March 6, 2009
NLA staff, agents rewarded

Hailed as the “backbone” of the National Lotteries Authority (NLA) by General Manager McGregor Sealy, staff members and agents of the company gathered to celebrate the outstanding achievements of their colleagues at a ceremony held on Saturday, February 28th, at the Murray Heights Hotel at McKies Hill.{{more}}

The remarkable performance of the NLA was evidenced by the $44 million generated in 2008 – a figure which Product Development Officer Anthony Dennie pointed out far surpassed the projected figures for that year.

Sealy, in his remarks, congratulated all staff and agents for their hard work and commitment over the years. “I must commend you for the contributions throughout the years. Without you… we’d have nothing to celebrate!” He did, however, berate the “unscrupulous” actions of a few agents who issue fraudulent cheques and short change their customers’ winnings. “Desist from doing this sort of thing. You’re not only destroying your customer base, you’re destroying the reputation of the National Lotteries Authority!”

The Agent Awards were as follows: Top Instant Money Seller, Marcus Crosby; Top Agent Sales, Bayshore Mall, Bequia; Top Seller for Lotto and Super 6, Friends of Scouts; Top Seller for 3D, LB’s Lotto Booth; Top Seller in the Kingstown zone, LB’s Lotto Booth; Top Seller in Windward zone, Ferdie’s Footsteps Restaurant and Bar; Top Seller in Leeward zone, Knick Knack’s Bar; Top Seller in the Grenadines, Kedrick John, Union Island; Longest Serving Runner, Norman Burnette; Longest Serving agent, Ferdie’s Footsteps; Top National Sales, LB’s Lotto Booth, and Agent of the Year, Sherman’s Shop, Lowmans Windward.

The Staff Awards were equally impressive. Angela Pereira and Duane Jack received awards for Outstanding Attendance – never having missed a day’s work nor been late. For 10 years of service, the following were awarded: Rawlty Lowe, Patricia Roberts, Camille Matthews and Joseph Warren; whilst Merlene Glasgow, Jeanette Dublin and Osmond Ottley received awards for 15 years of service to the NLA.

Top Selling Cashier went to Shanna Saunders, and Duane Jack received Employee of the Year. General Manager McGregor Sealy was bestowed with a special appreciation award for a whopping 25 years of service, making him the longest serving general manager of the NLA in any of the participating islands.

NLA Chairman Murray Bullock applauded all staff members and agents, whether they received awards or not, for their contributions over the past year. “You have done remarkably well!” he exclaimed. Bullock further highlighted the importance of the Government/NLA relationship, describing the statutory body as “…an integral part of the government body.” However, he was quick to assure his audience that there is “zero political interference” in the day to day running.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves stressed that his role as Minister of National Lotteries was purely one of guidance and advice. “I don’t get involved in any detailed management.” Additionally, Gonsalves highlighted the need for “clear policy, excellent management, transparency and accountability” in statutory bodies such as the NLA, which became a legal entity in March 2003 under Gonsalves’ first term in office.

Gonsalves also lauded former Prime Minister R. Milton Cato as a “visionary” who was instrumental in establishing the national lottery, as well as the National Commercial Bank and the National Provident Fund, which was the precursor to the National Insurance Services. (JSV)