The party was hosted by Yvonne Johnson, Director-Owner, and both her adult children, Ian Lejuez, Operations Manager and Stephanie Lejuez, Manager.
While the family welcomed their guests warmly, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were served on the al fresco terrace, then Stephanie addressed the audience in a very charming and charismatic style sharing a power-point presentation and interesting notes and anecdotes, focusing on the company’s history.
Johnson’s Enterprises, she shared, was established by grandparents Ambrose and Esmey Johnson, 37 years, and 9 days ago. It all started with Hitler and Stalin, she recounted with a smile on her face, and she was not referring to the notorious German and Russian despots but to her grandfather’s donkeys, the company’s first means of transportation.
Grandpa Ambrose transported goods with the help of his donkeys on the island of Saba, earning a small but stable income. Then both grandparents immigrated to Aruba in search of economic opportunity. Ambrose worked for the refinery for many years, and thanks to his entrepreneurial spirit, also operated a private vessel, and a chicken farm, hence his nickname, Chicken Johnson.
Grandma Esmey ran her own liquor & grocery shop, and always helped grandfather in any of his many business ventures. In 1966, the grandparents launched Antilles Light, purchasing 5 pieces of heavy equipment from the refinery. Uncle Stuart and Aunt Barbara pitched in to provide some additional management. They eventually spun off to create their own successful ventures, namely Star Enterprises and Stu Import-Export in the USA.
The company’s first contract was a demolition site at the colony, and Yvonne, the current Director -Owner of the company helped out her parents on that project by salvaging the floor tiles. Grandpa was a firm believer in recycling, and he came up with the idea to sell the tiles instead of breaking them. Yvonne fondly remembers the blisters which taught her about finding extra business opportunities, every step of the way.
Johnson Enterprises survived the shutdown of the refinery in 1985, remaining open and successful to this day. Yvonne, has been the sole owner since 2009 and Ian and Stephanie look forward to becoming the 3rd generation owners someday, maintaining the companies course for many generations to come.
The new logo, builds on the original one, which was designed by grandpa who borrowed the shape of the Chevron insignia and the colors of the Dutch flag. The current logo strongly relies on grandpa’s creation. It was conceived by Greg Carvalhal of CaribMedia, who delivered a contemporary, yet industrial look, both dynamic and aesthetic, incorporating the company activities and its initials.
The new website is also a source of pride, at www.jearuba.com, describing all that the company has to offer, including a home page, a page about the diverse services such as heavy equipment rental & transport, waste management & collection, body shop, sand and soda blast, refinery services, and a page about the company’s commitment to the environment. Johnson’s Enterprises N.V., is located at Byerlite z/n, Savaneta
Pictured here the family in an unforgettable party moment at the launch of the logo and website.