Philantropist and businesswoman, Mrs. Michele Rollins was the recipient of the American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) 2009 International Humanitarian Award, at the annual gala held last Saturday (May 16) at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Coconut Grove.
Described as a humanitarian, Ms. Rollins was honoured for her role in helping to strengthening island’s tourist industry as well as her philanthropic contributions to the people of Jamaica.
In presenting the award, former USA Ambassador to Jamaica and chair of the AJF, Her Excellency Sue Cobb, said that through her work on the Northcoast city of Jamaica, Montego Bay, Mrs. Rollins has consistently demonstrated a commitment to the people of Jamaica.
Mrs. Rollins has pursued efforts for job creation in the tourism sector and provision for housing for tourism workers in the Northcoast area. She has also given charitable support and contributions to several causes in the fields of children’s welfare, education, healthcare, economic development and strengthening ties between Jamaica and the United States. An American native, Mrs. Rollins has been resident of the island since the 1970s, and continues to remain passionate about her adopted homeland, which she describes as having a huge opportunity for world class tourism.
An attorney and accomplished businesswoman, Mrs. Rollins is currently Chair of Rollins Jamaica Limited, the holding company for Rose Hall, Limited which includes the Rose Hall development projects. She also chairs several advisory boards in the areas of education and culture.
In his address at the ceremony, Jamaica’s Ambassador to the USA, His Excellency Anthony Johnson lauded the efforts of the honoree, Mrs. Rollins for her philanthropic spirit especially as it relates to Jamaica’s economic development.
As he encouraged the spirit of volunteerism to his audience, the Ambassador commended the members of the AFJ for their ongoing dedication and commitment, noting its uniqueness as former US ambassadors to Jamaica have continued their support to the organization, after their individual terms of service.
Among the special guests were Jamaica’s Consul General Mrs. Sandra Grant Griffiths accompanied by her husband, Stafford.
Since its inception in 1982, the AFJ through its fundraising endeavors has supported several of the nation’s charitable organizations and social initiatives targeted at improving the lives of Jamaicans in the areas of education, healthcare and economic development.