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.
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
South Caicos Development Plans shared with Washington-Misick led Administration
On Monday, 12 February 2024, the Premier led a delegation to tour the island of South Caicos to view the ongoing public and private sector projects, involving the remodelling and rebranding of the airport terminals, historical districts, and the East Bay Hotel.
The tour of the various developments reinforced the Government’s commitment to collaborating with stakeholders to boost the island’s activity and economy.
Photos courtesy of the TCI Office of the Premier
Ministry of Tourism continues to get rid of dilapidated structures
By LINDSAY THOMPSON
Bahamas Information Services
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation is continuing to rid areas of derelict and dilapidated structures posing safety problems, and a threat to the overall tourism product.
In this vein the recent structure to be demolished was the Gaming Board building owned by the Hotel Corporation. Located adjacent to Goodman’s Bay Beach on West Bay Street, it was formerly the Sir Harry Oakes property; the northern portion once housed Bahamas Information Services for several years.
On hand to witness the demolition were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation the Hon. Chester Cooper, and Senator Randy Rolle, Global Consultant, MOTIA.
The demolition started on Monday, February 5, 2024 by Virgo Construction headed by the contractor Terry Delancy.
DPM Cooper explained that the government felt the Gaming Board building should no longer sit there in a derelict manner, and continue to be an eyesore and pose safety concerns.
“Goodman’s Bay will be enhanced as a result of getting rid of this building. It will be more aesthetically pleasing for residents who traverse this area. Women who walk in the mornings in particular through these areas will be pleased to see that this has become a green space, rather than a derelict structure,” he said.
DPM Cooper also noted that his ministry consulted broadly with the Antiquities, Monuments & Museums Corporation (AMMC), and other historians before proceeding with demolition.
“We are sure not to take any actions as it relates to buildings, without consultation. So they were very comfortable with the process and we continue to work closely with them on all of the buildings that we have demolished in the downtown area,” he said.
Ms. Camilla Lightbourne joins Experience Turks and Caicos team
Experience Turks and Caicos is pleased to welcome Ms. Camilla Lightbourne to the post of Executive Assistant to the CEO effective February 06th, 2024.
Ms. Lightbourne is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree a DeVry University in Florida and previously worked as an Import Logistics Associate at Graceway Trading Ltd. and a Business Account Executive at Digicel.
In welcoming Ms. Lightbourne to the team, Ms. Racquel Brown, Change Manager and Interim CEO of Experience Turks and Caicos said Ms. Lightbourne’s appointment underscores the growth of the organisation.
“Experience Turks and Caicos is growing as we fill out key positions and responsibilities in the organization. As such, it has become necessary to bolster the CEO’s office by adding an Executive Assistant to work with the CEO on the effective administration of the day-to-day tasks. I look forward to working with Ms. Lightbourne in this regard,” she said.
Ms. Lightbourne said she is pleased to be part of the Experience Turks and Caicos team.
“I am elated to join such a dynamic organisation. I am looking forward to making my mark in the future development of our country’s tourism product,” she said.
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