Feature
General Manager of Independence Park Limited (IPL), Major (Ret’d) Desmon Brown
Photo: JIS Photographer

Story Highlights

  • General Manager of Independence Park Limited (IPL), Major (Ret’d) Desmon Brown, is extremely happy to be recognised for his contribution to public service.
  • He is one of 215 Jamaicans who will receive awards at the National Honours and Awards ceremony at King’s House, St. Andrew, on Heroes Day (October 21). He will receive the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer (OD).
  • Major Brown, who has spent several decades in the fields of transportation and sports, says he never set out to gain any recognition for his efforts, but he simply challenged himself to find ways to develop the country.

General Manager of Independence Park Limited (IPL), Major (Ret’d) Desmon Brown, is extremely happy to be recognised for his contribution to public service.

He is one of 215 Jamaicans who will receive awards at the National Honours and Awards ceremony at King’s House, St. Andrew, on Heroes Day (October 21). He will receive the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer (OD).

Major Brown, who has spent several decades in the fields of transportation and sports, says he never set out to gain any recognition for his efforts, but he simply challenged himself to find ways to develop the country.

“I feel very honoured that the country should be recognising what I have done. I appreciate the fact that my efforts are being rewarded,” he tells JIS News.

His career began when he joined the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) fresh out of high school. At the time, he said the JDF was recruiting persons to be trained as engineers. He was employed as a Mechanical Engineering Officer in 1977.

“I can truly say that the army has made me what I am today, especially my work ethic and how I approach life,” he says.

The former Calabar head boy says he is always challenging himself to find ways to develop the country and is grateful for his years in the JDF which taught him “to focus on the solution and not the problem.”

“I think that one of the issues is that some of us spend too much time focusing on the problem. What the army teaches you is that once you have identified the problem you focus on the solution and that’s how I have gone through life,” Major Brown notes.

“In doing so, you have to deal with your fears, put yourself in a comfortable situation and you still have to manage, so it has really set the stage for what I am now,” he says.

After spending some 15 years serving the JDF, Major Brown says he did a short stint as a consulting engineer. In 1996, he was recruited to be the General Manager of a government entity called Metropolitan Management Transport Holding Limited, which had a mandate to oversee the formation and introduction of the Jamaica Urban Transit Company Limited (JUTC), the government-run public transportation company.

“I would probably think that my biggest accomplishment would have been the establishment of the JUTC. I actually wrote the specifications for the buses that they use… that to me was my biggest accomplishment,” he says.

After spending several years at the transportation company, Major Brown decided to turn his talents towards managing the national sporting facilities at the National Stadium, in Kingston, which fall under the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Major Brown, who has been overseeing the entity since 2004, says that he loves his job.

“As you know, it is an old stadium and it takes a lot to keep it going, but I have a fantastic crew there working with me to keep it going, so I get a lot of satisfaction out of dealing with issues,” he says, while mentioning the many sporting and cultural activities, including the annual Independence Grand Gala, which are held at the stadium.

“I really enjoy what I do now. I enjoy seeing things come together so that we can meet the deadlines. It is challenging though, with limited resources and so much to be done,” he adds.

The General Manager says his vision is to transform the National Stadium and the Trelawny Multipurpose Stadium into modern first-world facilities.

“My biggest hope and what I am really looking forward to, is the redevelopment of the stadium and I hope that it will be done before I ride off into the sunset. I want to see this stadium and the Trelawny stadium get to a point where they can host international events and the Trelawny Stadium become self-sufficient. That is my goal now,” he tells JIS News.

“If I can achieve that, I think that would be my biggest accomplishment,” he adds.

Despite his busy schedule, Major Brown is actively involved in his community and his church, the Mona Baptist Church, in Kingston, where he is a member on several committees. He also finds time to play golf and is trying to encourage more schools to participate in the sport.