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Gleaner sales team triumphs through challenges

Published:Wednesday | January 20, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Members of the Gleaner sales team share lens time with the company’s Managing Director Christopher Barnes (right) and Nordia Craig (left), business development and marketing manager, during The Gleaner’s Annual Sales Awards Breakfast held on Monday at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
Sandra Brown-Bennett embraces Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hannah (right) and retired Business Development and Marketing Manager, Karin Cooper as she receives her award on Monday.
Andrew Walters, sales representative of the year, poses with his collection of awards at The Gleaner’s Annual Sales Awards Breakfast at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Monday.

The year 2015 was one of tremendous difficulties for The Gleaner sales team.

Two of the top sales agents with the newspaper company, Sandra Brown-Bennett and Andrew Walters, relayed stories of personal loss and ill health as they collected their awards Monday during The Gleaner advertising sales awards for the 2015 financial year.

Walters, who was awarded top Sales Representative of the Year, said that he received valuable assistance and support from Brown-Bennett even during the most difficult periods of her illness.

It was through working together and encouraging each other that they were able to end the year on top.

Walters pointed out that the awards function meant a lot to him as it serves as a reward for the hardships he endured in 2015.

"Last year, 10 days prior to this, I had lost my mother-in-law; another four days after that I lost my father, so we started the year in a sequence of situations that we had to overcome," he said.

Walters added that the difficult situations helped him to develop and grow as a salesman.

Brown-Bennett's stellar performance, despite battling with protracted periods of illness, was nothing less than phenomenal.

Known as a consistent high performer, she is no stranger to copping the Sales Representative of the Year award.

While she did not walk away with the top award this time around, Brown-Bennett, through sheer determination, copped the third-place award for most sales made during 2015.

She could not hold back the tears as Nordia Craig, business development and marketing manager, spoke glowingly of her accomplishments while other members of the sales team gathered around her in loving embrace.

"I want to thank all of you for your support and love. It has been really difficult but I am determined to live my best life even with my medical condition," Brown-Bennett told the gathering.

Minister of Youth and Culture Lisa Hanna, who was guest speaker at the awards function, challenged awardees to "find the red flags in what have been preventing you from going that extra step".

She said: "If it's to block you from feeling you can go the extra mile, find what that red flag is and flag it and get rid of it."

Gleaner Managing Director Christopher Barnes encouraged his sales force to prepare for the future of a merged media entity.

The Gleaner last year announced that it would be merging its media operations with that of the RJR Communications Group.

"What is going to happen is that ... we are going to start mingling with our friends up the road, and I think very shortly after, when you get rid of the fact that we are Gleaner and they are RJR, you will realise that as a team we are motivated by one thing, and that is success," Barnes said.