The Hon. Arnold Foote; A man for all seasons
He has consistently put his best foot forward in so many spheres of Jamaican life and has influenced so many persons that it’s hard to gauge the true measure of the man. If he is to be evaluated by active involvement in national life, private enterprise, then Arnold Foote Jr. undoubtedly stands tall.
The mention of his name is automatically linked to Advertising & Marketing (Ja.) Ltd., the company he established $% years ago, and now revels in his role as turkey’s honorary consul in Jamaica and president of the world federation of consuls.
A look at Mr. Foote’s formidable curriculum vitae, however, reveals a life that encompasses so much more than advertising, marketing and consular duties. He served as director of things Jamaica limited, trade facilitation board and parish council’s services commission, and was chairman of the target Europe committee and the agri-business council of Jamaica, which he founded.
He led Jamaica’s first trade mission to the European common market and was the first private sector member of any African, Caribbean and pacific (ACP) country to address the European commission in Brussels in 1991. The commander of the order of distinction was bestowed on him in 1997 in recognition of his work in overseas trade promotion as well as his outstanding achievement in advertising.
His suggestion for the creation of a communication arts programme led to the formation of a working committee by then prime minister Edward Seaga, which culminated in the establishment of the Caribbean institute of Media and communication (CARIMAC). Mr. Foote chaired the association of senior citizens clubs of Jamaica and the Jamaica daily news newspaper. Many would be surprised to learn that he was once a workers representative on arbitration tribunals and vice president of Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica.
Mr. Foote is a former director of the Jamaica festival commission and has received numerous honours for his work in the tourism sector. He is also a former national football player and was honoured by the Jamaica football federation (JFF) as one of Jamaica’s football patriarchs.
“I have lived a very full life. I would still like to make more meaningful contribution to the country… Jamaica, the land of my birth. My love for the country cannot be questioned,” he told pure class.
In the face of all that he has done and achieved in his 74 years on this earth, Mr. Foote is clearly still committed to give his very best and be all that he can be has played a major role in professional development and success to date.
He got his real start in his chosen career field as the advertising and marketing manager for Grace modern agency in Jamaica we do everything in house now like television commercials, radio commercials and large format printing.
“Confidentiality is so important when you’re launching a campaign for a client and I think that with his creativity and the ability of the staff over there, plus the confidential aspect of the company definitely gives him an edge over the competition.”
Beyond the confines of his own company, Mr. Foote has served the industry as many time president of the Jamaica advertising agencies Association (JAAA). He founded the Caribbean Association of Advertising Agencies and served as Director of the world advertising council.
Mr. Foote indicated while he’s still available to offer advice to his son on business matters, his time and efforts are focused on his work as Turkey’s honorary consuls.
“Given the situation in the world, consuls are very important to international relations for the future. They are needed to deal with the citizens from the sending states. They have to develop trade and cultural exchange programmes.
“We have growing responsibilities because several countries are closing embassies to carry out the duties in the countries that they have the honour to serve”.
Mr. Foote has been representing Turkey for over 14 years. He is Dean Emeritus of the consular Corps of Jamaica and founded the CARICOM Consular Association. As president of the federation, he has travelled to every region of the world. He has received the Diplomatic Society Order of the Knights of St. Gabriel, Knight of the Order of St. Thomas of Acre and the serene Order of Leonard.
He told Pure Class that he was very thankful to have his wife< Patricia, who he describes as his best friend and God-sent.
“ I don’t think that I could handle the presidency without her …every morning at 5 am we get up to answer emails before I even get to my office because of the time difference in certain places.”
In his Consular affairs, he revealed that the most moving experience for him was his trip to Ghana last year to form a committee for the African region. There, he traced his ancestry to Assin Manso in the royal Assin kingdom. Nana Barima Kwane Nkyi XII declared him a descendant of the Royal Assin kingdom, the ruler and given the name Nana Cubina Manso. He was honoured in Accra by Nii La Dr. Kpobi Tettey III, the king of Accra, and named an honorary citizen.
“Undoubtedly, the experience was most personally moving trip for me. My only regret with Ghana is that I didn’t there 40 years ago. It is wonderful to know where you are coming from and I urge every Jamaican to go back to Ghana and find their roots.
“Marcus Garvey was right…you can’t know where you are going unless you know where you are coming from. That’s important and the Ghanaian people are such a wonderful people and the love for Jamaica is unbelievable and they really want the relationship to grow. It’s our mother land and we must show more respect for it.”
Mr. Foote is in his final year of his three-year term as President of the world federation consuls, and recently attended a consular conference in Monaco under the patronage of his royal highness Albert II. He disclosed that he has been approached to seek another term.
“I’m looking at the future and we have accomplished a lot in the past two years. I would hate to have the work stalled any way, so that’s one of the reasons that I am considering going back. Also in my capacity as president of the world federation of consuls, I believe that I can do a lot for the country and I’m there and willing to do whatever is possible for Jamaica.
By Mark Thompson
PURE CLASS WRITER