These three new board members represent the major change to the Board of Directors of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI), the agency primarily responsible for marketing the nation’s vital tourism industry.
The newcomers to the board are Mrs. Gayle Talma, also serving as deputy chairman; Mrs. Joann Roett; and Mr. Kevyn Yearwood.
Directors retained from the previous Board are Mrs. Shelly Williams, who continues to serve as Chairman; Mr. Rorrey Fenty; Mr. Terry Hanton; Ms. Sade Jemmott; Ms. Chiryl Newman; Mr. Ronnie Carrington; the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism or nominee; Chief Executive of the National Cultural Foundation or nominee; Chairman of the Barbados Hotel Association or nominee; and Chairman of Intimate Hotels or nominee.
Wealth of tourism experience
Talma brings thirty years of hospitality experience to the BTMI having worked predominately at luxury west coast hotels as a senior executive including roles as Group Operations Director and Multi-Property General Manager. She continues to work in luxury hospitality in a senior leadership role.
Roett, is an accomplished finance professional with a solid track record of practice and experience. She is currently a Finance Director at a leading iconic luxury west coast property.
Yearwood, who previously served on the Board of Directors of the BTMI, brings more than thirty-five years of experience in the cruise sector, and is well known in the international cruise industry. He is a Managing Director of a leading cruise company.
Fresh approach for the organization
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In announcing the first changes of the Board since taking up the portfolio of Tourism and International Transport less than one year ago, Minister the Hon. Ian Gooding-Edghill, said the move resulted from a promise publicly made to work hands-on with the BTMI, closely observing and evaluating all aspects of its operations, before making any changes.
“With the inclusion of fresh blood, ideas and approaches, the intention is to bring about a certain innovation in the way the BTMI goes about doing future business at home and overseas,” Gooding-Edghill stated. “That is why in putting this new board together, I have deliberately maintained a judicious blend of those previously serving and the new, in order for the BTMI to benefit from institutional memory and the breaking of new ground.”
He added that “I look forward to this action, together with the previous one that now has the BTMI vigorously recruiting a new Chief Executive Officer, along with other changes that will of necessity come about over time, keep the BTMI institution always primed and equipped to at least meet the needs and expectations of the all-important people of Barbados. Let me thank Mr. Wayne Capaldi and Mr. Iain Thompson, previous Board Members for the contribution.”
The island of Barbados is a Caribbean gem rich in cultural, heritage, sporting, culinary and eco experiences. It is surrounded by idyllic white sand beaches and is the only coral island in the Caribbean. With over 400 restaurants and eateries, Barbados is the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.
The island is also known as the birthplace of rum, commercially producing and bottling the finest blends since the 1700s. In fact, many can experience the island’s historic rums at the annual Barbados Food and Rum Festival. The island also hosts events like the annual Crop Over Festival, where A-lists celebrities like our very own Rihanna are often spotted, and the annual Run Barbados Marathon, the largest marathon in the Caribbean. As the motorsport island, it is home to the leading circuit-racing facility in the English-speaking Caribbean. Known as a sustainable destination, Barbados was named one of the world’s Top Nature Destinations in 2022 by the Traveler’s Choice Awards’.