Red Stripe’s Rising Star Yaniece Gentles jets off to Amsterdam
Yaniece Gentles' business acumen and finance expertise have now landed her an international assignment as business controller at the Heineken Europe Regional Office in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
“Work hard in silence, let your success make the noise” is one saying that definitely applies to Yaniece Gentles.
From an impressionable intern at Red Stripe in 2003 to the position of finance director at Celebration Brands Limited, Gentle’s has been steadily climbing the corporate ladder.
Her business acumen and finance expertise have now landed her an international assignment as business controller at the Heineken Europe Regional Office in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
“As cliché as it sounds, finance chose me. I originally wanted to be a paediatrician and was on that path all the way up to the 11th grade. It was in my sixth form years at the Immaculate Conception High School that I found my love for numbers, and the rest is history,” Gentles said.
Immediately after completing a Bachelor of Science double major in Accounting and Management Studies at the University of the West Indies, Gentles joined Red Stripe as a graduate intern.
The experience whet her appetite for business strategy, finance and risk management, and pushed her to pursue the ACMA designation through the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. At the end of the internship, she was offered the role of supply finance analyst and thereafter, transitioned into the role of manufacturing finance manager at Red Stripe.
Leaving on a jet plane
After the Heineken acquisition in 2015, Gentles’ skills were recognised and she was highlighted as a key talent from the region. She was assessed for suitability based on qualification, leadership capabilities and job performance over the years, and promoted to business controller for Europe at the Heineken head office in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Having always dreamed of gaining international experience, Gentles says she was beyond ecstatic when the opportunity of a lifetime came up. “I’m excited about everything that will come next! It will be a brand-new experience in every sense. I will be working in a market with which I have very little familiarity and with new colleagues. This will give me the opportunity to grow my capabilities and my network,” she said.
Her new role will entail being the business partner to the operating companies in Europe and the European management team. She will provide insightful business performance analysis to support decision making within the operating companies; as well as lead and drive projects to deliver value for the business while encouraging continuous improvement and best practices.
The new assignment also means big changes for Gentles’ family.
“We will be living in a new environment and experiencing a new culture. We will travel Europe and get to see another side of the world together. It will be quite an adventure which we are very much looking forward to.” She continued, “I live for my family as they motivate me to become all that I can be. I have a very supportive partner, Richard, who motivates me to be my best and two beautiful girls, Kaylee and Solae, who remind me daily of how blessed I am and how committed I am to making myself a living example for them.”
Although Gentles is excited for the road ahead, she will leave behind her friends and other family whom she will miss dearly. The career finance executive says she will also miss driving through the gates at 214 Spanish Town Road and her colleagues there.
“We are so very proud of Yaniece and what she has accomplished so far,” says Paul Schalekamp, Red Stripe finance director. “We always want to inspire our employees to be their best self and to ensure that they are delivering at their highest while having a great experience here in the business. Yaniece has been a shining example and a true rising star.”