Published: February 28th, 2020
On July 20, 2020, one of Grenada’s oldest and largest, 100% locally owned companies, Geo. F. Huggins & Company (Grenada) Limited (GFH) marked 100 years of operation.
Now operating 17 distinct lines of business in Grenada, Huggins has grown into a household name. With over 500 employees it is one of the largest local employers on island. Although the company had unveiled an array of lavish plans at the start of the year to mark the centennial, themed ‘A Century of Service’, the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic meant that like every other company, large and small, they had to scale back their plans.
To mark the significant milestone, CEO and Chairman of the Board, Anya Chow Chung embarked on an island-wide motorcade with her management team to personally thank each employee for their dedicated service to Huggins. At every stop, she shared words of encouragement, and asked employees to raise a toast to another 100 years of success. While they could not have the grand festivities, they had originally planned due to new physical distancing rules and COVID protocols, she still was able to celebrate the occasion and to pay special tribute to some of her staff who had helped to build the Huggins brand over the years. Chow Chung recognized long-serving employees with crystal trophies and other tokens from the company. Specially honored, Mr. Michael Victor, was awarded for his 50-year contribution to the company as part of the Distribution division. Other employees who achieved milestone celebrations during this year were awarded for their tenures which ranged from 25 to 45 years in the company.
The company also hosted an online panel discussion which included the President of the Grenada Olympic Committee and Director of Huggins, Royston F. La Hee, MBE and businessman and former Company Director, Mr. Kent Joseph. Also featured on the panel was distinguished historian, author and Head of Site of the University of the West Indies – Grenada campus, Dr. Nicole Phillip-Dowe, who gave an in-depth historical analysis of how Grenada’s economic environment transitioned over the last 100 years and critical economic role played by Huggins. Mrs. Chow Chung, rounded out the guests on the panel and gave insightful glimpses into the development of the Huggins brand and ethos over the century. She thanked the panelists, and the many others like them, for their contribution to the overall growth and stability of the company. She also took a moment to thank and reflect on the role Mr. G.A. “Richard” Menezes, who was her predecessor and CEO for over 50 years, played in instilling into the company some of its foundational tenets of honesty in business, trustworthiness and the concept of treating employees as family.
“There aren’t enough words to thank Mr. G. A. Menezes and his wife Mrs. Menezes for their enduring contribution to the success of this company. They were trailblazers through very turbulent times in this country’s history and they stood steadfastly for what was right and best for this company, and we are reaping the rewards of that initial vision and dedication”, said Chow Chung. “I can only say to them, to this esteemed panel, and to the entire team at Huggins a heartfelt Thank You!”
She went on to discuss her current plans to carefully preserve the legacy she has been given, while at the same time charting a course that will enable the company to remain viable in a new digital age and deeply embedded in the communities across Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique for another 100 years and beyond.
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