Bahamian economist to address Caribbean media awards

Zhivargo Laing.

The New Jersey-based Caribbean Media Exchange, Inc. (CMEx) says former Bahamas Minister of Finance, Zhivargo Laing, currently the World Trade Organization chief negotiator for the Bahamas, will deliver the feature address at the 2019 CMEx Leadership Awards.

CMEx said Leadership Awards will be held in Miami on Dec. 14.

“The respected economist, who also serves as the executive director and senior policy fellow of the government and Public Policy Institute at the University of The Bahamas, is a popular Bahamas radio talk show host, who develops programs and initiatives to guide youth leaders,” said CMEx, referring to Laing.

It said Laing will address attendees at the event, which raises money to support Bahamian scholars impacted by the devastating Category 5 storm, which devastated Grand Bahama and the Abacos in September.

Fellow Bahamian Andy Ingraham, president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers (NABHOOD), is among the honorees selected for recognition at the event, CMEx said.

It said Ingraham was selected “in part for tirelessly raising relief and assistance for Bahamians lashed by Hurricane Dorian.”

Ingraham, who continues to lead recovery efforts, has over 26 years in the tourism industry, “developing specific expertise in multicultural and Caribbean tourism,” CMEx said.

It said Ingraham’s NABHOOD is “well known across the tourism sector for working to increase the number of African Americans developing, managing, operating and owning hotels.”

“It also increases vendor opportunities and executive level jobs for minorities, and creates wealth within the African American community,” CMEx said.

This year’s CMEx honorees include leading Caribbean journalist and entrepreneur Janet Silvera; veteran airline executive Christine Kennedy of Delta Air Lines; Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen; attorney and philanthropist Marlon Hill; Caribbean-American television anchor/reporter Neki Mohan of WPLG, ABC TV’s local affiliate in Miami; Muriel Wiltord, Director of The Americas for the Martinique Promotion Bureau; Commissioner of Tourism of the US Virgin Islands (USVI) Joseph Boschulte; and Frank Comito, director general and chief executive officer of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA).

“Providing a neutral platform for the industry’s movers and shakers to address pressing tourism concerns, CMEx, which is partnering with the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF), as well as the Errol and Nita Barrow Educational Trust on the fundraiser, also helps Caribbean and American communities by sharing expertise, financial and in-kind assistance,” the statement said.

The 2019 CMEx Leadership Awards will also feature the musical talents of Trinidad and Tobago’s Lord Relator and Virgin Islands steel pan player Stan Brown.

CMEx, which is headed by Barbadian-born journalist Bevan Springer, said its mission is “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.”

Andy Ingraham.

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