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Bahamian icons

50 to be recognized for their contribution to community development
Guardian Lifestyles Editor

Published: Jul 12, 2013

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Forty-four Bahamians who have excelled in various industries and contributed to the overall development of the Bahamian community have been nominated in 12 categories this weekend at the first Icon Awards which provides an achievable goal that inspires and encourages the consistent efforts by people to achieve excellence and the fostering of good will.

“There is something transcendent that takes place when you take the spirits and energies of as many high level achievers as these, and unify them for a common purpose,” said Bahamian Icon Awards founder Addis Huyler. “The Bahamian icon represents more than just a statue symbolic of high achievement, it speaks to a celebration of the Bahamian spirit that exists at the very core of our best selves.”

Huyler said the award speaks to the immeasurable possibility and promise of the nation’s future. And that it exceeds the boundaries of politics, religion, gender, past transgressions, economics or any other polarizing variable that divides people.

“The Icon doesn’t demand that you be perfect,” he said. “It only demands that you be great!”

The awards will recognize the outstanding achievements by Bahamians in fine arts, entertainment, education, tourism, sports, journalism, finance, entrepreneurship, humanitarian, commerce, rising star award, and lifetime achievement award.

Huyler hopes the Bahamian Icon Awards will serve as a beacon of light that illuminates the greatness of who the Bahamian people are. And the actual award statue he said represents a strong Bahamian figure, and that through the conch shell he shares his message to The Bahamas and the world. According to Huyler, the conch shell signifies not only the sharing of the message, but also the importance of the message that Bahamians are contributing to the nation, their region and the world.

“The icon represents a call to celebration, recognition and action which is the reason that the Bahamian Icon Awards was conceived,” he said.

According to Huyler, greatness never

happens by accident or coincidence. He said while opportunity can be the result of serendipity, luck or any number of variables that may be outside a person’s control, he said greatness only comes with the conscious effort by people to work harder, be stronger, be smarter and more dedicated in an effort to manifest the highest and truest expression of themselves.

Huyler said the Bahamian Icon Awards celebrates that greatness and recognizes Bahamian citizens who exemplify the best intentions of the Bahamian spirit — that of excellence and achievement. He said the award presents an opportunity to create visible heroes and role models in the community while at the same time saluting those people who have taken up the challenge to achieve greatness.

The Bahamian Icon Awards take place on Saturday, July 13, in the Independence Ballroom at the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort on West Bay Street. The cocktail reception takes place 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. with showtime at 8 p.m. Attire is black tie. Tickets are $125 and can be purchased at Sidda Communications Group in the Shirley Street Plaza, or www.bahamianiconawards.com. For more information telephone 394-2665.

The nominees

Atario Mitchell: President of the Bahamas Striping Co. Ltd. founded in May 2010. He started a business with a $5,000 self-starter grant from the government. He striped the new office car park for the New Providence Development Company for his very first job. In just three years, Bahamas Striping has seen tremendous growth with a staff complement of 13 full-time and four part-time employees. In 2012, the company recorded $300,000 in sales.

Don Davis: President of The Q’Club, Quality Home Centre and C. to C. Company Limited where he oversees daily operations. In 2006, Davis opened The Q’ Club, his first retail store in New Providence on Mackey Street, known as the one-stop shop which was fully embraced by Bahamians. As a result, plans for a second store got underway. Quality Home Centre at the intersection of Carmichael and Baillou Hill Roads was opened. The companies have 75 employees.

Dave Livingstone Adams: Founded Teleos Christian School in 2000 and serves as the administrator. The private school that opened its doors with 13 students enrolled, now has an enrollment of 200 students. At the school a strong emphasis is placed on Bible-based education, self-mastery as well as academics and athletics. He was the first Bahamian male teacher at Nassau Christian Academy in 1977 and eventually sat on the board of directors from 1986-1990.

Joseph Rolle: The current principal at the Simpson Penn/Willimae Pratt educational unit, he enjoys teaching the children and supporting the staff. Twenty years ago, Rolle opened the Success Ultimately Reassures Everyone (S.U.R.E.) school — the name represented Rolle’s educational philosophy. He headed the institution for the past 21 years. For the past 42 years he has dedicated his life to youth service.

Kandice Hanna: The creative principal for the KhanAalie Media Group Ltd., a multi-service agency that specializes in public relations, marketing, graphic design and event planning. In 2008, Hanna founded the popular Little Pink Party. With that event alone, Hanna leads an executive team of four, a secondary team of 11. In addition to being the company’s creative principal, Hanna is a graphic and event designer and public relations practitioner.

Yvette Bethel: CEO of Organizational Soul Ltd., a human resources consulting company. Bethel designs and implements result-based performance management platforms, succession and talent management plans, competency mapping exercises and training gap assessments. As a trainer, Bethel specializes in facilitating leadership, emotional intelligence, communication and other soft skill and strategic courses.

Theophilus Claridge: Principal at R.M. Bailey Senior School since 2011. His early education days were spent at institutions like Nassau Christian Schools, D.W. Davis , C.I. Gibson and C.R. Walker Schools. In 1998 he was promoted to senior master and stationed at Government High School. In 2001 he was promoted to vice principal. In 2001, he was seconded to Faith Temple Christian Academy where he served as principal before retuning to public service in 2010.

Matthew Wildgoose: Actor, musician and artist. He offers humor on stage through acting, and has demonstrated an uncanny ability to reproduce a person’s visage and personality on canvas. He has graced stages and platforms since age nine, and acted in more than 30 theater productions, movies and television commercials — four years of Shakespeare in Paradise, Cable Bahamas’ REV TV ads, Clarence Rolle’s movie “Crazy Love” and the sitcom Gippie’s Kingdom.

Patrice Johnson: Has been acting for more than 30 years. She is versatile with a diverse portfolio of both drama and comedy. She has been known for such comic productions as “Traffic Court”, “Election 2002: If you Don’t Laugh, You Will Cry”, “Election 2007: Count It Again Man … Count It Again”, and “Election 2012: What Just Happened”. In Hollywood, she has had small roles in soap opera, “The Young & The Restless”, comedy “Dharma & Greg” and Lane Bryant commercials.

Preston “Puzzle” Wallace Jr: A musician and producer. He has been involved in music since the age of five, singing and playing musical instruments in church. He developed an admiration for all genres of music. He sings, writes and produces. He is the CEO of recording label, Puzzle Entertainment Bahamas. He has written and produced several hit Bahamian rake and scrape songs — “Barefoot Bandit”, “Jobless”, “Mommy I Pregnant”, “My Birthday” and “Go Gal”.

Dillon “D-Mac” McKenzie: Can easily be characterized as a “music czar,” having mastered all the intricacies of the craft. This pastor’s son has multiple gifts giving him the power to create music that makes the world want to stop and listen. His first album “Party Zone” featured hit songs like “Dog Don’t Bark at Parked Car”, “Rock You All Night”, “What I’m Gonna Do”, “What you Working with”, “Da Gaulin Song”, “Ya Gal Ga Look Like Dat”, “Let It Stay Here” and “The Boat Man.

Ricardo Clarke: His smash hits “Not Settlin”, “Don’t Count Me Out”, and “Wasting No Time” have topped many charts as they awaken inspiration for a better life. He has shared stages with major acts such as Marin Winans, Taurrus Riley, Beres Hammond, J-Moss, Vashawn Mitchell, Canton Jones and Grammy Award winner Kierra “KiKi” Sheard. He aims to deliver the message of the spoken word through song. He created the “Wasting No Time” school campaign.

Philip Lightbourne: The founder and owner of Phi’s Food Services Ltd. has worked within the seafood, meats, importer, exporter and producer, wholesaler business for over 30 years. He introduced Phil’s Food Services to the Bahamian public during the recessionary period in 2009. He has trained himself to work in every department within his store, from packing groceries, taking inventory, to serving as a cashier.

PJ Douglas Sands: A celebrity event planner and branding strategist. She formed the DS3 Group and is the chief creative officer. She has built a stellar reputation with 15 years of event, entertainment and branding experience which include producing successful concerts, shows, weddings and events for celebrities and have been featured in magazines like Town & Country, In Style, Vanity Fair, Destination Weddings and Honeymoons and Essence.

Laura Pratt Charlton: The compounding pharmacist and CEO of The Prescription Parlour Pharmacy with a location in New Providence and Grand Bahama. In 1996, Pratt Charlton established a 24-hour pharmacy service. That same year she was recognized as entrepreneur of the year.In 2004 she was named Caribbean Pharmacist of the Year. She is the co-founder of Star Trackers Track and Field Club that was established in 2001.

Dionisio D’Aguilar: President and CEO of Superwash Limited which operates the largest chain of self-service laundries in The Bahamas. He sits on boards of throughout various sectors of the country. Since 2011, he has been a director of the $3.5 billion Baha Mar resort. He is the director for J.S. Johnson Company Limited. He is chairman of AML Foods and chairman of the Insurance Company of The Bahamas. He serves as honorary counsul to The Netherlands.

John Rolle: Financial secretary in the Ministry of Finance. He has served on the executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as a senior advisor to the executive director for Canada, Ireland and the Caribbean constituency. In this role, he was a principal advisor to the executive director on economic policy matters, supporting advocacy on behalf of the Caribbean on the design and implementation of policies that affected the IMF’s global membership.

Darron Bowe: One of the youngest senior managers at Scotiabank (Bahamas) Ltd., he enjoys developing young and upcoming Bahamians. The 20-year banking veteran was part of the team that opened the doors of Scotiabank’s North Eleuthera branch. He also led the Scotiabank team with the bank’s international division in converting the bank’s previous work structure to the sales delivery platform. He was awarded the best regional project manager in the Caribbean.

Wendy Warren: The managing director at Caystone Solutions Ltd., a financial corporate service provider established in 2012. She is responsible for the development and execution of the business plan, the overall management of the departments and compliance of the company with the laws and regulations in The Bahamas. She served as chief executive director and executive director for the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BGSB) for 10 years (2001-2011).

Tanya McCartney: The managing director at RBC FINCO. She is the youngest person and the second female in the bank’s history to hold the post. Although a lawyer by profession, she took on the challenge of being the bank’s managing director in January 2008. She was also the youngest female to be appointed to the Senate of The Bahamas. She serves as president of the Bahamas Institute of Financial Services (BIFS), and a member of the Zonta Club of Nassau.

Scharad Lightbourne: Opened Scharadl Design Image & Photography in 2004. The essence of art captured the well-known photographer from an early age. Graphic design was his first technical understanding of art and one that he was easily drawn to, combining is love of technology, drawing and design with the infusion of color, composition, form and the uniqueness of language. He finds an outlet from daily photography where he places the concept of “Me” on display.

Keisha Oliver: Full-time lecturer at The College of The Bahamas where she intends to play a key role in advancing art and design education at the university level. Her debut as a professional artist came about in 2010 when she received her first notable commission to produce a permanent sculpture for the new terminal at the Lynden Pindling International Airport. Her work has been exhibited in the Caribbean, United States and Asia.

Imogene Walkine: An artist that pays homage to the beauty of The Bahamas’ natural environment and the vibrancy of Bahamians and culture. She is presently exploring the world of architectural ceramics. Since 2004, she has hosted seven different exhibitions in place like the College of The Bahamas, Lyford Cay, The Gallery at Old Fort and the National Art Gallery. In 2012, she commissioned a ceramic relief mural entitled “Bahama Land” for the Lynden Pindling Airport.

Dorothy Miller: A successful straw artisan teaches young people how to make straw bags. In 2010, one of her bags was donated to the 2011 YWCA “Open Your Purse” fundraiser in Atlanta for a silent auction. The handbag received the most bids at the auction that raised over $175,000. Her biggest achievement to date has been winning to date has been winning the Ministry of Tourism’s Cacique Award in 2011.

Erin Brown: The founder of the Erin Brown Foundation, Erin Brown Connects, and a paralympic hopeful for Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in 2016. She assists disabled people that are trying to regain their independence by giving them adaptive equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches and sleeves. She became the first Bahamian female amputee to participate in a marathon with a team of amputees in the Sunshine Insurance Marathon.

Darcy Moss: Started the Kathleeen Phillips Activity Center for Education (KPACE) Afterschool Program in 2010 after seeing the need for educational reinforcement after mentoring a class of special needs students (unknowingly). She concluded that that there was no way teachers could impact every single child equally and that there would always be some let behind. KPACE’s motto is “Embracing new experiences; creating future leaders.”

Dudley Seide: Formed the Reach out Youth Organization that has assisted thousands of young people on Grand Bahama. Seide has won the the 2010 Paul Harris Fellow for community work by Rotary International, 2011 Grand Bahama Christian Council male worker of the year award, 2011 Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture most outstanding youth organization award, and the 2011 First Caribbean Unsung Hero award.

Earle Bethel: President of the Cancer Society for the past four years. During his tenure he created six new branches on Exuma, Cat Island, San Salvador, North Andros, Central Andros and South Andros. He created the breast cancer mammogram screening program. He is also past president and member of the Rotary Club of Southeast Nassau, a trustee of the Bahamas Hotel Association’s Employee Assistance Fund and general Manager at Comfort Suites.

Shonalee King-Johnson: Vice-president and public relations officer of the Lupus 242 Group is responsible for raising awareness and promotes fundraising activities. Lupus a cause close to her heart — both her mother, Gwendolyn King and her sister, Shanelle Brennen, live with lupus. King-Johnson, a communications specialist, is manager of communications at the Nassau Airport Development (NAD) Company.

Ricardo Lightbourne: Senior news editor at the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas’ northern service in Grand Bahama, where he is responsible for the administration of the news department and training, along with editing production. He is also the co-anchor for the evening television newscast. For both the 2012 and Olympic Games Caribbean coverage, he traveled to Jamaica and Barbados to be the lead presenter and anchor.

Anthony Newbold: Director of the Parliamentary Channel and host of “Legends: The Untold Story” the longest running news/current affairs documentary program on ZNS television. “The Price of Being a Man” the story of Ed Moxey & the Undoing of Jumbey Village & The Quiet Revolution” an award-winning documentary at last year’s Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival represents Newbold’s first documentary feature.

Erica Wells: Managing editor of The Nassau Guardian is responsible for the oversight and management of a team of 30, including editors, reporters, copy editors, graphic designers and photographers. She also has oversight of all Guardian News products — The Nassau Guardian, Guardian Radio 96.9, STAR FM 106.5 radio news, the NB12 television newscast, and thenassauguardian.com website. She helped to break some of the leading stories in The Bahamas over the past 15 years, including the WikiLeaks series in The Nassau Guardian.

Jerome Sawyer: Currently heads the public relations department at BTC. He has covered assignments throughout the world, including British Royal and state visits, the unrest in Haiti and area hurricane disasters. In 1998 and 2000, he won CNN awards for best political story for his submission on the “Gay Cruise Controversy in The Bahamas and best news story for his submission on the “Haitian boat tragedy in Rum Cay”.

Keith Wisdom: Deputy director general of tourism at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the coordinator of global communications and public relations. His post comes following a 14-year stint at Cable Bahamas Limited. He was the creator and executive producer of nine shows, “Portraits”, “A Conversation With …”, “Inside Bahamian Media”, “Health & Wellness”, “Round Table”, “Bahamian Artist”” “Tech TV”, “Voice”, “Bahamian Youth” and “Your Point.”

David Slatter: One of the country’s best bowlers. In 2012 he was the first Bahamian to average more than 200 in the league. His career-high game is 299 points. He has played on the national team for a number of years, and been a national champion numerous times. In 1987 he placed second in the U.S. Collegiate National Championships. He is team captain for the national bowling team that recently traveled to Colombia.

DeVince Smith: Second vice-president of the Bahamas Volleyball Federation, he is responsible for youth and beach development. He is also president of the New Providence Volleyball Association. He has represented the country on the junior men’s volleyball squad at the Junior NORCECA Volleyball Tournament and was the youngest player to join the senior men’s squad to play in Toronto, Canada in 1990. He now coaches.

Oswald Moore: In 1986 he started two volleyball clubs, Paradise Giants and Dwarfs (men) and Paradise Birds and Bees (women) in the New Providence Volleyball Association (NPVA). The female team held championship titles for 20 consecutive years. He has coached the Bahamas women’s national teams that competed in the Pan Am Games and dominated the Caribbean Championships (1974-1990). As a golfer he is a national team manager and competitor.

Arianna Vanderool-Wallace: A national-record holding and two-time Olympic swimmer. She competed at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. She is the second female from The Bahamas to qualify for the Olympics. She is a 2007 Pan American Games 4 x 100 meter medley bronze medal winner. She has won medals at the CAC Games, competed at the World Championships. At the collegiate level she has won many awards including 2011 NCAA sprint champion.

Jermaine Wright: A Cacique award winner, he is director of operations at the British Colonial Hilton Hotel with more than 20 years experience in both airline and hotel management. Wright sits on a number of boards, including Hands for Hunger, Downtown Nassau Partnership and a member of the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association and the Nassau/Paradise Island Promotion Board. He is also a member of the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.

 Nettica Symonette: An island girl who dared to reach beyond her circumstances. Her daring decision and creations included Casaurinas of Cable Beach, Different of Abaco, an ecotourism resort and Different of Nassau that encompassed a Bahamian heritage center and backyard. In 1976 she was recognized with a most outstanding woman in business award, a national tourism achievement award followed in 1980 and the first Cacique Award in ecotourism in 1996.

 Robert “Sandy” Sands: BahaMar’s senior vice president of administration and external affairs, responsible for the development and execution of BahaMar’s government relations, corporate outreach initiatives, government external affairs, industrial relations and human capital programs. In 1993, he received the coveted Cacique Hotelier of the Year award. In 1997 he was awarded the Bahamas Silver Jubilee Medal for tourism.

J. Barrie Farrington: Former vice-president at the Atlantis Resort. He retired earlier this year after working on Paradise Island for 41 years. During the 1960s he served at chairman of the Road Traffic Authority and a member of the Sports Commission. In 1967 he was appointed to the Senate. In 1997, Queen Elizabeth II, honored him with the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). He received the Clement Maynard Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Tracy Barry: Got her start in the hospitality sector when she purchased The Landing Property in 1995 where royalty, rock stars and celebrities have stayed. The Landing has appeared in international publications such as Conde Nast Traveller, Australian Vogue Living, Elle Décor, Travel and Leisure, Town and Country, Tattler, The New York Times style and travel sections. The Landing has also been featured on Conde Nast’s annual “Top 100 hotels of the world” list.

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