Chairman’s Awards 2013

The Chairman’s Awards 2013 was held in sparkling event at the Cinnamon Grand on the 8th of November 2013.

Samadhi Tennakoon, Brand Executive – Frozen Confectionery, Elephant house, opened the evening with “Titanium”.
Samadhi was a finalist at the 2013 JK Talent Night.

Mrs. Dilani Alagaratnam – President HR and Legal, delivered the welcome address.

Chairman addresses the audience.

The first award of the evening was for an outstanding individual – Janith Gunasiri, Finance Manager of LMS.

Janith was recognized for his fervor in pursuing obtaining relevant approvals to transmit Letters of Credit on UPAS terms. This goal looked elusive at first, as such a facility is not known to the local banking system, but his tireless effort in managing to convince the many stakeholders involved in transaction to accept a procedure which benefited the company. Thereafter LMS successfully continued its financing through this scheme on many transactions and recorded an interest gain of Rs 17 Million during the financial year 2012/13.
Two Team awards were up next. The first team award was or having achieved convergence with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) in a manner that has brought pride to the John Keells Group and for having gained recognition as the “Model” to be emulated, the “Chairman’s Award” was presented to the Finance & Accounting Teams in the Group.  Special mention is made of the Group Finance Team who coordinated the implementation and SGIT, who enabled the implementation of the program through appropriate information technology platforms.

Mano Rajakariar, Sanjeewa Jayaweera, Chandrika Perera, Devika Weerasinghe and Suran Wijesinghe accepted the award on behalf of Finance & Accounting Teams in the Group, for taking on the challenge to get “the implementation” right from both, a financial and operational angle, for a Group of 80+ companies involved in a diversity of businesses from Leisure, Consumer Foods to Property and Financial Services.  Each of these businesses had their own nuances and specific requirements. 
The next Team award was awarded to the Managers’ Forum for 2012. Team play and Team spirit are cornerstones of success at JKH and this was abundantly displayed by the participants and spectators at the Talent Show organized by this Forum. They in the true spirit of John Keells, bettered the Talent Show which was held for the first time, 2 years ago by the then Managers’ Forum.

The show involved auditions of over 50 entries in different categories, comprising nearly 150 participants from across the Group businesses in Sri Lanka.  There were published eligibility and performance criteria for each category, namely, singing, dancing and drama.  Of the 50 plus entries, 20 were selected by third party judges, who are well known professionals and recognized for their contribution to the arts. The grand finale was at this venue, which was filled to capacity with the participants and their team members who had come to cheer them on.
This spectacle, further entrenched our belief that it is not merely brain and the brawn but creativity that makes businesses successful.  We have shown our prowess in the business field, in the sporting arena and now in these areas which makes our diverse work force bring to the fore the art, which brings  style to  our businesses.
Harsha Senanayake, Tharika Goonetilleke, Tariq Mohammed, Sasanka Jayawardena, Shelanthi Perera and Dilendra de Silva accepted the award for the 2012 the Chairman’ Award on behalf of the Manager’s Young Forum
A break from the presentation of awards; entertainment by the vibrant Natasha Ratnayake.

The Chaiman’s Award for CSR went to Maithri Vithanage, Manager, Brand Activation, Ceylon Cold Stores PLC for his sustained championship of Kala Pola, and his inspiring passion, commitment and effort. He has been involved in the Kala Pola project for 18 out of the 19 years of John Keells’ patronage of the event – 11 of those years as Project Champion.

Although John Keells Foundation was established in 2005 to spearhead the CSR activities of the Group, the John Keells Group has been involved in CSR for far longer. The Group’s 20 year involvement in its Flagship project in the focus area of Arts and Culture, Kala Pola, is a good example of this.

The success and continuation of this event is due, in no small measure, to the dedicated individuals behind the organization of this event.  Kala Pola 2013 – a 2-day mega event to mark the 20th Anniversary of Kala Pola – involved a record 344 stalls, a children’s art corner, a series on lectures on art, an art auction, an exhibition of SAARC Art and entertainment.
Hosting events of this nature is no mean task.  It involves extensive coordination with the government, the municipal authorities and a vast number of suppliers and ensuring that everything from its formal opening to closure happens to precision. Whilst getting things done right the first time is our internal benchmark this gets tested over and over again in the lead up to and the execution of this event.
The Chairman’s award for Innovation was awarded to the team at Chaaya Lagoon Hakurra Hurra, Maldives.  The General Manager of Hakurra Hurra accepted the award for 2013 on behalf the resort.

This resort, clearly and steadfastly built on the spirit of innovation the group sought to ignite.  This resort, has worked with the momentum and the trend that was set in 2011 and worked with a clear focus in fostering among its staff, the spirit and the excitement of innovation.
This resort used to suffer from flooding during high tides.  To overcome this long standing problem, which was an irritant to guests as well as the staff, the staff undertook a project to build a sea wall.  The staff observed that in fact the sea water came into the land and created a flood through the joints in the existing sea wall and groins.  To reduce this, the staff made an innovative opening at one groin to allow the water to drain along the sea wall without getting trapped and spilling on to the land.  This step, which was taken without seeking advice from external experts, has ended a long standing problem and thereby saved costs and also served to ensure that the guests enjoy an uncluttered view.
The maintenance department of this property found and innovative way of re capturing the Feron Gas emitted during repairs.  This innovative step has resulted in the property consuming less refrigeration gas and reducing the emission of the equivalent of 8.5Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide to the atmosphere.
The Resort, using discarded UPS units developed a wireless lighting system to be used on the beach.  This ensured that unsightly wires do not hang about and made a great difference to outdoor events not only by way of look and feel but also by reducing the work load of our staff in preparing for beach events.  This also contributed to reducing the resort’s e-waste.
For its significant year on year improvement in its triple bottom line results, the John Keells Group Sustainability Award went to Cinnamon Grand Colombo. Rohan Karr, the General Manager of CG accepted the award on behalf of the hotel.

A forerunner in the Group’s Leisure Sector, this business unit managed to lower its energy consumption, carbon footprint, water consumption and integrate efficient waste management systems, working within the constraints of its architectural design. Identifying its critical impact areas, this business unit also put in place strategies to increase recycling of waste and bring down its injury rates, whilst constantly innovating and intertwining its products and services with local culture.
Managing a year on year rise in its occupancy, this hotel has achieved a 11% reduction in its carbon footprint per guest night this year, in comparison to the last. This was achieved through initiatives such as the installation of sensor lights, variable speed drives, efficiency improvements to its water pump systems and replacing of regular incandescent lights with LED lighting and also reduced its energy footprint through its Building Management System.
 It also saw 14% reduction in water consumption per guest night through better management by means of sub-metering at all points of consumption, installing sensor taps, introducing filtration and reusing of AC condensate water in its water fountains and rain water harvesting.
This hotel has also taken great strides in its waste management through improved segregation methods and recycling and reuse, with less waste being sent to landfills, minimizing its impact on the environment.
Led by its committed Green team, and aptly supported by all of its Heads of Departments and the General Manager, this hotel introduced and implemented sustainability initiatives and awareness campaigns that help tackle business challenges under the Economic, Environmental and Social pillars. This hotel has continuously provided timely sustainability data for Group wide reporting, during the year.
The award winners

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