THE EDITOR, Sir:
On behalf of the 'National/ Continental Baking Company Bold Ones of Manufacturing', we would like to congratulate the excellent Mr Gary 'Butch' Hendrickson on recently receiving the top Award for Civic Involvement from the American Chamber of Commerce of Jamaica.
In 2010, the 'Bold Ones of Manufacturing' programme was launched. Mr Hendrickson, National's chairman, introduced the $25-million investment in those 'Bold' enough to go into manufacturing in an effort to revitalise the sector.
"We wanted to encourage Jamaican manufacturers to come to the forefront and position themselves on par with the best in the world," Hendrickson said.
"This is an initiative to highlight and showcase the people who are into manufacturing and are working towards creating opportunities and contributing meaningfully towards the country's economy."
This was how the initiative was explained by Butch at the time, and as of today, well over 20 fledgling manufacturing operations have been helped enormously by this programme, which has provided desperately needed encouragement, mentoring and marketing help by the whole National team with great success.
Overnight, National Baking delivery trucks became mobile billboards for young manufacturing companies, videos were produced to showcase each company, booths were organised at Expo Jamaica at the National Arena.
None of the 'Bold Ones', on their own, would have been able to afford the cost involved in this type of brand exposure at this critical time in their company's growth, and all of the 'Bold Ones' have benefited greatly from this support in terms of new customers, new markets, and above all, renewed energy, enthusiasm and confidence that they can continue to grow their businesses in spite of the current economic conditions.
Butch could have used this sum of money for his company, but he chose to use it to stimulate that specific area of business - manufacturing - which Jamaica desperately needs to be revitalised at this time in our history.
To this company, Butch has been an invaluable mentor and source of wise advice and encouragement. He is an example of civic and corporate leadership at its very best.
MOHAN JAGNARINE &
Spur Tree Spices Ltd