Orane steps down from GraceKennedy board

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

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GraceKennedy Limited has announced that the Hon Douglas Orane will retire from the Board of Directors effective May 30, 2018, having served as a member of the board in various capacities since May 30, 1985.

In a press release yesterday, GraceKennedy said Orane's decision is in keeping with his previously stated intention to gradually reduce participation on corporate boards in order to spend more time with his family and on philanthropic work, particularly in the education and entrepreneurship of young people.

Chairman of GraceKennedy, Professor Gordon Shirley, described Orane's service to GraceKennedy and Jamaica as “invaluable”.

“Douglas has made a solid contribution to shaping and strengthening the governance structure of the board. He is a really outstanding leader and we are going to miss having him as a member of the board, but we are equally happy that he will be devoting more time to developing the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders,” Professor Shirley said.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Group CEO Don Wehby. According to Wehby, Orane was a visionary leader who played a pivotal role in the growth and development of GraceKennedy.

“Douglas Orane is a master strategist — I learnt a great deal from him when we worked together at GraceKennedy and he was instrumental in shaping my career. I have always admired his commitment to country and willingness to give young people a chance. I consider him my mentor, confidant and friend. He is truly the brother that I never had,” the CEO said.

In recent years, Orane has been a part of Jamaica's angel investor network which provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity.

Before that Orane gave back to society by volunteering as a mentor to young entrepreneurs; giving service to his alma mater the Wolmer's schools; highlighting the importance of our youth as patron of child month; offering fund-raising workshops for schools throughout Jamaica; participating in seminars dedicated to transformational organizational change; and as a regular donor to Food For The Poor.

“I have had the pleasure and privilege of leading GraceKennedy as CEO and providing guidance as a member of the board for over 30 years. I am now 70 years old, and although I am not quite yet at the age of mandatory retirement of 72 years, I had always stated that at this stage of my life I wanted to serve our community in other ways.

“Leadership through corporate entities is valuable and has a role to play in Jamaica's development. However, I would now like to use my time in an even more deliberate way to support and develop our young people. In addition, in today's changing world it is my personal philosophy that long-serving directors, such as myself, exhibit the foresight to step aside to make room for the younger generation,” Orane said, adding that he appreciates the support of his colleagues on the board of GraceKennedy and staff.

Orane, an engineer, joined GraceKennedy Ltd in 1981 as corporate planner and held several senior leadership positions before being appointed CEO of GraceKennedy Limited in 1995. In 1998 he was appointed chairman of the board of directors and held the position of chairman and CEO of the company until his retirement as CEO in 2011 when he assumed the transitional position of executive chairman until June 30, 2012. He served as non-executive chairman of the board of the company from July 1, 2012 to December 31, 2013.

He retired from chairmanship of the board of First Global Bank in September 2017.

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