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JMS Memorial Lecture

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Dec. 1, 2022—The Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) hosted the inaugural James Moss-Solomon Memorial Lecture, under the theme “From Local to Global: Challenges and Benefits for Caribbean Firms”, on November 30, at the Faculty of Law Building, University of the West Indies, as part of the activities to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the merger of the former Department of Management Studies and Mona School of Business.

Speaking at the event, Executive Director of MSBM, Dr. David McBean, noted that the lecture was being held in honour of stalwart nation-builder James Moss-Solomon’s legacy—especially his ability to bring together representatives of academia and industry—as well as an opportunity to deepen the relationship between the two sectors of society in the context of Jamaica’s development.

“Jimmy was very passionate about a lot of things,” shared Dr. McBean. “He was passionate about his country, about CARICOM and the wider region, especially with regards to where the region was heading, hence this year’s theme. Additionally, while serving as Executive in Residence at the Mona School of Business and Management, he spearheaded the Reasoning with CEOs Series, which allowed CEOs to participate in townhall meetings with undergraduate students for them to learn in a practical way how business is run. Honouring his passion, and his belief in balancing theory and practice are a major part of why we are here today.”

The evening’s inaugural lecture was delivered by Group CEO of GraceKennedy Group of Companies, Senator Don Wehby, a graduate of the then Mona School of Business, and mentee of the late Moss-Solomon. His address drew extensively from his experience at the helm of the GraceKennedy, outlining aspects of what he calls “the company’s formula for success at home and abroad.”

Senator Wehby highlighted several key points of his company’s story which has helped them to make significant strides towards being a Global Consumer Group. Among these he listed the company’s ability to operate from guiding principles, specifically its core values—Honesty, Integrity, and Trust—and ‘We Care’ ethos. He stressed the importance placed on people which he sees as leading to high level of employee buy-in that is nothing short of legendary; and ensuring that each aspect of the vision for the future is meticulously measured, stating his personal mantra, “What gets measured, gets done.”

Speaking directly to a contingent of students from Jamaica College and the University of the West Indies present at the function, Sen. Wehby called on them to take up the mantle and pursue the next chapter of growth and development of Jamaican businesses. He noted that “the lessons we (GraceKennedy) have learned over the years will go a long in helping us to achieve our vision of the future. So don’t be afraid to dream, and don’t be afraid of handwork.”

GraceKennedy Group of Companies is recognized as one of the Caribbean’s leading conglomerates, with shareholders in over 31 countries around the world. The company boasts a resounding 2000 team members, with over 600 based outside Jamaica, a fitting example of the lecture’s “From Local to Global Theme”.

The inaugural lecture was attended by several major Jamaican industry players, many of whom had a personal or professional relationship with the late Moss-Solomon. Several shared remarks post lecture referencing the spirit of a man who contributed significantly to bettering his country, who impacted the lives of many, and whose work has directly and indirectly influenced much of Jamaica’s current corporate success.

Dr. McBean noted that “this inaugural lecture is the first of many. The fact of the matter is, that the Mona School of Business and Management is an indispensable pillar for promoting industry innovation and national development. Therefore, we must follow the lead of James Moss-Solomon, and strengthen the relationship with all stakeholders that they serve, “He declared. 

About Mona School of Business & Management (MSBM)

Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) is the premier Business School in the region and produces graduates that are ready to make an impactful contribution to Caribbean development. The school is commemorating a significant milestone this year as it is the 10th Anniversary of the merger of two formidable forerunners - Mona School of Business and the Department of Management Studies to form Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM).

MSBM offers a diverse suite of globally competitive professional development, undergraduate and graduate degree programmes which include the Master in Business Administration (MBA) which is internationally accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA). MSBM complements its unique academic programmes with cutting edge consultancy services and public policy research, the principal business objective being to provide decision makers with expert advice for handling their most critical strategic issues.

As a part of The University of the West Indies (UWI), ranked in the top 1.5% of universities worldwide, MSBM is a key plank of The UWI Mona’s value proposition to its constituents in Jamaica and the region.