PRESS RELEASE:-Castries, Saint Lucia – 7th June 2017 – Saint Lucian Obrian Forde won the coveted Employee of the Year Award at the third annual Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF), hosted by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) in Miami, Florida on Friday June 2, 2017.
The award bestowed to tourism employees within the private sector recognizes outstanding technical competence and hospitality skills. Obrian, described as a knowledgeable, proficient and a highly skilled sailor, has worked aboard the sailing charter company, Jus’ Sail, for over four years after starting off as a participant of the Jus’ Sail Youth Training Program in 2012.
The Jus’ Sail Youth Training Program works with unemployed, disadvantaged youth helping them to develop skills and gain certification in sailing in preparation for entry into Saint Lucia’s fast growing maritime sector. The program has been an exemplary model for sustainable tourism in Saint Lucia, being recognized as a finalist in the World Travel and Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in 2016 and recipients of the Caribbean Charter Company of the Year in the Luxury Travel Awards 2016. Obrian Forde, just one of the success stories from this program, was nominated for not only his technical skills, but for his passion and enthusiasm shown when working with guests. Additionally, as a mentor for young persons on subsequent Jus’ Sail Youth Training Program, he stands as a leading light for the future of young Saint Lucians in sailing.
“The SLHTA is very proud of Mr Forde’s achievement, and also of the continued commitment made by Jus’ Sail in building sustainable linkages with the community through the development of young persons like Mr Forde. This award is extremely important to us as it speaks to the power of tapping into the potential of our young people and harnessing it in areas some may have not thought possible. Programs like Jus’ Sail allows young persons to immerse themselves into previously inaccessible sub-sectors in tourism and gives them the ability to gain marketable skills that they can continue to build upon,” says SLHTA CEO Noorani Azeez.
Jus’ Sail is a company dedicated to offering laid back day sailing charters for private and small groups aboard a traditional wooden local trading sloop – Good Expectation. The company’s ethos and the operation of Jus’ Sail is underpinned by the principles of Responsible Tourism, which seeks to ensure that tourism enterprises create “better places to live and better places to visit”. It’s Youth Training Program has been a recipient of a Tourism Enhancement Fund grant and relies on donations from private sector supporters and the public to fund their training program and it is only through this support that they can continue to train well deserving participants through their program. All donations and assistance is therefore gratefully received.