The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce annually hosts the Champions of Business (COB) Awards, which honours entrepreneurs and business leaders for their efforts and commitment to their industries, the country, the region and societies around the world. When the event, which was previously called the Business Hall of Fame was rebranded in 2014, a category was retained specifically for the Business Hall of Fame. This category recognises individuals for a lifetime of achievement in business and has maintained its place as one of the most prestigious awards of the event. For the second year running, this category is being sponsored by Guardian Life of the Caribbean Ltd.
Guardian Life says of its commitment to the award: “This award category is in alignment with many of the characteristics and values that Guardian Life represents; a solid brand, strong leadership, integrity and willingness to serve, customer centricity, dedication to economical and societal growth and the overarching goal to inspire positive change in every life that we touch. As an organisation we are determined to leave a lasting legacy across the Caribbean for generations to come. It therefore goes without saying that any organisation that demonstrates the characteristics that qualify them to be nominated for this prestigious award is, in principle, connected to us based on the values espoused and are considered kin in the business community regardless of the stage at which you find yourselves today.”
In 2019, Guardian Life’s very own Sydney Harold Phillips was inducted into the Business Hall of Fame which they express has made this partnership all the more fulfilling. Phillips has personified what it means to be a part of the Business Hall of Fame. He revolutionised the local insurance industry in Trinidad and Tobago after Guardian Life of the Caribbean Ltd was established under his stewardship and led the company to becoming the largest Insurance Group in the Caribbean. Phillips accomplished many milestones and played a critical part in moulding the Insurance industry into what it is today in our modern day society. He not only had a keen interest in improving the industry, but also the community and the environment. He was chairman of Anchor Investments Ltd, later named Guardian Properties Ltd, through which he propelled the movement to develop the Westmoorings area and under his tenure at Guardian Life, the tagline “Looking After Life” was born, which spoke to the company’s mission to produce premium products that were truly customer centric and aimed at fulfilling and securing the lives of their clients. He also established the Guardian Life Wildlife Trust Fund which serves to create awareness and preserve and protect the environment.
Maintaining employment opportunities
It is this same burning passion towards driving business and making a difference in the lives of his clients and the wider community that Sydney possessed that has paved the way for so many others in the insurance industry and the business world as a whole. By investing in the Business Hall of Fame category, Guardian Life wishes to keep this light shining so that the torch can be passed onto more exemplary men and women in business and continuously highlight the importance and impact of these businesses on the socio-economic health of our nation.
If this year has taught us anything, it is that our local businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and without this, the results can be crippling. We have seen and experienced first-hand why it is crucial that we continue to put measures in place to keep our local businesses alive in order to keep creating and maintaining employment opportunities which support our families and communities. Running a business requires tenacity, a large degree of altruism and perseverance against the odds, especially in the challenging times we live in. In the past few months, many have faced hardship and continue to feel the adverse effects of the global pandemic, however, the ability to push through the difficulties, take calculated risks and to understand that true success is earned through many failures along the way is what truly defines the impressions that we eventually make on the minds and hearts of consumers and the wider society.
The Champions of Business Awards, allows us to celebrate individuals whose hard work, sacrifice and determination make them an incredible source of motivation for other business owners. Their perseverance no matter how tumultuous times may become gives others hope. As we continue to navigate 2020 and we look ahead into 2021, riding the wave of economic uncertainty, institutions must remain focused on creating, inspiring and striving for excellence, so that one day they too can have the privilege of being considered for induction into the Business Hall of Fame.
Guardian Life has this message for the nominees of the Business Hall of Fame, 2020: Being nominated for this category proves that you display the very qualities that speak to fierce entrepreneurial spirit, courage in the face of adversity and excellence in the business world. We commend the inspiring leadership you have demonstrated and the outstanding contributions that you have made to your industry, to the economy of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider community. Guardian Life is extremely proud to be a part of the celebration of the legacy that numerous champions of business have built. We thank you for your unwavering drive and we encourage you to continue to endure through these tough times, knowing that we are here to support and partner with you throughout time.”
This article was contributed by Chamber member Guardian Life of the Caribbean Ltd, a signature event platinum sponsor for 2020