Category Archives: Cool Group of Companies
Civic leader and popular St. Ann businessman Joe Issa has congratulated Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) candidate Dr. Norman Dunn following his decisive victory over People’s National Party (PNP) candidate Dr. Shane Alexis in the just concluded by-election for the St Mary South Eastern seat, stating he has confidence in the ability and willingness of Dr. Dunn to become a fine member of parliament.
Dr. Dunn (left) and PM Holness Issa interacts with staff
Dr. Norman Dunn reportedly reversed his narrow five-vote loss in St. Mary South Eastern 20 months ago to now-deceased Dr. Winston Green, by soundly whipping political newcomer Dr. Shane Alexis by more than 900 votes. This is said to have happened on the exact date when the JLP registered a landslide victory over the PNP 37 years ago, the Jamaica Observer wrote.
“The work has just begun. We can celebrate tonight because we should, but tomorrow is a new day for South East St Mary,” Dr. Dunn was quoted saying to a jubilant crowed of supporters at a victory rally in the Annotto Bay square bus park following the election results, which showed he had polled 8,176 votes to Alexis’s 7,230.
A similar message is said to have been delivered by Prime Minister and JLP leader Andrew Holness.
“While we bask in the glory and victory of tonight, tomorrow we go back to our reality. And I want you to understand that I appreciate the reality that you have been living; that I come from that reality; and that I am committed with 100 per cent of everything I have, and I know the same for my team, to [change] the condition of the life of the people. After this election I cannot forget the people of South East St Mary,” the prime minister reportedly told the horn-blowing supporters.
He added: “As leader of the Jamaica Labour Party I have tasted the agony of defeat, and I have also tasted the thrill of victory. And Labourites, for a long time, yearned for the thrill of victory; and now we see our party emerging not only as victorious but a party that has substance behind it.”
The result increases the ruling JLP’s seats in the House of Representatives to 33, compared to the Opposition PNP’s 30.
Famed Ocho Rios civic leader Joe Issa, has congratulated Usain Bolt on copping the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Male Athlete of The Year award, yet again.
IAAF, the 215-member world governing body for athletics headquartered in Monaco in the French Riviera, dubbed “land of the rich and famous”, awarded Bolt for the sixth time with the most envied award in world athletics.
“I lost count,” Issa said jokingly, of the number of times Bolt has won the award.
“What he has achieved is astonishing, and if he runs next year at the World Championships, he could become world male athlete of the year for the seventh time,” says Issa, who is believed to be no stranger to achieving firsts in his academic and professional career.
In 1988 at the young age of 23, Issa famously became the first accountancy and economics major to pass all four parts of the Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) examination in one sitting. He also became the youngest accountant in Jamaica, graduating Cum Laude and valedictorian from the prestigious College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts in the United States. He also copped the Massachusetts Society of CPA’s Inc. most outstanding junior student award and received the key to city of Lauderhill by the mayor.
Six years into his career in the tourism industry, Issa copped the Young Hotelier of the World 1994 award. Like Bolt, he was 29 years old when he beat all nominees from around the world. He has also won numerous other awards locally and internationally, including Travel Agents Magazine’s 100 Rising Stars award and he did so 4 years in a row – 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000.
Issa, who has a tradition of encouraging excellence in all sectors and commending young Jamaicans on their achievements had, in a blog tipped Bolt to deliver the now-famous “Triple-Triple” in Rio this year.
He said then, ahead of the Olympics: “If he succeeds, he will have achieved the most unlikely feat in the history of sports, surpassing Leicester City’s recent Premier League win.”
Issa also commended Leicester City’s captain, Jamaican Wes Morgan, who had steered the team to the famous victory which, at the time was dubbed by the international media as “the most unlikely feat in the history of sports”.
Noting that he is happy for Bolt for copping the award yet again and that he expects him to continue winning until he retires next year, Issa states in the interview, “It’s a long time since I stopped doubting Bolt, once it is within human endurance …If he says he will smash the 200m record next year, I expect him to do so, because he will work hard to achieve it.”
The awards gala was held in Monte Carlo, Monaco recently, where IAAF President Sebastian Coe presented the trophy to Bolt, making it the sixth time he has won the award – a record.
Bolt, for the third successive Olympic meet successfully defended his itles in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m in Rio this year, for the third time, bringing to nine, the number of Olympic gold medals he has won in his sporting career.
At the same time, Female World Athlete of the Year 2016, Ethiopian Almaz Ayana, is said to have had a record-breaking year. She run the fastest 10,000m debut in history and won an Olympic record at that distance.
Ayana received her trophy from International Athletics Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, who is a former guest of Issa’s family.
Research shows that Prince Albert’s father, Prince Rainier 111, famously married Hollywood idol Grace Kelly in 1956 and spent their romantic honeymoon on board a luxury yacht, which would later be owned by Issa’s family, who called her Zein after Issa’s sister and kept her for about 21 years between 1985 and 2006.
But Prince Albert, who was born at the same time that his parents sold the yacht and therefore, never had a chance to get to know the vessel, would later get a second chance when he visited Jamaica and was given a cruise along the north coast by the Issas.
Prince Albert 11 is said to have great affection for Jamaica and reportedly asked for diplomat relations to be establish with Monaco, with a view to enhancing bilateral relations between the two countries.
A city/state, Monaco is the second smallest independent country after the Vatican. It has a population of just over 30,000 people (2016) and an area of about two square miles or just under 500 acres. It is not a member of the European Union but is closely linked to it via a customs union with France.
Despite being a tiny European principality, Monaco is said to have more millionaires per capita than any other country in the world, thanks to its regime of zero personal income tax which is believed to have lured many wealthy Europeans seeking a tax haven.
Monaco is located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. It is bordered on three sides by France while the other side borders the Mediterranean Sea. It has a coastline 4.1 km (2.5 miles) long and a width that varies between 1,700 and 349 metres (1,859 and 382 yd). Its highest point is 161 metres (528 feet) above sea level.
Monaco is known as a playground for the rich and famous, due to its tax laws. In 2014, it was noted that about 30% of the population was made up of millionaires, similar to Zürich or Geneva, according to Wikipedia.
2005 inductee into the prestigious Campion College Hall of Fame Joe Issa has congratulated fellow Campionites, well-known economist Dr. Damien King and businessman Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Matalon, who were both recently inducted.
Said to have produced many of the islands leaders in their field, Campion College, like the music and movie industries do for their very best, awards them the ultimate honour of a place in its Hall of Fame.
In an interview with Issa, who has also won the enviable Head Master’s Cup at Campion College and the national award, CD, for business and philanthropy, he congratulated the new inductees and said it is the dream of every Campionite to make it to the hall of fame.
“I’d like to congratulate Dr. King and Mr. Matalon; they’ve work hard in their respective field and therefore, deserve the recognition…it’s a great honour to be recognized that way… they must feel quite happy,” says Issa, who should know that feeling, having experienced it firsthand.
He adds: “It’s the dream of all Campionites to live to see their name in the hall of fame, even though we all know that only a very few will make it there, and I am happy and fortunate to be among that few, just as Dr. King and Mr. Matalon must be feeling now,” says Issa, the Cool Corp executive chairman who was more than a decade behind the class of the newest inductees.
Receiving the honour in 2005, along with Issa, was his cousin Chris Issa, also for Business; Kathryn Stewart, for Alumni Service; Peter Espeut, for Environment; Doctors Natalie Dickson and Howard Cooke for Science; and Wayne Burrowes for Sport.
Former DB&G business trio, Christopher Dehring, Peter Bunting and Mark Golding are still the only inductees under the Group Award – Business and Public Service – since 2009.
Since starting in 1998, when William Shagoury for Alumni Service and Cathi Levy for Arts were inducted, the Campion College Hall of Fame event has been held every other year, with some 31 former students honoured under eight categories, including seven for Business – the most in any category.
Any member of the alumni can be nominated by any past student of Campion College in any of the categories. The nominations are reviewed by a panel which includes members of the Association’s executive and senior representatives of the school, according to Campion’s website.
Founder of the Cool Group of Companies Joe Issa, who decried Jamaica’s high murder rate last year, breathes a sigh of relief at the sharp reduction in the numbers so far this year, and suggests that top rank policemen be more involved in fighting criminals, instead of being glued to a desk.
“I am pleased with the decline in murders so far this year and all praises due. The JCF (Jamaica Constabulary Force) said they would be out in their numbers to contain the spate of murders island wide and they should be commended,” says Issa, adding that “more top rank officers should be out there guiding the rookies rather than sitting behind a desk…I think it will make a very big difference to the success of crime fighting in Jamaica.”
In December last year Issa lamented the high murder rate and called upon Jamaicans especially St. Ann residents to be on their guard with the Christmas shopping period approaching. The cautions came in at least two articles, suggesting that they shop online instead of taking to the busy Christmas streets where criminals lay waiting.
However, while congratulating the JCF for bringing the numbers down sharply in January this year compared with the same month last year, the Ocho Rios businessman, in the same breath berates the 100 per cent increase in St. Ann, where his Cool Corporation is headquartered making it one of just a few big businesses to locate in the garden parish.
“It’s like bitter-sweet for me: on the one hand, I am happy with the island wide reduction in murders in January this year; it’s a great improvement over January 2015. On the other hand, I am saddened by the doubling of the number of murders in my parish,” says Issa, who has been doing business in St. Ann for over 25 years and has contributed to schools and communities through his Cool Charities, a subsidiary of Cool Group.
According to the Jamaica Observer, murders dropped sharply in January this year compared with the same time in 2015. Based on the JCF report, there were 30 less murders or 29.1 per cent, coming from 103 in January 2015 to 73 in January this year.
However, St. Ann wasn’t so lucky with a 100 per cent increase in murders in January 2016 compared with 2015. Coming from three in January 2015, the number of murders rose to six in the first month this year.
The January murder figure for Jamaica was also down compared with December last year, a reduction of eight murders or 9.9 per cent, which Issa hopes constitutes a trend going forward whereby the numbers fall in each succeeding month.
“The parish of St James has the dubious position of recording the most murders of the 19 police divisions in the island so far in 2016,” the newspaper said, noting that “there were 11 murders in St James up to January 31, 2016. Clarendon is not far behind with 10 reported murders. The parishes of Portland and St Mary are the only ones not to record a murder in January 2016.”
Recently appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police, George Quallo, told the Observer that “one of the main contributing factors to the decline in murders was the strong on the ground presence of policemen and women especially members of the top rank of the organisation.”