Making The Mark
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Making the Mark

Melia goes all in for staff

I am exhaling, having spent the last four days, celebrating what is great about Jamaica.

My journey of positive vibes commenced last Thursday, February 15, during the premiere of Black Panther, where I was greeted by some of the most beautiful African brothers and sisters, who had donned creatively crafted costumes depicting the motherland.

Black Panther's popularity resulted in the takeover of two cinemas at the Palace Multiplex cinema at the Fairview Complex in Montego Bay by over 470 persons celebrating their rich cultural heritage.

It was a sight to behold. Kudos to owner of Naturally You, Sitara Byfield; Corporate U's Gavin Bennett; Dionne Waugh of Bridal Dreams Jamaica, and the rest of the team. I know they made much-needed money for 'My Father's House' and the Pregnancy Resource Centre charity.

On Friday, we all wore red, celebrating the 'Day of Love', organised by the 'I Love Foundation', an initiative that has been embraced by Jamaicans all over the world. Their #ilovemobay campaign has garnered attention from over 100,000 persons so far.

Day of Love was officially launched at the Old Hospital Park, with blessings from new Custos Rotolorum Pastor Conrad Pitkin.

On Saturday, we rubbed shoulders with fashion mogul Ralph and Ricky Lauren; a congresswoman; at least one US senator; several ambassadors, including the UK's, Canada's, and the European Union's; a count and countess and some of Jamaica's most committed donors, at the annual Hanover Charities Sugar Cane Ball.

Sunday afternoon, we played (well, John Byles, Tammy Hart, the Vernons, and Chin brothers), James Robertson, and many others, came out in support of Chukka Foundation's charity event in Sandy Bay.

Overall, last week was becoming one of my more positive weeks in months until I met a man who arrived in Jamaica via a cruise ship.

"They told us to be careful of Montego Bay on the ship. They say it's dangerous and bad things are happening," he told us during lunch at Margaritaville.

Apparently, he took a boat from the ship, which was docked at the cruise ship pier, because of the fear of even getting into a cab.

At the end of his stay, he said: "I came off the boat and started meeting people. The people are beautiful. What a beautiful place! I will be coming back, but not on a cruise. I will be back with my friends soon. I really like Montego Bay."

Cruise ship passengers are loss leaders. Our aim is to transform them into land-based visitors, but if the cruise lines discourage and plant fear into the minds of these visitors, they will never come back for a longer stay. 

Camille Seaton (left), room division manager, presents Latoya Pusey with her Supervisor of the Year 2017 award. Anthony Walters, executive chef, presents the runner-up Associate of the Year 2017 award to Ramona Wray.
General Manager of Melia Braco Village Dimitris Kosvogiannis and Leader of the Year Coreen Coreen Chin, banquet manager From left: General Manager of Melia Braco Village Dimitris Kosvogiannis and Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett present the Employee of the Year 2017 award to Carlton Walters. Sharing in the occasion is the 2016 winner, Homroy Thompson.
From left: General Manager of Melia Braco Village Dimitris Kosvogiannis; Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett; Miss Universe Jamaica Davina Bennett; and Custos of Trelawny Paul Muschette. Department of the Year Kitchen. Here, team members pose with their award.


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