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New Pro-Chancellor, Mr Richard Powell Pays Courtesy Call On The Chancellor
KINGSTON (UTECH) -- Newly appointed Pro-Chancellor of the University of Technology, Jamaica, (UTech, Ja.) Mr. Richard Powell on Wednesday, April 27 paid a courtesy call on the Chancellor, Most Hon. Edward Seaga, ON, PC at his Distinguished Fellow Office located at the UWI, Mona campus. The Pro-Chancellor’s courtesy call on the Chancellor is part of a series of on boarding activities organised by the Office of the University Registrar to introduce the new Pro-Chancellor to the University community. He was accompanied by Prof. Colin Gyles, Acting President, Mrs. Mercedes Deane, Deputy Registrar and Mrs. Michelle Beckford, Corporate Communications Manager.
During the courtesy call, both the Chancellor and Acting President shared with Mr. Powell, aspects of his new role as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council and briefed him on the general state of the University. The Pro-Chancellor shared his desire to support efforts for the clear articulation of the University’s strategic direction and emphasized the importance of a shared set of goals and objectives by all stakeholders. He noted that “there are some pressing issues that need to be dealt with up front; we have to focus our attention on trying to build team effort, on building bridges and getting alignment among our stakeholders to fulfil our strategic mandate in the interest of the organisation.”
Mr. Richard Powell was appointed as Pro-Chancellor by the Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Honourable, Ruel Reid, CD with effect from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2019 based on recommendation from the University. He succeeds former Pro-Chancellor, Mr. Vivian Crawford, CD who served the University in that capacity since October 1, 2012. Mr. Crawford served on the University’s Council in several other capacities for 25 years.
Mr. Richard Powell recently retired from the Victoria Mutual Group having served in the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of The Victoria Mutual Building Society from July 2005. Mr. Powell is a highly qualified and respected executive, whose professional experience includes appointments as President and CEO of Life of Jamaica Limited and Blue Cross of Jamaica, as well as an executive management position at the Lascelles DeMercado Group of Companies.
Prior to those appointments, Mr. Powell had a successful engineering career in the public sector. During the period of his engagements in both public and private sectors, spanning in excess of forty years, he established a reputation for executing his responsibilities with integrity, skill and professionalism.
At Victoria Mutual, Mr. Powell successfully led the drive to broaden the vision and mission of the organization and transform the Building Society and its Subsidiaries into an integrated financial services provider. The new strategic approach not only achieved improved financial and operational efficiency, but importantly repositioned the Group as a dynamic and customer-driven organization. Under his leadership the Group affirmed its commitment to the mission of assisting its Members and customers in achieving financial independence.
In recognition of his extraordinary management achievements, public service and community activism the Jamaica Institute of Management presented him with the 2013 Manager of the Year Award.
Mr. Powell has served on the Boards of many private sector corporations including Life of Jamaica Limited, Island Life Insurance Company Limited, Lascelles DeMercado & Company Limited, British Caribbean Insurance Company Limited, Globe Insurance Company of Jamaica Limited and The Victoria Mutual Building Society and many of its subsidiary companies.
In addition, he has held board appointments on many Non-Governmental Organizations and Public Sector Agencies including the PSOJ Council; the United Way of Jamaica; the National Works Agency Advisory Committee (Chairman); the South East Regional Health Authority, the Natural Resources Conversation Authority (NRCA); the Environmental Foundation (ECJ) and Chair of the Preparatory Committees of the 5th and 6th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conferences.
Mr. Powell’s academic achievements include an M.B.A (with Distinction) from York University in Canada, a MSc. in Highway Engineering from the University of Birmingham in England, and a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Civil Engineering from the University of the West Indies. In 1984, he was the recipient of a Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship, which was tenable at York University.