Jamaica Energy Partners celebrates 20 years
Jamaica Energy Partners (JEP) last weekend fÍted its employees and partners at an elegant cocktail event at the Ruins, Mona Visitors' Lodge, in celebration of 20 years of service in Jamaica.
The experience began upon entry as guests were met by beautiful and dapper ushers from JEP, who escorted each person along the red carpet then through the grand glittering '20' entryway into the spectacular venue, which was decorated by artist Anne-Marie Wyss.
JEP's history began in 1995 with the commissioning of its first barge, Dr Bird I, in Old Harbour. Today, JEP is the largest independent power producer in Jamaica, contributing 190MW to the local grid via its barges Dr Birds I & II, plus land-based, sister plant West Kingston Power Partners.
In his welcoming remarks, the organisation's President and CEO, Wayne McKenzie, said that the team was particularly proud of the company's legacy, having grown the skills and expertise to develop two world-class power plants built and operated by Jamaicans. This, he said could only have been achieved through the team's commitment and adherence to JEP's core values of integrity, creativity, social responsibility, excellence, and an informed approach to decision-making.
The team's impressive professionalism, coupled with value-driven behaviour, the CEO said, has laid the foundation for the respect that JEP commands in our industry.
In commending JEP on its notable achievements, Ronaldo Gonzalez-Bunster, chairman and CEO of InterEnergy Group, new owners of JEP, said he was pleased to once again partner with the Wayne McKenzie-led company as he foresaw tremendous growth opportunities for Jamaica.
Later, keynote speaker former prime minister, P.J. Patterson, commended the company for having taken the bold step in a "venture which the less daring and entrepreneurial were not prepared to risk".
He continued: "I extend sincere congratulations to Jamaica Energy Partners on the celebration of its second decade and salute staff who have so courageously ridden the turbulent waves of the financial crisis and who now seek to fit the company within a the scope of a new future.
VISION 2030 GOALS
Patterson said: "More companies must have the courage to step out into the unknown. Draw from this company the strong lessons demonstrated for those who wish to achieve world-class standards while also contributing to the realisation of Jamaica's VISION 2030 goals."
Moving to the highlight of the evening, the company awarded its 11 foundation employees including Giovani Valentine, who joined JEP before it physically existed. Valentine said that on the day of his interview, he was asked whether he owned a visa. Within days, he was on his way to Texas, where he was trained to operate the technology that would become Dr Bird I months before the barge sailed to Jamaica.
Among the high points of the evening was a surprise citation for president and CEO Wayne McKenzie from his staff acknowledging his excellence in leadership. This was met with thunderous applause from the audience as McKenzie stood astonished, moved, and pensive.
With the formalities over and champagne popped, guests returned to enjoying the good company, the great food by Susan Couch, the delectable pastries by Nicola Gardner, and the sweet sounds of the Touch Of Elegance aggregate of Jon Williams, Alex Martin-Blanken, David Hayle, and Paul Madden.
In attendance were Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining and Member of Parliament Phillip Paulwell; former prime minister Bruce Golding; chairman and CEO the of InterEnergy Group, Rolando Gonzalez-Bunster, Honorary Consul of Finland Kingston, Andrew Issa; President and CEO of the Jamaica Public Service, Kelly Tomlin; Acting PCJ Group MD, Winston Watson; Country Managing Partner, Ernst & Young, Allison Peart; and JEP executives Odeth Reynolds, VP - human resources; Cecil Gordon, chief technical officer; and Raymond Grant, chief financial officer.