#Providenciales, May 7, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – A taxi driver’s rantings captured on cell phone video and shared on social media has drawn comment and action from the Ministry of Home Affairs, which is responsible for licensing of the drivers.
Minister Delroy Williams issued a statement today condemning the behavior of the driver, who is licensed by the Road Safety Department and who is caught raging over a pick-up job at the Seven Stars resort; all in plain sight of tourists. An investigation has been launched, said Minister Williams.
“The type of behavior that is being displayed in the video has no place in our jurisdiction and will not be tolerated by individuals to whom we grant permission and entrust confidence to provide public transportation of the highest standard and quality to locals and guests visiting our Islands from overseas. It is even more regrettable that this incident occurred while service was being provided to passengers given our reliance on the tourism industry. I wish to assure the public that we do not take this matter lightly and it will be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
A video, seemingly captured by the taxi operator himself never reveals his identity or that of the taxi driver whose vehicle he stopped and checked, but the audio is clear. The confrontational situation exposed what can only be described an embarrassing scene played out in front of guests to the country.
In the recording, a driver opens the door to what appears to be a taxi with two guests who had just climbed into the vehicle. The guests are questioned about how they came to be in the taxi; the female tourist looks confused and frightened as she and her male companion are told that there is always a problem of drivers picking-up jobs out of turn.
The female guest actually says: “…cause you scared me..” and laughs nervously as it is explained by the ‘aggressive’ taxi driver that all is well.
The driver of the taxi carrying the tourists did demand that the disgruntled driver to move away from the taxi. The angry taxi driver was also asked firmly by an employee of Seven Stars to leave the property and not to return.
An investigation has been launched into the incident and a negative outcome could have dire consequences for the taxi driver.
“Section 11 of the Road Traffic Ordinance provides for the revocation of a licence on being satisfied on reasonable grounds that the licensee has failed to comply with any of the conditions to which the licence is subject. It further provides for the suspension of a licence for any period up to six months on being satisfied that any person to whom such a licence has been issued has conducted himself in such a way as to cause annoyance or nuisance to any member of the public, or generally to bring himself, the Islands or the operation of tourism in the Islands into disrepute.”
The video was circulated on May 2 and the media release today added that, “The Minister’s decision is final should the decision be appealed.”
Grace Bay Beach Crowned Caribbean’s Best
PROVIDENCIALES, TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS (February 29th, 2024) – Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to announce that the world-renowned Grace Bay Beach has been recognised by Tripadvisor’s® Travelers’ Choice® Awards No. 1 Beach in the Caribbean and Best of the Best for 2024, ranking No. 5 among the Top 25 Best of the Best Beaches in the world.
Grace Bay Beach has consistently ranked among the top beaches in the world on the Tripadvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards since 2019. The highest level of Tripadvisor’s awards, the Best of the Best winners are among the top one percent of listings around the world on Tripadvisor.
As the world’s largest travel guidance platform, Tripadvisor has unparalleled authority with travelers and diners. This award is based on genuine feedback from anyone in the community who has visited and left an authentic, first-hand review on Tripadvisor over a 12-month period, making it a valuable and trustworthy designation of travelers’ favourites.
Responding to this latest accolade for the Turks and Caicos Islands’ most famous beach, Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Josephine Connolly said as a luxury destination, the Turks and Caicos Islands has a natural allure with its breathtaking beaches that allows affluent leisure travelers to unwind and relax in comfort.
“Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award is one of the most recognised and coveted awards in the travel space, so it is very valuable to us to have our very own Grace Bay Beach included yet again among the best beaches in the world. I want to thank all of our visitors who continue to make the Turks and Caicos Islands their vacation spot of choice and who enjoy the white sand and clear, turquoise waters of Grace Bay Beach. For those who are yet to experience the beauty of the Turks and Caicos Islands, I urge you to visit and spend some time with us. We look forward to welcoming you,” said the Minister.
“Congratulations to the Turks and Caicos Islands and Grace Bay Beach on its recognition in
Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards Best of the Best for 2024,” said John Boris, Chief Growth Officer at Tripadvisor. “Ranking among the top percentage of businesses globally means you have made such a memorable impact on your visitors that many of them took time to go online and leave a glowing review about their experience. Travelers rely on Tripadvisor’s Best of the Best lists to help them navigate the myriad things to see, eat and do across the globe. We hope this recognition continues to drive business to you in 2024 and beyond.”
Tripadvisor said Grace Bay Beach is a scenic spot with powdery-white sand and bright blue waters where you can relax on the shore, swim in the calm sea, try some water sports and at the end of the day, go for a walk along the beach and catch the breathtaking sunset.
She Pivoted then She Soared: Meet Sandra Lightbourne, Telephone Operator Turned Executive Office Manager at Beaches Turks and Caicos
February 29, 2024
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: In 1983, Sandra Lightbourne embarked on her professional journey at a popular telecommunications company, as a telephone operator. Little did she know that her career would evolve into a remarkable story of resilience, adaptability and continuous growth.
She quickly proved her mettle and climbed the corporate ladder. From the sales department to customer service, and later as the billing and credit control manager, she demonstrated not only a keen understanding of the industry but also an ability to excel in diverse roles.
However, every success story has its challenges. After facing redundancy, Sandra embraced change and transitioned into the dynamic world of hospitality. In August 2013, she started anew as an administrative assistant at Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC). She described her transition to the hospitality industry as a smooth one owing to the fact that she had received extensive customer service training and brought with her experience, and a fresh perspective to her new environment.
“I will never forget the wise counsel of one of my customer service lecturers, Mary Duprose who said, ‘to be successful in anything you do, do it right the first time.’ Because of this teaching, I have always had a keen eye for detail. It has been embedded in me to always carry out a task to the best of my ability. There is no compromise for me when it comes to that.”
Additionally, she is appreciative of the continuous training and development she has had through the Sandals Corporate University. She has completed several courses, some of which are: Leadership Excellence Level 2, Professional Communication, Professional Leadership and Art of Selling. She has also successfully fulfilled the requirements for the Autism and Sensory Awareness Training Programme with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).
When asked what she loves most about her job, Sandra shared, “helping people is who I am. I enjoy solving guest and team member issues. Of course I do not like to know that situations arise to make a guest disgruntled but when it is brought to my attention and my intervention appeases them, it brings me great satisfaction.”
Sandra is so passionate about guest satisfaction that in a lighthearted moment she quipped, “if I were to have a superpower it would be to create smooth, perfect vacations thus eliminating guest concerns.”
Her dedication and contributions have not gone unnoticed. She recalls her most memorable experience at BTC being the time she was selected to participate in a familiarization tour of other resorts within the Sandals chain. She was chosen to be among a small group that flew to Grenada, Barbados and Antigua on the company’s private jet. “I was both humbled and honoured to have such an opportunity to see what the other resorts had to offer. This experience helped us to evaluate ways in which we could improve our resort.”
With such a mindset, it is no wonder that just two years into her role, Sandra earned a well-deserved promotion to executive administrative assistant, showcasing her commitment to excellence.
The pinnacle of her career came in 2021 when she was bestowed with the distinct honour of serving as the executive office manager. This recognition not only reflects her exceptional skills but also speaks volumes about her leadership qualities and the impact she has made at BTC. She continued to receive accolades and was one of the recipients of the Pace Setter Award in 2023. The Pace Setter Award, formerly known as the General Manager’s Award, is awarded to a team member who leads from the front and is always working alongside members of their team. He/she is punctual, hardworking, and reliable and is always willing to go the extra mile. The awardee is one who inspires the team and accepts nothing less than excellence. Sandra embodies these qualities.
She has been inspired by Managing Director, James McAnally. “Jamie has had the most profound impact on me, not only because I work directly with him but I recognize the passion that he has for the success of the resort. He knows the property and though there is so much to manage, his personable nature always inspires that personal touch which makes me feel valued. Other team members have attested to this.”
The respect between the two is mutual. The Managing Director, in highlighting what he admires most about Sandra shared, “I respect Sandra for her innate qualities of care, steadiness and confidentiality. As our world becomes increasingly busy and with so many team members and guests, Sandra is a pillar of stability in our Executive Office. She not only represents the resort on a global scale but also me personally, and having someone I can trust is something I am grateful for.”
Outside of work, Sandra enjoys spending time with her four children and grandson as she seeks to instill in them positive values that will help them recognize their full potential. “I want them to be the best, not just in terms of rank or winning but more so in terms of character and the positive influence I would like them to have on their peers.”
Sandra has turned setbacks into opportunities. Her journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring professionals, highlighting the importance of adaptability, continuous learning and unwavering determination in the ever – evolving professional world. As Sandra continues to thrive in her current role, her story remains a testament to the potential for growth and success that lies within every career, regardless of the obstacles faced along the way.
Caption: Sandra Lightbourne, Executive Office Manager at Beaches Turks and Caicos shares a smile as she sits at her desk at the World’s Number One All-Inclusive Family resort
Saunders “surprised” by move to Backbench; promises to address the nation this week
#TurksandCaicosIslands, February 28, 2023 – Surprise was one of the main emotions rolling off of E. Jay Sauders, All Island Elected Member, when he spoke to Magnetic Media Tuesday afternoon. The brief phone interview came only minutes after he confirmed to the media around 3 p.m. that he had been removed from his post as Deputy Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands by Washington Misick, TCI Premier.
“I am a bit surprised– I sit here at the pleasure of the Premier, the Premier acted in a certain way and it is his right to decide who he wants and doesn’t want in his cabinet and that’s the position that he took.”
The biggest question now is who will replace Saunders as the Premier’s right hand man, Magnetic Media spoke to a high-profile source around 3:30 pm who told us: “The Premier hasn’t made a decision in that regard as yet so there’s nothing yet to announce.”
It’s likely, the source told us, that the Premier will take on the Ministry of Finance himself, having had experience with that ministry in the past.
Sure enough minutes after that conversation a press release came from the Office of the Premier announcing that he is the new Minister of Finance, Investment and Trade; the statement also bid Saunders goodbye.
“I wish to thank Honourable Saunders for his service these past three years as my Deputy and for his stewardship in the ministries he served,” Misick said.
It comes as no surprise to residents however and a firestorm of comments followed the announcement,
“This is so wrong!!!” said one resident.
It was a sentiment fielded by Magnetic Media over a dozen times.
“He is running this country and this party with his silly feelings. And with Washy age, he need to relax himself.”
Another predicted, “This will hurt the PNP in the next election for sure, plus with the current conflict of interest matter pending with Washy and the Integrity Commission, this was not the best move at this time for him to be both Premier and Minister of Finance.”
The booting is the second high-profile shuffle in the Washington Misick-led PNP Administration following the removal of Akierra Missick, Elected Member for Leeward from her post as Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development in 2023.
That shakeup went totally without explanation, similarly, no explanation has come from the Premier’s office this time either, but it follows a leadership challenge at the party’s national convention just days prior.
Saunders had attempted to go against Misick for the head of the PNP party but could not get enough votes to push the challenge through.
As a former CEO of DigicelTCI, E. Saunders initially served as the Health and Human Services minister as the country clawed its way back to health after a brutal Coronavirus Pandemic. He was then appointed, by Misick, to the ministry for Finance, Investment and Trade, setting and achieving lofty goals including the achievement of a $400 million yearly revenue two years into his tenure and the removal of the Turks and Caicos from the EU Blacklist of non-compliant tax jurisdictions.
Now with one year left before a new general election is called, Saunders, in his own words, will join the rest of the backbench of politicians.
Also feeling the “stick” is reported to be Jas Walkin, the man Washington Misick appointed to lead his winning general election campaign in 2021. Walkin had put his name forward for party leader but hurriedly withdrew it. Reports of a suspension have been shared via social media with residents expressing disdain at the possibility.
The consensus from many, they’re not surprised and also not happy about the removal of Jas.
For now, Saunders is focused on moving,
“Depending on how quickly I can get through the packing up of my office, I’ll do a Public Address tomorrow, but no later than Wednesday,” he promised.
The demotion also means a significant pay cut for Saunders from the Deputy Premier’s $175,000 base salary and $60,000 in allowances to the $97,000 base salary and $10,200 in allowances which is paid out to Members of the House of Assembly, where he will continue to serve as an All Island Elected member.
FIND US ON FACEBOOK
Government2 days ago
E. Jay Saunders “officially” fired by Premier Washington Misick
Caribbean News6 days ago
PAHO Calls Americas to Increase Aedes aegypti Mosquito Control
Caribbean News1 week ago
Deputy Premier Spot on, TCI TODAY Removed from EU Blacklist
Caribbean News1 week ago
St Lucia’s Independence 2024
Bahamas News1 week ago
The Bahamas major moves towards Space Tourism
Caribbean News1 week ago
Why the Haitian President’s Wife – Martine Moïse – was charged with his 2021 Assassination
Caribbean News2 days ago
Conjecture, Collusion and Controversy Rumors swirl as PNPs Vote at NGC
Caribbean News3 days ago
Morgan Heritage Member dies