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« 09-04-2009 »2009 STAR AWARDS
TCHTA RECOGNIZES THE SHINING STARS IN THE TCI HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY PROVIDENCALES, Turks and Caicos Islands: Monday, March 23rd, 2009 – Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) hosted its first annual ‘Star Awards’ at Treasure Beach last Thursday evening.

It was a night of celebration and not even the scattered showers could deter the crowd of hospitality representatives, industry partners and guests. The Star Awards was held to recognize employees and industry partners, “the shining stars” who have gone above and beyond the call of duty and to acknowledge the commitment and contribution over the years to the success of the hospitality industry.

The award criteria was developed for each category and members of the TCHTA were asked to submit their nominations for each of the fourteen different categories. All of the winners were chosen by an independent selection committee with the exception of the ‘Hotel Of The Year’ and ‘Hotelier Of The Year’, which were judged by the Tourist Board, and the ‘Allied Member Of The Year’, which was judged by TCHTA Board Members. “

The underlying criteria for the awards were Customer Service and Hospitality,” stated Caesar Campbell, CEO of the TCHTA. “We urged all of our members of the Association to nominate any individual, or in some cases, a particular resort, they felt deserved recognition for their pivotal role in building the tourism industry. It was important that the judges were impartial so an independent judging panel selected the winners based on how well each of the entries met the set criteria. We were extremely pleased with the response especially considering this is our first year, and we look forward to growing the awards to become a major annual event for the hospitality industry”.

There were fourteen categories and awards presented to the winners that evening. A Lifetime Achievement Award was also up for grabs to an individual who, over his or her lifetime, has made a difference in the industry by their actions, contributions and great achievements in the TCI and beyond. The winners of the various categories are:

1.Bartender of the Year – Floyd Forbes, The Meridian on Pine Cay

2.Taxi Driver of the year – Oswald 'Ozzie' Virgil, Virgil’s Taxi

3.Housekeeper of the Year – Shirley Morgan, The Sands at Grace Bay

4.Employee of the Year – Warren Bennett, The Somerset at Grace Bay

5.Supervisor of the Year – Marjon Limboc, The Somerset at Grace Bay

6.Manager of the Year – Stanley Forbes, Turks & Caicos Club

7.Chef of the year – Colin Watson, Beaches Resort Villages & Spa

8.TCHTA Shining Star – Stan Hartling, The Regent Palms

9.Heart of Hospitality – Nicola Reid, The Sands at Grace Bay

10.TCHTA Ambassador Award – Floyd Forbes, Parrot Cay COMO Shambhala Retreat

11.Hotelier Of The Year Award – Karen Whitt, General Manager from The Somerset Resort

12.Hotel of the Year – Grace Bay Club

13.Allied Member of the Year - Times of the Islands Publications

14.Lifetime Achievement Award – Mark Durliat, Grace Bay Club

A ‘Special Recognition’ award was also presented to Mr. Butch Clare, former President of the TCHTA in recognition of his special contribution to the tourism industry. Mr. Bill Clare, one of the pioneers of Tourism and Provo’s 1st District Commissioner, began the evening by sharing with the audience a history of the tourism industry in the Turks & Caicos Islands. He was followed by Honorable Wayne Garland, Executive Chairman of the Tourist Board who provided the Keynote Address. Hon. Garland stressed on the importance of each employee’s role in the development and success of the tourism industry and encouraged employees to continue to strive for excellence.

The Star Awards also used the occasion to present some of the islands biggest talents and a host of entertainment was showcased. Local musicians past and present were also recognized for their contribution to the industry. Karen Whitt, President of the TCHTA and a member of the Planning Committee was thrilled with the success of the event. “The Star Awards was an absolute hit and we have had nothing but praise and positive feedback from our colleagues and partners. All of the winners are extremely deserving of their awards and it is clear that there is some real talent on our doorstep. The awards were designed to celebrate those, who through their hard work and inspiration have made our destination the most sought after in the region - the awards have only further demonstrated that there are some true ambassadors working in the industry. We are already looking forward to next year and have some exciting ideas for the 2010 event. We hope that the Star Awards provides members of the industry with an added incentive and acts as a driving force to motivate staff to excel in what they do best”. The TCHTA would like to thank the companies who sponsored and supported the Star Awards; Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa, Coca Cola TCI Ltd, Discount Liquors, Graceway IGA, Royal Jewels, The Security Centre and Tropical Imaging. Special thanks to the entertainers: Joel Ryan, David Bowen, Bangers & Crash, Kitch Penn and We Funk Junkanoo, Marvin Henfield, Take4 Tiko-T in association with 88.7Jamz & TUCA.

About the TCHTA The Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) represents a wide range of members from hotels and resorts to insurance companies and financial service providers, from watersports operators to catering outlets, from taxi drivers to human resources. The Association aims to assist the organizations through networking opportunities, training, promotional activities and representation at all levels of decision-making in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the region. Contact: Turks & Caicos Hotel & Tourism Association (TCHTA) Tel: 649.941.5787

Turks & Caicos Hotel & Tourism Association, P.O. Box 251, Salt Mills Plaza, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, B.W.I.
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