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Jamaican gov't, private sector leaders among those hailing late Supreme Ventures CEO

Published:Sunday | October 23, 2016 | 5:47 PM
The late Brian George

There has been an outpouring of tributes for the late president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), Brian George, who died this morning at the Andrew's Memorial Hospital in St Andrew.

Among those hailing the 59-year-old Trinidadian is Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who, this afternoon, described the late SVL boss as a "true believer in Jamaica".

In a statement, the prime minister said it was difficult to name all of George's contributions to the country, noting that through various initiatives led by him, Supreme Ventures has become known for not only its lottery business, but its deep belief in community development.

He said under George's leadership, the company became a standard for good corporate citizenship.

George, who was also vice chairman of the National Health Fund,  was also remembered by Minister of Gender, Culture, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange as a great friend of Jamaica.

Grange said George provided outstanding support to Jamaican sports, culture, and other critical areas of national development, over the years. She said he was committed to the development of the country.

Both the prime minister and Grange described George's death as a blow to Jamaica and said he will be dearly missed.

George is survived by two sons and his wife, Keenea Linton George, a well-known Jamaican fashion designer and executive producer and host of the popular television series, Mission Catwalk. 

And Trinidad's high commissioner to Jamaica, Fitzgerald Jeffrey, has expressed sadness at the passing of Brian George. He said George was one of Trinidad's "most decorated and monumental [men] of the soil".

Jeffrey said his legacy will live on in the hearts and minds of those he has left behind and also the people of Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. 

The chief executive officer of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ), Dennis Chung, has also hailed George for his leadership, who he said, helped to formalise betting and gaming in Jamaica. 

George, who joined Supreme Ventures as president and CEO in 2003,  had overseen the company's expansion into a foray of games, including sports betting; and also its listing on the Jamaica Stock Exchange in 2005.

The company was earlier this year also selected as the preferred bidder to takeover the operations of Caymanas Track Limited.