Judy Plunkett - Jewel Dunn's River Employee of the Year
Carl Gilchrist, Hospitality Jamaica Writer
Housekeeper Judy Plunkett walked away with the Employee of the Year Award for 2012 at the Jewel Dunn's River Beach Resort and Spa annual staff awards last Thursday.
Plunkett accepted her award from general manager, Carol Bourke, to wild applause from her many supporters after the announcement was made.
It was a good evening for the housekeeping department, as another member, Carleen Jones, picked up the Most Exemplary Award and the department was name Department of the Year.
Spa manager, Jacque Giscombe, won Manager of the Year Award. Also from the spa, Shirley Francis received the Sales Achievement Award.
Adrian 'Billy' Hall won the Supervisor of the Year Award.
This year, there was a special award from Red Stripe for the bartender of the year and this was presented to Garnet Ralph by Andre Boswell, business development manager, Red Stripe.
Special guest performer, Tony Rebel, brought much delight to the event, rendering some of his favourite tracks including If Jah is Standing, Fresh Vegetable, Just Friends, Sweet Jamaica, and Chatty Chatty.
The staff input was invaluable, as Rebel kept the audience alive with several staffers accepting the artiste's invitation to show their dance skills on stage. At the same time, the artiste explored his vocal abilities by singing several numbers including Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay, during which he brought three couples on stage to dance.
Guest speaker, Cordel Green, executive director of the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica, gave a potent address, urging the staff to be proud of Jamaica and its heritage and of the achievement of Jamaicans over the years.
He said visitors to Jamaica must know Jamaica's true biography - that of great achievements.
Green said: "Our Jamaican biography must celebrate the fact that we've given to the world one of the best coffee; the fastest man; the second fastest man; the most decorated female sprinter in world track and field, Merlene Ottey, a genre of music - reggae; a religion - Rastafarianism; our national hero, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, stands tall as a pioneer in the Pan-African Movement. He has influenced a wide variety of famous black nationalist including -and he has said it - Nelson Mandela."
He urged staff and Jamaicans in general to continue to build and love Jamaica.
The staff award came at the end of what was said to be a successful winter tourist season for the hotel.