SENATOR DON WEHBY, O.D.
GROUP CEO – GRACE KENNEDY LIMITED
Outstanding Corporate Citizenship
On July 1, 2011, Mr. Don Wehby was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Limited. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Wehby held the position of Group Chief Operating Officer from October 5, 2009.
Mr. Wehby first joined GraceKennedy Ltd. in 1995 as Group Finance Manager. He was appointed Deputy Finance Director in 1997 and in that same year was appointed to the Board of Directors of GraceKennedy Ltd. The following year, he was appointed Group Chief Financial Officer and in 1999 undertook the additional role of Chief Operating Officer for the Financial Services Division. In addition, he was charged with the responsibility for leading the Group’s local and international expansion especially as this relates to banking, investments and insurance services. He has directed the listing of the company in Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange sited in St. Kitts. Under his leadership, GraceKennedy acquired 100% ownership of First Global Bank Ltd., now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company.
During his tenure as Chief Operating Officer of the Financial Services Division, the division’s pre-tax profit rose from $280 million in 2000 to $1.417 billion in 2005, an increase of 406 %.
In December 2005 Mr. Wehby relinquished his role as Chief Operating Officer of the Financial Services Division to take on expanded responsibilities as Group Chief Financial Officer, which included heading a new Strategic Planning Unit. In 2006, following the reorganisation of GraceKennedy he was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer, GraceKennedy Ltd. and Chief Executive Officer, GK Investments.
In September 2007, Mr. Wehby resigned from his positions at GraceKennedy Ltd. and its Board of Directors to serve for two years as Government Senator and Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.
Following his two-year stint in public service, he was reappointed to the Board of Directors of GraceKennedy Ltd. On his return to GraceKennedy on October 5, 2009. He is also a Director of several of GraceKennedy’s Boards including chairman of First Global Holdings GK Foods & Services Limited and GraceKennedy Money Services SRL.
Mr. Wehby’s prior professional affiliations include Vice Chairman of the Diaspora Conference Implementation Council and Chairman of the Jamaica Cricket Franchise Development Company. In December 2014, he retired from the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) where he previously held the post of Vice-President of the PSOJ and Chairman of its Economic Policy Committee. His prior association with the PSOJ was that of Honorary Treasurer. He also served on the Boards of Food for the Poor, Cable & Wireless Jamaica and his alma mater St. George’s College (where he also served as a Director of its Endowment Fund Board up to March 2016). He previously a Director of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), and Chairman of its newly created Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee. He is an avid sports fan and was instrumental in GraceKennedy’s sponsorship of School Boy Cricket in Jamaica and the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys & Girls Championship.
The first Jamaican to win the Young Caribbean Professional Network’s (YCPN) Award, Mr. Wehby was honoured as the International Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015 for his leadership in making GraceKennedy a major player in the global marketplace, his commitment to investing in downtown Kingston and to Sports. In May 2015, he received the key to the city of Miramar, Florida, from its mayor, Wayne Messam, for his work in the private sector, his two year stint in government, and his overall contribution to Jamaica. The ‘Key to the City’ is an honour bestowed by a city upon esteemed residents and visitors. He was the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) Distinguished Member Awardee for 2015. The award recognizes a member who through service and achievements, has contributed to the prestige and status of the Institute and the Accountancy profession. Mr. Wehby is the youngest recipient of the ICAJ award. Additionally, on Saturday, September 24, 2016, Mr. Wehby was inducted into the St. George’s College Hall of Fame for Excellence and Achievement in Business, Community Spirit and Service to the College. On March 23, 2019, he received the G. Raymond Chang Award and was inducted into the Immaculate Hall of Fame. On June 29, 2019, Mr. Wehby was recognized by the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) for his transformational leadership for the JSE’s Junior Market.
Mr. Wehby is currently New Zealand’s Honorary Consul to Jamaica, following his appointment in September 2015. In March 2016, he was appointed by Jamaica’s Prime Minister, The Most Honourable Andrew Holness, as an independent Senator, which will once again allow him to offer his services by giving an independent, non-aligned voice in critical national matters, including among other things, helping to shape new legislation and amend existing legislation in need of reform. In September 2020 Mr. Wehby was reappointed to the Senate allowing him to continue his service to Jamaica and his contribution to nation-building. He is also the Chairman of JAMPRO following his appointment in April 2016. JAMPRO is a government agency which promotes business opportunities in export and investment to the local and international private sector. On October 16, 2017, Mr. Wehby received the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) for his sterling contribution to both the public and private sectors. He is also the Chairman of the Finance Commission for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston following his appointment on August 2019.
A Fellow Chartered Accountant, Mr. Wehby holds both a Bachelor of Science (Hons.) and a Master of Science degree in Accounting from The University of the West Indies and has completed an Advanced Management College certificate course at Stanford University.
Mr. Wehby is married with three children. He is an avid cricket fan and a member of the Kingston Cricket Club.