Sun | Feb 23, 2020

SAJ at 80 hosts CSA conference

Published:Tuesday | May 7, 2019 | 12:07 AM
Christopher Castro
Karina Kure Ghisays
Carleen Lyden Walker

Since its formation in 1939, the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) has worked closely with government agencies and the wider private sector to promote sustainability and growth in the shipping industry. The SAJ has always sought to promote initiatives to advance the interests of Jamaican businesses. Against this backdrop, its leaders could think of no better way to fulfil this mandate during its 80th anniversary year, than to host the Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference here in Kingston.

There is a close working relationship between the two organisations, as the SAJ has fostered the formation and growth of the CSA not only as a member, but also serving as the home of its secretariat. The SAJ is particularly proud of its membership in the CSA because this regional network of shipping and business interests is a model of true regional integration, as they have active membership from the Dutch-, Spanish-, French- and English-speaking Caribbean. Also of note is that the very business groupings of the CSA are made up of competitors who bring a spirit of collaboration and shared success to the work of the CSA, building, supporting, and advising each other. At a time when the world is looking on at regions choosing to undo traditional regional ties and alliances, the CSA is hoping to grow better together and the SAJ, as an active member of the CSA, is a big part of that and is doing so through hosting the mid-year conference.

The event, which will be held on May 20 and 21, at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel, is built around concepts of architecture. The topics well explored the challenges and opportunities of building sustainability through building resilient people and systems. The line-up of speakers include professionals who will assist participants to future-fit their organisations; for example, Karina Kure-Karina who currently serves as the head of human resources for all firms within the Grupo Puerto de Cartagena’s portfolio, including its two flagship companies, Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Cartagena SA and Contecar S.A. She will present on the panel titled ‘The Architecture of Human Resources’. ‘The Architecture of branding’ is a presentation by Ghatim Kabbara, who for over 20 years has worked with organisations across a range of industries, and from different parts of the world, to develop and promote their brands in multiple markets. Today, he is one of the most progressive branding professionals in the Caribbean and an innovative trendsetter with countless marketing projects under his belt.

Christopher Castro is a sustainability and clean-energy expert, eco-entrepreneur, and community organiser with a passion to create smart, resilient, and sustainable cities. He is currently the senior adviser to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and director of sustainability and resilience, and co-chair of Smart Cities for the City of Orlando. Castro is best known as the founder and president of IDEAS For Us, a global UN-accredited, non-profit working to incubate and fund innovative solutions that advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He will present on the panel titled, ‘The Architecture of Sustainability.’

In tandem with sustainability, Caribbean Marine Environment Protection Association (CARIBMEPA) will also be making a presentation. CARIBMEPA promotes the protection and development of the marine environment of the region and provides the legal framework for the Caribbean Environment Programme through the only regionally binding treaty. This will bring business leaders and regional policymakers into a discussion of the ways in which the marine environment can be better protected. This presentation will be made by Carleen Lyden Walker, who is the co-founder/executive director of North American Marine Environment Protection Association, which is a marine industry-led organisation of environmental stewards preserving the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practices and educating the public about the need for protecting global ocean, lake and river resources.

The conference plans to bring a regional focus on important global issues affecting the shipping community in particular, but the wider business and stakeholder communities as well, with subject-matter experts in fields as diverse as human resources and branding to sustainability and environmental protection.

The SAJ is a proud host which is in earnest preparation mode as the sought-after spouses’ programme and stimulating cultural events are being planned as adjunct activities to the conference. This conference represent the ability of the SAJ to produce high-quality experiences for the business and stakeholder communities even beyond the port of Kingston.