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TCI: Travel Agents Shine Bright at Sandals Resorts Annual S.T.A.R Awards



#TurksandCaicos, February 07, 2018 – Providenciales – Sandals Resorts International (SRI) celebrated the 16th Annual Sandals Travel Agency Recognition (S.T.A.R.) Awards to honor the top travel agents in the SRI network, on January 26, 2018 at beautiful Beaches Turks & Caicos.  A total of 300 travel agents and companions from North America, Canada and Latin America attended the conference in Providenciales to be recognized for their hard work and dedication to the Sandals brand.  Many notable figures from the Turks and Caicos community attended the awards ceremony, including the Governor of Turks and Caicos Islands, His Excellency Dr. John Freeman; Deputy Governor, Her Excellency Anya Williams; The Premier of Turks & Caicos Islands, Hon. Sharlene Cartwight-Robinson and Minister of Tourism, Hon. Ralph Higgs.

Many travel agents displayed their stellar work with top award wins, including the Chairman’s Award for Eileen Nason of Discenerning Journeys; the CEO Award of Excellence for Tracy Mcgaughey of A-Aarons All Inclusive Travel and Flemming Friisdahl of Travel Agent Next Door; and Wedding Vibe as the top USA Sandals travel agency. Below is a full breakdown of all S.T.A.R. Awards winners.


Sandals Resorts created the S.T.A.R. Awards in 2002 as a way to recognize top travel agents and their agencies as well as showcase the latest resort products and on-island attractions.  In addition to top product, regional and national categories, the S.T.A.R. Awards announced the Worldwide Top Ten Travel Agencies, Chairman and CEO Awards and the Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Among the impressive awards taken home this year, the distinguished group of winners included the following:

  • Lifetime Achievement Awards:

o    Kim Cook, Love To Travel

o    Wanda Keefer, All-Seasons Vacations

o    Mary Fowler, Riverside Tours And Travel

o    Marcia Perkins, Destination Wedding.Com

o    Georgiann Jowarskji,  Custom Travel Services

o    Bonnie Rygg-Haley – Bon Voyage Travel

o    Lisa Hoppe, Lisa Hoppe Consulting

o    Robert Rizzo, Travel Only

o    Barbara Scrocco, Travel Only

o    Lisa Tetzlaff, Valente Travel


  • Outstanding Achievement- Social Media:

o    Katie May,  Classic Travel Connections


  • CEO’s Award of Excellence:

o    Tracy Mcgaughey, A-Aarons All Inclusive Travel

o    Flemming Friisdahl, Travel Agent Next Door


  • Chairman’s Award:

o    Eileen Nason, Discerning Journeys


  • Outstanding Sales Achievement-Weddings:

o    Marcia Perkins, Destination Weddings.Com

o    Lynn Thomas, Alpha World Travel

o    Wanda Keefer, All-Seasons Vacations

o    Denise Kerkhoff, Wedding Vibe

o    Terri Flood, Escapes Unlimited, Az

JS Johnson Insert

  • Worldwide Top Sandals Travel Agency:

o    For Usa – Wedding Vibe

o    For Canada – Tripcentral.Ca, Bedford


  • Worldwide Contribution to the Sandals Foundation:

o    Wanda Keefer owner of


  • Worldwide Top Ten Travel Agencies:
  1. Wedding Vibe, Bristol
  2. Enchanted Honeymoons, Omaha
  3. Twinsburg Travel Cruise Inc.
  4. Royal Travel, Maryville
  5. Island Getaways, Brookfield
  6. Discerning Journeys
  7. V.I.P. Vacations Inc.
  8. Loyalty One Travel Services, Canada
  9. Escapes Unlimited, Az, Llc
  10. Classic Travel Connections


  • Top Retail Travel Agency Chain Worldwide:

o    Liberty Travel


  • Top Producing Agency in Latin America:

o    Honeymoons SAC/Travel shop, Peru


Release: Sandals Resorts


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Caribbean News

USA Caribbean Investment Forum: Partnering for Sustained Development in the Caribbean 2023 Event Recap



The USA Caribbean Investment Forum took place over two days last week at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square. The event, hosted by the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) in partnership with representatives of the CARICOM Consular Corps (namely, the Consulates General of Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Antigua & Barbuda), brought together government officials, investment promotion agencies, entrepreneurs, and business leaders from the Caribbean diaspora to connect, engage in thoughtful discussions, and explore investment opportunities throughout the Caribbean.

Fostering International Collaboration

The event featured distinguished speakers and representatives from both the US and Caribbean governments. Consuls General Mr. Mackie Holder (Barbados), Mr. Jerome Andre Laveau (Trinidad & Tobago), and Mr. Rondy McIntosh (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) along with Jeanette Moy, Commissioner of the NYS Office of General Services, Edward Mermelstein, NYC Commissioner of International Affairs, and Molly Bauer, Industry Development Associate from the NY Governor’s Office, shed light on the initiatives that New York City, which is home to so many Caribbean Diaspora, is implementing to support economic collaboration between the regions.

Engaging with Global Leaders

Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism & Ports, Cayman Islands, and Chair of Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Hon. E. Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment, Turks and Caicos Islands delivered insights via keynote speeches and held candid discussions during panel and Q&A sessions. The event served as a unique opportunity to communicate in an open and honest forum with two esteemed leaders from the Caribbean about investing in the region.

Promoting Investment Opportunities

CAIPA welcomed representatives from Invest Barbados, Invest Dominica, Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC), InvesTT (Trinidad and Tobago), Invest Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA), Invest St. Lucia, Invest St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the Bahamas Investment Authority, the Curacao Investment and Export Promotion Agency (CINEX), and the Sint Maarten Ministry of Tourism, Economy, Transport and Telecommunications, to discuss various opportunities for investment in their respective countries and how their agencies support and facilitate potential investors.

Hearing Private Sector Success Stories

Private sector companies including the St. James School of Medicine, Century21 Guyana, Ethniv, and Homestrings joined the forum to discuss their current active projects in the Caribbean.  They detailed how they’ve worked with local governments and institutions to successfully launch and operate their businesses in the Caribbean, along with the potential opportunities for continued growth.

Understanding How Caribbean Financial Institutions Facilitate Investment

The Forum brought together key representatives from Caribbean financial and economic development institutions: IDB Lab (Ms. Magdalena Coronel, Chief Investment Officer), the National Commercial Bank Jamaica LTD (Mr. Jeffrey Brown, Head, Loans Structuring and Syndications), USAID (Mr. Mervyn Farroe, USAID representative for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean), and the Caribbean Development Bank (Ms. Lisa Harding, Private Sector Development Specialist) to detail how these organizations facilitate and support private investment in the Caribbean.

Forging Connections

Attendees had the opportunity to meet directly with CAIPA member countries during business meetings.  These one-on-one conversations were valuable opportunities to speak directly with key stakeholders in order to advance projects and forge direct relationships.

The inaugural USA Caribbean Investment Forum was a great success due to the collaboration and engagement from individuals representing a wide range of sectors, organizations, and countries – all united under the goal of driving economic growth in the Caribbean and taking advantage of the enormous opportunities available in the region.  CAIPA and the representatives of the CARICOM Consular Corps are proud to have facilitated these conversations and supported deepening of relationships with key stakeholders throughout the US and the Caribbean.  We look forward to our next event, which will be held on 6-8 March in Miami (Caribbean Logistics Investment Conference 2024) – focused on attracting investments into logistics and transportation by sea and air as well as e-commerce logistics and industrial logistics parks throughout the Caribbean.  Stay tuned for more details!If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the CAIPA mailing list, please visit: to sign up for our newsletter.

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Babies exposed to Fentanyl at daycare, one dead and Mayor expresses outrage



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 


#USA, September 26, 2023 – A New York woman was arrested for murder following the death of a 1-year-old boy at her daycare centre which authorities say was also being used to store illicit drugs.  Grei Mendez was charged with one of her tenants, a male, Carlisto Acevedo Brito, over the shocking incident.

One-year-old Nicholas Dominici died of a suspected fentanyl overdose after being exposed to the drug in the daycare.  In an update from the NYPD via Facebook live, we learned a kilo of fentanyl had been sitting in the same place where the children napped; three other babies reportedly had to be revived with a fentanyl antidote Narcan.

They were all two years old or younger.

Eric Adams, New York City Mayor, was enraged by the incident.  He described it as ‘total madness.’

“Less than the size of a fingernail can kill an adult, so imagine what it would do to a child, you are irresponsible as an adult if you have this inside your home,” he said, “this is probably one of the worst days I’ve had walking into the Bronx– sitting down with those parents– what do you even say?”

Joe Kenny, Chief Detective on the case, revealed that around 2:41 on September 15, they responded to calls of three unconscious children at the licensed daycare centre.  Emergency Medical personnel quickly recognized the symptoms and administered the antidote, saving two lives.  Only two hours earlier, a mother had picked up the fourth child, who began to exhibit symptoms at home.  He was administered Narcan as well.

All the children had fentanyl in their systems.

The accused are facing charges of murder, attempted murder and depraved indifference.

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TWO SEXUAL Assault Cases begin in Providenciales Supreme Court



Wilkie Arthur

Freelance Court Reporter



#TurksandCaicos, September 26, 2023 – On Monday 25th September 2023 in the Providenciales Supreme Court before her Ladyship Ms. Tanya Lobban Jackson and a seven member Jury to be empaneled, there are TWO sexual assault/rape cases are listed to commence.

TRIAL 1: NICHOLL PRUDHOMME allegation date is on January 17th, 2022. The defendant is represented by Ms. Sheena Mair, who is also on bail.

The reported virtual complainant in this case is an adult in her 20’s.

TRIAL 2: DARROL FORBES allegations totaling six counts linked to alleged sexual abuse of one of his underage daughters.

The incidents, for which Forbes is being tried, range in dates from June 1st to August 31st  in 2020.

Forbes is represented by Keith James and is on bail.

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