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Huggins praised for contribution to VINLEC

Huggins praised for contribution to VINLEC

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Joel Huggins has made an indelible mark on the St.Vincent Electricity Services Ltd. (VINLEC), says current CEO of the utility company, Thornley Myers, as he heaped praise on his late predecessor for the role he played in transforming the utility company into an extremely successful modern company.{{more}}

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT late Wednesday evening, Myers heaped praise on Huggins for the significant contribution he made in developing the utility industry both locally and regionally.

Huggins died suddenly on Friday, November 14, 2008, on board a LIAT flight while travelling to St.Vincent and the Grenadines from Dominica via St.Lucia.

Reflecting on Huggins’ career at VINLEC, Myers said he joined the company in 1981 and his tenure lasted until 2003.

“I would say when Mr. Huggins joined the company in 1981 this company was essentially in shambles,” said Myers, adding that the generators, transmission and distribution lines were in a bad state.

He pointed out that just 50 per cent of the country had electricity at that time. Myers said that under Huggins’ leadership the electrical service climbed nationwide from 50 per cent to 96 per cent.

Myers added that within two decades, Huggins had successfully provided the company with transformational leadership, and professional development and was also able to change the internal culture of the organization to one of productivity.

“Mr. Huggins changed this company significantly in terms of outlook. He brought professionalism to the company. He looked at the human resource base of the company and developed it,” said Myers.

He noted that Huggins brought dignity to work and felt it important to build a cadre of professionals, which created depth within the company.

“The hallmark of his leadership is that he has ensured that after he is no longer at the organization it can continue in the same framework,” said Myers, adding that Huggins’ ideologies have been entrenched in the staff and will continue to be that way for a very long time.

Myers said some of Huggins major achievements were establishing a culture of meritocracy in the organization, independence, pay by performance, and piloting the reclassification exercise in a smooth and harmonious manner.

Myers said that his former boss also emphasized the importance of serving the customers.

Huggins was also a well respected director of the Caribbean Association of Electrical Utilities (CARILEC) and General Manager of the Dominica Electricity Services Limited (DOMLEC). He also had a stint in Montserrat.

“In terms of respect across the region, that is unquestionable. He was a strong advocate for utility. Not a very public figure, but intricately thorough.”(HN)