Thu | Dec 13, 2018

GraceKennedy embraces transformation ahead of its 100th anniversary

Published:Monday | August 13, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Group CEO of GraceKennedy Limited, Don Wehby.

Group CEO of GraceKennedy Limited (GKL) Don Wehby has announced changes to the company's structure and management team effective August 1, 2018, in preparation for the celebration of its 100th anniversary in 2022.

In explaining the changes, Wehby noted, "GraceKennedy has been a Jamaican-owned business and community icon for 96 years and while we have been very successful, we recognise the need to change. We are embarking on a transformational journey that will give us a competitive advantage for the next century and foster greater agility and autonomous subsidiaries."

The company is embracing several transformational strategies which include:

1. Redesigned structure and processes for greater efficiency and agility.

2. Improved customer experience and engagement.

3. Solution-focused products and services.

In line with these changes, a number of new executive and management-level appointments have been made within GKL. Naomi Holness has been appointed to the position of chief human resources officer, and to the GraceKennedy Executive Management Committee. Lee-Anne Bruce has taken on the role of chief risk and compliance officer, while Deidre Cousins was appointed to the role of chief information officer. The Corporate Communication Department now falls under the expanded portfolio of Gail Moss-Solomon, general counsel and chief corporate secretary for the group. Dionne Rhoden, who holds the position of corporate communication officer, has been appointed acting head of corporate communication and sponsorship. Shaun Lawson-Freeman has been appointed to the position of senior legal counsel for GKL.

GKL, the parent company, now has a leaner executive office, which will provide support services for GK Foods and strategic oversight for GK Foods and GK Financial Group.




The group is also positioning its regulated entity, GraceKennedy Financial Group Limited (GKFG), to deliver a unified and improved customer experience and to centralise support services for economies of scale. In line with GKFG's redesigned structure, the following appointments have been made within GKFG: Marcia Henry-Lawrence assumed the position of chief human resource officer, while Josephine Bennett-Darmand took on the responsibility of chief financial officer. Peta-Gaye Fairclough took on the role of chief risk and compliance officer, and Nichole Case is acting in the position of chief information officer.

The group CEO believes that this new structure will allow the company to gain efficiencies and provide greater strategic alignment. "I am eager to work together with the team as we transform our operations, to remain at the forefront of the food and financial services industries in Jamaica and across the world. This will enable us to better serve and grow our customer base," he added.

Grace Burnett, CEO, GKFG, is confident that the transformed structure will allow for greater customer focus to deliver best-in-class services catering to the needs of GraceKennedy's existing customers. "I believe that our clients will continue to benefit from this transformation as we aim to place the customer at the centre, enabling us to build on the strength of the businesses within the financial group,'' she said.

Globally-recognised change management partner, Prosci, will assist GraceKennedy in implementing these changes and in embedding change management best practices within the organisation.

Wehby maintained that, "Our core values of honesty, integrity and trust remain unchanged, and our commitment to giving back to Jamaica and all the markets in which we operate has never been stronger. Our teams, our shareholders, our customers and consumers remain our primary focus as we ensure that we deliver optimal results and opportunities for all."