Gordon Stewart

Gordon Stewart (b. 1941) is a Jamaican businessman and owner or chairman of more than two dozen companies throughout the Caribbean, North America and the UK, which includes the popular Sandals chain in its numbers.

Born in Kingston, where at the age of two he acquired the nickname "Butch" from a passing US sailor, the name stuck and Butch began working as a salesman at 17, eventually rising to become sales manager of the Dutch-owned Curaçao Trading Company. In 1968, he left to found his first business, Appliance Traders Ltd, which started out manufacturing air conditioning units but has significantly diversified over the years, and is the founder-company of the Jamaica Observer newspaper. In 1981, Butch purchased a run-down hotel that, with heavy investment, became the first of the adult-only Sandals resorts. The family-friendly 'Beaches' brand later developed as the company grew around the Caribbean. By 2014, Butch had amassed a net worth of circa $1 billion, and owned 24 resort properties on seven Caribbean islands.

Butch is Jamaica’s largest private employer and its main foreign currency earner, and was credited with “saving the Jamaican dollar” when in 1992 he put up $1m of his own money to check the depletion of hard currency in the official banking system. Ordinary Jamaicans followed his patriotic lead, with the result that the dollar was stabilised and confidence returned to the Jamaican economy. Two years later, he led a group of investors to take control of the crisis-struck Air Jamaica. Under Butch’s chairmanship the airline was radically overhauled, opening new Caribbean routes, bringing on new Airbus jets and establishing a Montego Bay hub for flights to and from the US.

Butch served as a Director of the Jamaica Tourist Board for a decade, and as President of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association from 1984–1988. He was a recipient of Caribbean World Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.

Gordon was honoured by the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2003