Sandals Resorts International (SRI) earlier this week announced the appointment of Adam Stewart OD as the resort company’s Executive Chairman, becoming just the second Chairman in the company’s 40-year history.
Stewart is preceded by his late Father and Chairman, Hon. Gordon “Butch” Stewart, a pioneer in Caribbean tourism who broke the ceiling of all-inclusive luxury after founding the organization in 1981 and played a pivotal role in bolstering the region’s popularity.
According to SRI, “Executive Chairman Stewart assumes the role after working alongside his father for more than two decades, serving as Chief Executive Officer and most recently Deputy Chairman.”
It said he “helped oversee the continued rapid expansion of Sandals Resorts International throughout the Caribbean, including the recent announcement of two new island resort destinations, the future Sandals Curaçao and Beaches® Resorts in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”
The new Chairman said: “Some people are dreamers, and some are doers; my dad was the magical combination of both. He was fiercely passionate about offering a product that would exceed expectations, and we are incredibly honored to continue his pursuit of innovation, raising the bar, and creating landmark moments for our valued guests,”
Countless organizations have recognized Stewart for his leadership in the travel industry and his substantial contributions to the destinations where Sandals Resorts International operates.
As part of this commitment, in 2009, the younger Stewart launched the Sandals Foundation with a mission to lift communities through education, healthcare, and environmental protection.
SRI says the foundation and its activities have helped millions across the region through various impact-focused programs, where he will continue to serve as President.
Stewart is also a strong proponent of the direct investment and development of team members. His work through the Sandals Corporate University brings continued learning, mentorship and invaluable skills training to thousands of employees throughout the Caribbean.
In 2016, he was also bestowed the national honor of the Order of Distinction (OD), Commander Class by the Government of Jamaica ‘for outstanding contribution to tourism’.
Stewart added, “We could never have imagined the monumental impact that our resorts have had around the world. It has been a remarkable journey to have built brands that play a part in so many of our customers’ happiest moments. Our team is the best in the world, and I am incredibly proud of the work they do every day of life to put our customers first, as we carry forward.”
Stewart has also played an integral role in managing the company’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including launching its creation of the respected Sandals Platinum Protocols of Cleanliness to ensure guests’ and team members’ safety, and consulting with industry groups, government entities, health organizations and international associations alike.
According to the statement, “His work guaranteed Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts are at the forefront of providing a safe and enjoyable destination for international travelers during this time and is keeping thousands of team members across all its Caribbean destinations employed.”
Earlier this month, the older Stewart’s passing was marked by a global outpouring of support from Sandals team members, guests and industry partners around the world, sharing thousands of memories.
According to SRI, “As an industry pioneer, he helped to establish the tourism sector across the Caribbean through building first of its kind luxury resorts, chartering flights to bring international visitors when no major airline service was offered and a relentless commitment to backing the Travel Agent community.”
The statement continued, “Over the years, the brands have become respected for its Luxury Included® model that changed the face of the all-inclusive segment and built a loyal following; affording it the highest return guest rate of any hospitality brand in the western hemisphere.”
Adam Stewart also assumes Executive Chairmanship of the Jamaica-based ATL Group, one of the largest private sector groups in the Caribbean.
The new Executive Chairman and CEO concluded: “My Father’s shoes are impossible to fill, but we will follow in his ground-breaking footsteps to continue the important work we all set out to do together.
“As a company and as a team, we are poised for the future. We are already leading the industry in recovering from the greatest setback in the history of travel. We will continue to lead not just by saying, but by doing. And at the heart of it all, we are solely focused on what we do best: delighting our guests.”