Wed | Oct 28, 2020

SAJ elects new president

Published:Monday | January 7, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Charles Johnston, newly elected president of the Shipping Association of Jamaica.
Attendees at the annual general meeting held at the Shipping Association of Jamaica offices.
Charles Johnston, newly elected president of the Shipping Association of Jamaica (right) addresses the Managing Committee after being voted in while, from left: Grantley Stephenson, newly elected vice president of SAJ and Harriat Maragh, Past President and Honorary Member of the SAJ Managing Committee looks on.

Charles Johnston has been elected to serve as president of the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) for 2019, which is the organisation's 80th anniversary of operations.

Johnston is the executive chairman of Jamaica Fruit & Shipping Company and its subsidiaries; and is also chairman of the Jamaica Producers Group, and a member of the board of directors of Kingston Wharves Limited.

Johnston has served on the Managing Committee of the SAJ since 1976 and was president for a period in 1993, succeeding Francis 'Paco' Kennedy, who was elected president but who had to demit office due to overseas work commitments. Johnston brings his over 50 years of experience in the shipping industry to the role of president, having been in the shipping and produce-export business since 1964.

The SAJ's AGM also saw the election of Grantley Stephenson to the post of vice-president. Stephenson is currently the chief executive officer of Kingston Wharves Limited and has been a member of the SAJ Managing Committee since 1993. He, too, is a past president, serving from 1998-2002. He has been an important figure in the regional and international shipping industry for over 30 years, with a career spanning the Caribbean, Mexico and the United Kingdom (UK).

Mark Williams, the chief operating officer of Kingston Wharves Limited, joins the Managing Committee for the first time. He brings to the position his more than 20 years' experience in commercial and strategic planning.

Returning to the committee are Denise Lyn Fatt, the immediate past president, who holds the historic distinction of having been the SAJ's first female president. She is the managing director of Freight Handlers Limited. Michael Bernard, managing director of Shipping Services Stevedoring Limited, in addition to being a past president, now holds the position of honorary member. Harriat Maragh, chairman and chief executive officer of Lannaman and Morris Shipping Limited, returns as honorary member. Also returning are Kim Clarke, managing director of Maritime and Transport Group of Companies; William A. Brown, managing director of the Lannaman & Morris (Shipping) Group of Companies; Robert Kinlocke, chairman of Gateway Shipping Group; Roger Hinds, managing director of Mediterranean Shipping Company Jamaica Limited; Corah Ann Robertson-Sylvester, chief executive officer, Seaboard Jamaica Limited and Andre Rochester, freight manager at Maritime and Transport Services Limited. The SAJ's CEO, Trevor Riley, is an ex-officio member of the Managing Committee.

Of his returning to the role as president, Johnston says that he is bringing the full weight of his vast experience to captain the ship. He expressed that he has an excellent crew (his fellow managing committee members and executive leadership team) to work with during his tenure.