Thu | Mar 22, 2018

AFJ honours Hendrickson, Pittman

Published:Monday | October 10, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson (left) and Bob Pittman receive 2016 American Friends of Jamaica Humanitarian Awards.

The American Friends of Jamaica, Inc (AFJ) celebrated over 34 years of giving help to those in need in Jamaica.

The 2016 Hummingbird Gala and Benefit was held on Wednesday, October 5 at the Plaza Hotel at 768 Fifth Avenue, New York City. This year's fundraising event paid tribute to Robert W. Pittman, and Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson. These two esteemed recipients were awarded the AFJ International Humanitarian Award - the Hummingbird Award.

Pittman is chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc, a leading global media, digital and entertainment company, which includes iHeartMedia, which has the largest reach of any broadcaster in America and is also a major digital and social platform, and Clear Channel Outdoor, with over 650,000 displays in over 35 countries. Pittman is also a founding member of Pilot Group, LLC, a New York private investment firm. He is the co-founder and programmer who led the team that created MTV. He has been CEO of MTV Networks, AOL Networks, Six Flags Theme Parks, Quantum Media, Century 21 Real Estate, and Time Warner Enterprises, and was also chief operating officer of America Online, Inc, and later of AOL Time Warner.




Hendrickson is chairman and CEO of Continental Baking Company Limited and Coconut Bay Beach Resort and Spa in Vieux Fort, St Lucia. Continental Baking Company provides employment for approximately 800 persons in Jamaica, while Coconut Bay is an all-inclusive, 254-room hotel. Additionally, he chairs the board of the EXIM Bank, is a vice-president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and a member of the board of directors of the Bank of Jamaica and Rainforest Seafoods. He sits on the the King's House Foundation and serves as president of the Council of Voluntary Social Services in Jamaica and is also a former director of Desnoes & Geddes Limited and Kingston Wharves Limited.

Hendrickson actively participates in programmes focused on early-childhood education and local manufacturing in Jamaica and is a major contributor to charities such as the Mustard Seed Communities, Laws Street Trade Training Centre, Food For The Poor and St Patrick's Foundation, among many others.

The Hummingbird Gala was held at the Plaza Hotel, a historic landmark in New York City located across from Central Park in Manhattan. Patrons of the gala were treated to an evening beginning with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by dinner in the grand ballroom, an exquisite live auction and a rollicking evening of dancing. This year's gala had an exciting online auction collection through a partnership with Charitybuzz.

Founded in 1982, the AFJ is a charitable organisation built on the principles of service and philanthropy and is established to render assistance in the areas of education, healthcare and economic development. The AFJ works in a collaborative effort with Jamaican organisations and stakeholders to bring about change in the lives of Jamaicans in need.