WASHINGTON, DC – Jamaica’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie has lauded prominent Jamaican Accountant and Managing Partner of Bert Smith and Company LLC, George Willie for his steadfast commitment to the University of the West Indies School of Business and the Embassy of Jamaica and for the support he has given to various Jamaican projects throughout Washington DC.
Ambassador Vasciannie, who addressed a reception given by Bert Smith in honor of delegates attending the National Association of Black Accountant (NABA) conference, held at the City Club on Friday, June 20, 2014 in downtown Washington DC, said that Mr. Willie was instrumental in forging an alliance between the Howard University and the American University School of Business, which has benefitted both universities tremendously.
He said Mr. Willie went a step further to convince the Mona School of Business and Management to collaborate with the Advanced Collegiate School of Business (ACSB) – the premier accreditation body for institutions offering degrees in Business and Accounting – to join forces. Through this collaboration, Business and Accounting degrees offered at UWI will be accredited through the ACSB.
The Ambassador described the universities’ collaboration as a step in the right direction, pointing out that shared knowledge and experience will enhance the learning experience of students on the three campuses.
“I have seen the commitment of Mr. Willie to go the extra mile, to help the UWI and would like to publicly commend him for his efforts.” The Ambassador also pointed out that the embassy is grateful for the assistance it continues to receive from Mr. Willie for the various projects the embassy undertakes.
In his remarks, University Bursar and Chief Financial Officer, Archibald Campbell, pointed out that were it not for Mr. Willie, the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICA) could not boast today of a well-equipped resource center which was funded and named in Mr. Willie’s honor. He noted that the George Willie lecture series was initiated by Mr. Willie with the inaugural series addressed by renowned Harvard Professor, Charles Ogletree.
The UWI CFO said the twinning of the universities in Washington DC with the UWI School of Business has opened many opportunities for students on all three campuses to exchange ideas.
“Even though Mr. Willie is not an alumna of the UWI, he has committed himself to supporting the university in the furtherance of knowledge exchange and we at the UWI will be forever be grateful for his contribution and commitment to the UWI”, said Mr. Campbell.
Mr. Willie in his response told the audience that his long-standing desire is to find ways to assist the business department of the UWI and that this is his way of giving back to his country. He said the collaboration among the UWI, Howard and American Universities is a process to benefit students from the three institutions. “I am committed to doing whatever I can to support education in Jamaica, especially at the UWI. I will support in whatever way I can, the various projects on the table by the embassy of Jamaica.”