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Champions of Business set for October 17

Thursday, June 26, 2014
CEO of the T&T Chamber, Catherine Kumar, is flanked by Jean-Pierre du Coudray, left, Chamber board member and Champions of Business committee chair, Reyaz Ahamad, director, Southern Sales and Service Co Ltd, and Robin Lewis, general manager, Retail and Commercial Banking, First Citizens—exclusive platinum sponsor of the Champions of Business.

The T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce will host its Champions of Business Awards Ceremony on October 17 at the Hyatt Regency. “The Chamber’s Business Hall of Fame has thus far recognised and celebrated 23 of our local business icons who, through enterprise, have had a historically significant impact on the economic and social prosperity of Trinidad and Tobago,” said Chamber CEO, Catherine Kumar. 


Some of the Business Hall of Fame inductees have included business stalwarts such as Arthur Lok Jack; Helen Bhagwansingh; Robert Yorke (Tobago); William H Scott; and Geoffrey Inglefield—just to name a few. “In our Champions of Business, we will still have our Business Hall of Fame awards as the highlight of the ceremony, but we will also add two new award categories: The Emerging Entrepreneur award and The Internationally Known...T&T Owned award,” said Kumar.


The CEO explained that the Chamber, as the voice of business in T&T—whether large, medium, or small—believed that the rebrand to the Champions of Business Awards ceremony was necessary as it made it possible to not only continue to recognise business icons, but to also celebrate emerging entrepreneurs and business leaders.  Jean-Pierre du Coudray, Chamber board member and chair of the Champions of Business sub-committee explained the new award categories. 


For the Emerging Entrepreneur category, he said: “Every winner in business starts here. At the heart of every business is an idea, a leader, and a vision. The emerging entrepreneur, who has a winning combination of all three, is making a positive and progressive impact on his or her industry and community.”


For the Internationally Known...T&T Owned category, du Coudray said: “Here, we are looking for a medium-sized business that is at least 75 per cent owned by nationals of Trinidad and Tobago, that is also a member of this Chamber, and that has been profitable and growing fast. This company must have engaged in business development expansion with an established footprint either regionally or internationally, whether through an office presence and/or distribution to foreign countries.” 


Robin Lewis, general manager, Retail and Commercial Banking, First Citizens, the company which has sponsored the Hall of Fame event almost from inception, expressed the bank’s continued support of and alignment to the Champions of Business.  


While the Chamber’s CEO acknowledged that there were still challenges faced by emerging entrepreneurs and leaders of expanding businesses, she felt recognition by the Chamber for their contribution to developing the private sector, and possibly becoming future “hall of fame” Inductees would be a stepping stone towards their success. Calls for nominations have been placed on the Chamber’s website and facebook page and Kumar is encouraging  the public to submit nominations for all three categories. 


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