On Friday, the Bermuda Health Foundation [BHF] honoured John Wight, President and CEO of BF&M Insurance Group for his contribution to the insurance industry and the Bermuda community generally. Mr. Wight is also the President of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce.
In an acceptance speech after being presented with the “Salute to Service” Award by BHF Board member Dr. Ewart Brown, Mr. Wight noted that he had been of a supporter of Bermuda Health Foundation for many years.
“What better way to give back to our community as an organization than to support the education of our bright young Bermudians in the healthcare field, who might otherwise be unable to achieve their career goals without the great work that Dr. Brown, Phil and Vincent do to create this financial support,” said Mr. Wight. “I am so very honoured that Dr. Brown, Phil, and Vincent thought me worthy of this award”.
Mr. Wight shared some of his experiences as CEO of BF&M. He said that when he become CEO in 2005 at his first Town Hall session with the staff, he told them that he had two main objectives in his new role.
“One was to increase profitability, because I felt that we could do even better than we had been doing. And we as a team have certainly proven that since then,” he noted. “The second one was this. I wanted everyone at BF&M, when they left the company through retirement or other reasons, to say to themselves, that this was a really good company”.
BHF Board and John Wight holding the “Salute to Service” Award.
The honouree also talked about his involvement with the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce saying that when he first took over the presidency of the Chamber, after about six months he had more people offer him commiserations than congratulations questioning why he wanted to assume the role of presidency at that time in his career.
“It will be time-consuming, thankless, and fraught with politics,” were some of the comments made. “And you know what, they were right. The easy decision would have been to say no when I was asked to do it. But the right decision for me, as to say yes.”
According to Mr. Wight, “service to the community is a labour of love for him and the island’s most recent National Hero, Sir John Swan, who paid tribute to Mr. Wight, complimented him on his service to the community.
Also paying tribute to Mr. Wight at the luncheon was his daughter, Catherine, whose tribute to her father was as emotional as his acceptance speech.
“My dad has a very powerful spirit but not powerful in the traditional sense you may be thinking. He is powerful through his words but more so, I would argue, through his actions. What makes me proudest isn’t the fact that he is successful in his career,” she said.
“What makes me most proud is seeing what he does with his powerful spirit and with his kindness. The reinsurance world can be cut-throat at times and I had a colleague once say to me: “you won’t get anywhere in this industry being kind”. Unfortunately for him, he clearly hasn’t met my dad.
“My dad is powerful because he has shown me that you can keep your morals, your kindness and your integrity and succeed above all else. My dad has taught me through his actions, through his words and through his constant support. My dad is powerful because I, as his daughter, know I will be successful in my career.”
Students: BHF Board Members, Vincent Hollinsid, Charles Brown, Alesha Page’s father, Melissianna Gibbons’ mother, Rebekha Simons, Dr. Ewart Brown and Phil Butterfield.
In addition to the presentation made to John Wight, the Bermuda Health Foundation also presented scholarships to three Bermudians studying for careers in the medical field.
Meliseanna is a student at St. George’s University in Grenada. A graduate of Saltus Grammar School, and later La Sierra University in California, Meliseanna’s goal is to become a pediatrician with a potential subspecialty in Gastroenterology.
Alesha Page was the first home-schooled student to give the commencement speech at the Bermuda College when she graduated in 2011. She was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology by Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and a Master of Science Degree in Bioethics by the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia.
Rebekha Simons was one of 108 students who recently graduated from Bermuda College, a Associate of Arts Degree with a concentration in Psychology. In September 2016, Rekekha will enter George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia where she plans to study for her career as a counselor, concentrating in Marriage and Family Therapy and Addictions Counselling.
Because of the inclement weather on Saturday, the Bermuda Health Foundation Charity Golf Tournament was postponed and will now be held in August.