The Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association (JMEA) is pleased to announce that Sydney Thwaites, Co-founder, and Chief Executive Officer of Lubricating Specialties Company Jamaica has been elected the new President of the Association. He will serve in the capacity for the period 2023/2024.
The unanimous decision was made earlier today during the association’s annual general meeting (AGM) held at the National Commercial Bank (NCB) Sports Complex.
Thwaites assumes the role from CEO at Jamaica Teas Limited, John Mahfood who served as President of the Association for two consecutive terms, 2021/2022 and 2022/2023.
Mahfood served the JMEA with excellence and is recognized for fervently championing the needs of the membership and with a passion for advocating for the growth and development of the Jamaican Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector. During his tenure, the Association signed a MOU with the JSE to drive the number of manufacturing companies listed on the stock market and with the VM Group to establish a group pension scheme for the industry.
Under Mahfood’s leadership, Expo Jamaica returned in 2023 after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Thwaites comes to the table as a seasoned business leader, with a career spanning 28 years in the financial services, petrochemicals, and consulting industries. In 2015 and 2016 he served as an Advisory Committee Member for the Export Import (EXIM) Bank of the United States.
Additionally, with his over three years of service on the JMEA Board of Directors, through his appointments as deputy president and treasurer, Thwaites has proven to be a valued addition to the association’s leadership team.
In his acceptance speech, Thwaites affirmed that the mandate and priorities of the association remain unchanged. He pledged to carry forward the initiatives initiated by past presidents, Richard Pandohie and John Mahfood. He emphasised that our manufacturing sector does not require any novel strategies; instead, it simply needs a steadfast commitment to our current approach.
He encouraged the membership to utilise the JMEA as a tool to engage and collaborate. Mr. Thwaites stated, “the era of keeping our cards closed and not openly sharing our successes and challenges has passed; we cannot conduct business in such a manner.”
Deputy President of the Association is now Kathryn Silvera,Director of Sales & Marketing Caribbean Foods Limited assuming the role from, Syndney Thwaites. Robert Scott, General Manager, Lifespan Company Limited was re-elected as Treasurer.
Nine Director positions became available during the election of the new board. The successful candidates were: Cecil Foster, Managing Director at FosRich Group of Companies; Novlet Green, General Manager of Corporate Affairs Manager at ARC Manufacturing Limited; Lisa Johnston, Corporate Affairs Manager at Jamaica Producers Group; Marc Frankson, Operations Manager at Designs by Marc; Aswad Morgan, Director of the Morgan’s Group; David Martin, Director Business Consultant at the Pan Jamaica Group; Tamii Brown, General Manager at Salada Foods; Stephen Bell, Vice President at Seaport Marine and John Minott, Managing Director at Jamaica Standard Products Limited.
In addition to the nine newly elected Directors, the following candidates retained their positions, now forming the JMEA’s Board of Directors for 2023-2024:
Andrew Wildish, General Manager, Grace Foods Processing, Canning Division; Mr. Richard Coe, Managing Director, Fleetwood Jamaica; Kareema Muncey, Managing Director, Home Choice Enterprise Limited; Jerome Miles, General Manager, Rainforest Seafoods; Clover Moodie, Chief Financial Officer, Kingston Wharves Limited; Stephen Dawkins, Group Export Manager, Wisynco Group Limited; Christopher Powell, Director/Factory Manager, P. A. Benjamin Manufacturing Co. Ltd; Brett Wong, Managing Director, Coldfield Manufacturing; Sandra McLeish, Managing Director, Sankhard Company Limited.