CTO Welcomes Nearly 700 Attendees at Annual State Ball

NEW YORK, NY (June, 2002) - This year’s Governments of the Caribbean State Ball, which included its stellar 50th Anniversary Awards presentation, has been one of the most successful in recent times.
Close to 700 participants turned up for the elegant, black-tie event, in a show of support for CTO’s efforts and to celebrate the achievements of 50 distinguished individuals who were awarded for their notable contributions to Caribbean tourism. The Ball was the culmination of Caribbean Week which took place in New York from May 28-31.

“One of the most encouraging things was, that in these difficult times, the countries turned out for the meetings and the awards ceremony in larger numbers than I have seen in decades,” says Jean Holder, CTO Secretary General.

“It was great that the entire tourism family was there to greet them (the Honourees) and to recognise them. We were very pleased to have a chance to assist in recognising the contribution they have made to their countries over a lifetime,” adds Mr. Holder, in reference to the special commemorative ceremony which took place at the world famous Waldorf-Astoria.

Caribbean Week was the first event for the new tourism minister of the Bahamas, Obie Wilchcombe, in his capacity as CTO chairman. Clearly impressed with the experience, particularly the Ball, Mr. Wilchcombe said Caribbean Week was an important part of the thrust to develop Caribbean tourism.

“Caribbean Week has allowed us to focus on the strengths of the region and the future growth of our tourism industry and its potential to improve the lives of all the people of the region,” Mr. Wilchcombe said. “Tourism will continue to perform for us if we strengthen our resolve and renew our commitment to sustainability and if we continue to bring to it that special charm and appeal that are trademarks of the Caribbean personality.”


This year’s Ball appealed to leaders who had not attended in the past, including the Governor of Bonaire and the Premier of Nevis.

The US cable network Black Entertainment Television (BET) recorded the historic event and will produce a one-hour special to be aired on BET on Jazz at a date to be announced later.

During the gala event, CTO also presented Lifetime Achievement Awards to Michael Youngman, director of marketing, Caribbean Tourism Organization; John Bell, CEO and director general, Caribbean Hotel Association; James Pepperdine, executive vice president of Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown; and Erick “Willy” Rotin, past chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Association (predecessor of CTO) and co-founder of the Hotel Association of Guadeloupe (posthumous).

The 50 honourees were:
50th Anniversary Regional Awards

John Bell, Caribbean Hotel Association // Doria Camaraza, American Express Company // Frank Delisle, Carib Aviation, Antigua // Carlos Diago, Sacred Heart University, Puerto Rico // Dr. Jean Holder, Caribbean Tourism Organization // Honourable John Issa, Super Clubs // Jacqueline Johnson, Bride’s Magazine // Fred Kassner, GoGo Worldwide Vacations (posthumous) // Her Excellency Yvonne Maginley, Deputy Governor General, Antigua & Barbuda // Charles Maynard, Tourism Consultant, Dominica // George Myers, Radisson Cable Beach, Bahamas // Heinz Simonitsch, Half Moon Golf & Beach Resort // Arley Sobers, Caribbean Tourism Organization // Honourable Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Air Jamaica, Sandals, Beaches // Ralph Taylor, Almond Beach Resorts, Barbados // Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism // Michael Youngman, Caribbean Tourism Organization

50th Anniversary National Awards—Vida Lloyd, Anguilla // Honourable Lester Byrant Bird, Antigua & Barbuda // Adwina Arends, Aruba // Baltron Bethel, The Bahamas // Paul Foster, Barbados // Celi Nunez McCorkle, Belize // Hubert B. Smith Sr., Bermuda
Don Stewart, Bonaire // George Elwin Ulric Dawson, British Virgin Islands // Robert “Bob” Soto, Cayman Islands // Orlando Rangel Delgado, Cuba // Finn Nicolaj “Nic” Moller, Curacao // Derek Perryman, Dominica // Angel Miolan, Dominican Republic // Royston O. Hopkin, CMG, Grenada // Georges Marie-Gabrielle, Guadeloupe // Joanne Jardim, Guyana // Gerard Fombrun, Haiti // Honourable Frank Pringle, C.D., Jamaica // Guy de la Houssaye, Martinique // Antonio Enriquez Savignac, Mexico // Carol Ann Osborne, Montserrat // Gilberto “Kiko” Pesquera, Puerto Rico // Mr. & Mrs. Lasil Rouse, St. Eustatius // Hilary Wattley, St, Kitts & Nevis // Edward “Chef Harry” Joseph, St. Lucia // Herve Sponspa, St. Maarten // Emmannuelle Monique, St. Martin // Percy Walker, St. Vincent & the Grenadines // Frank Robles, Suriname // William “Bill” Aguiton, H.B.M., Trinidad & Tobago // Honourable Oswald Oneal Skippings, Turks & Caicos Islands // Mabel J. Maduro, U.S. Virgin Islands // Peter Klaus Muller, Venezuela