JAM | Mar 21, 2023

Thalia Lyn stepping down as Island Grill CEO

/ Our Today

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Being replaced by Tania Waldron-Gooden, who will take up office on May 1

Thalia Lyn, founder and outgoing CEO of Island Grill. (Photo: Contributed)

Durrant Pate/Contributor

Local quick service food chain, Island Grill today (March 21) announced that its founder, Thalia Lyn, is stepping down as chief executive officer (CEO).

Lyn is being replaced by business executive Tania Waldron-Gooden, who will take office on May 1.

The appointment of the new CEO was made by company chairman Howard Mitchell, along with members of the founding Lyn family and David McRae, and announced to team members across the island.

In making the announcement, Mitchell spoke to the new strategic plans being undertaken by the company, including the expansion of its physical footprint and other innovations to its existing offerings.

“Tania is joining our executive team at an exciting time in the company and we feel her experience and background make her an excellent choice to join and lead the executive team,” Mitchell said.

Noting that the strategic moves would also see the departure of the chain’s founder from the role of CEO, Mitchell remarked: “I am thrilled that Tania is joining our team in this role. Her exceptional achievements in her career, her values and commitment to the development of Jamaica and Jamaican companies makes her absolutely ideal and we are truly welcoming her.”

Lyn’s future role at Island Grill

Lyn will, however, still play an integral role on the board of directors and perform a significant role in the development and innovations planned over the next 12-24 months.

For her part, the outgoing CEO remarked: “I have decided to change my focus and pace at Island Grill. The Board and executive team and myself are aligned and know that, with all the plans we have, we welcome renewed energy and external expertise to take this brand and company to the next level.”

She added: “Admittedly, it was a tough process mentally to get to this point, but I am very pleased with where we have reached, both as a business and as a family. I really am overjoyed that Tania has a bigger role at Island Grill and has accepted the opportunities ahead.”

Waldron-Gooden, who is known for her experience in finance and business development, most recently as CEO of Caribbean Assurance Brokers, brings a broad range of new skills and opportunities to the company.

Tania Waldron-Gooden, incoming CEO of Island Grill.

She is not entirely new to the company as she has, for the past three years, served as a board member and chairperson of the audit committee.

Waldron-Gooden, in her response, said: “I am really honoured and humbled by the responsibility of this new position. No one can truly fill Thalia Lyn’s heels. Thalia is one of the most beloved leaders in Jamaica, and her story and what she has achieved is legendary. The opportunity and trust she and her family have placed in me, make me both honoured and excited all at the same time. My intention is to add even more value and help to chart the best course for Island Grill into the future.”

Waldron-Gooden will work closely with the existing executive team, which currently consists of Michael and Denise Lyn. Michael Lyn, son of Thalia ,shared his enthusiasm for what comes next for both his mother and Island Grill.

He said: “Mom has built a tremendous company and legacy and it is an incredible achievement. Thalia is Island Grill and Island Grill is Thalia and we know she will never truly slow down. She’s going to want to keep abreast of our continued progress and will remain connected as a director. I think that’s a good thing, it keeps her young.”


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