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CSHAE Elects Leaders, Supports Haiti Relief

The Caribbean Hotel Society of Hotel Association Executives present donation to the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Education Foundation Chairman Tom Pas in support of the Haiti Relief Fund. From left: Gilda Gumbs-Samuel, Anguilla Hotel & Tourism Association; Birney Harrigan, BVI Chamber of Commerce & Hotel Association; Neil Forrester, Antigua Hotel & Tourist Association; Sue Springer, Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association; Frank Comito, Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association; Tom Pas, CHTA Education Foundation; Valya Pantophlet, Sint Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association; Stacy Cox, Turks & Caicos Hotel & Tourism Association; Lisa Hamilton, US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association; Louanna Chai-Alves, Trinidad Hotels, Restaurant & Tourism Association; Clarisa Jimenez, Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association; and James Hepple, Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association.

At its recent Annual General Meeting (AGM), held prior to Caribbean Travel Marketplace, members of the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) elected its leadership and Board of Directors to guide the region’s association executives during the 2012-13 term.

CSHAE executives also hammered out a strategic plan for the region’s hotel associations and agreed to renew financial support for the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association Education Foundation’s (CHTAEF) Haiti Relief Fund which provides training programs to help rebuild the nation’s tourism talent base, much of which was lost as a result of the devastating earthquake two years ago.

Lisa Hamilton, president, United States Virgin Islands Hotel and Tourism Association, was elected president of CSHAE succeeding Frank Comito, executive vice president, Bahamas Hotel Association, who held the position since 2009.  Gilda Gumbs-Samuel, executive director, Anguilla Hotel & Tourism Association, was elected vice president while Neil Forrester, general manager, Antigua Hotels & Tourism Association was re-elected as treasurer and Noorani Azeez, St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association, was elected secretary.

Other members elected to the CSHAE Board of Directors include:

  • Frank Comito, executive vice president, Bahamas Hotel Association
  • Pancy Cross, executive director, Grenada Hotel & Tourism Association
  • Clarisa Jimenez, president and CEO, Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association
  • Louanna Chai-Alves, executive director, Trinidad Hotels, Restaurant & Tourism Association
  • Valya Pantophlet, project manager, Sint Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association
  • James Hepple, president & CEO, Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association

Prior to the CSHAE AGM, hotel and tourism association executives across the region met to develop a Work Plan designed to guide their efforts over the next several years towards strengthening the work and roles of associations both at the local and regional levels.

Outgoing CSHAE President Frank Comito commended his colleagues as well as Josef Forstmayr, CHTA president, Alec Sanguinetti, CHTA director general and CEO, and Richard J. Doumeng, CHTA president-elect, for participating in the developmental sessions.

“When looking at the work being done on the ground by many of our hotel associations throughout the region, it is impressive,” stated Comito, adding:  We want to do a better job at sharing information and best practices so that we can be even more effective at the national level while helping to strengthen the overall Caribbean brand at the regional level.”

Comito also commended the executives and CSHAE’s past leadership and offered congratulations to Lisa Hamilton and the incoming CSHAE leadership team.

Hamilton thanked Comito and the previous board and stated, “I am honored and humbled to have been selected by my peers as president.  It is my goal to continue to drive all of the key initiatives laid out by Frank and the previous board as they have done such a fantastic job for our organization.”

Hamilton added, “I also am excited to work alongside my industry colleagues to increase membership and awareness by working closely with all of the committees on behalf of the dedicated and diverse members who support our association.”

At the CSHAE AGM, members presented a check to CHTAEF Chairman Tom Pas in the amount of $2,000 towards the Haiti Fund.  This follows an earlier contribution of $3,000 made by CSHAE to the Haiti Fund.  The CHTAEF has been on the ground in Port au Prince since 2010 and is delivering education & skills training to surviving hotel school students through extensive Caribbean volunteer time and expertise coupled with the ability to purchase equipment, supplies and English teaching through donor support.

Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives

The Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) is a professional association whose members include the top executives and senior managers from the region’s private-sector led hotel and tourism-related organizations.  It’s 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 & Tourism Association (CHTA) in achieving mutual goals.

Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association

The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) facilitates the full potential of the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry by serving members’ needs and building partnerships in a socially responsible and sustainable manner.  CHTA was founded in 1962; it is the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive and sophisticated environment of international tourism. Today, tourism is widely recognized as a pivotal industry in the economy of the region – and CHTA functions as the common denominator for this industry in a region of diverse nationalities, languages and styles, identifying mutual problems and marshaling the resources of the active and allied members to devise solutions. CHTA represents all facets of the hospitality industry with more than 725 member hotels and 525 allied members.

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Source: The Bahamas Hotel Association

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