Bogues The woman that does it all
Officially assuming the post of brand manager, CB Chicken and CB Group in May 2013, Alicia Bogues had little more than one month before the launch of the eighth season of the organisation's largest annual event, the CB Pan Chicken Championship. At the end of the season in November 2013, the CB Pan Chicken Championship saw a record-breaking 30,000 attendees at its final event alone. This led to the competition being dubbed Jamaica's largest food festival, a feat Bogues attributes to the 'Pan Family', partnering companies and CB's loyal customers.
"The team I work with is extremely talented - great people - and brings so much to the table. It also helps that I work for a company that shares my views on family, community development and building Jamaica, which is aligned to my personal goals. It just makes it all worthwhile," Bogues explained.
Bogues had actually joined the CB Group 20 months before assuming the company's flagship portfolio. "I joined the CB Group, and first developed the Bad Dawg Sausages programme, a unique offering, which saw the 'bigga, betta, badda' hot dog being sold through mobile vending carts as a way to promote entrepreneurship and create jobs," Bogues said. The product is still going strong, and due to the overwhelming number of requests, Bad Dawg is now also available in supermarkets islandwide.
Although she would never describe herself as a visionary, Bogues is known for her innovative thinking, and resolute courage to pursue unchartered terrain. Admittedly, however, she is a hard worker with a genuine love for her job and the people she serves. While she much prefers to work behind the scenes away from the spotlight, she conversely enjoys being on the road, meeting with customers and hearing their stories. This is possibly fueled by her heart for altruism and deep desire to see a better Jamaica; which is topped only by a very soft spot for children, with one pretty little girl in particular.
"I work in a high-paced, dynamic environment which involves developing marketing plans, weekly reports, event planning, trade, workshops, training, a little bit of this and that. No two days are alike. So I'm usually very busy, forced to explore my creative side and always learning. The learning experience is invaluable. Though it stresses me, I love it because I'm always up for a challenge, so I'm willing to do what it takes to get the job done well. I also love that my superiors give me the autonomy to make decisions that are meaningful not just to the CB Group, but to men and women in Jamaica. So much of what we do truly impacts the lives of our fellow Jamaicans in a positive way," Bogues explained.
Under her leadership, CB Chicken recently announced its new biodegradable bags for its frozen product line. This decision, Bogues explained, was taken as a part of CB Group's "go-green" initiative, coupled with its commitment to safe food. She also oversees the CB Group UWI5K, which provides students with scholarships to continue their education.
To her credit, in February 2013, the CB Group partnered with the National Blood Transfusion Service for its first annual Blood Drive under the theme 'Give Love, Give Blood'. Having benefited from the generosity of others when a family member needed blood in 2012, Bogues said she was compelled to give back - a cause near and dear to her heart.
But for Bogues, what tops the list is the CB Pan Chicken Championship. While she is excited about having taken the competition to a whole new level in 2014, with possibly close to 100,000 attendees throughout the four-event season, and outstanding reviews, Bogues said there is a bigger picture to bear in mind. For starters is the public-private partnership formed with the Child Development Agency which saw the CB Pan Chicken Championship events being used as a platform to promote child protection and better parenting. With such large audiences at each event, across the island, Bogues said she was happy to work with the organisation to address these serious issues.
Still, for Bogues, are the lives the competition touches. "I love that through the CB Pan Chicken Championship we get to help in the development of talented Jamaicans. The pan men and women who enter the competition were recruited by the Social Development Commission from in heart of communities where they work. These are people we pass on the streets each weekend who have incredible skill and plans, but just need a little assistance to realise their dreams. So we provide marketing and financial planning seminars, we teach them about safe food practices and commercial cooking. We assist them with products and equipment. It's amazing to be able to see how the contestants transform in five months. Yes, we do and have gained much from these events, but the opportunity I get to serve others, that's simply priceless."