A Night to Remember: Saint Lucia Business Awards 2017
The Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce hosted its 8th Annual Business Awards at the Johnsons Center as another grand evening of celebration toasting some of Saint Lucia’s most prominent companies and executives within the business community. The Chamber presented a spectacular event in red-carpet style as the major players in both business and government turned out in fine, elegant style.
Corporate society did not miss a hit with rich gown-style attire and dapper suits all lined up for photo opportunities to chronicle their presence at such a prestigious night of recognition.
The event was broadcast live via Choice TV powered by Flow with the Awards Ceremony hosted by media personalities Masana Morrison and Shayne Ross.
The evening began with Tropical Shipping’s Gerard Begasse making a presentation of Fifteen Thousand US Dollars (US $15,000) to the Chamber’s Vice-President Christian Husbands as support for the Saint Lucia Youth Business Trust.
13 awards were presented to the business community culminating with the Du Boulay brothers (Dunstan and Tony) walking away with a most timely and prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
Windward and Leeward Brewery Ltd received the biggest accolade of the night being honoured as Business of the Year. WLBL along with Green Haven Fresh Farms each walked away with three awards respectively.
The 2017 Business Awards has truly delivered a positive and productive start to the business year with great incentives to the business community to excel and qualify for the 2018 Awards.
Business of the Year Award – Windward and Leeward Brewery Ltd
WLBL produces and distributes high-quality alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages throughout all of the OECS and Caricom countries and the wider region. WLBL brands include Heineken, Piton Beer, Shandy and Malt, Guinness, Desperados, Strongbow Cider, Royal Club Mixers among others. WLBL is a division of the Heineken Group and has brought to St. Lucia its core values of Passion for Quality, Respect for People and Planet, and Bringing Enjoyment to Life through the Brands People Love, which WLBL still believes in and follows. WLBL also walked away with the highly-coveted Excellence in Human Resource Development. As a major member of the Manufacturing Sector and a workforce of 130, Human Resource Development is most important. The company has designed appropriate and effective training programs and instituted successful retention programs to ensure low turnover and a competitive advantage. WLBL’s highly skilled and dedicated employees, allows them to offer superior award winning products and efficient services to all customers and shareholders.
The evening ended with their very own, Managing Director Sebastian Sanchez capturing the Corporate Leadership Award.
Sebastian Sanchez, has been the Managing Director for WLBL since 2014, joining the company came at a pivotal time, since the organisation’s domestic sales had been in decline for six years. Along with his Management Team, Sebastian crafted a new vision and strategy to turn around the volumes and profitability of the company. At the core of that vision was to reach 100k HL of sales in the domestic market by 2018, which was only previously achieved in 2007. This translated to a 25% volume uplift in four years.
With this new goal in mind, Sebastian sought out to ensure all staff knew and understood what this took, personally meeting the teams and cascading this very ambitious vision throughout the entire organisation. His dedication to turn the business around despite the economic downturn, led to the company surpassing this goal in 2016, two years ahead of plan. He was able to align all functions of the WLBL to execute this strategic plan for continued sustainable growth.
Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation – Green Haven Fresh Farm
Managing Director, Mr Jameson Alphonse was elated as he not only walked away with the Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation, but also captured the Green Award and Idea of the Year Award. Speaking with Business Focus, Alphonse said he was delighted that the Chamber and business community could recognize someone within the agriculture sector. “I honestly believe that agriculture deserves a specific award and my supporters believed that I could compete among the giants, among all the companies in the various categories, and tonight is proof that it can be done.” Alphonse commented.
Green Haven Fresh Farm is an Organic Integrated Farm which specializes in vegetables, tilapia and shrimp. The farm consists of an aquaponics system supported by an 80,000 gallons’ rainwater harvesting system, 3 greenhouses and an open field production. The aquaponics system comprises of 10 vertical beds and 4 fish tanks built one over each other, thereby capitalising on space utilization whiles increasing production per square foot. The system is an enclosed recycle eco system utilizing over 90% less water than convention soil based farming.
With organic eating becoming more popular, Tourists to the island have been clamouring for a view of local production sites and hence the creation of Farm tours and visits. This new Agro-Tourism avenue has immense potential and enhances St. Lucia’s tourism product
Award for Service Excellence – eMagine
This company provides web and mobile application development and custom business database solutions, SEO and support services to all business categories, government and regional institutions. eMagine aims to be the largest software solutions provider in the Caribbean in five years. In their quest to achieve this goal, this company has insisted upon the highest level on customer service to all its clients and an ongoing objective of building relationships.
eMagine has made it a policy that every client must take away two perceptions from every project: they must feel that they received maximum value for money; and they must feel like they have the skilled support of an entire team behind them.
Goods Exporter of the Year – SMJ Beverages
SMJ as part of its strategic objective concentrated to a large extent on the penetration of the export market. It started off with building alliances in the sub region mainly the OECS markets of Dominica, St Vincent and St Kitts. Over the years the company expanded its reach to Belize, French Guyana, Barbados and Grenada and has also conducted trial shipments to Jamaica. With these successes, the company ventured further and has been successful in penetrating the international market. For the year 2016 they maintained exports to two large supermarket chains in Holland and successfully gained access to a chain in the United Kingdom.
Service Exporter of the Year – FDL Consult Inc
FDL Consult is a St. Lucian based multi-disciplinary engineering firm, offering clients the full gamut of engineering services from feasibility studies, through to design and post construction. In recognition of the growth limitations endemic to SIDS, their business model is export oriented, targeting the Eastern Caribbean. They currently serve 7 countries and have formed strategic alliances with other engineers and firms in the wider Caribbean and internationally.
Within the last year, they successfully competed on new projects in St. Vincent, Dominica, Montserrat, Grenada and Anguilla; the latter two, representing first time market entries for FDL Consult. 46% of our total project portfolio is in the export market, translating to 90% of our revenue for the period.
Award for Marketing Excellence – Bay Gardens Resorts
Bay Gardens Resorts is a Saint Lucian owned and operated chain with three hotels located in the heart of Rodney Bay. In the past year they have taken key steps in improving the guest experience with a number of new marketing strategies and initiatives. With the increase of direct bookings in the last few years, the organization has branched out of the traditional marketing initiatives to provide a unique experience that would create lifetime memories for their guests. Some of these initiatives include the introduction of Island-Wifi, targeted email campaigns, creation of high definition video and photography, improvements on the popular “Dine Around Program”, new ways to experience the resort life and much more. With a very dynamic and creative team in place, the company hopes to continue the trend of forward thinking creative marketing initiatives locally, regionally and internationally for many years to come.
Corporate Social Responsibility – Cool Breeze Jeep Rental
As a corporate citizen, it has become their responsibility to play a significant role in the development of the community, particularly the youth. In some cases, the needs are not met entirely but even on a small scale, the Company is able to make a difference in their community. These initiatives have made the Company very approachable for much needed help and the results are quite encouraging to continue along this path.
The effectiveness of CSR has given this company the competitive edge over its competitors. Corporate Social Responsibility has undoubtedly created numerous benefits over the years of giving back and supporting the community.
Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Johanan Dujon
Algas Organics is a 100% St. Lucian owned company, founded in 2014, manufacturing effective, affordable and natural solutions to synthetic chemical products for both the agricultural and household market which are child and pet friendly, and do not harm the users or the environment. They currently manufacture and distribute the Algas Total Plant Tonic, a Sargassum-based agricultural bio-fertilizer, which improves crop performance through vigorous root development and improvement of plant resilience to disease and pests. Their products continue to successfully compete directly with international fertilizer brands such as Miracle Gro and are export ready.
At present, the product range is in the process of being expanded to household aerosol spray alternatives which are as effective as leading brands, but do not pose adverse health implications to children, pets or users.
Life Time Achievement Award – Dunstan Du Boulay and Tony Du Boulay of Du Boulays Bottling Company Ltd.
As Saint Lucia and other developing island states continue to explore avenues of innovation and take advantage of evolving technologies, Du Boulay’s Bottling Company Ltd. has not gone unrecognized for its innovations in this regard. Earlier in 2016, the company copped the coveted Saint Lucia Manufacturers Association (SMA) Platinum Award for Excellence in Human Resources, a Diamond Award for Social Responsibility and Gold Award for Product & Customer Service Quality.The accolades sit as additional jewels in the crown of the Du Boulay legacy in business and personal growth – having empowered thousands of Saint Lucians and the island’s economy for 45 years. The company was also recognized by the SMA for its Implementation of Standards and Best Practices.
Du Boulay’s Bottling Company has been recognized as one of the top investors in the region, outshining close neighbours like Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and even Trinidad and Tobago at the 2016 Regional Investor of the Year Awards (RIYA) held in May at the 2016 Caribbean Caribbean Investment Summit in Miami, Florida.
The 45-year-old company emerged the winner in the Local Investor of the Year category, edging out two other nominees: Chocolate Dreams Ltd. from Jamaica, and Bowjay from Guyana.
On the grand night of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce Business Awards Dunstan and Tony Du Boulay were given the most prestigious award — the Life Time Achievement award. As expected, the packed ball room stood in approval of the Chamber’s decision to recognize these two business men who help shaped the Saint Lucian economy and business environment. Dunstan Du Boulay who is currently the Managing Director, oversees the overall aspects of running the company, including production. His brother, Tony Du Boulay has now retired from his position as Director where he oversaw the Marketing, Sales and Distribution departments. ¤