Dilly’s Supermarket proprietor, Irvine Norville, Receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Luxury resorts Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain were the big winners at this year’s St. Lucia Business Awards, which was held at Royalton Saint Lucia Resort & Spa on Saturday evening.
The properties, which are located in Soufriere, went home with four crystal trophies, winning the following categories: Award for Service Excellence, Green Award, Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation, and Business of the Year.
Property Manager for Anse Chastanet& Jade Mountain Resorts, Carl Hunter, told The VOICE that team members are “amazed, humbled, privileged and proud” at the massive achievements. He added that the big wins are testimony to the diligent efforts of all team members who often go above and beyond expectations to ensure that guests enjoy their island experience.
“I think that what we have in Soufriere is truly a unique product,” Hunter said. “It’s supported by an astonishing group of employees who really understand what we’re about.
“The Green Award, which was one of the four (awards) we picked up, is really borne through our environmental initiatives to (promote) sustainability and social responsibility that we consider when we operate.
“The Business of the Year Award (was) a complete surprise to us but, obviously, more than welcome. The Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation was, again, a surprise to us, but really is truly reflective, we hope, of the kind of commitment that we’ve made to innovate within the agricultural sector.”
Hunter said that while Anse Chastanet & Jade Mountain Resorts have won numerous international accolades, Saturday’s recognition is special because being honoured at home takes on a different meaning.
“We get a lot of international recognition for what we do (but) having these local awards presented to us, I feel, really touches us. It has more of an impact for our team and that’s why I really want to celebrate the team in accepting these awards,” Hunter explained.
This year, eleven categories were up for grabs and the other winners were as follows:
Invest St. Lucia Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Randy Lafontaine, St. Lucia Travel and Tours
Service Exporter of the Year – First Citizens Investment Services
Award for Excellence in Human Resource Development – Massy Stores
Award for Marketing Excellence – Automotive Art
Award for Corporate Social Responsibility – Laborie Credit Union
Award for Corporate Leadership – Lucius Ellevic, Laborie Credit Union
Award for Idea of the Year – Easy Click Solucians
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Irvine Morris Norville, proprietor of Dilly’s Supermarket, located in Castries. The supermarket is a popular alternative for many shoppers, offering affordable prices and a Super Savers programme whereby customers save by purchasing in bulk.
“After a number of years of working hard, I’m glad that somebody recognized my hard work,” Norville told The VOICE at Saturday evening’s ceremony. “I’d like to thank them very, very much for recognizing it. I encourage young people to be patient – they will get somewhere.”
When asked how he managed to survive in business for so many years when many local businesses continue to close their doors, the soft-spoken entrepreneur who attended the event with his wife, Prudencia, and other relatives, said it was not as difficult, especially since he always knew what he wanted and was willing to go after his business dreams. He said he took on many jobs before realizing that building his own empire was possible.
“When I went to England, I took a correspondence course in book-keeping and accountancy,” he said. “Then I worked with British American and did the salesmanship course. From then, I figured if I can sell insurance that is intangible, I can sell goods.”
Meanwhile, President of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture, Martin Dorville, renewed the Chamber’s call for more to be done collectively to enhance the local business environment. He said that while many businesses do make valiant attempts to improve, certain setbacks work against their favour.
“We still have to resolve the many pressing issues facing our country and ask ourselves whether we are doing all that we can, whether we are pulling our weight, whether we are doing enough to make our individual and collective expectations come true,” Dorville said, as he addressed the scores of guests who filled the huge hall where the ceremony was held.
“I say this with particular reference to those big issues like crime, which we still need to speak on decisively and in concert with government. We simply are not doing enough – none of us – to fight this evil which threatens everything good that we are trying to build, sustain and preserve.”
Dorville said that while Prime Minister Allen Chastanet recently announced crucial steps government will be taking to tackle the social issues affecting the business environment head-on, “clearly government cannot do it alone”.
“Our businesses can’t thrive for long in a dysfunctional society,” he said. “Perhaps to say it with more bottom-line self-interest, there is so much that we can be doing right now to shape our wholesome business landscape in which business thrives much more sustainably, returning benefits to all stakeholders.”
Saturday evening’s awards ceremony was the ninth of its kind since the Chamber held its inaugural ceremony in 2010 to recognize the best in local business.