Oceana’s New Leader Janelle Chanona Clarifies Floyd Neal’s Dismissal.

vlcsnap-2014-01-06-18h17m18s104Oceana axed its Administrative Director Floyd Neal after 3 years of service. In August  of 2013, Floyd Neal, temporarily took charge of Oceana’s office in Belize as the acting Vice President. At the same time, Alex Munoz, Vice President for Oceana in South America, took responsibility for Oceana in Belize and also headed the search for the New Vice President in the Office of Belize. Munoz told the media, in a press conference held August of last year, that no decisions were to be made in regards to the existing staff before the new leader was chosen; job security was assured to the existing staff.

vlcsnap-2014-01-06-18h09m24s229Alex Munoz- Vice President for Oceana in South America

“The staff is in the office. They are working regularly and there is no decision made on the staff.  We will respect the job security; we will respect all of the labour laws applicable here.  But I want to be very clear; the new leader has the responsibility to keep being effective and that person will, of course, define if he or he needs more staff or the same staff, or want to make changes. 

However, despite the promise of job security, Oceana made a statement that put  Neal’s position in question.

At that time Oceana also announced that the new leader of the office will be a country director, and the second in OCEANA logocommand will be the Office Administrator, and that the new Office Administrator will have more responsibilities than the Administrative Director, which was currently occupied by Neal.

This raised many concerns since the new job descriptions of the office’s first and second in command overlapped that of the Administrative Director.

It was a widely shared opinion that Floyd Neal would imminently be declared redundant and made void. Plus News understands that this is exactly what occurred last week, as Floyd Neal was called in and informed that his services would no longer be required. Decisions like these, we were told by Munoz, would only be made by the leader of the Office in Belize, which, as it has been announced today, will be former reporter and anchor of channel 5 Janelle Chanona, who began work at the office today. However the new leader of Oceana in Belize said that she was not part of that decision, and that it is a decision being made in all offices of Oceana worldwide; she explains.

vlcsnap-2014-01-06-18h11m29s199Ms. Janelle Chanona- Vice President of OCEANA Belize

“What I understand is that its higher organization worldwide is creating a brand new post.  That administrator will have increased duties to the job chain, and for the first time, they have to change because the clarifications are different.  So, it’s not a conspiracy theory or anything against Mr. Neal, and he I believe which they had put out the notice, early or later last year in August, September or October”.

It is an entirely different environment that Janelle Chanona is entering, but she seems quite excited about taking on this new post. She explained to us the first steps that she will be taking as the new Vice President.

Ms. Janelle Chanona:  “Certainly, going into this new term of office, we are going to be meeting with our non-governmental and governmental partners.   It is really  kind of sized up where we are and where we are going to go next in addition status, we certainly we no ah back in a way from these positions that we have taken, but certainly we are going to add to our list of  responsibilities”.

Reporter:  “Do you have any idea of how long you will be in office?”

vlcsnap-2014-01-03-09h52m00s48Ms. Janelle Chanona:  “No.  Today is day one.  I came into the office this morning for the first time but I think I’ll stay until I can’t do anything more. Certainly, I came into this wanting to help and yeah, I feel like am doing 

Chanona has some very big shoes to fill left by the former leader of Oceana Audrey Matura-Shepherd, which Chanona acknowledged.

In a press release sent out this morning, Oceana’s CEO Andrew F. Sharpless, is quoted as saying, “She has the right combination of skills and passion to be an excellent leader and to help Oceana win policy victories that protect Belize’s amazing barrier reef and its marine resources.” 

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