At its annual benefit dinner on Thursday, November 4, 2004, at the Waldorf=Astoria in New York City, NY, The American Friends of Jamaica (AFJ) honoured Michael Lee-Chin, Chairman of the National Commercial Bank of Jamaica Limited (NCB) and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canada’s AIC Limited, with its 2004 International Humanitarian Award. Mr. Lee-Chin was selected because of his extraordinary initiatives to raise the standard of education in Jamaica and to advance learning opportunities for Jamaican youth.Lee-Chin, a Jamaican-born investor and philanthropist originally from Port Antonio, now owns the largest privately-held mutual fund company in Canada and ranks among the world’s wealthiest men.Ê He has championed multiple educational programs in both Canada and Jamaica. AFJ Executive Director, Lacy Wright cited educational initiatives funded by Michael Lee-Chin and the NCB Foundation including numerous scholarships awarded to students of the University of the West Indies and the University of Technology in Kingston.
“In past years we have presented two awards at our annual gala,” Wright commented, “the AFJ International Humanitarian Award and the International Achievement Award. But this year, in light of the magnitude of Michael’s philanthropy, we chose to focus on a single award in celebration of all he has done for Jamaica.”
Michael Lee-Chin is especially thoughtful and generous to his country of birth. “Nothing is more important than education,” he commented at the AFJ gala, “and funding well-designed educational programs is a way for me to give back to my homeland.Ê Our young people need support to build a future today that will make history tomorrow.”
Glen Holden, AFJ president and former U.S. Ambassador to Jamaica, commented:Ê“We are especially delighted to have Michael Lee-Chin as our 2004 honouree. His deep commitment in promoting development in Jamaica, and his vision that every Jamaican child should have access to higher education strike a real chord within us.”