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Aisha Laporte Appointed New FortisTCI VP of Finance, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

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Effective October 1, Mrs. Aisha Laporte is FortisTCI’s new VP of Finance, Corporate Services and CFO

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – October 5, 2020) – FortisTCI has announced the appointment of Aisha Laporte as Vice President of Finance, Corporate Services and CFO, a key addition to the executive team, effective October 1.

In her new role, Aisha will be responsible for the fiscal management of FortisTCI as a subsidiary of a publicly listed and traded company. She will also serve as the executive lead of the materials management, customer service and human resources functions.

Aisha has over 12 years of experience as a utility professional, managing finance, supply chain, revenue protection and customer services. She began her tenure at FortisTCI in 2008, and served as Supervisor of Financial Services before being promoted to Manager of Financial Services. During her time leading the finance team, she was responsible for managing the financial reporting activities, budgeting process, and maintenance and development of financial policies and procedures that improved the company’s fiduciary processes.

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In 2012, Aisha was promoted to Director of Customer Services, and most recently served as Senior Director of Customer Services and Stakeholder Engagement, having assumed that role in 2017. At a corporate level, Aisha has led the automation of customer services, including consumption readings, account information, and payment options via the customer web portal ‘My Online Account.’ She has also played a critical role in establishing the company’s revenue protection services and meter auditing processes, and led supply chain management activities.

A Grand Turk native and HJ Robinson High School graduate, Aisha earned a Bachelor’s degree with distinction in Accounting from Nova Southeastern University in 2002 and passed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam in 2004. Prior to joining the FortisTCI team, Aisha worked for three years as a principal auditor with the Turks and Caicos Islands Government and three years with the international firm KPMG.

FortisTCI President and CEO Ruth Forbes, speaking about the appointment said, “I am pleased to welcome Aisha to the executive team and to congratulate her on a well-deserved promotion as Vice President. Over the years, and in whatever role she has served, Aisha has delivered top-rated performances, always exemplifying a strong commitment to excellence, team building and to the values of FortisTCI. I look forward to her future accomplishments in this new role.”

Responding to her appointment, Aisha stated, “I am honored to join the executive team as Vice President, and humbled by the confidence that our President and CEO Ruth Forbes and the entire FortisTCI team have placed in me. I look forward to leading the financial affairs of the company and contributing to the continued transformation of FortisTCI by focusing on the growth and development of our employees, delivering innovative solutions to our stakeholders and excellent service to our customers.”

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Provo Water Company restrictions almost over, access times extended

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – Just under two weeks before water restrictions in Providenciales are due to end, some loosening up has already begun as the Provo Water Company puts measures in place to ensure increased outflow of the precious commodity.

On Friday, April 12 the company announced water restrictions would be reduced by an hour and a half. Previously running from 9 pm to 6 a.m. water lock-offs are now from 10 pm to 5:30 a.m.

In tandem with that announcement came the reveal of several new projects: a new transmission main, the Upgrading of major fittings, and the repurposing of a new tank.

Water lock-offs were instituted because millions of gallons were pouring out faster than the tank at Suzie Turn could fill at night, running the risk of PWC not being able to supply areas of Providenciales including the hospital and airport.

Of the three measures instituted to stem this problem, the repurposing of an Industrial Park tank is likely what we see residents get some relief the quickest. Initially created for another project, the 1.5 million gallon tank is now being used as an additional source to replenish the Suzie Turn Reservoir. PWC says this is addressing the water supply issues that began in March.

More long-term strategies are also on the way, Magnetic Media saw photos of ongoing work, showing contractors digging up areas of roadway across Provo, for the first project, the new transmission main.

The route for that new piping is as follows: “June Plum, Gardenia Way, Kakeka Streets, and Garden Loop to the Leeward Highway, extending from the Long Bay Hills Drive junction to the roundabout near Crackpot Kitchen.”

This should be finished by the end of May 2024 and when complete will also work to provide increased water supply into the network making more lock-offs less likely as it increases reliability.

The final project to be completed in the medium term, by September, will involve upgrading the fittings at major water junctions along the Leeward Highway.

“These improvements to the water supply network’s central artery will increase water flow to the Suzie Turn Reservoir, and enhance water availability and quality for customers located west of Turtle Cove,” PWC said in a press release.

Having been given the go-ahead to carry out the lock-offs by the Energy and Utilities Department, which concurred that they were taking the right course of action PWC has been steadily communicating with residents.

Aside from the nightly lock-off, in the past month, residents have had to deal with low water pressure, late return of the commodity when lock-offs end, and other minor disruptions to their service.

The company has acknowledged that development in the country was spreading incredibly fast and they were trying to catch up, apologizing to residents for the interruption.

Provo Water also says it is planning for a rainy day or any sort of natural disaster or emergency. Once the final two projects are complete, the Industrial Park tank will be used as a catchment area to be saved for any emergencies the country may experience.

“This water system investment speaks volumes about our proactive approach to directly addressing water challenges. Through expanding storage capacity and optimizing distribution efficiency, we are well-positioned to deliver reliable, high-quality water services to our customers,” Robert Hall, Managing Director said.

Everyone is affected, from locals to visitors but PWC is promising a quick end to the problem caused by the lag between an increasing population and the development of critical infrastructure.

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UK Passengers to Turks and Caicos Islands Increase as March Sets New Record for Air Arrival

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#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to report a notable increase in air arrivals from the United Kingdom to the Turks and Caicos Islands, signaling positive developments in our tourism landscape. While the United States continues to lead as our primary tourism source, we are encouraged by the uptick in visitors from the United Kingdom during the initial months of this year.

From January to March 2024, the Turks and Caicos Islands welcomed 3,946* arrivals from the UK and Europe, representing a substantial 105.4% increase compared to the same period in 2023. This rise can largely be attributed to the commencement of Virgin Atlantic’s non-stop flight from Heathrow, London to Providenciales, which commenced operations on November 4th, 2023.

The introduction of twice-weekly flights by both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways has enhanced accessibility, opening up new avenues for exploration within the European market. Data shows growth in arrivals from European nations such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and the Netherlands.

Projections based on ticket purchases indicate that from January to August 2024, we anticipate a total of 8,130 passengers from the UK, reflecting a substantial 54 percent increase year over year. Additionally, France is expected to contribute 761 visitors (a 13 percent increase), followed by Italy with 513 passengers and Germany with 436 passengers, each representing a notable 55 percent increase year over year.

Expressing satisfaction at this development, the Honourable Josephine Connolly, Minister of Tourism, said: “The increase in UK and European arrivals reflects our concerted efforts to diversify our tourism offerings and expand our reach. We welcome visitors from the UK and beyond to experience the beauty of our islands and the warmth of our hospitality.”

The surge in arrivals from the UK and Europe has contributed to a record-breaking March, with 77,559 air arrivals overall, marking a 15.57% increase over March 2023. Year to date, the islands have welcomed 204,237 air arrivals, demonstrating steady growth.

Complementing the increase in arrivals has been an increase in online search activity from most key markets. There is strong evidence to suggest that these searches are converting into bookings, based on the current and forecasted air passenger arrivals. For US-based travelers, according to Google Flights, the Turks and Caicos Islands is the most searched destination for couples and family vacations and in the top five for solo travelers for Summer 2024.

Arrivals to the Turks and Caicos Islands is projected to remain strong with a 24% year-on-year increase* through August, signaling that the Turks and Caicos Islands tourism industry will remain active throughout the year.

Cruise numbers for March 2024 were the highest for the year so far with 98, 161* passengers, a decrease of 1.88% from March 2023 which saw 100, 047 passengers arriving at the Grand Turk Cruise Centre.

As we navigate these encouraging trends, Experience Turks and Caicos remain steadfast in our commitment to sustainable tourism development and the preservation of our natural and cultural heritage.

*These are provisional figures *Data courtesy Amadeus Destination Insights Report 202

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Crown Land acreage to grow according to ISU progress report

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, April 19, 2024 – Slow but steady is how the ISU is carrying out its mandate to reclaim the 544 acres of illegally occupied land in the Turks and Caicos, revealing that 2.4 percent is now cleared and back under the control of its rightful owners; that 2.4% represents 13.15 acres of the initial 544.46.

In an April 11 newsletter discussing its 2023 year in review, the ISU revealed that at the completion of its mandate, almost half the land would go back to the hands of non-Crown landowners as the Unit is undertaking removals on private land, having been beseeched by the landowners who were dealing with squatters

It is expected that of the 544 acres of land, 11 percent will go back to the government 42 percent will go back to private landowners 45 percent was listed as ‘mixed’ and 2 percent had no clear owner.

Magnetic Media has asked if private owners are covering their own costs when it comes to clearing squatters from their properties.

It would come as no surprise to residents that the vast majority of informal settlements (37) were discovered in Providenciales, another nine were found in Grand Turk and a single settlement in North Caicos.

The Turks and Caicos has the unsavory distinction of being the only UK territory where shanty towns or informal settlements are so firmly established.

It’s not just irregular migrants desperate for a place to call home who are perpetuating the land crisis. Legitimate residents have been found in breach as well according to sources speaking to the news team.

According to the newly minted ISU, here is what will happen if you build on a lot without direction from the Planning Department.

You will be served an eviction notice if your structure is found to be illegally occupying Crown Land.  The ISU says then, you will have one month to secure other accommodation and leave.

If the structure is unoccupied after 28 days, reclamation procedures will commence.

If the structure is occupied, individuals will be evicted before reclamation, the ISU says.

The ISU anticipates that there will be claims against eviction orders and is advising people who wish to contest the notice, visit a Crown Land Unit office.

Those contests came in a flood following eviction notices in November 2023 and the Crown Land Unit is still trying to straighten them out with a promise that residents will be treated fairly.

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