In his 33 years with the company, Wendell Bonafacio has become the face of Curaçaose Wegenbouw Maatschappij (CWM), but he will be retiring in 2023. In 2019, he became cluster director for the Janssen de Jong companies on Curaçao and Bonaire. The transition to his successor Pierre Montesant as the brand-new director of CWM and BWM (Bonaire) has started this year. Just like Bonafacio, Montesant has worked his way up within the company and partly because of this, he knows the ins & outs of the company. Both shed light on the wide spectrum of services and products of CWM, which shows how open they are to customers, large and small, and are not averse to thinking and acting unconventionally.
Bonafacio had already made his mark in the construction industry, including in St. Maarten, when he returned to his island and joined CWM in 1989. “People speak curtly of ‘Road construction’, because that has become a concept,” Bonafacio laughs. From 2011 he acted as director of CWM (and BWM/Bonaire). In those early years there was still a kind of bonanza for construction. Major land development plans were drawn up (6 to 7 per year) and the government was renovating roads, which meant that there was constant work to be done. This gradually declined, partly because the economy has not been prospering for decades. Allotment plans were divided into parts and implemented sparsely. To keep afloat in an increasingly shrinking infrastructure market, it was necessary to diversify.
Wendell Bonafacio looks back on moments of peaks, but also of troughs in which the company had to hold its own. After having worked under 12 directors himself, Bonafacio will soon leave behind a healthy company after almost 12 years at the top – CWM will be 70 years old next year and BWM 60 years, with many employees who have found employment there from father to son. He will soon leave with the firm conviction that the companies will at least reach their 100th anniversary. For the time being, the journey to there, rests on the shoulders of Pierre Montesant, but like Wendell Bonafacio, he is assured of the full cooperation and support of the entire company and the Group.