US Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association

Advocacy: The Advocacy Committee met in June to discuss the Barker Bill as well as Economic Development Commission benefits. The committee will be setting up a meeting with the new Acting Chief Executive Officer of the EDC Wayne Biggs, Jr. Our goal is to see if there will be any changes with the program with the new government.

Environmental: The Environmental Committee met in June to discuss Blue Flag as well as current training and outreach. Blue Flag Coordinator Valerie Peters shared pictures from World Ocean Day. There were first aid and CPR demonstrations in addition to a film festival and beach clean-up.
The visit with Lourdes Diaz, board member at the Foundation for Economic Education, went well. During the visit, she met with Montessori School to discuss an eco-school program, a student-driven program with ten different themes. To comply with the program, Montessori will be required to form a committee and conduct an audit to see where they need to improve, then introduce that into the curriculum.

Diaz is also reviewing applications for next year. The National Jury meeting to review will be held July 7. St. Thomas onsite reviews will take place July 14 and St. . Croix reviews will be on July 17.

In addition, the committee reviewed the Tommy Star signage program in collaboration with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. They have federal funds in place to display public access signs for beaches. They have updated the map and we will distribute.

Education and Training: The scholarship committee met to review the three scholarship applications we received and determined that all three applicants will be awarded. These students are chosen based on their dedication to the program as well as their academic and extra-curricular achievements, and will each receive $2500 to put towards their education. Scholarship Recipients Dyese Turnbull and Alliyah Dessout are attending the University of the Virgin Islands, and recipient Zoya Tatem is attending Johnson & Whales University.

Last year, the scholarship was posthumously renamed in honor of Lorette Resch, Honorary Member on the Board of Directors and generous scholarship contributor. She was passionate about education and donated much of her time to building the scholarship fund. Turnbull, Dessout and Tatem are the first recipients to fall under the renamed scholarship.