JIS News

Silvero Castro can be described as an ardent believer in the Jamaica Employers’ Federation (JEF), having been an active participant at the JEF Convention since its inception 30 years ago.

Mr. Castro has never missed a staging of the business convention, which is the largest of its kind in the English-speaking Caribbean. It is held annually at the Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios, St. Ann.   

The 30th staging took place May 3 to 6 and brought together some 500 participants to hear, meet and share with experts, locally and internationally, to enhance individual, team and organisational performance. 

The Industrial Relations Specialist, over the 30 years, has attended the convention in various capacities.  

“I have represented the Caribbean Cement Company at the JEF Convention for 28 years; St. Catherine Co-operative Credit Union last year and this year I am proudly representing Guardsman Group of Companies. I have been attending the convention for 30 years and it has been an excellent experience…just out of this world,” Mr. Castro tells JIS News.

“I have enjoyed the camaraderie, the sharing of information, the getting to know people…it is a learning experience and an event all human resource managers, industrial relations managers…any manager, if you want to be that well-rounded person, come to the JEF convention,” he urges.

He points out that the convention has evolved significantly over the 30 years from a small group of persons to sometimes 700 local and international participants, sponsors and exhibitors. 

 “It has evolved tremendously over the years…it started out with about 18 of us at the Jamaica Grande and after the session, we got so much out of it that we approached the JEF and told them that they needed to make it an annual affair,” Mr. Castro recalls.

He adds that each year the convention gets bigger, as each one tells one about the great experiences that the convention provides.

Mr. Castro has given years of service in the areas of business management and industrial relations and credits the JEF convention for enhancing his skills, competence and allowing him to become an expert in his field.

“The JEF convention helps you to grow as a manager and as you grow, you meet persons along the way who can advise you and that is what motivate you, that is what attract you, that is what give you the incentive to go back the following year,” he says, adding that “the convention is like magnet…you are glued to it, you always want to come and you always want to tell people about it."

Mr. Castro commends the JEF Secretariat on its role in enhancing employer/employee relations and training employers.

He points out that he has benefitted from not just the business conventions, but from numerous courses and training sessions that the Federation has staged over the years.

 “I have learnt a lot from the JEF over the 30 years, because of the interaction with other managers and experts in the field. It is about going out in the world of work and managing people…learning about the decision-making process and other issues, then executing it in the workplace and imparting what you have learnt to others,” Mr. Castro points out.

The JEF Secretariat acknowledged and recognised the work and contribution of Mr. Castro at its 30th Anniversary Recognition Service on May 6.

He is encouraging more persons in the private and public sectors to get involved in the JEF initiatives. “If you have not been sending representatives to the convention, then you are losing out on something big, so you need to get involved,” he urges.

The convention is part of efforts by the JEF to entrench Jamaica’s private and public sectors as a powerful engine of national growth and business development. This year’s staging, with the theme: ‘Execute, Grow, Sustain’, enabled organisations and institutions to introspectively and strategically examine and adjust themselves.


By Kadian Brown, JIS PRO