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Byles, Ramkissoon Honoured by AFJ

Published:Tuesday | April 28, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Former United States Ambassador to Jamaica, Brenda LaGrange Jognson presents the award to Richard Byles, chief executive officer of the Sagicor Group.
Former United States Ambassador Brenda LaGrange Johnson presents the award to Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon, founder of the Mustard Seed Communities.

The American Friends of Jamaica, Inc. (AFJ), honoured Richard Byles, president and chief executive officer, Sagicor Group Jamaica and Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon at their recent annual gala event.

The 2015 Jamaica Charity Gala which was attended by several of Jamaica's top businessmen and women as well as past and present members and former United States Ambassadors to Jamaica, took place at the elegant JW Marriott Marquis Miami.

"We were so pleased to honour Mr Byles and Monsignor Ramkissoon with the 2015 AFJ International Achievement and Humanitarian Awards," said former president of the AFJ, and former Ambassor to Jamaica, Brenda LaGrange Johnson. "This prestigious award highlights their important contribution and helps bring awareness to causes in Jamaica that our audience can support."

Byles, said he was humbled by the AFJ honour and gave credit to his team. "That the companies and boards that I have had the opportunity to lead have become stronger and more successful, is as much to do with the people who worked with me as it is to do with my leadership," he said.

Byles received the International Achievement Award for, 'demonstrated remarkable leadership in his stewardship of two of Jamaica's top financial entities over the past 23 years; leading to record profits and his role as co-chairman of Jamaica's Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC)."

Honourable R. Danny Williams in his introduction of Byles said, "If I can speak for Richard, he wasn't working for this moment. In fact, he probably never thought of receiving these accolades at all. He was simply trying to be a good citizen of the world, and citizen of Jamaica by tapping into his social conscience."

Monsignor Gregory Ramkissoon who started Mustard Seed Communities in 1978 in Jamaica was also honoured at the event with the International Humanitarian Award. Monsignor has held strong social commitments to the communities he serves.

Among those who have been honoured by the AFJ are: Michale Lee-Chin, Robert Levy, Thalia Lyn, Coach Glen Mills, Maurice Facey, Kenny Benjamin, Chris Blackwell, Orville "Shaggy" Burrell, Denis O'Brien, Dave Barger, Ralph & Ricky Lauren and Harry Belafonte