Business

Wehby says national honour will push him to work harder for Jamaica

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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Group Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Limited and Government Senator Don Wehby on Monday received the Order of Distinction (commander class) for sterling contribution to the public and private sectors at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony.

Wehby, who was among 23 individuals recognised for outstanding service to the business industry, has served as the head one of the largest Caribbean companies since 2011.

Other business leaders receiving national honours and awards were Phillip Frederick Gore, Antony Hart, Kevin Hendrickson, Paul Hoo, Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence, John Lynch, Howard Mitchell, Paul Scott, Lyttleton “Tanny” Shirley, Joy Spence, Slyvester Tolluch, Albert Webb, Isbert Clarke, Alston Douglas, Michael Drakulich, Courtney Hamilton, Indru Khemlani, Leroy Lindsay, Earl Moore Sr, Dennis Wright, Ramesh Jim Lakhwani, Joyce Ann Young, and Margaret Steuart.

Throughout his years of service, Wehby has held several positions including deputy chief executive officer, chief executive officer GK Investments, group chief operating officer, group finance manager, deputy finance director, group chief financial officer and chief operating officer for GK's Financial Services Division.

Shortly after accepting the award, Wehby told the Jamaica Observer that the recognition has prompted him to work even harder.

“I have a very deep passion for this country. I think the best is yet to come, and I think any role I can play in terms of achieving a better Jamaica I'm there for the people,” he said.

“As you know, I have done a lot of public service, being in the Government for two years, and now being a senator and CEO of GraceKennedy it's very special to receive this award. It's always good to be recognised by the people of Jamaica through the governor general and the prime minister,” he told the Business Observer.

Wehby has been charged with the responsibility for leading GraceKennedy's local and international expansion specifically relating to banking, investments and insurance services. He has also directed the listing of the company in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, and the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange sited in St Kitts. Under his leadership, GraceKennedy acquired 100 per cent ownership of First Global Bank Ltd, now a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.

In September 2007, Wehby resigned from his positions at GraceKennedy Ltd and its Board of Directors to serve for two years as Government Senator and Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service. Following this public service stint, he was reappointed to the Board of Directors of GraceKennedy Ltd.

He is currently New Zealand's Honorary Consul to Jamaica, having been appointment in September 2015.

In March 2016, he was appointed by Jamaica's Prime Minister Andrew Holness as an Independent Senator.

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