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Thursday 8th October 2015

 The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) recognized the stars of the Caribbean hospitality industry at this past weekend’s Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), which took place Oct. 2 - 4, 2015 at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Puerto Rico.

Those honored, include:
1.    Caribbean Tourism Employee of the Year: Andre James, Hyatt Regency Trinidad
2.    Caribbean Tourism Supervisor of the Year: Lissa Cuffy, Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star
       Marriott Beach Resort
3.    Caribbean National Hotel Association Executive of the Year: Neil Forrester, Antigua
       Hotels & Tourist Association
4.    Caribbean Allied Member of the Year: William “Bill” Clegg, Choice Hotels International

"These individuals reflect the true spirit of Caribbean tourism professionals. We are proud to have these four individuals representing the Caribbean region by demonstrating exemplary skills and going above and beyond their job description to enhance the overall guest experience," said CHTA President Emil Lee.

Caribbean Tourism Employee of the Year
Andre James has been with the Hyatt Regency Trinidad for eight years in the Food & Beverage Department. In addition to an outstanding work ethic and commitment to excellent customer service, James is part of the "Diversity and Inclusion Committee" at the resort. The committee actively celebrates different nationalities at Hyatt and the various holidays throughout the year.

As a department trainer, James visits new hire orientations, makes presentations on Hyatt's values to new employees and shares success stories. He was nominated to be part of a prototype team that used design thinking principles to create an incentive to deal with employee absenteeism. James excels at communication as he is a department trainer and is accustomed to training new employees and presenting at monthly department meetings. “He is resourceful and can find quick solutions to delight his guests,” said a member of the nominating committee.

Caribbean Tourism Supervisor of the Year
Lissa Cuffy has been with Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort as a Guest Service Supervisor and, most recently, Housekeeping Manager. In addition to achieving outstanding success in her position and understanding the importance of the tourism industry, Cuffy stands out with her simple, yet important, mantra that management is the act of providing supportive and effective leadership. Such leadership offers a multitude of guidance and conveys information and ideas to others in a convincing and engaging manner through a variety of methods. “Management sets standards of performance, assumes responsibility for work objectives, initiates focuses, and serves as motivators for employees for the purpose of achieving the company goals. Management also aids in the development and growth of its employees,” Cuffy explains.

National Hotel Association Executive of the Year
Neil Forrester is the General Manager of the Antigua Hotels & Tourist Association (AHTA) and vice president of the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE). He was recently named to the Board of Trustees of the CHTA Education Foundation (CHTAEF) for a three-year term where he will be involved with awarding scholarships to Caribbean nationals pursuing higher education and professional development in the tourism and hospitality field.

Additionally, he will cultivate relationships with potential corporate and individual donors. Forrester has over 30 years of industry experience having started his career in finance with Hilton International and EuroDisney in France and then InterContinental Hotels in Africa before transitioning to the position of General Manager in Gabon. Various positions subsequently took him to the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Texas before arriving in Antigua in 2001. He has been with the AHTA since early 2005.

Caribbean Allied Member of the Year
William L. Clegg, Jr., CHA, is with Choice Hotels International as a Regional Vice President of Franchise Service. Clegg manages franchise service delivered to 10 Choice Hotels brands in the northeast U.S. and the Caribbean, directing a staff of Area Directors of Franchise Service as they monitor performance and assist hotels in enhancing guest satisfaction, increasing revenues and market share, and ensuring brand standards compliance. He joined Choice Hotels in 1991, and has held numerous marketing and franchise service operations and management positions in support of hotels in regions including the gulf coast, southeast, eastern seaboard, and northeast U.S.

Clegg is currently serving a two-year term as Fifth Vice President of CHTA and chairs the CHTA Membership Committee. He previously was a Regional Vice President for CHTA, a position he was appointed to for four years by past CHTA Presidents.
In 2013, he was presented with a Leadership Award from Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEX) in recognition of his support of CMEX’s mission to support and develop the ability of the media, government, the travel and tourism industry and communities to consider the importance of tourism in sustainable development, while lending a hand to the communities involved by sharing relevant expertise, financial and in-kind assistance.

Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association
The Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA) is a federation of 32 National Hotel Associations, with more than 600 member hotels and over 300 allied members. CHTA is the largest representative of the private sector in the Caribbean hotel and tourism industry. We are the voice of the Caribbean hospitality industry for the development of the region in the highly competitive and sophisticated environment of international tourism. Today, tourism is widely recognized as a pivotal industry in the economy of the region – and CHTA functions as the common denominator for this industry in a region of diverse nationalities, languages and styles, identifying mutual problems and marshaling the resources of the active and allied members to devise solutions. CHTA represents all facets of the hospitality industry with more than 600 member hotels and over 300 allied members.

CHTA, including the events staged by the association, is supported by Strategic Partners MasterCard, Cable & Wireless, HVS, Interval International, OBM International, Tambourine and TravelZoo.
For more information, visit Follow CHTA on Facebook and Twitter

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