Jamaica Exporters' Association announces its new board members
The Jamaica Exporters' Association (JEA) has announced the election of a new deputy president and vice-presidents of its new board.
At its annual general meeting, held last Wednesday, it was revealed that Michelle Chong will remain president with the new deputy president being Stephen Dawkins. The vice-presidents are Idelle Brown, Ricky Francis Jr, Bernadette Wong, Lisa Johnston; secretary, Vitus Evans and honourary treasurer, Hernal Hamilton.
The 2017 strategic plans for the association include more activities and opportunities to build robust programmes for members and their capacity development.
One of the JEA's three major plans for this year includes the establishment of an export curriculum, to be delivered in a format that will allow members and non-members to plan to build their know-how.
The JEA will also be developing a programme to work with its members to understand their challenges and identify opportunities for them which they may not be aware of.
According to the JEA, the programmes may include opportunities for training, financing, informing them of availability of grant funding, and other current opportunities to support them.
The JEA also recently opened a new export and business hub where out-of-town members and non-members alike can access business support services when in town which includes access to online market data.
During 2017, the JEA said it plans to focus more intensely on the agro sector with the emphasis on value-added products and linkages. This sector comprises more than 40 per cent of all registered exporters.
The JEA said it was committed to a greater emphasis on strategic initiatives to meet export as opposed to singling out advocacy as its primary objective. As such, the association's new vision is 'to be the major strategic partner driving export'.
The full slate of directors will be elected at the next board meeting.
- Stephen Dawkins is the group export manager at Wisynco with responsibility for all Wisynco's locally owned manufactured brands for export.
- Idelle Brown is a veteran fresh produce exporter and managing director of Belle Tropical Foods.
- Lisa Johnston, consumer affairs manager for the JP Group, has been a long time member and director.
- Ricky Francis, Jr is managing director of B&D Trawling
- Bernadette Wong, marketing entrepreneur and former JEA director.