Derrick Wright receives two major tourism awards
FROM HIS school days at Bethel Primary School in Hanover, people have been calling Derrick Wright ‘Teazy’. He was of slim build, what we Jamaicans called ‘mawgah’, just like the little bird that is known locally as ‘Teazy’.
On his official name tag at Tryall Club in Hanover, where he is the income auditor, is engraved Teazy Wright. But do not take it lightly because Wright has evolved into a well-respected tourist industry employee, who has a ‘big’ and important job, and who has been a serious community developer since he was a ‘little bird’.
Not only has he grown in physical stature, and professionally, he is the 2016 Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) Employee of the Year and the 2016 Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum Association (CHIEF) award for Supervisor of the Year for the Caribbean. The latter award, coordinated by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, was announced at the forum on Sunday in Puerto Rico.
The 1983 graduate of Cornwall College in Montego Bay has been living in Hopewell, Hanover, all his life, and has no intention of leaving. But he is not just living, he has been making a sterling contribution to community development within his environs and beyond.
The ‘proud father’ of two, and grandfather of one, has been at Tryall Club since 1990. He started out as a night auditor, then was promoted to front office supervisor, and later, accounts receivable supervisor, before rising to his current position in 1997. He supervises five people, to whom he said he has given much guidance to make everybody’s work easier.
His job is to ensure that all the revenues generated by the 89-villa property are accounted for. After he has done his job of accounting, then it is time to get his fingers out of the till and into his working gloves to participate in some nonjob activity or another. He has been the president of the Tryall Sports Club since 2002, a member of Tryall’s Green Team, and the overseer of the Tryall Hurricane Fund.
Wright told Hospitality Jamaica that he grew up poor and he knows that the community assisted his mother in sending him to high school as his father died just before his high-school days began. “So I made a decision, then and there, whenever I get the chance, I would give back to the community.”
GIVING TIME AND ENERGY
Giving back means: being president of Hopewell Citizens Association, treasurer of the Hopewell Community Development Commission, vice-chairman of the Bethel Junior High Board of Directors, and director and public relations officer of the Hopewell Sports Development Council.
He has also spearheaded and/or participated in projects to improve the quality of life at the Lucea Infirmary, Westhaven Children’s Home, Pondside Basic School, Watford Hall Basic School, Jericho All-Age School, Bethel Junior High School, and the Sandy Bay Police Station.
But how does he balance work and community involvement? Proper time management, he said, is the key, and choosing the right people to work with, people who respect themselves, others, and their job. He takes his hat off to Tryall Club for giving him the opportunity to strike the balance. For this he finds his job itself rewarding.
Two projects that he said he would always cherish are the establishment of a playing field for Tryall Club staff and the building of a house for an elderly woman in Cold Spring in Hanover in 2014 as a Tryall Sports Club project. He recalled the happiness he felt when the door was opened for the first time to let her in.
When asked how he reacted when he received the JHTA award earlier this year, he said, “The joy was not the award, the joy was before the award. Whenever I do something for someone, that gives me joy.” But he also said, “I welcome it,” nonetheless.
His winning of both awards is great news but came as no major surprise as Wright’s involvement is widely known. Dawn Gordon, human resources director at Tryall Club, said it was “significant”. She also said Wright is well respected by everybody. Mark Kovinsky, board member of Tryall’s board of directors, shares her sentiments, saying he has “deep respect and admiration for him”.
Wright’s manager, Patricia Henry, chief financial officer, called him “dedicated” and described him as “the soul and spirit of the Tryall Club staff”, while Managing Director Aram Zerunian said, “He is an employee any company would hope to have ... . He is like the salt in our food ... . He brings the flavours together.”
Apart from the major awards, Wright was also the 2008 Ministry of Education Region Four Parent of The Year, the 2007-2008 supervisor of the year at Tryall, the 2015 managing director awardee at Tryall, and a member of the Tryall team that won the 2015 NCB Nation Builders Award.
Derrick ‘Teazy’ Wright displays the National Commercial Bank Nation Builders trophy which Tryall Club won for 2015 and the trophy he won for being the 2016 Jamaica Hotel and Tourism Association employee of the year.
The staff at Tryall Club in Hanover has only good things to say about Derrick Teazy Wright. Here is with (from left) Shaku Ramcharan (left), environment and conservation manager, and Dawn Gordon, director of human resources.