Bahamian named Hotelier of the Year
BAHAMIAN HOTELIER Stuart Bowe was named the 2016 Caribbean Hotelier of the Year by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).
Bowe, the senior vice-president and general manager, resort operations of Atlantis Paradise Island, received the coveted honour at the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), hosted by CHTA, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico on Sunday.
Accepting the region’s premier hospitality award, Bowe credited his grandmother with teaching him service and attention to detail from “cleaning up the kitchen”.
Bowe’s contribution to the hospitality and tourism industry spans more than 27 years, having “cut his teeth” in customer service and management working at McDonald’s in his teenage years and entering the industry as a management trainee.
He subsequently worked his way up the ladder, storing and absorbing every experience to hone his leadership skills. Over the years he has worked in every department and in nearly all job categories, from dishwasher to busboy, from bartender to laundry attendant, from housekeeping to maintenance, and from front desk to landscaping.
Stuart earned a BA in accounting in 1986 from Florida State University, an MBA in marketing summa cum laude from Walden University in 2009 and is currently pursuing a PhD in applied management and decision sciences with a focus on leadership and organisational change.
Bahamas Prime Minister Perry Christie, in a taped congratulatory message, described Bowe as “an exemplar” to be followed by generations of Bahamians. “He is a manager cum laude, one who has brought the pursuit of excellence to his work ... (and) on behalf of the people of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, it is entirely on their behalf that I salute you for all that you have been able to do.”
“Stuart Bowe personifies Caribbean excellence. He is disciplined and innovative and a leader who inspires generations of Bahamians and Caribbean people through his accomplishments and his humanity,” said Frank Comito, director general and CEO of the CHTA who previously served as executive vice-president of the Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association.
Bowe was posted to Dubai from 2008 to 2010 to oversee the grand opening of the Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah, serving as vice president of resort operations in the Middle East.
Returning to The Bahamas, he became active in the Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association, establishing numerous school programmes to help children understand the importance of tourism and career opportunities in the sector. The junior hotelier program he was instrumental in setting up in primary and secondary schools has impacted more than 4,000 students.
Now in his third consecutive term, Stuart Bowe is the longest serving president of the Bahamas Hotel & Tourism Association, and he currently serves as first vice-president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.
Also in winners’ row on Sunday, Barbadian Heather Hinds, general cook at The Club Barbados Resort & Spa, was named Caribbean Employee of the Year, while Jamaica’s Derrick Wright, an income auditor at The Tyrall Club in Jamaica was named Caribbean Supervisor of the Year. James Hepple, president and CEO of the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association, captured the Caribbean Association Executive of the Year Award.
CHIEF also presented awards in the areas of operations, sales and marketing, environmental sustainability and technology, the four themes of the conference.
In operations, Ocean Two Resort & Residences of Barbados was the winner with special mention going to Baoase Luxury Resort in Curacao and Puerto Rico’s El Conquistador Resort.
For the best practice in sales and marketing, the winner was Barbados’ Elegant Hotels Group with The Somerset on Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos, and Synapse, LLC, a digital marketing agency in Puerto Rico, getting special honors.
The recipient of the CHIEF Award for Environmental Sustainability was The Tryall Club in Jamaica with special honours going to Aruba’s Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort and True Blue Bay Boutique Resort of Grenada.
The recipient of the CHIEF Award for Technology was the Aruba Tourism Authority and its advertising agency Concept Farm.