Bahamian playmaker shares his journey and growth in entertainment
#TheBahamas, March 21, 2022 – “Peter was great. He is friendly, very professional and very talented. His show was great and exciting. I have never seen anything like that. It was great and he has lots of energy.” That was what one guest wrote about Peter Hanna from the entertainment department, during their recent stay at Sandals Royal Bahamian.
Hanna is one of the most popular names at the Luxury-Included® resort, not only because he is undeniably talented but also because the vivacious entertainment coordinator continues to dominate guest feedback platforms like the Sandals Blaze Loop and the globally referred Trip Advisor. He is undoubtedly the guests’ favourite person.
During the closure of Sandals Royal Bahamian, Hanna worked in other resorts but like the Prodigal Son, he quickly packed up and headed back home to Sandals Royal Bahamian once the resort reopened. “This is like home and my colleagues are like my family. This is the place that trained and groomed me. It is the place that made me into somewhat of a superstar in my field,” he said between chuckles.
Indeed, he is a superstar and has been for years. This has seen him copping the coveted title of Legendary Team Member of The Year in 2018 and 2019. In fact, he believes that the pandemic robbed him of what could have been his third consecutive win. The recipient of that award is the person who gets the most guest mentions and commendations on the resort.
Today Hanna forms part of the fabric of the resort’s entertainment team, tasked with engaging guests and in doing so highlighting the Bahamian culture daily. The resort’s wide range of entertainment offerings present opportunities for both permanent team members as well as other locally contracted performers who daily display their expansive creative talents by way of the steel pan, saxophone, vocals, Junkanoo rush and rake n’ scrape. This occurs daily through a mix that occurs from arrival and extends throughout the guest’s stay and Hanna works alongside fellow team members and local acts to ensure a world-class experience to meet the diverse expectation of all our guests.
Hanna, a native of Nassau, started working in the hospitality industry at age 18 as a part of a dance group performing Michael Jackson numbers. At the time, Hanna was fresh out of high school and had no idea what it was like to work in a structured environment. All he knew was dancing. “We never got shows every night so whenever I wasn’t dancing, I would just be home, waiting for a call about a gig,” he shared.
It was the call for his group to perform at Sandals Royal Bahamian that changed the scope of young Hanna’s life and vision. “A manager from Sandals saw us perform at an event and liked us. They started inviting us to dance in their show weekly and overtime they had us in more shows until they eventually introduced us to other forms of dancing,” recalled Hanna.
This was the moment Hanna knew that his introduction to Sandals would change his life for better.
“It was here at Sandals Royal Bahamian that I was introduced to things other than hip-hop. I migrated into things like Conga and Broadway types of dancing. I was evolving and growing in my gift,” he said.
Hanna’s growth quickly became apparent and everyone knew he would add tremendous value to the team and the entertainment product at large. He was offered the opportunity to work for the resort and he quickly accepted.
“I said yes and from there my whole life changed. I did not know that there were jobs in the world like this where I am paid to play every single day. I was having fun; I was playing games and was hosting various events. I was interacting with people and cultures from all over the world. It was my first full time job. Sandals made me the man I am today,” he stated emphatically.
Today, Hanna is arguably the most diverse and multifaceted entertainment coordinator at Sandals Royal Bahamian. From limbo and juggling to stilt walking and fire dancing, he does it all. “Working here made me realize the endless possibilities that exist in the entertainment arena. I’ve met guests who do these things for a living and have excelled beyond what I was able to imagine so that pushed me to advance my entertainment craft,” he shared.
Aside from his on the job training, the ambitious young man has used YouTube videos to assist with his development and Sandals has provided him with a platform to showcase every new trick that he has managed to master.
“When I learned my juggling, I was allowed to do it on Thursdays at the talent show, when I learned my fire dancing, I got the chance to be part of the Junkanoo show and now I am in the new fire show we have on resort on Monday nights,” he said.
His manager and fellow Nassau native, Leslie Lightbourne shared that he is excited about Hanna’s prospects in Sandals. “He is extremely talented, he is obviously loved and he is passionate about growth. He is on the right path and with his work ethic and drive, I cannot help being excited about all the future has in store for him especially in this company that is so big on developing talent,” he said.
In addition to his growth and development, Hanna lauds Sandals for allowing him to travel expansively. “I’ve traveled to several Caribbean countries at no cost to me. I have gone to Barbados, Saint Lucia and Jamaica and have stayed at our other resorts in fine style,” a smiling Hanna expressed.
He continued, “I am grateful to Sandals for taking a chance on me. I was only a young man with no knowledge of this industry, no experience and today I am an expert in this field, very marketable and in demand.”
Press Release: Sandals Resorts
USA Caribbean Investment Forum: Partnering for Sustained Development in the Caribbean 2023 Event Recap
The USA Caribbean Investment Forum took place over two days last week at the New York Marriott Marquis Times Square. The event, hosted by the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA) in partnership with representatives of the CARICOM Consular Corps (namely, the Consulates General of Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Antigua & Barbuda), brought together government officials, investment promotion agencies, entrepreneurs, and business leaders from the Caribbean diaspora to connect, engage in thoughtful discussions, and explore investment opportunities throughout the Caribbean.
Fostering International Collaboration
The event featured distinguished speakers and representatives from both the US and Caribbean governments. Consuls General Mr. Mackie Holder (Barbados), Mr. Jerome Andre Laveau (Trinidad & Tobago), and Mr. Rondy McIntosh (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) along with Jeanette Moy, Commissioner of the NYS Office of General Services, Edward Mermelstein, NYC Commissioner of International Affairs, and Molly Bauer, Industry Development Associate from the NY Governor’s Office, shed light on the initiatives that New York City, which is home to so many Caribbean Diaspora, is implementing to support economic collaboration between the regions.
Hon. Kenneth Bryan, Minister for Tourism & Ports, Cayman Islands, and Chair of Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Hon. E. Jay Saunders, Deputy Premier, Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment, Turks and Caicos Islands delivered insights via keynote speeches and held candid discussions during panel and Q&A sessions. The event served as a unique opportunity to communicate in an open and honest forum with two esteemed leaders from the Caribbean about investing in the region.
Promoting Investment Opportunities
CAIPA welcomed representatives from Invest Barbados, Invest Dominica, Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC), InvesTT (Trinidad and Tobago), Invest Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA), Invest St. Lucia, Invest St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the Bahamas Investment Authority, the Curacao Investment and Export Promotion Agency (CINEX), and the Sint Maarten Ministry of Tourism, Economy, Transport and Telecommunications, to discuss various opportunities for investment in their respective countries and how their agencies support and facilitate potential investors.
Private sector companies including the St. James School of Medicine, Century21 Guyana, Ethniv, and Homestrings joined the forum to discuss their current active projects in the Caribbean. They detailed how they’ve worked with local governments and institutions to successfully launch and operate their businesses in the Caribbean, along with the potential opportunities for continued growth.
Understanding How Caribbean Financial Institutions Facilitate Investment
The Forum brought together key representatives from Caribbean financial and economic development institutions: IDB Lab (Ms. Magdalena Coronel, Chief Investment Officer), the National Commercial Bank Jamaica LTD (Mr. Jeffrey Brown, Head, Loans Structuring and Syndications), USAID (Mr. Mervyn Farroe, USAID representative for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean), and the Caribbean Development Bank (Ms. Lisa Harding, Private Sector Development Specialist) to detail how these organizations facilitate and support private investment in the Caribbean.
Attendees had the opportunity to meet directly with CAIPA member countries during business meetings. These one-on-one conversations were valuable opportunities to speak directly with key stakeholders in order to advance projects and forge direct relationships.
The inaugural USA Caribbean Investment Forum was a great success due to the collaboration and engagement from individuals representing a wide range of sectors, organizations, and countries – all united under the goal of driving economic growth in the Caribbean and taking advantage of the enormous opportunities available in the region. https://www.investincaribbean.org/news-center/sign-up-for-our-newsletter to sign up for our newsletter.CAIPA and the representatives of the CARICOM Consular Corps are proud to have facilitated these conversations and supported deepening of relationships with key stakeholders throughout the US and the Caribbean. We look forward to our next event, which will be held on 6-8 March in Miami (Caribbean Logistics Investment Conference 2024) – focused on attracting investments into logistics and transportation by sea and air as well as e-commerce logistics and industrial logistics parks throughout the Caribbean. Stay tuned for more details! If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the CAIPA mailing list, please visit:
Early-Childhood Institutions in St. Catherine Get Time Clocks
#Kingston, September 26, 2023 – Two early-childhood institutions in Kitson Town, St. Catherine, have received 15 time clocks each from educator, Jillian Wray-Robinson, with support from Food For the Poor (FFP).
Speaking at the handover of the clocks at the Kitson Town Basic School on September 25, Ms. Wray-Robinson said they are an important resource for the young students and can help them learn to value time.
“This is where my Foundation was dug, and as an educator, I am giving back and taking the time to invest in the future. It is very important; time is money and money is time, and if they learn how to read the clock, it will become of importance to them,” she said.
Principal of the school, Charline Nathon, said she was grateful for the items, noting that the donation was timely.
“I am sure the children will use it to the best of their ability. The clock is what we are doing in the curriculum – they learn to read the clock,” the Principal said.
Speaking at the handover of the clocks at the Old Road Early Childhood Centre, Ms. Wray-Robinson told the audience that her daughter spent her first year of formal education at the school, and it was a delight to assist them in obtaining the 15 items.
“After carefully looking at the curriculum, I know it will be useful to them (students). School begins on time, and ends with time, and we want our children to learn how to read the clock, and how to tell the time,” she said.
Principal of the school, June Maxwell, said the clocks will help her students, and “we will truly use the resources to the best of our knowledge, and ability”.
Contact: Garfield L. Angus
CTO mourns the passing of former chairman Obediah Wilchcombe
#BARBADOS (September 26, 2023) – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) deeply mourns the loss of distinguished Bahamian leader and former chairman of the inter-regional body, Obediah Wilchcombe.
“We extend our heartfelt prayers and condolences to Minister Wilchcombe’s family, as well as the government and people of the Bahamas. He was a true champion for the people of the Bahamas and the wider Caribbean region,” remarked Kenneth Bryan, CTO Chairman and Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands.
Chairman Bryan recalled Minister Wilchcombe held the position of CTO Chairman twice (2002-2004 and 2016-2017) while serving as Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas, and contributed significantly to the advancement of sustainable tourism development in the Caribbean.
Chairman Bryan noted that the CTO plans to honor the life and legacy of “this eminent Bahamian leader” at the organization’s upcoming business meetings and the State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) in Turks and Caicos next month.
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