Betty Baraud takes on partners, lessened role in company
Baraud International, a pioneer in the recruitment, personnel and immigration services business in the Cayman Islands, celebrated its 20th anniversary with an event at Luca Restaurant on Friday, 27 April.
During the event, company founder Betty Baraud announced the company had two new shareholders who will now take over the day-to-day operations and management of the company.
Ms Baraud said she was not retiring but “transitioning her focus to more exciting avenue”. She said will remain involved with the company, but will no longer keep regular office hours.
The new shareholders and management team are made up of Alan Brady and Stefan Cohen, who both joined Baraud International as employees in 2008.
“I’ve worked with these individuals for the last three to four years,” Ms Baraud said. “I believe in these two individuals and I believe they will do a very good job. Whether I’m in the office or not, the service you get is not going to change.”
Ms Baraud worked for several top banks, a major accounting firm and a law firm before joining the Treasure Island Resort as its human resources manager, a position she held for six years before establishing Baraud International in May 1992.
She said she many of her friends thought the idea was crazy to form a company offering recruitment, personnel and immigration services, something which wasn’t being done in the Cayman Islands. However, she said three male friends – Everard Leacock, Naul Bodden and Michael Alberga – all encouraged her to start the business.
Baraud International blazed a trail that others would follow.
“This company was a novelty to this Island and to the government,” she said, adding that she had to spend many hours in the early years meeting with the Immigration Department to explain what it was her company was doing and the assistance it needed from the government.
“I paved the way, moved the rough seas,” she said.
One of the people she dealt with at the Immigration Department over the years was Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, who at the time was an enforcement officer of the Immigration Department.
Mr. Manderson, who was one of those who spoke at Friday’s celebration, said he met Ms Baraud in the early 1990s when she worked at Treasure Island Resort.
“I was immediately struck by her professionalism and her knowledge of immigration and its procedures,” he said. “We’ve been good friends ever since. I consider Miss Betty a close friend.”
Mr. Manderson said Ms Baraud was dynamic and she argued her cases persuasively.
“You don’t really say no to Miss Betty,” he said, adding that Ms Baraud lobbied for immigration reform in the Cayman Islands.
“We took on a lot of her recommendations,” he said. “This lady right here helped us pioneer a lot of that.”
Ms Baraud is proud of the impact her company, through its core business and good corporate citizenship, has had on Caymanians and the greater Cayman Islands community.
Some of the company’s initiatives include:
Support of Junior Achievement for the past eight years, not only through the sponsorship of the VP of HR Award, but also through working closely with Junior Achievement participants, from the interview assessment process through the final stage of the programme;
Sponsorship in kind to the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee for the past 18 years;
During its first 12 years in business, providing career counselling for students about to leave high school and workshops on resume writing, dressing properly for work and psychometric testing;
Working with the Chamber of Commerce through the late 1990s to establish the job fair;
Creating a computer training programme for the prison in 1999 to help first-time offenders near the end of their sentence find work after they were released;
A gold sponsor of the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards since its inception.
“I’ve been very pleased to have been able to give back to the community through these avenues,” she said, adding that another thing she’s proud of is having placed more than 500 Caymanians into permanent jobs since 1999.
Going forward, Ms Baraud said she is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren. She also looks forward to learning how to operate the boat she bought several years ago, but hardly uses.
“I want to enjoy the Island,” she said. “Being boring is not something I will be.”
This summer, Ms Baraud will do something she has done many times since 1992; go to the summer Olympics, this time in London. Prior to that she’ll take a cruise with several of her friends.
Although Mr. Cohen and Mr. Brady will manage the day-to-day operations of Baraud International, Ms Baraud will still have a role in the company.
“For those worried about immigration services, there’s no need to worry; I’m remaining with the company as a business adviser and consultant. Even so, this department is in capable hands with Stefan [Cohen], whilst Alan Brady oversees operations,” she said. “The company is going from strength to strength. Instead of having one partner, it is three now.”