GraceKennedy (GK) was well represented at the 25th Annual Legacy Awards Gala of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) on April 21st, 2022 in NYC, as the GK team came out to support GK Group CEO Don Wehby, one of eight awardees honoured at the event. Wehby received the AFUWI Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Global Business Leadership at the glitzy affair held at the 583 Park Avenue banquet hall in Manhattan. The GK Group was also honoured at the Gala, receiving the Corporate Award for Global Business Leadership, and most notably a Congressional Proclamation from the US House of Representatives in recognition of its 100th anniversary.
The Proclamation, which was bestowed by US Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke reads “…On this special occasion, I would like to congratulate [GraceKennedy Limited] for their 100 year anniversary. One hundred years of growth has made GraceKennedy (GK) one of the largest and most dynamic corporate entities in Jamaica and the Caribbean […] On behalf of the United States House of Representatives, I salute GraceKennedy for the positive contributions that make our nation great and bestow upon them the highest honor as a member of the 118th session of Congress.”
Congressional proclamations recognize distinct public and personal achievements, and are bestowed by Members of the Congress of the United States, becoming a part of the official Congressional record.
Following the presentation of the Proclamation at the Gala, Mr Wehby expressed how honoured he was to be leading GK at such a pivotal moment in the Company’s history. In his remarks during the event, Wehby also lauded the University of the West Indies (UWI) explaining, “I am a proud graduate of the University of the West Indies, and I can also proudly say that every GK Executive here with me tonight is also a graduate of UWI.”
Wehby was accompanied to the Gala by GK Chairman and former Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of UWI, Professor Gordon Shirley, other GK Directors, and members of the GK Executive Committee and Senior Management team. AFUWI Awards are conferred at the annual gala on notable individuals and companies which represent high levels of achievement within their respective fields of industry, enterprise and service in their communities. The gala also raises funds for UWI projects, scholarships, and academic programmes.
This year’s other AFUWI awardees were the Hon. Gaston A. Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda; Dr. The Hon. Timothy J. Harris, Prime Minister of St. Kitts & Nevis; Wayne Berson, CPA, Chief Executive Officer, BDO USA; Dawnn Lewis, Grammy Award-Winning Songwriter, Producer and Actress; His Excellency Ralph S. Thomas, Jamaica’s Former Ambassador to the US; and Graham Robinson, SVP & President, STANLEY Industrial.
Recent AFUWI scholarship recipients, Vernique Miller, Moonmattie Devi Seitaram, and Hoshane Langley also addressed the audience at the gala, describing how the financial support they received from AFUWI had positively changed the trajectory of their lives.
Wehby explained that GK has supported UWI through offering scholarships over many years, and most recently through its GK Campus Connect Food Bank, which is managed by the GK Foundation and feeds 200 UWI students on an on-going basis.