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EVAN M. WILLIAMS
Jamaican born, British educated, and American trained, Mr. Williams has established an international network of professional and personal relationships, not only in the field of Architecture, Art, and Design, but also in Entertainment and Tourism.
After graduating from Sir Christopher Wren in London, Stuyvesant High School in New York, Evan attended Pratt Institute in New York then returned to Jamaica. In 1972 he opened Design Collaborative, an Architectural/Town Planning/and Quantity Surveying Consultancy (www.designcollaborativeinternational.com), now in its 39th year, having established associate offices in Barbados, Trinidad, St. Lucia, United Kingdom and Ghana.
Mr. Williams' success is paralleled with the growth of Tourism and Infrastructural Development in the Region, providing consultancy services, not only in the Caribbean but also North and South America, The United Kingdom, Spain, and East Africa and West Africa. His clients have included WORLD BANK, CARIBBEAN DEVELOPMENT BANK, ODA, USAID, HILTON, SANDALS, SUPERCLUBS, TRUST HOUSE FORTE AND WYNDHAM HOTELS, GOVERNMENTS OF ANTIGUA, BARBADOS, DOMINICA, JAMAICA, AND TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO.
Evan Williams’ entrepreneurial, promotional, and marketing skills have been applied to his various eclectic endeavors over the years. In 1971 Evan designed and opened Epiphany, Jamaica's first "theme" discotheque, which enjoyed 21 years of popularity that attracted an upscale international clientele. In 1978, inspired by the success of Epiphany, he designed and created Theophany, the first multi-use dining facility in Jamaica. It included an Italian Restaurant, an English Pub and an American Games Room. His upscale restaurant/café, Redbones the Blues Cafe has been enjoying "reservations only" status since its opening fifteen years ago. In the July 2003 issue of Caribbean Travel and Life Redbones was featured for its culinary delights as well as a Show Place for live Jazz and Blues Entertainment. It has also appeared in Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Yahoo Travel, Fodors, In Focus and Rough Guide – Jamaica. In November 2012, Redbones 15 – a 250 page Coffee Table book was published chronicling the events and individuals who have made Redbones a cultural watering hole for Kingston over the past decade and a half.
For the past ten years Evan M. Williams has held the post of visiting lecturer in the Graduate School of The Caribbean School of Architecture. He was featured in the April 2001 issue of Air Jamaica's Skywritings chronicling his influence on Resort Architecture throughout the Caribbean over the past 25 years. He has appeared in the 2002 Issue of Caribbean Design, a regional magazine describing the Architecture of the tropics, other publications include Interiors Magazine, All That’s Good (the story of Butch Stewart, the man behind Sandals Resorts).
In 1981 Mr. Williams and Jamaica born actress Madge Sinclair partnered to establish and open Giammaica Gallery in Venice, California. The opportunity now existed for artists such as Dr. David Boxer, Colin Garland, Gene Pearson, Kapo, Barington Watson and others to bring their work to an international audience. Through Evan's efforts, Dr. David Boxer the curator of the National Gallery of Jamaica, in association with the Smithsonian Institute mounted the first ever-traveling exhibition of Jamaican Art.
Promoting natural, social, and cultural diversity is central to Mr. Williams’s philosophy with respect to his contribution to Jamaican society at every level. Thus, his concern and commitment in seeking a solution to the problem of providing affordable housing after 1988's Hurricane Gilbert. He helps create the Stramit Agrofibre Building System (www.stramit.co.uk) and personally financed its subsequent construction, which sought to provide low cost, low tech housing. The system enabled two semi-skilled labourers and three skilled tradesmen to erect a 500 sq. ft. house in one week.
In 1989 Evan was inspired by a documentary about the eminent closure of the Best Care Lodge, which provided a home for abandoned mentally and physically handicapped children. He utilized his vast network of business associates and personal friends, writing letters to 25 of Jamaica's most influential individuals and organizations soliciting their financial help. He rose in excess of the hundreds of thousands of dollars required to buy the property which now houses some sixty children. Mr. Williams is still active in the ongoing challenge of supporting and maintaining Best Care Lodge and was instrumental in the successful petitioning of Government for tax deductible/tax exempt status. Best Care Lodge is now classified as a foundation.
Evan mounted the largest theatrical production in the English speaking Caribbean with his 1994 production of Revelations, a reggae, gospel music based on the Jesus story, in collaboration with Michael Butler of “Hair” fame.
In 1998, Mr. Williams instigated the establishment of an Ecological Reserve, promoting the reforestation of the endangered Royestonia Princeps palm as well as the preservation of the Negril morass for the conservation and sustainable use of a National resource.
Evan understands that Tourism has become the largest industry in the world, generating 2.5 trillion dollars in annual revenues worldwide. For developing countries like Jamaica to maximize its potential for earning foreign exchange it will require bold and innovative approaches to marketing strategies that respect the peoples, communities, and environment of destination areas.
Mr. Williams has participated in Tourism Trends, an international conference in London sponsored by The Daily Telegraph (UK) and Tourism Concern, a British tourism advocacy network, to debate the world-wide impact of the "all-inclusive" concept on local communities, particularly in developing countries.
His commitment to the future, Jamaica’s future, motivates him to take a more active position in the international community. He brings passion for his beloved Jamaica, in addition to 40 years of experience in Tourism and his intimate knowledge of the elements that make up the industry.
Mr. Williams is currently involved in a number of projects related to Tourism among these are:
Evan M. Williams is married and has two grown daughters.