*Denise Lyn Fatt gets the nod to head the 79-year-old organisation
In a moment punctuated by history, the members of the Shipping Association of Jamaica (SAJ) unanimously voted Denise Lyn Fatt as the first female president of the 79-year-old organisation at its annual general meeting (AGM) on December 8.
The 17th century English statesman, George Saville said, "A man who is a master of patience is master of everything else". This quote might be said to apply to women too, and in this case to Lyn Fatt, who has been serving in the industry for more than 40 years. She has been a member of the Shipping Association's Managing Committee (MC) since 2009. Elected in 2012 as the association's first ever female vice president, Lyn Fatt has held that position for the last five years. Before that, she served as chairman of the Agents' Committee of the SAJ, where she has been an active member since 1976.
Lyn Fatt is well known in and beyond the industry, locally and internationally, for her business savvy, professionalism and industry expertise. She is the managing director of Freight Handlers Limited, a company she started with her husband in 1988. Prior to starting her own company, she served at management level in shipping and other sectors: Managing director for Ocean Air International Limited; senior supply assistant for the United Nations Children's Fund; and traffic manager for InterFreight Agencies Limited.
Additionally, she serves the shipping industry as a member of the University Council of the Caribbean Maritime University (previously the board of the Caribbean Maritime Institute). She is also a member of the recently-formed Women in Maritime Association, Caribbean.
In a brief interview following the AGM, Lyn Fatt expressed how honoured she felt to have been elected the president of the SAJ and went on to thank those who have served in a similar capacity before her. The newly-elected president signalled an inclusive approach to leadership and said, "It will be a pleasure for me to work with everyone on the board, our management team, employees in the industry, and other allied industries." She stated her intention to, among other things, build on projects already in progress such as the Newport West Masterplan, while working closely with members of the association on matters of mutual interest.
Her quick wit and grace, trademarks of her gregarious yet no-nonsense personality shone through in her nod to stalwart women pioneers and colleagues. She noted, "There have always been committed and influential women in the shipping industry", and added, "I have been very fortunate to have known and worked with some of them and I'm thankful for their sterling contributions over the years up to the present time".
There were additional changes to the composition of the SAJ's Managing Committee. William Brown is the new vice president of the association. Newly elected to the board are Robert Kinlocke, and Neil Gillam.
Returning to the MC are Kim Clarke, as immediate past president; Roger Hinds, Michael Bernard, Grantley Stephenson, Corah Ann Robertson-Sylvester, Andre Rochester and honourary members Charles Johnston and Harriat Maragh.
Trevor Riley remains on the MC as CEO of the SAJ.