Der­rick Wright re­ceives two ma­jor tourism awards

Jamaica Gleaner - - HOSPITALITY JAM - Paul H. Wil­liams Hos­pi­tal­ity Ja­maica Writer

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.

PHOTOS BY PAUL H. WIL­LIAMS

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.

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