From cruise ships to freighters, all sea-going vessels sail under the command of a Ship Captain. Supervising crew members and maintaining a ship’s logs are just a few duties a Ship Captain is responsible for.
Now, juxtapose the responsibility of a Ship Captain to that of being President of Jamaica Trade & Invest, and you’ll appreciate the awesome responsibility Sancia Bennett-Templer.
Having taken over the presidency from a seasoned, weather-beaten former president, Robert Gregory, Mrs. Bennett-Templer certainly has a tough act to follow. However, she is not one to make vain attempts to imitate her others, but instead, will seek to display her uniqueness in the market place.
She has pledged to concentrate her energy on the challenge of the moment, no matter what it is, with the hope that her actions will help her forget all else.
By no means a stranger to captaining her own ship, Mrs. Bennett-Templer has had the benefit of successfully navigating her own ships through various sea and weather conditions. For her, returning to JTI is indeed a home-coming, but this time around being as the Captain of the Ship.
When she was named President of JTI in August 2009, she was Chief Technical Director of the modernized and upgraded Planning & Development Unit within the Office of the Prime Minister since February the previous year. She also served as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Planning Summit – a public/private sector partnership aimed at accelerating development through the implementation and coordination of strategic imitative centred on key developmental themes.
Mrs. Bennett-Templer has also served as Deputy President of JAMPRO (now renamed JTI), the island’s investment and export promotion agency, since April 1, 2006. And between June 1, 2006 and February 28, 2007, she acted as President.
In her then capacity as Deputy President, Mrs. Bennett-Templer was primarily responsible for ensuring the effective operations of the organisation. However, she had direct responsibility for investment promotion, export development, special projects, and administration.
Over that period, she steered the organisation towards a more focused, targetted approach to investment, and trade promotion. She has also supervised the reorganization of the agency to more effectively undertake its mandate.
Before joining JTI, the new President was Senior Vice President of Planning & Corporate Development at the Airports Authority of Jamaica. She had direct responsibility for the commercial, marketing, corporate planning, and information technology functions.
During her tenure at the AAJ, Mrs. Bennett-Templer contributed significantly to the privatization of the Sangster International Airport, and subsequently assumed responsibility for the management of the Concession Agreement with the private operator, MBJ Airports Limited.
She also spearheaded negotiation for the financing of the Phase II project for the airport, and was also responsible for negotiating financing for the US$80m expansion and upgrading project for the Norman Manley International Airport.
Mrs. Bennett-Templer also has significant private sector experience having served as General Manager, and the then local agent for Zim Container Service.
So there you have if folks. Mrs. Templer has returned home – more seasoned, experienced, and much wiser – all qualities that made her the perfect choice to take over the JTI operations at this time when it is prepared to sail for more challenging and uncharted waters in the months and years to come.
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