Social | Celebrating the 'Godfather'
Ernest 'Godfather' Grant would not ride into the sunset until after he had vetted and stress-tested his successor at Rainforest Seafoods.
The shoes he has left behind are so big, the man who now replaces him, Jerome Miles, admits he has no intention of trying to fit into them.
Tributes flowed freely, and no prompting was necessary as management, staff, family members and friends celebrated the outgoing general manager of the largest supplier of seafood in the country, at what was dubbed a 'Retirement Party' for the 'Godfather' on Saturday, February 25, at the Bellefield Great House.
Many youngsters have passed through Grant's hands, who spent the last 16 years of his life building the Rainforest brand. Even while building what has become one of Jamaica's most successful brands, Grant travelled all over the world with the company's founder and Managing Director, Brian Jardim.
"Best travelling partner, best touring partner," said Jardim in a glowing tribute to Grant. "The measure of a man is evidenced by his decency," he continued, adding that Grant was a professional, who felt succession planning was important. "He set about finding his own replacement in the same way he was thorough in doing his job."
Those who spoke about Grant described a leader who was approachable, fair, honest, inspiring and disciplined. "He was our confidante, one who is caring, dependable and exemplary," noted Sandra Cunningham, a member of the sales team.
After only six months working with Grant, his successor, Jerome Miles, said from the day he met him, he knew Rainforest was the place for him. "He is highly respected, well loved and has been a tower of strength for me," said Miles.
In response to the tributes, which at times stirred great laughter from the audience, Grant thanked his wife Yvonne and children Tamara, Ian and Anya for being the wind beneath his wings; his staff for their commitment; and his boss Brian Jardim for allowing him leverage to grow the company.
While doing emcee duties, dancing and playing the role of comedian, Evrod Wilson, director of sales, had the audience in stitches. All had a great time in honour of a great man.