Fortis’s Crew Drives off with Fortune

On Tuesday, June 21st, the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Gaspar Vega, accompanied the Belize Electricity Limited’s new Board of Directors to their first meeting inside Corporate Headquarters.

The meeting started shortly after 11 a.m. BEL issued a press release to share basic information on the inaugural meeting. The release states “Mr. Jeffrey Locke has been appointed as the Company's new Chief Executive Officer.” Other new members of the board are Dr. Carla Barnett, former Financial Secretary of Belize, Luis Lue, former CEO of BEL, Anuar Flores and John Mencias. Rodwell Williams remain as Chairman of the Board and Dylan Reneau, Anthony Michael and Dennis Jones remain as Social Security’s representatives. According to the release, the first order of business was to meet with the managers of the company to be updated on the current operations. Locke is quoted as saying, "The employees and management of BEL are tremendously committed and very competent to move on with the business of this Company." He continued, "We are eager and ready to provide guidance and counsel in overseeing the Company's operations towards this end."

Hon. Gaspar Vega was the Acting Prime Minister. He said that there was one thing he wanted to emphasize to the management and staff: “Do not worry, your job is secure.” He said that the government has all confidence in the ability of the staff to turn things around. He went on to say, “The government is quite certain that the people that are working for this company has the best interest of the company and we definitely don't expect to have any changes unless they want to leave.” Even members of the international community have expressed their approval at the smooth transition.

Those who chose to leave are CEO Lyn Young and senior executives Joseph Sooknandan, Vice President Engineering, Rene Blanco, Vice President of Finance, Curtis Eck Vice President Customer Care and Juliet Estell, Company Secretary. In fact, Young “voluntary terminated” his own contract and abandoned the company since Friday, June 17th. He also fired Sooknandan, Blanco, Eck and Estell. If the management and staff were not as competent the company could have faced a difficult couple of days as its former leaders dishonourably discharged themselves. The reason they were “fired” is to capitalize on benefits. They have much more to gain from being fired than from retirement.