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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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Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.

Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.

Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources for TCI, Amy Avenant, says the Turks and Caicos Islands has not seen the worst of the overgrowth.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.

“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”

Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.

Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.

She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.

There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.

Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.

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