Jamaicans move up the ranks within the Campari Group
As the new Commercial Director, Michelle Brown will continue leading JWN’s sales thrust in the Caribbean, while assuming greater responsibilities as Commercial Director for Jamaica.
J Wray and Nephew (JWN) executives, Cecil Smith Jr and Michelle Brown, have been elevated to landmark positions within the Campari Group, amidst a series of advances in the businesses’ commercial operations.
Smith, who previously held the position of JWN’s Commercial Director, will lead Campari Canada’s sales outfit as the new Commercial Director, based in Toronto, where he will report to Massimo Mottura, Managing Director.
The appointment takes added significance in lieu of the climb of a Jamaican to the very important North American market for the long-serving Smith, who joined JWN Limited straight out of Calabar High as a systems and promotional store officer in 1998 at the beginning of a career spanning 20 years.
Cecil Smith Jr
He steadily climbed the ranks, holding numerous senior positions in sales and marketing, to the level of commercial director, to which he was promoted in 2015.
Smith will be replaced as head of the Jamaican commercial operations by Michelle Brown. As the new Commercial Director, Brown will continue leading JWN’s sales thrust in the Caribbean, while assuming greater responsibilities as Commercial Director for Jamaica.
In the male-dominated area of sales, Brown has made a quantum leap in the context that she is the first female appointee with overall responsibilities for this demanding portfolio. Prior to joining JWN, Brown held several roles in sales, including category development manager in South Africa.
“People is one of the two main pillars of our business along with brands. Our group is growing exponentially, and we have a great need for talent overseas,” said Jean-Philippe ‘JP’ Beyer, Managing Director, Campari Group, Jamaica and the Caribbean, as he announced the changes.
“Jamaica is clearly a source of talent, and we have already promoted several young, talented Jamaicans in our business units worldwide – Canada, USA, Italy etc,” Beyer added.
The promotions are part of the company’s global talent management and succession planning programmes, which also see Levi Bloomfield, Kevin Davis and Leleika-Dee Barnes moving up the promotional ranks.
Bloomfield will assume responsibilities as Commercial Manager in Jamaica, covering both the on and off trade sales channels and supervising all five regional sales managers.
Davis’ elevation makes him Commercial Manager for Export, with responsibility for growing sales in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Barnes will now hold down the position as Trade Marketing Manager, after a successful stint as Brand Manager for Wray & Nephew White Over-proof Rum and Appleton Rum.
“We believe strongly in training and have embarked on a leadership programme to train every employee involved in people management,” Beyer advised.
“In the next two years we will exceed a milestone of 100 Jamaicans participating in our leadership development programme. This will broaden their horizons and their marketability globally,” he outlined.
J Wray & Nephew is a subsidiary of Gruppo Campari, a major player in the global branded beverage industry, with a portfolio of over 50 prominent brands that are marketed and distributed in over 190 countries worldwide.