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Uton Graham, Bars Manager at BTC masters his mix with training the next generation



PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands: Persons having an interest in careers within the hospitality industry in the Turks and Caicos Islands, will always look towards attaching themselves to the most recognised international brand in the industry, the Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC) resort. This is true for Bar Manager, Uton Graham, who has been with BTC for over 25 years.

Having developed his craft within the department, this father of four credits his growth to the training and mentorship of the largest all-inclusive family resort on the islands, Beaches Turks and Caicos.

Joining the organisation in 1998, Uton started as a bar porter. With training, came regular promotions to bartender, supervisor, assistant manager and now the manager of one of the most dynamic departments at the resort.

“When I started with this company, little did I know that I would become the head of the bar department. I knew that this was the best place for me to improve my skills and Beaches Turks and Caicos provided the best opportunities for growth and improvement,” Graham shared.

While revealing that he knew very little about the standards affiliated with providing international bartending services at family resorts, he was quick to point out that it was through the many training courses that he became an expert. “Within Sandals and Beaches resorts, training and mentorship the hallmarks we live by. Former bars manager at BTC, Sam Hall, was the first person who saw the talent in me and exposed me to the qualities of being the leader I am today,” Uton noted.

Being guided by experienced leaders throughout his career, Uton is committed to also training and building those who enter his department. He views as one of the major factors of his leadership structure, the need to empower and build leaders in whatever career path they may be interest in. This experience, according to one of his protégés, Simone Woodfine, a bartender for more than 10-years is one of Uton’s biggest strengths. “Uton is patient with us as team members and is always encouraging us to challenge ourselves to be certified and empowered in our respective areas. The many online courses that are offered by the Sandals Corporate University (SCU) are mandated by him as our manager. He oftentimes tells us about his growth within the organisation and reminds us about the value of working at BTC,” Woodfine shared.

James McAnally, general manager shared, “Uton is arguably one of the finest leaders that we have at our resort. He has grown within the organisation and is currently sharing the blueprint of his success with those he’s leading. He maintains an open door policy which allows his team members and those from other departments to relate to him as a leader and friend. He has shown genuine interest in the development of his team members and has been a father figure to the young professionals entering the field.”

“Being able to manage the bar department at a family resort takes tact and drive. You have to be firm and fair in how you train the staff to relate to guests while maintaining a professional demeanour at all times. Uton adds value to his team as he empowers them to enroll in SCU courses that will allow them to grow and develop as leaders,” McAnally noted.

When asked what would be his advice to young professionals entering the industry, Graham shared “The opportunities for growth, educationally and professionally are endless. In order to excel in the career of choice each person is given the tools with which to build their skillset. It is not difficult to accomplish your goals here at BTC, you just have to prepare yourself for the change and make it happen. The opportunities are endless.”

Having shared his story of seizing every opportunity to grow, Uton oftentimes encourages his team members to always look for new ways to excel. Getting started as a bartender was never easy, but the leaders he had around him saw the potential in him and empowered him to grow beyond his comfort level. “The support from family, both at work and at home, will always be the pivotal part of my career as these are the people who enabled me to dream bigger and enjoy a more prosperous and fulfilling life. They are my biggest supporters and they have consistently made it possible for me to empower my team to be able to provide world-class professional service to all our guests,” Graham shared.


Release: BTC

Photo Captions: 

Header: Bar Manager at Beaches Turks and Caicos Uton Graham

1st insert: Uton Graham, Bar Manager at BTC pours one of his signature cocktails at one of the many bars at the resort

2nd insert: Uton Graham (left) Bar Manager at BTC and Bartender Andrew Clarke show off two of the many top shelf liquor that they have within that department


Environmental Health Department Recognizes Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week 2023



Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands May 12, 2023 – Mosquito Awareness Week is fast approaching, and its an important initiative which was established with the approval of CARICOM in 2014 to raise awareness about the link between mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit and to strengthen initiatives aimed at eliminating mosquito breeding sites. Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week will be observed this year from May 8th – 14th, 2023 under the theme “Small bite, big threat” and slogan “Beat the buzz: Prevent, Protect, Control”.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is present in the Turks and Caicos Islands, can spread diseases such as Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika.

During the Month of May, the Environmental Health Department will be discussing ways to control vector populations and prevent the spread of diseases. This can include using insect repellent, eliminating breeding grounds, and properly disposing of waste.

Vector Control Awareness Month in the TCI is an extension of Mosquito Awareness Week, recognizing the threat posed by mosquitoes and is a reminder that we all have a role to play in preventing the spread of vector-borne diseases. Let’s work together to keep our communities healthy and safe.

For additional information, please contact the Environmental Health Department on 1649-338-2143/44.

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Social Services hosts Special Event for TCI Younger Ladies



By Dana Malcolm

Staff writer



#TurksandCaicos, May 2, 2023 – Another edition of the government’s mentorship program “The Lady in Me” was held this week. This time young ladies in Providenciales were the ones being treated. The program targets at-risk adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years old.

Photos of the beautiful setup shared with our news team show branded gifts waiting for the girls as they spent the two-day event sponsored by UNICEF focusing on how to cultivate healthy physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral well-being.

Students from various schools arrived in uniforms immaculately pressed for the event put on by the Department of Social Services.

Acting Governor Anya Williams was in attendance and expressed faith that the initiative would cause true change.

“It was a pleasure to share with them my insight into the importance of making the right decisions in their youth, which will help to shape their futures and why they should see and value themselves as their greatest asset and to hear from them their goals, aspirations and the challenges that are currently being experienced by our younger generations,” she said.

In introducing the program the Government had said it was aiming to help participants: “examine the adolescence values, competencies, belief systems, inner feelings, motivations, critical thinking, and communication skills,” in order to “build their self-awareness and interpersonal relationships to strengthen their self-esteem— to create a sense of pride and enhance self-respect, self-worth, and self-esteem as they mature and improve personally and professionally.”

The Department said the event was expected to impact 100 girls.

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What’s at LJMMA? President explains snazzy equipment 



Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – Situated on a Cay of its own, the LJM Maritime Academy (LJMMA) is the Bahamas’ only school of its kind and with sponsorships from Campbell Shipping, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, Disney Cruises, and more it boasts an extremely well-equipped campus. The Turks and Caicos Community College (TCICC) is now partnering with the LJMMA to bring those amenities to TCI students through TCICC.

Brendamae Cleare, President of the institution, joined in on a maritime stakeholder meeting introducing the partnership to the Turks and Caicos’ residents on Tuesday, March 21, detailing everything that the LJMMA had to offer.

“We have– classrooms, workshops, a bridge simulator room, a crane simulator, an engine simulator and we also have a GMDSS simulator and radar simulator as well,” she explained.

The simulator building was commissioned to the tune of $30 million and is only in phase one. Also included alongside the fancy simulators, which give students hands-on experience with the boat engines and cranes that they will work with in the future, there are temporary administrative offices, libraries, nurse’s stations and more.

Other buildings on the Cay include, a firefighting simulator and the school even has lifeboat simulators, which mimic what it would be like pushing the lifeboat off the side of a huge vessel and maneuvering it in the ocean.

The Maritime Academy was birthed in 2011 when executives at Campbell Shipping including Lowell J. Mortimer (which is the only Bahamian-owned shipping company Cleare says), realized that there were no Bahamians working on their ships and were determined to change that.

“We had the college of the Bahamas, which is now the University of the Bahamas. We had a technical and vocational institution. We had banking and tourism colleges, but nothing like maritime but [we said] why not maritime?”

And the LJMMA so was born, named after its founder Mortimer. In its first year, it fielded over 180 applications and accepted just over 40 students. It is semi-regimented, which means strict rules for students, just as they would have to abide by on vessels.

The institution is accredited by the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas, the Bahamas Maritime Authority, the Institute of Materials, Minerals, Mining and others.

Cleare said the vision of the school was to become a globally recognized institution of excellence, in maritime education and training.

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