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Joseph M. Matalon, Ambassador Marks for KLE Group

Published:Friday | October 12, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Audrey Marks
Gary Matalon
Kevin Bourke
Stephen Shirley
Zuar Jarrett
Craig Powell
David Shirley

Kingston Live Entertainment (KLE) Group has unveiled a powerful board of directors to be a guiding force behind the growing company. Operators of the Fiction Lounge and Usain Bolt's Tracks & Records restaurant, the group is known for its success in the entertainment industry and for providing a first-class experience for its customers.

The success of the KLE Group exploded from a sturdy foundation based on a customer-centric strategy, moulded by its board since its inception four years ago with founding members Gary Matalon, Stephen Shirley, Zuar Jarrett, Kevin Bourke, Craig Powell and David Shirley.

Gary Matalon, the group's chief executive officer, is of the view that the multi-faceted directors of the board bring varying skill sets and backgrounds to its team - critical attributes needed as the company looks to expand.

"Some of the groups' expertise lies within knowledge areas such as entrepreneurship, finance, operations, sales and marketing, legal, retail and merchandise, architecture, design, event planning and execution," boasts the CEO.

Matalon added, "The group's dynamics set the stage for some amazing ideas as well as comprehensive thoughts right through to action plans. In any growth environment, managing the company's resources, proper financing and execution planning are critical. The expertise within the group adds layers of coverage in all these areas."

Bright future

With colossal plans in the pipeline, this group of visionaries are forward-thinking and firm believers of the old phrase 'experience brings wisdom'. With that in mind, it is clear that Joseph M. Matalon and Ambassador Audrey Marks, two of the recent additions to the board, will offer much guidance and support to the future endeavours of the KLE Group.

The current chairman, Joseph M. Matalon is also chairman of the ICD Group and subsidiaries CGM Gallagher Group and British Caribbean Insurance Company. He is the immediate past president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ).

There are some very significant ambitions for the business, not just in Jamaica, but elsewhere, to try and expand the geographic footprint of the various brands that they operate.

Of the recent appointment of Ambassador Marks to the board, Gary Matalon says, "Ambassador Marks is proud of and happy that a group of young business people were taking the entrepreneurial path, creating employment, helping the economy and taking calculated risks much like she has done along the way."

Marks, who recently served as Jamaica's ambassador to the United States, is the first woman to be appointed to the board. The Paymaster principal is heralded for introducing the one-stop-shop bill payments concept to the country - the 15 year-old Paymaster has grown from a single branch to more than 156 outlets islandwide. Ambassador Marks will be an invaluable addition. "She defines the entrepreneurial spirit."

Marks says of the young entrepreneurs: "I was particularly fascinated by the fact that a young group of entrepreneurs decided to start a business in 2008, the latter part of 2008 when many people were worried about the recession, and I think that takes guts and a certain ability to look towards the future, which many people don't know how to do, and I usually like to bet on people who can see beyond the current boundaries."

Patrick McDonald, an attorney-at-law and partner in the law firm Hart, Muirhead, Fatta; and Garfield Coke, financial adviser, complete the list of board members.