Jamaica Observer column for MON 12 DEC 2016
By Jean Lowrie-Chin
|Butch Hendrickson at Little Leaders Launch - with|
his wonderful 'cheerleader' Sister Benedict Chung,
Founder of the Laws Street Trade Training Centre
|The 'Little Leaders' Mobile|
Last Sunday the Jamaica Observer held its first ever Corporate Philanthropy Awards event; it was uplifting to hear the achievements of the eight nominees but indeed we can now declare 2016 " The Year of Butch Hendrickson". It is due reward for a captain of industry who has never sought to promote himself but instead has invested millions in the promotion of others. His Bold Ones of Manufacturing series have empowered over 30 small manufacturers who have ascended to new heights. His generous Crayons Count has evolved into the Little Leaders Programme, an islandwide project in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to promote not only literacy and numeracy, but also critical thinking.
His "Jamaican Made Christmas" had the Jamaica Pegasus Ballroom abuzz for the second year, with small and micro businesses participating free of charge, and enjoying booming sales beyond their expectations. His close alliance with that inspiring philanthropist Glen Christian, and the quiet giver Melanie Subratie, has resulted in that sparkling model, the Union Gardens Infant School.
|Butch Hendrickson with a representative of Mustard Seed at|
Jamaican Made Christmas. He is a longtime
supporter of the organisation.
The other outstanding nominees sprang to their feet at the announcement of Butch Hendrickson's name. They included Digicel Chairman Denis O'Brien, who remarked that this award could not have been given to a more deserving person. With the Gleaner Honour Award presented in January (see story below), The Hummingbird Philanthropy Award presented by the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) in October, the PSOJ Hall of Fame induction later that month and now the Business Observer's Philanthropy Award, we can say that Butch Hendrickson is being acknowledged finally for his many years of silent support of myriad causes. Sr. Mary Benedict Chung, founder of the Laws Street Trade Training Centre has averred that she does not know how her institution, which supports so many in downtown Kingston, could have survived without the kindness of Butch.
"Giving back is both a passion and a mission," Butch noted. "It is a personal choice to which I am firmly committed because I believe that it is simply the right thing to do. And my National Family knows my mantra: Make profit, because I am going to give it away."
He continued: "At National, we do not regard our passion to give back as an incidental by-product of our business. It is the core value of our business. It is what gives purpose and meaning to our productivity and success. We know that if you feel right about what you do; if you feel inspired and motivated by what you do, then you must be doing the right thing."
He shared the Award with his team: "None of our philanthropy would be possible without our team's determination to excel, not only in terms of productivity, but in attitude, social awareness and loyalty. And so, to them, and our customers, this recognition is really yours, and I humbly accept it on your behalf."
We salute this phenomenal Jamaican, whose footsteps we should try to follow, even as he followed those of his pioneering parents, Karl and Nell Hendrickson.