Woody Foster is the new President of the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce. He accepted the top leadership role at the organisation’s annual general meeting held at the Grand Old House restaurant on Wednesday, 8th January.
He becomes the first son of a Past President (the late David Foster who held the position from 2000 - 2001) to be elected to this high office. He thanked members for their vote of confidence and pledged to address the key issues that matter most to them and the community.
Economic Growth and Education were among the key topics that he highlighted in his acceptance address as issues of utmost importance for 2020 and the future of the Cayman Islands.
“As we enter a new decade, the Chamber’s leadership in advocacy matters is even more critical. The panel discussion on population growth [at the 2019 Economic Forum] generated considerable member and public discussion as we considered Cayman at 100,000 population and its implications on all aspects of our economy. The pressures on all aspects of our society are certainly evident,” Mr. Foster said.
“It is a fact that the Cayman Islands is no longer the little upstart economy that was hungry for business nearly 60 years ago. Years of rapid growth is forever changing the nature of our society. While we are thankful to those visionary leaders who created the economy we enjoy today, the time has come to evaluate the current situation to ensure that the society that we are developing will be suitable for our children and their children.”
Mr. Foster stressed the importance of investing in quality education, as our islands grow, to help ensure that our students will take up their rightful positions in the public and private sector workplace.
In light of these issues, Mr. Foster identified the Chamber as a key stakeholder to help frame the national dialogue leading up to the next election so that aspiring political leaders understand these concerns and share their solutions on the campaign trail.
Mr. Foster acknowledged the contributions of the immediate Past President, Chris Kirkconnell and presented him with a gift on behalf of the membership for his voluntary service to the Chamber over the past five years.
Shomari Scott, Director of Business Development at Health City Cayman Islands, is the new Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce. Chamber members elected Scott, three Councillors and the treasurer at the organisation’s annual general meeting at the Grand Old House on 8th January.
Troy Burke, director of Heritage Holdings, Jenn Cowdroy, Director and Co-Owner of Island Montessori and Dave Johnston, Managing Director, Corporate Electric Ltd. were elected as Councillors and will serve two-year terms. They will join Tim Bradley, Owner, Professional Yacht Management Ltd., Simon Watson, Founding Partner, Charterland and Amanda Wilson, Director, GreenTech Group who will serve their second year on the Council.
Executive Committee members include President Woody Foster, Managing Director, Fosters IGA, President-Elect Mike Gibbs, President, Kensington Management Ltd., Vice President Scott, Secretary Steve McIntosh, Chief Executive Officer, CML and Treasurer Colin Robinson, Director, Strategic Risk Solutions. Chris Kirkconnell, Vice President, Operations, Kirk Freeport Ltd., becomes Immediate Past President.
Retiring Councillors, Nelson Dilbert, owner at Cayman Spirits Company, Mario Ebanks, Chief Human Resources Officer at Cayman Islands Airport Authority and Shomari Scott were acknowledged for their contributions and voluntary service to the Chamber of Commerce. The retiring Councillors have each served in various roles on the Council from chairing or serving on committees, representing the Chamber at meetings and events and canvassing their industry sector, to informing the Council of any issues of concern that require action.
Outgoing President Kirkconnell presented a gift to each retiring Council member for their contribution to the Chamber during their terms of service, and the collective mission to support, promote and protect the interests of members, and the wider community.
Dilbert and Robert Tate each received the ‘Volunteer of the Year’ award for 2019. Dilbert coordinated Chamber’s Cayman CLEAN anti-littering campaign and Tate chaired the 2019 Leadership Cayman programme.
The Chamber celebrates its 55th anniversary in 2020.