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Paul Byles addresses membership for the first time as Cayman Islands Chamber President

From Cayman Chamber

Mr. Paul Byles addressed the Chamber membership for the first time as Chamber President yesterday at the Membership Appreciation & Elections.

“We are a Chamber for all businesses,” said President Byles. “Whether large or small, with hundreds of employees or just one, we will be dedicated to all members.”

Mr. Byles delivered a powerful speech, focussing on the many benefits of the membership, and how the private sector is the “engine that grows our economy.” He illustrated this point by informing the audience that Chamber businesses employ over 18,000 persons.

With the Hon. Joseph ‘Joey’ Hew, Minister of Commerce, present, Mr. Byles explained how an effective, collaborative partnership was required between the Chamber and government, saying: “It is good to share a joint vision. And to public display partnership. But it is equally important and often far more so, to ensure that we actually take action together and compromise to get things done for Caymanian employees as well as Caymanian business owners.”

He said that he believes there is currently a genuine emerging partnership between the Chamber and the Government and was looking forward to collaborating for the benefit of the wider Cayman Islands community.

President Byles also stressed that the private sector should tackle issues independently, stating that at times too much reliance is placed on government. He explained how both the private sector and wider community are ‘very influential’ and that ‘together we can achieve a great deal…to help government in areas they need it most.’

The Advocacy Agenda & Action Plan, introduced by the Chamber at the end of 2017, also featured in Mr. Byles’ speech. He acknowledged the outstanding efforts of outgoing President Kyle Broadhurst in establishing this policy, which will lay the groundwork of the Chamber’s efforts for the next three years.

Mr. Byles called Mr. Broadhurst to the stage to accept an award for his services to the Chamber and the membership, further stating that Kyle would still have an important role to play in the work of the Council.

Earlier in the evening, Mr. Broadhurst took to the podium for the final time as President to deliver the ‘Year in Review’ and highlight some of the Chamber’s achievements in 2017.

Among the highlights listed by Mr. Broadhurst included the record-breaking Earth Day Cleanup, the international award-winning Growth Matters Campaign, and the inaugural Business Excellence Awards.

President Broadhurst was not the only member of the Council to retire at the Annual Meeting, with long-standing Treasurer Wayne Cowan standing down from the duties. Mr. Cowan spent 17 years in the role, playing an integral role in developing the Chamber to the organisation it is today.

“His commitment to the membership and the Council over the past two decades has been unparalleled,” said Mr. Broadhurst. “Thank you for your outstanding services and commitment to the Chamber over the years.”

Mr. Cowan received an ovation for his efforts with the Council, and received further thank from President Paul Byles and Minister Hew, who worked alongside Wayne during his time as President in 2004. The Council also named Mr. Cowan as ‘Volunteer of the Year’ and presented him with a specialised departing gift.

Other Councillors retiring this year included Gregg Anderson, Cynthia Hew, and James O’Brien. The Council thanked them for their efforts and commitment to the Chamber and presented them with awards of their own.

CEO Wil Pineau, CCE took to the podium to conduct the 2018 Council elections, in which five positions were seeking volunteers, including:

• Vice President

• Treasurer

• Councillor (x3)

After unanimous decisions from the membership, Woodrow ‘Woody’ Foster (Managing Director, Foster’s IGA) was elected as Vice-President. Colin Robinson (Director, Strategic Risk Solutions) was unanimously elected Treasurer, also working alongside Wayne at SRS.

With four nominees for the vacant Councillor positions, an election was held by ballot. After a count, in which 42 corporate members participated and 126 votes in total were counted. A select committee conducted the count during the meeting, and announced that Shomari Scott (Marketing Director, Health City Cayman Islands), Nelson Dilbert (Owner, Cayman Spirits Company), and Mario Ebanks (Chief Human Resources Officer, Cayman Islands Airport Authority) had been elected to the Council.

The event concluded with a reception during which complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres were served, allowing members to meet and converse with the new President, new Councillors, and Minister Hew.

The Chamber would like to thank Mr. Broadhurst, Mr. Cowan, Mr. Anderson, Mrs. Hew, and Mr. O’Brien for their outstanding work on the Council over the years.

Congratulations to Mr. Byles on his new role as President, and congratulations to Mr. Foster, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Ebanks, Mr. Dilbert, and Mr. Scott on their appointments to the Council.

Photos from the 2017 Membership Appreciation and Elections can be found on the Chamber Facebook page.

IMAGE: The 2018 Chamber Council. Top Row (L-R): CEO Wil Pineau; Immediate Past President Kyle Broadhurst; Councillors Shomari Scott, Nelson Dilbert, Mario Ebanks, Denise Gower and Steve McIntosh. Bottom row (L-R): Secretary Roz Griffiths; Treasurer Colin Robinson; President Paul Byles; President-Elect Chris Kirkconnell; Vice President Woody Foster.

The next Annual Meeting will take place Wednesday, November 21, 2018.



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