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Three Turks & Caicos Islanders, with Bahamian Roots promoted at Grace Bay Resorts, among them a new hotel manager

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By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm

Editorial Staff

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2022 – Another promotion announcement from Grace Bay Resorts cements their reputation as being welcoming of local Turks and Caicos Islanders at the executive level of the company, which manages award winning, luxury properties across the island of Providenciales.

For the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas, there is a cause for rejoicing as the trio of elevated staffers have heritage in both nations.

“One of our values and mission for the organization is a brand that we can all be proud of.  We provide employment in the local community, we invest in our people and we give back in terms of educational opportunities as well as ensuring that we not only employ Turks and Caicos islanders but that we employ them at every level in our organization,” said Sheba Wilson, HR Director the Grace Bay Resorts Group of resorts.

Wilson, native to South Caicos is among the first Turks and Caicos Islanders to have been promoted to an executive level at the Grace Bay Resort, she is the HR Director for the group and easily agreed that the company’s culture embraces a hands on approach which has opened the door wide to local talent.

Making the spectacular leap is again Lindy Rigby, who is also a TCHTA Star Award winner.  Rigby is now on a second significant promotion with Grace Bay Resorts.

Having always been interested in the hospitality industry Lindy took the plunge around 12 years ago and worked at Beaches Resort Turks & Caicos before migrating to Grace Bay Resorts. In seven short years, Lindy was promoted from Executive Assistant Manager – Rooms at Grace Bay Club to now, the new General Manager at West Bay Club.

Rigby, at the age of 43 years old has been entrusted with one of the more celebrated boutique properties in the country’s tourism mecca, Providenciales.  Described as “subtly sophisticated”, the resort has 46 studios and suites settled sweetly on Grace Bay Beach in the Lower Bight.

“I’m excited that Grace Bay Club has allowed me to take over one of their properties, as a local it is always humbling. It puts more pressure on you to be the GM of a property because you’re on stage and people are looking to you to see if you can do this,” said Lindy, his voice brimming with pride as he expressed his gratitude for the opportunity and congratulations to others who have been advanced.

Lindy added, “I’m also excited for my two colleagues.  My best friend and brother, Almando Rigby for his new step in him being the director of rooms at the new Rock HOuse and for Kendi, as new director of HR at South Bank. I can say that Grace Bay Resorts believes in locals and promoting talent from within and that is such a unique thing…”

Lindy Rigby is a founding team member of Magnetic Media which started in 2008, officially.  While mass media was a passion for him, his heart belonged to hospitality and with anticipation we saw him pursue the dream with impressive zeal.  Therefore his appointment and refreshing humility at this feat, for a boy who went from running around in Eight Mile Rock, Grand Bahama to now running a world class resort brings our organization tremendous joy.  He shared how he continues to achieve such towering accomplishments.

“I also want to thank persons like yourself.  Persons like you for always believing in me, you were always telling me that I’m a leader, even when I wasn’t leading people and telling me you have something to offer this world.  Those types of encouragements from people like you, Sammy Williams, (the late) Peter Stubbs – all persons who believed in me, all persons who gave me opportunities to lead and who allowed me to display my personality and who I am.  I want to say Thank you.”

Almando Rigby and Kendi Jones are also enjoying very successful careers at Grace Bay Resorts.  They both leave the anchor property for newer developments.

Almando was moved up from Executive Housekeeper at Grace Bay Club to Director of Rooms and Senior Leader at the Rock House which is explained as a majestic 14-acre oceanfront site with 600 feet of frontage and peaks soaring up to 95 feet above sea level.  It’s considered Capri in the Caribbean.

“I’m excited about the new opportunity given to me by a company that I can say definitely believes in locals, believes in promoting locals.  Even before my promotion, as I sat around the table at the mangers’ meetings at Grace Bay Club as I looked around the table, I would always see people that looked like me.  And for a company like Grace Bay Club, that runs a luxury five star resort to see that locals are in key positions, it was always appealing to me,” said Almando.

He explained to us, the positions were not token, but given with the expectation that these individuals could support decision making and influence the direction of the company in meaningful ways.

“That pushes you and propels you to want to do good because when you do good, you pave the way for others behind you.”

Also raised in the western side of Grand Bahama Island in The Bahamas, specifically Jones Town, Eight Mile Rock, Almando is Lindy’s older brother and has been planted in the land of his heritage – Turks and Caicos Islands – for nearly two decades now.

Seven years ago, Kendi Jones tells us she was just starting out at Grace Bay Resorts.  Today, the young woman who is connected by birth to the Jolly and Hamilton families of the Turks and Caicos and the famous Jones Communications family in The Bahamas is living a dream come true.

Kendi Jones is the new Director of Human Resources at new South Bank, which is a luxury waterfront development offering oceanfront and beachfront homes on the market for up to $7 million.  Ms. Jones manages the team that manages the three intimate neighborhoods: The Ocean Estate, the Lagoon, and the Launch.

“I’m very excited about this new chapter in my life,” Kendi, a Johnson & Wales University graduate shared with us in a phone interview.

“I’ve been with the Grace Bay Club for the last seven years and I’ve been able to grow and develop with them from internships, straight up to this stage in my career.  I am excited for the new opportunities, new challenges and new victories I am about to embark upon and I am very thankful to the organization for giving me this opportunity.”

Kendi believes this promotion is another stepping stone, noting that she is looking to even more heights being reached with the company.

It is a glowing string of testaments for the resort group. And make no mistake, driving this enviable corporate culture is Sheba Wilson, who was also hailed for her leadership by the newly promoted team.  In fact, 12 years ago Wilson was the only local senior manager at the table.

Wilson explained that as a growing business Grace Bay Resorts was already looking for shining stars in the country’s high schools and the community college to take up positions across their companies.

“It is a part of our strategic HR plan— we have a very robust training plan in house” she explained. “We do a lot of facilitation especially in terms of leadership development and also developing emerging leaders in the organization to prepare them for promotions.”

Wilson maintained it was all about building a legacy of creating and developing leaders and empowering and equipping others so that the company’s legacy continues.

Bahamas News

$36 Million Dollar Upgrade for World Athletics Relays in Nassau, Bahamas

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer 

 

After years of thorough maintenance, The Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in The Bahamas is finally getting a multi-million dollar makeover, readying the 10 year old facility ahead of the World Athletics Relays on May  5, 2024; it is being staged in Nassau for the fourth time. 

 

This $36 million refurbishment is being funded by the Chinese Government, as part of a vision to enhance the country’s sport infrastructure to benefit youths in athletics. The stadium was gifted to The Bahamas in 2012 by the Chinese.

 

The relay is the qualifying event for the 2024 Summer Olympic Games and there will be 32 national teams, in each relay event, and 20 races on both days of competition, according to World Athletics. 

Day 1, will have 20 heats across the five olympic events (4 heats each for 4×100, 4×400, men, women and mixed) and will qualify 40 teams for the Summer Olympics.  The top two teams from each heat will directly qualify for the Games.

On day 2, 30 more national teams will be qualified through 15 repechage heats and five finals, across those five events.

 

The upgrades which include new trusses, rooftops, seats, the lawn, score boards, LED displays and more, are expected to be complete at least two weeks before the relays, being held under the theme: ‘Chase the  Sun’. 

 

In a special ceremony on Monday April 8, The Bahamas Prime Minister, Philip Davis said:

 

In December 2023, our shared vision took shape, as the government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, and the government of the People’s Republic of China, inked an implementation agreement for the renovation of the stadium. This gesture of goodwill and friendship, from the Chinese government to undertake the China Aid Maintenance and Renovation project of our national stadium, stands as a testament to the strong bonds that unite our countries. This project, executed by China Urban Construction Research Institute Company Limited, and the China Machinery Industry Construction Group Company Limited, reflects our shared commitment to excellence, innovation and mutual development.”

 

Additionally, H.E Dai Qingli, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to The Bahamas who also attended that ceremony, spoke. 

 

“At the end of the project, the Bahamian people will get a fully renewed and modern world class stadium because everything is going to be either renewed or repaired,” she said.

Some 1600 athletes will be in The Bahamas for the World Athletics relays, with five events.  The Bahamas won the bid over Lausanne, Rome in 2022.

 

 Mario Bowleg,  Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture in reports, thanked China for their contribution to the redevelopment of the stadium. 

 

“We thank them for their commitment to ensuring that they bring this facility back up to A1 standard so that we can continue holding international events and using these facilities as a development of our young people.”

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Bahamas News

Grand Bahama Airport Demolition

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BIS Photo: Lisa Davis

Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

TheBahamas#TheGrandBahamaAirportDemolition, April 10, 2024 – The demolition of the Grand Bahama International Airport has begun, to start transformative construction as previously announced by Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Aviation and Investments, Chester Cooper, last month. Cooper says a new state of the art facility will be created to redefine Grand Bahama’s access to global opportunities and meet international standards.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bahamas News

Saxons Brass Section Thanks CWCO for Continued Commitment

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS (April 9th, 2024) Behind the vibrant costumes and electrifying beats of Junkanoo parades are committed members, mentors, and supporters such as Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO). In a heartfelt acknowledgment of years of generous support, the Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited the water supplier to present a plaque of appreciation.

Jeremy Adderley, speaking on behalf of High Voltage Brass, said, “Without CWCO’s support, we would not have had the brass costumes needed to compete and secure our two-straight victory. Their support also helps us as we plan lessons for our young members to enhance their musicianship skills, not just for Junkanoo but for college and beyond.”

Adderley highlighted that the plaque is a token of High Voltage Brass’ immense gratitude for CWCO helping the Saxons Superstars keep culture alive and for being a steadfast partner in developing future leaders.

He added, “Every year, it is a struggle to make it to Bay Street. Many of our members are eager to participate, despite their circumstances, and every year our group continues to grow. Thanks to CWCO’s generosity, we look forward to continuing to grow and succeed alongside their great team and establishment.”

Henderson Cash, CWCO’s General Manager, said, “Receiving this plaque from the Saxons Superstars is a profound honor for us at CWCO. It symbolizes the strong relationship we’ve built over the years, rooted in mutual respect and a shared commitment to preserving Bahamian heritage.

“Our support for the Saxons Superstars’ brass section is emblematic of our broader mission to invest in our community’s vibrancy and the potential of its young people. We are deeply committed to continuing this support and fostering the traditions that make our culture so unique.”

 

Photo Caption: The Saxons Superstars’ brass section, High Voltage Brass, recently visited Consolidated Water (Bahamas) Ltd. (CWCO) to present a plaque of appreciation.

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