he Caribbean Hotels and Tourist Association (CHTA) launched its inaugural Program named the Young Leaders Forum in April. The YL’s programme is designed to engage with up and coming hospitality professionals in a series of discussions, learning opportunities, and engagement with Industry Leaders.
Cocos Hotel applicant, Namene Rodgers applied and was accepted to represent Antigua and Barbuda at the official launch in Miami in June where she will interact with other Young Leaders from across the Caribbean. Namene remarked that “My journey in the tourism industry began just over eight (8) years ago when I was a young University Graduate. Although my prior experience was in education, I considered tourism as a new challenge. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to work in various departments, always being eager to learn as much as I could about the hotel and its operations. These experiences have allowed me to become an asset in the field, currently holding the position of Guests & Team Relations Coordinator.”
Patrice Simon, Executive Director of the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association (AHTA) explains that “the Young Leaders Program is a valuable one as it affords aspiring hospitality professionals the opportunity to get involved in special projects planned by the local Hotel Associations with the aim of learning how they function, thus giving the YL’s a voice to be heard. We are delighted to have someone with the energy and dynamism of Namene representing us and we are confident that she will be a great role model for future Young Leaders”.
Namene will be traveling to Miami June 21 – 23 to attend the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) to engage in exclusive Leadership Development Training Session and meetings with the CHTA Leadership.
At the end of the one-year involvement with the Young Leaders initiative, the young leaders will all be required to prepare a summary outlining their journey; their expectations, learning statement, how their new knowledge will be used, and how they have benefited from the programme. This material can be used and shared with future young leaders to assist them with their journey and development. At the end of their 12 months in the programme the Young Leaders must present a Capstone project which should reflect a deep understanding of a problem at their individual organizations and which will provide an implementable solution. The topic to be agreed upon with young leader and employer.