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TCI Ministry of Health update on increase in Covid-19 recoveries



#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos – September 14, 2020 – Over the weekend, the general public would have noted on the Covid-19 dashboard that there was a significant increase in the number of recoveries from Covid-19. The Public Health Team had, until recently, largely depended on a manual system for tracking COVID-19 cases in the TCI. This process ran seamlessly at the beginning of the epidemic when the number of daily cases reported was minimal. However, as the number of cases and the associated contact tracing work increased the manual process of data collection became difficult to maintain. While it did not impact the tracking of positive cases, it did cause a delay in the reporting of persons being released from quarantine and persons being considered recovered.  

To facilitate more efficient data collection, and to prevent delays in reporting, the World Health Organization’s system, an electronic data processing system, is being implemented throughout the islands. The system is an outbreak investigation tool for field collection during public health emergencies. It includes functionality for case investigation and contact follow up and is designed for flexibility in the field. With the new system, contact tracers throughout TCI are equipped with tablets for the purpose of data collection and up-to-date reporting. This system is already being utilized in Providenciales and Grand Turk, following a brief training session, and will be rolled out to the other islands throughout the week.  

Latest TCI Ministry of Health Covid-19 dashboard

As a part of the data transfer process, i.e. from the old system to the new system, an exercise was undertaken to update all case and contact records. This led to a significant increase in the number of recoveries being reported and a significant reduction in the quarantine numbers being reported. It is important to note that with the up-to-date recording, facilitated by the system, releases/recoveries will be reported in a timelier manner. It is also important to note that all recoveries were reported in accordance with the new policy which was recently adopted by the Government. Persons have been released in accordance with this policy, however there was a lag in updating and reporting active cases due to the high workload of the public health teams.

The Ministry of Health wishes to acknowledge the hard work of the National Epidemiology and Research Unit who were integral in implementing the system as well as the Public Health Team for their continued efforts in the field. This positive development will greatly assist in timely data collection and reporting going forward.

Press Release from the TCI Ministry of Health

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Sandals Foundation and returning guests donate sports gear to Turks and Caicos Islands Softball Federation



#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2023 – Beaches Turks and Caicos resort returning guests, Moe Bertelsmann and family recently presented softball gear and jerseys to the Turks and Caicos Islands Softball Federation and the Sports Commission. The family along with the Sandals Foundation team made the presentation to Godfrey Been, President of the Softball Federation and Tamara Bassett, Board Member of the Sports Commission, at the opening of the High School Softball season at the Ball Park in downtown Providenciales.

The supplies, which include bats, balls, catching helmets, gloves, shin guards, hard hats, catching gear, and practice playing gear will bolster the federation’s ability to provide instructional training while allowing coaches and the players to be more prepared not only for this season but the long term.

General Manager James McAnally shared, “Guests are one of the Sandals Foundation’s greatest partners in providing support to our islands throughout the Caribbean. We are grateful to the Bertelsmann family for their donation to the Softball Federation and hope it will help in developing this fast growing sport.”

In sharing the inspiration behind the family’s donation, mother, Anne Bertelsmann noted, “as a family we are passionate about the sport of softball and the physical and mental discipline that these activities provide for our youth. When we did our research on the sport here in Turks and Caicos Islands and shared with other families and organisations, they all decided to help. My daughter Alexa even donated some of her lightly used equipment along with friends, Chris Goodfred and Tonia Martin.

Softball Federation president, Godfrey Been, in expressing his appreciation for the gifts shared, “these items came at the right time. As a federation, we have been working on introducing and improving the sports at every high school throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands. With this donation, we now have gears to play practice games as well as helping our local coaches with providing for their players and being better prepared for the future. We are grateful to the Bertelsmann family and the Sandals Foundation for supporting softball here in the region. We will take this and “run” with it to get softball to where it once was, the number one sport.”

Melleisha St. Jean, catcher of the Maranatha Academy’s softball team was impressed by Alexa who joined a few players on the field and traded catching techniques. “As young players, to see Sandals Foundation and guests sharing with us and even taking the time to give us some playing tips really helped us. I am inspired to continue playing the game.”



Header: Tamara Bassett, Board Member of the Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission and Godfrey Been, president of the Softball Federation accept the softball gear from the Sandals Foundation and the Bertelsmann family recently at the Ball Park downtown Providenciales.

1st insert: President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Softball Federation, Godfrey Been (left), shares a moment with Semi-professional player and Beaches Turks and Caicos guest Alexa Bertelsmann (centre) and Joddy Harvey, Sports Commission Compliance Manager discuss plans for the further partnership with the organisations

2nd insert: President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Softball Federation, Godfrey Been, expresses his satisfaction to the Sandals Foundation and the Beaches Turks and Caicos resort returning guests the Bertelsmann family for the donation of the softball gear to the federation

3rd insert: Semi-professional softball player and Beaches Turks and Caicos guest, Alexa Bertelsmann (left) goes through some catching routine with Maranatha Academy catcher Melliesha Saint-Jean at the start of the high school softball competition at the Ball Park

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New Appointments at Experience Turks & Caicos  



KITCHANDRA PENN-MCDONALD appointed as Human Resources Manager

Kitchandra Penn-McDonald, Human Resources Manager, Experience Turks and Caicos

Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to welcome Mrs. Kitchandra Penn-McDonald, Human Resources Manager, to their team, effective today, December 4th, 2023. Mrs. Penn-McDonald is currently enrolled in a Masters Degree programme in Human Resources Management and Development at the University of Salford, Manchester, Mrs. Penn-McDonald has eight years of experience working in the Human Resources Management.

Before Experience Turks and Caicos, Mrs. Penn-McDonald was Director of Human Resources at Waterloo Hotel Management Limited (Ltd.).  She was also employed as the Human Resources Manager at The Sands at Grace Bay. In welcoming Mrs. Penn-McDonald to the team, Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager and Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos, said she is pleased to fill this critical position. “Hiring Mrs. Penn-McDonald, Human Resources Manager, is essential for talent recruitment and management to ensure the build-out and success of Experience Turks and Caicos.  She will be essential in assisting me in ensuring that the organisational structure is in place to promote and enhance a positive and effective work environment for product development and to market and promote the Turks and Caicos Islands. I look forward to working with Mrs. Penn-McDonald in the coming months,” she said Mrs. Penn-McDonald described her new role as an amazing opportunity. “I am deeply honoured to be the Human Resources Manager for Experience Turks and Caicos. It is an amazing privilege and a great responsibility to take on this job and I will do it with everything I have to the best of my ability for the success of the organisation,” she said.


HELCYANN SELVER appointed as Local Representative

Helcyann Selver, Local Representative, Experience Turks and Caicos  

Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to welcome Miss Helcyann Selver, Local Representative, to their team, effective today, December 5th, 2023. Miss Selver is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Human Services, with a specialisation in Mental Health from Walden University Online and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Benedict College, Columbia, South Carolina. Miss Selver, who is from North Caicos, reports to the Destination Development Department and is responsible for product development in North, Middle and East Caicos.

In welcoming Miss Selver to the team, Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager and Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos, said her appointment is in keeping with the thrust to market and promote the Turks and Caicos Islands as multi-island destination. “We are positioning the destination beyond Providenciales as we seek to increase visitation and spend. Developing the tourism product in our sister islands is key to this and, as such, the addition of Miss Selver to our team allows for the enhancement of North, Middle and East Caicos for more activities to increase day tours and to increase spend on island to the benefit of our communities and stakeholders.” she said. Miss Selver said she is excited to develop the tourism product in the sister islands. “It is an amazing opportunity to be a local representative from North Caicos and to be able to help with the development of tourism in my island and the sister islands. It is an honour to be able to be a part of the change that you want to see in our community. In working with Experience Turks and Caicos I now have the opportunity to market and promote my hometown with hopes of attracting not only tourists but to encourage the development of local businesses,” she said.


LAYTON LEWIS appointed as Events Organiser Specialist

Layton Lewis, Events Organiser Specialist, Experience Turks and Caicos

Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to welcome Mr. Layton Lewis, Events Organiser Specialist, to their team, effective December 4th, 2023. Mr. Lewis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hospitality Management from Mount Saint Vincent University in Canada with a minor in Marketing and an Associate Degree in Business Administration from the Turks and Caicos Community College in Grand Turk. A native of Grand Turk, Mr. Lewis previously worked as a Marketing Executive for the Canadian office of the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board.

In his capacity as Events Organiser Specialist, Mr. Layton will be responsible for planning and coordinating marketing events for Experience Turks and Caicos. In welcoming Mr. Lewis to the team, Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager and Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos, said his role is an important one for the organisation. “As the Event’s Organiser Specialist, Mr. Lewis is an important addition to Experience Turks and Caicos due to the diversity of events we will execute.  These include, press conferences, hosting visiting Travel Agents and Journalists, Workshops, Stakeholder Meetings. In this role, he will be assisting departments with the planning and execution of all events in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Source markets to ensure all events represent the branding of Experience Turks and Caicos and objective(s) of  all events” she said. Mr. Lewis said he is humbled by the opportunity. “I’m eternally grateful and humbled to be hired for the role as Events Organiser Specialist within Experience Turks and Caicos. An opportunity to serve my country in this capacity will not be taken lightly. Thanks be to God, for he is good!”

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From Mentee to Master: The Inspiring Story of Lashiko Seymour  



PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands:  Lashiko Seymour’s success story is rooted in humble beginnings. His life’s journey highlights the value of mentors and speaks to the transformative impact of resilience, dedication, and a strong work ethic.

Lashiko was born in South Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands. As a youngster he had to relocate to Providenciales when his parents moved in search of work. Resources weren’t always plentiful but values of gratitude and the will to achieve were reinforced daily.

Throughout his high school years at Clement Howell, Lashiko aspired to becoming a professional basketballer. However, those dreams were short lived. Upon completing his secondary studies, he attended the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College where he did a hospitality course, after which he received a scholarship to Johnson and Wales University in Miami where he obtained a degree in Hotel Management.

Lashiko recounts his time in university as the first major turning point in his life. “I always understood the value of education but throughout high school I never put out any extra effort. It was when I got to university that I started to take my education seriously. Money was ‘tight’, especially when the scholarship funding was reduced. It was at that point that I decided that I would pick up more courses and finish ahead of time.”  He fondly recalls the moment he had called the Department of Education and spoken with the lady in charge of the grants and scholarships.

When he had asked if he could take on some additional courses the lady was pleasantly surprised, acknowledging that he was the first scholarship recipient that had ever made such a request. This very mature decision on his part, would also benefit future recipients because his early completion would allow other persons to receive benefits sooner rather than later. When many persons at that stage of their lives would have been feting and enjoying college life, Lashiko was doubling down on his studies. He was focused on returning home with his degree so that he could help improve the quality of life of his family.

When asked why he did not seek employment in the United States, without hesitation he calmly yet proudly responded, “I rather be home. This is where I am comfortable.” Lashiko urges other young men and women who go abroad to pursue further studies not to abandon their home. “Turks and Caicos is our home and if we leave to certify ourselves and gain various credentials, we must be prepared at some point to return to contribute to the development of our home.”

Lashiko’s career in the hospitality industry began in 2010 when he joined Beaches Turks and Caicos as a front desk clerk. Eleven months in, he was promoted to night auditor where he served for an additional year and two months.  It was at this point that he had a life altering experience. “Being a part of such a large organization, it is easy to remain in obscurity, especially when working the night shift like I did.  We come in, we get things done but no one really sees us in operation. At least, that is what I thought before getting perhaps the most profound career advice of my life. In an exchange with one of the administrators from Sandals Resorts International, she told me to make my presence felt so that when my resume hits the desk of the managers, they will already know who I am. From that moment onward I became more assertive, I started to do things a bit more differently which left a lasting impression on those I encountered. I was no longer just a night auditor. People knew me by name.”

This is a winning principle for anyone starting a career to adopt.  Additionally, he is grateful for the opportunities that the Sandals Corporate University (SCU) has provided for continued training and development. Through the SCU, he believes that every member of staff has an opportunity to get certified in mandatory courses as well as programmes of their choice, at no cost to them.

It’s one thing to receive advice but it takes someone who is humble and receptive to learning to take these golden nuggets of wisdom and apply them. At twenty-three years old, Lashiko was fortunate to have not one, not two, but three men, in addition to his father, offering advice on career choices, investment among other things. In fact, he credits his success to three of his mentors; Gerald Williams, Kenneth Hamilton and Ben Williams who were night managers at Beaches. “They were always on my case pushing me to pursue my goals. Because of them, I was motivated to acquire property at an early age, build my home and now I can provide financial security for my family.”

Having applied the wise counsel of his mentors, Lashiko is now comfortably enjoying the fruits of his labour. During the day he has the pleasure of taking care of his nine month old son. In his leisure time he enjoys watching basketball, comedy and action films. He notes that the advantage of working on the night shift is that he has ample time to spend with his family during the day.

Lashiko urges young people entering the hospitality industry to foster relationships with persons who can pass on positive values. “Sometimes you can spare yourself a lot of trouble when you listen to your elders. That is what saved me. Now I am able to mentor others, and I do not take this responsibility lightly.”

Lashiko Seymour, is an exemplary son of the soil. He is a dedicated family man and team member. His past challenges have equipped him with a spirit of resilience that fuels his desire for success on the job. His journey is a testament to the positive impact of mentorship, the unwavering pursuit of knowledge and the ability to overcome financial obstacles in pursuit of a brighter future.



Header: Senior Manager on Duty at Beaches Turks and Caicos, Lashiko Seymour

1st insert: Lashiko Seymour, Senior Manager on Duty at Beaches Turks and Caicos resort makes his final look at some documents prior to him checking with the different departments on the resort

2nd insert: Lashiko Seymour, Senior Manager on Duty at Beaches Turks and Caicos shares his mentorship skills with Concierge Agent Brianna Simon as they go through some assigned tasks

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