People do business with human beings not companies. And the people are the greatest assets of any company. ELENOA BASELALA introduces the people who have been appointed or are driving the performances in their companies.
Water Authority of Fiji
Opetaia Ravai has been confirmed as the chief executive officer of the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) after acting in the position for about 17 months.
WAF chairman Priyaraj Lakmal (better known as PL) Munasinghe confirmed the appointment. Mr Munasinghe said the appointment had been effected from July 1, 2012.
Mr Ravai first joined WAF in September 2009 and was a key member of the senior management team in the formulation of WAF during the transition period.
He was initially appointed as general manager customer services and was later appointed acting CEO in February last year.
Mr Ravai holds a Masters in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science and Diploma in Computing.
A WAF statement said with his prior experience in the commercial sector, Mr Ravai brought to WAF "the required passion, vigor and discipline needed to drive WAF to new heights of service delivery to the people of Fiji."
ISA Legal and Technical
RUSSELL Howorth has been elected chairman of the Legal and Technical Commission of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), a statement said.
With the election of Dr Howorth, the Pacific continues to play a prominent role at ISA; its president, Peter Thomson, is Fiji's permanent representative to the United Nations, while ISA's first secretary general Satya Nand, is a former Fiji ambassador.
Dr Howorth is the Director of SOPAC, a division of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
ISA was established by the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and currently has 162 member states.
It is an autonomous international organisation to which state parties to the convention are given the responsibility of organising, controlling and administering the resources of the international seabed beyond the limits of national jurisdiction.
As chairman of the Legal and Technical Commission, Dr Howorth presides over a 25-member council that is entrusted with functions relating to activities in the international seabed.
Included in these are the review of applications for plans of work, supervision of exploration or mining activities and the assessment of the environmental impact of such activities.
The commission also provides advice to the International Seabed Authority's assembly and council on all matters relating to exploration and exploitation of non-living marine resources (such as polymetallic nodules, polymetallic (sulphides and cobalt crusts).
While Dr Howorth's term on the Legal and Technical Commission is for five years, his chairmanship is for the coming year.
Williams and Gosling Ltd
WILLIAMS and Gosling boasts of a workforce that is totally local — from its top management to its cleaners.
And the company's continuously improving its succession planning. Recently, 11 of its employees completed an in-house 18-month senior cadet management scheme, ensuring the company was well prepared to solve all of its manpower requirements locally, and where possible, from those already employed.
"It is important to understand that 90 per cent of what we do must be learned through "on the job" experience and training is essential to satisfy these diverse requirements. The management cadet scheme is just the latest in a long list of training programs to satisfy our manpower needs from within our ranks. When we employ people, we focus on those with the right attitude who are willing to learn and get hands on," WG managing director Dave Aidney said.
WG services include ship agency, air and sea freight forwarding, customs clearance, household removals, transport, container yards, record management and cargo fumigation.
"The people who were chosen for the course have already demonstrated an ambition to expand their future, to grow within the company. We advertised the opportunity — internally, outlined the criteria and encouraged those with our 'Can Do' attitude to apply," Mr Aidney said.
He said those who graduated from the program received no special privileges or promises, not of promotion, nor salary increases, nor any type of benefits.
"But what they do earn is the knowledge through what we have termed 'accelerated training' that has positioned them well to apply for any senior management positions, as and when these may become available.
"It is really up to them to take full advantage of this opportunity. This program includes working in all of our operational areas so the cadets have the chance to experience all aspects of the company. It also includes corporate topics like company law, finance and accounting plus our involvement with charities and our social responsibilities.
"It also enables executive and senior management to better see potential in the management cadets that they may not have been so obvious previously," said Mr Aidney.
This has paid off, he said, with several of the cadets having already been promoted during the program to senior management positions.
Those who completed the management cadet scheme are: Ashita Lin (assistant branch manager, Nadi airport); Elizabeth Maki (sales and marketing manager, Nadi airport); Gina Pickering (removals consultant, Wailekutu); Bill Lockwood (credit controller, Suva); Kamal Kumar (senior customs agent, Lautoka); Sharvind Kumar (manager import airfreight, Nadi); Shyam Reddy (ships agency manager, head office); Romana Andrews (packing & removals manager, Lautoka); Donald Prasad (financial accountant); Leone Baleinasucu (transport manager, Suva), and Tim Fong (branch manager — Wailekutu Depot).