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Issue No. 74

Mar/Apr 2014

Bay Gardens Resorts is Business of the Year

www.stluciafocus.com www.stluciafocus.com


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No. 74

BF Mar/Apr 2014

CONTENTS 66

FEATURE

10

65. Business Awards 2014

REGULARS

04. Editor’s Focus

20. Book Reviews

06. Business Briefs

34. Business Spotlight

Business Tech 10. US$25 Million to Harmonise

In The Know 54. New India to Expand to Guyana 56. UK Bribery Act Could be a Template for Greater Transparency in the Caribbean 58. Du Boulay’s Bottling and Jamaican Firm Partner in New Venture 60. Hear Ye, Hear Ye! 62. Puppy Theft

Caribbean Telecommunications

12. Caribbean Tech Expert to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award Money Matters 14. Doing More With Less 16. Trinidad & Tobago Gets Standard and Poor’s ‘A’ Rating 18. CIBC FirstCaribbean Contributes Over Economy & Trade Focus 22. Caribbean Export Receives 3.2 Million Euros for the Cariforun Services Sector 24. Caribbean Women In Business: A Trend or Paradigm Shift? 28. OECS Grappling With High Debt 30. Prime Minister Hon. Kenny D Anthony Commits to Higher National Renewable Energy Targets 32. EU Allocates €8.5m for Regional Risk Reduction

96. Tourism Focus 99. Major Moves

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102. Events 2012 103. New Company Registrations

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Change with Hope and Opportunity. The first quarter of 2014 is almost over and what an eventful period it has been. We started with rebuilding and reconstruction after the disastrous December 2013 trough and have experienced several exciting events of national significance with much to celebrate. Corporate planning and execution by the Private Sector and Government moves apace with the hope of stimulating the national economy. The Prime Minister’s efforts at engaging the private sector needs to be commended. Gablewoods Supermarkets Ltd including the Super J Supermarkets were sold by Michael Chastanet to the Neal & Massy Group based in Trinidad. Other regional Lokesh Singh entities are expanding their presence into St Lucia and the 2013 – 14 Tourist Season has shown good Publisher/Managing Editor signs of recovery. Nina Compton advanced St Lucia’s image on the world stage with her culinary creations in the Top Chef competition and was justly rewarded with the honour of being made a national Ambassador. We celebrated Nobel Laureate week and St Lucia’s 35th Independence Anniversary with the highlight being the unveiling of a statue of Sir John Compton in recognition of his contribution to nationhood and the island’s development. The St Lucia Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2014 St Lucia Business Awards which generated increased participation from the business community. We wish to congratulate the Chamber and all of the winners who were recognized with awards in the various categories. Specifically we wish to single out Mrs Joyce Destang for being named “Entrepreneur of the Year” and her company Bay Gardens Resorts being named “Business of the Year”. This is testimony to the vision and leadership of Mrs Destang in charting the course in difficult economic times and guiding her team towards continued growth and success of her Bay Gardens Resorts. We at Business Focus and all of St Lucia salute her efforts. Michael Chastanet has taken to the Airwaves with the launch of his television programme “Open Mike” and we look forward to him sharing his vision and passion for business and national development. St Lucia‘s Dr Didacus Jules has been announced as the new OECS Director General and we anxiously look forward to him taking the helm and charting the future course for the OECS as a Single Market and Economy. Caricom Heads have met and deliberated on several fronts which we hope will lead to increased intra regional trade for the benefit of our people. The first quarter has sure generated excitement. We hope that these along with the Government initiatives of reconstruction and bridge building will create the opportunities needed for our economy to flourish.

Happy Reading!

BUSINESSFOCUS Business Focus magazine is published every two months by Advertising & Marketing Services Limited (AMS), Saint Lucia. Publisher / Managing Editor: Lokesh Singh lokesh@amsstlucia.com Graphic Designer: Cecil Sylvester Advertising Sales: Cennette Flavien - cennette@amsstlucia.com Hudson Myers - hudson@amsstlucia.com Webmaster: Advertising & Marketing Services Photography: Ashley Anzie | Cecil Sylvester | Stan Bishop Caribbean Export | Consolidated Foods Ltd. St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce | Eroline Foods Contributors: Stan Bishop | Pilaiye Cenac | Kezia Preville Lyndell Halliday | Dr Chris Bart | Brian Ramsey St Lucia Chamber of Commerce | St Lucia Star Caribbean Business Report | DIGICEL Sea Island Cotton Shop | Caribbean Export | ACCA CIBC FirstCaribbean | Demerara Waves Trinidad Express | Trinidad Guardian Jamaica Observer | Antigua Observer First Citizens Investment Services | Caribbean360 Editorial, Advertising, Design & Production: Advertising & Marketing Services P.O. Box 2003, Castries, Saint Lucia Tel: (758) 453-1149; Fax: (758) 453-1290 email: ams@candw.lc www.amsstlucia.com, www.stluciafocus.com Business Focus welcomes contributions from professionals or writers in specialized fields or areas of interest. Reproduction of any material contained herein without written approval, constitutes a violation of copyright. Business Focus reserves the right to determine the content of the publication.

Issue No. 74

Mar/Apr 2014

On The Cover: Joyce and Sanovnik Destang of Bay Gardens Bay Gardens Resorts is Business of the Year

www.stlu www.stlucia ciafocus.

focus.comcom

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BUSINESS BRIEFS

Columbus Pledges to Invest Over US$6M in Local Network

Extends its Global Reach With Mobile App Festival patrons now have on the go access via Mobile App! Greater strides are being made to broaden the global reach of the iconic Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival with the introduction of a highly interactive mobile app. Targeted at tech savvy festival patrons, the App affords smart phone users with Android or IOS powered devices the ability to view the complete festival lineup, book hotel rooms and car rentals. Additionally, the App is compatible with social media, enabling users to set reminders and sync with friends who plan on attending the festival’s various events. Additional App features include artiste bios, picture galleries, audio samples and links to artiste musical catalogues, nightlife and entertainment, restaurants, excursions and Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival news. “We believe in evolution” says Louis Lewis, Director of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board, “As our Festival product continues to evolve, so has the manner in which we interact with the public. We’ve designed a global festival, and now, we’re catering to the global consumer.” With interactive accounts created for the festival on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube, the addition of the app is poised to become the cornerstone of an impressive digital marketing push put forth by the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB). The Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival App is available for free download via Google Play and the Apple App Store. Download the Festival App here: http://bit.ly/1eJpjjh and follow the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival on Twitter and Instagram (@StLuciajazzfest) and like their page on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ SaintLuciaJazzAndArtsFestival) BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Columbus International Inc (Columbus), the fastest-growing telecommunications operator in the region, will begin offering its services at the end of the first quarter in Saint Lucia, starting with the city of Castries. Under its residential brand, Flow, and its business brand, Columbus Business Solutions (CBS), the company promises access to new technology services that will provide the basis for St Lucians to transform the way they live. Columbus has already begun the construction of its advanced network, which will support converged video and broadband services through one connection. Country Manager for Columbus Saint Lucia, Mr. Jesse Edwards explained that the upgrade to the platform will take place on a phased basis over the next 12 -18 months, with more than 50% of households being completed by the end of 2014. Minister for Science and Technology Senator Dr. James Fletcher welcomed Columbus International saying “My goal is very simple. I want Saint Lucia to be the best place to live and to do business in the region. This also means that our households must have access to better quality services at affordable prices so that they can participate in the global lifestyle. I, therefore, welcome the Columbus team to the island and look forward to their contribution to this collective goal.” In response, Edwards stated, “Saint Lucians will be one of six elite countries in the Caribbean to access broadband speeds of up to 100mbps in their homes and almost limitless bandwidth for their businesses”.

St Lucia Chamber Discusses Business Opportunities with Regional Council of Martinique Chamber President Gordon Charles, Executive Director Brian Louisy, and Membership Development Officer Sumitra Jagroop-Leo, met with Murielle Lesales

of the Regional Council of Martinique to discuss how St. Lucia and Martinique could deepen commercial ties. While this has been the subject of many initiatives so far the results have not been as positive as both sides would have liked. The parties agreed that while there exists a roaring informal trade, which was testament to the latent potential for much larger volumes of formal trade which was not very significant at this time. It was agreed therefore that both sides would, as a follow-up, seek to identify the goods and services which they thought had potential for increasing trade. The Chamber has since written to other private sector organisations on this initiative seeking their advice and input into the creation of a list of potential goods and services which St. Lucia may be interested in trading. In turn Martinique will do the same, the lists will be exchanged and further discussions will be held on how trade and business can be improved between the two islands.

Budget Preparation Goes into High Gear Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning and Social Security, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony and his Budget Team have begun preparations for the 2014/2015 National Budget. The Prime Minister has already met with both public and private sector groups and representatives, to have discussions on the state of the economy and to exchange ideas on the policy directions for the new financial year. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Anthony participated in a retreat on the economy, with representatives of the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce, the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, the Saint Lucia Trade Union Federation, among others. Views were exchanged on how to contain and reduce St Lucia’s debt, the overriding need to reduce the fiscal deficit


Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. according to the United Nations. Chiquita's Chief Executive, Ed Lonergan will be Chairman of the combined company and David McCann, currently Fyffes's Executive Chairman, will become Chief Executive. Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony says his administration was a bit “surprised” at the move the new deal also opens new possibilities for Caribbean bananas and said “There is no doubt with the challenges that we are facing with bananas, WIBDECO would have to recalibrate and virtually reshape its operations in the region and in some extent is struggling to do so. Whether or not it has been successful is a different matter but an effort is being made.” and possible new economic initiatives for stimulating Saint Lucia’s economy. The Prime Minister will now meet with all Permanent Secretaries, and heads of key public sector organizations to discuss budgetary parameters for the 2014/2015 financial year to finalise the National Budget. The date for the 2014/2015 debate on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure will be announced in the next few weeks.

Chiquita and Fyffes Merge to Form World’s Largest Banana Company Chiquita Brands International Inc. agreed to merge with Irish tropical-fruit company Fyffes PLC to create the world's largest banana company, catapulting it past Dole Food Co. In a $1.07 billion all-stock deal, the new company to be called ChiquitaFyffes would have 32,000 employees and US$4.6 billion in annual revenue from sales of more than 160 million boxes of bananas. The deal reunites two companies that previously were together: Chiquita's predecessor company, United Brands, owned Fyffes until 1986. Shareholders of Chiquita, based in Charlotte, N.C., would own 50.7% of the stock, which is to be listed in New York but based in Dublin, Ireland. More than 80% of the global banana trade is currently controlled by four companies—Chiquita, Fyffes, Dole and

Michael Chastanet Launches TV Programme Local business magnate Michael Chastanet having recently sold his Gablewoods Supermarket chain has now found a new passion – the media, where he has now immersed himself. Michael Chastanet despite his busy schedule and varied business interests has always found time to be a regular weekly editorial contributor with articles appearing in the Voice Weekend newspaper and also has been a sought after personality for local TV programmes on issues of business and the national interest. Recently, Michael took the bold step and launched a new weekly television programme labelled “Open Mike” which is being aired at 8.00 pm on Sunday evenings on DBS Television. Michael is the Host of this show and will be hosting various personalities weekly to discuss issues of Business as it relates to current issues and the national agenda.

ECCB and OECS Business Council Meet in St Lucia The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in collaboration with the OECS Business Council met with the Saint Lucia private sector on Thursday 6th March, 2014. The meeting's objective was to discuss Saint Lucia's economic transformation process as well as the need for a regional private sector organisation and effective representation. The implementation of the initiatives of the Caribbean Growth Forum and programmes for private sector development was also discussed. The meeting was chaired by the Hon. Sir. K. Dwight Venner, Governor, ECCB, and hosted at the Bay Gardens Inn. The meeting was attended by a number of Private and Public Sector representatives. In his address the Governor urged attendees to collaborate more effectively in strengthening Private Sector institutions to transform their working relationship with the Public Sector. He indicated that the economic challenges facing the OECS has revealed major vulnerabilities in their economies which can only be addressed through a more organized and competitive private sector and better regulatory framework managed by the public sector. Hon. Emma Hippolyte, Minister for Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs presented the opening remarks urging representatives to place the national interest ahead of sector interests, particularly given the challenges of high unemployment, non performing loan portfolios and challenges with access to loans and credit facilities. The meeting also received a presentation made by Mrs. Hazel Corbin, Adviser, ECCB on the importance of statistics and the crucial need for the private sector to participate in surveys critical to guiding policy development and implementation. Ms. Lilian Piper, President of the OECS Business Council also presented on the framework of the OECS Business Council. Ms. Piper highlighted many similar challenges faced by various sectors and urged collaboration in finding solutions. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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What is Corporate Governance and Why is it so Important?

By Dr. Chris Bart

Corporate governance affects how well – or poorly - an enterprise is run. While many definitions of corporate governance exist, perhaps one of the best (and shortest) is the one developed by Sir Adrian Cadbury when he wrote his landmark report on the state of corporate governance in the UK. According to Sir Adrian, corporate governance concerns the system by which an organization is directed and controlled. What is so wonderful about this definition is that it establishes there are just two goals for any organization’s governance system. The first is to figure out the direction – or strategy – of the organization, be it a corporate for-profit enterprise or a notfor-profit entity. The second is to make sure that the organization stays on course – or in control - of its chosen strategy and, additionally, that it makes secure (controls) the assets which have been entrusted to it by its financial backers. However, the heart of an organization’s governance ultimately resides in the design of the system that facilitates the achievement of these goals. And that BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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system involves a series of “choices” that, in the end, define (a) the process and criteria by which suitably qualified individuals get selected to be on an organization’s Board of Directors (e.g. elected individually or as a slate) or fill other leadership positions in the organization; (b) the division of responsibilities and decision making authority among an organization’s board, its management and its shareholders – and maybe even other stakeholders; and (c) the accountabilities among the board, management and the shareholders. Obviously getting an organization’s governance system right is one of the most important considerations that every Board, on behalf of its owners, needs to make. There are many reasons for this. The specification of roles, responsibilities and decision rights for the Board, Management and the Shareholders provides clarity of purpose to each participant’s activities and avoids excessive overlap or undersupervision of various governance functions.

Well-designed governance systems support and enable highly effective decision making by company executives because those decisions are vetted by independent and competent directors. Good governance systems also help define and prescribe the practices, values and culture of an organization establishing the standards of acceptable behavior for all its members. Moreover, subscribing to good governance practices boosts the image of an organization making it more attractive to various stakeholders - customers, employees, suppliers and investors. In fact, in several studies of public companies with superior governance systems, it was found that they had higher revenues, higher profits, higher ROIs and more generous dividends. Conversely, poorly designed governance structures and processes court disasters and invite the frauds and scandals that usually lead to criminal and civil liabilities. So, good governance is just plain good business and it is particularly beneficial when it focusses on reducing


and managing the most significant risks facing an organization. But not just for public companies. Private companies seeking outside capital will benefit from having governance arrangements that give outside funders confidence in the organization’s integrity and quality of decision making. And family-owned enterprises can help circumvent the hurt feelings and nasty litigation among family members with competing visions for the company when they develop and formalize solid governance practices before the death of the founder(s). But what governance arrangements should a diligent Board consider adopting in order to meet today’s demanding standards and the intense scrutiny by the

But BEWARE! Any of these recommended practices, however enthusiastically endorsed, should not be blindly followed or automatically adopted (as usually occurs in most mechanical and meaningless “best-practice-box-checking exercises”) unless it is determined to be appropriate for the organization in the particular circumstances in which it finds itself. When a best practice is ignored, though, many governance commentators argue that it should be publicly disclosed – say, on the organization’s website – along with the reason for not following the recommended method. I support this view. Doing so promotes stakeholder trust and allows those who are interested in the organization’s governance to judge for

media and assiduous investment analysts. To be sure, every organization is bound to observe and comply with the governance “rules” imposed by various corporate and securities laws and regulations. Apart from these impositions, however, the overarching universal principal of governance is that “one size does not fit all”. At the same time, there is now available an abundance of so-called “best practices” that are being actively promoted as the “one-best-way” for developing an effective governance system (e.g. separate the Board Chair and CEO positions; have a majority of independent directors; have smaller boards; etc.).

themselves whether the non-observance of the best practice makes sense – or not. This is what “practical governance” is all about: designing suitable and effective governance systems while weighing the costs of benefits in creating it. In conclusion, corporate governance is of supreme importance to every organization. When effectively designed, it helps improve both an organization’s current performance and its long term success and survivability. Accordingly, a corporation without a well-designed governance system is today often regarded as a body without a brain. But here’s the big, uncomfortable question for Caribbean organizations: to what extent does the current cadre of

Caribbean directors really know what is expected of them in their role as 21stcentury governors of their organizations and as supervisors of management? Assuming Caribbean directors have at least the same qualifications as their US or European counterparts, the assessment is not a particularly favourable one. After all, we have been witness to both the governance implosion of 2001 and the freezing of capital markets (which lead to the Great Recession) in 2007 under the supervision of “marquis corporate directors” who ought to have known better – think Enron, Worldcom and Lehman Brothers. Sadly, there has never been, until recently, any formal education required to be a corporate director. However, in recent years, Canada, the UK and Australia have each introduced programs and “certifications” to address and increase the competence and qualifications of their directors. As such, we are now witnessing the birth of a new profession: the Professional Director - a specialty requiring specific instruction and personal growth. And it is for this reason that the Caribbean Governance Training Institute (a joint venture with Saint Lucian based “Milestone Development”) was recently launched in Castries on February 11th, 2014. The mission of the Institute is to promote the highest standards of professionalism in the governance of Caribbean Organizations of all sizes and to provide tools to help Caribbean directors excel in the boardroom. It is currently providing a six part program offered one night per week over six weeks and is expected to be repeated in the Fall 2014. A major governance conference is being planned for late June. For more information visit CGTI’s website: http://www. caribbeangovernancetraininginstitute. com/ or phone Lisa at 758 451 2500 About the Author Dr. Chris Bart, FCPA is a recognized governance authority, the author of two best sellers), the Founder of The Directors College of Canada, and Co-Founder of the Caribbean Governance Training Institute. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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BUSINESS TECH

US$25 Million to Harmonise Caribbean Telecommunications Governments of the Eastern Caribbean have taken a significant step toward harmonising their countries’ investments in telecommunications infrastructure. A regional project, called the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme (Carcip), is bridging the gaps in regional broadband communications development. High-ranking officials from St. Lucia, Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines met in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad recently with officials from the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) to share insights into how each country is tackling the region-wide challenges associated with telecommunications infrastructure deficiencies. The high-level meeting was organised by the CTU as part of Carcip. “On the surface, Carcip targets the establishment and improvement of the region’s physical communication networks. But the real issue is the major benefit that greater quality and affordability can bring to the region’s governments, health centres, schools, universities, national emergency communications networks and so on,” said Selby Wilson, telecommunications strategist, CTU. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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A total allocation of US$25 million is being disbursed through the Carcip programme, including loans to the three countries and a grant to the CTU, the Trinidad-based organisation co-ordinating the project. Carcip takes a comprehensive approach to the development of countries’ broadband communications infrastructure. The World Bank-funded project addresses gaps in submarine cable infrastructure and landing stations, domestic backbone networks and national Internet exchange points (IXPs). Participants at the meeting this week included Jacinta Joseph, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Works, Public Utilities, Physical Development and ICT, Grenada; Philip Dalsou, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Public Service, Information and Broadcasting, St. Lucia; Roxanne John, Carcip project coordinator, Ministry of Telecommunications, Science and Technology, Office of the Prime Minister, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; and Embert Charles, managing director, ECTEL. “Bringing the territories and the regional institutions together at the table is just the first step. The ultimate aim is a comprehensive, region-wide approach to the development of the telecommunications networks of the

Caribbean. The lessons that we learn here will be of real value to the entire region,” said Junior McIntyre, the project co-ordinator for the CTU.


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BUSINESS TECH

Caribbean Tech Expert to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

Bevil Wooding Making a Presentation Caribbean-based technology expert Bevil Wooding wil be the 2013 recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry (LACNIC), the organisation has announced. Established in 2009, the LACNIC Award honours people who have contributed significantly to the development of the Internet and the Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean. "This was completely unexpected. It is an honour to receive this award from LACNIC. This strengthens my resolve to continue working to ensure that people are empowered to take advantage of technology for the development and benefit of our region," Wooding said. A pioneer in the development of technology solutions and educational resources, Wooding wears many hats in his work across the region and around the world, according to a press release. As an Internet Strategist and Caribbean Outreach Manger for the US-based research non-profit, Packet Clearing House, he reportedly has been the leading advocate for the proliferation of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) in the Caribbean, with his efforts leading to the establishment of IXPs in Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica and Barbados. He is also the Chief Knowledge Officer at Congress WBN, a Caribbean-based international non-profit operating in over 80 countries. He leads the organizations global technical team and he has pioneered the development of Internet streaming and software applications that are now used around the world. Wooding in 2012 collaborated with the Saint Lucia National Youth Council to deliver Saint Lucia's first ever national mobile app creation workshop. He also BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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works with governments, private sector and NOGs across the region to provide training and educational resources for creating digital content, particularly for youth and young entrepreneurs. More recently he has worked with the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) to develop the Caribbean's first-ever Digital Media syllabus. He was also instrumental in creating CXCs first ever fully digital syllabus orientation training, the release said. The tech expert is also one of the coarchitects and the Programme Director of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union's Caribbean ICT Roadshow. Through the CTU's Roadshow he has helped communities and governments across the region understand issues ranging from Internet infrastructure and broadband access in the Caribbean to cybersecurity and the impact of social media on parenting and education. Reflecting on the award, Wooding said, "In spite of the many challenges, I remain convinced that our region has the creativity, and the capacity to leverage the Internet and related technologies to address our unique challenges, but also to create unique opportunities for our communities, businesses and society. I believe we can and will take our rightful place in the global internet society." A virtual technology ambassador, Wooding regularly represents the interests of the region at international fora. He has also come in for wide praise for his innovative initiatives, including TechLink, iCAN Mobile App Development and eBook Publishing workshops, to introduce young people to digital content creation through his BrightPath Foundation, a technology education non-profit.

"His efforts have been distinguished by a deliberate commitment to collaboration and an emphasis on linking building regional communities," said Bernadette Lewis, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union. Lewis was on the panel of judges for the award, alongside noted Internet experts such as Ida Holz, Rafael Ibarra, Carlos A. Afonso and Rodrigo de la Parra. Wooding credits the partnerships he has forged as one of the main factors behind the success of his achievements, sharing, "It is an honour to have the support and friendship of so many incredibly talented and extremely committed individuals and organisations from the region and across the world." In 2010, he was appointed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as one of seven Internet gatekeepers, called Trusted Community Representatives (TCRs), and assigned a smart-card with part of a special code used secure domain names. He is also a founding member of the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG) and led the volunteer-based organization to become into an internationally recognized and trusted community of computer network operators and technical stakeholders. LACNIC is an international, nongovernment organization established in Uruguay in 2002 and is responsible for assigning and administrating Internet numbering resources for Latin America and the Caribbean. The 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented during the LACNIC 21 meeting, to be held on 4-9 May, 2014 in Cancun, Mexico.


Bahamas Upgraded to

LTE Mobile Data Geoff Houston, Chief Executive of BTC The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC), part of Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), has completed the full commercial launch of the country’s only Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile data services. 4G LTE is the fastest mobile data service currently available to telecoms operators and will enable BTC to increase the speed at which its customers can download mobile data at least fivefold. Customers can expect download speeds of between 10 - 15 megabits per second in normal circumstances. This will deliver an improved mobile data experience while enabling them to access new services like video calling and the streaming of HD video. The current deployment provides BTC with the largest 4G LTE network footprint in the Caribbean region. LTE will be available in

The Bahamas’ four most populated islands this month and then rolled out to the rest of the country. The network upgrade has been undertaken by Huawei. BTC has been granted a 15 year licence to provide LTE mobile data services on the 700 megahertz radio frequency, which provides good in-building penetration, and is the favoured frequency range used in the United States, ensuring compatibility with the widest range of popular smartphones.

Geoff Houston, Chief Executive of BTC, said: “The launch of 4G LTE services positions us on a par with the gold standard for mobile data used in the United States. We have invested to meet our commitment to deliver a world class mobile data and voice experience to our customers.” BTC is the exclusive mobile operator in the country which has a population of 319,000 people. CWC also offers LTE services in the Cayman Islands and Monaco.

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MONEY MATTERS

Doing More With Less Whether you are a senior executive or entry level worker, we all have to prioritize our spending because our income is limited. This is the fundamental economics law of scarcity. We have unlimited wants and needs, but limited resources to satisfy them. Whilst there are many ways to legally increase our income, this article provides a few easy to follow techniques to smartly increase your disposable income.

coming out with ice-cream in the freezer, snacks in the pantry but no diapers for baby. Shopping with a list is the best way to remain focused at the supermarket. Wherever sensible, purchase in bulk. Take advantage of reward cards and when there is a sale on necessities take that opportunity to stock up. Consider no name brands when brand is not important, but do not sacrifice quality where it matters.

Debt Management

Clothing

Avoid the dreaded “debt trap” because once in, it can prove extremely difficult to get out. Keep a structured monthly budget that clearly identifies income and expenses. This will highlight areas of over spending like that weekly “after work lime” and also areas we can allocate more money towards such as the rising credit card bill. Making minimum payments towards your credit card balance is one sure way to fall into and stay in the debt trap. Credit cards are designed to keep you in debt with their attractive minimum payments, occasional, ever so timely offer to skip a payment plus the surprise “rewards” of increases to your limit for being a “good” customer. Wherever possible, pay off credit card debts or at least apply a lump sum towards repayment to accelerate payoff and reduce interest paid. Definitely pay more than the minimum required.

Avoid trendy fashions that will go out of style quickly. Stick with the basics and mix and match. Take advantage of sales on clothing you will use often such as work clothing. When shopping overseas visit brand outlets for bargains on quality items on sale. Never purchase expensive items on impulse. Think over each expensive purchase for at least 24hrs. Compare local prices with online prices but remember to pay off the balance if your credit card if used.

Supermarkets We are all guilty of occasionally going to the supermarket without a list, and BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Insurance Shop around each year before renewing your Home and Car insurance. Insurance Brokers are good at finding you cost saving deals. Reassess your need for whole life insurance coverage e.g. if your children are on their own, your spouse is working and the mortgage is almost completed, you may be able to consider reduced coverage.

Mobile Phones Some of us have two or three or more cell phones and most are on prepaid plans. This is no surprise since the majority of commercials and promotions target prepaid customers as these plans are more profitable to mobile phone providers than postpaid. Per-minute rates on prepaid plans are generally higher, sometimes over triple the rate on postpaid and post paid plans also offer cheaper international call rates to nominated numbers. To avoid giving away money to phone companies, consider the average amount of time you spend on the phone and purchase a post paid plan which suits you.

Capitalize on Tax Savings Reduce your annual personal income tax bill by taking advantage of all applicable tax-credits while saving and investing. The government provides some extremely attractive tax incentives for individuals through tax-deductible and tax-free investments to help lower that tax bite. Some cost saving techniques that we can all practice to make our hard earned dollar “stretch” have been highlighted above. It may not be practical to attempt all at once but if we plan appropriately we can reduce our debt and expenditure and increase our available disposable income and satisfy more of those unlimited wants and needs. Moreover, tax planning should be considered a critical part of financial planning.


Sir Dennis Byron

CCJ Surpasses Initial US$100m Investment The initial capital investment of US$100 million in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Trust Fund was surpassed during the course of 2013, according to preliminary estimates revealed to T&T Guardian. The 2012 annual report of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) Trust Fund had reported that despite a precipitous decline in global investment markets during the worldwide financial crisis of 2008, the Fund has in fact rebounded over the last few years. Trust Fund records show returns on investments - net of disbursements, contributions and expenses - reached +15.9 per cent in 2009 and +10.3 per cent in 2010 before declining -1.8 per cent in 2011 and recovering to +10.1 per cent in 2012. The Fund's long-term target annual rate of return is 8.9 per cent. In fact, projections are the US$100 million initial capital investment will prove to have been surpassed during the course of last year as the 2013 accounts are also expected to reflect returns in excess of 10 per cent. At the end of 2012, the Fund balance was US$93.7 million. This information follows the claim by Justice Rolston Nelson, during a recent media workshop in Antigua, that the current returns were below what was envisaged and this meant, in his view, the Court would imminently have to request from CARICOM member states a further injection of capital into the CCJ Trust Fund. The Fund was established to eliminate the need for annual subventions from participating states and thus insulate the Court from political interference.

“No court in the world does not rely on taxpayers' funds for support,” CCJ president Sir Dennis Byron said in an interview with T&T Guardian. Justice Byron described use of the CCJ Trust Fund as the best funding mechanism in the world for any court. He did not dismiss recourse to member states to meet new “strategic objectives,” but said returns on the Fund have so far been more than adequate to meet the operating and other expenses of the Court. Justice Byron said he saw no need at this time for a “top up” by member countries. One analyst said the Fund's portfolio was well diversified and included a variety of investments attracting different levels of return, without an over-reliance on any one asset class. Initial capital for the Fund was raised in 2005 through loans to member states arranged by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Under the 2004 agreement establishing the Fund, T&T is responsible for 29.73 per cent and Jamaica 27.09 per cent of the investment. Under the CCJ’s headquarters agreement with T&T, additional expenses such as housing of the Court and utility bills are being met by the host country. There are seven sitting judges of the Court, with provision for an additional three who can be brought on board should more countries sign on to the Court’s appellate jurisdiction.

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MONEY MATTERS

Group Records $291m Profit

...in three months The Republic Bank Group has recorded a profit attributable to shareholders of TT$291.2 million for the three-month period ended December 31, 2013. This represents an increase of 2.2 per cent over the corresponding period last year, the bank said in a statement recently. The group’s total assets stood at TT$57.9 billion at December 31, 2013, an increase of 6.7 per cent from December, 2012 and 0.5 per cent over the year ended September, 2013. Republic Bank Chairman Ronald Harford, in announcing the group’s results said, “We are encouraged by the growth and stability of our loan portfolio which was reflected in a year on year increase of 7.3 per cent and a reduction in loan impairment expense of

Republic Group Chairman: Ronald Harford

over $15 million from the corresponding period in 2012. The results of this quarter also include a contribution of $10 million from our 40 per cent investment in HFC Bank Ghana Ltd.” Harford said the bank expected this good performance to continue for the remainder of the year, as focus continues to be placed on maintaining a high quality loan portfolio, cost containment and growth in non-interest income. He noted, however, that the group continued to be challenged by high liquidity which is leading to declining margins, and indicated that investments in Barbados and Eastern Caribbean will continue to be closely monitored, once difficult economic conditions persist in those territories.

Trinidad & Tobago Gets Standard and Poor’s ‘A’ Rating

T & T Finance Minister: Larry Howai Standard and Poor’s has given Trinidad and Tobago A ratings, confirming the strength of the economy. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Speaking recently at a post-Cabinet news conference Finance Minister Larry Howai said the international ratings agency had confirmed Trinidad and Tobago’s “A” longterm and “A1” short-term sovereign credit ratings. Howai said Standard and Poor’s had also given the country a transfer and convertibility assessment of “AA” as far as it relates to things like foreign currency. He said these ratings were given on the basis that Trinidad and Tobago continued to be characterised by strong external reserves amounting to approximately 12 months of import cover and sustainable debt levels. He said this was buttressed by the strong reserves held in the Heritage and Stabilisation Fund which has crossed the US$5 billion mark. Howai said, however, that since energy revenues contributed approximately 45 per cent of gross domestic product, diversification continued to be a priority of the Government. Howai said Standard and Poor’s sees the rate of economic growth at between 2.5 per cent to 3 per cent in GDP over the

coming years. He said GDP per capita is expected to rise to 2.6 per cent in 2014. Asked about concerns within the business community that the economy was not going as it should, Howai said some businesses may feel the impact of competition, which is increasingly global and the number of people ordering products online was growing. He said: “What is happening is apart from the continuing opening of new stores, the growth in online purchases will be more and more a matter of competition and concern for businesses in Trinidad and Tobago because you can quite easily order most things over the Internet directly from the manufacturer, original distributor or wholesaler. The gradual evolution of the retail trade is going to create challenges which our local businesses would have to consider how they are going to meet with that, because the competition is no longer just the store next door, it is becoming Macy’s and Walmart and other stores outside of Trinidad and Tobago.”


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MONEY MATTERS

Contributes Over US$1.425M to UWI A partnership forged 11 years ago between two leading regional entities has seen CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank contributing over US$1.425 million to The University of the West Indies. The funds have gone to support the education of the region’s young people, with a special emphasis on development in areas such as research in banking and finance and issues affecting Caribbean entrepreneurship, and financial support for young people pursuing a course in higher education at one of the UWI’s three campuses, CIBC said in a statement from its Barbados office. This long-standing partnership was renewed for another three years when Chief Executive Officer of CIBC FirstCaribbean and Chairman of the ComTrust Foundation, Rik Parkhill, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, signed another Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently at the bank’s Head Office at Warrens, St. Michael, Barbados. The ComTrust Foundation is the bank’s charitable foundation which was established to oversee its corporate giving programme throughout the Caribbean. CIBC FirstCaribbean said it was extremely proud of this long-standing partnership, which goes beyond the provision of a sponsorship cheque, and sees the two entities working together in a number of projects throughout the life of each MOU. This is the fourth MOU between the two entities, the first being signed in 2003 in Jamaica. Through the current three-year MOU CIBC FirstCaribbean and UWI will collaborate across four areas: the advancement of knowledge and understanding of issues affecting business, trade and financial services in the Caribbean context; the support and development of UWI students from around the region; the enhancement of research in banking and finance at UWI; and the joint pursuit of mutually beneficial business and corporate image initiatives. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Specific initiatives borne out of the collaboration in the new MOU include a grant of US$15,000 to support a quarterly business forum organised by UWI to discuss key issues facing regional economies and financial services sector; and funding a scholarship programme for UWI students valued at USS112,500. Each year, through the CIBC FirstCaribbean’s funding, scholarships valued at US$2,500 each are awarded to 15 undergraduate students enrolled at the UWI. More than 180 scholarships have been awarded over the life of the bank’s 11-year partnership with UWI. For the first time this year, the MOU also includes provision for the award of a scholarship to a student reading for a postgraduate qualification.

Chief Executive Officer of CIBC FirstCaribbean and Chairman of the ComTrust Foundation Rik Parkhill, left, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles recently signed an MOU to continue the long-standing partnership between the two entities in support of regional development.


Selling Jamaica Interests to Sagicor is selling its Jamaica holdings to Sagicor Group (Jamaica) Financial Ltd. Canada’s largest financial institution said the sale was “consistent with its strategy” of being a competitive leader in the markets in which it operates. “We determined after a careful and thorough review that the best decision for the longterm future success of RBC Jamaica was to sell it to Sagicor. Sagicor is a well established financial franchise in Jamaica with the size, scale and complementary capabilities that RBC Jamaica does not currently possess,” said RBC Caribbean Chief Executive Officer Suresh Sookoo. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. But RBC expects the transaction to result in an estimated loss of CDN$60 million— before and after tax — as a result of international financial reporting standards, largely related to an estimated

write down for the proportionate share of RBC Jamaica goodwill and other intangibles from RBC’s acquisition of RBTT Financial Group in 2008. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and is expected to be finalised in the coming months. “This transaction will allow us to successfully reposition our Caribbean business for the future and focus on regions where we have significant market share. We are focused on strengthening our business performance, service and competitiveness in markets where we can be a leading competitor over the long term,” said Dave McKay, Group Head, Personal and Commercial Banking, RBC.

Richard Byles, President and CEO of Sagicor Group Jamaica, said the move “provides the opportunity to expand Sagicor’s banking footprint” to better serve customers. The acquisition of RBC Jamaica is a critical step in fulfilling our vision to build a bank that is based on customer satisfaction and convenience, and we have confidence in RBC Jamaica’s dedicated employees to help deliver this vision. This transaction allows us the opportunity to have a substantial distribution network and to provide value added services to our clients through more branches and ATM locations island wide,” Byles said. Sagicor Group Jamaica is a financial services conglomerate with business in Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Costa Rica.

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BOOK REVIEWS

MUST READS Volume 7

Business Success for Introverts by Lyndell Halliday

In the management classic, “Good to Great”, Jim Collins introduced the concept of “Level 5 Leadership” which he defined as the “the triumph of humility and fierce resolve”. Collins’s research found that the most successful leaders – as measured by actual quantifiable results - were not larger than life, flashy types – they were quiet workhorses. Quite often they tended more to be introverted than extroverted. This was a surprising finding in a world in which success in business and leadership is normally assumed to be strongly correlated with extroversion. Must Reads delves into the world of introverts offering insight on how they can succeed in an extrovert’s world. This edition features Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain (Turtleback, 2013) and Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength by Dr. Laurie A. Helgoe (2008). The two books have similar premises, but approach the topic from different perspectives.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain Susan Cain, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School is BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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a corporate lawyer and writer who specializes in the field of psychological nonfiction. Cain draws on research in the fields of psychology and chemistry to investigate the world of introversion. Interspersed throughout this 368 page book are stories of many well-known real people such as Rosa Park, Abraham Lincoln, Warren Buffet and Eleanor Roosevelt - stories that serve to illuminate the power of introverts. According to research conducted by Cain, between one third and one half of people are introverts. Yet the world is decidedly biased towards extroverts across all fields of endeavour. Cain refers to this bias as the “Extrovert Ideal” and notes that it is so pervasive that many introverts pretend to be extroverts, In this carefully researched book, Cain notes that the introvert/extrovert divide - which she considers to be the “most fundamental dimension of personality’ - is in fact hardwired by brain chemistry. Cain is careful to point out that introversion and shyness is not the same thing. Introversion/extroversion is defined by the level of outside simulation that the individual needs to feel well. Extroverts thrive on external simulation – introverts do not. Society, she says, both misunderstand and greatly undervalues introverts. Introversion she insists is not some maligned condition to be cured or overcome, but one of two equally valid personality orientations with its own advantages and benefits to business and society on a whole. As an introvert herself, Cain was inspired to write this book to help introverts to better understand themselves and to fully utilize their strengths. Cain offers up advice on how to overcome the deeply ingrained cultural biases against introversion in order to succeed in life and work. Quiet: The Power of Introverts is a digestible and insightful book that will help introverts to better understand themselves and unlock their full potential.

but each individual is more disposed to one or the other. Introverts gain energy by reflecting and expend energy when interacting. On the other hand, extroverts gain energy by interacting and expend energy while reflecting. Helgoe cites data from Myers-Brigs Type Indicator scores that in fact the population split is approximately 50-50. Yet, most cultures favour extroversion over introversion. Helgoe makes the case that it is okay for introverts to be who they are – for example to carve out space and time for themselves sometimes. In fact, it is essential for them to do so in order for them to be productive and effective on the job.

Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength Laurie A. Helgoe Dr. Laurie Helgoe is a writer and psychologist who has written several books. In this her fifth book, she lays out the case that introversion should be embraced as a positive, source of strength Helgoe writes a no holds barred introvert guide to an extrovert world in which urges introverts to be comfortable with themselves and leverage their innate powers to their advantage. According to Helgoe, everyone has both extroversion and introversion in them,

About Author: Lyndell A. Halliday BSc., DipFM, MBA

Helgoe emphasizes, however, that introversion is not about being antisocial or socially inept. She offers practical advice on how to thrive in a loud world – at settings in both business and social life that are designed more for the extrovert. Introvert Power is a provocative and thought provoking book that will both challenge and comfort the reader. This 320 page book is valuable resource for both the introvert and extrovert in understanding the mind of introverts and how to harness their strengths both on and off the job.

Lyndell Halliday is a business executive who has served in a range of leadership roles across the Caribbean. He is currently employed as the General Manager of Automotive Art (St Lucia) Ltd. Mr Halliday is also a part time facilitator at the National Research and Development Foundation where he teaches Leadership and Strategic Operations Management for the Australia Institute of Business MBA and BBA programmes.


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ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS

RECEIVES 3.2 MILLION EUROS FOR THE CARIFORUM SERVICES SECTOR The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in conjunction with the implementing partners CARICOM Secretariat and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Dominican Republic (DICOEX) have been awarded responsibility for the implementation of a 3.2million Euro programme by the European Union towards the implementation of the 10th EDF Services Sector Component. Implementation of the services component will be a collaborative effort between the Agency and implementing partners CARICOM Secretariat and DICOEX. “The services component of the EPA represents one of the concrete ways that Caribbean businesses and entrepreneurs could reap tangible, economic benefits. The services sectors in most CARIFORUM countries is a significant contributor to GDP, accounting for more than 50% of GDP in most cases and over 60% for the OECS member states” informed Ambassador Michael Barfod, Head of Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean for the European Union during his remarks at the cheque hand- over ceremony to a room filled with regional stakeholders, who were gathered for an ACP consultation meeting also hosted by Caribbean Export. In most CARIFORUM States, trade is increasingly driven by services exports. However, due to inadequate policies and regulatory regimes for the services sector CARIFORUM States are severely constrained in their ability to take advantage of the numerous trade agreements such as the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), and the opportunities that exist for long term economic development. In addition regional and national support organisations have insufficient capacity and lack the coordination to effectively assist services suppliers or even consumers to take full advantage of the EPA. It has been recognised that there are also critical BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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data gaps in services statics for planning and marketing analysis that are needed to effectively plan and implement strategies for growth and market penetration in the services sectors. The 10th EDF Services Sector programme will address these issues specifically through; the development of a policy and regulatory framework to support the CARIFORUM services sector; building capacity of national and regional services support organisations such as Coalition of Services and Chamber Commerces; and improvement of the mechanisms for the collection and dissemination of data and statistics. The programme, whilst supporting the development of the services sector world also facilitates the beneficial integration of the CARIFORUM States into the world economy. “We all recognise the increasingly important role which the services sector plays in our economic development” stated Senator, the Honourable, Maxine McClean. “Some of us have been reaping success in this area for example the financial services sector has become the second largest contributor to GDP in the Caribbean. Expansion of investment in this area has served to deepen linkages with the agricultural, manufacturing and alternative energy sectors. The contribution of this relationship has been truly outstanding. It continues to generate employment and much needed revenue which augurs well with the creation of a sound economic base”. The programme will cover at least the, professional, financial, education, health and wellness, tourism, cultural entertainment and sport, and ICT services sectors with the objective of ultimately improving the competitiveness of CARIFORUM Services Suppliers and promoting improved access to regional and international markets.

“The Creative Industries have emerged as a key growth sector in the Caribbean economy through its contribution to GDP, exports, and employment, as well as its impact on destination and intellectual property branding” expressed Executive Director Pamela-Coke-Hamilton. “In light of the great importance that the services sector plays in the region, we are pleased that Caribbean Export will play a role in the implementation of the 10th EDF Services Sector Component. In collaboration with our implementing partners, the CARICOM Secretariat and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Dominican Republic (DICOEX), our intention is that the end result of this programme will enhance the competitiveness of CARIFORUM service suppliers and create an optimum business environment for services”. About Caribbean Export Caribbean Export is a regional export development and trade and investment promotion organisation of the Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM) currently executing the Regional Private Sector Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Export’s mission is to increase the competitiveness of Caribbean countries by providing quality export development and trade and investment promotion services through effective programme execution and strategic alliances. More information about Caribbean Export can be found at www.carib-export. com. Contact: JoEllen Laryea, PR and Communications, Caribbean Export Development Agency Tel: +1(246) 436-0578, Fax: +1(246) 4369999, Email: jlaryea@carib-export.com


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ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS

CARIBBEAN WOMEN IN BUSINESS:

A TREND OR PARADIGM SHIFT?

Pamela Coke Hamilton: Executive Director Caribbean Export Across the globe and through the ages, women have experienced the disadvantages of existing in a patriarchal framework, which has designated them to a homemaker role, and continues to define the sex as a whole. Women in business are breaking that mould across the world and writing new stories for themselves, and in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is assisting them through a variety of programme-based interventions. In commemoration of International Women’s Day 2014, Caribbean Export wishes to highlight and applaud the tremendous progress of Caribbean women in the business arena. We believe that, in keeping with this year’s theme of “Inspiring Change”, that these women are not only inspiring, but also effecting change in meaningful and lasting ways. In the professional world women often face many obstacles to advancement in the work place and in entrepreneurship, often referred to as the infamous glass ceiling. Many of these constraints are actually social constructs “…the propensity of women to start a business may differ from that of men for cultural reasons” states Maria Minniti, a researcher for the UN. Socially the expectation is still for women to have children and to raise them at some point in their careers, whereas the expectation for men is to be successful and to provide for his family. In a recent study by the World Bank, “female entrepreneurs are more likely to operate in the informal sector or in traditional female sectors. This limitation is likely due to “…a number of reasons… a lack of business connections and networks, few entrepreneurial female role models. Accessing finance is also a challenge, with women often lacking the required collateral to obtain successful financing above the microfinance level from banks”. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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These World Bank findings present a global phenomenon, but the Caribbean has arguably always been a region where, females rarely face disproportionate opportunities or even oppression and

Despite these challenges the number of women involved in the business sector has dramatically increased globally. It is thought that due to the current global economic climate, which has left scores of

discrimination, as is often the case in other parts of the developing world. In fact, across the region women have taken full advantage of the educational avenues that have been made available to them and many have succeeded in rising to positions of influence. However, the proverbial glass ceiling and other social limitations still remain a reality for many of those who wish to venture into the business sector.

men and women unemployed, there has arisen a greater impetus for women to enter into entrepreneurial roles in order to survive. According to studies conducted by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, particularly in lesser-developed countries “when it comes to entrepreneurship, males tend to cite ‘opportunity’ as their main motivator, while women more often start or maintain businesses out of


‘necessity’”. The study cited that there are 187 million registered women-owned and operated businesses worldwide and in some countries; nearly half of all adult

effort to grow their small and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) into globally competitive brands, and is also indicative of the region’s growth in particular sectors.

Figure 2: Participation in Programme Categories

women are business-owners. In, for example in Ghana female entrepreneurs actually outnumber their male counterparts. Caribbean Export has witnessed this rise through the number of female participants across several of its programme-based activities delivered under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), and is particularly interested in the development of the regional private sector, from the perspective of the women involved in, and driving this area. Women have not only become progressively more involved in such activities, but account for a significant fraction of overall participation. To illustrate, four hundred and forty-one (441) females were involved in Agency initiatives in 2012, however this increased to eight hundred and seventeen (817) in 2013, signifying an 85% increase in participation. Regional female entrepreneurs are increasingly capitalizing on the opportunities, including training, technical assistance, and support in export promotion (Figure 2), which have been put in place to help them develop their businesses and products for the global market. In fact, between 2012 and 2013, one thousand six hundred and fifty-nine (1659) women participated in Caribbean Export interventions compared to one thousand three hundred and sixty-six (1366) men. This demonstrates that not only are women serious about business, but they are also serious about the growth and competitiveness of the Caribbean private sector. Their participation is an

There is a new generation of women who have ventured outside of the often thought of as “safe” or “female” designated businesses such as salons and boutiques, into professions that are pushing the envelope and changing the landscape of the Caribbean, thereby contributing to the global economy. These women are involved in a wide range of sectors from agro-processing to specialized tourism. Collectively and individually, these women encapsulate the qualities of creativity, intelligence, tenacity, dynamism and the courage that it takes to enter and survive in the business world, particularly a world that is ordinarily dominated by men. “Caribbean women, have something very unique to contribute to the regional and global markets,” Pamela Coke-Hamilton,

the Executive Director of Caribbean Export remarked, “They have been afforded quality educational opportunities which, coupled with the well-rounded perspective that comes from living in a regional village, have made them naturally inclined to think outside of conventional parameters.” Mrs. Coke-Hamilton added that, “At Caribbean Export, we have seen remarkable advancement in the status of women within the private sector which makes me proud as a woman. Women are not just running businesses: they are pioneering ecologically-conscious, sustainable industries in a host of sectors that are constantly looking forward; constantly innovating. The Caribbean businesswoman is no longer trying to survive, she is trying to fashion a stronger future for the region.” But with all that is being said, does this represent a paradigm shift in the professional focus of females in the region? Some argue that women have not transitioned away from traditional service sectors such as cosmetology, especially given the recent rise in these types of micro-businesses,, particularly in islands such as Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad as a result of the “naturalista” movement. This occurrence evolved out of an interest in wearing ones hair in its unaltered state and in using cosmetic products that are branded as “all-natural” or contain ingredients, which are derived from natural sources. However, Caribbean Export has seen an increased involvement of women in increasingly expanding industries, such as specialized tourism and renewable energy. Like the cosmetology industry, specialized tourism responds to the demands of consumers with very specific interests.

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Women have been chiefly involved in responding to these demands in innovative and competitive ways. Another burgeoning sector is renewable energy, which has become a priority in many Caribbean territories, following initiatives taken by developed nations. As a result, the sector attracts a great deal of investment and support from foreign and regional entities alike, and has been pegged as a major growth industry by organizations such as the European Union (EU), Inter-American Development Bank, (IADB) and the Organisation of American States (OAS). In 2013, Caribbean Export’s, awarded funding to fifty-four (54) women through the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS), facilitated under the EU-funded 10th EDF. These beneficiaries represented a range of sectors (Figure 3), however, most notable were the recipients from the agro-processing and manufacturing sectors, which accounted collectively for 51% of the female beneficiaries. This substantial fraction alludes to a much greater female involvement in these traditionally male-dominated areas than might have previously been perceived. These women are not only driving this industry into a new age with pioneering products and methodologies, but, they are also harvesting the resources to position themselves as viable global competitors, with support from Caribbean Export. Of these fifty-four awardees, three of the female-owned firms actively take an eco-friendly approach to their businesses. Their stories have been captured and produced into a short documentary entitled “The Green Initiative”. These women, Barbara Walker and Shireen Aga of Jamaica, Ruth Spencer of Antigua and Barbuda, and Joanna Edgehill of Barbados can be considered trailblazers in the regional renewable energy agenda. Walker and Aga’s Hotel Mockingbird Hill is run on solar energy harnessed by solar panels. These panels were replaced with the funds received in the Grant Scheme. Their establishment is one of the only hotels in the region, which, according to Aga “operates on a completely holistic principle” and has been recognised as such. Ruth’s Place, owned by Spencer also operates exclusively on solar power. As a result of their efforts, these women have established the model for an economically viable and sustainable ecological business system. Undoubtedly, with these initiatives, the regional tourism industry has undergone a rebirth. Edgehill of MegaPower has jump-started the use of solarpowered electric cars in her home Island, and refers to herself as an “ambassador for the Nissan Leaf and for electric cars”. Her business is the sole dealership of the Nissan Leaf, the first electric motor, and lithium-ion battery-powered car on the island. This is certainly considered a catalyst in the regional automotive industry. These illustrations validate that this generation of Caribbean businesswomen have demonstrated a dedication to the growth and development of not only their enterprises, but also the sector as a whole. The female entrepreneurs of the region are an essential component of the future of the private sector, a future that is symbolized by growth, innovation and competitiveness. Caribbean Export anticipates that women will continue to be at the forefront of emerging sectors, regionally and globally, and capitalize on the opportunities for capacity-building interventions, which the Agency provides. Caribbean Export is optimistic that there will be an exponential increase in the number of female participating in initiatives as the Agency endeavors to create more effective and tangible support mechanisms for the advancement of the regional private sector. Article submitted by The Caribbean Export Development Agency, the only regional export development, trade and investment promotion organization of the Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM). BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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New Survey Shows Caribbean Business Confidence Still Flat

Business confidence and optimism have not changed since the last quarter of results, concludes the Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) for quarter four of 2013. The latest Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)) survey found just under a quarter (24 per cent) were optimistic about the state of the economy, down by one per cent from the previous quarter. Pessimists about the economy made up 49 per cent of the sample, however this was also down by one per cent from the third quarter. Brenda Lee Tang, head of ACCA Caribbean, said: “In the past quarter, although it has been the same for some time, it has been increasingly difficult for businesses to thrive and develop, which reflects the concerns of the respondents to GECS. Business opportunities fell in this region for a second consecutive quarter, as well as business investment. “However 34 per cent of respondents were confident about their own organisations’ prospects, which is up from 19 per cent in the previous GECS.” Manos Schizas, ACCA’s Senior Economic Analyst, said: “Although the results look bleak for this quarter, overall quarteron-quarter and year-on-year, figures for the recovery index have gone up, and also for the confidence index. This paints a brighter picture of the economic situation on the islands in this region.” GECS, now in its fifth year, revealed that at the global level, finance professionals had more faith in the strength of the wider economic recovery in Q4 2013 than at any time over the last five years: 55 per cent believed conditions were improving or about to do so, up from 53 per cent in the third quarter of 2013, while only 42 per cent felt that economic conditions were deteriorating or stagnating, down from 43 per cent in the previous quarter. When it came to their own organisations, however, finance professionals’ confidence may have fallen marginally in the last quarter of 2013. About 30 per cent reported confidence gains, up from 28 per cent previously, but 35 per cent reported losses, up from 32 per cent in the third quarter. Despite this, the Q4 2013 results still represent the second-strongest year-on-year confidence gains since mid-2010.


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ECONOMY & TRADE FOCUS

OECS Grappling With High Debt Sir Dwight Venner Member states of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) are still grappling with low economic growth, persistent fiscal deficits and rising debt levels, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Sir Dwight Venner, has said. Delivering the 2013 Economic Review of the sub-regional grouping recently, Sir Dwight said it was evident that 2013 had been “another challenging year for the Currency Union” with high unemployment and poverty rates and some fragility in the financial sector. “Once again the structural characteristics of our countries, namely, small size, extreme openness and high vulnerability to external shocks and natural disasters have become more evident.” Sir Dwight said that economic and financial developments in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) continue to be shaped by the global economic environment which is still uncertain, with growth for 2013 likely to be lower than previously anticipated. According to figures released here, preliminary data indicate that economic activity in the ECCU expanded at a modest pace of 0.7 per cent in 2013, building on the marginal growth of 0.2

per cent achieved in 2012, which reversed the negative growth trends experienced since 2009. The increase in economic activity was primarily driven by improved performances in agriculture, construction and tourism. The construction sector expanded by 2.9 per cent following a 4.3 per cent decline in 2012, as public sector construction gained momentum. In the tourism industry, value added is estimated to have increased by 0.4 per cent due to improvements in major source markets and more intense marketing efforts. However, this rate was lower than the 1.4 per cent growth recorded in 2012. The ECCB said the consolidated fiscal position of the Central Government is provisionally estimated to have deteriorated in 2013 as the growth in expenditure outpaced revenue collections. An overall deficit of approximately EC$427.3 million or 2.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) was recorded compared with one of EC$367.3 million or 2.4 per cent GDP in 2012. The bank said the deterioration in the overall deficit position reflected the increase in capital expenditure while current expenditure decreased.

Launches TIC 2014 Minister of Trade, Investment and Industry, Vasant Bharath was the feature speaker at the launch of the 15th Trade and Investment Conference (TIC) which is held annually by the Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers’ Association (TTMA). Minster Bharath brought a message of the government’s pursuit of diversifying the T & T economy by enhancing the environment in which manufacturers can do business—a message that underscored support for the event. Also bringing words of continued support were the event’s key sponsors—TSTT, represented by Rakesh Goswami, Executive VP – Enterprise Services, and First Citizens, represented by Larry Nath, CEO. Among the specially invited guests were Mervyn Assam, Ambassador for Trade and Industry, and Mario Hernandez, Vice Minister of the Economy of the Republic of El Salvador. The event attracted a wide cross-section of business heads and the diplomatic corps, and was hosted by Nicholas Lok Jack, President of TTMA. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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First Citizens CEO Larry Nath, left; Trade Minister Vasant Bharath; TTMA President Nicholas Lok Jack; TSTT Executive VP¬–Enterprise Services Rakesh Goswami and Ramesh Ramdeen, CEO, TTMA.


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Prime Minister

ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS

Hon. Kenny D Anthony

Commits to

Higher

National Renewable Prime Minister Dr. Kenny Anthony, Sir Richard Branson and Members of the Carbon War Room at the Signing of the MOU On Moskito Island in the British Virgin Islands, on Thursday 6th February, 2014, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Kenny Anthony and Sir Richard Branson signed the Memorandum of Understanding that made it official - Saint Lucia became the second island to join the Ten Island Challenge. The Ten Island Challenge was launched at the Rio+20 Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 2012 by Sir Richard Branson and Christiana Figueres, the Executive Director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, and provides a platform for progressive island governments to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels “through the acceleration of commercial opportunities on islands”

Hon. Dr. James Fletcher Addressing the Creating Climate Wealth Meeting BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Energy Targets

by attracting investments and technologies in renewable energy and energy efficiency. At the Creating Climate Wealth Summit that was held in the British Virgin Islands and hosted by Sir Richard Branson’s Carbon War Room, Saint Lucia joined Aruba, which itself Prime Ministers and Energy Ministers with had joined the Ten Island Challenge Sir Richard Branson at Close of Meeting in 2012. In signing the Memorandum of and geothermal and in the process, to Understanding with the Carbon War Room, cause Saint Lucia to meet 20% of its energy Saint Lucia unlocks significant technical needs from renewable sources by the year and legal support for its geothermal 2020. However, Prime Minister Anthony development programme, the mapping is sufficiently convinced that Saint Lucia is of its energy ecosystem, the development capable of meeting and surpassing those of a utility-scale solar-photovoltaic facility, goals that last week, in the British Virgin and the implementation of a waste-to- Islands, he requested that his Energy energy project, among other energy- Minister increase this target to 35% by the related initiatives. year 2020. Critical to meeting this goal will Saint Lucia’s participation in the be the development of our geothermal renewable energy meeting, at which it resource and two weeks ago, a team from was represented by the Prime Minister, the World Bank visited Saint Lucia at the the Energy Minister Hon. Dr. James invitation of the government to help Fletcher and the Chief Energy, Science and advance the geothermal development Technology Officer Ms. Judith Ephraim, programme. In the coming weeks, the was made even more memorable by a Government of Saint Lucia will intensify commitment given by Prime Minister discussions with private investors and Dr. Kenny Anthony at the closing of the developers in the geothermal and wind event. In 2011, on assuming office, the energy sectors with a view to making Kenny Anthony administration committed concrete steps toward meeting the 35% by to increasing the production of electricity 2020 target. from renewable sources like solar, wind,


Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre Opens in Trinidad & Tobago Dedicated to Promoting Green Business

Exhibitor Malika Cummings speaks with, from left, T & T Planning Minister Dr Bhoendradatt Tewarie and Phillip Paulwell, Jamaica’s Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining and Cariri CEO, Liaquat Ali Shah. A new World Bank–supported business hub, inaugurated in T&T recently, will support the growing number of clean energy and climate technology ventures in the Caribbean. The Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC), first of its kind in the region, will help reduce the significant threats posed by climate change through the creation of new green businesses. Climate change can have a serious impact on the Caribbean. A recent World Bank study highlights how an estimated four-degree Celsius increase in global temperatures would have disastrous consequences, including increased frequency and intensity of storms, coastal erosion, and decline of fresh water resources. Additional research estimated that the cost for the Caribbean could be up to US$11 billion annually, by 2025. To address the economic impact of climate change in the region, the CCIC will help local companies—working in solar energy, energy efficiency, water management, resource efficiency and agribusiness—become successful ‘green’ ventures through financing, training, mentorship and other services. “The new CCIC will help turn climate challenges into economic opportunities,” said Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean. “Companies in the Caribbean have the skills and experience to innovate and find environmentally sound and profitable climate solutions the region needs. The CCIC will work with them to make this happen.” Numerous domestic natural resources such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass can be tapped to move the region away from fossil fuels. By supporting local climate technology companies that make use of these natural resources, the CCIC is expected to cut 20,882 metric tons in green house gas emissions in the first six years of operation—which is equivalent to the exhaust emissions from 4,500 passenger cars per year. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS

EU Allocates

€8.5m for Regional

Risk

Reduction Super Storm Sandy Exposed Haiti's Failed Reconstruction. Haiti. by Chris Celius After the Christmas floods that devastated St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the European Union (EU) has reaffirmed its commitment to disaster risk reduction in the Caribbean by allocating €8.5 million to its Disaster Preparedness (Dipecho) Action Plan. Throughout this year, 14 projects will be done in 11 countries to reduce the region’s vulnerabilities to natural hazards such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as improve communities and authorities’ preparedness to respond to emergencies. Recent events like the low level trough system which left serious damage in the Eastern Caribbean, especially in Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, are reminders of the need to invest in interventions that can make a difference in determining whether or not a natural hazard becomes a disaster. The EU has also supported the emergency response in those countries with €300,000. “Preparedness measures can be taken to reduce the impact of natural hazards. A community’s response to disasters depends on their preparation,” said Jocelyn Lance, Head of Echo’s Caribbean Office. “Dipecho projects help communities at risk to anticipate, face, adapt and to recover quickly from disasters. The fact that communities strengthen their capacities and modify their attitudes towards disasters can save lives.” BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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An estimated 654,000 people will benefit from ongoing projects in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica, Dominica, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Guyana, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Suriname and T&T. “Humanitarian aid does not start after the disaster, but before it happens, so that its possible effects can be mitigated.” That is why Dipecho interventions are important. They promote measures such as the structural evaluation of health facilities to verify if these can withstand a disaster, emergency plans and seismic vulnerability and flooding studies,” explained the Head of Echo’s Caribbean Office. “Small mitigation works, such as bridges or retaining walls to avoid communities from being isolated or flooded and the rehabilitation of shelters to protect people displaced during a crisis are all examples of DIPECHO contributions to disaster risk reduction.” All activities are conducted in close collaboration with the national disaster management systems and with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA). The current programme incorporates innovations such as working on volcanic risk and integrating people with disabilities in disaster risk reduction. Since 1994, Echo has allocated over €290 million in humanitarian assistance in Haiti and €147 million to the rest of the region.

A house in Canaries, St Lucia, affected by floods last Christmas Eve. PHOTO: COURTESY CAMERON BROWN


CIBC FirstCaribbean has announced the appointment of Mrs. Ladesa James-Williams to the position of Country Manager – Southern Eastern Caribbean Islands (Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines). Formerly the Country Manager for the bank in St. Kitts & Nevis, Mrs. Williams began her career in finance in 2001 with her employment at Barclays Bank PLC as a management trainee, first getting her feet wet in both the Retail and Personal Banking office in Antigua and in the Corporate Banking office of St. Kitts. She was instrumental in researching and drafting staff policies in 2002, during the merger of Barclays Bank PLC and CIBC’s operations in the Caribbean that resulted in the formation of FirstCaribbean International Bank. During this period she also managed a call centre that provided around-the-clock support to customers during this integration phase.

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Her career, which spans over a decade, included an assignment as Corporate Manager in Antigua; Relationship Manager in the International Wealth department in The Bahamas; Senior Corporate Manager in Barbados and Country Manager of St. Kitts and Nevis. Her demonstrated competence in the areas of strategy implementation, asset management, relationship management and leadership leave Mrs. James-Williams poised to make a substantial impact on the southern Eastern Caribbean Islands.

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's

New Managing Director,

Andy Delmar,

On The Bank’s Future By Stan Bishop Since being appointed Managing Director of 1st National Bank on January 3, this year, Andy Delmar has gradually gotten around to filling the big shoes and warm chair left by his immediate predecessor, Carlton Glasgow. Delmar, who previously worked primarily in retail, wealth management and small business banking in most Caribbean territories for the past 23 years, feels a sense of pride in his new role. At least that’s what he told Business Focus Magazine when we sat down with him recently to pick his brain about the new mantle he has taken up.

pool: people with much energy who really understand what Saint Lucia is about and want to see Saint Lucia do better.” Delmar said that while he might be relatively new to 1st National Bank’s executive structure, he does understand clearly what his roles are within the financial organization that has been around since the late 1930s. He feels honoured to work among a team of employees who wear their culture of camaraderie ever so proudly. He is taking it step by step, he said.

to the community. In 2012, we spent more than $1.5 million. Even when the country is going through a difficult time, our hearts remain open. We are Saint Lucians and we intend to remain here. The third objective, really, is that we can become a brand that gets exported out of Saint Lucia,” Delmar explained. Delmar’s previous banking experience started with CIBC in Castries where he was employed as a teller. He quickly moved through different roles and benefited from the many mentors who helped him through the process. In 2002, he took up

“Being Managing Director is a unique opportunity for me because this is a national institution,” Delmar said. “It’s clearly one that has history and a pedigree of people who have graced the Managing Director’s role and delivered not just to the financial community but to the overall Saint Lucian community. So taking up this role is an wonderful opportunity for me to now take it to another level which is a bigger task in a way. Fortunately I was lucky enough to come into an institution in which there is such an amazing talent

“I’m lucky enough to be part of that and I’m really just looking to facilitate greater team work. I think that’s the first step. The second objective for me is that I really want us to build on our legacy of community outreach for Saint Lucia. The Bank is a fantastic brand. Everywhere you go, people know that at 1st National Bank we have a big heart and that we are indigenous. We believe that we are the true indigenous bank of Saint Lucia and we prove that every day. In 2013, we spent more than $1.8 million towards giving back

a regional role and has served at regional level for the past eleven years. Delmar was employed as Marketing Manager before becoming the Home Finance Manager for the Eastern Caribbean islands, BVI and Saint Maarten. That was his first big regional role and he was able to rack up an impressive resume that reflects personal as well as financial growth for his former place of work. “During that time, we saw year-on-year market share. We had a record three years of consecutive market haul being about

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10% year-on-year. So it was a very good year of business in the mortgage industry at that time. We had a great team spread over those countries and did fairly well. From there, I moved into a different role where I became the Associate Director of Retail Banking for the Barbados operating company which dealt with all the EC islands, Belize and Barbados. I was between Barbados and Saint Lucia for quite some time playing that role. Subsequently, I did an accelerated executive training programme which saw me going to Trinidad to open our first Wealth Office,” Delmar explained. That role saw Delmar doing an extended stint across different jobs at various senior levels in the bank for about a year. He was later elected the Retail Operations Director for CIBC First Caribbean and that was his last and most expansive role. Essentially, he ran the retail business across 17 countries, 69 branches, 7 wealth centres and 1,500 staff members. It was a very exciting period and he was very proud of what they were able to achieve. As good as it was, he said, there came the time when he wanted a change in environment. He chose 1st National Bank. “I’m thankful to CIBC First Caribbean because I think that they’ve given me 23 years of solid experience. But there comes a time when you really need to make that jump into another aspect of your career. There’s no better institution than 1st National Bank to get that step,” Delmar told Business Focus Magazine. Delmar said there were a myriad of reasons that compelled him to choose 1st National Bank. He believes that the Bank’s long and rich history and business climate put it in the driver’s seat to economic prosperity. Being part of that process, he said, was reason enough to become part of the team whose board of directors gave him the nod earlier this year. “When we look at the economic environment, as well as the Bank being 76 years old, where do we go next?” Delmar quipped. “It was timely therefore that the board saw the benefit and gave me the amazing support to come in and help us do this together as a team.” The new Managing Director told Business Focus Magazine that the Banking and Financial industry has gone through some rough periods and may continue to do so for the next couple of years. However, the driving force behind all that is recognizing that this is just a cycle. If one

went back through history, he explained, one would find those cycles where banks and other industries experienced very rough times and because of that many failed and didn’t make it out of the tunnel. 1st National Bank was one that stood the test of time. “I would venture to say that we’ve been here long enough to know the market well and our doors remain open for business,” Delmar said. “But I’m also very bullish on the fact that in an industry like ours if you focus on your customers and you focus on the fundamentals, you will get through this. 1st National Bank has demonstrated before that we have the ability to deliver strong results with our size and reach and we’re really looking to do something different. So we’re not shutting down shop. We are going to be bold, we’ll support good businesses. We won’t give away customers’ money. But we will be out there trying to get business. So we’ll be here for the Saint Lucian market that really needs our help right now. I think it’s an opportune time to show that we’re an indigenous bank, so we have to behave as such. The discipline of strong risk management is there and we will keep that. The discipline of ensuring that customer experience is good will also remain, as well as ensuring that our shareholders continue to know what is happening and be part of the process.” One of the most significant contributions that 1st National Bank has made to the Saint Lucian community has been giving back to that very community that has served it in good stead over the past 76 years. Delmar said the community outreach programme in which the bank invests heavily has done much for the people who have done much for the bank – its customers and shareholders. He believes that that sort of branding can go very far in establishing that local bank as a regional powerhouse. “The community outreach programme is a big part of what we do and giving back will continue to be part of what we do,” the new Managing Director said. “We target a percentage of our funds every year to give back to the community. I think that Saint Lucians are starting to believe and see that this is a bank that’s here for us, really. They’re always there partnering with us in difficult times. That’s why I think it’s an opportunity for us to build that brand. The root starts here but it’s a powerful thing. I think we need to get to the point where we can rally behind the idea of knowing that we can build this into a regional

powerhouse. It’s something that’s local but strong. So we all need to participate in the ownership of that. There are only a few banks that have local ownership and we want to see that get better and bigger. Clearly, we have more work to do to get all Saint Lucians to understand that this is ours and that we will be there for them. I think the brand is getting there. We’ve moved from the Penny Bank to the St. Lucia Cooperative Bank to 1st National Bank, which says it all: not 2nd, not 3rd – but 1st. that brand is going to continue to carry us. I think people are getting behind it.” 1st National Bank’s survival now rests in the hands of a man who comes with a long history of experience under his belt. He seems determined to roll up his sleeves, put on a bold face, and continue to make customers feel that the Bank is one that is still there for them. The Bank has come a long way from its humble beginnings and seems assured to continue its winning ways. Delmar sees positive opportunities amidst the changing economic times and intends to capitalize on them. “As of this year, we can boast that we have over half a billion dollars in our asset base. That’s fantastic because when we started off, we had a capital of $50,000. So we think there’s the opportunity for us to continue to do more. It’s amazing that we’ve gotten there. I think the future of the Bank is good: we have the right people on our team as well as people who support us. There is a lot that we in Saint Lucia can do with this bank and we are figuring out ways to get it done,” Delmar said. In a global competitive market that sees leaders in prominent roles becoming even younger by the day, Delmar said there’s absolutely no magic formula to his success. Despite the many roles in which he has served, he credits success to being willing to make a change by changing things for the better. Working with a disciplined team doesn’t hurt, either. “Have a goal. Be focused. Get the education right – it doesn’t mean that you must have a university degree. But at the minimum, you need to be good at what you do and get qualified in it. Once you have that, then you need to keep working hard and be disciplined. You also need to embrace people and understand that the world is really about people. You need to support them so that they can in turn support you.”

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Horst Schulze: Chairman and CEO

Set To Transform The Tourism Market By Stan Bishop A major transformation is set to lift the already high standard of the picturesque Marigot Bay is a few months’ time. The former Discovery at Marigot Bay is now Capella Marigot Bay Resort & Marina, Saint Lucia and will be managed by Capella Hotels and Resorts. Horst Schulze, CEO and Chairman of Capella Hotels and Resorts, told Business Focus Magazine recently that Capella Marigot Bay is the only Capella hotel property in the Caribbean. He added that Capella Hotels and Resorts will manage the five-star ultra-luxury 124-room resort which has among its many objectives creating a strong connection with the local community and ensuring that guests connect with Saint Lucian culture. The property, which was temporarily closed, has undergone major renovations in the past few months and works are expected to end by summer of this year. The property’s configuration will change

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Jeroen Quint GM Capella Marigot

significantly and will offer a range of amenities, including a larger spa, fitness centre, new bars and restaurants. Other plans for the property include an art gallery for local artists to showcase their works, international food and beverage outlets, a gourmet store and fine spirits shop, a highend boutique and jewellery store, a ship chandlery provider, and a specialty dive shop. “It will be much more of a resort feeling,” Schulze said. “When you’re sitting at home during winter time and dream about the tropics, that’s what it’s going to be. That is what we want to offer our guests -- a total tropical experience.” Schulze is a former president of the internationally-renowned luxury hotel chain, Ritz-Carlton. After being in the business for twenty years, he decided to retire. He later decided to come out of retirement and do what he loves best: running hotels. This time around, though,


he wanted to get into the ultra-luxury market segment but not before studying it carefully. “A few years ago, I made a careful study of what the ultra-luxury market segment entails,” Schulze told Business Focus Magazine. “What do the guests want? How can we deliver it? And we came to the conclusion that if we have hotels around 100 rooms capacity, we can deliver what these guests want. If we have much less, we don’t bring the human connection that the guests want. Also, if we have more than 100 rooms, we cannot deliver all the services that the guests want. For example, they want no fixed check-in and check-out times. With Capella Marigot Bay, guests can choose their check-in and check-out times. So everything is geared around this market segment.” Schulze said the change in the industry for luxury a few years ago propelled him to play his hand in the ultra-luxury market

he hopes that the new investment in Saint Lucia attracts the clientele being sought after. “Our principal markets are the Eastern Coast of the United States, England and Germany. These will be our top markets. And then it starts to spread out to other markets. Today, travel is so global. Believe me, we will end up with Asia being part of our target markets, especially so since the Chinese are travelling now much more than before. We have very heavy Chinese and Russian clientele everywhere. They’re well paying, they’re good customers and good guests. So we’re going after them as well,” Schulze said. The veteran hotelier also expressed confidence in the Saint Lucia tourism industry, adding that the recent deal took a long time in coming. He also pointed to Saint Lucia’s future potential for growth, something that Capella Marigot Bay intends to capitalize on.

“We want the guests to experience the entire island. We’ll give them a variety of chooses about where to visit during their stay. We want them to experience the tastes of the island and to experience the warmth of the people. We want them to feel a connection to the island and not just have a vacation. When they leave, they must remember Saint Lucia for years to come.” Schulze added that Capella Marigot Bay intends to play a major role in the community by committing itself to various humanitarian and other forms of support. Jeroen Quint will serve as General Manager of Capella Marigot Bay. Quint told Business Focus Magazine that during the renovation phase, the requisite training of staff will take place to ensure a seamless transition when Capella Marigot Bay opens its door later this year.

segment. Having run luxury hotels all his life, he said he was nonetheless up for the new challenge. “Twenty years ago, the luxury market segment started changing into ultra-luxury and affordable luxury segments. It was my decision to do the ultra-luxury side of things, which is the very top market segment. That’s what we go after. We have two hotels in Mexico -- both rated number one there. We also have one hotel in Germany, which is rated best there. We have one hotel in Singapore, rated best in South-East Asia. We also have one hotel in Washington which is open only a few months of the year but rated number two in Washington. That’s what we do and what we concentrate on. And, of course, we have to be in the right market, and Saint Lucia is in the right market,” Schulze said. Schulze said his company will be managing the marina as well, with the future hope of making it the finest marina in the Caribbean. He said the marina’s potential to attract millionaires and billionaires who own yachts and other pleasure boats augurs well for Saint Lucia as a tourism destination. In the end, however,

“I have total confidence in Saint Lucia. I looked very carefully when this opportunity came about three years ago and we first started talking about it. I also looked at how very well Saint Lucia’s standing in the Caribbean was. And Saint Lucia has being growing. In a few years, Saint Lucia can become the number one destination in the Caribbean. I can see it happening. It takes time to establish yourself. I have never opened a hotel that after three years didn’t become the leader in its region. I’ve opened over a hundred in my career. And I don’t intend to change that,” Schulze said. Schulze said Capella Marigot Bay will ensure that it maintains an environmentallyconscious landscape that augurs well for its marketability as well as its philosophy of keeping it energy-efficient. “It’s very important that the landscaping plays a big role in that regard. It’s very important, too, that we’re ecologically-concerned not only because we should be but because it’s the right thing to do.” So just what can guests expect to experience at Capella Marigot Bay when it opens it doors this fall?

“We have about 150 members of staff but once we finalize the construction details and the concepts for the food and beverage, restaurants and spa makeup, we will look closely at our staffing models. Obviously, we adding experiences on property, such as an art gallery, fashion shows, vegetable garden, and cooking classes for the chefs. We will definitely need to look at the staffing levels for each area. That number is expected to grow to as much as 200 employees,” the general manager said. Quint said Capella Marigot Bay will not be exclusively all-inclusive but would instead give guests the option of choosing what they want. He said accommodations will be available for couples as well as families. Accommodations will include one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, and also penthouses. The layout of the rooms will be such that families can have adjoining rooms. Other amenities will include fully-equipped meeting space, complimentary wireless Internet, nightly turndown service, snorkeling, Tai Chi, Yoga, non-motorized watersports, kids club and personal attendant service. BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Mar Mar / / Apr Apr || 39 39


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CHOC COMMERCIAL PARK ST LUCIA’S BEST VALUE IN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE Why Buy Now Smart companies with a strategic eye on the future recognize the need to position themselves for future growth. That means identifying new investment and market opportunities while your competitors are focused on current constraints rather than future prospects. A key component of any proactive corporate growth strategy should be the acquisition of new assets in a buyer’s market. That means creating future value by acquiring assets below historical market values or before prices recover and start rising again. We believe the time to buy is now, before the resumption of robust economic growth within the next 12 to 15 months.

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Looking to the Future Despite the global uncertainties of a conservative business environment, Saint Lucia is currently enjoying its best tourism season in three years. Moreover, the sector is reportedly better positioned than ever before to sustain its favourable performance. Given the pervasive impact of this highly diversified industry, the overall economic outlook calls for a significant resumption of consumer confidence based on the momentum from the country’s leading sector. This upturn is likely to be reflected across the services sector, particularly in the distributive trades, transport and communications. Public sector investment in infrastructure will also drive improvements in employment and consumption across the economy.


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If your company is looking to be at the forefront of the new investment wave, then Choc Commercial Park is your best option for strategic real estate investment. Ideally located at the heart of the rapidly expanding northwest corridor, Choc Park has direct arterial links to the residential, commercial, and industrial growth centres in and around the capital city, Castries.

With several lots ranging from 13,343 square feet (1239.6 square metres) to 69,764 square feet (6,481.2 Square Metres) there are opportunities for a wide range of buyers. Whether for own-use, rental, lease or later sale, these lots represent a unique investment option in an otherwise conservative market.

WAIVERS OF DUTIES AND TAXES: Under the Special Development Areas Act, property owners within the project area are entitled to unique fiscal advantages, including waivers of specific duties and taxes on transfer of ownership and on inputs for approved economic activity. INDEPENDENT WATER RESERVE: Located within the development is a man-made reservoir containing over 120 million gallons (545,000 m3) of high quality water, available on negotiated terms to industries requiring a high-volume reliable supply.

Availability & Pricing Information…

Served by public transport, with immediate highway access to northern, eastern and southern Saint Lucia, Choc Commercial Park is undoubtedly situated at the epicentre of Saint Lucia’s future economic growth and physical development.

Every lot is fully serviced with paved access roads (9.14 metres road reserve), concrete perimeter drains, and major utilities. What’s more, all lots have been supercharged with high quality quarry material increasing elevation by more than (5 metres) above original grade.

Even more exciting are the development plans for the wider Choc Valley, a 300-acre model community including residential, commercial, touristic and civic infrastructure. This project offers discerning investors untold opportunities and the chance to locate in an area with significant revenue potential and attractive capital gains.

Unique Advantages… VAT FREE PURCHASING: All lots currently on offer can be purchased free of VAT thanks to a unique corporate structure implemented before the November 2012 VAT deadline. This means an immediate 15% savings for purchasers compared to

This development is already (50%) sold, with limited additional availability likely to come on stream in the near future. To capitalize on this unique investment opportunity and to receive details of purchase and financing options on remaining lots, please contact us at:

JQ Charles Ltd. P.O. Box 279 Choc Estate Castries,Saint Lucia Tel: (758) 450-1300 Email: larnold@jqcharlesgroup.com Web: www.jqrealty.com

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’s CFL’s New Managing Director Speaks About Ten Years of Success By Stan Bishop

Business Focus Magazine: Can you tell us about the milestones that mark Consolidated Foods Limited's tenth anniversary? Martin Dorville: There have been many, most of which have had a positive impact on our company and our team overall. Firstly, there is the aspect of training and development, which has been a priority area for us, through which we equip our team with the broad skills to help them adapt to the rapidly changing and diverse supermarket industry. Through our Supermarket Career Institute (SCI), which is an in house facility aligned with the IGA Coco Cola Institute in the USA, many of our staff have been trained in various aspects of the business. In fact our stores have topped the rankings on many occasion for the numbers enrolled, numbers trained and the extent to which our team members are excelling at various programmes. Given on focus on training and learning I see CFL as processing minds and this is not just for the company's benefit but also for the country as a whole. Everyone knows about the wealth of talent we have in this country. Training has truly empowered our teams to take charge and do their jobs better as their skills are sharpened and they become more confident. After we would have trained our team, we would have changed them for the better. I’ve met persons who are no longer with the company, who are able to reflect on how working at CFL changed their lives and opened doors which would have otherwise not been possible, had they not acquired the skills and knowledge of the industry

which we afford all our staff at all levels through SCI. From very early we recognised that if our team members know they have the potential for career advancement they’re more likely to produce quality results. In most cases, they’ll offer improved customer service, drive sales and become passionate brand ambassadors. As a result we have also established career paths for nearly every position within the store and the wider company - our team are now more comfortable and confident to perform and produce results. Business Focus Magazine: As a longstanding employee -- and now the Managing Director -- of such a large retail organization, how do you feel when you’ve realized that the company has been able to transform someone’s life for the better by providing opportunities to learn new skills and teaching them those skills to which you referred? Martin Dorville: We have people who have worked in a range of departments. With the skills gained at each stop of the journey over the years these team members are now able to see the big picture and are making a significant contribution to the success of the company. We have examples of people who have started as cashiers and are now store managers. As a leader in the organization, this gives me a good feeling. In fact, I am the product of the range of opportunities and training, having gone through some of those processes myself. So over the past ten we have grown tremendously, thanks in part to the emphasis that we place on learning and growth and the extent to which we invest in this critical area.

We opened Mega J, which has been a huge success story for us. We also opened the Cul De Sac, supermarket which is was quite an accomplishment. Some of our existing stores have undergone extensive remodeling - Rodney Heights, Sunny Acres, Rodney Bay, and Waterfront for example. Our warehousing capacity has been significantly enhanced and this coupled with improvements in our supply chain and logistics overall has allowed us to service our stores and customers overall. Another significant achievement was the exporting our brand (Super J IGA) to St. Vincent, where we opened three supermarkets. With the acquisition of gl foodmarket last year, our retail offerings actually became more diverse given the specialty/gourmet focus of this store. Business Focus Magazine: With respect to the gl Food Market acquisition, are customers going to see any significant changes to the shopping experience that they’re used to there? And can we see any shift in policy following Neal & Massy Group’s majority shareholder stake in CFL? Martin Dorville: Where gl is concerned the format remains the same and our intention is to continuously improve on and grow this aspect of the business. With respect to the change in CFL ownership, this should not adversely impact customers. No serious supermarket operator is going to do things to adversely impact customers. Neal & Massy is a huge conglomerate operating the best retail supermarkets in the countries where they are located. This conglomerate has a very diverse exposure within the region. As such, benchmarking becomes more seamless. This can only augur well for us as a company.

Business Focus Magazine: Apart from the training opportunities, what other milestones were you able to achieve during those ten years? Martin Dorville: We’ve certainly expanded our operations during that time. BusinessFocus Mar Mar / / Apr Apr || 45 45 BusinessFocus


Business F o c u s Magazine: Can you tell us a little about the CFL team? What are you most proud of?

Business Focus Magazine: Would you say that you’ve done enough to outdo yourself as a company, even in an environment in which there seems to be no competition for you? Martin Dorville: When there is little competition complacency can set in. However, that has not been the case for CFL. The record will show that we have transformed the supermarket landscape tremendously. We have focused on growth and innovation and the pharmacies, delis, ATMs, Customer Service Desks and extent of the offerings and choice at nearly all of our stores is testimony this. Innovation comes from hard work which is how we can position ourselves to create new paths. We take this business seriously, our responsibility to feed the nation very seriously and are focused on providing a shopping experience based on international standards. Business Focus Magazine: CFL has been known in the community as being very big on corporate social responsibility. Would you say that aspect of the organization qualifies as a milestone? Martin Dorville: This is an area which we are very proud of in terms of the work we do with schools, our farmers, young people, health and wellness and our communities. Being one of the largest organizations in the country, there is a great deal of expectation and you can sometimes lose focus by wanting to solve all of the problems. We’ve deliberately zoomed in the specific areas that I mentioned earlier to ensure results in our actions. This has allowed for a high level of consistency in what we have been able to achieve working with these groups through sponsorship and donation. When it comes to CSR we are guided by our company’s core values, which include Commitment and Being Good with people and that is an area we expect to develop in the future. BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Mar Mar / / Apr Apr

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M a r t i n Dorville: W e ’ r e constantly changing internally as an organization. One of the things that we credit ourselves for, is our ability to deal with change. The commitment that the senior team members have shown to this organization is incredible. In general the CFL team's resilience has been tested on many occasions. Hurricane Tomas and the Christmas Eve are two cases which brought out the fighting spirit of the team, in terms of helping to restore our business in a short space of time. There is a high level of camaraderie that permeates the interactions of the CFL team overall, which makes me very proud to have been given the honour of leading them on the next leg of the journey. So a very strong, focused, energetic and strong team is definitely one of the pluses which will set us good for the future. Business Focus Magazine: What are some of the other benefits that employees can tap into at CFL? Martin Dorville: We are of the view that our team members ought to be very satisfied with the organization and nobody should take care of them better than the organization. Apart from educational assistance packages, health coverage and a pension plan, team members have the opportunity to own part of the company. In fact over 200 team members are shareholders in the company and own about 10% of the organization. That’s huge for us because when you know that you are working for a company that you own in part, that’s an incredible and powerful feeling. We believe that if we treat our team members’ right, we will retain them and they in turn will be focused on customer satisfaction.

Business Focus Magazine: Having set itself certain goals ten years ago, would you say that CFL has outdone itself thus far? Has the company achieved its original objectives? Martin Dorville: We haven’t achieved all of them because every year is different. Every year brings new challenges and opportunities. It’s almost impossible to outdo yourself. I should add here that we have come up against some serious tides during the period, most of it relating to food price increases, which generally creates some level of customer unease. Our customers don’t dislike us, but their pockets are affected by food prices and because the end-result is at our stores, that’s who they believe is responsible. Despite this, we have remained focused on understanding our customers to better meet their needs, working with our suppliers to ensure consistent product quality at the best possible price, while at the same time ensuring that our team remain high on customer service. We aim to get much better at all of these areas that I mentioned. Business Focus Magazine: Any major future plans for CFL? Martin Dorville: The future of CFL will definitely include a few more changes. That’s what actually keeps the company successful. The answer to our future and continued success is to build an even stronger team. Retail Success still depends on Core Principles: people (employees) and shopper engagement. That’s where the ideas come from. Ideas come from our people and here we have no shortage at all. What is of importance is that we have to continue to embrace change. We have to continue to have an appetite for growth and to elevate our standards to serve our customers better every day.


Martin Dorville Managing Director

Nickler Velinor-Paul DH HR & Training

Sabina Wilkie DH Finance

Linda Augier DH Management & Merchandising

Joanna Justin DH Business Systems & IT

Delise Arnold DH Purchasing (Grocery)

CFL Leadership Team BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Mar Mar / / Apr Apr || 47 47


Raymond Modeste DH WH & Distribution

Troy Valcin DH Purchasing (Perishables)

Marcellinus Hippolyte DH Audit & Loss Prevention

Sariah Best-Joseph DH Marketing and Corp. Communications

Janice Lionel DH Operations

Indira Shivnauth DH Purchasing (Non Foods)

Caron Charlemagne Deputy DH- Audit & Loss Prevention

Sancha Raggie Marketing Manager

Rosemarie Etienne Finance Manager WH & Dist.

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Claudia Niles Customer Service Manager

Dilys Christopher Sales Manager

Wayne Theodore Finance Manager

Dunstan Demille Perishables Manager

Eusebius Athill Loss Prevention Manager

Chairmaine Dick Training Manager

CFL Store Managers & Management Trainees

Lucretia Octalien - Duncan Operations Manager BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Mar Mar / / Apr Apr

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ACQUIRES GABLEWOODS SUPERMART LIMITED (GSL) The Neal & Massy Group wishes to announce that on December 31, 2013, Neal & Massy entered into a sale agreement with the shareholders of GSL to acquire 100% controlling interest in GSL, through the acquisition of 63.3% of GSL’s share capital from Michael Chastanet, Andre Chastanet and Oswald Augustin. The purpose of the acquisition was to increase Neal & Massy’s ownership in GSL to a controlling interest. Prior to the above captioned acquisition, Neal & Massy owned 36.7% of Gablewoods Supermart Limited (GSL), registered in St. Lucia, whose principal activity is the operation of supermarket chains in both St. Lucia and St. Vincent. The Neal & Massy Group currently owns and operates the largest food retail chains in Trinidad and Barbados - Hi-Lo Food Stores in Trinidad and the Super Centre chain of supermarkets in Barbados. The Group recently embarked on a strategy to incorporate an integrated retail format for select stores, categorized as Super Combination stores, in both Trinidad and Barbados. This includes non-food offerings, such as soft furnishings and appliances, consumer credit and remittance services. Neal & Massy takes this opportunity to sincerely thank all the stakeholders of Gablewoods Supermart Limited, including the valued employees, loyal customers and trusted suppliers, who have supported the company over the past 20 years. We look forward to your continued support as we move forward, together, into another exciting phase of growth and development.

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For 10 years, Consolidated Foods Limited has been dedicated to making a positive impact on customers, families, communities and Saint Lucia.

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Eroline Fo

Foods 10Years Eroline

od

s

Celebrating Eroline Foods Supermarket named after Eroline Lamontagne was founded in 1988 and began its business activities as a retail outlet of frozen foods and meats. The operation which is owned by Mr. Lyton and Mrs. Eroline Lamontagne has grown to become the most prominent supermarket in the town of Soufriere. The store is the most spacious supermarket and carries a wider range of products than the other supermarkets in the town. To make shopping more convenient and relaxing, customers shop in air condition comfort. Eroline Foods Offer a complete one stop shopping experience from grocery; fresh produce, alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages, household items and pharmaceuticals all in one run. The business prides itself in providing quick, safe, friendly and reliable service and is responsive to a variety of quality goods and services at the most competitive prices.

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Eroline Foods went through a major transformation in 1999, when Mr. and Mrs. Lamontagne undertook a franchise with the then Julien’s Supermarket. The partnership provided the sole traders with additional resources to expand their business and an opportunity to sell a wider range of goods and services. “Our biggest initiative in our 26 years of operation was joining with this national chain” declared Mr. Lamontagne. Eroline Foods also became an associate of Consolidated Foods, when Julien’s and JQ supermarkets merged in 2005 to become the largest food retailing store on the island. Our relationship with Consolidated Foods is a very amicable one. We continue to work closely to receive regular advice and training in creating new merchandising techniques, innovative programs and expanded product lines to meet our mutual goal of maximizing sales of quality and inexpensive products in the town of Soufriere. Although Eroline Foods maintain its own individuality, it carries the

TiJ’s logo and enjoys exclusive rights to sell the IGA brand in Soufriere. With that change, the growth of the company is consistently providing great customer benefits plus the convenience of weekly specials and promotions. Super J’s computerized system has made it possible for customers to gain points every time they shop, redeeming of points for loyalty vouchers and many other great opportunities. Apart from seasonal promotions, Eroline Foods holds its own in house promotions where customers get chances to win various prices for example, one of our customers won a prize of Five Thousand Dollars. As a good corporate sponsor, Eroline Foods usually participates in yearly sponsorship. For Independence 2014, the enterprise sponsored a District VIII General Knowledge Quiz at the Fond St. Jacques Primary School.


Eroline Foods is wholly managed by staff from Soufriere, Choiseul and Fond St. Jacques. This business place could not be successful without the dedication and loyalty of the 45 employees who work assiduously to ensure that quality work is produced. The enterprise has some loyal and long standing staff which needs to be highlighted due to their superb contributions to the company. These staff members have been with Eroline Foods for over ten years.

Mr.Glenroy Jean Ms.Cleofia Clifford Mrs.Lorna Pierre Louis Ms.Olive Gaillard Mrs. Keisha Gustave Mrs.Rita Jean Mr.Michael Henry Ms.Marisa Augustin We take great pride in our country and people, and try our outmost to support our local companies and farmers. On a daily basis, we purchase local fruits and provisions from our farmers to assist them market their produce. Our opening hours are from 8:00 am to 8:00pm weekly and from 8:00am to

Mr. & Mrs. Lamontagne 1:00pm on Sundays and holidays. Our flexible hours make it more appropriate for our customers, especially those working in the tourism sector and other late workers to have access to the shopping centre.

OUR VISION To become the number one supermarket in the community where the price is right, service is convenience and satisfaction is guaranteed.

OUR MISSION To make Eroline Foods Supermarket your preferred shopping destination in all channels by delivering: • • • •

CUSTOMER SERVICE Diversity is the core to every area of our business from our team to our suppliers and to the communities we serve. When you have questions we make it easy to correspond with immediate feedback. We work hard to ensure your shopping experience is a pleasurable one.

Convenient Services at Eroline Foods: • • • • • •

Lotto E-Top up Digi Top up Bank of St.Lucia Point of Sale First Caribbean Point of sale Redemption of Super J points.

Outstanding Value Quality Service Continuous Innovation Customer satisfaction and best prices.

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IN THE KNOW

to Expand to Guyana New India Assurance Company Ltd is planning to expand to Guyana from its Regional subsidiary’s Head Office in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, the company’s Global Chairman announced. Speaking after a time-capsule installation ceremony at the company’s one-year-old Victoria Avenue building, Mumbai-based Gopalan Srinivasan said: “Globally, we are trying to expand into Canada, Qatar in the Middle East and Myanmar, or Burma, which is opening up now. In this part of the world, we are looking at Guyana and some more territories where we would (like to) go to now.” Asked if the expansion to Guyana would be from T&T, Srinivasan said: “Yes, from this office.” The T&T headquarters of the Indian government-owned company is located next to the Indian High Commission to Portof-Spain. Founded in 1919, New India Assurance is a 100-per cent

state-owned multinational general insurance company operating in 22 countries and headquartered in Mumbai. Addressing guests at an inter-faith service in commemoration of New India’s first anniversary in its new building, Bharath said Government has started developing a financial business process outsourcing (BPO) industry for T&T. “Through the T&T International Financial Centre, whose mandate is to develop a financial BPO industry for T&T, we will brand T&T as the premier location in the western hemisphere for financial services,” he said. Bharath told the New India executives that with their 60 years’ experience in T&T, “you all have certainly contributed to the development of our local economy.” “Insurance plays, at this level, a key role in economic stability,” he said. Moreover, as institutional investors, the insurance sector provides a long-term source of finance for investment in the economy, thus contributing to sustainable growth. Together, Bharath said, government and the private sector “can lay critical foundation stones so that T&T is well positioned to take further advantage of opportunities in the global financial services arena.”

Ultra Mart Inc. Quality Shopping, Exceptional Service, Unbeatable Price

Vasant Bharath, Minister of Trade, Industry and Investments, centre, assists with the installation of a time capsule at the New India Assurance Building, Victoria Avenue, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The capsule was installed after an Inter-faith service commemorating the first anniversary of the building. With Minister Bharath are, Sookdeo Beepath, Corporate Consultant, New India Assurance (T&T) Limited, left, and Gopalan Srinivasan, Chairman, New India Assurance Company Limited, Mumbai, India. Photo: ANDRE ALEXANDER. BusinessFocus BusinessFocus Mar Mar / / Apr Apr

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shop smart ! shop ultra mart ! Marchand, Micoud St., Chisel & St. Louis St., Manoel St., Corinth, and Soufriere. Open half day on Sundays and Holidays

Tel: 1(758) 457-7501 • Fax: 1(758) 451-9351


CARICOM Appoints

New Deputy Secretary General

OECS Authority Selects

Dr. Didacus Jules as New OECS Director-General Chairman of the OECS Authority Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer revealed recently that the OECS Authority has selected Dr. Didacus Jules as the Organization's new Director-General. The position became vacant when the former Director-General Dr. Len Ishmael demitted office at the end of December 2013. The Organization canvassed widely and received applications for the position from across the region and beyond. Having deliberated inconclusively on this matter during the 58th Meeting of the OECS Authority in November in Montserrat, the Authority made the final selection during an ad hoc meeting of the Authority held in Havana, Cuba during the CELAC Summit in January 2014. Dr. Didacus Jules is currently the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and will be expected to take up his position as Director-General on 1 May 2014. "The Authority is confident that the correct choice has been made," said Chairman Spencer, " and we look forward to working with Dr. Jules in ushering in a new dispensation at our Organization." PM Spencer indicated that Dr. Jules beat out a strong field of candidates for the position and pointed out that he came with a strong reputation as an executive who strove for efficiency and who was not afraid to go after transformational change. Spencer said that, given the challenges facing OECS countries in the coming years, Dr. Jules was the best person for the job. Dr. Jules, a national of Saint Lucia, met with Mr. Spencer recently in Antigua and Barbuda and both men spoke at length regarding the Organization's mission and priority focus. The OECS Commission Secretariat is located in Saint Lucia.

Former long-serving Suriname Ambassador to Guyana, Manorma Soeknandan is the new Deputy Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat. She assumed duties at the CARICOM Secretariat on 1 February, 2014, a release from Caricom said. She succeeds Ambassador Lolita Applewaite of Barbados who has since retired. Soeknandan served as resident Ambassador of Suriname to Guyana from 2001 to January 2013. She was accredited as Ambassador to CARICOM and Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan to Jamaica in January 2002. During her tenure as resident Ambassador in Guyana, she became the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps. The release said that Soeknandan has extensive diplomatic experience in the International / Regional arena, with competencies in managing inter-state relations through diplomatic channels and negotiating cooperation arrangements between states and institutions. The release said that Soeknandan holds a Bachelor of Laws decree (LL B.) from Anton de Kom University and worked for twenty-seven years as a lawyer with the Government of Suriname. She also served as head and manager of several departments with the Ministry of Justice and Police, including Manager of Computerisation Projects.

Ambassador Manorma Soeknandan and former CARICOM Secretary-General Dr. Edwin Carrington BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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IN THE KNOW

UK Bribery Act Could be a Template for Greater Transparency in the Caribbean is only one defence and that is to have in place adequate procedures against bribery and corruption."

Gold Standard

John McKendrick ONE of the UK's leading anti-corruption lawyers John McKendrick believes that the Caribbean can take away a great deal from the UK's Bribery Act if the region is truly committed to greater public and private sector transparency and is determined to stamp out corruption. McKendrick is from the renowned law firm of Outer Temple Chambers and practises international regulatory, commercial and public law. He has advised governments, public bodies and multinational corporations on anticorruption measures in the UK and across Latin America and the Caribbean. He was The Times Lawyer of the Week in September 2013. Speaking with Caribbean Business Report from the British High Commission in Kingston Jamaica, McKendrick said that any Caribbean company that carries out a part of its business in the UK is subject to the full force of the Act if it fails to prevent bribery. "That means if a company is incorporated in Kingston and is owned by Jamaicans but carries out a part of its business in the UK, then the UK courts have jurisdiction in relation to the criminal offence of bribery committed there. This new criminal offence is a strict liability one and if a person is associated with the relevant commercial organisation that carries out a part of its business in the UK, is involved in bribery, then it doesn't matter that the Board of Directors didn't know, or were reckless or negligent in not making efforts to find out —intention is irrelevant. There BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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In this way it is not too dissimilar to anti-money laundering procedures or due diligence procedures. What has to be focused upon here is bribery and corruption. The UK Bribery Act passed in 2010 is based on six key principles, namely: Proportionality; risk assessment; toplevel commitment; due diligence; communication and training; and regular review and monitoring. "What the Caribbean can take away from the UK Bribery Act is that the UK has passed this piece of legislation, which is a gold standard around the world. Other jurisdictions have similar legislation like the United States' Corrupt Foreign Practices Act and other countries will soon follow suit here because that is what the United Nations and OECD is driving at. So it makes good sense for companies to associate themselves with the type of adequate

procedures that the relevant commercial organisations must have in place. "What we have seen since the passing of the Act is a change in corporate culture. Businesses realise that they have to be seen to be carrying out business in an ethical, non-corrupt transparent way. "That is one of the things the British High Commission in Jamaica is keen to

emphasise, which is those jurisdictions that have high levels of rule of law compliance and low levels of corruption perception have much higher GDPs per capita," explained McKendrick. It is clear then that if one has a jurisdiction in which international investors and domestic investors perceive that country to have high levels of corruption, than that is an economic hazard and does not encourage firms to invest there. The former Contractor General of Jamaica Greg Christie was relentless in ensuring that greater levels of transparency in public procurement prevailed but for his valiant efforts both leading politicians and corporate leaders vilified him. Some deemed him too draconian and "too much of a stickler for the rules".

Corruption in the Caribbean In December 2013, the National Integrity Action (NIA) blamed the Jamaican Government's lack of action and failure to pass the promised anti-corruption legislation for the country's failure to improve on Transparency International (TI)

Corruption Perception Index (CPI). TI placed Jamaica again at number 83 of the 175 ranked in the 2013 survey, with number one being the least corrupt and 175 the most corrupt. Jamaica shared the 83rd spot with fellow CARICOM state, Trinidad and Tobago as well as African countries Zambia and Liberia.


Barbados received the best ranking within CARICOM coming in at number 15, while The Bahamas and St. Lucia placed at number 22. St Vincent and the Grenadines was ranked number 33 and Dominica 41.

Fully Embracing Transparency "I think the key message for the private sector is to fully embrace the transparency agenda because it encourages competition. Now one of the things that people tell me about Jamaica is that there are too many laws that are not enforced. There is something of a culture of impunity growing. One of the things I feel strongly about is if you have laws on the statute book, you need to enforce them because if they are not enforced, then they are not laws. "So a contractor-general or any official, who is tasked by Parliament, needs to go about enforcing the relevant statutory rules. At the end of the day, the market will operate much more effectively if there are these transparency laws and procedures in place. "One thing I am not too sure exists in Jamaica but should do so is, I understand in relation to a government procurement exercise there is a concern raised, the contractor-general can investigate and produce a report which is sent to Parliament but is nonbinding. What I think would be useful is, if a contract is awarded the private company that was not successful in obtaining the contract should be able to take steps to judicially review or repeal the award of the contract if it has legitimate concerns. The judge then can look to see whether the contract was awarded in a transparent and fair way in accordance with the law. Now that's what happens in the UK," said John McKendrick.

Dash of

Elegance

“Polish your live” “A Step Above”

• For All Your Formal & Casual Dresses • Business Attire • Bags & Accessories • Drapes & Curtains • Gift Certificates Available We accept All Major Credit Cards Shop#8, Vieux-Fort Plaza, Saint Lucia, WI Tel: 1(758) 454-6232

Entrepreneurship Key to Personal Enrichment and National Economic Growth

Economist, Entrepreneur and motivational Speaker: Zhivargo Laing The path to personal and national economic growth, for the most part, is the same, according to a leading financial specialist. Former Bahamian Finance Minister Zhivargo Laing says the key is "entrepreneurship" and he urges people to "look to the wealth of knowledge, experience, creativity and innovation they have to generate ideas that have the force of profitability." Likewise, businesses had to reach deep into "their reservoir of ingenuity to do business on new levels of excellence and pride, anchoring their every effort in the central objective of wowing customers." Governments for their part must treat business facilitation, growth and development "as a necessity for promoting the generation of resources to alleviate poverty, enhance the social safety nets of their societies, give young people a chance at education and opportunities, and develop their nations further." Laing, who is also an entrepreneur in the Bahamas, stressed "pro-business" policies of governments do not mean "surrendering the fate of people to the callous hands of the marketplace - but it does mean respecting the enormously powerful role those hands play in tilling the fortunes of the social earth." Furthermore, Laing, a motivational speaker, declared: "New business, more business, and better business is the primary need of the global economic environment. It is the cure for so many personal and community economic and financial challenges." Laing asserted such clarity is needed now as individuals and governments struggle in tough economic times: "If we don't get this, we are missing the boat and the status quo will continue." For further information, visit www.zlaingconsulting.com. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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IN THE KNOW

Du Boulay’s Bottling and Jamaican Firm Partner in New Venture Targets Expansion and Diversification Through Distribution

Caribbean Producers Jamaica’s Executive Chairman, Mark Hart (second left), and Chief Executive, Tom Tyler (right), at the Company’s Egg-processing Facility. THE recently announced Caribbean Producers Jamaica (CPJ) joint venture in St Lucia will allow it to sell larger volumes of products to tourism interests in that market, management stated. "CPJ is confident of the success of this venture. Both companies have similar aspirations to grow by exploring new markets which will boost our exports and bring in hard currency," said Mark Hart, CPJ executive chairman in a press statement issued yesterday. He added that Jamaica's significant tourism interests in St. Lucia through the Sandals and Hendrickson hotel groups would allow it to leverage its offering to that market. Recently, CPJ announced that it purchased a majority stake in a St Luciabased Coca-Cola bottling plant for an undisclosed sum. CPJ holds a 51 per cent controlling stake in the joint venture, while the remaining 49 per cent is held by Du Boulay's Bottling Company Limited. The new entity, CPJ St Lucia, will initially target the growing hospitality sector, before widening its scope to the food manufacturing business in the Eastern Caribbean island. "We are extremely pleased to partner with Du Boulay's. The company is a wellBusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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established bottling and manufacturing firm on the island and the synergies between them and CPJ are strong," said Hart. "We did not want to enter the St. Lucian market without having the right local partner and based on our analysis, Du Boulay's is the right fit for us." Initially, through CPJ St Lucia, the company will service its key hospitality customers on the island with dry goods and food, both refrigerated and frozen. Hart stated that the CPJ St Lucia operations will provide a tremendous opportunity for his team to transmit the expertise they have built up in the hospitality industry over the past 20 years. CPJ, founded in 1994 was listed on the Junior Market of the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE) since July 20, 2011. The company, with total equity at some US$13 million, is one of Jamaica's leading foodservice distributors and a supplier of wines. Du Boulay is the official bottler and distributor of Coca-Cola products on the island, and has a comprehensive distribution network servicing over 2,200 active accounts, including the major hospitality and institutional customers. Tom Tyler, CPJ chief executive, stated in a release that the company's expansion into St. Lucia is a part of its strategic vision

to become a truly Caribbean enterprise. "Already we export to St. Maarten, St. Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda, but this is our first full-time established business in another country. This move certainly augurs well for the future of both Du Boulay's Bottling and CPJ and we intend to extend our reach to other countries," noted Tyler. The joint venture will work with agricultural stakeholders in St. Lucia in the medium term. "We intend to engage local agricultural producers in St Lucia in the same way that we have done in Jamaica with much success. Our approach will be an inclusive one, working closely with the people of St. Lucia, especially in the productive sectors," stated Tyler. Richard Du Boulay, the general manager of the 42-year-old operations of Du Boulay's Bottling Company Limited, stated in the release: "We have a strong distribution network on the island with a large fleet of trucks and support services for the major sectors of the economy. Our view is that diversification is essential for Du Boulay's at this critical point in the company's history and there is no doubt that we have found the right partner in CPJ to achieve this objective."


SAYS FAREWELL TO MAURICIA THOMAS-FRANCIS Banking Head retires after nearly four decades in the industry

CIBC FirstCaribbean bids farewell to Mrs. Mauricia Thomas-Francis, who has performed at the helm of the bank’s Corporate Banking department, as well as served as Country Head in St. Lucia for the past 10 years. Most recently, Mrs. ThomasFrancis was appointed Acting Country Manager, Southern Eastern Caribbean Islands (St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada). At the end of February 2014, Mrs. ThomasFrancis retires following an extensive career in the financial services sector that spans over 30 years. Throughout her career, Mrs. ThomasFrancis has been dedicated to making a significant contribution to developing the region’s financial services sector, and most recently, she has been engaged in cementing client relationships in St. Lucia to help the bank’s customers to meet the challenges of the current economic landscape. Her career in the banking industry began with her appointment in late 1970 as a Typist. She quickly moved up the ranks and attained management status in 1987 when she was appointed Branch Manager of the Soufriere Branch of Barclays Bank PLC where she was instrumental in repositioning that office as the branch of first choice within that sub market.

Her appointment as Branch Manager of the Vieux Fort Branch in 1997 was closely followed in 2000, by her appointment as Head of Corporate Banking and Country Head of the then Barclays Bank PLC in Dominica. She championed the successful implementation of changes to the business in Dominica following the merger that created what was then known as FirstCaribbean, repositioning the bank through a focus on business development and service delivery that resulted in an excellent turnaround of performance in that market In 2003 Mrs. Thomas-Francis returned to St. Lucia and assumed the role of Head-of Corporate Banking and Country Head, the first female to head the Bank’s business in St. Lucia. Within the next decade, under her steadfast leadership, the growth of the bank’s corporate banking profile resulted in increased market share and re-established visibility within the market. Indeed this was manifested when the bank was awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility and Customer Service Awards in the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture’s Annual Business Awards in 2006 and 2007 respectively. During her tenure she also spearheaded the implementation of the state of the art CIBC FirstCaribbean branch in Rodney Bay which features a cutting edge service model and a host of banking conveniences. Speaking on her retirement, Mrs. Thomas-Francis noted, “I am retiring feeling fully gratified that during my tenure with the Bank I have made both a quantitative and qualitative difference

in the lives of many whom I had the honour and privilege to serve. My passion for people empowerment and for service generally drove me to practice and promote relationship nurturing and capacity building through education, coaching, guidance and superior service to the Bank’s stakeholders: staff, companies, the public sector and the communities at large. The several testimonies from persons across the board who stop to thank me for contributing to the upliftment of their human capital as well as their economic and social circumstances have been my greatest reward. In that regard I extend my profoundest gratitude to everyone who contributed to the fruitfulness of my career at the Bank.” For her contributions to the development of the financial services sector Mrs. Thomas-Francis has been named as one of the Top 12 Most Influential Women in St. Lucia and the Top 4 Women in Leadership by the Voice Newspaper and the Business Focus Magazine respectively. She also received the award of Business Person of the Year Award in 2007 in the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Business Awards. In commending Mrs. Francis on her achievements during her tenure with the Bank, Managing Director for Retail, Business and International Banking, Mark St. Hill, who supervises the Bank’s operations in the OECS, noted “we appreciate Mauricia’s steady guidance of our operations in St. Lucia, especially during this particularly challenging period in the banking and finance sector. Her management of our team in St. Lucia has demonstrated that dynamic and fearless leadership are key ingredients for success in our industry.” BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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IN THE KNOW

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! By Pilaiye Cenac

Sometimes a grand marketing campaign is not the answer –- We just need to LISTEN to find out what is. Customers mumble, grumble, and discuss you with your competitors. Some scream and shout for all to hear, literally ‘putting your business in the streets’ when they are displeased, but keep mum when you’ve delighted them. No matter the tone, volume, the audience, the customer’s voice and perspective should not be ignored. Mystery shopping and intercept surveys are two low cost but highly effective tools available to listen to that voice. Through mystery shopping individuals, fitting the profile of average customers, are trained to visit anonymously and evaluate service quality, adherence to guidelines, day-today operations, merchandising etc. In the case of intercept surveys, real customers are questioned directly after visiting a business to get their assessment of the service, product, experience. Some ITC clients agreed to share the burning questions that drove them to utilize mystery shopping and intercept surveys. I’ve placed those into four main categories. Do you wonder the same?

1.

• • •

Our People: Are our people friendly, knowledgeable, well groomed, convincing and credible? Are we doing anything to drive our customers to our competitors? Who are our exemplary, committed employees? Which employees perform well even when unsupervised or unaware that they are being evaluated/ observed?

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• • •

Are our people selling effectively? Are they closing the sale, cross selling and upselling? Who should to be trained, commended, promoted? Are employees following safety procedures, guidelines etc?

2. Our Processes / Operations: • • • • • •

3. • •

Are our customers aware of our processes? Is there sufficient information/signage directing them? Are products easy to locate? Do customers find it easy to reach/deal with us? Do they find our processes complicated, ‘unnecessary’ and lengthy? Should we add facilities to speed up processing, provide customer with greater access and make our employees’ jobs easier? Do customers think that we deliver what we advertised/ promised? Is the ‘look and feel’ of our locations consistent with our branding?

Our Offerings: Do we have the right mix of products/services available? What are customers asking for that we do not provide?

• •

4. • • • •

Why are customers not purchasing certain products/ services? What do customers think of our quality and prices?

Our Competitors: Who are our main competitors according to our customers? How do we rate against our competitors? Where do our competitors outperform us? Is there a need in the market that we are all ignoring/unaware of?

Mystery shopping and intercept surveys provide answers to the questions above. Those tools have limitations (as all other tools) but the companies garnering the most benefits: • • •

Use those tools on an ongoing basis to avoid the ‘snapshot’ limitation Actually act on the information received to improve overall performance Share the information gathered with all employees and make improving everyone’s business

Email queries@intandmeonline.com for more information.


Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) Elects New Board

The Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Leadership Conference, sponsored by American Resort Development Association—Resort Owners’ Coalition (ARDA-ROC), prior to Caribbean Travel Marketplace where members voted for its executive committee for the 2014-16 term. Association executives from 14 hotel associations met and elected the following individuals to the CSHAE executive committee: • President—Gilda Gumbs-Samuel, Executive Director, Anguilla Hotel & Tourism Association • Vice President—Neil Forrester, General Manager, Antigua Hotels & Tourism Association • Treasurer—Stacey Cox, Association Executive, Turks & Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association • Secretary—Irene Dingjan, CEO, Bonaire Hotel and Tourism Association • Chairman—Lisa Hamilton, President, United States Virgin Islands Hotel and Tourism Association

Other members elected to the CSHAE Board of Directors include: • Sue Springer, Executive Vice President, Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association • Clarisa Jimenez, President and CEO, Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association • Louanna Chai-Alves, Executive Director, Trinidad Hotels. Restaurants and Tourism Association • Jim Hepple, President and CEO, Aruba hotel and Tourism Association “I am extremely humbled that the association executives think highly of my work over the years and have placed confidence in me to lead the CSHAE group of executives for the next two years,” said Gumbs-Samuel. “I am proud of the fact that the CSHAE presidency is held for the first time by an executive from Anguilla and look forward to working with the dynamic group of association executives from other Caribbean countries to enhance the state of the hospitality and tourism industries within the region.”

The executives discussed the role each destination’s association plays in the overall success of the region’s tourism industry and the importance of developing a strong partnership with the local tourist boards. They also discussed issues and concerns facing each country including local government challenges, lack of adequate marketing funds, air lift and excessive taxation. The CSHAE is a professional association whose members include the top executives and senior managers from the region’s private-sector led hotel and tourismrelated organisations. Its primary focus is to serve as a network for the region’s associations by supporting the professional development of the staff and voluntary leadership; facilitating the gathering and flow of information; advancing programs in support of regional advocacy and product improvement efforts; and working collaboratively with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) in achieving mutual goals.

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IN THE KNOW

Puppy Theft

By Brian Ramsey Probably the most common method of securing a home and yard in the Caribbean is for the home owner to get a dog. Many people love small dogs especially Pekinese, Pomeranian and Terrier breeds, ascribing to them a high degree of alertness plus they like the cuddly look and feel of these dogs. Certainly the alertness of these breeds is true and they can be fearless in defending their home. However the majority of Caribbean individuals want large breed dogs. Their logic is that the mere size of these dogs and the deepness of their bark are sufficient to deter any potential intruder. For many years in the 1970s and 1980s the preferred breeds were German Shepherd, Doberman Pinscher and to a lesser extent the Labrador. In the 1990’s the Rottweiler breed became popular. Beginning around 2000 the Pitbull became a popular breed. Its reputation for fierceness made it popular plus the stories of this breed being used in dog fights and the belief that when it bites it does not let go. This breed became so popular that breeding was prolific causing the price of puppies to fall. In addition many cross bred Pitbulls began to be available. With the lower prices there was a further spread of the pitbull breed and many lower income persons acquired them. That reputation BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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for fierceness and stories of unprovoked attacks on both people and other dogs caused many Caribbean Governments to outlaw the breed and in Trinidad and Tobago to impose restrictions. With the outlawing of Pittbulls, the popularity of Rottweiler and German Shepherds has risen again and accordingly their prices. There are however many persons who when offered the opportunity to acquire a pure bred dog at a low price do not question where the dog or puppy came from and why the price is low. As a result the theft of pure bred puppies is a common occurrence. In Europe and North America, dogs often live within the home or apartment with the owners and are taken for walks in the evenings and to the park on weekends. Indeed some apartment complexes advertise themselves as pet friendly to encourage dog owners to rent in that complex. In the Caribbean however the prevailing attitude is that the dog is for outside and the furthest that it can reach to the inside of the home is the porch. As a result many individuals upon acquiring a puppy immediately place it outside. They may bring it inside for a short period for the children to play with but predominantly the puppy is expected to be outside in the yard. This attitude is definitely not good

for some breeds of puppies especially Rottweillers who are susceptible to the Parvo virus that kills up to 80% of infected puppies with the symptoms including lethargy, severe diarrhea, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and dehydration. Apart from the health issue however, leaving young puppies in the yard makes it very easy for them to be stolen. A puppy should be kept in an enclosed space which is cleaned and disinfected daily and preferably twice per day. That enclosed space should be locked to prevent the puppy from wandering out but more importantly to prevent someone from easily accessing the puppy. Some individuals think that simply having a kennel and placing a cheap lock from the hardware is sufficient. That may be adequate to prevent the opportunistic thief who is simply walking by and spots the puppy in the kennel. Puppies are loveable especially because they want to be played with and handled. As a result when placed in a kennel most puppies cry and howl because they do not want to be left alone. Some puppies cry for a very short period and then cease while others howl for an extended period. That howling is often heard for a far distance and indicates to everyone that there is a puppy in the neighborhood. Unfortunately


that howling also alerts the more serious thief to the existence of a puppy in the area. For a serious thief, a cheap hardware padlock is not even a challenge. If someone invests in a pure bred puppy with the expectation that it will grow into large dog that will protect home and family then in the puppy stage of its life it should be kept in an area within the home. This area should be barred off to prevent the puppy from wandering into other areas of the home and chewing on the furniture. More importantly the puppy should be left in this area when the family is not at home so it is not accessible to any thief during the day or night. Of course when the family is at home the puppy can be let out of this area to run and play and so strengthen its limbs but even during this time the puppy should be under supervision to ensure that no one grabs it and runs away, An additional protective measure is to have the puppy permanently identified by microchip or tattoo and if both are used that is even better.

Get Suppressed The New Craze! Satisfying your inner gourmand may be as easy as picking up some hot wings at the nearest fast food or some fine dining fit for two. No matter how you choose to indulge, it all comes at a cost. Unfortunately, it will cost the establishment so much more in most cases. How so you may ask? Surely, no one intentionally operates at a lost. But then again, do they even know how easily they could end up with nothing? Restaurant kitchens can be considered some of the busiest places in the world. From Sous Chefs to wait staff skilfully filing through double doors perfectly aligned in constructive chaos. All standard practise and no hazards if care is taken. However, hazards come with fire. Oils from deep fryers, grease and fat, kitchen towels, or simply a chef’s sleeve near an open flame all potential hazards. When an extinguisher, your first line of defence cant withstand the intense heat and reduce the rising flames, to avoid a small fire from growing out of control, it’s time for your very own R-102 Kitchen Suppression System .

A Kitchen Suppression System:

The purchase of a pure bred puppy can cost a significant sum but as that puppy matures it will usually display the traits that the particular breed is known for. When it is fully grown it will protect home and family. To safeguard that investment however requires taking steps to protect it in the puppy stage. It may be more work for the owner initially but the payoff comes in the later years when the owner has a formidable guard dog. About the Author Brian Ramsey has a B.A. in Accounting & Management, along with an M.B.A. in Finance and over 25 years in the Caribbean security field. He is the Regional Development Director for Amalgamated Security Services Limited which is the parent company of Alternative Security Services St. Lucia Limited. Amalgamated Security operates in Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.

• • • • • • • •

Integrates fire detection, suppression and shutdowns power supply to kitchen Quickly detects a fire hoods or ducts Suppresses fire through chemical sprayed via nozzles Cools grease to decrease heat Creates a foamy layer that acts as insulation to prevent inflammable vapours from escaping Acts as a fully automated system Is environmentally safe and doesn’t harm appliances Cleans up easily after discharging

Just remember, not all fire safety equipment are created equal. Do your own research and always consult an expert or your nearest Fire Department to safeguard your investment. Choose the right system to satisfy your needs! About Author Kezia Preville is the Business Development Manager at Regional Fire & Security Ltd which operates offices based in St. Lucia, Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago; the location of its parent company. She currently manages the St. Lucia office, now situated in Rodney Bay and can be contacted on info. stl@1rfsgroup.com or (758) 451-3473 for more information. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr | 63


Your expectations are high. So is our level of commitment. That’s how great partnerships work.

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™Trademarks of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence (where applicable).


FEATURE

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The Stars In Business Shine Brightly At Fifth Annual

St. Lucia Business Awards By Stan Bishop

Glitz, glamour and the promise to continue striving for even higher quality standards were probably the best highlights in the spotlight when the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture held its fifth annual St. Lucia Business Awards on Saturday, January 25. This year, the event was hosted at the Gaiety on Rodney Bay and not the Sandals Grande where it had been hosted from its inception in 2010. Nevertheless, from the exciting buzz of the red carpet welcome to the after-party get down, this year’s St. Lucia Business Awards had enough high marks to win the event itself a few of the crystal trophies given out on the night. Three separate businesses/individuals won two awards apiece on the night. Bay Gardens Resorts picked up the Entrepreneur of the Year Award (which went to Joyce Destang), as well as the Business of the Year Award. Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort scooped up the Award for Marketing Excellence, and Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation. The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Green Award went to Kurt Elibox and Blue Print Construction Limited respectively. The other seven awards up for grabs this year went to the following individual/businesses:

• Award for Service Excellence: First Citizens Investment Services • Award for Excellence in Human Resource Development: Sandals Resorts International • Goods Exporter of the Year Award: Baron Foods Ltd. • Service Exporter of the Year Award: FDL Consult Inc. • Award for Corporate Social Responsibility: International American University (IAU) • Idea of the Year Award: Cutty Ranks (Cutty Ranks Barber Shop) • Award for Corporate Leadership: Chester Hinkson (Bank of Nova Scotia) On the night, two veterans whom have made sterling contributions to the local private for many decades were each honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award. They are George Theophilus of BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Financial Investment & Consultancy Services Ltd. (FICS), and Fred Devaux, formerly of M&C Group of Companies. Executive Director of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Brian Louisy, explained that nominees seemed to have gone the extra mile this year to ensure that they stuck to the judging criteria as much as possible. He said workshops conducted by the Chamber on just what the judges were looking for proved fruitful. “This year, the number of submissions has grown to 79, up from 67 last year, so that’s quite an achievement for the awards,” Louisy said. “What I’ve noted from the judges is that the attempt to meet the criteria and complete the questionnaires has really improved over time. This is so because we’ve done a number of workshops to inform and educate people as to how the procedures work and what the expectations of the judges are. So we think this might have had an impact on the quality of the submissions.” Aside from the giving out of awards, the event’s organizers called on all stakeholders to not become complacent in a business environment that is becoming more competitive by the day. Chamber president, Gordon Charles, told the Gaiety audience that the “making it easier to do business in Saint Lucia” was an agenda that the Chamber must pursue. He thanked the government for giving its reassurance to support and be in partnership with the Chamber as both entities continue to pursue their shared objective. “The economic and social challenges facing our country are serious,” Charles said in his address. “We need to look no further than our neighbour, Barbados, to appreciate the depth of the challenge we must confront as a nation. This time is like no other, the circumstances startling and unique, the threats to our very quality of life which many once boasted about fairly recently, a whisper away from disappearing of descending to unacceptable levels.” Charles said the current climate calls for a better way of thinking and doing things, adding that mindsets, cultural and other traditional approaches to business, development and national development needed to change. New philosophies, Charles said, need to be embraced. “I am speaking of a new willingness to partner and collaborate with each other across social, economic and political divides. We must utilize the available

human, intellectual and financial resources within our reach more efficiently, more creatively and more productively. Public Private Partnerships of different structures (and) formats maybe hitherto unheard of, must be explored. Releasing ‘turf’ and spheres of influence to those more capable of exploiting and extracting higher returns to the nation must be part of the new construct. Engaging all and letting all ideas contend (should become) the norm,” Charles said. Immediate past president, Gerard Bergasse, told the gathering that his two years in the presidency was focused on improving the environment for doing business in Saint Lucia, which would in turn redound to Chamber members and the wider economy operating in a business environment that was more efficient and profitable. While making significant gains in that regard, Bergasse lamented the bureaucracy that, he says, continue to stifle the true gains that could be realized within the private sector. “I have come to realize that, like justice, the wheels of government turn slowly,” Bergasse stated. “Very slowly. Yet I sense that the momentum is about to change and I urge the Chamber to continue its efforts to partner with government to make it easier to do business in Saint Lucia. Doing so will redound to the benefit of us all. “The Chamber must partner with government in pursuing what we know is shared objective. We wish to improve the quality of life in Saint Lucia by increasing employment and economic growth by removing the shackles of bureaucracy and red tape, which currently restrain the economy and the many economic actors. The long waiting lines, repeat submissions

of documents, physically moving forms to multiple ministries and printing numerous copies of the same document does not make sense. We must move to a more digital, streamlined approach where reduction of time, energy, resources and cost benefits us all, including the natural environment.” Bergasse added that while government continues in its thrust to modernize the public sector, it should also recognize that there are areas in which the private sector is better placed to perform. “Outsourcing government services to the private sector where this can be done will free up staff and other resources to deliver those critical services to the public. It will permit the private sector to use its inherent advantages to deliver services at lower costs more efficiently on behalf of government,” Bergasse explained. According to the Chamber’s Executive Director, the St. Lucia Business Awards will continue to grow from strength to strength as the Chamber continues to reward excellence in the private sector.

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The

Winners Joyce Destang of Bay Gardens Resort “Entrepreneur of the Year Award”

Sanovik Destang receives on behalf of Bay Gardens for “The Business of the Year”

Sugar Beach A Viceroy Resort received “Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation”

Kurt Elibox of Blue Print Construction Receives Award for "YoungEntrepreneur of the Year”

Cutty Ranks Received Award for “Idea of the Year”

First Citizens Investment Services received Award for "Service Excellence”

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Chester Hinkson of Scotia Bank Received Award for "Corporate Leadership”

Ronald Ramjattan of Baron Foods receives Award for “Goods Exporter of the Year”

FDL Consult Inc. received Award for “Service Exporter of the Year”

Sugar Beach Award for "Marketing Excellence”

International American University College of Medicine Award for "Corporate Social Responsibility”

Kurt Elibox (center) receives “Green Award”

Sandals received Award for "Excellence in Human Resource Development” BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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How Joyce Destang OBE Braved The Odds By Stan Bishop

Mr. and Mrs. Destang Sanovnik and Joyce Destang

Managing Director of Bay Gardens Resorts, Joyce Destang, has come a long way from her teaching days. The sacrifices she has made over the past few decades to ensure that she remains a prominent fixture in business has been no easy feat. Whether you hear her story from her or someone else, one truth remains: that in the annals of local business, Joyce Destang is a true pioneer. She has also taught herself a key lesson along the way: that perseverance really does pay off in the end. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Destang taught at St. Joseph’s Convent for 15 years before making one of the biggest life changes she would ever make. She requested some time off from teaching to be able to raise her new baby, Sanovnik. She got a one-year leave without pay. However, she really needed a two to three year break. After not being given a clear answer as to whether or not she would get the timeout she had requested, Destang chose to go on early retirement. That drastic decision was spurred by the fact that during that era – the Eighties -- such extended leave from the public service was not the norm. “After 15 years of teaching, I needed to do something different,” Destang told Business Focus Magazine in a recent interview at her Rodney Bay home. “Even while I was teaching, my husband and I were always involved in real estate because we always had properties that we were renting out. I also did a little bit of buying and selling in between. After some time, I just wanted to do something a bit more concrete.” Destang said her husband, Desmond, who had taught at St. Mary’s College for some time, soon returned from completing his Master’s overseas and worked at the NDC as a consultant. Destang said it wasn’t easy getting into the hotel business. She admitted that her brother tried to dissuade her from getting into the business, telling her that it was hard work, especially for a woman. She seemed not contented with the fabric store – Stardust – she had opened around that period, either. But getting the requisite finances from the banks at the time was also a major stumbling block at times. Joyce said that since the tourism industry was evolving at that time she wanted to be part of the mix. Despite not having much experience about the hotel business, her go-getter attitude made do. Above all else, she wanted to create a hotel that catered to the average people – and especially those from within the region – who wanted to feel privileged to the homely feel of Saint Lucia when they got here. In 1995, Joyce and Desmond Destang ventured into the hospitality industry by opening the doors to Bay Gardens Hotel which quickly gained much regional and international acclaim. The Bay Gardens Inn followed in 2002 and then the Bay Gardens Beach Resort & Spa in 2007. They did deliver that service she felt was lacking here. They never looked back since and the three properties are now racking up international awards up the wazoo. The Destangs’ big gamble had paid off. “In my opinion, everyone is equal. No matter where you come from – either from a Caribbean island or a metropolitan city – once you’ve paid your money you should get the best service. That’s what you’re paying for. I mean, we’re a small local company. Many people don’t want to think so, but we are a small local company. If you don’t have all the amenities and the finances to provide everything that the visitors want, then at least give them a great service. This is what people really look out for. The fact that people keep coming back to Bay Gardens Resorts, I think, has to do with the great service we provide. They’re treated like family and they’re happy. And that’s important.” Over the years, the hotel chain has found its way into the hearts of many visitors who have entered and exited its doors. This is especially true for visitors from the Caribbean. There are international visitors, too, and Destang explained that despite the good word of mouth advertising working in the hotel’s chain over the years, Bay Gardens Resorts now has a global reach via the Internet. That’s the kind of market that her son,


Joyce Destang Celebrates

Sanovnik, is attracting by giving Bay Gardens Resorts a strong online presence. “Most people in the Caribbean know about the Bay Gardens experience. But we cannot just depend on the Caribbean islands. We have to go way out of our reach to ensure that our unique hospitality attracts an international clientele as well.” Destang still keeps in touch with the operations of the hotel chain that was sparked by a desire to be different by doing something different for a change. Although she has had the assistance of her many employees over the years in managing

the affairs of her empire, Destang said she has somehow scaled back on her workload. She still gets daily reports from Sanovnik and keeps in touch via her mobile phone and social media so that she remains on top of her game. She is especially proud of her son, Sanovnik, who took over as Executive Director of Bay Gardens Resorts about five years ago. “With Sanovnik coming back, he’s been a great help to me because he’s a finance guy and he does really keep an eye on the financial and marketing side of things. I am quite impressed with what he’s doing.” Joyce Destang won the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at this year’s St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture’s fifth annual St. Lucia Business Awards. She said that although the award is a special accolade, she never expected being honoured in that way. “You work and you do what you have to do and do it as best you can. It’s not only in the hotel business that such applies. I think that whatever you do, you should do properly. I wasn’t really looking for an award. As a matter of fact, when my son and Mrs. Berthia Parle told me that they were putting in my name for this award, my response was ‘No’. But they disobeyed. I went to the awards to show support for my staff. But I’m happy that I got it,” Destang told Business Focus Magazine. Destang credits her hardworking staff members who over the years have contributed to the development and growth of Bay Gardens Resorts. Without them, she said her successes would not be what they are. She considers them family and, according to her, the new award she won this year is a tribute to their hard work and dedication. Coming from a woman who knows what hard work and dedication mean, it seems safe to say that Bay Gardens Resorts truly has something good going for it in the years ahead.

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Sanovnik Destang: Keeping It Family By Stan Bishop

Executive Director of Bay Gardens Resorts, Sanovnik Destang, does not have an easy job. Overseeing the operations of one of the island’s most successful locally-owned hotel chains stretches him to the limit. But it is a job that he takes in stride and one that has already proven that once the hard work has been put in, there comes a time when a bit of celebration comes your way. Then it’s back to the daily grind of perfecting an almost perfect product. Business Focus Magazine sat down recently with Sanovnik following Bay Gardens Resorts’ two impressive wins at this year St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture’s fifth St. Lucia Business Awards held in January. “Just being nominated was a big honour for us,” Sanovnik said. “We were nominated for four awards. The Award for Marketing Excellence, which we won last year, was special to us. The Award for Service Excellence was an important nomination for us, too, because we believe our staff provides some of the best standards of service that you can find at any hotel in the entire Caribbean, if not in the world. So it was special to be nominated for that as well.” Sanovnik was nominated in the Award for Corporate Leadership category, pitting him against such business heavyweights as Debra Tobierre and Chester Hinkson. But it was the Entrepreneur of the Year Award that Sanovnik said he personally wanted the hotel chain to win. That award went to his mother and renowned hotelier, Joyce Destang, who Sanovnik said decided to give up being a school teacher at age 39 and take a bold step by becoming one of the island’s leading entrepreneurs. Bay Gardens Resorts also copped the coveted Business of the Year Award, which Sanovnik said came as a huge surprise. Nevertheless, he admitted that the award was well-deserved. “I think it’s really a reflection of all the hard work that we’ve put in from multiple angles: from a marketing standpoint with our social media and online marketing strategy to our service excellence and our excellence in human resource development. It’s not an award we went up for but I consider ourselves to be very great employers and we have very low turnover compared to a lot of other hotels. That’s a testimony to the family nature of our business and how we treat our employees.” According to Sanovnik, his long journey to leading one of the Caribbean’s best-loved hotel chains was not an easy one. After studying at university in Canada, he worked there for a while at KPMG. The Chartered Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst said he had dreams of being an investment banker on Bay Street. Although he enjoyed a brief stint in Canada, being given the opportunity to work in the family business back home gave him the chance to explore his various skill sets. After gaining that muchneeded experience overseas, Sanovnik was thrust into doing a lot of big things for the hotel chain that just keeps growing. But he admits that people still have the wrong impression about him. “Many people don’t realize that I’m a finance person by profession. They think I’m a marketing guru and I don’t even know how I got into that category at all,” he joked. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Sanovnik has also been involved in other organizations such as the St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association (SLHTA), Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, Saint Lucia Development Bank, Saint Lucia Tourist board (SLTB) and the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). Sanovnik currently serves as Chairman of the TEF. Nevertheless, his roots remain firmly planted at the Bay Gardens Resorts chain where he said plans are being pored over for expansion and growth of the three properties. Bay Gardens Hotel and Bay Gardens Inn have already received an over $2 million infusion and renovations have already been done to the lobby, restaurants and rooms, and additional investments are expected to continue in these properties. Bay Gardens Beach Resort, which currently has about 76 rooms, is expected to be augmented by another 60 or so rooms and a conference room over a phased upgrade. This is contingent upon access to finance and the outlook for the economy and investment climate, among other things. Bay Gardens Hotel & Inn, too, are expected to continue to receive an additional upgrade in services. Sanovnik said the hotel chain has also been pushing the going-green message and is working towards being Green Globe certified by year-end. From a marketing standpoint, the hotel chain has done much cutting-edge campaigns. However, Sanovnik admitted that the hotel chain still has work to do, including the introduction of mobile apps for Bay Gardens Resorts which he hopes would make booking and other services much easier. The hotel chain has just re-launched its website which continues to be its largest source of business. He has high hopes and much praise for the business that has been the backbone of many employees as much as it has been for his family. “We’re not a company that likes to sit on its laurels because we’ve won all these awards,” Sanovnik told Business Focus Magazine. “Of course, we’re doing a great job. But more is expected of us and I’m certainly one who likes to continuously push the envelope. The last five years at Bay Gardens Resorts has been a period of non-stop change. I have to commend the


The Destang Family and Bay Gardens Staff management team because they have really rallied around me and given me the support, especially my mother, of course. My mother never came and gave me a job description. I didn’t even know what my job title was. But she gave me the leeway to find my way and to figure out what direction I wanted to take.” Coming into the company five years ago, Sanovnik said he recognized that the global economic downturn had affected the hotel chain. The recession had depleted whatever gains the hotel chain had previously made. For quite a while, the hotel chain could only pay the interest on its loan – not the principal. Despite the company bleeding red ink, Sanovnik was determined to bring it back to black. And that he did. “We’ve been able to get successful at it. We broke even in 2011 and made a modest profit in 2012. We continued to improve in 2013 and that was very much top-level driven. Our online marketing strategies have allowed us to boost our rate because we are bypassing the middleman and going straight to the customer. This means that we no longer have to pay a 25% commission. But we’ve also had to make a lot of costly upgrades to the properties,” Sanovnik said. Sanovnik said those who are the key aspect of the business – the staff – are also to be praised for all the hard work they put in to making Bay Gardens Resorts the success it is. That’s why despite being able to cut the resort’s overheads by over

$1.5 million, staffing levels have virtually remained the same. Bay Gardens Resorts currently employs about 250 people, 99% of them Saint Lucian. He believes that a temporary dip in revenue should not mean retrenchment of loyal and hardworking staff. That’s why, he said, Bay Gardens Resorts sets itself quite apart from many by creating a culture that is more akin to a big family than a big business. He also credits his wife, Julianna WardDestang, for being a source of strength and inspiration for him both at home and at work. Sanovnik said that although he and Julianna -- also a Chartered Account – may not see eye to eye over which pizza toppings to choose, they are always in sync when it comes to business decisions and their vision for the hotel chain’s future. “She’s has a very high level of business intellect and connects well with guests and staff which is so critical in this business,” says Sanovnik. He also expressed thanks to his marketing team who, he said, worked feverishly on the submission packages for the awards. The team comprises Kadius St. Louis and Kristen Adamson. So just what sort of advice does someone secretly nominated by his staff for a Corporate Leadership Award at this year’s St. Lucia Business Awards has for anyone wanting to get into or is already in the business? “I always tell my staff to never let anyone make them think that their job is less important than another’s, or that the work

they do in the tourism industry is menial or all of these other awful words that people have used to describe it,” Sanovnik said. “If you think the job is that easy, then why not try doing it yourself? It is actually very challenging work. It requires a lot from you physically and mentally.”

Mr. & Mrs. Sanovnik Destang BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Berthia Parle MBE An Industry Trailblazer By Stan Bishop

The General Manager of Bay Gardens Beach Resort and Spa, Berthia Parle, has certainly come a long way and risen high enough in the hospitality industry to deserve the tremendous respect she gets. Her immense wisdom about the industry has served her in good stead and many folks in the tourism industry will tell you that the industry is better off having her in it. Simply put, Berthia Parle is an industry trailblazer. But the longstanding relationship she’s built with the Bay Gardens Resorts chain over the past two decades was in fact predated by a special relationship she had developed with her former teacher and owner of the Bay Gardens Resorts, Joyce Destang. It turns out that while Parle was running a successful restaurant later on in her life, her entrepreneurial and managerial skills quickly caught the attention of her former teacher who was scouting for talent for her new establishment. “Mrs. Destang was actually my teacher at St. Joseph Concent. So she’s known me since I was a teenager. But more importantly, when I ran Capone’s (a restaurant in Rodney Bay) for about ten years, I did so very successfully. I think it was the first time that a themed restaurant BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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came to the island. People from overseas were amazed that there was actually a restaurant of such high standards here. I had an Italian chef who trained the staff for about six weeks. So for about ten years I was basically the executive chef, food and beverage manager, accountant – you name it. I did everything. “Because of what I was able to accomplish and because of Mrs. Destang’s knowledge of what I had done and what I had studied – Hospitality Management – I guess she wanted someone that she felt was also family in a sense, someone that she could trust with her business. So I think those were some of the deciding factors that got me hired for the job in the Bay Gardens Resorts fold.” Berthia Parle has worked with the renowned hotel chain for 19 years now, having started while the first hotel in the chain – Bay Gardens Hotel -- was still under construction. Literally, Parle has been with the hotel chain from its genesis. Since being with the Bay Gardens Resorts family, Parle has managed to become the face of a hotel chain that originally set out to change the face of the tourism industry – by ensuring that every guest – from the high-roller to the penny-pincher gets the best hospitality during their stay. Many attest to her humility and generous nature being key reasons for her successes. She chalks it all up to being a woman who was determined to be a game-changer in an industry that seemed reserved for men running the show while the women followed. “I think that women certainly do a much better job in this industry. I think that is so because of the very nature of who we are: nurturing, caring, loving and attention to detail. I think we definitely make better managers than men. And I can say that without any fear of contradiction. If you look at the hotels that are successful,

they’re all run by women. In fact, it’s not just in Saint Lucia that that is happening. The trend now is that there are more and more women actually heading hotels and tourism-based businesses around the world.” Parle says her job has given her the opportunity to pass on her knowledge of the business to those on whom she depends to deliver a top-notch service to guests at the hotel chain. She says that works well because of the culture that obtains at Bay Gardens Resorts where everyone is deemed family. It’s all about each family member looking out for one another, she told Business Focus Magazine. It’s all about team effort. “We adopt all of our team members. They are ours and they know at the end of the day that we are one big family. The Bay Gardens Resorts is truly one big family. We embrace people into our family. It’s a lot of love and we work as one whole unit. That is important and we will continue to keep it that way.” In as much as her many successes and accolades have gotten her to where she is today, Parle remains grounded. Parle, a Senator in the upper house of Saint Lucia’s Parliament, says she remains committed to working hard towards realizing her full potential. By no means does she believe that sitting on laurels earns extra laurels. Neither does she believe that sitting and doing nothing will get you anything and anywhere. Her advice to anyone wanting to be a leader and wanting to succeed is simple. “Be confident. Dream. I never thought in my wildest dreams that a little black girl from a little backward island would ever become president of the Caribbean Hotels Association (the first female in 40 years to do so). I simply went into the association not ever dreaming that one day I would be president but nevertheless knew that I wanted to make my mark. I felt the association was dominated by men for too long and wanted to change that. So keep abreast with change. Know your subject matter and learn to never be arrogant. Also, be sure to work hard and make sacrifices as success won’t come easily.”


Waltrude Patrick This Woman’s Work Is Never Done Patrick admits that being a single mother in an industry where delivering exceptional service means making huge sacrifices is not an easy feat. For her, it has meant coming home late at nights but still finding the time to help her kids do their homework and spend quality time with them whenever work doesn’t get in the way. She credits the Bay Gardens Resorts family for allowing her the opportunity to impart her knowledge of the industry to those with whom she works to deliver an exceptional service to the hotel’s guests. She describes her experience at Bay Gardens Resorts as being one that has been immensely inspired by her boss. Joyce Destang, she said, makes everything feel better by making everyone feel better. “It’s a very good company to work with. Mrs. Destang is more than a boss. She’s more like a mother. She brings out the best in all of us and, I think it’s very rewarding to be working with a local company that shows such interest in human development, and by extension ensuring that we all deliver an exceptional service,” Patrick explained. Patrick’s success and the fact that she continues to make a name for herself in an industry that changes by the day proves that anything is possible once you are committed to putting in the requisite time and effort. Her dedication to excelling at what she does best requires more than just the sacrifices she puts into getting things done right. She thinks that women – especially single mothers – need to be more by doing more. It all starts with a vision, Patrick says. “Firstly, you must have a vision. You must aim for it and you must tell yourself that you’ll not settle for mediocrity. You must also have a passion because passion is what drives you to get you to your goal. I’m a single mother and I had to balance my life between work and taking care of my children.” General Manager, Bay Gardens Hotel and Inn, Waltrude Patrick, has worked with Bay Gardens Resorts for the past 11 years. She started at Bay Gardens Inn and later moved over to nearby Bay Gardens Hotel. A former schoolteacher, Patrick says she has learned much from the hospitality sector and spares no effort to make a huge difference in it. The long hours she puts in can take their toll, she told Business Focus Magazine. But it’s all worth it and it sure feels rewarding. “It’s been a challenge but the beauty is when you see it reflected in the performance of your team and you get the reviews from the guests explaining the memorable experiences they’ve had. So it brings joy to know that your work is being reflected in the performance of the staff. It’s a challenge because we’re always on our toes. The competition is there, so we always strive for excellence. I think that is what gives us the competitive edge.” And what an edge on the competition Bay Gardens Resorts has! BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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t: Reservations: (758)457-8006/8007 Beach Resort: (758)457-8500 Hotel: (758) 452-8060 Inn: (758) 452-8200 e: info@baygardensresorts.com w: www.baygardensresorts.com

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Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort won both the Award for Marketing Excellence and the Prime Minister’s Award for Innovation at this year’s St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture’s St. Lucia Business Awards. Winning the accolades has undoubtedly signaled that Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort has managed to both settle down in Saint Lucia and poised to make it name and presence felt in the tourism industry. When the resort announced the completion of its $100 million renovation of the Jalousie Plantation and re-launch of the property as Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort in November 2012, there seemed to be a new hope for the property that has been managed by the Viceroy Hotel Group for the past six years. Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort is located in the west coast town of Soufriere, home to the majestic and breathtaking twin peaks, The Pitons. The resort rests comfortably on a sprawling 100 acres of lush tropical rainforest a stone’s throw from the famed World Heritage Site and now boasts a trendy new lobby and reception area. Other amenities include BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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luxury villas, beachfront bungalows, sugar mill rooms and luxury residences that come complete with full kitchens. The resort’s restaurants and four bars offer a sophisticated array of the finest international cuisine to casual tropical tastes. Be it cocktails or tea, breakfast, lunch or dinner, Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort definitely has something to suit every guest’s palette. At Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, comfort and relaxation are taken to a new plateau. Guests can bask in the ambience of the resort’s 9,427 square-foot Rainforest Spa which comes equipped with a wide array of international luxury product lines, including Valmont and Natural Bisse. But you came to Saint Lucia to have a tropical experience, right? That’s why you also get to indulge in the locally-inspired signature treatments with seven treehouse treatment cabanas and an earthen steam iron. Nominated for four awards at this year’s St. Lucia Business Awards and winning two, Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort seems determined to keep getting things sweeter for the resort.


Cutty Ranks “I feel elated. That’s how I feel. Knowing that what I do can impact the people I serve in a positive way and be rewarded for doing something good in the end feels good to me. And I thank God and all those who have supported me along the way, especially my wife, Jana. I’m just hoping that others can take up the cause as well.” That’s how owner of Cutty Ranks Barber Shop, Bannah Suffren alias “Cutty Ranks” described how he felt when he graced the Gaiety on Rodney Bay stage last January to receive the Idea of the Year Award at the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture’s fifth annual St. Lucia Business Awards. Cutty Ranks certainly proved that he has what it takes to cut others out of the competition in a category for which the outcome could have gone either way for him. With eighteen years of experience in the barbering business, Cutty Ranks has somehow become a household name in grooming. His barbershop located near the Cacoa bus stand in downtown Castries has been the epicenter where many men can attest to having gotten their regular trims, shapeups and clippings. But it was what Cutty Ranks did just a while ago that caught the attention of the awards judges: he decided to give back in a big way to those who couldn’t even afford little. Cutty Ranks and his wife, Jana, came up with the cutting-edge idea of offering free haircuts for underprivileged schoolchildren. In February last year, he began offering free haircuts to underprivileged students attending the Marchand Combined School. After providing an initial fifty free cuts to the boys, the programme received the blessings of the Ministry of Education and soon enough principals, parents and teachers across Fair Helen wanted free haircuts for their boys as well. To date, Cutty Ranks, assisted by his supportive wife Jana, have delivered over three thousand free haircuts to our schoolboys. Buoyed by continued sponsorship from several generous corporate entities, Cutty Ranks has also been able to teach the boys the skills of barbering and how to prevent and control hair infections. As a bonus, the boys also get free products, such as shampoos and conditioners, so that they can continue turning heads for all the right reasons. With a pair of scissors and an ardent paying-it-forward attitude, Cutty Ranks has certainly sparked a charitable revolution that sees him investing his own time and money as well to ensure that those who cannot afford a basic service do receive that service. Cutty Ranks has demonstrated just how having a brilliant idea can make a huge difference in people’s lives by cutting out expenses where necessary. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Baron Foods Ltd.’s

Increasing Line of Quality

Ronald Ramjattan (left) Receives Award

Baron Foods Ltd’s stature in the manufacturing sector is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with. The company ranks among the Caribbean region’s top food brands and its condiments, spices and sauces are perfect testimonies to that fact. The numerous awards and accolades the company has been able to add to its spice rack over the years have also done much to season the prestige of a company that has its genesis from a humble beginning and now spreading its flavourful influence as far and wide as its aromas can get. CEO, Ronald Ramjattan’s impeccable mix of people, markets and trends has transformed Baron Foods Ltd into an empire that Focuses heavily on quality, convenience, and price. As such, the multiple award-winning manufacturing company has been able to reach markets across the globe, including the entire English and French-speaking Caribbean, the United States of America, Britain, Slovakia, Germany, Canada, St. Maarten, and St. Thomas. Such a wide cross-section of market penetration ensures that Baron Foods Ltd’s food products enjoy the requisite market share and visibility that can spur on more interest in its superb collection. Baron Foods Ltd, which has been accredited with some of the industry’s highest quality standards, now has a product line that measures about 150 products. The company meets the most stringent of quality assurance standards and its staff members come with the required high standard of training and BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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expertise needed to keep producing quality products that meet international standards. Headquartered in Saint Lucia, Baron Foods Ltd has managed to increase its product portfolio over the years to adjust to the competitive global market trends. One way of doing so is by continuously investing heavily in research and development strategies. Such strategies have included using locally-produced raw materials to create a fusion of tastes from around the world albeit with a Caribbean twist. Such a strategy also serves to legitimize Baron Foods Ltd’s place in the Saint Lucian food chain – no pun intended – by creating niche markets for local farmers who can now take advantage of producing the raw materials that go into the company’s attractively-labelled jars and bottles. Among the many awards Baron Foods Ltd has been able to snag over the years are: the Scovie Awards, first place -- 199799; Fiery Food Challenge, first and second place – 1996-98; and Hot & Spicy Contest, third place – 1995. Among the most recent awards bestowed on the company are those won at the inaugural St. Lucia Manufacturers Association’s Quality Awards held in 2012:

Ronald Ramjattan CEO (center) With Staff of Baron Foods

Minister’s Award for Innovation, Diamond Award for Leadership, Diamond Award for Customer Service, Diamond Award for Corporate Social Responsibility, Diamond Award for Implementation of Standards & Best Practices, and Platinum Award for Human Resource Management. At the 2014 St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture’s St. Lucia Business Awards held last January, Baron Foods Ltd also scooped up the Goods Exporter of the Year Award. And just last March at the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association’s second biennial Quality Awards, the company racked up a few more spicy accolades: Human Resource Development (Platinum), Product and Customer Service Quality (Diamond), Implementation of Standards and Best Practices (Diamond), Social Responsibility (Diamond), and Leadership (Diamond). Awards aside, Baron Foods Ltd continues to make inroads – literally – by establishing itself in Grenada. It is also at an advanced stage at replicating such expansion to Trinidad and Tobago. That sort of commitment to becoming a regional manufacturing giant can only augur well for the region’s – as well as the international community’s – taste buds


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International

American University College of

Medicine

After being in Saint Lucia for a decade now, the International American University - College of Medicine (IAU) has done its fair share to integrate itself into the Saint Lucian community. It has done so by investing both its time, money and other resources to ensure that as it grows in size and value, so, too, should the community that has allowed it to. This year, IAU walked away with the Award for Corporate Social Responsibility at the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture’s fifth annual St. Lucia Business Awards. The journey it took to getting there involved some serious commitment on IAU’s part. Some of the many projects IAU has managed to embark on in its community outreach programme over the years include: • Organizing outreach activities and medical camps in the Vieux Fort area • Organizing weekly clinics at Vieux Fort and Laborie health centres • Providing free blood sugar and blood pressure screening for residents of Vieux Fort and surrounding areas • Assisting health centres in Region 5 BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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• • • • • • • • •

by providing them with computers and electrical fans Allowing free access to the island’s nurses and physicians to IAU’s campus electronic learning resource centre and library Providing CPR training to the Emergency Medical Service Team in Saint Lucia Organizing seminars on ‘Preventive Cardiology’ and ‘HIV/AIDS and Recreational Drugs’ Sponsoring Christmas lunches and providing an ambulance for the elderly in Vieux Fort Offering free scholarships to eligible Saint Lucian students Organizing diabetic training to healthcare providers and community leaders Organizing periodic symposia and workshops on selected basic science topics Organizing blood donation drives Visiting patients at St. Jude Hospital to wish them well Organizing basketball competitions and other sporting events

Following the passage of the devastating Christmas trough last December, IAU organized a sumptuous lunch for the sixty elderly residents of Comfort Bay in Vieux Fort. The residents were also presented with tee shirts. An additional one hundred and fifty people from Bruce Ville in Vieux Fort who were affected by the weather system were also provided with lunches that day. IAU is currently nearing the completion of its EC$ 85 million new campus that is being constructed on ten acres of land a stone’s throw from St. Jude Hospital. This new and increased space will allow IAU to offer a wider range of services to its students who come from all around the world. The new campus will introduce health science programmes such as nursing courses, X-ray technician courses and lab technician courses. As Founder President and CEO of International Medical University – College of Medicine (Saint Lucia), K.G. Manmadhan Nair, told Business Focus Magazine some time ago, the university plans to change the educational landscape in Saint Lucia as far as medicine is concerned. IAU plans to do just that by leading the charge in involving the community in its plans as well. “We’re in for the long haul. We believe that we’ve done exactly what we set out to do and that is being a leader in what we do,” Nair said. After letting the Award for Corporate Social Leadership slip from its generous hands last year, IAU has certainly proven that awards or not, it continues to be a leader in being there for the community.


Chester Hinkson - ScotiaBank him serving in six countries and countless positions before reaching the pinnacle from which he is set to retire at the end of July. He has served in senior positions in the Bahamas, Canada, Grenada, Guyana and Haiti, and Saint Lucia. Among the many accolades he has amassed over his decades of service, Hinkson is credited with pioneering Scotiabank’s first micro-credit programme during his stint in Guyana. For that feat, he earned the Canadian Award for International Development from the Canadian government. Aside from his commitment to Scotiabank, Hinkson has managed to become an iconic businessman whose experience saw him serving in such capacities as president of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, and president of the St. Lucia Bankers Association. Managing Director of Scotiabank Caribbean East, David Noel, referred to Hinkson as “an icon”, adding that Hinkson “has experienced and weathered many political, economic, social and financial storms” during his sterling career. Noel also hailed Hinkson’s determined spirit, saying that Hinkson is a man who fights for what he believes in. “He fights for what he believes in, especially if he feels it is in the best interest of all stakeholders,” Noel said. Hinkson’s leadership and loyalty at Scotiabank for all these years are hallmarks that have inspired many businesses the world over. Whether or not Scotiabank is able to replicate leaders along the likes of Hinkson remains to be seen.

Being a strong leader in an industry that many deem to be all about figures and tallies can sometimes serve to pigeonhole such a leader. That’s certainly not the case with Chester Hinkson. When he does retire as Scotiabank’s Country Manager at the end of July this year – a position in which he has served since 2006 – Hinkson would have given over four decades of service to the banking sector which has somehow turned him into a larger-than-life figure. Such a stature proved good enough to earn Hinkson the Award for Corporate Leadership at this year’s St. Lucia Business Awards. Ever since joining Scotiabank’s Collections Department in October, 1966 – just two years after the bank began doing business here – Hinkson has made his way to the top of the bank’s food chain of roles. That included him becoming the first Saint Lucian to become Country Manager. Hinkson’s knowledge of the business saw BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Blue Print Construction people hear ‘green’ and they think ‘saving trees and not littering’,” Elibox told Business Focus Magazine just moments after snagging his two recent wins. “But ‘green’ also has a cost-saving aspect to it. In my line of work, it would mean not overdesigning which ends up saving the clients money on their investments. We also advise them to use energy-efficient windows and appliances. We also use greencertified products on our projects as much as we can.” With three awards already in the kitty and the company extending its reach into Grenada – with eyes set on Barbados as well – there’s no doubt that Blue Print Construction Ltd and Kurt Elibox seem destined to build the company an even greater reputation – and market share as well. Within the space of one year, Kurt Elibox and his company, Blue Print Construction Ltd, have been able to make their presence felt at the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture’s St. Lucia Business Awards. When the twenty-six-year-old picked up the Young Entrepreneur Award of the Year trophy for the second consecutive year last January, he immediately became a standout at the prestigious awards ceremony. Add to that the Green Award his company was able to add to his growing trophy case this year and you can be assured that Elibox’s most important project of late has to do with constructing a promising future. Elibox was among the three nominees who each walked away with two trophies when the prestigious awards ceremony was held last January. Blue Print Construction Ltd -- which turned two years old last October -- seems poised to make a huge and indelible mark in the construction sector. That is, if it hasn’t done so already. Blue Print Construction Ltd. does everything from civil works to residential works, renovations, and repairs. Nevertheless, the company is now focusing BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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on other business ventures to add to its already impressive portfolio. These include farming, retail, among others. The company currently employs eight permanent staff members but has close to fifty onsite part-time employees; that number fluctuates according to the scope of each project. Moreover, what the company has managed to incorporate into its operations of late has captured the attention of the awards judges – and environmentalists as well. Elibox confesses that while winning the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for two consecutive years has a special feel, he is especially proud to have won the coveted Green Award. “We really tried hard to win that one. I mean, a lot of


First Citizens Investment Services its clients and partners to partake in the event during which customers and clients were lauded for their contributions and loyalty to First Citizens Investment Services’ continued success. Regional Manager, Carole Eleuthere-Jn. Marie, explained that the importance First Citizens Investment Services placed on its clients and delivering an excellent customer service to that segment are not things that her institution takes lightly. Client comes first, she said. “Our clients are our most valuable asset, and especially in the current economic climate, we must not lose sight of that,” Eleuthere-Jn. Marie said at last December’s cocktail reception. “It is their confidence in us that keeps us going. In fact, First Citizens Investment Services would like to thank all our customers and partners who have contributed to our successes in 2013. We look forward to working with you to achieve our goals in the years ahead.” Formerly known as Caribbean Money Market Brokers (CMMB), the financial institution later rebranded to its new name following its acquisition by the First Citizens Bank Limited. The financial institution continues to regularly host free seminars on different topics during which its customers as well as members of the public can get an appreciation of how the financial system works. First Citizens Investment Services also runs its First Citizens Market Watch reports in the local newspapers. With customer satisfaction being among the key pillars of any successful business, First Citizens Investment Services is proving that being customer-friendly can reap real rewards.

First Citizens Investment Services copped the Award for Service Excellence at this year’s St. Lucia Business Awards. The category in which it won is by no means better than the others. But one must agree that meeting customer satisfaction requires a certain skill – something that First Citizens Investment Services seems to have refined over the years it’s been here. When the financial institution held its annual Client Appreciation Cocktail Reception last December, it invited over one hundred of BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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FDL Consult Inc Incorporated in 2004, FDL Consult Inc. is a multifaceted company that seems to do it all by being an engineering, architectural and consultancy firm. Services offered by the company include engineering and architectural consultancy and design, construction management and business development. The company’s trained and experienced team is headed by its founder, Gilbert Fontenard, a highly-trained and experienced civil engineer who has worked in both the public and private sectors. FDL Consult Inc. was awarded the Service Exporter of the Year Award at this year’s St. Lucia Business Awards last January. With a mission statement that’s based on providing customized services responsive to the needs of its clients, FDL Consult Inc. aims to deliver a reliable, efficient and quality-based service to its customers’ satisfaction. The company’s value-added BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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service includes teaming up with other professionals and experts to ensure that every project gets done with the highest quality standards in mind. FDL Consult Inc.’s business development portfolio includes doing work that has impacted Saint Lucia and the rest of the OECS region. For example, one of its projects, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Integrated Strategy for Competitive Construction Development, saw FDL Consult Inc. doing work for its client, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), that comprised the development of a harmonized building code derived from a cross-fertilization of multicountry experiences and divergence of views, as well as the development of an integrated mechanism for greater ease of enforcement.

In Saint Lucia, the company was responsible for designing the new Bois d’Orange Bridge which is currently being constructed at a cost of $11 million by Construction and Industrial Equipment (CIE). FDL Consult Inc. also undertook the project design of the Barre de L’Isle upgrades following a number of landslides that scarred the area’s breathtaking landscape. With just the right mix of expertise and resources, FDL Consult Inc. seems poised to broaden its horizons even further, thanks in part to its recent win at this year’s St. Lucia Business Awards. There’s absolutely no doubt that this homegrown company has just what it takes to export its professional services farther afield as well.


Goodlands, Castries, St. Lucia Tel: 1(758) 457-6400 Fax: 1(758) 453-7048 Web: www.fdlconsultinc.com Email: fdlconsultinc.com

Winner - St. Lucia Business Awards 2014 - Service Exporter of the Year

• Engineers • Architects • Project Managers • Business Consultants FDL Consult Inc. is a St. Lucian owned, multi-disciplinary engineering firm, providing an array of related services in architecture, construction management and business development. We have a global reach; operating in several Caribbean countries, with alliances locally, regionally and internationally. This year we celebrate our 10th anniversary.

St. Lucia • St. Vincent and the Grenadines • NevisBusinessFocus • BVI Montserrat • Dominica • France • UK • Canada • Trinidad

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Sandals Resorts International and effort the internationally-acclaimed and multiple award-winning hotel chain puts into employee development. “This award is really owned by the 1200 team members in Saint Lucia and their commitment to implementing the principles that they have learnt from our human resource professionals,” Matthew said. “We place a high premium on HR development as a medium of giving us the competitive edge. It’s not how many luxury rooms, gourmet restaurants or mega-pools we build; it’s about how many champions we develop. “Because of our commitment to training, Sandals has developed a reputation for high training and HR standards in the local tourism sector. Our employees are expected to be among the best-trained and we go beyond this expectation to even train young people in the community with a desire to pursue a career in hospitality.” The Sandals hotel chain in Saint Lucia comprises three properties: Sandals Grande St. Lucia Spa & Beach Resort, Sandals Halcyon, and Sandals Regency Golf Resort & Spa at La Toc. The resort has 800 opulent rooms and suites. Sandals Resorts International trains over 200 unemployed youths in various skill sets as part of its hospitality training programme. The hotel chain also offers numerous internships and management training programmes for students and young professionals both here and abroad. With its recent accolade to add to its long line of successes, one can definitely sense that excellent service in the hospitality service just got a way lot better.

For the two decades that the Sandals hotel chain has been in Saint Lucia, human resource development has been at the core of its continuous upgrades designed to deliver an even better level of hospitality to its guests’ continuously changing tastes. So dedicated to the cause of improved human resource development is Sandals Resorts International that it actually established the Sandals Corporate University recently, a first by any Saint Lucian organization. So when Sandals Resorts International’s Regional Manager for Human Resource and Training in the Eastern Caribbean, Ryan Matthew, graced the Gaiety on Rodney Bay stage last January to receive the Award for Excellence in Human Resource Development, he did that on behalf of the 1200-strong Sandals team who are all part of the Sandals Corporate University. Matthew said the award was well-deserved given the money, time BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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George Theophilus Fred Devaux George Theophilus Calls for Greater Commitment to Country George Theophilus of FICS received “Lifetime Achievement Award”

The St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture has presented A Lifetime Achievement Award to George Theophilus, the founder and Managing Director of Financial and Consultancy Services, FICS. Mr. Theophilus has built one of the region’s most respected financial institutions and is regarded as a leading expert and advisor on financial and economic matters. He began his professional career in Choiseul as a school teacher, working his way through the Ministry of Education to become its Permanent Secretary. After overseas studies in Economics, Public Administration and Finance were stints at the helm of the National Commercial Bank, the St. Lucia Development Bank. In 1992, Mr. George Theophilus along with his wife Lusca Theophilus founded the iconic Financial and Consultancy Services FICS. After accepting his award Mr. Theophilus took the opportunity to urge the business community to recommit to country. He said it appeared that there was an overemphasis on acquiring personal wealth and very little attention to the needs of the country. He said those who are doing well must remember that they are citizens of a country which is largely responsible for what they have accomplished, noting that the interest of the country must be served. He said the spirit of patriotism must be introduced in the schools where students should be taught the values of service to family, community and country. Mr. Theophilus, a devout Catholic has been knighted by the Pope and made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.

Fred Devaux’s Advice to Business Leaders – Treat Staff Fairly Fred Devaux of M&C received “Lifetime Achievement Award”

Outstanding corporate leader and philanthropist Fred Devaux, the former Chairman of Minville and Chastanet, received a Lifetime Achievement Award during Saturday’s St. Lucia Business Awards. After returning home with an Honors Degree in Economics, Frederick Devaux joined the M&C Group in 1960 first as a board member and later joint Managing Director with his cousin Joe Devaux. Fred Devaux became Executive Chairman in 1999. Before that he supported Joe Devaux’s decision to introduce the M & C Fine Arts Awards which ran from 1979, [as an Independence Gift] to 2004 when it was handed over to the newly established Cultural Development Foundation. The M&C Group also established the M&C Games which provided an avenue for the island’s top athletes to gain exposure, experience, accolades and an opportunity for personal advancement. Mr. Fred Devaux took a deep interest in the welfare of his staff and within two years of joining Minville and Chastanet, in 1961, initiated a pension scheme, a first for corporate St. Lucia and that was way before the National Insurance Scheme materialised. Within that time he also introducec insurance and medical schemes for staff as way of taking care of their critical emergencies which they may experience. Mr. Devaux noted the new generation of business leaders coming to the fore, and urged them to stick to the basic business principles of treating staff fairly, keeping creditors at bay and ensuring that ‘cash is king’. He said always prepare for the future through a strategic plan and always have a team outlook. He says an organisation cannot move forward without group support. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr | 93


123 Digital Limited

Gets Your Numbers Up limi ted

Business & Marketing Plans Bid Proposal Writing Financial Projections

Content Management System 5 Free Email Addresses Free Domain Registration 123 Digital Limited is a marketing and PR firm that specializes in e marketing and web technologies. Some of the services 123 Digital Limited offers include social media management, web design and development, web application development, public relations, marketing consultancy and market research. The company’s Finance Director, Irvine Springer, says 123 Digital Limited’s capabilities extend beyond just company size. “We work with small to medium enterprises, government statutory bodies, as well as regional and international clientele,” Springer told Business Focus Magazine. “Our services extend from business development to creative and marketing consultancy. So, for example, we can assist a business in its incubation stage with their business and financial plan, branding, and initial website development. For established businesses, 123 Digital Limited provides assistance with marketing campaigns, especially e-campaigns on social media. 123 Digital Limited’s services also extend to BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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E: info@123digitallimited.com T: 758-452-0123Int’l: 888-228-3312 W: www.123digitallimited.com

Caribbean . UK . Canada . USA


those companies wishing to increase their web reach by helping them create dynamic electronic strategies, utilizing social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. According to Springer, Saint Lucia alone has a captive online audience that numbers circa 70,000 subscribers. This offers 123 Digital Limited the perfect opportunity to facilitate competitive analysis, customer satisfaction surveys, and employee satisfaction surveys utilizing a web platform for clients. But the work doesn’t stop there. Managing Director, Rankin Morgan, explained that the company also develops content management systems which allow owners and staff members the ability to update their website with ease. “It’s more or less a transfer of information where one can post various articles, pages or any other relevant information from the website to social media in an effort to drive traffic to the site. This redounds to increasing the online awareness of the company’s products or services,” Morgan explained. 123 Digital Limited’s services are available locally, regionally and internationally. Some of their clients include J.E. Bergasse and Company Ltd, Windward and Leeward Brewery Ltd, Duty Free Caribbean, Invest Saint Lucia, ARTreach, Dazzle Magazine, Invest St.Lucia and SLASPA. 123 Digital Limited is a member of the Caribbean Advertising Federation, St. Lucia Hotel & Tourism Association, St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture and the Green Business Association. 123 Digital Limited offers the most affordable prices for the best in professional service. You can rest assured that choosing 123 Digital Limited to get your company that much-needed visibility is a slam dunk. They make it as easy as 1-2-3.

Recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Saint Lucia Chamber of Commerce for his leadership in the fields of Commerce and Private Sector Development, and for the important legacies in Art and Sport in Saint Lucia. The Management and Staff of the M&C Group of Companies thank you for your invaluable contribution to the company and to all Saint Lucians!

Tel: (758) 458 8000 Fax: (758) 458 8007 contactus@mandcgroup.com www.mandcgroup.com

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FINALIST

HONORED

Nina Compton is named Saint Lucia’s Culinary Ambassador! Following an impressive showing that landed her one step away from clinching the title of “Top Chef” in the finale of the popular American reality TV show, Saint Lucia’s Nina Compton has been named the island’s first Culinary Ambassador. The announcement, made by Tourism, Heritage and Creative Industries Minister Lorne Theophilus at the launch of the 23rd edition of the iconic Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival, was greeted by much jubilation and applause. Theophilus said the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) had been keenly following the progress of Nina Compton since the commencement of the show’s third season in October of 2013. “Her journey to the show’s finale captivated thousands of viewers internationally and indeed all of Saint Lucia.” The SLTB he hinted had been working behind the scenes for weeks exploring ways and means of celebrating and paying tribute to her remarkable achievement. “Bestowing on her the title of Culinary Ambassador puts her in line to not only further display her culinary mastery on behalf of Saint Lucia, but equally will highlight the awarding winning gastronomic delights of the island which are brought to life in exceptional indigenous recipes that are served up by other acclaimed chefs at award winning resorts and fine restaurants across the island,” Theophilus said. The public is being asked to lookout for the participation and inclusion of Nina Compton in creative and innovative marketing initiatives for Saint Lucia as it rolls out its ambitious 2014 agenda. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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Airlines starts Flying Caribbean Routes

Set against the background of a steelpan beat, Southwest Airlines announced Aruba, Jamaica and the Bahamas as its firstever international destinations in early February 2014. Scheduled to depart from Atlanta, Baltimore and Orlando, the flights are part of the airline’s integration of AirTran Airways, acquired by Southwest in 2011, which currently flies the routes. “By the end of this year, all of the international flying that is currently taking place on AirTran will be converted over to Southwest,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said at a news conference at the company’s Dallas Love Field headquarters in Texas, USA. Southwest anticipates the expansion of its international connections next year, including flights from Texas, and expects a five-gate international terminal to be completed at Houston Hobby Airport by the end of next year. Recently, the airline began selling tickets for daily nonstop international flights, and later this year it plans to add Cancun, Los Cabos and Mexico City in Mexico, and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, all of which are currently served by AirTran. Despite being the United States’ largest domestic carrier, Southwest has never flown internationally. Now, the company is focused on transferring all of AirTran’s international flights to the Southwest system this year and will consider adding more destinations in 2015, Kelly said. Eventually, international flights could represent a 70 to 80-aircraft operation for the carrier, according to Southwest Chief Commercial Officer Bob Jordan. “You take the ring of where the [Boeing] 737 can fly and all of those cities are then inside of the route map that we could look at. I think the opportunity for Southwest Airlines over the next two to three years is very substantial.” He added that destinations in Canada are being considered but that the carrier’s main focus is on increasing its service to Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean.


St Vincent to Open New International Airport in 2014

Six years after construction work began, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is getting ready to cut the ribbons to declare open its first ever international airport. The Ralph Gonsalves government is hoping that the EC$700 million international airport situated at Argyle on the island’s east coast, will be completed by the end of this year. When he delivered his budget statement at the end of January 2014, Prime Minister Gonsalves said the airport was “on target for completion by the end of 2014.”

St Lucia Featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

Island Expected to Benefit from Exposure

At the end of last year, the Taiwanese firm, Overseas Engineering Construction Company, handed over the EC$77 million terminal building along with the electrical substation to the International Airport Development Company (IADC), the state company responsible for the construction of the airport. IADC Chief Executive Officer, Rudy Matthias, believes the airport could be completed as early as July, 2014. “First and most importantly, I want to tell you that our terminal building is now complete and we expect that by July 2014 to complete the final pavement works on the runway and the apron. So, in a sense, by July God’s willing, we are going to have a completed terminal building and a runway and apron having been paved. Essentially, that is our airport.” Prime Minister Gonsalves since gave Parliament an idea of the scope of work still to be done at the airport. He said at the end of 2013, 89 per cent of the earthworks had been completed and sea defence works, which began on August 12, 2013, would extend into mid-2014.

The beauty of St. Lucia is now on display for the world to see in the popular Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. The Time Warnerowned magazine shot its 50th edition in the island with its models showcased amidst the varied landscapes of St. Lucia, including the infamous world heritage site, the Pitons, and a fishing village. Models Emily Ratajkowski, Cris Urena, Samantha Hoopes, Lauren Mellor, and Hannah Ferguson, are featured at three locations throughout the island, including Soufriere waterfront, a lively fishing village, Malgretoute Beach, a calm mooring site for yachts sailing around the island and finally, at Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, owned by the former accountant for the Rolling Stones. “We chose locations for the 50th anniversary edition that we knew would grab readers’ attention. Saint Lucia’s iconic Piton mountains, gorgeous beaches, and lush rainforest were a perfect fit for this historic issue,” Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Senior Editor, MJ Day was quoted as saying in a press statement from the St. Lucia Tourist Board. “We were thrilled to host Sports Illustrated as they shot the 50th anniversary issue,” said Tracey Warner Arnold, Deputy Director of Tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. “There is something almost magical about our island that clearly captured the imagination and eye of MJ and her talented SI Swimsuit team.” BusinessFocus Mar / Apr | 97


TOURISM FOCUS FOCUS TOURISM

to Recruit New Management Trainees for Caribbean Resorts SANDALS Resorts International (SRI) has accelerated its Succession Planning Strategy with an invitation for budding tourism aspirants to join its Management Trainee Programme. The intensive two-year training and development programme gives promising young leaders from across the Caribbean, an opportunity to positively impact the growth of the region's tourism product through hands-on training from one of the world's most celebrated resorts, Director of Business Processes and Administration for SRI Wayne Cummings said in a press statement. Cummings noted that, over the years, the company had invested heavily in the development of young Caribbean nationals who are now among the brightest and most innovative managers in the tourism sector across the Caribbean and around the World. "The Management Trainee Programme has been the centrepiece of SRI's management Succession Planning Strategy with the "best of the best from within the resorts, along with new hires, continuing to display exceptional growth and capabilities of taking not only Sandals, but the tourism industry as a whole, to the next level. From the 2012 cohort, 21 graduands are now set to take up management and assistant management posts in various departments at Sandals and Beaches resorts across the Caribbean, and we are now seeking the next batch of superstars," Cummings continued. Ideal candidates for the programme must have a first degree from a recognizsd institution — preferably, but not limited to tourism and hospitality — or three years experience in the hospitality industry. Additionally, shortlisted candidates must be over 21 years old, possess strong communication and organisational skills and be service-driven with excellent customer service skills. The official recruitment drive for the Management Trainee Programme is now in progress, with an application deadline set for February 20, 2014. Following the submission of all applications, there will be an intense selection process — including a series of extensive interviews by SRI Group directors and resort general BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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managers — to identify the most suitable candidates for the programme. The final selection of candidates is expected to be in place at assigned resorts by June 2014. The Management Trainee Programme was originally introduced in the mid 1980s and represents an added feature of Sandals Resorts' on-going investment in training that includes the Hospitality Training Programme which provides unattached high school graduates with an introduction to various departments in the resorts; as well as continuous on-the-job training sessions, scholarship opportunities, as well as workshops and seminars for team members through the Sandals Corporate University.


MAJOR MOVES

SENIOR MANAGEMENT CHANGES AT CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN CIBC First Caribbean has announced two changes to its Senior Executive Team. Managing Director of Retail and Business Banking, Mr. Mark St. Hill has assumed responsibility for the Bank’s regional International Banking portfolio. Meanwhile, Director, Private Banking, Mr. Dan Wright, in addition to being Managing Director for Private Banking and the Bank’s Cayman and Bahamas Bank and Trust Companies, will also now be responsible for CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Investment Management portfolio, assuming the title Managing Director, Private Wealth Management. Mr. St. Hill, now Managing Director, Retail, Business and International Banking, has served as the M a n a g i n g Director of CIBC FirstCaribbean’s B a r b a d o s O p e r a t i n g C o m p a n y . Previous to that he was the Director, International Banking, with responsibility for the leadership and development of the International Banking (Personal & Corporate) offering across the six Wealth Management Centers in the Bahamas, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman, Curacao and the Turks and Caicos Islands. An experienced banker with over 20 years in various positions spanning Insurance Broking, Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Credit Risk, International Banking and Wealth Management, Mr. St. Hill has also held senior management positions with the Bank in several countries in the Caribbean such as Grenada, British Virgin Islands and Barbados. He is a graduate of the FirstCaribbean Executive Leadership programme at the Wharton School of Business in the United States and a Fellow of the British Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

Mr. Wright, who joined the company in December 2012, as Director, Private Wealth Management, has since then been leading the strategic initiative in support of an enhanced offer for the bank’s high net worth clients. In October 2013, Dan assumed the position of Managing Director, Private Wealth Management to reflect his additional regional responsibilities for CIBC Trust Company (Bahamas) Limited and CIBC Bank and Trust Company (Cayman) Limited. Mr. Wright is an experienced wealth management and private banking leader. Prior to joining CIBC FirstCaribbean, Mr. Wright worked as Senior Vice President & Head, International Wealth Management for Bank of Nova Scotia in Toronto with specific responsibility for their private banking business in the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. He was also Chair of the BNS Trust company in the Bahamas and a Director of a number of Caribbeanbased businesses in the Cayman Islands and Jamaica. Mr. Wright will be leveraging his strength in strategy planning and execution, as well as the management of teams of experts in a wide range of markets to further build CIBC Firstcaribbean’s Wealth Management capability.

AGOSTINI INSURANCE BROKERS (ST. LUCIA) LTD A P P O I N T S G E N E R A L MANAGER Castries, St. Lucia – Agostini Insurance Brokers (St. Lucia) Ltd, one of the longest standing private sector firms of Insurance Brokers in St Lucia announced the appointment of Mr.

Armstrong Philogene-Leon, ACII, MCMI as General Manager. Mr. Philogene-Leon holds an Associateship (ACII) from the Chartered Insurance Institute of London and is a Chartered Insurance Broker. He holds an International Diploma in Management Studies from Cambridge University with distinction. He is a member of the Chartered Management Institute of London, Faculty of Insurance Broking, and the Faculty of Claims. His career in the insurance industry spans over sixteen years. He has considerable experience in handling all classes of general insurance and the placement of risk in the international market place. His expertise concentrates in the areas of Property, Motor, Liability, Accident and Claims Management. He specializes in the management of major private sector and multinational accounts, and is also heavily involved in the development of new business. Mr. Philogene-Leon will head both the Employee Benefits and General Insurance Divisions of Agostini Insurance Brokers (St. Lucia) Ltd with the assistance of a cadre of experienced and qualified professionals.

IICA Appoints Re p re s e ntat i ve For ECS Offices The InterA m e r i c a n Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) has announced the appointment of Mr. John Henry King, a National of Suriname, as Representative for the IICA Offices in the Eastern Caribbean States (ECS), namely Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts/Nevis, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, effective January 15, 2014. Mr. King, who will be based at the Office in Saint Lucia, comes to the ECS from the IICA Office in Suriname where, as Project Coordinator, he had responsibility for coordinating the technical activities of that country. He holds a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Suriname and an MSc in BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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MAJOR MOVES Agriculture and Rural Development from the University of the West Indies. Mr. King has more than 34 years experience in the agriculture sector in the Caribbean Region and Expertise in rural development, agro-tourism, greenhouse production, organic agriculture and marketing. Prior to joining IICA and up to 2006, he managed one of the largest mechanized rice plantations in Suriname and had also been involved in the stimulation of small scale rice production and promoted the development of export markets. Under his leadership, the IICA Team in the ECS will continue its contribution to developing and strengthening the agriculture sector in these member states.

Columbus moves English to top of the class C o l u m b u s International has announced the promotion of Michele English to the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer effective July 1. English is currently President and Chief Operating Officer of Columbus’ operations in Jamaica, including Flow and Columbus Business Solutions. President of Columbus’ Caribbean operations, John Reid, described English's promotion as part of Columbus’ strategic plan to be the provider of the best customer care in the region. According to Reid, English will have "ultimate responsibility for the entire customer experience." A release from Columbus described English as "a seasoned executive." "Since joining Columbus in 2006, her experience and leadership have resulted in the Jamaican operations growing in revenue, customer base, as well as in stature across the country. St Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association Appoints New Executive The St Lucia Arthritis and Lupus Association (SLALA) is preparing to roll out its calendar of activities for 2014 following the appointment of a new Executive at a BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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recently held AGM and Social held at the Bay Gardens Hotel on Sat., 18th January, 2014. The new Executive will coordinate the Association’s activities over the next two years. It is headed by founding member Dr Amanda King-Greenidge who will serve as President, while Lenita Auguste has been appointed Vice President. Dr King-Greenidge thanked the members of the outgoing Executive for helping to keep the Association active over the past two years. She asked all the members to support the new Executive in their efforts to achieve their main objective of reactivating the Chronic Disease SelfManagement Program. Sandy Alcee is the Secretary of the new Executive and she will be assisted by Nancy Gomez. Eyonthe Husbands continues as Treasurer with Karen Edwards as her assistant. The PRO post was filled by Sharlene Jn Baptiste, with Zandra Perreira as her deputy. Floor members, Dr Claire Louisy, Dr Celia Downes and Dr Cleopatra Altenor, complete the new Executive.

Haiti Appoints first Ambassador to CARICOM In presenting his credentials to Caricom Secretary General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Ambassador Peterson Noel stressed the importance the Government of Haiti assigns its participation with CARICOM. According to him, Haiti should be seen and treated as an opportunity. “We represent a market of nearly ten million inhabitants; we have unexploited natural assets, and process a rich cultural heritage that can provide a meaningful contribution to the wealth of our economies,” Noel said.

B o t s w a n a Appoints First Ever Ambassador to Caricom Ambassador

Bernadette Rathedi The African nation of Botswana has appointed its first-ever Ambassador to the Caribbean Community. Ambassador Bernadette Rathedi was accredited as the country’s first Plenipotentiary Representative to CARICOM in a ceremony at the Caricom Secretariat in Guyana recently. The diplomat underscored what she saw as a need for Africa and the Caribbean to make greater efforts to work together. “There is, indeed, power in unity,” she said. Rathedi said Botswana was interested in continuing cooperation between CARICOM and the SADC, pointing to the historical ties between the two regions.

France Appoints New OECS Ambassador Mr. Eric de La Moussaye, a Knight of the French National Order of Merit, is the new Ambassador of France to the OECS – based in St. Lucia replacing Michel Prom. A lawyer by training, La Moussaye was appointed Ambassador in September 2013 and presented his credentials to Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy on October 16. New Ambassador, La Moussaye, began his diplomatic service in January 1981 as an Administrative Attaché at the Ministry of Cooperation. He has also been Deputy Prefect of Rathel (Ardennes) from October 2004 to March 2007; Deputy-Prefect of Coutances (Manche) from March 2007 – March 2010; and Deputy-Prefect of Saint-Diédes-Vosges (Vosges) from May 2010 to September 2011. From September 2011 he was Ministerial Purchasing Manager, Head of Central Procurement Division (DGA)


MAJOR MOVES

Mexico Appoints New Ambassador Luis Manuel López Moreno is the New Mexican Ambassador to St Lucia and he expects St. Lucia to take full advantage of the partnership for development between the two countries. López Moreno, recently presented his credentials to Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy, and says that international cooperation for development in the Caribbean is a priority for Mexico’s foreign policy, and he expects that Mexico and St. Lucia will take full advantage of their partnership in this field. “As a country belonging to the Great Caribbean, Mexico has as one of its priorities to work closer with the countries of the region and rest assured that Saint Lucia can always count on Mexico as a friendly and close partner”, the Ambassador concluded. In taking up his new posting, Ambassador López Moreno, , conveys a message of personal fortune, prosperity and well being on behalf of Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto. López Moreno, 56, is a career diplomat, who is fluent in English and has knowledge of French and Italian. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the National Automous University of México and a Master’s Degree in Diplomatic Studies from the Matias Romero Institute for Diplomatic Studies of the Ministry of External Relations of Mexico. He joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 1981 and has been carrying the title of ‘Ambassador’ since 2012. He has served as Ambassador to Haiti and acted as Ambassador to Belize from 2008 to 2011. He was also Consul of Mexico in McAllen, Texas from 2001 to 2007 and was in charge of political affairs and the consular section at the Embassy of Mexico in Canada from 1997-1999. He had responsibility for political affairs at the Mexican Embassy in the United States of America from 1993-1997. Ambassador López Moreno acknowledges the common history, geography and culture that Mexico and St Lucia share, and notes that the relations

between the two countries have always been of respect, cooperation and goodwill. He says he is privileged to live and work in this beautiful Caribbean island of St. Lucia for the benefit of these two great nations.”

Kristel Kouly Appointed new Swedish Honorary Consul to St. Lucia Sweden has a new honorary consul for St. Lucia, on the heels of the departure of Peter Richard Kouly, who served in the position for 15 years. Regional Swedish Ambassador Claes Hammar hosted a reception on February 12 at the St. Lucia Golf & Country Club, to honour Peter Kouly and induct Kristel Kouly as the new Honorary Consul for Sweden. She is the youngest Swedish Honorary Consul appointed for St. Lucia. She has a Masters in International Business and works regionally as the Business Development and Marketing Manager at The Cell – the largest mobile technology retailer in St Lucia. As Honorary Consul, she will be required to promote the country of Sweden in St. Lucia for tourism, international relations and possible investment opportunities. During the ceremony, Peter Kouly received an accolade for Commander of the Order of the North Star by Ambassador Hammar. This prestigious award is a Swedish order of chivalry that was created by King Frederick on February 23, 1748. It is intended to reward Swedish and foreign civic merits for devotion to duty – something only presented to non-Swedish citizens and members of the royal Swedish family. To date, a small number of this honour has been awarded worldwide.

South Africa A p p o i n t s Ambassador to Caricom The Caribbean Community (Caricom) recently welcomed South African, Maureen Isabella Modiselle as Ambassador to Caricom and expressed confidence that the two sides could benefit from initiating air transport services in which they had both expressed a keen interest. The newly-accredited envoy presented her credentials to Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of Caricom, at a ceremony hosted at the Caricom Secretariat, Guyana. Modiselle gave the assurances of her country’s cooperation and loyalty in promoting the ideals and objectives of the Community. Underscoring the wisdom of unity, she pointed to the strides the Region had taken on its path to growth and sustainable development and the advancement of its people. United countries, she said, were better empowered to defend their interests.

Dr Hugh Sealy, an Environmental Scientist and Chemical Engineer from Barbados, was elected to head the Clean Development Mechanism’s (CDM) executive board. He takes over at a time when the UN program, which has transferred more than $315 billion in climate finance from rich nations to poor ones since its 2005 inception, has stalled. Supply of the tradeable credits it generates has ballooned while the price plummeted after many rich nations declined to use the market to help meet emissions goals. Dr Sealy, who teaches at St George’s University in Grenada, was vice-chair of the board for the past 12 months. He takes over from Norway’s Peer Stiansen. BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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events 2014 CARILEC’S Occupational Health & Safety, Human Resource Conference St. Lucia, March 30 - April 04, 2014 This Conference and Exhibition is planned to meet the demand and interest shown by HR Managers and Health & Safety Officers from our member utilities.” The conference seeks to address the new perspective of health and safety as a feature of corporate responsibility; major issues of Occupational Health and Safety such as the: adoption of international standards and the associated benefits. www.carilec.com

CARAIFA - The Caribbean Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors 28th Annual Sales Congress 2014 April 27 – 30, 2014, Hilton Hotel Resort & Spa, Montego Bay, Jamaica CARAIFA is an umbrella organization of regional Life Underwriting associations whose members are engaged primarily in the sale of the products of Life Insurance and Financial Services companies. CARAIFA hosts an annual conference of the Life Underwriters/Financial Advisors throughout the region in May each year. These congresses feature motivational and inspiring speakers from our region and internationally. Theme: "Life's Blessing" www.caraifa.com

ST LUCIA JAZZ & ARTS FESTIVAL April 30 to May 11, 2014 – The Caribbean’s Premiere Cultural Event Revamped, redesigned and with a broadened artistic direction, the Caribbean's premier cultural event — the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival — will attract thousands to Simply Beautiful Saint Lucia. Cultural enthusiasts, festival lovers and music aficionados will be wooed by over 50 world-acclaimed entertainers and artisans over the 12-day festival, which runs from April 30 to May 11, 2014. Performances will be set against the iconic and historic Pigeon Island National Landmark backdrop, along with other scenic vistas across Saint Lucia, showcasing an innovative infusion of Music and Arts designed to highlight the island's rich historic and cultural legacy. www.stluciajazz.org

CSA's 12th Caribbean Shipping Executives Conference 12 – 14 May 2014, Miami Marriott, Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida The Caribbean Shipping Association (CSA) was established in 1971 to facilitate development of an efficient, viable Caribbean shipping industry. Since then, the Association has become the voice of the region's shipping industry and a major regional forum in which matters relevant to the growth and development of Caribbean shipping are discussed. www.caribbeanshipping.org

2014 Caribbean Insurance Conference Today's Challenges, Tomorrow's Opportunities 1 – 3 June, 2014 Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino and the Curacao Hilton, Piscadera Bay, Curacao Attendees include senior level executives; administration executives; heads of marketing, distribution, and information technology; along with top regional producers. The 2014 Caribbean Insurance Conference will feature a mix of general sessions, panel discussions and excellent networking opportunities. For more information on the 2014 conference, please visit the official conference website at: http://iac-caribbean.com/about-the-cic/ BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS COMPANY

NATURE OF BUSINESS

DIRECTORS

Jea-Li Enterprise Ltd.

Real Estate , Transportation and Clothing Boutique

Chad Jean Lillian Southern

St. Helen University Campus Ltd.

To Carry on the Business of Property acquisition

David Singh

H.N.G International Trading Inc.

Trading of Indian Articles

Harbhajan Singh Bagga Nishan Singh Harbhajan Singh Gagandeep Singh

St Lucia Diabetes and Hypertension Association Inc.

A Company Not for Profit Engaging in Activities Involving Awareness of the Problems of Diabetes and Hypertension

Claudius “Peto” Francis David Hippolyte Nathalie Shauna Charles Sharon Scholastica Ephraim Lydia Shane Atkins

Property Protectors Ltd.

The Business of Security Services

Trevor Angus Harris

Monchy Mizik en Kweyol Inc.

Community Oriented Activities, Entertainment Inc.

Arthur Neptune Khrystal Lucien Roston Taylor Costello Michel

True Stars Hotels (St.Lucia) Ltd.

Property Investments

Junior Scarlett

Keith Noel Construction Services Ltd.

General Construction and the Other Related Business

Keith Noel Anna Dickinson

Advance Caribbean (St.Lucia) Ltd.

To Carry on the Business of Micro Financing

Donatian Dwight Lewis

One Construction & Design Services Inc.

Construction & Retail of Construction Items and Rental

Lance Octave Peter Eugene

Yacht Club (St.Lucia) Inc.

Boat Club

Andie Wilkie

Water’s Edge Ltd.

Property Holding Company

Kim Fox Karen Fox

C.A.C. Management Inc.

Interior Designing & Construction, Taxi Services, Music Recording and Entertainment Management

Ched Antoine

Franconia Solicitors Inc.

To Provide in the Formation, Registration and Administration of: IBC’s, International & Private Banks, Insurance Companies. To Provide Services in Offshore Banking, Offshore Corporate Services, Trust and Trustee Services, Corporate Secretarial Services, Trademarks Registrations, Renewals, Management and Legal Services

Gerard Russell Williams

Membercare Inc.

To Carry on the Business of Health and Corporate Services

Jeaneen Payne Leathon Khan Eugene Payne

Stronghe Co. Ltd.

To Carry on the Business of a Restaurant

Hang Feng

C&B Holdings Ltd.

Restaurant /Bar

Benjamin Gillmor Charlotte Gillmor BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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NEW COMPANY REGISTRATIONS COMPANY

NATURE OF BUSINESS

DIRECTORS

Union Motors Ltd.

Vehicle Dealership

Cornelius Daniel

Kenor International Health and Wellness Resort Inc.

Health & Wellness Resort

Dr. Keny Francois Bastien

Clayton Hills Developments Ltd.

Property Holding Company

Khaled Khawaja

Kenny’s Concept Inc.

To Engage in the Business of Bar and Restaurant Services

Kenneth Joseph

Tapion Supplies Ltd.

Pharmaceutical and Medical Supplies

Dr. Horatius Jeffers, Dr. Martin Plummer Sister Francisca Dickson, Leeann Dantes

HT SLU Inc.

Retail of Men’s Clothing and Shoes

Wisam Chreiki Dany Chreiki

Dr Connexion (St. Lucia) Ltd.

Distribution and Trading Agency

David Jordan, Peter Sylvester

Nom’s Auto Body Repair Ltd

Body Repair

Lennard Saiwak, Alvin Saiwak, Ormestan Nanton

Terre Blanc Holdings Ltd.

Real Estate and Leasing

Lisa Monrose

Vigie Holdings

Property Holding Company

David Lisle Chase

Ernst & Young Services Ltd.

To Provide Tax, Advisory and Consulting Services

Trevor Nicholas Gomez Rendra Aswini Gopee

Soheila Inc.

Consultancy Company

Christopher Alexander Bota

Bosun’s Bar & Bistro Ltd.

Restaurant & Bar

Hansel Sirnesses McCombie

Rap Holding Finance Company SL Ltd.

Finance Services

Andie Wilkie

Tours ‘N’ Travel Services Inc.

Operations as a Travel Agency

Clarence Casimir Geralda Casimir

Opportunity Print & Design Ltd.

Printing

Martin Pulcher

Zeals Pharma Ltd.

Supply of Pharmaceuticals and Operations of Pharmacy

Sylvester Louis, Andrew Nwachukwu Aghadiuno

Berean Baptist Fellowship Inc.

Charitable, Humanitarian and Religious Endeavors

Robert Isaac, Zephrynus Henry Gale Isaac, Brent J. Fevrier

First Distributors International Ltd.

First Distributors International Ltd.

Clement Ruan, Dana Duan

Majerlyn Ltd.

To Acquire by Purchase, Exchange or Otherwise Land Immovable Property in St.Lucia

Majed Chreiki

NCH Property Investments Company Ltd. To Own , Manage and Develop Properties

Christopher Lubin Gilbert Fontenard

ECONO Parts Ltd.

Selling of Auto Parts

Miguel Rambally

Sables Point Development Company Ltd.

Property Holding

Raquel Du Boulay Chastanet, Allen Chastanet Trevor Hunte

G and A Holdings Ltd.

Property Holdings

Gladys Taylor, Christopher Taylor

S&W Jewelry Services Ltd.

General Modification, Repairs and Replacements of Jewelry.

Gerard R. Williams , Mark Scott Stephen Marcelle

NSF Auto Rental & Services Ltd.

Rental of Motor Vehicle and all Ancillary Services

Nivea Fenelon Sylvanus Fenelon

Mr. Parts Ltd.

Selling of Auto Accessories

Miguel Rambally

BusinessFocus Mar / Apr

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PRODUCTIVITY BREEDS EFFICIENCY


St. Lucia Business Focus 74  

Bay Gardens Resorts is Business of the Year

St. Lucia Business Focus 74  

Bay Gardens Resorts is Business of the Year

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