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University Of West Indies pays tribute to Digicel Founder

NEW YORK – The American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) has paid tribute to the contribution to Caribbean life made by Digicel, the region’s largest mobile telecommunications operator. Digicel Founder and Chairman Denis O’Brien was awarded the AFUWI Corporate Leadership Award at the 11th annual AFUWI benefit gala which took place on Monday night (January 28th) in New York City.

Denis O’Brien accepted the award on behalf of Digicel’s 4,000 employees region wide stating, “Our phenomenal success over the past seven years is due to the many talented and committed Caribbean individuals who have built Digicel. I am proud to call Digicel a Caribbean home grown multinational company”.

He also added that each of Digicel’s staff members have been granted share options in the business to ensure that they share further in its success.

Digicel is now setting up sister operations in the South Pacific and O’Brien explained to the gala audience that he has brought many of his Caribbean managers to the Pacific to help build and run operations there. He spoke of Jamaican Tanya Menzies, who started as a customer care agent with Digicel Jamaica seven years ago and has recently been appointed as CEO of Digicel Tonga in the Pacific.

O’Brien encouraged members from the corporate American community and Caribbean Diaspora community present at the benefit gala to invest in the Caribbean adding that there has never been a better time to develop businesses in the region.

On presenting the corporate leadership award to Denis O’Brien, AFUWI recognized that through hard work and genuine dedication, Denis O’Brien has established Digicel as the Caribbean’s number one GSM cellular service and ensured Digicel’s outstanding philanthropic efforts across the region including the Digicel Foundation. The association recognized O’Brien’s drive for excellence and heart-felt commitment in all his endeavors.

Founded in Jamaica in 2001, Digicel now operates in 23 markets with more than six million customers. The company is responsible for making mobile telecommunications accessible for the first time ever to many communities across the region by lowering rates, offering nationwide coverage and 24/7 customer care.

The Digicel founder congratulated the University of the West Indies on their 60th Anniversary and commended the role the UWI has played in unlocking the potential of the region.

A number of other distinguished scholars and professional luminaries of Caribbean heritage were recognized by AFUWI including noted human rights activist Dr Harry Belafonte. Some 300 patrons attended the benefit gala at the Waldorf Astoria in Midtown Manhattan, which has generous support from the Caribbean American community and corporate America.

(l-r) Tom Moran, President and CEO of Mutual America, Dr Karl Rodney, AFUWI, Mr Denis O’Brien, Founder and Chairman of Digicel Group and Professor Nigel E Harris, Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies

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