Jamaican ‘Lady’ wins CTO media honor

PRSA’s Sandra Fathi presents the award to Jamaica Tourist Board’s Tony King.
Photo courtesy of RuderFinn
Photo courtesy of RuderFinn

Winsome Charlton, a Florida, radio personality popularly known as Lady C is the recipient of this year’s distinguished Marcella Martinez Memorial Award.

Presented annually during Caribbean Heritage Month when the Caribbean Tourism Organization celebrates the culture of the region the award acknowledges superior service and commitment to the community through media.

Charlton will be honored on Friday at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan for “outstanding support given to the Caribbean region,” a letter from CTO read.

While Charlton is now associated with her Saturday, afternoon golden oldies radio show aired on WAVS-AM, she has been toiling in the medium for longer than most and is reputed for pioneering Caribbean programming at the South Florida radio station.

Since leaving BBC radio in London where she worked as a record librarian, Charlton migrated to the USA and immediately revolutionized the music format. Two decades ago, she integrated Jamaica’s popular recordings into the regular r&b and pop playlist. The format proved alluring to listeners and soon afterwards she was named general manager of WAVS-AM. Charlton toiled to perfect the station with calypso, reggae and vintage Caribbean music integral ingredients to its success. Eventually the station emerged the “Heartbeat of the Caribbean” becoming the first 24-hour radio station devoted to the Caribbean.

Less than 10 years later, Charlton established another feat by staging the Reggaesoca Awards, a gala affair that annually showcased and honored the premiere achievers in reggae and eastern Caribbean’s calypso.

Those and other pioneering efforts including presiding over the Heart Menders Association, which aids in annually transporting medical teams to donate services to needy Jamaicans; serving as officer with the Florida Kiwanis and other Caribbean-related groups now names Charlton – winner of the 2011 Marcella Martinez Memorial award.

Jamaica Wins Big Apple Award

Jamaica Tourist Board and its media representative in the United States scored a win from the Public Relations Society of America recently during the organization’s 24th annual Big Apple Awards ceremony.

Hosted by the N.Y. chapter of the PRSA, the ceremony honored the tourism advocates for the island nation who copped the Big Apple award for executing the campaign — “Restoration Jamaica: Overcoming a Crisis…Protecting Brand Perception — which was conceptualized and implemented by Ruder Finn.

Scoring the honorable mention award in the Crisis Communication category, JTB’s regional director Anthony King accepted the plaque from Sandra Fathi, president of the PRSA, N.Y. chapter. The Big Apple Awards reputedly highlight the exceptional work of New York area public relations professionals.

Co-hosted by new reporters Michelle Charlesworth and Joe Torres of WABC-TV, the gala affair attracted professionals from tourism, travel and tour industries.

The 2011 competition was open to public relations professionals in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut for programs created in 2010 and implemented anywhere in the United States. The panel of judges, representing a broad range of disciplines and expertise was selected from the most senior levels of the public relations industry.

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