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.
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.