Islanders Kelly and Mukul Kanabar recognized as Leaders Worth Following
Saturday, October 9th, 2021
On Friday, October 8th, San Pedro’s well-known philanthropists and entrepreneurs Kelly McDermott Kanabar and Mukul Kanabar received the Leader Worth Following 2021-2022 award. The announcement revealing the Kanabars as this year’s award winners was made on Wednesday, October 6th, in Belize City. The award is presented to a visionary and outstanding leader dedicated to creating lasting change in their community and is inspired and challenged to become a leader worth following.
The main event is known as the Leadercast Belize Simulcast, and this year marks the 21st annual edition and the 6th time in Belize hosted virtually by Chamberlain Consulting Ltd. The theme for this year was ‘SHIFT,’ and aimed to build on leadership amidst the uncertainty of a worldwide pandemic. During the event in Belize, which affords scholarships, the Leader/s Worth Following 2021-2022 was selected.
The recipients, the Kanabars, who run a number of businesses on the island, including the popular Blue Water Grill, humbly received this recognition but said all their projects and achievements had been teamwork with their staff and volunteers. “I was only 23 when I started my first restaurant, and it is only because of the mentors like Kakaruchi Luna, Lisa Forman, and Catherine Paz I had along the way that I learned how to be a leader,” said Kelly Kanabar. “I do not believe in telling people to do things, but let’s do it together. People should be treated with respect and remain calm under pressure.” Kelly, a San Pedrana, said that a leader is not a one-man band, but someone who can get along with people well, organize and guide a team on the right track.
The recognition highlights their generosity and contribution to islanders, from moral support, monetary donations, and sponsorships to inspiring the community to assist in various charity and fundraising efforts. Some of these charities include the Liberty Children’s Home in Ladyville, north of Belize City, which has received over $50,000 in fundraising efforts. As of 2011 and through their family of businesses, they have provided a full four-year scholarship to San Pedro High School (SPHS) to one child of each employee. They employ 93 people, making it about 79 scholarships over ten years. The Kanabars have helped raise funds and donated 30 laptops to SPHS, $10,000 to Oceana in Belize, and a long-awaited ultrasound machine for the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. They even stepped up to provide $10,000 for the island’s school baseball team when they needed funds to travel and compete in the Panama Central American Regional Competitions in October 2012. They sponsor Government Reading Programs, Coral Ed-Ventures Summer Camps, the Tres Pescados Fishing Tournament to name a few/
The island girl and her husband Mukul have embraced the community and realized that helping and advocating prosperity is a great way to bring happiness and stability to the island. In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit islanders hard, they focused on feeding those in need when they lost their livelihoods. With the help of volunteers and staff in the kitchen, they prepared hot meals and grocery bags to deliver to hundreds of people in need. Primarily focused on seniors, providing hot meals every Thursday.
The recognized Leaders Worth Following for this year are recognized as generous and humble. They do not seek to be in the spotlight each time they reach out to make a difference in their community. The Kanabars thank everyone who has stood by their side and helped them help others. In the end, they make it clear that all the credit should go to their staff, volunteers, and anyone who rolls up their sleeves and get the job done as a team.
The San Pedro Sun congratulates Kelly and Mukul Kanabar for their contribution, love, and generosity towards others and the community. Congratulations, Leaders Worth Following!
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