Honorees of CHTA

Three Caribbean tourism leaders have been cited by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) for excellence in performance of their roles in the region’s critical tourism industry. The three “ambassadors of Caribbean tourism” exemplify “the spirit of excellence that is required for us to remain competitive in our industry,” said Patricia Affonso-Dass, CHTA’s president.

The honorees include Wyb Meijer, executive director of the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA), who was named the 2019 “Caribbean Association Executive of the Year” by CHTA and the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives (CSHAE) during last month’s Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) conference in Miami.

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Meijer was honored for excellence in “association operations, destination marketing and community affairs.” He helped St. Maarten properties and association members to “recover from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Irma in 2017, positioning the trade association as a key thought leader,” according to a CHTA statement. Meijer also “provided detailed briefs to World Bank officials and local government,” and generates “new ideas and initiatives for the industry.”

Berlinda Engelhardt was named CHTA’s Employee of the Year for her efforts at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino. Engelhardt joined Renaissance in 2007 as a casino host, was promoted to hotel concierge hostess within one year, and eventually was named lead guest experience supervisor, a position she has held for the past 18 months. She was recognized for her “impeccable guest service skills and for creating an inclusive environment.”

Finally, Luis de Jesus, security supervisor at El Conquistador, a Waldorf Astoria Resort in Puerto Rico, was named Caribbean Supervisor of the Year for his display of “excellence in leadership and management,” said CHTA officials. De Jesus, who oversees 25 employees and previously served as an engineering supervisor, was cited for his “team spirit, reliability, and willingness to act as a resort ambassador, across several departments.”

“Let us ensure that we continue to applaud the men and women who shine their light every day, sharing with the world what wonderful Caribbean hospitality is all about,” said Affonso-Dass.