Heidi Clarke now a trustee on Miami-based CHTA Education FoundationFriday, June 04, 2021
Heidi Clarke, the executive director of the Sandals Foundation, has joined another Jamaican, Omar Robinson, as trustee on the governing board of the Miami-based Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association Education Foundation (CHTAEF).
Clarke was welcomed to the board alongside St Lucian Nooran Azeez, president of the Caribbean Society of Hotel Association Executives, with a mandate to help deliver on the foundation's mission to support Caribbean hospitality professionals in their careers.
“We are proud to welcome Heidi Clarke and Noorani Azeez to our board of volunteer trustees,” said CHTAEF chair Karolin Troubetzkoy. “They have a wealth of knowledge to share with the hospitality professionals we support, and they share in our commitment to the betterment of this industry and everyone in it.”
Clarke, the familiar face of the charity arm of Sandals Resorts International, has managed development projects across eight Caribbean islands, focusing on the areas of education, environment and community, the CHTA said in a press statement.
She studied child psychology and education at the University of Miami and has experience working with abused children and under-resourced schools in the South Florida community.
“Born and raised in Jamaica, she has demonstrated a passion for service and commitment to community development through wide-ranging volunteer work,” CHTA said of the Sandals Foundation head.
Clarke is a certified game warden with the National Environment and Planning Agency and sits on the boards of the South West Coast Fish Sanctuary Alliance, the Fish Sanctuary Network, the North East Regional Health Authority Fundraising Committee, and the Culloden Early Childhood Institute.
CHTAEF provides training for current hospitality industry professionals and scholarships for the next generation of Caribbean tourism superstars. Funds raised by CHTAEF helped train more than 750 hospitality workers in 2019 and, in the past five years, have provided more than 80 scholarships.
CHTAEF's volunteer trustees give their time, services and products to support the development of young Caribbean people desiring a career in tourism and hospitality, as well as Caribbean nationals who are already employed in the industry and want to upgrade their skills and knowledge to further their career paths.
She joins Omar Robinson, the chief operating officer of Arya Resorts Management, Jamaica on the 13-member board of volunteer trustees. Robinson is a former president of the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA).
CHTAEF was established in 1986 as an independent non-profit offering tax-exempt status for donations. As part of its mission, the foundation provides people throughout the Caribbean region with an awareness of the varied career opportunities in the industry, as well as technical and professional development through scholarships, special assistance initiatives and other training programmes.
The education foundation has awarded more than US$2 million in scholarships and grants to applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to the hotel and tourism industry.
CHTAEF volunteer trustees administer one of the largest scholarship programmes available in the Caribbean hospitality and tourism industry. Funds for these scholarships and grants are generated from corporate sponsorships, benefit auctions and special events.
— Compiled by Kevin Wainwright, edited by Desmond Allen