After a decade at the helm of Grenada Electricity Services Ltd. (GRENLEC), team members at the utility bid Vernon Lawrence goodbye on Wednesday, 20 June. He will retire from his post as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer effective 9 July 2012.
Lawrence’s top priority was people and under his leadership much attention was given to building the Company’s human capital, improving customer service and enhancing community relations.
Paying tribute to Lawrence, the Chairman of GRENLEC’s Board of Directors thanked him for successfully steering the Company through turbulent times and particularly his leadership in the post Ivan period. Significantly, he provided the sound leadership needed to restore electricity to the island in record time after the severe damage caused by Hurricane Ivan. G. Robert Blanchard went on to speak about the Company’s growth during the last ten years. Among the achievements, dramatic improvements in reliability and service enhancement have transformed the utility’s customer relations. Simultaneously, decreases in losses, efficiency improvements and cost containment have helped GRENLEC to weather the turbulent financial times that marked the period of his leadership.
“We will miss Vernon greatly”, Mr. Blanchard stated. “He led the effort to bring GRENLEC to the forefront of Caribbean utilities. For this, everyone associated with energy in Grenada should be grateful. We wish Vernon, Sandra and their family all the best in the next phase of their life.”
As Lawrence prepares to depart, the Company’s renewable energy programme, which started with an interconnection programme, is on the verge of celebrating the start of the Carriacou Wind Farm project at Top Hill, a partnership between the European Union, the Government of Grenada and GRENLEC.
Lawrence, who came to GRENLEC with more than 30 years of experience in the electricity industry, joined the Company in 2002 as General Manager. He assumed the post of Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer in 2004. A proponent of corporate social responsibility and service, he served stints as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Caribbean Electric Utility Corporation (CARILEC), Vice President of the Grenada Chamber of Industry & Commerce and a Rotarian.
Thanking his team members for their commitment and support, Lawrence noted, “I believe we have bowled and batted a good innings and I am preparing to begin another spell in a different match…I want to change my focus and do some other things at my own pace. I have been privileged to work with a wonderful and capable team and as I depart, I am proud that the team can carry the mantle and continue to build the organisation”.
Chief Engineer, Clive Hosten will serve as the interim Chief Executive Officer.