Sagicor Group 45 Years and Counting
The international awards had nothing on Sagicor's 45th Annual Corporate Awards at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on Thursday, March 12.
It has been four and half decades since the Sagicor Group has been established as the first Jamaican-owned life insurance company and the first insurance company to be listed on the Jamaica Stock Exchange. In celebration of a milestone, team members are awarded annually for their hard work and dedication to the company's mission.
Upon entering the lobby, the Sagicor's branding included a blue and silver backdrop with 'Sagicor' printed all over, and a stunning green carpet. It blazed with fashionistas representing different Sagicor branches from Jamaica and The Cayman Islands. Decorated in a wide range of colours were ball gowns, tailor-made suits, bow ties, you name it, and it was there. It was all about the glitz and glamour.
Before the ceremony, awardees and guests mingled as they were being served a wide variety of delectable hors d'oeuvres - some of which included jerk lamb chops with mint jelly sauce, assorted cheese platter, and lobster medallions with papaya-ginger salsa, accompanied by a variety of fruit juices and wine.
Let the show begin
The formalities kicked off in high gear with a video presentation of R. Danny Williams, chairman of Sagicor Group Jamaica, who shared a brief history on how he started Life of Jamaica. "Sagicor was born out of the desire to develop an organisation to do for Jamaica what those companies were doing for Canada," he explained. He also added that he had a dream, but it was not on paper. "We were in Ocho Rios and the thoughts came to mind and I pencilled it out - the type of company I wanted for Jamaica. A life insurance industry for Jamaica," Williams shared. Out of this came Life of Jamaica (LOJ) now Sagicor.
Williams also in his welcome address said the hard work of phenomenal teams is well deserving of awards and he was delighted to take part in the event. "Success comes when opportunity meets preparation," he concluded.
Up next was Richard Byles, president and CEO of Sagicor Group Jamaica, who commended his team for a successful 2014 and highlighted some of the achievements of the company - some of which included the successful rebranding from LOJ to Sagicor. He also highlighted the success of the Sigma run 2014, which got more than 24,000 participants.
In closing, he presented Errol McKenzie with a citation for his 39 years of service to the company. "Customers are why we are here and are successful. I am proud of this company and happy that we are friends," Byles concluded.
The awards presentation kicked off with Fae Ellington announcing the wide range of categories that would be awarded. Among them were the brokers, humanitarian, team member of the year, highest overall achiever, branch of the year, and president's trophy awards.
Williams, along with his wife, Shirley, were later presented with flowers and tokens after a heartfelt surprise from his Sagicor family. Among those were his granddaughter who later sang a beautiful song for Williams.
The Combined Chorale - all dressed in white gowns, jump-started the entertainment segment as they marched from the different isles on to the stage. The mixture of male and female youths had the audience in awe as they sang, sweet melodies of the song Happy originally by Pharrell Williams, and an original Sagicor song, which were among some of the renditions they gave.
The heat turned up a notch when songbird Tessanne Chin hit the stage further on in the show doing one of her original songs Anything's Possible while the awardees for the Million-Dollar Round Table qualifier and honour roll/life members were being highlighted on the projector scene. She left the audience with Hideaway.
The real celebration started when the band turned up the heat for the after party with the king of dancehall, Beenie Man.