Sat | Sep 19, 2020

New CBFFAJ executive ‘leaving no member behind’

Published:Tuesday | August 4, 2020 | 12:09 AM
The CBFFAJ executive body for 2020-21. Front row (from left): Margaret Sharpe, honorary secretary; Mitzie Gordon Burke-Green, immediate past president; Hazelyn Brown, vice-president; Clive W. Coke, president; Susan Neil, vice-president; Ann Brown-Chang, vi
The CBFFAJ executive body for 2020-21. Front row (from left): Margaret Sharpe, honorary secretary; Mitzie Gordon Burke-Green, immediate past president; Hazelyn Brown, vice-president; Clive W. Coke, president; Susan Neil, vice-president; Ann Brown-Chang, vice-president. Back row (from left): Tancia Foster-Nurse, assistant secretary; Colin Carberry-Walters, executive member; Javar Wilson, assistant treasurer; Vanessa Brown-Harrison, executive member; Leon Smith, executive member; I. Rosemarie Spence, executive member; Suzette McNab-Wiggan, executive member; Dermott Morris, executive member; Vivienne Frankson, executive member; Roger Stewart, treasurer; and Colin Cunningham, executive member.

The Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of Jamaica (CBFFAJ) successfully staged their annual general meeting on Sunday, July 19 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel at which they elected an 18-member executive team, headed by President Clive W. Coke.

The new president of the CBFFAJ was unanimously elected by members of the association on a platform of ‘leaving no member behind’. He is a licensed customs broker and chief executive officer of World Trade e-Logistics Jamaica, and has been an active member of the association since 1998, the year he entered the industry.

In explaining the new CBFFAJ theme of ‘leaving no member behind’, Coke revealed that the 55-year-old association consists of small, medium-sized and large businesses that conduct customs broking and freight forwarding as a vital component of the supply chain. He continued: “What we need to ensure is that the smaller enterprises, those who employ four to six members of staff, are brought up to the highest international standards and fully integrated into the digital environment.” He said that this will require investments in technology and training to improve efficiencies, not only for the individual operators, but for the industry as a whole.

“What we are aiming at is for the CBFFAJ to be a force for positive change in improving the ease of doing business in Jamaica and facilitating trade across borders,” Coke stated. He added that the task of improving and building the capacity of customs brokers and freight forwarders includes the promotion of collaboration among members who can pool resources to take on large projects.

On the Right Track

The CBFFAJ president is confident that Jamaica is on the right track in digitalisation and transparency through the Automated System for Customs Data, adopted by the Jamaica Customs Agency; the Jamaica Single Window for Trade; and the implementation of the Port Community System. “These new developments are building efficiencies and their value is being proven in the current COVID-19 pandemic,” Coke noted, adding that “the post-COVID expectation is for a lot more e-commerce, so it is up to us in the CBFFAJ to step up to the new world standards so that we can all be winners”.

Coke also expressed the view that leaving no member behind includes looking to the welfare of individual members in the organisation, and that the recent contribution by members to support a colleague customs broker in need of urgent medical attention was “a vivid example of how the CBFFAJ can make a real positive impact on the lives of our members”.

The persons elected to serve on the executive board of the CBFFAJ for the administrative period 2020-2021 are:

• Clive W. Coke – President

• Ann Brown-Chan – Vice-president

• Paulette Watt-McIntosh – Vice-president

• Hazelyn Brown-Hassan – Vice-president

• Susan Neil – Vice-president

• Margaret Sharpe – Honorary secretary

• Tancia Foster Nurse – Assistant honorary s ecretary

• Roger Stewart – Treasurer

• Javar Wilson – Assistant treasurer

• Leon Smith, JP – Executive member

• Colin Cunningham, JP – Executive member

• Colin Carberry Walters – Executive member

• Dermott Morris – Executive member

• I. Rosemarie Spence– Executive member

• Suzette McNab-Wiggan – Executive member

• Vanessa Brown-Harrison – Executive member

• Vivienne Frankson – Executive member

• Mitzie Gordon Burke-Green – Immediate past president

Another vital objective of the new administration of the CBFFAJ is to improve the visibility of the association, their role and their activities. The new president wants to increase public awareness of the role and responsibilities of customs brokers and freight forwarders, who play a very vital role in the economy in general and in the lives of every Jamaican.