JMA's 49th: A new laid-back event
The Jamaica Manufacturers' Association's (JMA) annual Awards Gala always provides a red carpet event of epic proportions. Their 49th that took place at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel last Saturday was no different.
Many in attendance gave it their best shot to accomplish the required formal look, and most succeeded. It was elegance and grace all around as women dressed in fabulous gowns (a few by local designers to add their own support to local brands), and the men were also sharply attired, looking very dapper as though they should be gracing the pages of GQ Magazine.
The setting was changed this year as the room decor broke the mould of formal gala events. The front of the room was occupied by a lounge area, followed by rows of chairs and bistro tables at the back, giving it the feel of a cocktail reception.
The programme started relatively on time after guests and business associates caught up with each other during cocktails. It was smooth sailing with the graceful Paula-Ann Porter Jones and the comedic and charismatic Richard Pandohie emceeing the programme. They kept the night running smoothly, interspersed with some fun elements, making it obvious that everyone had let their hair down.
The big winner of the night was PA Benjamin, who went home with a total of four awards. Red Stripe received the most coveted award of the night - The Governor General's Award for Manufacturer of the Year. Other awardees included Boss Furniture for the Small Champion Exporter of the Year; the JMA's Cup for Medium Champion Exporter went to PA Benjamin; and the Prime Minister's Award for Larger Exporter went to Seprod Limited. Ettenio (Ansel Development) nabbed the Eddie Hall Award for New Manufacturer of the Year.
After the formalities, guests were then directed to the buffet, after which some of the chairs were removed to create a dance floor.