The Executive Committee of GraceKennedy Limited comprises nine members. The Executive Committee is led by Don Wehby, the Group’s Chief Executive Officer.
Group Chief Executive Officer
On July 1, 2011, Mr. Don Wehby was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Limited. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Wehby held the position of Group Chief Operating Officer from October 5, 2009.
During his tenure as Chief Operating Officer of the Financial Services Division, the division’s pre-tax profit rose from $280 million in 2000 to $1.417 billion in 2005, an increase of 406%.
In December 2005 Mr. Wehby relinquished his role as Chief Operating Officer of the Financial Services Division to take on expanded responsibilities as Group Chief Financial Officer, which included heading a new Strategic Planning Unit. In 2006, following the reorganisation of GraceKennedy he was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer, GraceKennedy Ltd. and Chief Executive Officer, GK Investments.
In September 2007, Mr. Wehby resigned from his positions at GraceKennedy Ltd. and its Board of Directors to serve for two years as Government Senator and Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.
Following his two-year stint in public service, he was reappointed to the Board of Directors of GraceKennedy Ltd. on his return to GraceKennedy on October 5, 2009. He is also a Director of several of GraceKennedy’s Boards including chairman of First Global Holdings GK Foods & Services Limited and GraceKennedy Money Services SRL.
Mr. Wehby’s prior professional affiliations include Vice Chairman of the Diaspora Conference Implementation Council and Chairman of the Jamaica Cricket Franchise Development Company. In December 2014, he retired from the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) where he previously held the post of Vice-President of the PSOJ and Chairman of its Economic Policy Committee. His prior association with the PSOJ was that of Honorary Treasurer. He also served on the Boards of Food for the Poor, Cable & Wireless Jamaica and his alma mater St. George’s College (where he also served as a Director of its Endowment Fund Board up to March 2016). He also served as a Director of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), and Chairman of its newly created Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee up to June 2017.
He is an avid sports fan and was instrumental in GraceKennedy’s sponsorship of School Boy Cricket in Jamaica and the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys & Girls Championship.
The first Jamaican to win the Young Caribbean Professional Network’s (YCPN) Award, Mr. Wehby was honoured as the International Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 for his leadership in making GraceKennedy a major player in the global marketplace, his commitment to investing in downtown Kingston and to Sports. In May 2015, he received the key to the city of Miramar, Florida, from its mayor, Wayne Messam, for his work in the private sector, his two year stint in government, and his overall contribution to Jamaica. The ‘Key to the City’ is an honour bestowed by a city upon esteemed residents and visitors. He was the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) Distinguished Member Awardee for 2015. The award recognizes a member who through service and achievements, has contributed to the prestige and status of the Institute and the Accountancy profession. Mr. Wehby is the youngest recipient of the ICAJ award. Additionally, on Saturday, September 24, 2016, Mr. Wehby was inducted into the St. George’s College Hall of Fame for Excellence and Achievement in Business, Community Spirit and Service to the College.
Mr. Wehby is currently New Zealand’s Honorary Consul to Jamaica, following his appointment in September 2015. In March 2016, he was appointed by Jamaica’s Prime Minister, The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, as Senator, which will once again allow him to offer his services by giving an independent, non-aligned voice in critical national matters, including among other things, helping to shape new legislation and amend existing legislation in need of reform. He is also the Chairman of JAMPRO following his appointment in April 2016. JAMPRO is a government agency which promotes business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international private sector.
A Fellow Chartered Accountant, Mr. Wehby holds both a Bachelor of Science (Hons.) and a Master of Science degree in Accounting from The University of the West Indies and has completed an Advanced Management College certificate course at Stanford University.
Mr. Wehby is married with three children. He is an avid cricket fan and a member of the Kingston Cricket Club.
Chief Executive Officer, GraceKennedy Financial Group
On April 1, 2019 Grace Burnett was formally appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GraceKennedy Money Services (GKMS) Group of Companies. This new portfolio is in addition to her role Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Financial Group Ltd, a position she has held since February 01, 2016.
She has a tremendous track record in both companies where she honed her skills in operations, customer experience and employee engagement. Known as the fixer, she’s fair, people oriented and has achieved the 2nd highest staff satisfaction rate for the financial division.
Grace, is a Director of GK Insurance (Eastern Caribbean) Ltd formerly EC Global. She is a former director of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Jamaica and Junior Achievement Jamaica, and past Chairman of the Agro Investment Corporation. She holds the distinction of being the Founding President of the Jamaica Society for Insurance Professionals and Technicians. She is a member of The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), General Legal Council, the Jamaican Bar Association, The Chartered Insurance Institute (UK) and Toastmasters International.
An attorney-at-Law, she gained a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the West Indies and her Chartered status from the Chartered Insurance Institute. She has participated in several leadership development courses including the Leadership Journey at the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania and GK’s Executive Leadership Development Programme.
She is mother to two daughters and is passionate about gardening and mentoring. For relaxation she putters around her garden and in her quiet moments listens to music.
Chief Executive Officer, GK Foods International Business
Mrs. Andrea Coy, CEO of GraceKennedy Foods International Division, joined GraceKennedy Limited in April 2005, where she first served as the Financial Controller of Hi-Lo Food Stores. She was promoted in March 2006 to the post of General Manager of the supermarket chain. In October 2010, she was reassigned to the role of General Manager of World Brands Services and was later promoted to CEO of Hardware and Lumber Limited in March 2012, a position she held until February 2014
Having gained over 9 years of experience in leadership and management within GK, she was appointed as the Senior General Manager for the newly created Global Category Management Unit (GCMU) in the GK Foods Division in March of that year. Her portfolio was subsequently expanded to include oversight management of World Brands Services and Hi-Lo. In October 2015, Mrs. Coy was appointed as CEO of GraceKennedy Foods Domestic, with responsibility for Hi-Lo, Grace Foods & Services (GFS), World Brands and the five factories operated by GraceKennedy in Jamaica, as well as continued responsibility for the GCMU. In January 2018, she was appointed as CEO of GraceKennedy Foods International, with responsibility for GK’s manufacturing and distribution operations in the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Latin America & the Caribbean, Belize, West Africa & Europe.
Mrs. Coy is a member of the GraceKennedy Group’s Executive Committee and chair’s the following boards: Grace Foods Ltd., GraceKennedy Belize Ltd. She also serves as a Director on the following boards: GK Foods & Services Ltd., GraceKennedy Foods (USA) LLC, Grace Foods UK Limited and also Grace & Staff Community Development Foundation Ltd.
Prior to joining GraceKennedy she worked with a number of organizations namely: Citibank, NA as Resident Vice President, Shirlome Chemical Group as the Group Financial Controller and Mair Russell Grant Thorton, Chartered Accountants, in various capacities, ending as Associate Partner.
She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, where she did both her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Accounting, receiving honours and distinction respectively. She is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica since 1997. In 2011, she completed professional education in Turnaround Management Strategies at the Harvard Business School.
Mrs Coy is a member of the Bank of Jamaica Board of Directors and serves on the Audit Committee. She is also the Chair for the HRD Committee.
Mrs. Coy is married with two children.
Group Chief Financial Officer
Andrew Messado, a Finance and Accounting professional with years of experience in consolidation, budgeting and accounting standards, became a Director of GraceKennedy Limited on April 1, 2019.
Previously, Andrew served as the Group Comptroller at GraceKennedy Limited, having joined the Company in January 1999. In that position, he had oversight responsibility for accounting matters within the Group, coordinated the financial reporting, auditing and budgeting processes as well as participated in various projects involving mergers, acquisitions and divestments.
He has held various positions within the Corporate Finance & Accounting Department, including Financial Analyst, Financial Accountant and Group Finance Manager.
Over the years he participated in several special assignments and served on many project management teams, resulting in cost savings initiatives and tracking for the Group. He spearheaded the Group’s conversion to International Financial Reporting Standards and played a key role in the Hardware & Lumber divestment in 2015.
He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting (First Class Honours) and a Master of Science Degree in Accounting (Distinction) both from The University of the West Indies. He has over 60 hours of structured training annually in the areas of leadership, accounting, finance and treasury, including High Potentials Leadership Program, Harvard Business School, Boston; Treasury Management and Financial Management, EuroMoney, New York; International Financial Reporting Standards, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica, Kingston.
Andrew is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ).
Chief Executive Officer, GK Foods Domestic Business
Frank James joined GraceKennedy in August 2005 as Vice President of Strategic Planning and Corporate Development for the then Information Services Division. In December 2006 he assumed the role of Principal, GK Investments, since renamed GraceKennedy Financial Group.
Mr. James brings to the Executive management of GraceKennedy Group a strong finance background. A strategic thinker, he is solutions oriented and known for his tenacity and drive. Frank has successfully led a number of strategic transactions for the group including acquisitions, divestments, capital structuring and raising.
Prior to joining GraceKennedy, he worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Senior Consultant and Manager, and at Desnoes & Geddes Limited (now Red Stripe Limited) as Distribution Planner.
Mr James holds an MBA in Finance from the University of California, Los Angeles, Anderson School of Management, and a B.Sc. in Management Studies and Accounting from The University of the West Indies. He is also a CFA charterholder.
Mr. James is a member of GraceKennedy Group Executive Committee and also sits on a number of boards in the GraceKennedy Group including GK Foods & Services Limited, Dairy Industries (Jamaica) Limited, Hi-Lo Food Stores Advisory Board and Catherine’s Peak Bottling Company Limited. He is a Trustee of the GraceKennedy Limited Pension Schemes.
Mr. James is a Trustee of the Codrington Trust of the Anglican Church in the Province of the West Indies. He previously served as a Vice President of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica, on the Trade Policy Committee of the Jamaica Exporters’ Association and on the Board of Directors of the College of Agriculture, Science and Education.
General Counsel & Chief Corporate Secretary
Gail Moss-Solomon is an Attorney-at-Law with extensive experience in the legal field.
Gail holds the Bachelor of Laws Degree (Honours) from the University of the West Indies, and the Master of Laws Degree in Intellectual Property from King’s College in London. She also attained the Certificate of Legal Education from the Norman Manley Law School.
With a passion to serve, she has tutored at both UTECH and the Norman Manley Law School, sat on several Public Sector Boards and served as Honorary Secretary of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ). Gail is a Board Member of Special Olympics Jamaica and is also a Member of the Jamaican Bar Association.
Gail is married to Jeffrey Moss-Solomon and they are the proud parents of three girls Sierra, Noa and Mila.
Mariame McIntosh Robinson
President & CEO, First Global Bank
Mrs. Mariame Robinson is the President and CEO of First Global Bank, a commercial bank wholly owned by GraceKennedy Ltd. Prior to joining First Global Bank, Mrs. Robinson was a Partner at Portland Private Equity, the largest private equity fund focused on the Caribbean region, where she spent seven years.
Mrs. Robinson has a BSc. in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T. with a minor in Economics; an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School; and an M. Phil in Economics from Oxford University where she attended as the Jamaica 1998 Rhodes Scholar. She was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2014 for her work done to date. Mrs. Robinson is married with one child.
Chief Operating Officer, GraceKennedy Financial Group (GKFG)
Steven Whittingham is the Chief Operating Officer for the GraceKennedy Financial Group (GKFG). In this role, he assumes direct responsibility for GK’s Insurance Business locally and region-wide, while retaining responsibility for GK Capital Management.
Before joining the GraceKennedy Group, Steven was the Managing Director of the Shell Licensee in Jamaica, the country’s largest downstream petroleum distribution business. Steven has significant Mergers and Acquisitions experience, acquiring and operating multiple enterprises in Jamaica as well as working for Morgan Stanley in their Investment Banking Group in London. Steven began his career at BlackRock in New York focusing on institutional fixed income asset management.
Steven attended the University of Pennsylvania where he completed a dual degree program, earning a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the College of Arts and Sciences. He received his MBA from the Harvard Business School in 2008 where he was awarded the Morgan Stanley Fellowship.
Steven has served as a director on several private and public sector boards including the Jamaica Stock Exchange, GK General Insurance Company Limited, Jamaica Promotions Corporation Ltd. (JAMPRO), National Road Operating and Constructing Company Ltd. (NROCC), the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, the Fisheries Management and Development Fund and HEART Trust/NTA.
He is married with three children.
Chief Human Resources Officer, GraceKennedy Limited
Mrs. Naomi Holness is an Executive with over thirty years’ experience in Human Resource Management. She joined GraceKennedy in 2004 as Group Personnel Services Manager and has been promoted to various HR roles up to her current position of Chief Human Resources Officer, GraceKennedy Limited.
Prior to working at GraceKennedy she held several positions in the Human Resources field at Cable & Wireless Jamaica Limited.
Mrs. Holness has a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics & Management from the University of the West Indies and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans. In addition, she has been certified as a Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI), USA.
She is a member of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). She is also an active member of the Hampton Old Girls’ Association, currently serving as Chair of the Scholarships & Bursaries Committee.
Mrs. Holness is married with two children, and enjoys spending time with family, reading, watching movies and travelling.