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Beaches Resorts hosted industry trailblazers at 5th Annual “Social Media on the Sand”



#Providenciales, October 24, 2019 – Turks and Caicos – Last week, 100 elite digital mom bosses spent five days learning modern-day marketing secrets from some of the world’s brightest business entrepreneurs. The 5th annual “Social Media on the Sand” conference took place October 16-20, 2019, at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages and Spa, and offered #BeachesMoms a first-hand look at how to sharpen their social media skills, grow their online presence and get inspired by other talented like-minded women.

Voted one of BizBash’s Most Innovative Meetings of 2018, this sold out, invitation-only event took attendees on a journey of the five senses to commemorate its 5th year through the sounds of social media success. The conference featured speeches from keynote industry innovators who shared their inspiring and educational stories on how they built their brands, as well as fireside track sessions that spotlighted topics such as learning tips on how to monetize a blog to partnering with brands to build awareness.

“Remarkable things happen when moms come together. Each year Beaches® Resorts brings a new group of outstanding people to help motivate and inspire our conference guests with their own knowledge and industry expertise,” said Debbie-Ann White, SVP, Public Relations and Promotions at Unique Vacations, Inc. “Social Media on the Sand offers a unique platform for not only professional growth, but for personal growth through sparked conversations, authentic connections and shared experiences between the modern working moms.”


This year, Beaches’ handpicked list of guest speakers and keynotes included three of the most accomplished modern brand builders and industry titans: Rebecca Minkoff (co-founder and creative director of the eponymous fashion powerhouse), who gave an inside look at how her business grew from the ground up; Jamie Kern Lima (co-founder of IT Cosmetics, a top-selling makeup and skincare brand), who spoke on the power of authenticity and honing in on the “why’s” behind what motivates us; and Daymond John (investor on the ABC reality television series Shark Tank), who shared his personal key lessons from social media, as well as goal setting tips to achieve your dreams.

“Equally as important as building yourself and your brand is building a group of strong team members to support you,” said Rebecca Minkoff. “We’re only human, which means we can’t be experts in everything. So, we need to take a step back and hire experts to support us in areas where we are not experts ourselves.”

“The journey that you’re on is your authenticity,” said Jamie Kern Lima. “Your community will know if you’re faking it, so it’s crucial to trust your gut and remain your authentic self along the way.”

“Don’t put anything out there if you can’t own it,” said Daymond John. “I’ve learned that due diligence starts with social media, and you need to be able to authentically own the content you’re putting out there – don’t just post something to post it, there needs to be a purpose.”


The “Social Media on the Sand” conference also featured several fun twists on networking and curated experiences to further ignite attendees’ senses. This included a Match Ups & Mimosas event, where the #BeachesMoms mixed and mingled over mimosas, complete with a scent sommelier to customize perfume inspired by tropical cocktails. Other activities included a Health and Wellness Village presented by the Red Lane® Spa, multiple Beauty & the Beach suite activities featuring Drybar styling and makeup by IT Cosmetics, and even a special concert performance by platinum-selling recording artist, Hunter Hayes. Also new to this year’s conference was a 5 Senses on the Sand pop up, which offered the perfect gram-worthy backdrops for guests to capture interactive and authentic content right on the beach, and a Silent DiscGLOW, which was a blacklight haven that offered guests a sensory overload. To top things off, #BeachesMoms and their families immersed themselves in a world of pure imagination at Willy Wonka’s Splendiferous Fun Factory on National Sweetest Day, October 19th, with everything from gumdrop trees to a scratch & sniff wall sponsored by Air Esscentials. One lucky attendee won the ultimate golden ticket – a return trip to the 6th annual “Social Media on the Sand” conference.


In addition to having access to the picture-perfect Instagram moments and networking opportunities to establish new genuine connections, conference attendees had the chance to learn about the Sandals Foundation – the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International – and its initiatives that are near and dear to the heart of Beaches Resorts. The week kicked off with a “Sea the Future Welcome Party” presented by the Foundation, which immersed conference guests in the Sandals Foundation’s mission of making a difference in the Caribbean and celebrated the Foundation’s 10-year milestone anniversary. Not only were guests exposed to the Foundation’s mission and one of its core pillars, environmental awareness, but they were joined by award-winning NYC-based street artist Marco Santini for an interactive painting activity surrounding guests’ perceptions of the Foundation. Additionally, attendees contributed to the “Sea the Future Welcome Party” by bringing environmental-themed books to help the local children of Turks & Caicos, along with raising funds for the Foundation in a silent auction. A special, heart-warming performance by local Turks & Caicos students of Long Bay High School concluded the first night, who sang one of Hunter Hayes’ songs, “Wanted,” and were taken back when Hunter Hayes himself cheered them on in the audience – setting the tone for the surprise and delights ahead.

“At Beaches Resorts, we believe one of the ways of lending support is by educating the next generation,” added Debbie-Ann White. “We see the future and it’s crystal clear – emulating the Caribbean water surrounding us.”


In addition to Adam Stewart (Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International) and Debbie-Ann White (SVP of Public Relations and Promotions of Unique Vacations, Inc.), they were joined by speakers including Shannon Levis (Facebook), Courtney Heimlich (YouTube), Landyn Hutchinson (Lifestyle Expert, Living With Landyn), Melissa Gerstein (co-founder, The MOMS Network), Meaghan Murphy (Executive Editor of Good Housekeeping), Emily Kaufman (travel writer, The Travel Mom), Audrey McClelland (co-founder,, Amy Choi (Head of Brand Partnerships, ShopStyle), Amanda Perna (seasoned fashion and textile designer, The House of Perna), Rosemarie T. Truglio (SVP of Curriculum and Content at Sesame Workshop), Michelle Kreher (Senior Manager of Themed Entertainment at Sesame Workshop), Ellen Heaney (Senior Brand Manager for Spin Master Games), Mykella Gannon (Marketing Director, COOLA), Julie Nowell (founder and principal of 3c Consulting), Myron Pincomb (CEO and Board Chairman of The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards) and popular content creators Terrell and Jarius Joseph, April Athena, and Jessica Skube of JessFam.

Event partners included Rebecca Minkoff, Spin Master Games, Drybar, IT Cosmetics, COOLA Suncare, JetBlue, Swarovski, The House of Perna, good2grow™, Sesame Workshop, HAPARI Swimwear, Sprout®, abercrombie kids, SNUBA, Red Lane® Spa, Kim Crawford Wines, Pevonia, Air Esscentials, Sanitas, Bling2o, Playskool, The Incy Wincies, Saltability, SNUBA, the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), BLVisuals, Rockabye Baby, PLAYSKOOL, SpaRitual, School Specialty™, FLOW, PADI: Professional Association of Diving Instructors, Alliance Connection Productions, Gifts for the Good Life, Florabella Studios, Kelly + Jones and The Sandals Foundation.

For more information on #SocialMediaontheSand, please visit To check out more photos from the conference, please visit the official event Pinterest board here.

Release: Sandals Resorts

Photo Caption: (Daymond John and Rebecca Minkoff following an ocean-side chat at Beaches Turks & Caicos, John Parra – Gettyimages)


COVID Works programme launched by Ministry of Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development



#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – The Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure Development, the Honourable Akierra Mary Deanne Missick and the Physical Planning & Infrastructure Development team are pleased to announce the launch of the COVID WORKS Programme, that went live on September 1, 2021.

The Programme seeks to support many who have lost jobs and livelihoods, while providing labour intensive work for economic exchange opportunities for persons to be engaged.

Works are set out in three (3) levels and comprise a variety of categories example, cleaning, road works, demolition and general construction to name a few.

Level 1 – value $1,500 – $9,999

Level 2 – value $10,000 – $39,999

Level 3 – value $40,000 – $70,000

Turks and Caicos Islanders with valid business licenses are also being encouraged to submit proposals to the Public Works Department for consideration for works throughout the islands. 

Commenting on the launch of the programme, Hon. Missick said, “We are very much mindful of the impact that restrictions introduced by Government in an effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, has had on the islands, many continue to experience financial hardship. Whilst, the hospitality and construction sectors in Providenciales have rebounded well, as an Administration, we cannot rest knowing that other industries are still limping along.

As a result, during the remainder of this financial year, the Turks & Caicos Islands Government has now launched the COVID Works Programme to provide an opportunity for Petty and Small Contractors to assist the Government in the enhancement of our communities, through programmed works, to the benefit of all of us as residents”.

The Minister went on to note, “This Programme is set to the tune of US$5,000,000.00, and works will be rolled out across the Islands in batches, as we have to ensure that we do not go beyond the allotted expenditure and that financial oversight and transparency are maintained.”

The initial batch of works for South Caicos, which comprised the following, was returned and evaluated on Monday, September 13, 2021 and included:

South Caicos 

Demolition- Queen’s Shed

Demolition- Distribution Concrete Tank

Demolition- Old Clinic Building

Demolition- DECR Building

Demolition- Library Building

Repair of Water Cistern

Works for Grand Turk included:

Grand Turk 

Demolition- Blood Bank Building

Demolition- Geriatric Ward Building

Demolition- Kitchen Building

Demolition- X-ray Building

All returning bids must be sent to the COVID Works email at

Kindly note that as of Monday, September 20, 2021, the following works are planned to be released:

Grand Turk: 

Beach Cleaning (Eastern portion of Grand Turk)

Street Cleaning (All areas)


Beach cleaning (Areas of Shore Club and Five Cays)

Street Cleaning (All areas)

A number of other works for Middle & North Caicos, as well as Salt Cay will be released shortly. This is a six month program that will spread throughout the TCI and we encourage persons to continue to register via or the local Public Works Department and District Commissioners’ offices, to be eligible for this opportunity.

These works will continue on a monthly basis and the programme will come to an end in March 2022.

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Grandstanding at best – Hon. Jameka Williams



#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021 – Response to Mr. Robert Been Jr. – People’s Democratic Movement All Island Candidate 2016 and 2021 “Where is the Wo’k you promised PNP?”

Like some of you, I have the opportunity to read the statements that has been published by Mr. Robert Been asking the government where is the work. I can only describe this as a classic case of grandstanding. The issues highlighted by Mr. Been are areas of concern in our country, however these issues did not begin yesterday nor did they became a concern seven months ago. I’d like to remind Mr. Been that these same concerns were there during his former governing party the PDM. The previous government did nothing to address these concerns in their four year tenure. Where was your voice then Mr. Been? As a matter of fact, where was your voice the four years prior?

As it relates to education, the issues with spaces in Schools has been heightened as a lot of families can not afford the cost of private institutions since the pandemic, so there is now a high demand for seats in the public schools. Our government is working closely with the private Institutions with a subsidy program to address those needs. Again, this issue existed under the former government before the pandemic but they made no attempt to address it. In addition under your former administration, schools were closed for over one year with no plan on sight for its reopening. Our children have regressed and many repeating to catch up on the year lost.

On September 1, 2021 our government announced the new protocols and measures as it relates to Covid 19. Yes, there are concerns being expressed by the citizens and business owners as it relates to the impact of those decisions. I would like to inform you to that these decisions were not made alone. Stakeholders were engaged in these conversations and I have also accompanied the Hon. Jamel Robinson to sit downs with various groups of business owners to provide feedback, listen and take recommendations.

Countries around the world are imposing stiffer penalties and measures to help with the control of Covid 19 virus and the TCI is no different. We’ve seen reports published of cancellations that we believe are flawed to bully the government into reversing the decisions made. Our government has a responsibility to protect life and livelihood. There are decisions that are sometimes tough to make but it is our responsibility to make them no matter how unpopular. In time, the people of this country will see the benefit of those decisions concerning what’s happening around the world in even more developed countries as it relates to COVID-19.

Mr. Been, I would like for you to know that the island of Grand Turk was in a state of devastation since the storm of 2017 under the tenure of your government. There was an outcry for years by its residents. The cruise industry is at a standstill. However, I’d like to inform you that during our budget debates this current government has passes 8.3 million dollars for all the islands with 3 million ring fenced for Grand Turk alone in works and cash grant injections. The Ministry of Planning and Infrastructure Development has as of September 1, 2021 rolled out its contract program for works around the islands particularly in the Nation’s Capital.

Since the closer of the cruise sector in Grand Turk, the former administration had little to no engagement with Carnival partners on a plan to jump start that industry. It is extremely commendable that our government took the initiative to host a town hall meeting with all persons involved in the cruise industry in June 2021. Additional the Premier is in constant dialogue with Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean has now expressed an internet in having Grand Turk as one of their destinations.

Mr. Been, it is widely rumored that you may have an interest in Leadership of the PDM during the next convention. You are a personal friend of mine and I wish you well on your endeavors as this is a noble profession. However, my advice to you would be to offer solution based arguments so that the electorate sees your strength and potential instead of pointing fingers and grandstanding. Admittedly you mentioned that the elections are over. But are they really for you? As a government we do not have all the answers but I assure you that the decisions made are in the best interest of all of us including you. Hold on, better days are ahead.


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Canadians Fly South to Turks & Caicos!



#TurksandCaicos, September 21, 2021  – Air Canada is back to the Turks and Caicos Islands with direct flights from Toronto to the Providenciales International Airport (PLS) and when the airline returned on Sunday September 12, it came nearly full with 169 passengers aboard.

Floyd Ingham, Acting CEO of the TCI Airports Authority, confirmed that Air Canada brought a Boeing 737-Max for the flight which will be weekly.  The aircraft has a capacity of 180 and actually left the PLS with 65 passengers.

Air Canada had been missing from the commercial airline offering for nearly a year due to the impact of coronavirus on its home base.  West Jet, also a Canadian airline, has not yet return to the PLS, but is proposing a November 7th resumption of flights, also from Toronto.

Canadian air carriers had discontinued flights to most sunny weather destinations back in January when cases there spiked to deadly levels.

On September 9, airlines were clear to fly.

Canada requires returning residents to present a 3-day old negative PCR test for re-entry, requires visitors to be fully vaccinated and currently has nearly 69 per cent vaccination rate across its provinces.

As a side bar, South West Airlines, which travels to TCI out of Ft Lauderdale is still on schedule for a return on October 7th confirmed Mr. Ingham who also confirmed that frequency of Air Canada service will ramp up on October 1st, with three flights per week planned.


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