#Bahamas, October 18, 2017 – Nassau – Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames said, on October 16, 2017 that the first Transitional Entrepreneurial Training Seminar Between The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC) provided an outlet for senior members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to redirect their expertise.
“Using their professional background, they will be able to focus on business development with the technical assistance of BAIC experts which all bodes well for the economic development of our nation,” Minister Dames said, during the official opening of the entrepreneurial programme, held at BAIC, in the Soldier Road Industrial Park.
Also taking park in the ceremony were RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel; BAIC Executive Chairman Miriam Emmanuel, MP; BAIC General Manager Troy Sampson; senior Government Officials, BAIC staff members; RBDF Executives, Officers, Warrant Officers and Non-commissioned Officers; and seminar participants.
Minister Dames noted that he was pleased to be associated with “this innovative partnership” between the RBDF and BAIC and, therefore, commended all concerned for their visionary leadership and collaboration in making the programme a reality.
“I am certain that the Member of Parliament for MICAL would agree that this programme fits well into BAIC’s mantra of ‘Growing. Partnering. Empowering’; and with the Defence Force’s motto of ‘Guard Our Heritage’,” Minister Dames said.
“I understand that this joint venture was an idea that was initially presented to the General Manager at BAIC, Mr. Troy Sampson, by Commodore Tellis Bethel,” Minister Dames pointed out. “Commodore Bethel has advised me that Mr. Sampson and his team welcomed and developed the idea without hesitation. I applaud both you and the teams that supported you in this joint venture.”
Minister Dames stated that the topics and activities that would be covered during the seminar were “impressive.”
“They include local stock market investing, venture capital, government and private funding, tours of industrial parks and farms, and much more,” he said.
Minister Dames added that the more than 30 men and women taking part in the pilot programme had all served over 25 years in the Defence Force and will more than likely be exploring those areas of business in which they would have developed some degree of skill.
“I am made to understand that most, if not all, of you would have worked in at least two or more departments during your tenure in the Defence Force, thereby adding to your overall ability to brainstorm and implement unique solutions through creative enterprise,” he said. “In the business arena, your sense of discipline, commitment, hard work and responsibility are vital keys to your success.”
Minister Dames said that it should be mentioned that the entrepreneurial programme falls under the RBDF’s Operation Transformation, which is one of five strategic goals that have been set for the organization.
“Operation Transformation, I am advised, aims to invest in the leadership, management and supervisory skills of members of the Defence Force, as well as the development of their character, and their professional and vocational skills,” he noted. “This initiative therefore makes it possible for Defence Force members to fulfill their vision of setting the standard of excellence in leadership, integrity and achievement in guarding their heritage.”
The entrepreneurial seminar was, therefore, a part of a greater undertaking, Minister Dames stated.
“I urge you to ask questions, gain as much insight as you can into the business world, develop your business plans, and take full advantage of this wonderful opportunity for personal advancement,” he said.
Minister Dames said that he was also made to understand that, as a pilot programme, the seminar allowed for constructive feedback, which would be directed towards “constant improvement and expansion” for future participants in what is intended to be an ongoing programme.
“It should be noted that the initial launch of this programme was slated to begin nearly a year ago but had to be rescheduled due to the passage of Hurricane Matthew then and Hurricane Irma earlier this year,” Minister Dames pointed out. “Defence Force participants were subsequently called off to safeguard the Bahamian public and to provide disaster relief assistance.”
“Nevertheless, time and opportunity have reemerged to permit the programme to resume,” he added. “The experiences along the journey are practical reminders that the road to success is filled with many obstacles; however, if we keep pressing forward, upward, onward and together, eventually we will succeed.”
To the seminar participants, Minister Dames reiterated that they were being presented with an “incredible opportunity.”
“It is my hope that you maximize the use of the opportunities being made available to you for the successful development of your future dreams,” he said. “I thank you and congratulate you on another major milestone for the Defence Force and I wish you all the best of success.”
By: Eric Rose (BIS)
Photo caption: Minister of National Security the Hon. Marvin Dames speaks, on October 16, 2017, at the Official Opening Ceremony of the first Transitional Entrepreneurial Training Seminar Between The Royal Bahamas Defence Force and Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation at BAIC.
(BIS Photos/Kristaan Ingraham)