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Nassau and Paradise Island News
Celebrated futurist speaks at Baha Mar during launch of new cultural advisory council
Submitted by Royann Dean   
Sunday, 30 March 2014 07:32

Baha Mar employees listen attentively during the ‘Lunch and Learn’ talk with futurist and cultural advisor Watts Wacker.NASSAU, The Bahamas -- In advance of its 2014 opening, Baha Mar announced a new initiative to transform the Bahamian workplace by launching an advisory council of noted local and international experts to create a work environment that respects local culture and deep-rooted, traditional values of Bahamian society.

The advisory council includes authorities on cultural development including educator Arlene Ferguson Nash; renowned futurist Watts Wacker; Bahamian businessman DionisoD’Aguilar; and principal of the Leadership Development Institute (LDI), Lawson Clarke.

“We invest in people who are willing to invest in themselves, and the advisory council is a key part of the ongoing development of our team,” said Paul Pusateri, Chief Operating Officer at Baha Mar. “Making Baha Mar the best place to work means more than just doing what we say we will do – it’s about getting it right. By respecting Bahamian culture, we will help our team to offer a state-of-the-art, authentic Bahamian experience to every guest at Baha Mar.”  

The council includes a diverse internal team including Willamae Clarke, Office Service Specialist; Clarence Albury, Procurement Specialist; Viana Gardiner, Government Affairs and Compliance Counsel; and Luis Fernandes, Managing Director of Rosewood at Baha Mar. The council will provide input on creating effective training initiatives, meaningful employee perks and a nurturing workplace culture at the resort.

Last week, the new council hosted an internal Lunch and Learn session, with Wacker leading a discussion on building great cultures and preparing for the future. A Time Magazine “Person of the Year”, Wacker is known as a catalyst for corporate cultural transformation and is considered “one of the most celebrated and influential minds in modern business”, consulting for top companies such as Nike, Chrysler, and Bank of America.

Photo: Baha Mar employees listen attentively during the ‘Lunch and Learn’ talk with futurist and cultural advisor Watts Wacker.

Sandals employess receive Emergency First Response (EFR) training
Submitted by Chester Robards   
Friday, 28 March 2014 08:42

Sandals Royal Bahamian’s EHS Manager Donny Johnson shows team members correct life-saving procedure during EFR training. NASSAU, Bahamas -- Sandals is training more than 1,000 individuals to become Emergency First Response (EFR) certified in case of emergencies on and off the resort.

Both Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Emerald Bay are continuing their bid to ensure that as much as 80 percent of their staff are trained to deliver life-saving aide not only to resort guests, but to member of the public who may need assistance. That means more than 1,000 people who can deliver proper CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) machine, and perform the Heimlich on choking victims are moving throughout the Bahamas.

“The overarching thing is preparedness,” said Sandals Royal Bahamian’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Manager, Donny Johnson. “The whole idea is preparing you for an emergency because you never know when you will need to utilize the EFR training. When an emergency does present itself you will have the tools and training to handle it.”

Mr. Johnson has been training Sandals team members in EFR for 12 years, even before he became EHS manager. He has helped certify more than 3,000 individuals. Now, under his training, team members feel empowered and encouraged to assist in any life-threatening emergency they may happen upon.

“I feel very equipped. In the event there is a guest emergency I would know how to handle it,” said Sandals team member Kendra McPhee.

RBC Royal Bank commemorates International Women’s Day by sponsoring inspirational presentation to teen mothers
Submitted by Alexander L. Knowles   
Thursday, 27 March 2014 09:54

(Left to right) RBC Diversity Council member, Lyndon King, RBC Diversity Council member, Vangelyn Barnett; RBC Diversity Council member, Fanchon Braynen; Keithra Morley, speaker and author; Jackie Knowles, Executive Director, Pace; Jan Knowles, RBC, Manager, Public Relations; and Odinga Sawyer, Brand Manager, Kimberly Clarke Products, D’Albenas Agency Ltd.NASSAU, Bahamas -- RBC Royal Bank recently observed International Women’s Day (IWD) with a presentation by the RBC Diversity Council to the PACE Foundation.  International Women’s Day (IWD), is an important celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women worldwide. IWD has been observed since the early 1900s and in 1977, the United Nations General Assembly designated March 8 as International Women’s Day. Each year RBC commemorates International Women’s Day by sponsoring programs that enrich, empower and educate young women in The Bahamas.

This year, in keeping with the International Women's Day 2014 theme ‘Inspiring Change’, the RBC Diversity Council hosted a special presentation for the young women at PACE. PACE is a non-profit organization that provides continued education for pregnant teens that have not yet completed high school. For over 40 years, PACE has helped first time teenage mothers to complete their education and acquire the skills they need to begin building better lives for themselves.

Diversity for growth and innovation is one of RBC’s core values. Diversity is about more than just having many different people from many different groups. Its fundamental principle recognizes that all persons regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability or age should be treated with respect.  One of the priority action plans outlined in the RBC global diversity blueprint is to support initiatives that address the needs of women in our communities.

The council engaged Mrs. Keithra Morley, former teen mother and author of the book ‘Confessions of a Woman Saved by Grace’, who delivered a moving presentation to PACE students.  Mrs. Morley shared her personal story and struggles to triumph over poverty, abuse and neglect. RBC representatives also presented the girls with gift bags that included a copy of Mrs. Morley’s book and special items for both the girls and their babies.

BNT celebrates grand opening of Primeval Forest National Park
Submitted by Barefoot Marketing   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 13:47

BNT Celebrates Grand Opening of Primeval Forest National Park.  Pictured is the entrance to the park.  (Photo courtesy of BVS for Barefoot Marketing)NASSAU, Bahamas -- Elation and joy filled the air as the Bahamas National Trust (BNT) officially opened the Primeval Forest National Park located just south of Frank Watson Highway.

Opening the park for the Prime Minister was the Acting Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, the Hon. Bernard Nottage. Also in attendance were, His Excellency Mr. Yuan Guisen, the Chinese Ambassador and Mrs. Guisen, American Charge de Affaires John Armstrong,  BNT members, donors, and government officials.

Additionally, students from who are members of the BNT’s youth educational programme, BNT Discovery Clubs from Lyford Cay International and School Kingsway Academy participated in the opening.

Acting Prime Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage complimented the Bahamas National Trust its efforts to preserve this approximately eight acre park which is one of the last old growth hardwood forests on New Providence.

“The Primeval Forest National Park is truly a gift to the educational system of our country.  Students studying Bahamian ecosystems will be able to utilize this national park as a window into the Coppice Forest Ecosystem and Bahamian geological history.  

Woodcock Primary students tour U.S. Coast Guard Cutter GANNET
Submitted by the US Embassy Nassau   
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 16:17

NASSAU, Bahamas -- A fifth grade class at Woodcock Primary School got quite a treat on Thursday, March 20 when they were invited to participate in a tour onboard the visiting U.S. Coast Guard Guard Cutter GANNET while docked at the Prince George Wharf.  The excited students were accompanied by class teachers Mrs. Claudia Sawyer and Ms. Willisa Robinson.  U.S. Embassy officials also on hand for the tour included Public Affairs Officer Neda Brown and U.S. Coast Guard representative, Lt. Matthew Lamb.

Sr. Chief Orlando, Captain of the US Coast Guard Cutter GANNET greets Woodcock Primary students as they board the ship.

The excited students, many of whom admitted that the experience was their first time onboard a ship, got a once in a lifetime opportunity to interact with the ship’s captain, Sr. Chief Orlando and his thirteen member crew.  During the 90 minute tour, the students were split into groups and learned about the role of the U.S. Coast Guard including search and rescue and migrant interdiction.  The Coast Guard officers also highlighted the longstanding partnership with their Bahamian law enforcement counterparts at the Royal Bahamas Defence Force. The students’ interactive tour included lessons about boating and water safety and the proper use and importance of wearing life jackets and floatation devices.  The students were also given a tour of the ship’s bridge and galley and got a chance to participate in a simulation exercise on how the Coast Guard responds to fires on board distressed vessels while at sea.

PM visits gravesite of Betty Knowles
Submitted by BIS   
Tuesday, 25 March 2014 07:51

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Prime Minister Perry Christie is pictured at the Woodlawn Gardens gravesite of former Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts Manager Betty Knowles, March 22, 2014, following the service at Christ Church Cathedral. Also pictured at left is Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller. (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month: Exciting activities planned
Submitted by Mavis Darling   
Monday, 24 March 2014 06:45

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Worldwide, the month of April is observed, Parkinson's Awareness Month, to give recognition to the progressive, debilitating condition. Therefore, Kingdor National Parkinson Foundation has planned several activities in commemoration of the month, under the theme, “There Is Magic In The Movement”.

One such exciting event had been planned is the Fun Walk/Run Competition on Saturday, April 5, Montague Beach Park, commencing at 6 a.m., which is in essence dubbed “Moving Day Campaign”. This event was designed to heighten Awareness of the distresses of Parkinson’s disease and the effects it has on the parkinsonian and the family.

Tee-shirt/denim Day is scheduled for Friday, March 28.  The Foundation is encouraging everyone to wear a Kingdor Parkinson shirt on that day, showing solidarity in an attempt to sensitize and educate the populace.

Another not-to-be-missed event is the Gala Ball slated for Saturday, April 26, Melia Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort at 6:45 p.m. The Royal Bahamas Police Force Band, Versage and back by popular demand will be PEABO BRYSON, Grammy Award Winner, singer, songwriter, record producer, keyboardist, dancer, composer and list goes on.  He and his group will be here in full force to serenade the gala attendees. This is made possible based on the generosity of major sponsors.

These visits activities give the organization the opportunity to expound on the importance of high quality care for people with Parkinson’s disease.  We feel everyone deserves the best possible care and protection. Many are suffering as a result of lack of care and attention. 

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