Previous Awardees

(Above) The entrepreneurial husband-and-wife team, Stafford (right) and Marilyn Burrowes, accepts the Observer Business Leader Award for 2013 from Observer Chairman Gordon 'Butch' Stewart (second left) and his son, Adam, Observer deputy chairman and CEO, at the awards ceremony at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston. The Burrowes own and operate the tourist attraction Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios, St Ann, and topped the seven nominees for the annual award, which this year recognised the entrepreneurs who listed their companies on the Junior Stock Exchange. (PHOTO: JOSEPH WELLINGTON)

In 1993, Jamaica's financial sector was at its most vibrant ever. A host of indigenous banks and financial entities were thriving, creating jobs and, just as important, a need for incisive reporting on business. So, it was that in October that year, Moses Jackson introduced Jamaica to the heady world of financial journalism through the pages of a new publication - the Business Observer. Three years later, using the award-winning Business Observer as a vehicle, the Observer announced that it would reward entrepreneurship via the Observer Business Leader Award. The programme unapologetically highlighted indigenous business achievements at a time when local companies faced some of the gravest challenges to their continued viability. Since then, Jamaica has been educated about the hard sacrifices and sweet successes of more than 70 of the island’s entrepreneurs in almost every facet of business. Their stories, published in the Business Observer each Wednesday in the run-up to the gala awards banquet, have inspired many other Jamaicans to go into their own businesses and have spawned additional recognition for their enterprise both here and abroad. The Business Leader awards banquet has grown in stature over the years to become one of Jamaica’s hottest ticket items, as it is attended by the movers and shakers of commerce and industry. And the title of Observer Business Leader as become one of the most prestigious in the country today, particularly given the fact that it has already been won by:

Joseph A Matalon and Joseph M Matalon of Mechala Group, 1996;

Douglas Orane, executive chairman of GraceKennedy, 1997;

Wayne Chen, chief executive officer, SuperPlus Food Stores, 1998;

David Phillips, principal, National Meats & Foods Distributors, 1999;

Lascelles Chin, principal, Lasco Group, 2000;

Donna Duncan-Scott, managing director, Jamaica Money Market Brokers, 2001;

Vincent Chang, principal, Tastee Ltd, 2002;

Patrick Casserly, CEO, e-Services Group, 2003;

Kenny Benjamin, principal, Guardsman Group, 2004;

Ryland Campbell, executive chairman and principal shareholder of Capital & Credit Financial Group, 2005;

Dr Henry Lowe, executive chairman of Blue Cross and conceptualiser of Eden Gardens, 2006;

Glen Christian. executive chairman of Cari-Med Limited, 2007;

The Melville Family, owners and operators of Tropical Battery/Chukka Caribbean Adventures, 2008;

Denis O’Brien, founder and chairman of Digicel, 2009;

Lowell Hawthorne, co-founder and CEO, of Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery and Grill, 2010;

Stafford And Marilyn Burrowes, of Dolphin Cove, 2014;