Caribbean Business – Who Is John Paul DeJoria, Antigua’s New Ambassador-At-Large?

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John Paul DeJoria Named Ambassador At Large for the Islands of Antigua and Barbuda (PRNewsfoto/John Paul DeJoria)
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By NAN Business Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Mar. 23, 2018: Hours after Gaston Browne was swept back into office by voters in Antigua and Barbuda, a press release emanating from “John Paul DeJoria” was released on the PR Newswire, announcing that DeJoria had accepted the position of Ambassador-At-Large for the islands. So who is John Paul DeJoria? Here are 6 things you should know:

1: LA-born John Paul DeJoria, 73, promotes himself as a global serial entrepreneur and philanthropist.  He is worth some US 3.4 billion according to Forbes.

2: Once homeless, he overcame adversity, and went on to build two billion dollar brands – leading professional hair care manufacturer, John Paul Mitchell Systems and Patrón Spirits, and several global enterprises. He started his first company, John Paul Mitchell Systems with partner, Paul Mitchell and a borrowed $700.

3: In 2014, he was slapped with a $5 Million lawsuit from salon employees of the Paul Mitchell schools over ‘failure to pay minimum wages’ and in 2016 the school was sued for debt harassment. Also, in 2014 DeJoria’s company settled a lawsuit on behalf of Patron Tequila with a former company manager who had alleged he was owed more than $70 million in unpaid bonuses before he was fired.

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4: DeJoria says the appointment comes from a long-standing relationship he has with the island and its community through development and conservation efforts he’s initiated to benefit and enhance the islands. “It is an honor to be recognized by a region that I care so deeply about,” he was quoted as saying.  “The people here are resilient, but in need and I’m very fortunate to be in a position to assist helping to rebuild of this community, and be a voice for them abroad.”

Prime Minister Browne was quoted as saying that in the position of Ambassador, “John Paul will work to promote the best interests of these unique and beautiful islands, coordinating with the World, and Embassies, Consulates and Missions of Antigua and Barbuda in the USA, and advising my office on opportunities that will benefit the region.”

5: DeJoria says his life motto “is Success Unshared is Failure,” and he says that is the driving force guiding his philanthropic activities, and his investment in the people of Antigua and Barbuda.

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6: DeJoria says he now dedicates himself to numerous charitable causes through his philanthropy hub, JP’s Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation, and has committed to donate more than half of his wealth to philanthropy through his signing of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet’s, “The Giving Pledge.”