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Meet Snjezana Andrews: First Local to lead the Somerset Luxury Boutique Resort

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#TurksandCaicos, November 18, 2021 – At six months in, Snjezana Andrews is the General Manager of Somerset Resort on Grace Bay, a 5-star luxury boutique Property in Providenciales.   At 37, she is one of the youngest to lead in the industry and she is the first local to ever manage the luxury resort 53- room property.

Snjezana is one of only three local women to hold such a title at high-end luxury properties on Grace Bay, within the largest industry segment in Turks & Caicos Islands.

Mrs. Andrews began her tertiary education in 2001 at North Carolina Central University in Durham, North Carolina and graduated magna cum laude in 2005 and later went on to pursue her Masters’ with American Intercontinental University online.

She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), holding a Master’s in Business Management and dual Bachelor’s Degrees; one in Finance and the other in Accounting.

She interned with Duke University, IBM and KPMG, during her college career.

Post-graduation, she went on to work for Ernst & Young in Raleigh, North Carolina and returned home to the Turks & Caicos Islands where she worked for Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLC.

The mega-tourism industry of the island weighed heavily on her directional view, as she thought it most profitable futuristically, by way of investment, to carve out e a slice of the industry all her own.

As an answer to the inner tugging, Snjezana at age 24, ventured out and started her first business in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry, a local car rental and sales brand company, many now know as Caicos Wheels Ltd.

She later secured, international Economy rent-a-car franchise to expand her product offerings to the U.S and international markets. Tourism began to grow on her, and she decided again, to invest, only 2 years after her initial plunge into the industry, and begun Island Tours and Excursions Ltd., a full-fledged concierge and vacation booking services company.

Snjezana remained active in the financial services industry, though her business ventures were Tourism-based, and was appointed to the Turks & Caicos Islands’ Society of Professional Accountants’ Board in March 2018, where she sat as one of the Executives of the Council.

In June 2018, she was nominated as the Turks & Caicos Islands’ representative to sit on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC); the first woman and person from the country to hold this role; a role which she held for two  years.

Snjezana was Financial Controller for the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Tourist Board,  Accounting Manager with NHIP and also worked as a Senior Auditor with Grant Thornton LLC in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos.

In 2017, Mrs. Andrews began The A Team Ltd. an Accounting and Marketing Firm aimed at assisting businesses in accounting, audit, marketing and business management needs. The A Team is also licensed by the Turks & Caicos Financial Services Commission since 2019 to engage in the business of company management, company formation, annual returns and custodial services.

Through her many career pursuits, community-based initiatives are still at the center of her core, as Mrs. Andrews believes in the aid of those who are less fortunate is every citizen’s responsibility.

Mrs. Andrews currently holds the title of Board Treasurer for United Way Worldwide in the Turks & Caicos, a philanthropic organization, identified by Forbes in 2016 and 2017, as a leading US organization in the world.

She is also a member of the inaugural group of Young Leaders under the Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association.

Snjezana is married and is a mother to four beautiful children.   Mrs. Andrews has always had an ambitious spirit, believing that anything is possible once she puts her faith in God.

 

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Bahamas News

GBPA invests $1.1 million in major road infrastructure improvements for city of Freeport

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#TheBahamas, May 20, 2022 – The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) will commence its $1.1 million road resurfacing project in Freeport, Grand Bahama on Sunday, May 22, 2022 beginning with the Fishing Hole Road, and West Atlantic and Adventures Way roundabout.

“Our City Maintenance and Management section is excited to begin this important initiative to resurface roadways within Freeport,” said Troy McIntosh, GBPA Deputy Director of Building and Development Services.  “Our city has been through many challenging storm events which did catastrophic damage to infrastructure around the island, including our roads.

“But our community is resilient, and we are seeing a positive shift in the economic tide,” continued McIntosh. “Excitement for future opportunities and anticipation of new investments is palpable through the city, so we knew this was the ideal time to start this aspect of Freeport’s much-needed makeover to which GBPA is fully committed.”

Roadworks are scheduled for main thoroughfares and a number of residential roads.  These areas include the Fishing Hole Road, West Atlantic and Adventures Way roundabout, West Atlantic Drive at Rayvin Mall roundabout, Beach Way Drive, Bahama Reef Boulevard, Pioneers Way, Waterfall Drive, Tarrytown Street and Grand Bahama Highway.  “We selected these locations using our Road Rating System, which allows inspectors to assess the condition and rideability of our roads on an annual basis,” added Mr. McIntosh.

The GBPA roadworks project went out to bid in December 2020.  In March 2022, the bid was awarded to Bahamas Hot Mix (BHM), who specializes in heavy civil engineering projects including major highways.

“We ask motorists to drive with due care and attention while roadwork is underway,” Mr. McIntosh advised.  Flagmen and temporary traffic lights will be in position to direct traffic.  Please obey the speed limit and posted signs to help ensure the safety of all motorists and crews as they conduct work.  Delays are expected as there will be partial lane closures in some areas.”

The initial phase of road resurfacing is scheduled to be completed at the end of June 2022.  For the latest updates and information on redirected travel routes, residents can follow any of the Grand Bahama Port Authority’s social media sites or visit its website at www.gbpa.com.

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Caribbean News

RTCIPF Marine Branch and USCG Working Together in Keeping Our Borders Secure

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#TurksandCaicos, May 20, 2022 – During the afternoon of Wednesday 19th May 2022, a call was made to the RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre via VHF radio that a suspicious vessel was sighted around 35 miles south east of Providenciales. The operator immediately updated colleagues within the Royal Turks and Caicos Marine Branch who made their way to the location and with the support of a US Coast Guard (USCG) plane, safely intercepted an overloaded vessel carrying irregular migrants.

Following delicate coordination and the stabilization of the boat which was unsafe, severely overcrowded and none of the occupants was wearing life vests, the RTCIPF marine unit was joined by a second RTCIPF Marine crew and a third vessel crewed with TCI Regiment and Tactical Unit officers to support the delicate operation.

The vessel was carefully offloaded at sea to ensure the safety of the occupants after which, the boat was towed to South Dock where it arrived around 10:30pm with a total of 110 persons (84 males and 24 females and 2 juveniles) who were then taken into custody by the Immigration Department.

Superintendent Martyn Ball said, “Once again working with partners we have safely intercepted another vessel that was overcrowded, unsafe, risking the lives of those on board. This demonstrates the professionalism and dedication of the RTCIPF Marine Unit, working together with colleagues in the Marine Operations Centre, USCG, TCI Regiment, TCI Immigration and the RTCIPF Tactical Unit to save lives and keep our borders here in the Turks and Caicos safe.  In the last couple of months around 768 individuals on 8 dangerous vessels have been intercepted which is testament to the professionalism of our teams here in the TCI and I am very grateful to the passing vessel who raised the alarm.  I would appeal to anyone if you have any information relating to such activity that you call Crimes Stoppers free and anonymously on 1-800-8477 (TIPS) not only will you be saving lives but also supporting our national security here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

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Education

Ten Selected for the TCREA Real Estate Mentorship Program

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#TurksandCaicos, May 20, 2022 – Since the official announcement of the Turks & Caicos Real Estate Association’s High School Mentorship Program, ten mentees have been selected for the inaugural group and will begin their journey on the road to embracing the fundamentals of the real estate field this month.

TCREA Ambassador and Director of the mentorship program, Mr. Trevor Musgrove, shared how pleased the committee was to have received thirty applications for the program, “We extended the opportunity to high schoolers and young college students aged 13-17.  Initially, the invitation for applications was shared only with Providenciales students because of the logistical challenge to accommodate in-person sessions with sister island students, as all our committee members are based in Providenciales.

Luckily, once the Ministry of Education came on board and endorsed the program, Honourable Rachel Taylor immediately encouraged us to extend the mentorship opportunity to all islands, pledging her Ministry’s commitment to handling the necessary authorizations and cost to ensure successful applicants outside of Provo would be able travel here as needed,” said Musgrove.

 The successful applicants and their respective schools are as follows:

·     Clement Howell High – Dashawn Brooks, Alyssa Callum

·      Raymond Gardiner High – Olique Stubbs, Lewis Walkin, Jr.

·      Precious Treasures – Aniyah Bovie

·      Maranatha Academy – Shamya Missick

·      British West Indies Collegiate – Pavla Lalakova, Andino Parker

·      Louise Garland Thomas High – Abnise Noel, Antoine Gedeon

Musgrove said they were pleased to have had applicants from North Caicos and were hopeful to have students from Grand Turk and South Caicos among the group, however no applications were received from those islands.

On Tuesday, May 10th the final group came together for a virtual meet-up and briefing, where they were formally introduced to the program’s mentors and were given an overview of what to expect in the coming months.

The teens will receive a monthly educational module over the next six months and will be provided 1-2 weeks to internalize the information. They will then enjoy a monthly in-person session with their mentors where they will put their real estate acumen to the test in interactive sessions, field trips, and more.

Program mentor Manfred Smith of Sotheby’s Turks & Caicos shared his elation for the program’s momentum thus far, “We are excited about providing this opportunity to introduce high school students to the real estate industry.  From the initial feedback, the students are also very keen to learn, which makes it rewarding for all as we contribute to the development of tomorrow’s professionals.”

Smith says the program also demonstrates TCREA’s continued commitment as good corporate citizens in the rapidly growing country.  The committee hopes that the mentees would grasp all that they can as they continue their educational pursuits.

The program’s Facebook page, @tcreamentors, is live and will document the group’s journey as they move through the program’s phases.  Along with Musgrove and Smith, the community can get to know more about the other committee members: Blair MacPherson of REMAX; Nina Siegenthaler of Sotheby’s; Vernica Delancy and Dedra Gray of Keller Williams; and Sean O’neill, of The Agency through the social media page as well.

At the end of the program, the students will sit a mock real estate license exam and will enjoy a retreat for a fun and memorable close-out. 

It is TCREA’s hope that this initiative will garner an interest and appreciation for the industry among high-schoolers and will act as springboard to the development of the next generation of local real estate professionals in these islands.

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