Butch Stewart – A Full Caribbean Life, RIP

Go Lean Commentary

Gordon “Butch” Stewart has died.  🙁

This is a sad day for his family and all of the Caribbean. He was a renowned entrepreneur for the regional travel industry, a hotelier – think Sandals, Beaches and others; see Appendix VIDEO – and the one-time owner of the airline Air Jamaica, now branded “Caribbean Airlines”. (The airline was sold back to the Jamaican Government in 2004.[16])

See this published obituary from a local Caribbean media outlet (Bahamas):

Title: ‘Entrepreneur, statesman, dreamer’: Sandals founder Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart dies at 79  
By: Ava Turnquest 
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Jamaican hotelier and business mogul Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart died in hospital yesterday.

Stewart, the founder of Sandals Resorts International, ATL Group, and The Jamaica Observer, died at 79.

His death was confirmed in an internal memorandum issued to managers of the Sandals group by his son, Sandals deputy chairman Adam Stewart.

Adam Stewart acknowledged the death seemed unbelievable, noting his father chose to keep a very recent health diagnosis private.

He said his father will be missed forever.

“The Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart OJ, a distinction he was so proud of, was a gifted entrepreneur,” Stewart said.

“He was a marketing genius and talented showman, but those who knew him best recognized that he was a dreamer who could dream bigger and better than anyone. It was often said: “the best thing for people around him to do is be dream catchers.”

Stewart continued: “That’s why he always credited his success to the incredible team around him, why he listened intently when it came to creating innovative things that would excite and delight our guests, and why it is so important that I remind you today of all days, that we will all continue to be his dream catchers.

“Together, we have all been part of something bigger than ourselves, led by a man who believed in us and who gave us opportunities to learn, grow and the tools to make dreams real.”

Stewart said: “For him and because of him ̧ we will continue to dream big and deliver on his certainty that true luxury is always best enjoyed by the sea. My Dad lived a big life – husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather entrepreneur, statesman, dreamer.”

“A singular personality and an unstoppable force who revelled in defying the odds, exceeding expectations and whose passion for his family was matched only by the people and possibility of the Caribbean, for whom he was a fierce champion.

“There will never be another quite like him and we will miss him forever,” he added.

Source: Posted and retrieved January 5, 2021 from: https://ewnews.com/entrepreneur-statesman-dreamer-sandals-founder-gordon-butch-stewart-dies-at-79.

Butch Stewart definitely had an impact on the Caribbean ecosystem. As of 2012, Stewart’s businesses employed more than 10,000 people in the Caribbean across various industries including hospitality, restaurant, automotive, retail, and media.[9]

Butch Stewart labored to promote, provide and protect Caribbean interest all over the world. He proved to be a fine role model for the Caribbean youth to emulate. In fact, his profile was featured in the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean – on Page 189 – this publication serves as a roadmap for rebooting the Caribbean societal engines of economics, security and governance. See that published profile in the Appendix below.

We can look back at Butch Stewart’s life and see how to prosper where planted.

His easy pace, infectious warmth and trademark striped shirt, belied the prowess and acute business acumen responsible for his estimated billion-dollar, privately-owned Jamaican-based empire that includes 24 Caribbean properties, Appliance Traders, ATL Automotive, ATL Autobahn and the Observer media company.

All told, Stewart spearheaded two dozen diverse companies that collectively represent the largest private sector group in Jamaica, the country’s biggest foreign exchange earner and its largest non-government employer. – Source: Retrieved January 5, 2021 from: https://www.breakingtravelnews.com/focus/article/breaking-travel-news-investigates-gordon-butch-stewart/

With Sir Richard Branson

With Sir Richard Branson

He was a mover-and-a-shaker; we need many more Caribbean people – in the homeland and the Diaspora – to follow in those footsteps. This is even a Biblical precept; see here:

Remember those who led you … and considering the result of their way of life, imitate their faith. – The Bible: Hebrews 13:7 New American Standard Bible

The globe is mourning his passing, not as a Global Citizen, but rather as a Caribbean “Man of Distinction”. That labeling “Man of Distinction” is not our wording alone, but the array of organizations that honored him during his life. See this sample here:

Honours and awards
Stewart received several accolades and awards including Jamaica’s highest national distinctions: Order of Jamaica, and Commander of the Order of Distinction.[29] He received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of the West Indies (2001) and from the University of Technology, Jamaica (2009). He also received an honorary Doctor of Business Administration degree from Johnson & Wales University in 2011.[30]

In 1992, Stewart was presented with the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Humanitarian Award from the Jamaica–America Society.[29] Ernst & Young voted him Master Entrepreneur of the decade of the 90s. Stewart was a Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International‘s highest award. At the 2000 World Travel Awards, he was voted “Travel Man of the Millennium” for his work in promoting Caribbean tourism. In 2011, The Caribbean American Foundation presented Stewart with the Golden Eagle Humanitarian Award in recognition of his philanthropic contributions to education and entrepreneurship in the Caribbean. In 2014 Stewart was honored with the Most Innovative All-Inclusive Resort Executive by the Travalliance Travvy Awards, Hotelier of the Year at the Cacique Award held by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation and the Invest Caribbean Now Leadership Award presented at its global summit.[31]

Stewart was a recipient of Caribbean World Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in Jamaica,[32] and was referred to as one of Jamaica’s most-admired businessmen by Kamal King, President of Cambridge College and Community Services Jamaica, in an address to graduating students.[33][34]

He earned Lifetime Achievement Awards from The American Academy of Hospitality SciencesTravel Weekly and Globe Travel Awards.[35] – Source: Wikipedia.

This commentary is NOT in the business of doing one obituary after another. But we do identify, qualify and analyze the life and legacy of people who have had a major impact on Caribbean life and image. While we cannot bring back the dead, no one can, we can benefit by studying their words and actions. We can imitate their faith. This is a familiar theme in previous commentaries that we have published that have been dubbed obituaries. See this sample list here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=21038 David Dinkins – Former Mayor of NYC and hero to Caribbean Diaspora
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=19180 RIP Katherine Johnson – STEM Forerunner & Rocket Scientist
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10114 Caribbean Roots: Actress Esther Rolle from TV Show ‘Good Times’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10015 E. R. Braithwaite, Author of ‘To Sir, With Love’ – RIP
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8165 Role Model Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight – RIP
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2726 Caribbean Role Model – Oscar De La Renta – RIP

Butch Stewart was a Jamaican, not American, Canadian or UK citizen. He was a Caribbean man that lived a full Caribbean life.

There is a familiar Meme – picture or phrase that a lot of people share with each other – in the Bahamas:

This actuality depicts our quest for the Caribbean: to optimize the societal engines so that we can all spend our days in the homeland, cradle to grave, with not sacrifice as to the quality of life. To accomplish this, we need some help, thusly, we introduced the concept of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to do the heavy-lifting for executing strategies, tactics and implementations that would elevate the entire Caribbean region.

  • For those people in the Caribbean homeland, we entreat you: Stay Home, help is on the way.
  • For those in the Diaspora, we urge you to come in from the cold. Your homeland awaits you.

Take your rest Gordon “Butch” Stewart; you have lived a full Caribbean life and you have shown us how to “prosper where we are planted” here in the Caribbean. RIP …

Yes, we can all prosper in the homeland. Let’s get busy and do the work, the heavy-lifting, to make our Caribbean homeland a better place to live, work and play. 🙁

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Excerpt: Anecdote # 18 – Caribbean Industrialist: Gordon “Butch” Stewart (Go Lean book Page 189)

Title: How I Did It: Butch Stewart of Sandals Resorts | Inc.com
Stephanie Clifford – (excerpt from) INC. Magazine – April 1, 2008
Gordon “Butch” Stewart’s voice is deep and slow, and he speaks with melodic phrasing, suggesting the sun-soaked climate of his native Jamaica, where he started Sandals Resorts, in 1981. Today (2008), Stewart owns and runs 20 resorts under the Sandals umbrella, including the original Sandals all-inclusive, couples-only resorts, the Beaches resorts for families, and four boutique hotels. Stewart serves as company chairman, while his son Adam, 27, is now the CEO. The resorts are sprawling, with flourishes like multicolored pagodas, swim-up bars, and poolside Greek temples. One resort boasts 100 separate swimming pools. From its small beginnings, Sandals, based in Montego Bay, has grown into a multibillion-dollar company.

I got a job at a trading company and was in charge of the appliance department. After five years, I was able to save over $3,000. [Starting in 1968, I realized that] Fedders air conditioners were not represented in Jamaica. I bought an airplane ticket and I headed to Edison, New Jersey. I met with the president’s nephew. We really hit it off. He said to the finance people, “Look, he’s paying cash for the first shipment, so there’s nothing to lose; give him a chance.”

I rented an old doctor’s office in Jamaica, a secondhand car, and a secondhand pickup. I was able to buy 27 room air conditioners. Before they arrived, I had them sold. I would install them in half a day, and so we made our money out of making people happy. Today, that company, ATL Group, is also in the office equipment business, we are the distributor for Honda motorcars, and we have a newspaper called The Jamaica Observer.

Jamaica had gone through a period of upheaval in the ’70s. It was a time of radical socialism, and the economy went to tatters. But we survived, and in 1980 we had a new government. We were so enthusiastic. I ended up buying two hotels. They were all in shambles. If I had known what I was doing, I would never have bought those hotels. The amount of Pandora’s boxes that were in there! We had to find out how to market and how to cook the food, and the kind of décor and rooms people wanted. That was 1981.

We set about trying to provide more than people expected. I was in Italy and I saw this hair dryer in the bedroom. I found out the manufacturer, and we were the first hotel to have hair dryers in the Caribbean. It’s not a big deal today, but in 1983, it was. We did our first swim-up pool bar in 1984. We were the first in the Caribbean to do it. When we were putting in our first hot tub, the people in the hotel association said, “Butch, take it easy, man, you don’t need to waste your money that way.” While they were talking, I was building a second and a third in different parts of the property, because I realized people like different locations to soak in the tub.

Everybody thought we’d be out of business the first month because the hotel is very close to the airport. We came up with the idea of everyone waving to the people that were leaving in the plane, and kissing the one you love when a plane flies by. I don’t think we had five complaints after that. Then the Concorde started flying to Jamaica once a week, and it made more noise than any airplane I’ve ever heard. The buildings shook. So we turned all the beach lounges to face the airport, and that magnificent airplane would get up right in front of everybody on the beach. Guests would come rushing in: “Has the Concorde taken off yet?” We made a promotion out of it.

The first two years, we lost more money than I ever dreamt possible. We realized that we didn’t have enough bedrooms. We only had 100 rooms, so I went in and built more rooms, and that same hotel now is 251 bedrooms.

In 1986, we were able to buy another hotel, Sandals Royal Caribbean it’s called today. And we’ve been able to build more. One is Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Resort, in the area where I grew up; in fact, the piano bar is built right where my grandmother’s home was. Sandals Negril ended up being the most successful hotel that the Caribbean has ever had. We opened it in November 1988. It opened full, and it has been full ever since.

Beaches came straight out of guests saying to me, “Butch, we have been here 15 times, 20 times. But now we have kids; we need a place that we can take the whole family.” So that’s how Beaches evolved, starting in 1997. We never realized that you needed to do so much to keep the entire family happy. Kids get bored if you don’t have organized things for them to do. The smartest thing I ever did was to make my second-youngest son, Adam, chairman of the youth committee to come up with creative ideas to make the younger people happy. We have water slides, swimming bars for kids — so it’s only juice and nonalcoholic drinks — and we have a little disco that converts into a movie theater.

We have spent $370 million over the past three years modernizing, redecorating, and expanding. Women — I mean, I hope I’m not saying something wrong — but women just want bigger and better-quality bathrooms every year. They want bathrooms that are like palaces, that have Jacuzzis in them, separate showers, bidets, twin basins, and now they want those big overhead showers, also soaking tubs. And our job is to please those requests.

I’ve never had any doubts about the business. I run on gut instinct to a large extent, but at the same time I never make a major decision without bouncing it off of a circle of people that I work with. Right now, we have an organization that has everybody in it. You want lawyers; we have them. Engineers; we have them. Accountants; we have them. Marketing people; we have them. People that understand how to cook the best food in the world; we have them.

Source: Retrieved November 2013 from: http://www.inc.com/magazine/20080401/how-i-did-it-butch-stewart-sandals-resorts.html


Appendix VIDEO – The BEST SANDALS Resorts-The Pros & Cons of Each … – https://youtu.be/M39FJAHUlBk

PP: Passport Pages
Posted Jul 18, 2018 – Comments are closely monitored by others on my behalf in an effort to maintain a positive environment. While constructive criticism and suggestions are welcome, negative comments with no purpose other than to spread malice will be deleted before I see them.

I don’t do sponsored videos, so if you’d like to support the channel, you can purchase a custom review video. If interested, please message me at my business email: passportpages1@gmail.com

Tip Jar (Every Bit Helps!) paypal.me/passportpages

I hope you have a wonderful, blessed day. I will see you in my next video! – Vanessa

Sandals has many incredible resorts, but we’re going to give you the Pros AND Cons of our favorites, and which one we picked and enjoyed on our Honeymoon! – Vanessa

PLEASE Show Your Support by Subscribing: http://www.youtube.com/c/PPPassportPa…

Share this post:
, , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *