Business pioneers receive recognition, awards

The inaugural Cayman Observer Business Awards were last week at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman with 10 Caymanian Business Pioneers being recognized for their efforts toward the economic development of the Cayman Islands and for demonstrating good corporate citizenship.

Business pio-neers receive recognition, awards

From left, back, are Dominic Tonner of the Cayman Observer, Kelvin Thompson who accepted on behalf of his father the late Norberg Thompson, Katie ONeil who accepted on behalf of Ms. Maxine & Maureen Bodden, Arthur Hunter, Naul Bodden, Jennifer Woodford who accepted on behalf of her father William Walker and Paul Byles of the Cayman Observer. In front, from left, are Harriett Lott who accepted on behalf of her mother Billy Lee Watson, Bob Soto, Chi Chi Foster who accepted on behalf of her late husband David Foster, Robert Hamaty, Rhoda Erena Ebanks.
Photo: Submitted

The 10 pioneers recognized at the event were:

Norberg Thompson, developer, seaman and entrepreneur

Robert Hamaty, manufacturer and exporter

Maxine and Maureen Bodden, entrepreneurs

Billie Lee Watson, retailer

Arthur Hunter, lawyer

Bob Soto, dive industry entrepreneur

David Foster, entrepreneur

Naul Bodden, accountant, developer and entrepreneur

William Stuart Walker, lawyer

Rhoda Erena Ebanks (nee Chisholm), retailer

Mr. Robert Hamaty, founder of the Tortuga Rum Company and recipient of a Business Pioneer award, said he was incredibly proud of his company’s achievements.

‘It’s such a thrill to be honoured in this way. It is great recognition for the support I’ve had from my family – particularly my wife Carlene – as well as a pat on the back for our fantastic employees. Who would have imagined that a family recipe could create a world-wide gourmet food business and that so many people would love our rum cakes,’ he said.

Mr. Paul Byles, publisher of the Cayman Observer, said in carrying out research for the awards there were many obvious key contributors both to the Cayman Islands and its wider community making it a difficult decision to single out only 10 Caymanians, states a press release.

‘Therefore, while these selected 10 were chosen for the launch of this important event, this reception will mark the beginning of the Cayman Observer’s long term commitment to recognising two pioneers on an annual basis.’

The Cayman Observer Business Awards, sponsored by Cable & Wireless, Cayman National, Coldwell Banker, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and the Cayman Financial Review was launched to honour business excellence in Cayman.

‘The business community gets more than its fair share of criticism at times, not only in Cayman but virtually everywhere. From expression such as fat cats to dismay at their lack of corporate citizenship, many businesses and their entrepreneurs are used to getting the heat especially when times are tough,’ Mr. Byles said.

‘Striking the balance between how much to expect or take from the business community and appreciating what such businesses contribute to any country, can be a difficult task,’ he said. ‘Often many businesses feel they end up on the wrong side of that balancing act, especially when it comes to recognition.’

‘The recognition of excellence in business by the Cayman Observer seeks partially to redress that balance in the Cayman Islands by celebrating entrepreneurs who have displayed a good mix of business skills and community mindedness.’ Mr. Byles said.

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