BIT Awards Take Cen­tre Stage at San­dals La Toc

The Star (St. Lucia) - - BUSINESS -

On Satur­day, March 18, San­dals Grande La Toc played host to the first ever BIT Awards. BIT, or Busi­nesses in Thanks­giv­ing, is de­scribed by or­ga­niz­ers as “a rev­o­lu­tion­ary move­ment in Cor­po­rate Saint Lu­cia de­signed to en­gen­der good­will in the busi­ness com­mu­nity through ex­pres­sions of grat­i­tude.” The ini­tia­tive was con­cep­tu­al­ized by Calvin Reynolds, en­tre­pre­neur and CEO of Cor­po­rate Plaza Inc. who says the event has grown leaps and bounds from be­ing solely an an­nual ‘BIT’ New Year’s Church Ser­vice, at­tract­ing 150 busi­ness lead­ers and pro­fes­sion­als from around the is­land. Or­ga­niz­ers say the An­nual BIT Awards and Din­ner is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for busi­nesses and pro­fes­sion­als to pub­licly hon­our the in­di­vid­u­als who have con­trib­uted to their busi­ness suc­cess.

At the in­au­gu­ral event, awards up for grabs in­cluded ‘Best Cus­tomers’, ‘Out­stand­ing Em­ploy­ees’, ‘Strate­gic Part­ners’ and ‘In­spi­ra­tional Per­son’. Masters of Cer­e­monies Dale St Juste and Ann Marie Headley led the pro­ceed­ings, com­plete with live mu­si­cal en­ter­tain­ment from Ken­son Hip­polyte set­ting the tone. The wel­come re­marks were de­liv­ered by Les­lie Jn Bap­tiste, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Ea­gle Freight and Bro­ker­age Ser­vices Ltd, Premium Spon­sor of the event, then BIT Co­or­di­na­tor Calvin Reynolds gave the run­down for the evening’s pre­sen­ta­tions.

First up was the Best Cus­tomer cat­e­gory, which saw An­to­nius “Sekra” Gib­son; Ra­dio Caribbean (1982) Lim­ited, Les­lie Jn Bap­tiste; Ea­gle Freight and Bro­ker­age Ser­vices Lim­ited, Hazel Joseph; Pres­tige In­sur­ance Agency Lim­ited and John Cadet from Cadet Dis­tri­bu­tion, all hon­oured by Cor­po­rate Plaza, while Ti­mothy Man­gal; To­tal Con­struc­tion Sup­plies Lim­ited, and Gary Gus­tave of Ru­bis West indies Lim­ited re­ceived spe­cial recog­ni­tion by Ea­gle Freight and Bro­ker­age Ser­vices Lim­ited.

The Out­stand­ing Em­ploy­ees awards were pre­sented by Ea­gle Freight’s Les­lie Jn Bap­tiste to em­ploy­ees of the com­pany in­clud­ing Ver­line Wil­liams; Of­fice Man­ager, Bene­dict Hip­polyte; Ware­house and Truck­ing Su­per­vi­sor, Si­donie Jankie; Of­fice Su­per­vi­sor, Sasha Remy; Ac­counts Clerk, Anika St. Luce; Cus­toms Bro­ker, Yo­han Au­guste; Cus­toms Bro­ker, Ver­nalee Chedy; Ac­counts Ex­ec­u­tive, Del­phina Paul, and Ac­counts Clerk, Cora Au­gustin.

Best Rates 24Hour Car Rental’s Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor San­dra Mon­rose pre­sented an award in the same cat­e­gory to em­ployee Jer­maine Philip, as did Calvin Reynolds, to Mir­ium An­thony, an ac­coun­tant at Cor­po­rate Plaza.

Din­ner was served dur­ing a brief in­ter­mis­sion, af­ter which Lor­raine Si­donie of Uni­comer, a Col­lat­eral Spon­sor of the event, de­liv­ered a “pep talk”. She spoke against the norm of keep­ing God and thanks­giv­ing sep­a­rate from busi­ness, and drove home the mes­sage that the tra­di­tional ten­sion be­tween God and busi­ness did not have to ex­ist.

“The two aren’t mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive,” she told the au­di­ence. “What we need to do is make sure that we know that our suc­cesses are be­cause of God, and that we are proud of it, and that we can say it. If we do so, we get to solve busi­ness is­sues that go be­yond the bot­tom line. We know how to deal with lay­offs, we know what to pay em­ploy­ees, we know how to reach out to staff, we know how to thank em­ploy­ees, cus­tomers and sup­pli­ers, like we’re do­ing here this evening, and yes, we’ll be guided as to how to make money, but mak­ing mean­ing while mak­ing money.”

Si­donie said a vir­tu­ous cy­cle was cre­ated when Busi­nesses in Thanks­giv­ing gave way to a change that brought God into the work­place, “so that an in­fil­tra­tion of the psy­che leads to im­proved be­hav­iour, im­proved pro­duc­tiv­ity, and em­ploy­ees that go be­yond the min­i­mum obli­ga­tion be­cause they are now mo­ti­vated by love for one an­other.”

She con­tin­ued:“My words of en­cour­age­ment are for us to de­bunk that old phi­los­o­phy that spir­i­tu­al­ity is a pri­vate mat­ter. The ben­e­fits are real, and rel­e­vant, much more than we can per­ceive.”

Af­ter that, it was back to busi­ness. There were still awards left to be pre­sented, and first off was the Strate­gic Busi­ness Part­ner award handed over by San­dra Mon­rose of Best Rates 24Hour Car Rental to Leonard Mon­rose.

The In­spi­ra­tional Per­son award was pre­sented by BIT to David Pierre, Mu­si­cal Di­rec­tor & Ar­ranger, LaJwa Mu­sic En­sem­ble.

An un­ex­pected “Spe­cial Part­ner” award was also pre­sented by San­dra Mon­rose to her hus­band, who man­aged one of the com­pany’s lo­ca­tions, in Vieux Fort. She handed him a gift, and the award, show­ered him with praise, then de­clared, “The only prob­lem I have with him is that he works too hard!” much to the au­di­ence’s de­light.

The event rounded off with a ren­di­tion by Lauvina Reynolds and Sa­muel Lewis, and a sym­bolic pass­ing of the ba­ton, from Calvin Reynolds to his mother, Yoland Reynolds, who will, as of next year, be charged with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of host­ing the event.

Les­lie Jn Bap­tiste of Ea­gle Freight and Bro­ker­age Ser­vices Lim­ited (at right) was one of the evening’s re­cip­i­ents of the Best Cus­tomer Award, from Cor­po­rate Plaza’s Calvin Reynolds.

Lor­raine Si­donie of Uni­comer, a Col­lat­eral Spon­sor of the event, de­liv­ered the event’s fea­tured ad­dress.

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