Caribbean Media Exchange
Greta Andzenge is a 2011 CMEx intern, pursuing a Masters in Tourism Administration with a concentration in Sustainable Destination Management from The George Washington University. While helping with the coordination of events, Greta also assists with the handling of communications materials and developing relationships with external audiences. She has a background in tourism throughout the Caribbean, with specific experience in Saint Lucia, Barbados, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos. Greta has most recently spent a number of years managing the organizational leadership and web marketing for an event and invitation design firm. Greta holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Metropolitan State University in Minnesota.
Student, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
Neysha Bauer, 20, is a senior at the University of Central Florida pursuing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Advertising and Public Relations. She is a multicultural, bilingual young woman, fluent in both Spanish and English. Born in Guatemala, she has grown up throughout Central America and the Caribbean, having lived in four countries in the region. She currently resides in Puerto Rico when not pursuing her studies in Florida. Through her life experiences of growing up in a multi-cultural environment in several countries, Neysha has a great appreciation for different cultures and societies. She believes that communications is a key element to improving relations between countries and cultures. Neysha enjoys traveling the world. Upon acquiring her BA she aspires to relocate to New York City with employment in public relations, advertising, or marketing where she can apply her multi-cultural knowledge and language skills.
New York University/ PR Consultant, Freelance Writer
Barney A. Bishop is a New York based public relations professional. He got his start in PR in the promotions department for a men’s sportswear company where he was turned onto the power of media relations. Shortly thereafter, Barney co-founded a boutique agency, August Bishop, where he led successful product launches and represented the interests of companies such as as Adidas America, Virgin Mobile USA, Benetton, Sirius Satellite Radio and Rufus. Today, Barney continues to help brands build consumer affinity, market relevance and increased sales and is pursuing a master’s in Public Relations and Corporate Communication at New York University. He is also the founder of the men’s fragrance and grooming website, Fragrant Moments. Barney has written articles for Complex, Heart & Soul, Uptown, Be Better Guys and has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine.
United Nations Radio
Donn Bobb is a veteran, award-winning broadcaster from the Caribbean with more than 30 years’ experience in the field. . Originally from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Donn is Chief Executive Producer and Chief of Caribbean Programmes at United Nations Radio. He has extensively covered the Caribbean, having worked at Radio St. Vincent, Radio Antilles in Montserrat, ABS TV in Antigua (1981-1982), and as stringer for the Associated Press. In New York, Donn also worked at WLIB Radio for 20 years in various capacities as a disc-jockey, news writer and presenter. Trained in the UK, Donn has traveled the world covering breaking news assignments and sustainable development conferences in Africa, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. Donn holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications.
PRIMARY ASSIGNMENT: DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, FilmUSVI
Steve Bornn, a fourth-generation West Indian from St. Thomas, USVI, with roots in Trinidad, is a 30-year veteran of the film, events, tourism and marketing industries with a New York attitude and work ethic. He has extensive Caribbean knowledge and experience as an advertising creative director, strategist and events producer. A journalism and film major from American University, his career includes tenures as Director of Tourism for Discover Dominica Tourism Authority and Director of Marketing for the U.S. Virgin Islands Tourism Department. Since re-joining the USVI program as Development Manager, he has been involved in a resurgence of on-location film activity in the USVI. “Re-development of the once robust film industry remains a labor of love and a work in progress,” he says.
He brings to the film program a unique understanding of both sides of the table, the ability to see projects “through the trees,” and to make the impossible happen.
Award-winning Artiste, New York
Brenda Braxton is a native New Yorker, and an award-winning artiste and entrepreneur. A graduate of the High School for the
Performing Arts, Brenda, whose grandfather hails from St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, was featured on Broadway in
SMOKEY JOE’S CAFÉ for which she earned a Tony Award nomination. She received the NAACP Theater Award – Chicago’s
Jefferson Award and Grammy for Best Cast Album. In 2003, she joined the Broadway cast of CHICAGO in the starring
role of Velma Kelly and enjoyed seven years with the Company. Her professional career, which began in 1976, includes starring in
the PBS special When Hell Freezes Over I’ll Skate, writing and producing a one-woman show, joining the Broadway Company of
CATS, and co-directing and choreographing the 2001 DREAMGIRLS concert at the Ford Theater on Broadway. In 2006, she launched BBRAXTON: Exceptional Grooming for Exceptional Men – a gentlemen’s-only grooming parlor in Harlem. She is also the founder of a nonprofit
organization, Leading Ladies Just for Teens (LLJFT), and produces seminars to empower young girls. She has received the Dr. Martin Luther King “Living the Dream” award, the Josephine Baker Award from the National Council of Negro Women, and the Community Service award from the National Association of Negro Business Women.
Former Director of Tourism, United States Virgin Islands
When Leona Bryant was a girl growing up in Garden Street, she would see the white-gloved cruise ship passengers strolling about and invite them home. In those days, the ladies all wore white gloves. She would ask them if they wanted to see where she lived, and she would bring them home. A native of St. Thomas, Mrs. Bryant graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School as Salutatorian of her class. She went on to attend Howard University to study liberal arts.
The late Honorable Governor Juan Luis appointed her Director of Tourism on February 12, 1981, after two years as assistant. At the time she was not only the first woman, but the first African American and the only Director born on the islands. When she joined Tourism, then known as the Department of Commerce, she created and edited the newsletter for the Virgin Islands, The Conch Shell.
She spent 23 years inviting people to her home, the U.S. Virgin Islands, as Tourism Director from 1981 until her retirement in 1996. She was recognized in the Black Enterprise Magazine in 1992 for her leadership ability and deemed an international tourism specialist. Her work with the Department of Tourism has taken her across continents to numerous countries. She is extremely well respected and liked in the travel world. She streamlined the V.I. Calling program, which dispatched delegations of local hospitality industry representatives on exhaustive tours of up to 18 cities in two to three weeks to promote the territory as a vacation destination. It was never a question.
Mrs. Bryant always went above and beyond to promote the Virgin Islands, whether it involved visiting the editor of Vogue International at their Paris office, attending conferences from South America to Egypt or attending London’s World Travel Market one year after another. On one particular visit, Mrs. Bryant met and spoke with the late Princess Diana. The list of luminaries she has encountered, and in many cases engaged, includes but are not limited to Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Lady Bird Johnson, Barbara Walters and Ted Turner.
Outside the governmental arena, she has also served the local community with distinction. Always active in community affairs, she hosted an afternoon “Leona” talk show on WVWI Radio for eight years. Additionally, she was always in demand as television and stage show commentator. For 14 years, she edited and hosted a daily television show, “Leona’s Whirl”. Mrs. Bryant’s radio talk show in the afternoon became somewhat of an institution, a place to discuss things present and past, and she had her share of celebrity guests, including famous attorney Johnnie Cochran. She is affectionately referred to as the Godmother of the world renowned Rising Stars Steel Orchestra, and is responsible for putting them on the world map. A Carnival Parade was not the same without the sound of her familiar voice.
Mrs. Bryant has received numerous accolades throughout her distinguished career including a Tommy Star Lifetime Achievement Award. She is one of only two women to receive the World Travel Award, given in Paris. She has been honored by The St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce, the Nevis Benevolent Society, and the 1996 Carnival Village was named “Leonaville” in her honor.
Leona Bryant has three daughters: Angel Bryant Boschulte, Christine Harri and the late Laura Denise Moolenaar. Her grandchildren are Melody Bryant, Joseph B. Boschulte, Wanda Moolenaar-Aubain, Onya Harris, Janelle Boschulte and Jeanna Boschulte. She has 14 great grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Dr. Noel Brown
Friends of the United Nations
Jamaican Dr. Noel Brown is President of the Friends of the United Nations, a non-governmental organisation that mobilises public support for the UN and directs public attention to its major programmes and achievements. The former Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (North American Regional Office), he represented the organization at major international conferences, including the historic 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. A founding member of the Aspen Global Change Institute, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, and Indigenous Development International, he is also a fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences, Chairman of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism and Chairman of the Rene Dubos Center for Human Environments. Dr. Brown has a B.A. in Political Science and Economics from Seattle University, an M.A. in International Law and Organization from Georgetown University, a Ph. D. in International Relations from Yale University, and a diploma in International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law.
New York University
Patrick Canavan is a research associate in the Office of University Development and Alumni Relations at New York University. Previously, he was a copywriter for Zimmerman/Edelson Inc., a Long Island-based public relations firm. He earned a B.A. in English and American literature from New York University, where he is a student in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ master’s program in public relations and corporate communications.
Caribbean Sport Magazine
Stephan Carnier, from Martinique in the French West Indies, is the Publisher of Caribbean Sport Magazine, an electronic magazine about sports, tourism and entertainment news about the Caribbean.
PanaCarib Business Solutions[Theo Chambers is the Chairman/CEO of Positive Tourism Network, now rebranded as PanaCarib Business Solutions, a registered company in Jamaica with a branch office in Panama. The company has expertise in marketing communications, news production, IT web design and web hosting services, as well as health tourism. Theo is the Chairman and co-publisher of Positive Tourism News and co-producer of the annual Caribbean VeggieFest and Latin Caribe Beauty, Health & Spa Conference. Founder of the first Spa Association in Jamaica in 2005, Theo is also a co-founder and member of Jamaica’s Tourism Product Development Spa Standards Steering Committee which has a mandate to standardize the spa industry. He also is a member of a group of trainers for Team Jamaica in Customer Service and Self-Esteem for the Tourism Product Development Company. Theo is the immediate past president of the Hanover Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Lucea.
PanaCarib Business Solutions
Sharon Parris-Chambers was born in Kingston, Jamaica W.I. She is the Co-founder and President of PanaCarib Business Solutions headquartered in Jamaica with an office in Panama. The Company has focused competencies in Web design & Web hosting, Internet Marketing, Public Relations and an Online News Publication (Positive Tourism News). She is the CEO of LatinCaribe Wellness Network. A leader in the development of Health Tourism, Sharon was instrumental in helping to establish Jamaica as a Health & Spa destination (2005-2009) through working collaboratively with Jamaica’s Ministry of Tourism and its agencies (Tourism Product Development Co. and Jamaica Tourist Board); Jamaica Promotions Company (JAMPRO) and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC). In 2011, Sharon has been recognized by the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo) for leading the Spa standards development which has been approved for implementation in Jamaica and later in the wider Caribbean. Sharon currently sits on the National Health & Wellness Task Force for developing the Health & Wellness Tourism Development Plan for Jamaica.
Frame by Frame Productions Ltd., Jamaica
Lukkee Chong entered the field of broadcasting in 1972 at the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation. He became a producer/director in 1978 and has worked on numerous projects involving recorded and live television – from national celebrations such as Jamaica’s Independence celebrations to a United Nations TeleFood global broadcast. Lukkee has covered numerous Caribbean music festivals for BET and BETJ, created DVD products of performances for artists such as Taj Mahal, Acoustic Alchemy, Melba Moore and Byron Lee. Since 1992, he partnered in the formation of Frame by Frame Productions Ltd., one of the top production companies in Jamaica and the Caribbean. Frame by Frame owns and produces the internationally acclaimed travel video magazine “Island Stylee”, an integral part of Air Jamaica/ Caribbean Airlines’ in-flight entertainment system. The show also airs on various US television outlets. Frame by Frame has offices in Kingston, Jamaica, and Fort Lauderdale.
Collegiate School Communications Manager, New York City
Leah Christenson is Communications Manager at Collegiate School, a k-12 boys’ school in New York City that was founded in 1628. She manages Collegiate’s website and social media presence as well as writes and produces the semi-annual Collegiate magazine and other school publications. Previously, she was with New York University’s Development and Alumni Office for seven years; there she managed alumni events and communications for NYU’s Arts and Science schools. While at NYU, she earned an M.P.A. in public and nonprofit management and policy from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. A former opera singer, she also holds a B.Mus. in voice from Northwestern University and an M.M. in voice from CUNY Brooklyn College.
Program Specialist International Cooperation, US Forest Service
Helen Cortés is an International Relations Specialist and Program Assistant to the International Cooperation Unit at the US Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry in San Juan Puerto Rico. She has a Master of Arts in labor relations from the University of Puerto Rico and is fully bi-lingual in Spanish and English. Helen provides leadership and guidance to natural resource, conservation and sustainable tourism programs in the Latin America and Caribbean Region. For the last five years Helen has organized the “Caribbean Foresters Congress” for the Institute, which is a gathering of all Caribbean Island Nations Natural Resource Agencies to discuss current issues related to conservation and tourism. Helen is also a cultural diversity representative for the Institute on a Forest Service National Leadership Team working to bring about a greater cultural diversity in the agency workforce.
CBS News Path, New York City
Ivette Davila-Richards is the Region 2 Director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), an organization geared towards the advocacy of Hispanics working in journalism; and is also an Associate Producer at CBS Newspath, the division of CBS News that services it’s affiliates through out the country.
Davila-Richards currently serves on the Lutheran Medical Center Health Council Board addressing the needs of her community on issues dealing with the environment, transportation for seniors -while advocating against budget cuts for medical programs. Davila-Richards gives back to her community by participating in The Big Brother- Big Sister program as a mentor for at-risk youth in their junior year of high school. She also is an active member of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Based in New York, Ms. Ivette Davila-Richards is fluent in Spanish and has experience working in both the English and Spanish language media circuit.
michaelD. Communications, California
Michael DeFlorimonte is principal at michaelD. Communications. He is a marketing professional with more than 15 years of marketing, strategic planning and brand management experience. Most recently, he provided services as Chief Marketing Officer for the Rock Church in San Diego, the 19th largest (13,000 weekly churchgoers) church in the country, where he oversaw the megachurch’s marketing, communications, data management and web development departments. He has also provided consulting services in both mass and emerging markets in the areas of electronic media, real estate, travel, construction, arts, consumer products, faith-based, health/wellness, and financial services. This includes a position as a Vice President of Charles Schwab and Co., Inc. where he developed and directed their nationwide African American Investor Services group. Michael is active in the San Francisco Bay Area as a former Board Member of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (Vice President and Chair, Marketing Committee), and current advisor to SF|Noir, and the Museum of the African Diaspora.
Commissioner, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
Beverly Nicholson-Doty serves as Commissioner of Tourism for the United States Virgin Islands, a cabinet-level position. She oversees the Department of Tourism’s advertising and marketing strategy, its national and international tourism-related efforts and product development. While attending the College of the Virgin Islands, Mrs. Nicholson-Doty began her career in the hospitality industry as a reservations clerk at what was then the Virgin Isle Hotel, quickly rising in the ranks before becoming the Marketing & Sales Director. In March 1993, Nicholson-Doty joined the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel & Tourism Association as its Executive Director. In this position, her responsibilities included spearheading the implementation and development of the Association’s strategic plan. She oversaw the unification of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel & Tourism Association with the St. Croix Hotel & Tourism Association to create an integrated Association that strengthens the entire U.S. Virgin Islands hotel product while recognizing the unique offerings of each island. In 2004, she was appointed President of the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association. Beverly Nicholson-Doty has served as Commissioner of the USVI Department of Tourism since 2007 and was elected as Vice Chair for the U.S. Territories during the 2010 Caribbean Tourism Organization Leadership Strategy Conference in Barbados.
Richard J. Doumeng
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Richard J. Doumeng has more than 30′ years experience in the hospitality industry primarily in the U.S. Virgin Islands and also New York City. Currently, Richard is the Managing Director of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on St. Thomas and the President of Harborside Corporation, which also manages the Inn at Villa Olga, Heavenly Days catamaran, The Lobster Grille and Iggies Beach Bar & Grill on St. Thomas.
The second-generation hotelier has been at the helm of the family-owned resort since 1996. In 2010, he was honored as the Hotelier of the Year by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association. The following year, Richard was voted President-Elect 2012 for the Association. He had served as First Vice President since 2008 and has been on the Board of Directors since 1992. Richard is also a member, immediate Past President and five-time President of the USVI Hotel and Tourism Association where has served on the Board of Directors since 1991.
New York University/ Montieth and Company
Stephanie Dressler is an associate at Montieth and Company. She has more than five years of investor relations and financial communications experience.
Her specialty lies in the cross section of corporate public relations, media relations, and social media. She’s been instrumental in corporate positioning and brand development for global emerging businesses through traditional and non-traditional communications.
Prior to Montieth and Company, Stephanie worked in wealth management marketing, and investor relations at Los Angeles based Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors. She was primarily responsible for developing relationships with high net worth individuals and family offices, fundraising efforts and investor communications for proprietary hedge and private equity funds.
Previously, Stephanie worked on the equity sales desk at New York based International Strategy and Investment where she supported sales and marketing efforts of ISI’s macroeconomic and sector research, as well as business development marketing.
Stephanie is a second year Public Relations and Corporate Communications Master’s candidate at New York University. Her Master’s Thesis focuses on social media crisis and marketing for financial services companies. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from the University of Central Florida. She resides in New York City and enjoys traveling, sports, and music in her free time.
Tennis Pro, Fitness Trainer Specialist, Rehabilitation/Athletics Therapist
Lionel Eli, one of Canada’s highly rated and respected tennis coaches, is the long-serving Director of Tennis and Operations at Banbury Tennis Club, serving the residents of Toronto/North in Ontario, Canada. During the winter months, Lionel, a former Davis Club player for Barbados, serves as Director of Tennis at Tam Heather Curling and Tennis Club in Scarborough, Ontario. Lionel represented Barbados at the national senior level and has competed in Davis Cup competitions in Bolivia, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic. He also served as captain/coach of the national Barbados Davis Cup (men’s) Federation Cup (women’s) teams. He began his teaching and coaching career in his native Barbados where he taught Physical Education at the Garrison Secondary School and The St. Michael School; and served as sports coordinator for tennis, golf and squash at Rockley Resort where he was also the Head Tennis Pro. Lionel holds a United States Professional Tennis Association Professional One or P-1 qualification, one of the highest tested ratings possible. Lionel, who also is a fitness trainer and rehabilitation/athletics therapist (specializing in brain and spinal injuries), holds a fully certified Level 3 coaching credential with Tennis Canada, and is a candidate for Level 4 and 5. He is a certified coach for Wheelchair Tennis and Cardio Tennis; and is a Certified Advanced Coach with Van Der Meer Tennis Academy. Now the president of the Lionel Eli Tennis Academy, Lionel travels regularly to the Caribbean with Canadians to participate in tennis camps, tennis friendlies and fitness programs. He also conducts workshops on high performance training with tennis coaches in the Caribbean. A Can-Fit-Pro Certified Fitness specialist, he has helped prepare numerous top-ranked Canadian junior players to secure full tennis scholarships to colleges in the United States.
Ron Fanfair is a top communications professional in Canada. He is a freelance writer-photographer and a journalist at heart. His weekly contributions to Share, Canada’s largest weekly ethnic newspaper, allow him to inform, educate and entertain a wide cross-section of readers on community and international events. Over the years, Ron has conducted interviews with many dignitaries and heads of state, and covered several international events, including the ICC 2007 Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean, 2003 Road World Championships in Hamilton, Ontario, international cricket tours to the Caribbean, World Basketball Championships in Toronto, Basketball Star Isaiah Thomas’ retirement ceremony at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit in 1996, Muhammad Ali’s last two visits to Toronto, and Toronto Raptors’ first season in 1995-1996. Prior to moving to Canada from Guyana in 1985, Ron, who is also the Caribbean Media Corporation’s Canada correspondent, freelanced for the Guyana Chronicle, the now defunct Citizen Midweek newspaper. He also served as senior sports producer and assistant editor with the state-owned Guyana Broadcasting Corporation, and the Caribbean News Agency’s sports correspondent in Guyana. Ron has won several awards, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Community Service and the Guyana Sportswriter of the Year award.
Student / Antigua State College
Jireh Francis, 17 years, of the twin-island state of Antigua and Barbuda is currently a student enrolled at the Antigua State College Advanced Levels Department. He delights in obtaining a wide and varied knowledge base whenever the opportunity presents itself. In the past, he has obtained many accolades in scholastic, musical, technical and oratorical endeavours both on national and regional levels. Jireh is one with a desire to ascertain the hidden truths which lay behind issues related to the common Caribbean struggle and wider global phenomena. For this reason, he has given himself primarily to Caribbean-centred research on his quest to discover the underlying factors responsible for the pervasive realities that manifest today. He considers himself to be a very purpose-driven individual in this regard. His opportunist outlook on life accounts for his long-sighted awareness and his consequent choices.
TV Star/ Entertainer, Toronto
Haim Goldenberg is a world-renowned mentalist, live performer, and the star of the critically acclaimed Canadian TV series GoldMind, which was nominated for two Gemini Awards. Creating and perfecting his own original skills for many years, nowadays Haim is known internationally for combining the intensity of mentalism with his trademark easy-going humor and charm. Haim is currently traveling the world with his corporate and live show, spreading his message of self-belief and the power of the human mind. Visit www.HaimGoldenberg.com to view clips from Haim’s television and live shows.
Journalist, Newsday of Trinidad and Tobago
Sasha Harrinanan is a business journalist employed by Newsday, one of Trinidad and Tobago’s top three national newspapers.
Prior to this, she worked for several years as a television and radio journalist with the Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG). Sasha has covered every type of news but says the best part of her job is interacting with people ‘in the field’.
A journalist’s job is unique, with flexible hours and wonderful opportunities to learn and experience new things every day, while bringing this to the public’s attention in a concise yet captivating manner. That’s what keeps Sasha motivated in her job.
She joined Newsday in September 2010. Prior to this, Sasha spent four and a half years at CNMG, where she honed her skills in traditional and hi-tech methods of news production.
Lots of people have asked Sasha about her ‘accent’ but it’s all natural. She was born in Jamaica and spent her early years there before moving to Trinidad and Tobago. She loves living in Trinidad but always enjoys visits to Jamaica.
Columnist/ Entrepreneur, New York
Guyanese American entrepreneur Edgar Henry has lived in New York for more than 35 years. He had a 12-year association with a Greek shipping company Hellenic Lines which served the Red Sea, Middle East, East Africa and Pakistan. Operating successfully as a licensed real estate broker in New York, he also ventured into the optical industry and still serves the Caribbean community at ENG Caribbean Vision Center in Brooklyn. Aware of the importance of communication systems to the Caribbean-American community, he established Sterling Communications Network in 1993, broadcasting “Calling the Caribbean” on WNJR Radio, 1430 AM. Since 2003, he has been part owner of the popular Caribbean Diaspora newspaper, Caribbean Impact. He is currently the editor of the Guyana Folk Festival magazine. Edgar is also involved in community and philanthropic activities. He is currently the President of the Flatbush Avenue Business Improvement District, a position he has held for the past 15 years.
Virgin Islanders United, Inc.
Kevin Hughes is a co-founder and past president of Virgin Islanders United, Inc., a New York based non-profit, civic organization dedicated to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Kevin serves as the organization’s sales and marketing director and is responsible for securing corporate funding and sponsorship for the organization’s year-round events including the signature Caribbean Cultural Fest, an annual Caribbean concert, cultural extravaganza and marketplace. Kevin is a telecommunications executive with more than 15 years of sales, marketing, and leadership experience. He currently serves as the director of business sales and customer care for Choice Wireless, LLC, a leading cell phone and data provider within the U.S. Virgin Islands. He earned a B.A. in Mass Communications, from Lehman College in New York, and is the past president of the American Advertising Federation of the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as a six- time Telly award-winning television producer, and television and radio personality. Kevin served as the host and producer of “Virgin Islands in Focus” and later “The Virgin Islands Experience” television shows, which aired within the V.I. on PBS television Affiliate WTJX Channel 12, as well as simultaneously airing on community access cable television in Manhattan and The Bronx New York. He has interviewed former USVI Governors Alex A. Farrelly, Roy L. Schneider, The Right Reverend E. Don Taylor, Bishop of Episcopal Church and Roy Innis, Director of C.O.R.E. Kevin holds professional and fraternal memberships in several national organizations, including Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications Kevin Hughes is a co-founder and past president of Virgin Islanders United, Inc., a New York based non-profit, civic organization dedicated to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Kevin serves as the organization’s sales and marketing director and is responsible for securing corporate funding and sponsorship for the organization’s year-round events including the signature Caribbean Cultural Fest, an annual Caribbean concert, cultural extravaganza and marketplace. Kevin is a telecommunications executive with more than 15 years of sales, marketing, and leadership experience. He currently serves as the director of business sales and customer care for Choice Wireless, LLC, a leading cell phone and data provider within the U.S. Virgin Islands. He earned a B.A. in Mass Communications, from Lehman College in New York, and is the past president of the American Advertising Federation of the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as a six- time Telly award-winning television producer, and television and radio personality. Kevin served as the host and producer of “Virgin Islands in Focus” and later “The Virgin Islands Experience” television shows, which aired within the V.I. on PBS television Affiliate WTJX Channel 12, as well as simultaneously airing on community access cable television in Manhattan and The Bronx New York. He has interviewed former USVI Governors Alex A. Farrelly, Roy L. Schneider, The Right Reverend E. Don Taylor, Bishop of Episcopal Church and Roy Innis, Director of C.O.R.E. Kevin holds professional and fraternal memberships in several national organizations, including Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and The National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications.
New York University/ Examiner.com
Katie is a sales and marketing professional with more than seven years’ experience in residential real estate and design. As a representative for Ryan Homes, one of the nation’s largest home builders, Katie made impressive contributions to sales volume in challenging market conditions ($35 million in three years), which led to early promotion and industry recognition, including Sales Rookie of the Year for the state of Delaware. Now a fervent New York City resident, Katie currently works for FRANK PR, an entertainment public relations firm, and is a freelance writer for online publications including Examiner.com. She is pursuing a master’s degree in public relations and corporate communication at New York University and recently organized a power breakfast with Viacom’s Corporate Communication EVP, Carl Folta in her role as an executive member of NYU’s PR League. Katie is a self-professed technology enthusiast and is eagerly tracking the intersection of social media and public and consumer relations.
Jose Salvador Icaza
Choice Hotels International
Mr. Jose Salvador Icaza serves as Director, Emerging Markets, and Caribbean Franchise Development for Choice Hotels International. Within Emerging Markets, Mr. Icaza is responsible for recruiting Hispanic hoteliers throughout the entire United States, while also serving as Franchise Development Director for the Caribbean region for all of Choice’s brands. He served prior as Director of Franchise Sales and Development for Cambria Suites, and Sleep Inn.
Prior to joining Choice Hotels International, Mr. Icaza was Vice President, Operations for Star Hotels, Inc., and was Chief Operating and Development officer for HTW Hospitality, Inc.
Mr. Icaza has also held several management and executive positions at Hilton Hotels such as Director of Franchise Development, Director of Product Management and Quality Assurance, and also served as General Manager for its various brands.
Mr. Icaza is a graduate of The University of Memphis.
Caribbean Tourism Organization
Johnson JohnRose is the Communications Officer for the Caribbean Tourism Organization, where he started as a consultant in 2002 before joining the organisation in January 2003 as a fulltime member of staff. A highly-respected, award-winning journalist with more than 25 years’ experience, Johnson has written and reported extensively on Caribbean tourism and issues that impact on the industry in the region. He trains college students, journalists and industry professionals.
J’lore international, Atlanta
Heralded and highly sought-after speaker, public presentation coach, and President of J’lore International, Jestacia is a minister, author, and servant leader who worked as an educator in the fashion and beauty industry for almost two decades, assisting clients enhance their true beauty from the inside out. Jestacia, who is currently pursuing her doctorate in naturopathic medicine, previously worked as a celebrity make-up artist/image consultant for CNN and its affiliates, Macy Gray at the Grammy’s, Jane Fonda, T.D. Jakes and professional hair and skin care company AVEDA. Both a licensed aesthetician and an aesthetics instructor, Jestacia – in true entrepreneurial spirit as well as ministry-mindedness – has created a holistic line of aromatherapy products, WHOListic LIVING. Jestacia is co-founder of J & J Image Group.
Governor John P. de Jongh, Jr.
United States Virgin Islands
John Percy de Jongh, Jr., born on November 13, 1957, in Brooklyn, New York, is the eldest of three sons of John P. de Jongh, Sr., and Delores Webb de Jongh. Besides his brothers Stanley and Sydney de Jongh, he also has two sisters, Judy McCoy and Mary Frate.
Mr. de Jongh attended Sts. Peter and Paul School on St. Thomas until his parents divorced. As a single parent, his mother Delores raised her three sons while working as a social worker with the Detroit Public Schools. Although he spent his school months in Detroit, every summer he returned to St. Thomas to work as a messenger for his father’s law firm, Birch, de Jongh, Farrelly and Hindels. Mr. de Jongh graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1977 and went on to Antioch College where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 1981. While at Antioch, he held work-study jobs in Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit and St. Thomas, and he also completed an urban study program in the United Kingdom, the former Yugoslavia and Holland.
Immediately after college, Mr. de Jongh returned home to the Virgin Islands. His first job was with Tri-Island Economic Development Council. While at Tri-Island, he developed and successfully obtained grant funding for the re-development of historic structures in Savan and Frederiksted. Subsequently, he was hired by Chase Manhattan Bank and selected to attend its Western Hemisphere Credit Development Program in Puerto Rico. During his six years at Chase, Mr. de Jongh became the first Country Consumer Manager responsible for all consumer banking products in the U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, and St. Maarten.
In 1986, he married Cecile Rene Galiber of St. Croix, daughter of the late Dr. Andre Galiber and Edith Rose Lewis Galiber. They are the proud parents of one daughter, Rene’, and two sons, John “JP”, III and Julian. Currently, JP is in his senior year at American University, Rene’ is a sophomore at Skidmore College, and Julian is in the 7th grade at Antilles School.
Though Mr. de Jongh’s time with Chase Manhattan Bank was extremely rewarding, he was drawn to public service. Governor Juan Luis appointed him to the Industrial Development Commission in 1984, and later reappointed him. He became the youngest Commissioner of Finance ever to serve the Virgin Islands when appointed to the position by Governor Alexander A. Farrelly, a post once held by his grandfather, Percy de Jongh, in both the Merwin and Paiewonsky Administrations. As Commissioner from 1987 to 1990, Mr. de Jongh was central in drafting legislation establishing the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority, for which he served as its first Executive Director, the Capital Improvement Program, and the Affordable Housing Program. He also wrote the GAAP Conversion, the work plan for the Government’s financial reporting. He served as Chairman of the Governing Board of the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority from 1988 to 1992.
From 1990 to 1992, Mr. de Jongh served as Executive Assistant to Governor Farrelly, a position that his father, John de Jongh, Sr., had once held during the Merwin and Paiewonsky Administrations. As Executive Assistant to the Governor, he coordinated and implemented gubernatorial policy throughout executive branch departments and agencies. While serving as Executive Assistant to the Governor, he also held the position of Director of Finance and Administration of the V.I. Public Finance Authority.
In 1993, Mr. de Jongh reentered the private sector as a Senior Managing Consultant for Public Financial Management, Inc., the largest public finance advisory firm in the United States. As Co-Manager of the firm’s Strategic Municipal Consulting practice, he helped develop and implement Five-Year Plans for the cities of Philadelphia; New Haven, Connecticut; and Washington, D.C. From 1996 to 2002, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer and Director of Lockhart Companies Incorporated. He oversaw the expansion of the company’s real estate portfolio, and negotiated the purchase of two property and casualty insurance companies and a premium finance business During this time, Mr. de Jongh also served as President of the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce, President of the Karen Ingeborg Lockhart Foundation, and as a trustee of the Government Employees Retirement System. From 1999 to 2000, he served as Chairman of the Virgin Islands Economic Recovery Task Force, which produced The Five Year Strategic and Operating Plan, as well as Co-Chair of the Cruise Ship Task Force, which negotiated the Long Term Operating Agreement with members of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association. In March of 2000, Mr. de Jongh was chosen as Rotary II’s Person of the Year.
In 2003, Mr. de Jongh and his good friend Desmond Skeete established Chilmark Partners, LLC to do financial advisory work in the Eastern Caribbean. The firm undertook engagements in the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Saint Lucia, and Barbados involving real estate, banking, and insurance. He continued his active public service as a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, serving as Foundation President for three terms. Mr. de Jongh also served as the first Executive Director of the V.I. Democratic Party, and as a trustee of Antilles School.
Mr. de Jongh was elected Governor of the United States Virgin Islands in 2006, and was inaugurated on January 1, 2007. During his first term, Governor de Jongh implemented an economic strategy that ensured that the U.S. Virgin Islands minimized the effects of the global recession by negotiating public-private partnerships that expand the Territory’s rum industry and the revenues it produces; by encouraging the increase of airlift to the Territory; by bringing cruise ships back to St Croix; by facilitating the permitting of hotel resort projects; obtaining federal grant funding to invest in the build-out of a broadband infrastructure; and by fostering improved opportunities for small businesses, among other initiatives. With the assistance of First Lady Cecile de Jongh who has served as Chair of the Children and Family Council, a prime focus of the Administration has been an investment in the education and family structure for children, with emphasis on early childhood education, adoption of an improved rating system for daycare centers, introduction of an annual summer reading program, appointment of an ADA Coordinator (a first for the Virgin Islands), and an anti-bullying initiative.
Photographer, New York
Margot Jordan is one of the most creative personalities of our time. As a professional photographer, she has been able to capture many historic and cultural events around the world: The U.S. Open (tennis), The Essence Music Festival, Inaugural Celebrations for US President Barack Obama, countless galas and award shows, conventions and conferences. Born and raised in New York City, Margot has worked in television, radio, print and film. An extensive publicity campaign launched by Margot became one of the most notable holiday stories of the 2001 Christmas season. The mainstream American media got to meet her great-grandfather Mac Neil Jordan as he shared stories about his 1920’s voyage from Barbados to New York’s Ellis Island. Today, Margot is one of New York’s most respected event photographers and she plans to release several books based on her diverse body of work. She loves to work with philanthropic organizations; on musical events, and assignments in the Caribbean!
Grenada Broadcasting Network
Orisha Joseph, 25, was born in the Spice Island of Grenada. Orisha has been employed with the Grenada Broadcasting Network as a broadcast journalist for the past three years. She attended the T.A. Marryshow Community College where she attained a diploma in Professional Studies – Office Administration and Stenography. Orisha believes in teamwork and enjoys the marine environment. She has worked with Icon Distributors Grenada Limited for more than four years and held the positions of accounts receivable clerk, inventory clerk, administrative assistant and assistant supervisor. Orisha represented her country in Scotland at the 15th Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers in 2003 and was President and Achiever of the Year for the Junior Achievement Programme. She has also traveled and attended a number of workshops on tourism, media and the environment. Orisha is currently doing a leadership programme “At the Waters Edge” – a programme administered by The Nature Conservancy – which aims to protect and preserve the environment.
Tourism Development Company of Trinidad and Tobago
Afzal Khan, a graduate of the Caribbean Institute of Mass Communications, UWI, brings to the Tourism Development Company a wealth of experience having served in newspaper, radio and television, starting as a reporter and moving all the way to corporate management. An award-winning journalist, Afzal has worked with several international networks in television and radio. He has also worked as a lecturer with the Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies, as well at UWI’s Open Campus in several fields related to mass communications, public relations and advertising, expository and report writing, and critical thinking. He has represented Trinidad and Tobago on regional media organisations as the CBU and the CPBA, and internationally with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung corporation, the NAB and NATPE.
Antigua Observer Media Group
Anika Kentish is the host of Antigua-based Observer Radio’s weekday morning current affairs programme Observer AM. The show features interviews with key newsmakers from around the country and the wider region. As a journalist, she not only reports for the Observer Media Group but other news agencies including the Associated Press (AP) and the Barbados-based Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC).
Throughout her career, she has covered the visits of two United States Secretaries of State to the region and a host of other significant events including the Allen Stanford debacle, Hurricane Ivan in Grenada, the Haiti earthquake and the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Kentish holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Public Relations from Midwestern State University in Texas. She is a founding member and current Vice President of the Antigua & Barbuda Media Congress (ABMC) and a past General Secretary of the Association of Caribbean Media Workers (ACM).
Community Benefit Development, Washington DC
A journalist and communications consultant with funded programs in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Caribbean, Lelei LeLaulu served as a correspondent in Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions for several publications, including the Financial Times of London, Arabia and the Gulf, The Middle East Magazine, and New African. In addition to designing communications strategies for the series of global conferences and summits of the 1990s for the United Nations, he reported from UN in New York for CNN’s “World Report”, produced UN radio and television programs, edited UN Report and UN Secretariat News and hosted the PBSTV show “One World One Voice”. Lelei is vice president of the Caribbean Media Exchange, chairman of the Leadership Council of George Washington University’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, co-chair Innovation for Sustainable Development Center, director of Airline Ambassadors International, and coordinator of the Oceania Sustainable Tourism Alliance. Lelei set up sustainable tourism projects in Africa, Central and South America, with the Inter-American Development Bank and USAID. He is an adviser for National Geographic, Citizens Development Corps, SkyLink Aviation, the Africa Travel Association, and writes book reviews for The Washington Times.
College of Charleston
Nora Luce is a final year student at the College of Charleston in South
Carolina, USA. She is pursuing a double major in Hospitality and Tourism
Management and Business Administration with a minor in Spanish. While
studying abroad in Costa Rica, Nora analyzed the country’s green
initiatives and eco-tourism services with dictate their “no artificial
ingredients” image. She continued her study abroad experience in New
Zealand where she worked on a retreat that is fully sustainable and
designed to mimic Mother Nature’s natural synergies; it was a unique and
life-changing experience for her. Through these adventures Nora’s passion
was ignited for sustainable practices and eco-tourism efforts. She is
currently a marketing intern with the non-profit organization Lowcountry
Local First where she helps educate and encourage the public to invest in
the local, independent businesses and farmers who reflect the unique
character, culture and flavor of Charleston, South Carolina.
4P Group, Atlanta
Pete Mansel is president and co-founder of 4P Group, Inc. a marketing and business planning firm based in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. He has 30 years of telecommunications operations, marketing, strategic planning and sales experience at senior executive level positions. He has developed business plans for domestic U.S. and Caribbean clients. Some of the major Caribbean plans include Barbados Photovoltaic Module Assembly Plant, Caribbean Media and Communication Services, Ltd. (CMCS), Barbados Sugar Cane Industry, West Indian Sea Island Cotton, Hit-for-Six feature film, Wentworx Spices, and BIDC Condiments Industry. Pete earned a B.B.A. from Adelphi University and an Executive M.B.A. from Pace University in New York.
New York University/ International Business Times
Kurstin Mendez is a Sales Development Manager for the International Business Times in New York City. Throughout her tenure in the Advertising and Communications field, Kurstin has also ventured into the stimulating realm of CNN digital/cable advertising where she was responsible for integrated proposals for Dell, HBO, and HSBC. She acknowledges herself as a “third culture” individual, and has lived in 11 countries, including Uganda, Mozambique, Indonesia, Vietnam, Kenya, Pakistan and Australia. Kurstin’s expertise encompasses strategic brand-building, campaign development and global marketing. She is completing her Master’s Degree in Corporate Communication and Public Relations at New York University.
Journalist, New York NY
For more than two decades Patricia Meschino has been writing about Caribbean culture, specializing in Jamaica and reggae music. Patricia is currently the Caribbean correspondent for Billboard Magazine and Billboard.biz; she is also the music editor of Air Jamaica’s award winning in-flight magazine SkyWritings and the Culture Editor of the Caribbean-American lifestyle publication Jamrock Magazine.
Patricia is also a staff writer at Bobmarley.com where she writes extensively about Bob Marley’s music and the various projects undertaken by the Marley family, as well as issues related to reggae’s development. She was the U.S. editor of Riddim magazine, a reggae publication based in Cologne, Germany, which published an English language edition from 2006 through 2008 and will now resume publication as an iPad app. Additionally, Patricia has freelanced for numerous media houses including The Associated Press, The Village Voice, Vibe, The Miami New Times, Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine, The Source, Sandals Lifestyle Magazine, and the Europe based publications Red Bulletin and Songlines. She also contributed the music section to the National Geographic book “Great Caribbean Family Vacations” and was a featured commentator in the 2009 BET special “The Top 20 Greatest Moments in Reggae”.
Due to her vast knowledge of contemporary Caribbean music, independent as well as major record labels frequently call upon Patricia to write artists’ bios and liner notes for various releases. Patricia recently completed the liner notes for the landmark VP Records release “Reggae’s Gone Country” and in 2010 she wrote the notes for the double CD set “Bob Marley- Live Forever”, a live recording of Bob’s final concert performance, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Miriam G. Milashut
TV Producer, Promoter, toronto
Miriam G. Milashut is a TV producer, promoter and manager of mentalist Haim Goldenberg. Miriam immigrated to Canada seven years ago from Israel. Since then, she started an outstanding carrier for Haim Goldenberg, developed and produced a critically acclaimed TV show GoldMind and was part of the development and funding of several non-for-profit organizations, specializing in “making the impossible possible”. Miriam is a member of MPI (Meeting Professional International) and COCA (Canadian Organization of Campus Activities).
Gail Moaney, APR
Ruder Finn, New York
Gail Moaney is executive vice president and director of Ruder Finn’s travel and economic development practice. Gail has 20 years of experience in agency and corporate public relations and in broadcasting, implementing communications programs for destinations, transportation companies, hotels and resorts, and economic development entities worldwide. She has also served as chief of communications for the State of Ohio Department of Economic Development, managing radio, television and print communications for international trade, science and technology, business development and tourism. An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Gail has been a member of the board of PRSA NY since 1995. She also sits on the boards of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies Partnership, Caribbean Media Exchange, Counterpart International, New York Urban League and Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America. Gail is an Adjunct Professor at New York University.
Caribbean-American Weekly, New York
Shakespeare once wrote that “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely actors. And one man in his time plays many parts.” Colin Moore has been a versatile and multi-dimensional actor “who has played many parts.” He has been a community activist, attorney-at-law, political candidate, adjunct professor, radio commentator, minister of religion, freelance columnist and editor-in-chief. He has been a legal practitioner in New York City who has litigated many high profile cases – The Central Park Jogger case, The Gavin Cato case, and Colin Ferguson case. He has litigated more police brutality cases than any other attorney in New York City. He ran for political office in the 45th councilmanic district in 1991 and 1993. He has been a political commentator on WNYE, WLIB, WBLS and WWRL radio. He has been a freelance columnist for the New York Amsterdam News, New York Carib News, New York Daily Challenge and City Sun newspaper. Colin is presently the editor-in-chief of The Caribbean American Weekly and The Immigrant Journal where he writes the bi-weekly editorials and opinion pieces. He has been an adjunct professor at Rutgers University and Brooklyn College where he has taught courses in political science and constitutional law. He has received more than 20 community awards from organizations as diverse as Sesame Flyers, Medgar Evers College, Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Guyana Tri-State Alliance and the Caribbean Media Exchange. He has written several articles on Sustainable Tourism in the Caribbean, including “Sustainable Tourism in Puerto Rico – and the struggle between the old and new Puerto Rico,” and “St. Lucia on the brink of the Tourism Revolution.”
Director of Communications, USVI Department of Tourism
Allegra Kean-Moorehead, a Virgin Islands native, serves as the Director of Communications for the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism where she oversees the implementation of the department’s public relations strategy. Prior to joining the department in 2007, Mrs. Kean-Moorehead worked for 10 years as the marketing director of Coral World Ocean Park, a popular St. Thomas attraction. Her other work experience includes hotel sales and news reporting. Mrs. Kean-Moorehead holds a Master of Science degree from New York University in Travel & Tourism Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University in Italian Literature. She resides in St. Thomas with her husband and two children.