Business

Young team for new $1-billion Appleton Rum Experience

BY HORACE HINES
Staff reporter
hhines@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, October 08, 2017

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General Manager of the Appleton Estate Rum Experience O'Shane Ellis says a mixture of youth and experience will be the secret to the success of the $1-billion renovated world-class attraction here.

According to Ellis, there is usually a tendency to believe that “youngsters must wait their turn and fall in line” which, while understandable within certain contexts, is now more of a fallacy than a reality.

“I am privileged to lead a team that includes the right blend of youth and experience. While there is an influx of new and youthful talent within our organisation, this is also complemented by a core of seasoned professionals who have been with the company for some time,” Ellis stated.

“Of course we operate within a culture where young professionals are oftentimes not supported or taken seriously, but I am confident that will not be the case with the Appleton Rum Experience family. I am up for the challenge,” Ellis continued.

He also noted that it speaks volumes that a company of Gruppo Campari, parent company of J Wray & Nephew under whose portfolio Appleton falls, is so supportive of youthful talent.

“For Gruppo Campari, the sixth largest player in the global beverage industry, to be investing in the youths of tomorrow, is commendable,” he declared. “I am very confident that my team and I will deliver as we bring youthful exuberance and out-of-the-box thinking to the table. As the saying goes, the youth are the future!”

Ellis argued that his motivation is to prove that his young management team, with an average age of 30, is just as capable or even more so than the more “mature professionals” that you would expect to run a company of this magnitude.

“We are the future of the nation and we will be the ones to contribute to the growth and the development of the country for the next generation,” he continued.

Married with two children and a past student of Kingston College, 29-year-old Ellis has been in the hospitality and tourism industry for 10 years. He has also had the privilege of working at some of Jamaica's most recognisable companies such as Sandals Resorts, Margaritaville and Rick's Café.

“During the last 10 years I have grown professionally, starting as an entertainment coordinator, to roles such as assistant entertainment manager, restaurant manager, group events & entertainment manager, operations manager, and now general manager for one of the world's finest experiences – Appleton Estate Rum Experience,” he disclosed.

Formerly known as the Appleton Rum Tour, the attraction will continue to offer visitors an opportunity to get a first-hand view of sugar and rum production. It is currently on hold to facilitate the rehabilitation work, which involves the upgrading of the existing facility and its expansion by another 25,000 square feet. It will open in November under its new name – the Appleton Estate Rum Experience.

“Visitors will be in for a real treat…a magical one,” Ellis added. “This will be a one-of-a-kind attraction and experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world.”

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