AS THE chief engineer at the food-processing company, Caribbean Producers Jamaica Limited (CPJ), Winston Prendergast has amassed 17 years of technical and hands-on experience since he joined the company in 1997.
“I started off, about 17 years ago, as a technician working on the beverage systems equipment, such as juice machines, ice cream machines, and slush machines,” said Prendergast, in recounting how he started at CPJ.
“A couple of years later, I rose up to the rank of supervisor in the same department. Then I moved beyond that. I started managing the technical aspect of the beverage systems, meaning the technicians on the road.”
Prendergast continued overseeing technicians in his department for the next six years, until 2003, when he got a promotion that saw him working closer to the company grounds.
“I was promoted to maintenance manager, which moved me from beverage systems, and from off the road, to a more internal role in dealing with the facility, infrastructure, building, refrigeration, and electrical work,” Prendergast outlined.
“A year ago, I was promoted to chief engineer, which carries responsibility for all technical aspects of the company, whether here or abroad.”
Throughout his years of hands-on experience as a technician for CPJ, Prendergast has had at least two experiences that continue to make an impression on his mind, both involving the development of equipment to better the company’s output.
“The first experience that comes to mind is when we moved into manufacturing, which entails the beverage systems, in which we produce the beverages, the slushies and fruit juices that are dispensed through the technical services equipment that we have in different hotels on the road. That was a big push for me because it speaks not only about distribution but about producing,” said Prendergast.
“Another experience was with the meat plant … when we did that, it opened my experience to a lot more equipment, it gave me a new opportunity to learn about different types of equipment coming out of different territories, and helped me to understand what a meat manufacturing plant operates like,” Prendergast continued.
“It also gave me the opportunity to look at different programmes – modernised programmes and systems that deal with engineering on a whole.”
Speaking of his interpersonal relationships with fellow CPJ employees during his time with the organisation, Prendergast spoke positively of the working atmosphere and the level of openness with his employers.