Although 61 per cent of Dart Enterprise’s employees are Caymanian, they’re all Caymanian when it comes to human resources.
Putting a group of highly motivated and ambitious women together on one workplace team could be a recipe for disaster. Not at Dart Enterprises, where a group of 13 women – and one man – provide the human resources and organisational development services for the company.
At the head of the team is Juliet Du Feu, the vice president of human resources and organisational development. She is responsible for leading the development and execution of Dart’s human resources strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organisation. Some of the specific areas that fall under her responsibility are succession planning, talent management, change management, organisational and performance management, training and development and compensation.
Du Feu left the company she and her husband formed in 2002 – As I See It Solutions Ltd. – to join Dart Enterprises earlier this year.
“People are surprised that I walked away from that,” she says, adding that it wasn’t a decision she made lightly.
“I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t think [Dart Enterprises] was a great company to work for and that there were things that I could achieve here that I’d be proud of as a Caymanian,” she says. “I knew that working for a company like Dart, which was willing to put the resources into the things I’m passionate about, I could achieve what I wanted to.”
Although she says her friends and family were surprised she left her company, they supported her decision.
“They reasoned that if I made this decision, there must be something good [here],” she says.
Reporting directly to Du Feu are three senior managers – Joanne Lawson, Kim Wallace Watler and Lynn Smith-Moore.
Lawson has been with the Dart Group for eight years, longer than the other women. She started with the company as the executive assistant to CEO Mark VanDevelde and has steadily been promoted to her current position of senior manager organisational development and administration. She provides oversight and support to the group’s ongoing development and organisational structure, which she has seen change rapidly during her tenure.
“We’ve grown so quickly,” she says, adding that it’s a challenge just planning office space for staff. “Every move we’ve made, we’ve almost grown out of by the time we moved in.”
Lawson was there for the Camana Bay ground-breaking back in 2005.
“It’s been very rewarding seeing everything grow; the evolution of where we were and where we are now – the people, the structures, everything.”
Kim Wallace Watler says she’s the “newbie” at the company, having only made to move from Butterfield Bank’s HR department to Dart Enterprises in June. In her position as senior manager HR services she effectively leads the Dart Enterprises human resources team.
Wallace Watler says that in coming to Dart Enterprise, she knew she was coming to a company that exemplified integrity and professionalism.
“I wanted to be a part of… something bigger. [At Dart] it’s about building something of value and making a difference. Who doesn’t want to be part of something like that?” she asks. “I feel proud that I’m with a company that has such a long-term vision… and is making an impact on the country.”
In her short time at Dart Enterprises, Wallace Watler says she’s seen many very qualified candidates apply for positions with the company.
“Our dilemma is choosing the best of those candidates,” she said,
Communications Manager Lynn Smith-Moore serves as the spokesperson for Dart Enterprises. She says one of the qualities that she likes about the organisation is its authenticity.
“The people here are trying to find solutions that are win-win,” she says.
Smith-Moore says joining the Dart Group was “a real breath of fresh air” and that everyone gets along very well.
“It’s just a pleasure to work with a group of professionals like this,” she says.
Du Feu says the workplace culture flows from the top management down.
“It’s a casual, professional, open-door culture that’s very transparent,” she says. “It’s like a family business the way it’s operated.”
That culture, plus the fact that there’s no sense of entitlement at Dart Enterprises, elicits extraordinary dedication, Du Feu says, noting that people often work longer hours than they’re required just because they want to get the job done.
“One of the things that I had to do when I came in was encourage the team to leave [for the night],” she says.
Wallace Watler says that having a good, friendly work culture creates a place where “you want to come to work every day”.
She says the relationship among the members of the human resources and organisational development team is the best she’s seen.
“It’s very harmonious,” she says. “We all get along extremely well and have a lot of respect for each other and our opinions.”
Du Fue says she feels the Dart Group is making a positive impact on the Cayman Islands. She says she seen a number of development projects over the years and she’d convinced the Dart Group is not in Cayman to take, but to build and become part of the community.
“I certainly get the impression it’s not just about building a community that’s accessible to certain people,” she says. “Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen a very deliberate attempt to involve the community and Cayman culture.”
In addition to Du Feu, Lawson, Wallace Watler and Smith-Moore, others on the team include Rosa DaCosta; Lena Ebanks; Jeremy Bush; Marion Wilson Lindsay; Miriam Berry; Rosemarie Benwarisingh; Shelly-Ann Davis; Janine Gregory; Melinda Bush; and Alexandria Whittaker.