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John Woods, popular businessman dead at 75

As the news of John Woods passing spread many were deeply saddened, especially those whose lives he impacted. Woods was a successful businessman, a Rotarian and a philanthropist.  Robert Usher, President of the Rotary Club of Belize shared some of his accomplishments.

Robert Usher – President of Rotary Club: “John has done so many things in this country. So many things, you just have to look around. As a builder you look at the Hummingbird Highway from Belmopan all the way to Middlesex. You look at the Southern Highway going down Mile 6 going down to Independence and from Independence down to Punta Gorda. You look at the Chalillo Dam. He built the first Cofferdam. I think he built other Cofferdams for the other hydroelectric projects in Belize. The slogan for Rotary is Service Above Self but he went over and above service above self. He was really an outstanding Rotarian.”

Woods prospered at everything he put his hands to. Apart from owning Cisco Construction, he was involved in Old Belize, BERT, and the Kolbe Foundation. Virgilio Murillo, the Chief Executive Officer, at the Kolbe Foundation said that Woods was a humanitarian who liked to uplift others. He shared how Woods was able to transform the prison.

Virgilio Murillo – CEO, Kolbe Foundation: Definitely one of the things he did besides improving areas of food, sanitation, water and even bedding because there were like 300 beds for 900 prisoners back then so besides doing those things, putting up additional infrastructure and all of that. He also introduced rehabilitation programs. He introduced programs such as Drug Addiction Treatment program, spiritual programs, vocational programs where prisoners learn skills with respect to carpentry, metal works, you name it poultry, piggery whatever and that is aside from the educational program, the spiritual programs like I said. The drug treatment programs and even a radio station he managed to get kick started. The impact the prison can have on reducing the countries crime rate has very much to do with how you treat their prisoners. How the country treats their prisoners and John Woods was definitely like that. He has compassion, he has a heart, he was very humanitarian, he was all about helping people.

Woods in transforming the prison received international recognition. Ronald Nikkel, former CEO of Prison Fellowship International noted that Woods was able to accomplish “re-offending rate that was far below that of other nations”.  Woods died last Friday evening, losing his two year battle with cancer.