Honouring a Queen's grad in Barbados
I was in Barbados recently to speak at the annual conference of the CGA Caribbean, a professional accounting organization affiliated with the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada.
After the conference I was invited to a ceremony honouring students who had completed the CGA certification process.
The highlight of the ceremony was a presentation of a Life Membership Award to Dr. Hartley Richards, MIR’89, the founding president of CGA Barbados, the predecessor of CGA Caribbean.
The CGA leadership felt that because Richards is a proud Queen’s alumnus it would have extra special meaning for him to receive his award from the hand of a representative of the University, and so it was my privilege to present him with the award.
Richards is a business legend in Barbados. He was the long-time Manager of Corporate Services for Barbados Light & Power. He had been trained as an accountant so in 1988, when the company Board asked him to take on an additional responsibility for industrial relations, he realized he needed new skills and enrolled in the Queen’s School of Policy Studies Master of Industrial Relations program.
That was the start of his relationship with Queen’s. “I developed a special relationship with Prof. Carol Beatty, the director of the MIR program,” Richards said. “I was interested in her approach to change management, and so I invited her to deliver a course for our company. After I graduated I also attended several management workshops at Queen's.”
Richards followed his Queen’s studies with a Masters in Human Resource Development from an American university and a Doctorate from the University of Bradford in the UK.
Having now studied at three universities, Richards says he has a special appreciation for Queen’s. “It’s large without being massive. You have the benefits that come with size, but at the same time you don’t get lost in an impersonal institution.
There are a number of leading Barbadians who have attended Queens. They all think very highly of the University.”
Although Richards is now retired from Barbados Light & Power, he continues to contribute to business in the Caribbean through Richards Consulting Services, which provides financial, human resource, and industrial relations guidance.
Richards has many professional honours, but recently retired Professor Carol Beatty pays him the highest compliment when she says, “Hartley is a wonderful person.”