Saturday, 20 December 2014

MEN OF DISTINCTION: Luis G. Moreno is new US Ambassador to Jamaica + William Mahfood elected PSOJ President

NATIONAL AGENDA: Succeeding Chris Zacca, who did not seek re-election after a stellar five-year term, Chairman of the Wisynco Group, William Mahfood, was on Thursday elected the 17th president of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ), during a council meeting held at the PSOJ's offices on Hope Road in St. Andrew. Joining Mahfood on the PSOJ's new leadership team are VPs Christopher Barnes (Managing Director of the Gleaner Company); Dennis Cohen (Deputy Group Managing Director of the National Commercial Bank); and Gary 'Butch Hendrickson, Managing Director of Continental Baking Company Limited. "I would like to focus on how do we create an environment for doing business in Jamaica, that is open, that is inviting to investors, that is more efficient," Mahfood noted in a post-election Gleaner interview. "If you look at the current environment for just doing business generally, I think it's not an efficient one, and I think that's one of the areas I would like to focus on. And there are so many different things within that framework that need to be looked at." The PSOJ is governed by a 50-member council which is elected by the general membership to serve for a two-year period.

DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS: By the end of the Christmas holidays, the new US Ambassador to Jamaica (and members of his family) should be en route to the island to commence his tenure. On Thursday, Luis G. Moreno, hailed as a "career problem-solver in the US State Department" was officially sworn in as Washington's next man in Kingston during a ceremony officiated by Undersecretary for Homeland Security, Rand Beers, and Assistant Secretary for the Western Hemisphere, Roberta Jacobson who are both longtime colleagues of Ambassador Moreno. On the occasion of his new appointment, Ambassador Moreno pledged to work closely with Dr. Stephen Vasciannie, Jamaica's current Ambassador to the United States, who attended the swearing-in. Also in attendance were Moreno's wife, Gloria, their two daughters and the ambassador's brother.

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