Sandals Resorts International's (SRI) Gordon "Butch" Stewart has been making a positive impact across the Caribbean for over 40 years. Serving as a dynamic force in shaping the lives and the future of the Caribbean, Stewart’s passion for service and helping those less fortunate was also instilled in all his children, inspiring one of his sons, Adam Stewart – Deputy Chairman for Sandals Resorts International - to formalize their dedication to the Caribbean by creating the Sandals Foundation in 2009 – the philanthropic arm of SRI which funds programs and projects focused on Education, Community and the Environment.

Together, the Stewart family has paved the way for others to inspire greatness in people, preserve justice, and give back to the land and people they love.The Stewart family is excited to continuously celebrate good stewards who embody the same strong commitment to philanthropy that they exude every day through the creation of this annual award.

AWARD CRITERIA

Recipients of The Stewart Family Philanthropic Award will exemplify:

  • Dedication to improving the lives of others, carving out success and creating real change.
  • Promotion of positive environmental and social transformation.
  • Breaking out from the norm, thinking and doing different in order to serve his or her fellow Caribbean citizens.
  • Transforming the power of a program idea into action, impacting entire communities.
  • Providing opportunity to underrepresented, poor, and marginalized youth, playing an integral role in changing the lives of Caribbean children and families.
  • Evidence of meaningful contributions to the nonprofit sector and significant achievements in his or her field, and/or the service sector.
  • Ability to build and use organizational infrastructure to increase mission and community impact.
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience serving others to create lasting change in the Caribbean and beyond.

2020 AWARD RECIPIENT

Joseph "Papa Joe" Wright

As the Executive Director of Great Shape! Inc. – a 501c3 founded in 1988 and born out of response to help victims in Jamaica post Hurricane Gilbert – Joseph aka “Papa Joe” has been carrying out the vision of the charity’s original co-founders since 1995 – to lead some of the world’s largest, international humanitarian projects. Under his direction, Wright was instrumental in forging the Great Shape! partnership with Sandals (Negril) in 2003 for its 1000 Smiles Dental Project. Working alongside SRI and since 2009 the Sandals Foundation, the program has provided to date over 250,000 Jamaicans in rural communities with access to free dental care, root canals, a sealant project and a denture program. Sister islands of St. Lucia (2015) and Grenada (2018) have also benefitted by the program.. Additionally, under its iCARE Vision Project (2009) free eye examinations, prescription glasses and other eyecare services have been provided for over 45,000 patients in Jamaica, Turks & Caicos and Antigua.

During Wright's tenure, and, in partnership the Ministry of Education, two literacy programs were created which have impacted both students, ages 6- 12, as well as educators in Jamaica. Through the the SuperKids Literacy Project (2008) and the Teach the Teacher Project (2015) over 115,000 students and 1,000 teachers have gained invaluable literacy skills.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Wright graduated Cum Laude honors with a BA in Business Administration from Southern Oregon University. He is a past Senior Director of the Children’s Council of San Francisco, and an Honorary Fellow of University of Technology, College of Oral Health Sciences. Wright has adventured across the globe – from Fiji to Jamaica to South Sudan - fulfilling his passion for service and currently is pursuing two personal projects in Uganda – the Uganda Cheetah Project and Uplift Africa.

Prior Award Recipients

Heidi Clarke is the Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation, a nonprofit organization created in 2009 to continue and expand upon Sandals Resorts International’s philanthropic work across the Caribbean in three key areas: Education, Community, and Environment. She was the first recipient of the Stewart Family Philanthropic Award in 2019 and was honored for the work the non-profit has accomplished including impacting close to one million people across the Caribbean with projects and programs implemented valued at more than US $58M.

Clarke currently resides in Jamaica with her family and provides weekly counseling and mentorship for at-risk youth and troubled teenage girls, volunteers at local-area schools and supports charitable groups such as the Jamaica Cancer Society, Missionaries of the Poor, Anglican Girls' Home, and Bucco Reef Trust.