As the lights dimmed and night fell, tourism’s best of the best gathered on Tuesday, June 25th at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman for this year’s 10th anniversary of the Cayman Stingray Tourism Awards Gala Dinner. The evening saw a dazzling array of individuals from all sectors of Cayman’s tourism industry, including accommodations, allied, attractions and transportation, restaurants and last but not least, watersports. The awards were also graced with quite a few dignitaries, including Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism, Moses Kirkconnell; Deputy Governor Franz Manderson; Joey Hew; Tourism Councillor, Kyle McLean; Assistant Director of Tourism, Samantha Bennett; Deputy Immigration Officer and Deputy Commissioner Brougham. The evening began with a beautiful presentation of the national song sung by 15 year old Miriam Mascal from the Cayman Music School, followed by a blessing of the meal by Vassel Johnson Jr., the General Manger of Atlantis Submarines. Joining Jane van der Bol on stage as MC for the evening was no stranger to the stage, Jay Ehrhart, news director and voice of Radio Cayman.
During the ceremony all 48 nominees were presented with certificates by CITA president Kenneth Hydes, along with 10 Long Service Recognition Plaques presented to individuals for their dedication and loyalty to tourism in the Cayman Islands for over 20 years. Guests of the evening were also witness to the first presentation of the green CEPTS Environmental Stewardship Award, awarded by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. Only given out every two years, the award recognizes tourism partners for their ongoing commitment for implementing environmental initiatives for the conservation and preservation of the natural environment. The dedicated properties named for their outstanding practices for 2013, were Cobalt Coast Dive Resort, Compass Point Dive Resort and Southern Cross Club.
Despite all of the great talent in the room though, the Stingray Awards Nomination Committee were still required to painstakingly determine this year’s winners. “I think this year the nominations were so well received, and the individual stories were really true tales of their endearing characters. It was a difficult task for the selection committee. However, in every category, that one individual clearly showed they were well deserving of the prestigious Cayman Stingray Tourism Award," said Jane van der Bol.
This year’s 2013 Cayman Stingray Tourism Awards Winners are….
Marilyn Ebanks - The Anchorage - Accommodations Employee of the Year
Dora Valdez - Cobalt Coast Dive Resort - Accommodations Manager of the Year
Martin Whyte - Majestic Tours - Allied Employee of the Year
Kate Pellow - CCMI - Allied Manager of the Year
Seggrett Quizeo - Rum Point Club - Restaurant Employee of the Year
Steven Hayes - Tropical Trader Restaurant Group - Restaurant Manager of the Year
Derrick Duffield - Ocean Frontiers Ltd. - Watersports Employee of the Year
Gary Chernowski - Red Sail Sports - Watersports Manager of the Year
Alexandra Bush - The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman - Rising Star Award
Jo-Anne Brown - Celebrations Ltd. - Long Service Award
Adrien Briggs - Sunset House - Lifetime Achievement Award
“With over 250 people attending the event, I was pleased with the phenomenal show of support for our industry” Jane van der Bol, CITA executive director.
CITA appreciates all of the support and contributions made to make this event possible especially our generous hosts at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, who went above and beyond to create a spectacular evening for everyone; Celebrations Ltd., who skillfully provided the gorgeous decor and center pieces; the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort for generously helping with our Long Service Plaques; and Seven Fathoms Rum for generously donating an assortment of flavored rums to create our fabulous welcome rum punch. The CITA would also like to thank Jay Ehrhart for his time and being a wonderful MC for the event, as well as Tony Mark with Cathy Church's Photo Centre for provide a paparazzi effect for our deserving nominees and award recipients alike. A special thank you to Marvin at George Town Crafts who engraved the awards and to Island Glass Blowing Studio who created one of a kind works of art for our award recipients to enjoy for a lifetime.
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