Jefferson Sooknarine attended Trinity College from 1968 to 1974 and was an outstanding student who completed his Advanced Level Certificate in 1973 while in lower sixth form. He holds a Master of Science degree in Management from Stanford University in the United States of America.
Despite his sterling academic record at Trinity he was forced to leave school in 1974 to run his father’s business, Caribbean Pride Cosmetics, when the elder Sooknarine was struck with Multiple Sclerosis and could no longer walk. In 1974, recognizing the need for high-quality labels in the Country, the Sooknarines started a printing company called Cariflex. As Managing Director Jeff grew Cariflex into the largest and most successful printing company in the Caribbean by 1994. In 1982, the Sooknarines started Harricrete Ltd with Jeff again as Managing Director. At the peak of its operations in 1994, the family group of companies employed approximately 350 persons but was still solely owned by Jeff’s father, Harry Sooknarine. Therefore in 1994 when Jeff resigned from the business he left with no financial assistance.
In 1994, Jeff wrote the General Management Admissions Test (GMAT) and placed in the top 8 percentile of the 55,000 persons who took the exam. He credits his sound education at Trinity College for this outstanding achievement. Despite not having an undergraduate degree he applied to Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and was accepted to read for a Master’s Degree in Management, a program which he completed with distinction.
In August 1995 Jeff emigrated to the USA with his family. Having no funds, he started Price Choppers Wristbands in 1994 using credit cards for capital. He was later supported in this venture by his sister Lenore who gave him substantial interest-free loans. Because of his experience and business acumen, he grew Price Choppers Wristbands into a successful enterprise despite having to overcome several legal challenges from his main competitor. Today, Price Chopper employs over 70 persons in its manufacturing operations in Florida, Trinidad and China and sells its products globally to hospitals, amusement parks, nightclubs, music concerts and special events.
Apart from his successful business career while in Trinidad, Jeff served on the Boards of The Industrial Development Corporation and The Public Utilities Commission. He was also the Chairman of Metal Industries Company and also served as Chairman of the Board of Finance of the Presbyterian Church.
The Trinity College Alumni Association acknowledges Jefferson Sooknarine for his achievements as an entrepreneur and readily admits him into its Hall of fame.