Jason Henzell is the General Manager and an owner of Jakes Hotel, Villas and Spa, the award-winning hotel and resort located in Treasure Beach, St Elizabeth. A social entrepreneur and advocate for sustainable development in Jamaica, Henzell is also the founder and chairman of BREDS: The Treasure Beach Foundation, which promotes education, sports, environmental awareness, emergency health care, and small business development.
Henzell's emphasis on grass-roots development is anchored by his ties to the Treasure Beach community. Jakes itself was founded 1993 after his mother started a small restaurant. Henzell added two rooms for overnight visitors and the family opened the hotel side of the business.
Under his hands-on watch, Jakes has grown from those two rooms to 50 and, along the way, won numerous awards and accolades. These include: Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association Hotelier of the Year 2003 for Most Distinguished Service; The Environmental Audits for Sustainable Tourism Project, Environmental Ambassador - Hotel Sector for outstanding contribution and efforts in promoting environmental stewardship and sustainable development in Jamaica.
Henzell began his career with Hyatt Regency Cayman in 1986 as a night auditor, leaving two years later as the youngest front desk supervisor for Hyatt worldwide. He plunged into Jamaican finance and banking, managing Lion Finance Company for two years before moving to the Pan Caribbean Merchant Bank.
Henzell founded and chairs BREDS, the project dearest to his heart. It is a registered not-for-profit organisation dedicated to community projects in the area. These include the building and equipping of a computer lab in the basic school, training a volunteer corps of emergency response personnel, installing a radio system and Global Positioning System (GPS) for the local fishermen, and sponsoring local football and cricket teams.
Currently, BREDS is developing a 15-acre sports park, academy and community centre for community use comprising a cricket pitch, football field, tennis courts, basketball and netball courts, and children's playing area. The community centre in Treasure Beach already makes available computers, training programmes, space for workshops and community meetings and support for small businesses in the area.
Henzell and wife, Laura, have two children: Seya Rose and Max. Henzell was last seen returning from South Africa excitedly pursuing ideas and developing the prospects of sports tourism in Jamaica.