Sun | Jul 15, 2018

Wehby sees similarities between GraceKennedy, community builders network

Published:Friday | January 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Don Wehby, Group CEO, GraceKennedy Limited.

The award-winning network of community builders known for defining people by their positive contributions to society, BMe (Black Male Engagement Community), was in Jamaica recently, continuing its purpose of empowerment.

The group has earned 67 prestigious awards for storytelling, innovation and service since 2013, including a New York Times bestseller in 2015, Ashoka and Aspen Fellowships, and has been invited to the White House to receive over 60 President's Voluntary Service Awards in 2016.

Speaking at a community retreat BMe had at the Secrets Montego Bay resort, Don Wehby, the chief executive officer (CEO) of the GraceKennedy (GK) Group, shared with the group the success story and the community work of GraceKennedy, the company he has worked with since 1995, eventually becoming CEO in 2011.

"When I assumed the leadership of GK in 2011, my vision was that the company would become a global consumer group. I made a bold statement: 'Why can't GK be the best in the world?' That statement was about freeing our minds from any limits that held us captive and truly recognising our full potential."

Wehby, also a government senator, said the work that the BMe movement was doing resonated with him, pointing out that "here in Jamaica, we also face the issue of our young people, mostly in poor communities, not being as successful and productive as they are meant to be because they lack the support they need, financially and otherwise."

Responsibility to society

He told the group, which included BMe's founder and CEO Trabian Shorters that the GraceKennedy Group, like the BMe, has recognised its responsibility to society and through the GraceKennedy Foundation - which started in 1982 - and the Grace and Staff Community Development Foundation, has assisted families with youngsters who live in tough inner-city communities.

As a part of its mission, the BMe organises asset-framing workshops and talks offering breakthrough insights on achieving impact, diversity, equity, and inclusion.