Some of the dynamic speakers slated for the upcoming Eleuthera Business Outlook include (clockwise from top): Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, MP, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance; Shaun Ingraham, One Eleuthera CEO; Katie Bauer, Director of Education – Island School and Principal of Deep Creek Middle School; Michael Cortina of the Center for Sustainable Development at The Island School & The Cape Eleuthera Institute; and Kimberly Castellanos, Social Media Coordinator.

“Breaking Barriers: Promoting Success”, is the theme of the 5th Annual Eleuthera Business Outlook (ELBO) with an impressive group of speakers who will be presenting at this year’s forum, which takes place in two weeks’ time at Cape Eleuthera Resort & Marina, South Eleuthera.

Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, MP, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance has accepted to share government plans for promoting success for the island group where the modern Bahamas was launched.

“We are most grateful to the DPM for the contribution many Eleutherans are eagerly awaiting. In planning the programmes for our Business Outlook series, the primary goal is not just to secure people who can speak to the theme, but those who can bring solid, usable information, and who have demonstrable expertise and achievement in the specific aspect they have chosen as their focus. We want attendees to leave the forum with ideas and contacts, which can help them to carry out their own efforts successfully. That’s why, with great pride, we are launching the Social Media Workshop, sponsored by Bahama Out Island Promotion Board, and conducted by The Tambourine. The Business Outlooks are about creativity and practical application for success,” said Joan Albury, President, TCL Group and chief organizer of the forums.

Among the presenters of ELBO 2017 is Eleuthera native Shaun D. Ingraham whose lifelong passion has been social and community development, which he has realized at the highest level at home and abroad. He is well-qualified to speak on “A Model for Socioeconomic Development”, as the co-founder and CEO of One Eleuthera Foundation. That organization, along with Methodist Habitat, which he founded, has been breaking barriers on Eleuthera with innovation in community mobilization for progress.

Ingraham’s career certainly bears out Mrs. Albury’s statement about the quality of the 2017 speaker slate. The native Eleutheran can boast not only of community development contributions, but also of an extraordinary record in disaster relief and management in which he has been extensively trained. He was at the forefront of the efforts of the Methodist Church in Eleuthera following the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.  Since then, he has undertaken similar work for numerous national, regional and international development organizations in more than a dozen countries in Africa, South East Asia, North, Central and South America and the Caribbean with such global heavy-hitters as Habitat for Humanity International. He served as Assistant to Grant Coordinator for Rotary International’s Haiti Earthquake Response at the 2010 earthquake. Additionally, he was Charter President of the Rotary Club of Eleuthera, and Co-Founder and past Director of the Open-Heart Foundation in Nassau, Bahamas. He was awarded the Ministry of Tourism 2017 National Cacique Award for Sustainable Tourism.

Equally outstanding is the story of Michael Cortina of the Center for Sustainable Development at The Island School & The Cape Eleuthera Institute. Mike Cortina first visited Eleuthera as a student of the Island School in August 2002.  After his 100-day semester, he returned for six consecutive summers for internships at the famed institution, working with young campers from South Eleuthera, and learning about the sustainable systems used on campus.  After studying civil engineering in college he spent six years as a construction superintendent in Washington DC, before returning to Eleuthera to work with the newly created Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) in 2014.  At CSD he leads a team of 8 engineers, farmers, and troubleshooters to develop solutions to the challenges of living sustainably in a remote location.

At a time when The Bahamas is beginning to turn attention to alternative energy, Cortina’s areas of focus are alternative fuels such as biodiesel, waste to energy solutions, such as plastic pyrolysis, sustainable farming techniques, using biochar and naturally occurring organic fertilizers, and solar and wind energy, which amply qualifies him to speak on ‘Integration of Renewables, including Solar into Family Island Businesses & Homes’.

“We are particularly pleased to have a second speaker from The Island School—Katie Bauer, who is Director of Education there, and also principal of Deep Creek Middle School. She will extend the discussion on community development in a very much needed way. Her topic is ‘Foundation Business Model, Impact on the Socio Economy’. Sen. Clay Sweeting will present on entrepreneurship, which is yet another vital piece in the community development picture and certainly for ‘breaking barriers’ economically,” Joan Albury noted.

“Now just 32 years old, Sen. Sweeting has already racked up considerable credentials with his involvement in business development and political life. He is owner and co-captain of the Carol Pan Fishing Company and vessel.  In 2010 he established Tees R Us Bahamas, a screen printing and embroidery store in Spanish Wells, a venture which he has continued to expand.  He sat and passed the Bahamas Licensed Realtor exam at the age of 19, and currently manages the Spanish Wells Office of ERA Dupuch Real Estate,” Mrs Albury said.

Sweeting launched his political career in 2008, when he became a candidate in the Spanish Wells Local Government Elections. With his win, he became the youngest member of Local Government ever.  He has served as the Deputy Chairman of the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation, where he assisted the development of entrepreneurs and agriculture in the Bahamas. In 2017, he was appointed to the Senate of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

According to Joan Albury, the lineup of presenters on the tourism side of development and the news that they will be bringing is impressive.

“We are most grateful for the partnership of Cape Eleuthera Resort & Marina, which is the venue for this year’s ELBO.  Scott Gorsline, Vice President Operations will speak to the millions Cape Eleuthera has already invested and bringing the good news of the exciting expansion to come at their property.

“Because we know how vital transportation is to tourism development and growth, especially in the Family Islands, Stephen Thompson, Bahamas Ferries, Chief Operations Officer is on the programme. He will be heralding expansion in his company’s services, which represent a lifeline to several of our out islands. We have invited David LeNoir, Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at Silver Airways, who will also be bringing wonderful news.” Albury said. “As Mr LeNoir says, he has spent the last twelve years helping businesses build a better mousetrap and figuring out how much it should cost. He has previous experience at Spirit Airlines, FedEx and Citi and is a graduate of the International Business Program at Mississippi State University.”

Persons interested in attending Eleuthera Business Outlook  may contact Margaret Albury at The Counsellors Ltd, e-mail:   malbury@tclbahamas.com, telephone:  242-322-1000  in Nassau; Jacqueline Gibson, jhgibson@bahamas.com, telephone:  242-332-2142 in Eleuthera and Thomas Sands, Jr email:   tsands@rsp1976.com at the Eleuthera Chamber of Commerce or register online at tclevents.com.