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American Realtors Recognise Outstanding Jamaicans

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The National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) presented special awards to Jamaica National Building Society General Manager Earl Jarrett and VGC Holdings’ Managing Director Ruthlyn Villiers last week.

The association of African-American real estate brokers gave its NAREB Leadership Award to Mr. Jarrett, and the NAREB Youth Development Award to Mrs. Villiers. The organization was holding its 62nd annual convention at the Ritz Carlton Golf & Spa Resort Hotel in Montego Bay on August 31.

“Earl Jarrett’s dynamic and synergistic leadership of Jamaica National Building Society has guided its expansion to become the Caribbean ’s largest building society,” stated NAREB President, Dr. Maria Kong. She pointed particularly to the overseas expansion of the organization under his stewardship.  

Mr. Jarrett thanked NAREB for the award and commended the organization for its commitment to home ownership. Against the background of the real estate sector fallout, he said it was necessary to create innovative solutions, “to ensure that people remain in their homes.”

Mr. Jarrett applauded NAREB for its Youth Leadership and Mentorship programme, which encouraged young people to learn wealth creation skills. He said it was important that the youth get financial training so they learn how budget and invest.

In presenting the award to Ruthlyn Villiers, NAREB President Kong said her name would be one that would attract attention, “When the history of construction in Jamaica is written.”

Mrs. Villiers had been a pioneer in Jamaica ’s construction industry, becoming the first woman to own a construction company, Dr. Kong said.

The VGC Holdings Managing Director introduced other women into the construction field, and was instrumental in the formation of the Women’s Construction Collective which provided basic training in construction skills for women from lower income communities, Dr. Kong stated. 

“You should look at what is your real purpose in life,” Mrs. Villiers said in explaining the philosophy which had motivated her. She advised listeners to ask themselves, “What do I do to help my fellow man and to make life easier and better for others?”

At the special awards presentation, NAREB also gave its Harold Dawson Youth Mentorship Award to its past President Winston Johnson. The Maryland businessman has been a real estate broker for the past three decades.

The five-day Convention, running July 28 to August 2, attracted 540 registered American realtors, in addition to their family members.

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