Sandals Resorts International’s (SRI) Gordon “Butch” Stewart is well known for making a positive impact across the Caribbean – donating millions of dollars in cash, services and materials to educational, civic, religious and charitable organizations not just in the Caribbean, but throughout the world.
Stewart’s passion for service and helping those less fortunate was instilled in all his children, inspiring one of his sons, Adam Stewart, to formalize their dedication to the Caribbean by creating the Sandals Foundation in 2009 – the philanthropic arm of SRI.
The Stewart family has now created a prestigious award to recognize those who possess their same dedication to giving back to the Caribbean: The Stewart Family Philanthropic Award. The award is dedicated to honouring executives, partners and individuals whose exceptional leadership in the philanthropic sector has strengthened, built up and inspired entire Caribbean communities. This year, Heidi Clarke, executive director of the Sandals Foundation, was honoured as the first-ever recipient of this tremendous accolade for her decade-long service and dedication to the Foundation while at the 18th Annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (S.T.A.R.) Awards.
Over the years, Clarke has been instrumental in developing and maintaining relationships with nonprofit organizations in the Caribbean community, corporate partners and volunteers. According to Adam Stewart, deputy chairman of SRI and president of the Sandals Foundation, Clarke has helped impact close to a million people in the region and has implemented hundreds of projects and programs valued at more than $58 million over a 10-year period.
“It is with great honour that my family presents the first Stewart Family Philanthropic Award to one of the most big-hearted, purposeful individuals who has played an immense role in shaping the lives and the future of the Caribbean,” said Adam Stewart. “Heidi Clarke is the champion at the helm of the Sandals Foundation and has effortlessly done the most remarkable job in inspiring hope and creating a sustainable impact on the islands we call home. Heidi’s passion and strong commitment to philanthropy is unprecedented.”
Pictured Adam Stewart (l), Peter Blum (r), advisory board member and director of the Sandals Foundation, with Clarke.