Still time to receive one more accolade
‘Butch’ Stewart receives 2014 Invest Caribbean Now Leadership Award in NY
NEW YORK — Gordon 'Butch' Stewart's trophy chest is bursting at the seams, but the Sandals Resorts International chairman still had time to receive one more that he especially cherishes.
Stewart was presented Wednesday evening with the 2014 Invest Caribbean Now Leadership Award at a glitzy ceremony at the prestigious Harvard Club in New York City, for his investment, commitment and dedication to the Caribbean.
Invest Caribbean Now (ICN), the biggest global summit on the Caribbean outside the region, has among its past honorees Sir Richard Branson, the principal of Virgin Airlines and Royal Caribbean Cruises International.
"It is an honour to be considered a leader among those serving and succeeding in the Caribbean," said Stewart. "My work here, the companies we have built, the jobs we have created and the people we have served are the best examples of what is possible in the Caribbean and why we must continue to invest here at home."
Over the last five years, Sandals Resorts International has invested over half-a-billion US dollars into product improvement and new development across the Caribbean. In the past year alone, the resort company has celebrated the grand opening of Sandals LaSource Grenada and the Key West Luxury Village at Beaches Turks & Caicos; acquisition of properties under renovation and development in Antigua, and Barbados; and announced the Caribbean's first ever over-the-water suites at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Jamaica.
"For hoteliers, so much of the focus is on the guest experience," continued Stewart. "And that is true for Sandals too. But we serve another audience too, which is as critical to our mission, central to our values and one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job -- and that is the promise of what resort development means to the people of the Caribbean."
Master of ceremonies was news anchor Ernie Anastos of WNYW-TV and among those attending the celebrations were global professional investors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders, including a delegation of Chinese business leaders and dignitaries; Hollywood Actor Malik Yoba; Sergio Millian, president of the Russian American Chamber of Commerce; and Colin Childress, CEO/founder, Global MedChoices, Turks & Caicos.
Other special guests included Paul Angelchik, founder and CEO, American World Clinic - Barbados; Anthony A L Adjasse of the Allied African Nations Chamber of Commerce; Hollywood fashion designer Woody Wilson; Qahir Dhanani, private sector development specialist of the World Bank Group; Leigh Moran, manager, International Diaspora Engagement Alliance or "IdEA," a partnership of the US State Department and USAID; Brian Lilly, founder of One Caribbean Television and CEO of Lilly Broadcasting; and executives from Sun Group Russia; Tia Properties, LLC; American CryoStem Corporation; LuganoGroup; Damoola; Merrill Lynch; Nomura; Aegis Capital; Island Global Yachting; Blocadi Capital; K&L Gates; True Value Building & Hardware Ltd & Emerald Vista; and Sir Richard Branson's Carbon War Room.
Additionally, Caribbean government ministers and dignitaries from across the region were in attendance, including premier of Nevis Vance Amory; minister of trade, industry, investment and communications, Trinidad & Tobago Vasant Bharath; minister of agriculture of Barbados Dr David Estwick; minister of tourism & international transport of St Kitts Ricky Skerritt; Jamaica's ambassador to the UN, Courtenay Rattray; several Caricom consuls general to New York and the secretary seneral of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation Hugh Riley.