New Member Spotlight: SEAT Caribbean

SEAT Caribbean is a coworking space (shared work environment) where aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners and business professionals can come together to work, network and connect.  SEAT Caribbean is also a place where digital nomads, freelancers, remote employees and workcationers can be productive, and work distraction free, while at the same time gaining opportunities to connect with like-minded others in the local community.

Members of SEAT Caribbean can choose to work in the modern and relaxing open space, at a dedicated desk or in a private office. Membership includes a variety of services and amenities such as: Free, consistent and reliable fiber WiFi and electricity with backup generator; Free beverages (coffee, tea, water); Access to printing/faxing; Access to a conference room/meeting room which contains audio visual technology; Access to a podcast/webinar room; Access to AntiGravity aerial yoga and massages; and event space, among other amenities. Many of these amenities/services are also available to the general public. Hourly, daily and weekly passes are available, as well as a variety of monthly membership plans.

The founders of SEAT Caribbean are Jennifer Sequeira, Sonja Sulcer and Beverly Goodwine.  The founders share a passion for entrepreneurship and serving the community. Prior to starting SEAT Caribbean, Jennifer was a tenured and endowed Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship.  She has worked closely, for the past 20 years, with entrepreneurs, students and individuals wishing to either pursue their entrepreneurial dreams or take their existing businesses to the next level. Jennifer was also a business owner prior to beginning her career as a professor. Beverly Goodwine has 30 years of education and experience in the public health arena. Beverly introduced the authentic AntiGravity aerial yoga/fitness practice to the U.S. Virgin Islands seven years ago. She is the owner of Point Wellness AntiGravity spa. Sonja Sulcer enjoys helping people and organizations discover and maximize their potential. She developed and managed innovation and entrepreneurship training programs at Stanford University for national and international organizations. Sonja has co-founded and co-owned several businesses.

SEAT Caribbean is located above AH Riise Mall on the St. Thomas waterfront. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Phone: 340-474-1156.

Website:  https://www.seatcaribbean.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SEAT-Caribbean-106742670721061/

Your CHTA 2019 Activity Report

Greetings and wishing each of you a successful 2020.

On the heels of an exciting, dynamic and action-packed Caribbean Travel Marketplace at the Baha Mar in The Bahamas, we are pleased to share with you “CHTA 2019 Activity Report: Highlights of an Active Program Year”.

Guided by a core of dedicated volunteers and staff and its strategic plan, your association continues to play a leadership role in advancing Caribbean tourism interests – to the benefit of every destination and company. We thank those in the business community who invest in CHTA through a nominal annual membership and all of our outstanding strategic partners, sponsors and volunteers. We appeal to the fair-mindedness of every tourism-related business in the Caribbean and those which do business with the Caribbean to join CHTA if you are not already a member. We are always there for the business community, we contribute to your bottom line….and every tourism-related business should be there for CHTA. It’s not only good business, it’s simply the right thing to do.

In reviewing our Activity Report you will see an organization which has been deeply engaged this past year in projects to promote and protect tourism investments, advocacy, marketing, product and leadership development, education and training, and working directly with national hotel and tourism associations and destinations to improve their effectiveness and competitive standing. This work was in addition to producing our marquis annual events such as CHIEF, Taste of the Caribbean, Caribbean 305, and of course, Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

As you will see in the report, 2019 brought with it many positive and encouraging trends – including record years for key performance indicators, record international arrivals and continued growth in airlift – despite challenges and trials such as hurricanes and other threats, underscoring once again the resilience, resolve and resourcefulness of our industry and our people.

I encourage you to review the report and learn more about how your CHTA is working to help make a positive difference for our industry and our region. Your engagement and contributions are key to our success. Let us hear from you!

We look forward to working with you to take CHTA and the Caribbean to even greater heights in 2020.

Sincerely,

Frank J. Comito

CEO and Director General

Register Now! International Optimist Regatta, Clinic & Team Race Set for June 15-21, 2020

Registration is open! The International Optimist Regatta (IOR), presented by EMS (Electronic Merchant Systems) Virgin Islands, and the TOTE Maritime Clinic and Team Race will take place June 15-21. More specifically, the Clinic takes place June 15-17, followed by the Team Race June 18 along with a Parade of Nations and Welcome Party, and IOR June 19-21.

“The St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) and the Virgin Island Sailing Association (VISA) invite sailors to register now for the 2020 IOR, Clinic and Team Race,” says clinic and regatta director, Holly Jenkins. “This will be our 28th annual regatta, marking nearly three decades of providing great skill-sharpening grounds for top sailors and an excellent entry level platform for juniors new to the sport. We look forward to welcoming sailors, their friends and families to the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas, and to a fabulous time meeting new friends and most importantly racing with excellent wind, clear seas and great competition.”

Last year, a near record 113 junior sailors from a dozen nations competed. This year, organizers anticipate a similar number. However, the IOR can only accept a maximum of 125 sailors. Register early at www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_registration_form.php?regatta_id=19970

Some of the best sailors in the sport are expected to participate in this Caribbean Sailing Association-sanctioned regatta. Sailors can compete in Advanced Red (ages 13-15), Blue (ages 11-12) and White (ages 10 and under) as well as the Beginner Green fleet.

Trophies will be awarded to the top five finishers in the Red, Blue and White classes and top three overall as well as the top place female. Participation awards will be awarded to all Green fleet sailors. Additional awards include the Peter Ives’ Perpetual Trophy (superb sailor/individual) and the Chuck Fuller Sportsmanship Perpetual Trophy.

The IOR is sponsored by EMS Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, TOTE Maritime and K3 Waterproof Gear.

For charter boats, request and confirm online at www.optistuff.com or contact McLaughlin Boat Works, 423-875-0740, 423-875-4040 or 1-800-784-6478; email sales@optistuff.com Deadline to reserve charter boats is May 15.

For coach boat charters, contact Jenkins at internationaloptiregatta@gmail.com.

Traveling to St. Thomas is easy! The following airlines fly direct from major U.S. cities: American (Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York, Philadelphia), Delta (Atlanta, New York), jetBlue (Boston, San Juan), Spirit (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando) and United (Chicago, Houston, Newark, Washington Dulles). Airlines connecting St. Thomas to the Caribbean include Air Sunshine, Cape Air, LIAT and Seaborne Airlines.

Available accommodations on St. Thomas include hotels, B&B’s, resorts, villas, condos, VRBO rentals and Airbnb’s. For more information, visit www.visitusvi.com and usvihta.com

For more information, call 340-513-2234, email internationaloptiregatta@gmail.com or, for the Notice of Regatta (NOR), Registration Form and other information, visit the St. Thomas Yacht Club website at stthomasyachtclub.org/sailing/regattas/international-optimist-regatta or Regatta Network at www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_registration_form.php?regatta_id=19970. Please also visit the International Optimist Regatta on Facebook!

New Member Spotlight: Local Mocean Charters

Local Mocean Charters (pronounced Local “Motion”) strives to provide charter guests with the best day of their vacation. Locally owned and operated by Captain Tony, who was born and raised on Water Island in the Virgin Islands, knows all of the local secrets and enjoys exploring his favorite spots – snorkeling with sea turtles, viewing beautiful reefs, catching lobster, island hopping and savoring his favorite beach bars and hot spots! Our all-local captains love sharing the history of our islands and will stop at beautiful vistas for photo ops. Our spacious and luxurious 35 ft. Intrepid is equipped with top-of-the-line finishings, a dive door for easy access to the water and was specially chosen for the way it handles on the water.

Having worked in the tourism industry for many years and boating his entire life, Captain Tony is certified with a 100 Ton Master License. Having grown up in the Virgin Islands, he has a very special appreciation for our islands and surrounding waters in the USVI, the British Virgin Islands and Spanish Virgin Islands. He loves the ocean and all that it has to offer with many talents as a diver, fisherman, spear fisherman, surfer and kite boarder. When he isn’t out entertaining guests on the water, he is teaching his two daughters about his love and appreciation for the ocean. Local Mocean Charters is here for the long haul to help protect, educate and enjoy our tropical paradise.

Shop My Brother’s Workshop for the Holidays!

They’re here and selling fast! Our unisex Limited Edition Supporter Bracelets make the perfect holiday gift for all of your loved ones. Each year, MBW opens the door to 130-150 at risk youth to defy their circumstances and rise above their challenges. These limited edition bracelets honor the first 1200 such stories, and your purchase will go towards providing hope and healing to the next 1200 trainees to come through our doors.

Each bracelet has a word on it that corresponds to a trainee who exudes that trait, a number that signifies their student number at MBW and was engraved by our trainees at the laser shop.

  • #5 – Strong: Everton (the fifth trainee at MBW)
  • #53 – Growth: Orville
  • #147 – Faith: Keith
  • #399 – Courage: Kervan
  • #479 – Transform: CoraLee
  • #481 – Perseverance: Emmanuel
  • #566 – Hope: Jamoi
  • #612 – Truth: Pierce
  • #694 – Healing: Kaysten
  • #777 – Love: Alali
  • #783 – Redemption: Bert
  • #924 – Kinship: Deandra
  • #1113 – Peace: Arri-Yannah

Your friends and family will love receiving these supporter bracelets as their holiday gifts this year. Stop by our Café and Bakery or office (located in the Grand Galleria Building) to purchase your bracelets. Each one is $20 and all proceeds go back into the program to help further the mission of MBW.

Our crystal ornaments (laser engraved by our trainees at our workshop) will look perfect hanging from your Christmas tree. Ornaments are $20 each and are available at MBW Cafe and Bakery and our office location (in the Grand Galleria Building behind Jen’s Deli). All purchases from MBW go back into the program to further our mission.

Bracelets and ornament orders of five or more may be placed and shipped to your address. To place your order please call 340-715-2765 or email communications@mybrothersworkshop.org.

Come by MBW Cafe and Bakery to shop our full line of holiday products. We have an assortment of products that are made and/or engraved by our trainees at our workshop.

Marine Toys for Tots and Hotel & Tourism Associations Distribute Over $79,000 in Toys to Local Children

USVIHTA and STXHTA along with the Puerto Rico branch of the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation distributed over $79,000 in toys to nearly 2,500 children in housing communities on St. Croix Dec. 7 and St. Thomas Dec. 8.

“It’s truly a pleasure to partner with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation each year to bring joy to children for the holidays,” said USVIHTA President Lisa Hamilton. “We’re overwhelmed by the generosity of all those who came together to make this time of year special for families throughout the territory.”

Over $19,000 in toys were purchased from local Kmart stores with an additional $60,000 worth of toys shipped into the territory by the marines. Marines and volunteers visited ten housing communities on St. Croix reaching 899 children, and six housing communities on St. Thomas reaching 858 children. Toys were also distributed to an additional 711 children through ten other local organizations.

Each holiday season, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation partners with USVIHTA and STXHTA to provide toys for children in the territory. Additionally, USVIHTA raises funds through its annual holiday party to provide gifts for the Boys & Girls Club of St. Thomas. STXHTA likewise hosts its annual Holiday Hope event where funds are raised to support CASA of the Virgin Islands, Caribbean Centers for Boys & Girls of the Virgin Islands and the association’s scholarship. Community outreach and youth support are central to the missions of both USVIHTA and STXHTA.

Thank you to the assisting marines, including: Toys for Tots Coordinator Staff Sgt. Angel Melendez, Toys for Tots Assistant Coordinator Sgt. Joanna Milan, Cpl. Manuel Kidd Ramos, Sgt. Juan Castro Salazar, LCpl. Jean Hernandez Barreiro, Jorge Afanador Garcia, Cpl. Orlando Ramos Rodriguez and LCpl. Javier Omar Reyes.

Thank you to association members and partner organizations that made the Toys for Tots event possible, including: the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation; association members; Seaborne Airlines for providing flights between Puerto Rico, St. Croix and St. Thomas; Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa and Bolongo Bay Beach Resort for providing hotel stays; Budget Rent-A-Car and Olympic Rent-A-Car for providing rental vehicles; Caribbean Packaging and The Reef Golf Course for providing large trucks to transport the toys; Cane Bay Dive Shop and Bolongo Bay Beach Resort for toy pick up at the dock; Paradise Freight for storing toys on St. Croix; and both the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association and St. Croix Hotel & Tourism Association for tickets from Puerto Rico to St. Croix.

Click here to view photos from toy distributions on both St. Thomas and St. Croix.