Thursday, February 3, 2011

13th Grand Bahama Business Outlook announced

The 13th annual Grand Bahama Business Outlook (GBBO) is scheduled to take place on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at the Our Lucaya Resort in the nation’s second city. The one-day conference is being presented under the theme “Grand Bahama Game Plan 2011: Review, Re-strategize, Reposition”. “We are excited about bringing the Business Outlook to Grand Bahama again this year,” said Joan Albury, President of TCL Group, the developers and organizers of the well-known series of symposia. “We sense the first breath of a new wind of opportunity blowing across this beautiful island. International investors appear to be taking an interest again. If handled with knowledge and sensitivity, this trend can grow and lead to fresh dynamism in the Grand Bahamian economy. TCL wishes to make its contribution by creating a forum for discussing what these new opportunities are and what’s necessary to realize their potential,” As with all of the forums of the Business Outlook franchise — which now cover five of the major islands of the archipelago — GBO will feature presentations on the challenges and opportunities of key economic sectors of Grand Bahama and The Bahamas as a whole as presented by sector leaders. Those who attend will also hear from knowledgeable, concerned citizens from various professional fields who can offer valuable insights on the subjects under review. Speakers confirmed to attend include Minister of State for Finance Zhivargo Laing, Director General of Tourism David Johnson, and Director of the National Insurance Board Algernon Cargill. First-time speakers include Kathleen Riviere- Smith, Director Policy & Regulation, Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA); Dr. Sidney McPhee, President, Middle Tennessee State University; Pamela Etuk, who will give the vision address; Dr. Marikis Alvarez, Representative, Inter- American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA); and Jeffrey B. Butler, CEO, Butler’s Food World.
“We are happy with the speakers who will be supporting GBBO. Given the standing of the persons who have committed to presenting, we are confident of the quality of the content of the forum,” TCL’s president commented. “In his capacity as minister of state for finance, Zhivargo Laing will present the keynote address outlining Grand Bahama’s economic challenges, the opportunities that are in sight and the government’s game plan for the island in 2011. We expect to hear good things from David Johnson when he speaks on ‘Tourism’s Growth Agenda’. He brings a unique perspective on Grand Bahama tourism to the forum. He has a deep knowledge of the local industry from his years as the island’s tourism manager and is now able to ally that with a global perspective from his just recently assumed directorship at the ministry.” Mrs. Albury notes that since his appointment to his current post, Algernon Cargill, director, National Insurance Board, has used the Business Outlooks as one of several vehicles to keep Bahamians abreast of developments at NIB. “Mr. Cargill will be with us again in Grand Bahama to bring the local community up-to-date on the new amendments to the National Insurance Act that were passed by Parliament since he last spoke there. He promises to explain in detail the new benefits and contribution schemes as he has done in several communities so far,” Mrs. Albury said. She continued: “We are especially pleased that Bahamian educator Dr. Sidney McPhee has agreed to participate in this year’s Grand Bahama Business Outlook, especially in the light of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) certification of The Bahamas just recently. Not only has Dr. McPhee
held an important presidency in the American university system since 2001, but has played leadership roles in the development of college athletics in the U.S. for many years. In 2004 the All- American College Football Foundation recognized his contributions by presenting him with the Outstanding College President in the Nation Award. “Dr. McPhee currently serves on the NCAA Division I board of directors and the NCAA Executive Committee. We are confident that he will have a lot to say of great interest to all Bahamians. Collegiate sports presents a great avenue through which young Bahamians can secure a college education and possibly a lucrative career. It’s also looking like collegiate games could evolve into a major economic opportunity for our country,” Albury said. Sponsors of the Grand Bahama Business Outlook to date include the Grand Bahama Port Authority, FOCOL Ltd., the National Insurance Board, Scotiabank (Bahamas) Ltd, BAF Financial & Insurance, and the Central Bank.
Interested persons wishing to register for the Grand Bahama Business Outlook may call Mercynth Ferguson at the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce or Hazel McKinney at Deloitte. Registration may also be made on the website:

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