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BAHAMAS: After 40-year, nearly $3 billion in transactions career, Real estate legend launches Mario Carey Ventures



By Diane Phillips

#Bahamas, March 3, 2021 – Many would have happily hung up their hat after a 40-year career with approximately $3 billion in transactions, but legendary Realtor Mario Carey has a better idea – the founder of the first international branch of Better Homes & Gardens is taking what he learned in one business and applying to a variety of others, combining visionary ideas with global expertise.

Carey announced the quiet launch of Mario Carey Ventures (MCV) this week in a press statement, more than two years after the concept was born and began to build momentum. Today it is involved in about one dozen projects ranging from new technology to social infrastructure like affordable housing and diversified farming, digital assets to resort development.

“Throughout my career, I kept envisioning business opportunities that were outside the real estate space,” said Carey. “At the same time, I was meeting people from all over the world and I realized that if I put the right team or teams together, MCV could provide opportunities that would promote nation-building, slow the brain drain and do what we have been talking about forever, diversify the economy.”

“I always remember that great Michael Jordan quote ‘Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence win championships.’ If I wanted to go into the biotech space, for instance, or marine, I had to find people who would embrace the opportunity and share my vision that it had to benefit The Bahamas.”

Years of interacting with creative leaders, CEOs, celebrities and successful businesspeople paid off with Carey actively engaged in several high-level projects. But he was quick to recognized he needed someone as his chief global strategist and turned to Mark Shekter, co-founder and CEO of Think8 Global Institute.

Montreal-based Think8 has guided companies around the world to develop leadership, think creatively, advance solutions and drive ideas from thoughts to structured reality. The firm has worked with start-ups and multi-national corporations in sports, entertainment, energy, gaming, finance, retail and new technology. Think8’s innovative methodology is taught in University Masters Degree programs and national incubators to develop a new class of socially conscious entrepreneurs.

Carey calls Shekter “tough, but brilliant.” Shekter calls Carey “a true visionary.”

The match between Think8 and MCV works, says Carey, because it brings international experts along with Bahamian citizens and residents to the goal of advancing local opportunities.

“I am driven by the desire to raise capital and allocate human resources to monetize innovation and disruptive ideas that would diversify the economy, provide a reason for well-educated Bahamians to come home and find a place in their own country where they could succeed in a diversified economy.”

“The process of breathing life into good ideas is really what it is all about and not just one idea at a time, but allowing multiple ideas to blossom utilizing a baseline team overall and forming different teams with different skill sets for each concept. Mario Carey Ventures, or MCV, is, simply put, the launchpad from which ideas, solutions and causes move from seed to reality.

Carey, who was among only a handful of Bahamians to earn a university degree from Florida State University in real estate, said his practice exposed him to thinkers from all over the world. In recent years, being among the leading agents in high end markets like Ocean Club Estates, sports heroes, celebrities and management teams has reinforced his belief in what he calls “the hidden business ideas with the power to explode successfully.” MCV will help make that happen, he said, but with one caveat.

“Anything we touch has to have an element of nation-building for The Bahamas.”

Among the many concepts on the MCV table at its official launch are social entrepreneurship enterprises ranging from marine conservation to real estate funding in the affordable housing market.

His long years of networking are already attracting funding and expertise in biotech, digital asset maximization, Family Island development, and preservation and monetization of marine resources by capitalizing on existing potential where resources are plentiful and jobs are scarce.

MCV has also launched its own 501c3 charitable organization- Bahamian Prosperity Foundation- tapping into US tax deductible contributions for Bahamian causes. Carey cites as an example one of his program to provide some 42,000 hot meals to help ease the hunger problem during the pandemic, engaging the full support and dedication of his own staff and professionals at both Better Homes and Gardens MCR Bahamas Group and MCR, his luxury rental and property management company.

Known for his love of the sea and extensive deep diving, Carey has endorsed the concept of naming the waters the Lucayan Sea, backing the idea first proposed by former Royal Bahamas Defense Force Commander Captain Tellis Bethel, now serving in the role equivalent to inspector general for the uniformed law enforcement services.

“To protect something, it must have an identity and the concept of the Lucayan Sea, named in honour of the indigenous inhabitants of The Bahamas, is perfectly suited,” said Carey. “Naming our waters is a positive move that requires little on the part of any government, provides jobs with the expertise of cartography and mapping, opens historic, touristic and educational opportunities and can help unite us by paying tribute to a peaceful people while building pride in our waters.”

According to Carey, MCV has a strict code of conduct, stressing the core principles of trust, accessibility, and effectiveness.

“MCV is all about understanding where I can contribute the most to my country, fulfilling a lifelong dream of doing business that benefits the man,” he said. “we are excited about the next chapter.”

By Diane Phillips

Bahamas News

CARPHA Team undertakes Assessment of Guyana’s National Surveillance System for Non-communicable Diseases



October 14, 2021 – The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) conducted a technical mission to Guyana from September 22nd – 25th, 2021 to undertake site visits as a part of an ongoing assessment of six (6) Member States’ systems for the national surveillance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their risk factors. This activity was implemented in collaboration with the Ministry of Health Guyana through an Agence Française de Développement (AFD) – funded project.

The aim of the assessment s to provide evidence in support of the development of a Regional Surveillance System for NCDs, a priority under the regional health framework Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016-2025).

During the mission, the CARPHA technical team reviewed the capacity of existing surveillance mechanisms in Guyana to collect, analyse and report on the NCDs and risk factor indicators proposed for the regional surveillance system. These indicators were recommended by a multi-stakeholder meeting series convened in 2020 under the AFD project, which reviewed global, regional, and sub-regional mandates, targets and practices in surveillance for the prevention and control of NCDs.

The CARPHA Team along with senior officials from the Ministry of Health conducted visits to two (2) health centres, the National Cancer Registry, Ministry of Health Surveillance, and Statistics Unit.  The results from the overall assessment will be presented to the Ministry of Health Guyana and will also be reviewed alongside results from similar assessments in Anguilla, Aruba, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname to inform the finalisation of the regional surveillance system design through a regional stakeholder meeting.

The regional NCDs surveillance system would facilitate the reporting and availability of data to inform policy development, planning, and tracking of progress towards meeting for targets NCDs at Regional and National levels.

Through funding from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), CARPHA is leading the Region in Strengthening Strategic Intelligence and Partnership Approaches to prevent and control NCDs and Strengthen Regional Health Security in the Caribbean. This project, signed in 2019 with a value of €1,500,000.00, demonstrates the commitment of the Government of France and the French people to supporting the public health priorities of the Caribbean Community through CARPHA.

More information on the Project can be found at:

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Bahamas News

World Sight Day: Love Your Eyes



Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.  14 October, 2021.  In the Caribbean, the leading causes of blindness are glaucoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy (a complication of diabetes).  According to the Vision Atlas, 6.2 million persons in the Caribbean were reported to have vision loss, with an estimated 260,000 persons reported to be blind in 2020.

Information gathered from eighteen (18) Caribbean countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) with a population of 44 million, showed that the crude prevalence of blindness was 0.60%, and the prevalence of all vision loss was 13.20%. Many of the persons affected were females at 52%.

Global statistics reveal that for 2020, a total of 596 million persons had distance vision impairment worldwide, of this number 43 million were blind.  Projections for 2050, indicate that an estimated 885 million persons may be affected by distance vision impairment with 61 million expected to experience  blindness.

CARPHA’s vision for the Caribbean is a region where the health and wellness of the people are promoted and protected from disease, injury and disability, thereby enabling human development in keeping with the belief that the health of the Region is the wealth of the Region.

Although there are no projects that directly address vision impairment, CARPHA in collaboration with its public health partners is implementing initiatives to address risk factors such as unhealthy diets, use of harmful substances and poor physical activities. This in turn, will help reduce the risk of disability due to complications associated with poor blood sugar and blood pressure management.

Efforts to improve the standards of care for diabetes through the implementation of the CARPHA Guidelines on the Management of Diabetes in Primary Care in the Caribbean, and training of health care workers from the CARPHA Member States will also contribute to the prevention of vision impairment and blindness due to diabetes.

Access to eye care services can reduce visual impairment.  CARPHA urges Member States to strengthen health systems to improve eye health services with emphasis on reaching the vulnerable and those most in need.  Governments should commit to integrating eye care into the universal health care system.

World Sight Day is celebrated annually on the second Thursday in October.  The focus of the day is to bring awareness to blindness and vision impairment as a major public health issue and blindness prevention.

The 2021 commemoration observed on 14th October, seeks to encourage persons to think about the ‘importance of their own eye health.’

Our eyes are working hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have been indoors, in front of our screens, and probably missed our eye test appointments. Now more than ever, we need to protect and prioritize our eyesight. There are simple things you can do for yourself to prevent the development of serious eye issues:

  • Take screen breaks for at least five minutes every hour
  • Spend time outside.  Increased outdoor time can reduce the risk of myopia (near-sightedness)[3]
  • Get an eye test. A complete eye exam can detect eye conditions such as glaucoma before it has an effect on your sight. The earlier an eye condition is identified, the easier it is to treat.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet and engage in physical activity. These are crucial steps in maintaining a healthy weight, controlling obesity, and preventing diseases such as diabetes, all of which can impact eye health.
  • If you have diabetes, you should have your eyes checked every year

Your sight cannot be taken for granted.  It is time to LOVE YOUR EYES!

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Bahamas News

RBDF Congratulates Retired Commander Defence Force on National Honour Award 



#TheBahamas, October 13, 2021 – The Royal Bahamas Defence Force congratulates Commodore Retired Leon Livingstone Smith, who was a recipient of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021. 

During a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street, Commodore Smith was presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith. Also in attendance were his daughter, Mrs. Italia Seymour, and the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King.

Commodore Smith was one of sixteen other deserving individuals recognized on National Heroes Day for the vast contributions they made to the development of the country. The first Bahamian Officer to be appointed as Commander Defence Force, he is the longest-serving Commodore to serve this office from 1983 to 1997.

Throughout his military career, he received numerous awards and accolades, and his career in public life spanned over forty years, and on September 19, 2014, an RBDF Legend Class Vessel bearing his name was commissioned. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force is truly grateful for the devoted services of Commodore Smith to the organization and his country.

Commander Defence Force, Commodore Dr. Raymond King extends congratulations on his behalf of the members of his Executive Command, Officers, Senior Enlisted, and Junior Enlisted members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, to Commodore Retired Leon Smith, on his great accomplishment.


Header:  Commodore Retired Leon Smith being presented with the Order of Distinction within the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, by Governor-General, the Most Honorable Sir Cornelius A. Smith on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

Insert: Commodore Retired Leon Smith along with recipients of the 2021 National Honours Awards on October 11, 2021, during a ceremony at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel, West Bay Street.

(RBDF Photos by Able Seaman Paul Rolle II)


(For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website:, follow us on FacebookTwitter and view our Youtube channel) 




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