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'50 Under Fifty' to celebrate business leaders

Published:Wednesday | June 6, 2012 | 12:00 AM
Members of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica(PSOJ) and sponsors of the Gleaner/PSOJ 50 Under Fifty Awards pose for the camera during the launch at the PSOJ's St Andrew offices yesterday. - see full story at the end of story.

In celebration of 50 years of Jamaica's Independence, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) and The Gleaner have embarked on the ground-breaking '50 Under Fifty: Business Leaders Shaping Jamaica's Future Awards'.

The concept is to honour 50 outstanding business leaders under 50 years old, who, based on their current contributions to corporate Jamaica and nation building, are expected to make a significant impact on the civic and business landscape in the island's foreseeable future.

Launched yesterday at the PSOJ's St Andrew office, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, described the innovation as futuristic, while at the same time drawing attention to the increasing role the nation can expect young business leaders to play in shaping the country's future.

mentoring programme

Hylton said it was efforts like this that affirm the role of young business leaders as well as highlight the need for a national young business leaders mentoring programme, which could prove invaluable to entrepreneurs in small businesses.

In congratulating young business leaders for their personal achievement and contribution to the business sector and the country, Hylton said the changing age cohort of business leaders was welcomed and added a new kind of quality to the dynamism of the business sector, because they were "bold and visionary".

"We can expect the under 50 business leaders to embody a much greater capacity for adaptation to a changing world and for adopting new methods and business practices - which is essential to competitiveness and economic growth," the minister said.

Sandra Glasgow, chief executive officer of the PSOJ, said the concept of '50 Under Fifty' came about after her organisation and The Gleaner acknowledged that recognising the achievements of the nation over the last 50 years was important, but equally important was to have a forward-looking focus - identifying those business leaders who would help Jamaica achieve its Vision 2030.

Gleaner Managing Director Christopher Barnes said he wanted to encourage the 50 awardees who would be selected to remain committed to nation building by increasing the nation's wealth through the expansion of their businesses and through their corporate social responsibility.

Speaking on behalf of one of the headline sponsors, Michele English, president and chief operations officer of Columbus Communications Ltd, operators of Flow and Columbus Business Solutions, revealed that the cable channel would highlight the 50 awardees.

inspire the next generation

She said she hoped their stories would "serve to inspire the next generation of the top 50 so that we can continue the story of excellence that has been part of the country's history".

Vernon James, general manager of National Commercial Bank Insurance, the other headline sponsor, said the effort must be applauded and supported. He hailed the PSOJ for continuing to cultivate an environment that was supportive of business and economic growth, which was "a big part of the answer to encouraging development in our country".

Full Caption

Members of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica(PSOJ) and sponsors of the Gleaner/PSOJ 50 Under Fifty Awards pose for the camera during the launch at the PSOJ's St Andrew offices yesterday. From left are Christopher Reckord, chairman, PSOJ Membership Committee; Gleaner Managing Director Christopher Barnes; Sandra Glasgow, chief executive officer of the PSOJ; Vernon James, general manager, NCB Insurance; Michele English, president and chief operations officer of Columbus Business Solutions; and PSOJ President Joseph M. Matalon. - Ian Allen/Photographer