Joe Issa Pleased with Economic Progress So Far, Urges Authorities to Press On With Their Facilitatory Reforms

One of Jamaica’s most enterprising sons, national award winner Joe Issa has expressed satisfaction with the success that has been achieved by Jamaica’s economy this year, stating that the authorities should be encouraged by it to continue the reform programme.

issa13“The macro economy is showing good signs of progress, with stable inflation, increased employment, lowering interest rates and a strong NIR (Net International Reserve), and that’s good for sustained growth.

“Fiscal targets are also being met, with buoyant tax revenues enabling the authorities to increase expenditures beyond that which was originally budgeted, much to the benefit of key sectors of the economy,” said Issa, an accounting and economics major from two of the most renowned universities in the world.

Issa was commenting on news that Jamaica’s December indicative targets were on track.

The Gleaner reported that the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) indicated that based on preliminary results for performance at end-October 2017, Jamaica was on track to meet the December 2017 quantitative and indicative targets under the Precautionary Standby Arrangement (PSBA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

EPOC reportedly said it came to the conclusion after meeting on December 11 to review the latest available data on the performance of the economy.

In releasing information about the country’s performance the oversight body reportedly said fiscal year-to-date tax revenues at end-October 2017 were at $271.9 billion, which exceeded the budgeted target of $260.3 billion.

It put expenditure for the first seven months of the fiscal year (April-October) at $7.2 billion which is below the Budget (-2.2 per cent). Of this amount, recurrent expenditure was $7.0 billion below budget, while capital expenditure was $0.2 billion below budget (-0.7 per cent).

“As a result of the revenue and grants performance and the underexpenditure for the first seven months of the fiscal year, the primary balance of $65.5 billion exceeded the $48.7 billion budget target for April-October 2017,” the paper said.

And with the 2017-2018 first supplementary Budget tabled earlier this December month, the authorities assured that the primary balance requirement would be maintained.

They explained that the revised expenditures were calibrated within the fiscal space afforded by the revised estimates for revenues and grants, which generated a primary balance of $132.3 billion, thereby meeting the IMF requirement of seven per cent of GDP.

The total revised estimates came to $805.5 billion, compared with the original approved estimates of $715.6 billion.

On the macro side it said the non-borrowed international reserves at the end of October, was US$2.38 billion which is higher than the targeted US$1.78 billion for the end of December 2017. The Bank of Jamaica anticipated that the positive performance would continue through the end of December 2017.

The recorded 4.7 per cent fiscal year-to-date inflation is said to be within the central bank’s target of 4.0 per cent to 6.0 per cent, while interest rates was trending downwards.

‘Honouring Jamaican Independence’: Joe Issa Urges Distinction through Service

Popular Ocho Rios Businessman and philanthropist Joe Issa, who never misses a big occasion to praise things Jamaican, has more reasons to remember and honour the country’s Independence from Britain, as he urges citizens to distinguish themselves though service to the country.

joeFor it was on this day last year that he received the country’s sixth highest award, with the motto “Distinction through Service”, which he says is the highest honor he has ever received for anything he has done.

“As I sit here today I remember last year when my name was called to receive the award for doing what I enjoy most.

“I still feel humbled and privileged to have experienced that moment when I stood infront of the Governor-General to receive the medal and words of encouragement to continue to serve my country.

“Although I had received other awards before, from private sector organisations, nothing prepared me for the thrill of Independence 2016, on the Lawns of King’s House, being honored by my country.

“I am not taking anything away from my other awards, as I am quite appretiative of the recognition; it’s just that being honored by your country takes on new meaning…It redefines you as a citizen,” Issa said in an interview.

Issa was reflecting on the receipt last year of Jamaica’s sixth highest houour, Member of the Order of Distinction– in the rank of Commander (CD) – for outstanding contribution to business development and philanthropy.

Among the other awards, which he said pale in comparison, is the prestigious “Young Hotelier of the World 1994 by the International Hotels Association in Austrailer, and Travel Agents Magazine’s 100 Rising Stars, which he copped not once, but three times, consecutively, in the United States.

The award of CD was conferred on Issa on the occasion of the 54th Anniversary of Independence, by His Excellency The Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Patrick Linton Allen ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J, acting in accordance with the Regulations made under Section 7 of the National Honoursand Awards Act, and on the advice of the Prime Minister, the Most Honorable Andrew Holness, ON, MP.

Issa’s appointment to the Orders of the Societies of Honour took effect from Independence Day, Saturday, the 6th August 2016. A high-ranking employee of his Cool Group of companies said at the time that the award was “long in coming” and “fitting” due to his “huge contribution to business and philanthropy in the parish and the country.”

Issa headed the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce for two years before resigning in 1999 and leaving a legacy of strong leadership and advocacy. But his involvement continued to this day – as a member of the chamber’s Past Presidents Advisory Committee (PPAC) – advocating for a business-friendly environment, among other issues affecting the parish.

A multi-award winner locally and internationally for his business principles and strategies, Issa has played a meaningful role as a board member of several large companies including Supreme Ventures and First Global Bank.

Through Cool Charities, a subsidiary of Cool Corporation headquartered in Ocho Rios, Issa continues to give back for the education of underprivileged Jamaican children.

Among the numerous plaques on his office walls, one shows the latest Corporate Award to Cool Corporation by the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce for his “outstanding service in good corporate principles and his involvement and support for civic and community activities.”

 

 

Popular Businessman Joe Issa On 2016 Independence Honours List

Mr. Joseph John ISSA, popularly called Joe Issa of Mammee Bay, St. Ann, has been named for appointment as Member of the Order of Distinction– in the rank of Commander (CD), for outstanding contribution to business development and philanthropy.IMG_0698

The award was conferred on the occasion of the 54th Anniversary of Independence, by His Excellency The Governor-General, the Most Honourable Sir Patrick Linton Allen ON, GCMG, CD, KSt.J, “acting in accordance with the Regulations made under Section 7 of the National Honours and Awards Act, and on the advice of the Prime Minister, the Most Honourable Andrew Holness, ON, MP,” according to a release by the Jamaica Information Service (JIS). The appointment to the Orders of the Societies of Honour took effect from Independence Day, Saturday, the 6th August 2016.

The hugely popular St. Ann resident could not be contacted for comments on his recent appointment, but a high-ranking employee of his Cool Group of companies, said the award was “long in coming” and “fitting” due to his “huge contribution to business and philanthropy in the parish and the country.”

According to a North Coast Times article, Issa headed the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce for two years before resigning in 1999 and leaving a legacy of strong leadership and advocacy, but continues his work in the parish as a member of the chamber’s Past Presidents Advisory Committee (PPAC), advocating for a business-friendly environment, among other issues affecting the parish.

During his tenure, Issa was famously appointed by the islands 13 chambers of commerce to negotiate with the government to roll back a tax on businesses for street lights, which he successfully accomplished, thereby averting a clash between the authorities and members of the business community, who had threatened to march to the Jamaican parliament in opposition to the cess.

In 1995, Issa established the Cool Oasis gas station in Ocho Rios, which became the catalyst for the establishment of over 50 Cool-branded companies today, employing hundreds of workers. One of the companies, Cool Card, is believed to have created business opportunities for thousands of citizens in the parish and around the island.

Issa’s successful business strategies have been likened to those of colleague, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group of over 400 companies, and has played a leading role as a mentor of the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship – Caribbean based in Montego Bay, which has enabled the development of hundreds of young local entrepreneurs.

Issa, a multi-award winner locally and internationally for his business principles and strategies, is said to have played a meaningful role as a board member of several large companies including Supreme Ventures and First Global Bank. The numerous plaques on his office wall shows the latest Corporate Award to Cool Corporation by the St. Ann Chamber of Commerce for his “outstanding service in good corporate principles and his involvement and support for civic and community activities.”

Through Cool Charities, a subsidiary of Cool Corporation headquartered in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Issa has rendered much civic assistance in education. The ‘Educate the Children Fund’ which he founded while at the London School of Economics (LSE) in the United Kingdom, helped raise over £3,000 to purchase Mathematics and English textbooks for students in Jamaica and other Caribbean islands.

Also, his ‘Global Education 2000’, which focuses on the physical improvement of schools, increasing literacy among young children and fostering better relations between schools and the communities in which they exist and their counterparts in the US, has benefitted several schools and teachers through exchange .

Upon returning from university, Issa established what is now the Cool Charities/Holy Cross Scholarship Fund which, along with other educational programmes, the Observer newspaper described as “a cool half million a month to education.”

The scholarship programme, which started out targeting beneficiaries from the company, also includes a project called Computers 3000 Education Programme, which donates air conditioning units and computers to educational institution, thereby giving more students access to the worldwide web, according to the newspaper.

Cool Corp, which is said to have pledged to continue demonstrating a keen interest in the future of young people, said it would continue to contribute $500,000 each month towards their education, the paper adds.

Joe Issa: The Multi-award Civic-minded Humanitarian, Academic and Business Leader

From boyhood to manhood, if Joe Issa’s achievements could be measured in kilometers, one each for every plaque on his office walls, his would wrap around the block several times.

Fondly named Joey, his academic accomplishments and humanitarian deeds, spanning two hemispheres on both sides of the Atlantic, has been nothing short of amazement, from Campion College in Jamaica and Holy Cross College in the United States, to the London School of Economics (LSE) in the United Kingdom and his working life back here on paradise isle.IMG_0844

Joey kept churning award after award ever since he won the much sort-after Head Masters Cup at Campion College when he was just 15 years old, but it was at university that the trend in accomplishments set in.

At the youthful age of 22 years, Joey did at the Holy Cross College in Massachusetts, United States, what only 8-10% of Americans have been able to do, which is to pass all four parts of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) national examination at the first sitting. He also became the youngest resident Jamaican at the time to pass the CPA examination, one of the most difficult professional examinations in the United States.

Joey was also the highest ranking economics/accounting major, for which he received the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants award as the most outstanding junior accounting student, and made the list of only 40 Holy Cross students who were inducted into the school’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in its 148 years history. With all of the feats he achieved, he was given the honor of valedictorian of his graduating class.

But it was a year earlier in 1987, while studying his economics major at the LSE, that Joey discovered his real humanitarian side forming, along with three other students which included two Jamaicans, his first charity, Educate the Children Fund. It was formed to raise money to purchase books for needy children in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean. The LSE and the Jamaica High Commission in the UK made a big deal of it. The Fund was taken up by the LSE and given a life of its own.

Upon returning to Jamaica and taking his  place at his father’s SuperClubs super inclusive chain of resorts, Joey’s philanthropy gathered pace with the formation of a scholarship fund to send needy Jamaicans to study at his alma mater university in the US.

And later, he founded Global Education 2000, to provide opportunities for Jamaican schools to visit and learn from their counterparts in the US, while engaging in a number of initiatives in the areas of academia and sports, to develop the potential Jamaican school children.

Civic-minded, Joey’s humanitarian and philanthropic deeds did not go unnoticed, especially in the parish of St. Mary, where he did the most to uplift the standard of living for the less privileged, particularly through the Kiwanis Club there.

While climbing the management ladder at SuperClubs, his biggest award came at the young age of 29 years, when he won the prestigious Young Hotelier of the World 1994 award.

From being voted among Jamaica’s 10 most eligible bachelors and copping a number of local and international tourism awards, Joey established himself as a multi-award winner for his exemplary leadership in business, while at SuperClubs and later, as executive chairman of the Cool Group of companies which cut across several industries and for the Cool brand he created that is being leveraged internationally.

At the Business Leader Awards

116Photo Caption: Father Richard Albert has the rapt attention of Joey Issa, the principal of the Cool Group and Shell Jamaica service stations; and his stunning wife Asha.

Joey Issa gets L.B.Creary Memorial Award

North coast hotelier, Mr. Joey Issa, of the SuperClubs group of resorts, is the recipient of the first annual L.B. Creary Memorial Quality of Life Award for exemplary humanitarian and philanthropically public service, in the parish of St. Mary.

The award is given to the person, who, in the judgment of the awards committee, does the most during the past year, to uplift the standard of living for the less privileged in St. Mary, particularly through the Kiwanis Club of that parish.

The award was presented recently to Mr. Issa, jointly by Mrs .Norma Creary, widow of Mr. Luneville B. Creary, after whom it is named; and Mr. and Mrs. Creary’s son, Mr. Richard Creary, secretary of the St. Mary Kiwanis Club. Continue reading

Jamaican Joey Issa shines at American Institute

Joseph J. Issa, son of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Issa if 54 Barbican Road, Kingston, Jamaica, at the age of 22, is the youngest Jamaican to pass all four parts of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) national examination at first sitting.

The CPA examination is one of the most difficult professional examinations in the United States with only 8-10 per cent of the candidates passing all four parts at first sitting.

The highest ranking economics/accounting major, Issa received the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants award as the most outstanding junior accounting student while at Holy Cross. Continue reading

Jamaican Joseph J. Issa youngest Jamaican CPA

Joseph J. Issa, son of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Issa of 54 Barbican Road, Kingston, Jamaica, at the age of 22, is the youngest Jamaican to pass all four parts of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) national examination in the first sitting.

The CPA examination is one of the most difficult professional examinations in the United States, with only 8-10 per cent of the candidates passing all four parts in their first sitting. Continue reading

Phi Beta Kappa members join an honored tradition

Forty Holy Cross College students were inducted into the school’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at ceremonies Wednesday.

The inductees from Holy Cross are: Barbara M. Acton, Wilmette, III.; Paul H. Anderson, Winona, Minn.; David M. Banach, Auburn; Darlene E. Beaudin, Malden; Elizabeth M. Bradshaw, Bernardsville, N.J.; Paula M. Canney, Hingham; Christine M. Considine, Woburn; Robert J. Dobie, Springfield, Pa. Continue reading

Joey Issa receives Student Award

Joseph J. Issa was honoured recently by the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, Inc. at their annual Student Awards Dinner.

The dinner honours top senior and junior accounting majors of Massachusetts colleges and universities that offer accounting programmes. Continue reading