- Executive Director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), Dr. Fritz Pinnock, is being honoured for his significant contribution to the education sector.
- Through his leadership, the CMI gained greater national and international recognition, and accreditation of their various programmes by local and international accrediting bodies.
- Dr. Pinnock says he declined several offers to serve as Head of the CMI over the years, but eventually said yes, acknowledging that he had a vision for transforming the institution.
Executive Director of the Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI), Dr. Fritz Pinnock, is being honoured for his significant contribution to the education sector.
He is to receive the Order of Distinction (Commander Class), during a ceremony of investiture to be held on National Heroes Day, at King’s House.
Over the years, Dr. Pinnock has spearheaded various initiatives that have resulted in the further development of the port and maritime sectors.
Through his leadership, the CMI gained greater national and international recognition, and accreditation of their various programmes by local and international accrediting bodies.
In an interview with JIS News, Dr. Pinnock says that persons such as his late father, who was in the dental field, and the late former Principal of Munro College, Richard Roper, helped to shape his character.
“At home, my father was a disciplined person. He was in the dental field as part of his profession, but he was also a businessman. He was quite an astute businessman and people person – someone I admired greatly, and he mentored me a lot,” he says.
“And at school, I had an outstanding headmaster. Mr Roper influenced me in a lot of ways. I spent seven years at school in the cadet corps, so discipline became a part of what shaped me along the way,” he adds.
Dr. Pinnock spent several years in the shipping industry, working in the private sector before heading to the CMI as a lecturer.
“I reached a stage in my career where I was ready to transition into something I believed in, because for 17 years before coming to the Caribbean Maritime Institute, I was an adjunct lecturer here, worked and developed a lot of courses. Then I realised a part of me – the social side – was calling out how to make a difference in my country,” the Executive Director tells JIS News.
Dr. Pinnock says he declined several offers to serve as Head of the CMI over the years, but eventually said yes, acknowledging that he had a vision for transforming the institution.
“Coming here was to take a business approach to it, to really start a transformational job, and I found excellent people here to work with,” he notes.
Dr. Pinnock says his years in the private sector positively influenced his approach to the management of the school.
He points out that having a deep understanding of the industry, both cargo and cruise, as well as the general logistics industry, has given him the insight as to how to make that application.
Chief among the Executive Director’s achievement is leading the CMI into university status, to officially become the Caribbean Maritime University on World Maritime Day (September 28), at an official Charter Day ceremony to be held at the National Arena in Kingston.
This follows passage of relevant legislation in Parliament earlier this year to grant the institution university status and to confer degrees, awards, certificates, diplomas and other academic distinctions.
Executive Assistant to Dr. Pinnock, Dawn Reynolds Smith, says he is deserving of the award and recalls his selfless acts to ensure that students get an opportunity to excel.
“His take on education is that the students must learn, they must leave with a skill, and they must be able to contribute to Jamaica and to the wider society. He will leave no stone unturned until the students are in classrooms, and that’s a big deal for us here at CMI,” Mrs. Reynolds Smith adds.
Meanwhile, Dr. Pinnock tells JIS News that he feels very honoured to be receiving the national award.
“This was nowhere in my thoughts as I don’t work for any award. This is on behalf of the hard-working team that I have here. This is a representation of the team, and to say your work is recognised,” he says.
The CMI, which was established in 1980 with 30 students, has grown significantly over the years. Enrolment increased from 300 students in 2007 to just under 5,000 in 2017.