December 10, 2023

Bevan Springer: ALL THAT’S GOOD

By Bevan Springer From Marketplace Excellence

Bevan Springer (left) with The Honorable Gordon Butch Stewart in Nassau, Bahamas in 2020.
Photo credit: Margot Jordan, Marketplace Excellence
A happy new year to all as we realign after a tumultuous year that was once again dominated by a pandemic that has impacted humanity beyond imagination.

To everything there is a season, and today we are presented with an opportunity to embrace a new hope and a future. 

While it’s easy – and even tempting at times – to bemoan the hardships of the past year, lazy resignation leaves us no better off and actually serves to perpetuate the negative. However, if we change our perspective we can see opportunities all around and begin to build the good we have imagined.

The Caribbean has bravely weathered the COVID-19 pandemic storm, better than many other regions of the world, and it is heartening once again to witness the resilience of the region’s top sector as it rebounds even while challenged by the Omicron variant.

Recent reports of the Caribbean travel and tourism sector recovering faster than any other region in the world remind me of the Jamaican expression “we likkle but we tallawah”.

After a visit to my native Barbados this Christmas season, for the first time in about three years, I reflected on the big impact such a little island has had on the world stage. From the success of new national hero The Right Excellent Robyn Rihanna Fenty, one of the world’s most successful entertainers and entrepreneurs, to the legendary opening cricket pair of The Most Honorable Desmond Haynes and Sir Gordon Greenidge, to prime ministers past and present, such as national hero The Right Excellent Errol Walton Barrow and current global climate change champion The Honorable Mia Amor Mottley … yes, we are little, but man, we have much to be proud of and thankful for.

The same goes for Grenada, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and The Bahamas, for example, where homegrown talent – such as the late legendary actor Sir Sidney Poitier – has made indelible contributions on the world stage.

While visiting Barbados, I had the opportunity to spend some time touring the elegant Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados resorts, legacies of another great West Indian, the late Jamaican Gordon “Butch” Stewart, who helped build tourism into the Caribbean’s major economic driver, and Sandals Resorts International into the region’s leading hospitality company.
A beachfront one-bedroom Skypool Butler Suite with balcony tranquility soaking tub at Sandals Royal Barbados.Photo: Contributed
I was blessed to work with “The Chairman”, as he was fondly known, more than two decades ago when he was in the process of transforming the Air Jamaica brand. My stint with the national Jamaican flag carrier proved to be a defining moment in my development as I advanced professionally under his leadership, and that of his sales and marketing protégé, Allen Chastanet, then Air Jamaica’s Senior Vice President, and recently the Prime Minister of St. Lucia.

Chairman Stewart built a tourism empire of resorts across the Caribbean – in Antigua, The Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos and Jamaica – where he unleashed his entrepreneurial prowess and enriched the lives of not only the millions of visitors who have stayed at Sandals and Beaches resorts, but also thousands of Caribbean nationals, who continue to be within Sandals’ employ.

His son Adam now leads Sandals’ expansion efforts in Jamaica, Curaçao, St. Vincent and elsewhere, while promoting Brand Caribbean through astute sales and marketing tactics executed expertly in the global marketplace.

This is our Caribbean story. Small islands, big impacts. Tiny, but tremendous. Likkle, but tallawah. 

With the start of the new year, I am grateful for those West Indians, past and present, who have poured their hearts and souls into what they believed in, and left behind many beneficiaries of their sacrifice.

May 2022 bring you peace, joy, happiness … and as The Chairman would pen, “all that’s good!”
An artist’s impression of Bevan Springer and The Honorable Gordon ButchStewart.By Abdul Wahid: Marketplace Excellence
Bevan Springer

Bevan Springer is the President of Marketplace Excellence Corporation and Caribbean Media Exchange, Inc.

Marketplace Excellence, 1812 Front Street, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076, United States of AmericaTel: + 1 201

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