat, Play, Stay', is Jakes Resorts' motto, which means guests dine at the Jack Sprat Restaurant, play at the sports park and stay at their resorts.

Clarke had migrated to the city life in Kingston where he was undertaking studies in another discipline, but he had always had a love and appreciation for tourism, so when the opportunity popped up for him to manage the resort, he never had to second guess.

"I am truly appreciative of my CEO, Jason Henzel, who saw the qualities in me and offered me this opportunity to manage both the facility and my own staff contingent," a smiling Clarke said.

rural@gleanerjm.com