After two and a half years, John Williams has decided to step down as chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association (BPSA), effective January 31, 2014.
And following a meeting with board members of the association yesterday morning, an election was held and Alex McDonald was voted the new chairman of the group.
Williams, who is the chief executive officer of Cave Shepherd & Co. Ltd, told Barbados TODAY his decision to give up the chairmanship of the BPSA was due to growing demands on his time, which he suspected would only increase, given the current economic climate.
“I have had the privilege of having served as the chairman of the Barbados Private sector since July 2011. It has been a challenging but rewarding role,” said Williams.
“In recent months the BPSA has made demands on my time which I have found increasingly difficult to balance with my other work commitments. In our current difficult environment I can only expect these demands to grow. So I thought it only fair to both BPSA and to my substantive role at Cave Shepherd, that I relinquish my role as chairman of the Barbados Private Sector Association to take effect from 31st, January, 2014,” said Williams.
The BPSA is the umbrella body of private sector organizations in Barbados. Its main role is to promote and defend the interest of the local private sector at the national level. It is also the voice of the private sector on tripartite issues.
McDonald said his focus for the island’s largest private sector grouping was “to be reactive and proactive to the times”.
“I think we are going to go into an unusual period that we would not have seen for a long time or we ever have seen. And what we do need is to be able to anticipate . . . . We won’t be able to anticipate everything, but we have to be relatively nimble to respond to what we see happening,” said McDonald.
He added that the private sector “has to be the engine” of economic growth and greater focus was needed on innovation in order to get that growth.
McDonald is an entrepreneur, who served just over four years managing the country’s operations for Cable & Wireless, which trades as LIME. Prior to that McDonald spent a number of years in working in various industries.
Chief executive officer of the BPSA, Anne Reid, told Barbados TODAY that Williams’ decision to step down would not affect the goals of the organization, adding that McDonald’s appointment would become effective on February 1, 2014.
“We expect that the BPSA would [continue] to be engaged as it has been as we go forward,” said Reid. She said the organization would continue to give strong focus on the economy and how it affected business within the private sector and what members could do to help improve conditions.
“Our focus has to be the economy given present realities. What we need to do is to keep looking for new, innovative and creative ways of how we are going to go forward as we [respond] to what is happening in the economy. We recognize that we cannot do the same things that we have done in the past or we will get the same results,” said Reid. (MM)