Sun | Aug 19, 2018

J. Wray & Nephew stalwarts to receive national awards

Published:Tuesday | August 8, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Joy Spence

Jamaican stalwarts of J. Wray & Nephew Limited - Chairman Lloyd 'Jimmy' Lawrence; and Joy Spence, master blender, say they are humbled to be listed among those slated for National Awards this year.

Lawrence will receive membership in the Order of Distinction, Officer Class (OD), "for invaluable contribution to the spirits industry in Jamaica and economic development".

Spence will join the Order of Distinction, Commander Class (CD), "for contribution to the promotion of Jamaica's rum industry and Brand Jamaica globally".

The 2017 National Honours and Awards ceremony will be held on the lawns of King's House on National Heroes Day, Monday, October 16.

Commenting on the honour, Lawrence said: "I'm humbled to receive national recognition of this calibre. This has more to do with the unselfish support that I have been privileged to have from my family and work colleagues than my own endeavours."

Lawrence is also chairman of the JWN Foundation, which significantly contributes to the lives and development of people living in areas surrounding the company's operations in Kingston at Spanish Town Road, New Yarmouth in Clarendon, and Appleton Estate in St Elizabeth.

He said the award provides motivation for greater contribution.

"It further inspires me to give back more to 'Jamaica, Land We Love'," he said.

Lawrence, the company's former managing director in charge of Jamaica and the Caribbean, was appointed chairman on February 24, 2016.

Spence joined Appleton Estate as chief chemist in 1981 and eventually gained the title of master blender in 1997.

She was the first female in the wines and spirits industry globally to earn the status of master blender. Today, Spence is counted among the world's most influential master blenders.

Spence's creations include Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaica Rum; Appleton Estate Extra 12 Year Old; Appleton Estate master blenders' Legacy; the Appleton Estate 50 Year Old Jamaica Rum - Jamaica Independence Reserve Limited Edition Rum; and most recently JOY, a limited-edition rum dedicated to her 35 years' service, which sold out in record time.

This is not the first time that the wines and spirits guru will be receiving national recognition.

In 2005, the Government of Jamaica awarded Spence the Order of Distinction, Officer Rank, for her service to the industry.

Reacting to this most recent national acknowledgement, Spence said that it was unexpected, but a "truly" humbling experience.

"When I was informed of the award, I was surprised as I never expected or anticipated this. I am truly humbled," she said.