As the dynamic Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sandals Resorts International, the world's leading resort company, and The ATL Group, Jamaica's longest standing automotive and appliance distributors with recently expanded region-wide operations, Adam Stewart is one of the most successful and admired entrepreneurs of our time. A philanthropist at heart, Stewart also serves as the President of the Sandals Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organisation aimed at fulfilling the promise of the Caribbean community by improving lives and preserving the natural surroundings, through investments in sustainable regional projects in education, community and the environment.
Born in 1981, the same year his father Gordon 'Butch' Stewart purchased his first hotel and launched the Sandals Resorts chain, Adam Stewart was raised in Jamaica and later graduated from Florida International University's (FIU) acclaimed Hospitality Management Programme in Miami. After graduation, Stewart underwent a fast track immersion course through the company's Caribbean-wide resort operations which today comprises 19 resorts across three brands and seven islands.
A decade under Adam Stewart's stewardship, Sandals continues to follow a trajectory of exhilarating growth that has seen new resorts, new islands being explored and the introduction of industry-changing innovation and developments. Stewart's ambitious leadership has moved the brand well beyond the all-inclusive concept to its signature Luxury Included® resorts, offering guests unprecendented and unmatched vacation priviliges and experiences in the region's most sought-after locations. Stewart's leadership has earned the company international acclaim and has seen the brand being named the World Travel Awards' Leading Luxury All-Inclusive Company for 22 consecutive years.
With Stewart as the pioneer, the company expects even more growth and has plans to double size and triple revenue over the next decade through at least 10 new exciting developents, including the debut of the highly-anticipated over-the-water suites at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island, the first of its kind for the Caribbean. This pioneering spirit has been recognised and awarded by many, resulting in Stewart receiving numerous accolades, among them, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association's Hotelier of the Year 2015, World Travel Awards' Rising Star, Caribbean World's Travel and Tourism Personality of the Year, the Distinguished Alumni Torch Award from FIU and The Gleaner Company's Jamaica 50 under 50 Award. In October 2015, Stewart was named the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association's Hotelier of the Year 2015.
A lover of the ocean and all things adventurous, Stewart was inspired by his passion for sharing the Caribbean with others, and launched the Caribbean's premier luxury tour company, Island Routes Adventure Tours, offering countless unique and exciting tour and adventure experiences throughout the region. Island Routes has since transformed from a small island outpost to a multiple World-Travel-Award-winning company employing 200 people and offering hundreds of adventures in 12 countries. In just seven years, Island Routes has earned the enviable title of the World Travel Awards' Leading Caribbean Tour Company for four consecutive years. Following significant investments in new assets such as its first-class fleet of luxury cars and buses, in 2014, the company expanded into destination management services and has since signed landmark partnerships with leading brands such as Air Canada Vacations and Hyatt.
Though he's had many successes in the field, his passion for hotels and tourism is but one chapter of Adam Stewart's story. In August 2009, Stewart was appointed CEO and Deputy Chairman of the family-owned ATL Group comprising the Jamaica Observer, the country's leading daily newspaper and ATL Appliance Traders, a chain of domestic and commercial appliance outlets combining exclusive distributorship of the world's top electronic brands and 'unbeatable' customer service throughout Jamaica.
Established in 1968, ATL Appliance Traders has been significantly modernized under Stewart's leadership. A re-energized company now encompasses a broad spectrum of new sectors with international aspirations while still remaining faithful to the philosophy of service that Stewart's father created many years ago. Now in 2016, celebrating its 48th year, the ATL Group is part of the largest private sector organisation in the country boasting over 750 employees nationwide.
In 2010, driven by his love for cars, Stewart changed the face of the automotive industry in Jamaica with the creation of ATL Automotive. With multi-million dollar distributorships and state-of-the-art service centres located in Kingston and Montego Bay, ATL Automotive boasted unrivalled sales and service of Audi, Volkswagen, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover and Range Rover automobiles. Jamaica embraced Stewart's vision and the revitalized Volkswagen and Audi brands enjoyed huge sales increases in their first years of business, 272% and 346% respectively, with each breaking sales records and making Audi the number one premium brand in Jamaica. The Honda brand, part of the ATL Group since 1997, also scored big with the Honda Automobile Customer Experience Award for two consecutive years and beating all 22 countries who carry the brand in the Latin America and Caribbean region, for market share.
After registering sales of 146%, ATL Automotive, in April 2015, announced the termination of its distributorship of the Land Rover and Jaguar brands in order to focus on new brands to better complement the company's growth strategy. Stewart further changed the game when he announced the introduction of ATL Autobahn, a new division under the ATL Automotive umbrella, through which the company would have sole rights to distribute and service Porsche, BMW and Mini throughout Jamaica. And that was not all. Stewart also revealed that ATL Autobahn would be the master dealer for BMW and Mini for the Caribbean region, with operations in nine other countries: Trinidad and Tobago, The Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Barbados, Aruba, St Lucia, Suriname, and Antigua.
Despite being one of the most prominent young businessmen in the world, Stewart remains a proud Jamaican and citizen of the Caribbean dedicating much of his time to elevating the region he calls home.
In 2009, Stewart founded the Sandals Foundation with the aim of uniting the region under one common goal: to lift its people through education and protect its delicate ecosystem. The Sandals Foundation harnesses the resources, talents, partnerships and awareness behind the Sandals Resorts brand to tackle a myriad of issues affecting the Caribbean. In 2013, Stewart was named as an Ambassador of the Caribbean-SickKids Paediatric Cancer and Blood Disorder Project. The not-for-profit collaboration between Canada's renowned Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and various institutions across six Caribbean islands works to provide the best possible management for paediatric cancer and to improve outcomes for children affected by cancers and serious blood disorders in the region. Stewart also founded and sits as Chairman of We Care for Cornwall Regional Hospital, a local non-profit organisation that brings together Montego Bay-based individuals to raise funds and improve the facilities of the nearby Cornwall Regional Hospital.
Underlining his reputation as a staunch advocate of education, Stewart established an internationally-accredited private sector educational institute, the Sandals Corporate University/ ATL Academy of Excellence. Launched in early 2012, the Sandals Corporate University pushes the boundaries of distance learning in the Caribbean with over 4,100 team members enrolling in the University to date, and the resorts themselves reaching new levels of excellence.
In 2016, Stewart received the Order of Distinction (Commander Class) for outstanding contribution to tourism and the hotel industry. The Order of Distinction is a national honour conferred by the Government of Jamaica upon citizens who render outstanding and important services to the country. Additionally, he was appointed a member of Jamaica’s Economic Growth Council and a member of the Board of Directors of the Port Authority of Jamaica by Prime Minister, The Most Honourable Andrew Holness. These appointments were shortly followed by another commendable accomplishment when he was asked by Jamaica's Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, to lead the Tourism Linkages Committee in the capacity of Chairman. Stewart also currently holds the post of First Vice-President for the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association. Stewart also received the award for 2016 Caribbean American Mover & Shaker – Humanitarian of the Year from the Caribbean Media Network.
Within the local community, Stewart continues to serve as ambassador to the University of the West Indies, helping to promote higher education in Western Jamaica and throughout the island and region at large.
Adam and his wife Jill are proud parents to son Aston and daughters Sloane and Camden.