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Caribbean Tourism Organization Teams Up With NTA

News Americas, NEW YORK, N.Y., Fri. June 10, 2011: The leading association for professionals serving travelers to, from and within North America and the Caribbean Tourism Organization are teaming up.

The two sides signed a partnership agreement this week, aimed at promoting opportunities to tourism businesses in the over 30 member countries of the CTO.

The move will also give NTA tour operators easier access to Caribbean destinations. CTO Chairman, Senator Ricky Skerritt, and Lisa Simon, president of the NTA, signed the agreement at a news conference Thursday at the Marriott Marquis in New York City, home of the annual CTO event which celebrates Caribbean tourism and the rich heritage and culture of the region.

“This match creates an important commercial opportunity for CTO members”, said Skerritt. “NTA is an international association focused on travel to, from and within North America, which fits perfectly with the product offerings of CTO members,” he said. “I expect that this partnership agreement will create more North American tourism arrivals for the Caribbean”

Simon also welcomes the agreement between the two groups. “NTA tour operators are familiar with the fantastic Caribbean destinations, and the CTO recognizes the huge potential this represents for their members. This collaboration simply makes it easier for both NTA and the CTO to bring new business opportunities to our members,” she said. “It’s wonderful to join forces officially, bring value to the industry overall and discover ways to connect our members.”

Top Runners For adidas Grand Prix

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 10, 2011: Top athletes from the Caribbean and around the world are set to descend on Icahn Stadium tomorrow for the adidas Grand Prix.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica, the reigning Olympic and World Champion at 100 meters; Carmelita Jeter of the U.S., ranked number one in the world last year at 100 meters; and veteran Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie of the Bahamas, the 2001 World Champion who earned a number four world-ranking in 2010, will compete in what is fast becoming one of the marquee races of the meet and perhaps one of the best sprint matchups in all of 2011.

The trio will join previously announced Allyson Felix (USA), the three-time World Champion ranked #1 in the world last year; #5 Sherone Simpson (JAM), the reigning Olympic silver medalist at 100 meters; #3 Shalonda Solomon (USA); and #6 Bianca Knight (USA).
In its seventh year as one of the premier track-and-field events in the world, the adidas Grand Prix, at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, is the sixth stop on the international Samsung Diamond League circuit.

Nine athletes ranked #1 in the world for 2010 – including Blanka Vlašić, Tyson Gay, Jeremy Wariner and Bershawn “Batman” Jackson – are among the superstars announced to date, along with new Jamaican sprint sensation Nickel Ashmeade and “Blade Runner” Oscar Pistorius, the 400-meter Paralympic gold medalist hoping to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Mighty Sparrow For Caribbeantales New York

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 10, 2011: The “Calypso King of the World” will add to the star power assembled for the CaribbeanTales New York Film Showcase tomorrow June 11 in Brooklyn, NY.

Legendary calypso musician, The Mighty Sparrow, will feature in a 30-minute question and answer session with distinguished Caribbean-American scholar and author Dr. Elizabeth Nunez who is also Trinidadian.

Sparrow will appear at the Spike Lee Screening Room at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus.

He will follow the afternoon screening of “Calypso Dreams,” arguably the best film ever made about calypso and in which the Caribbean crooner stars.

“We are especially honored to learn that such an iconic musician has agreed to be a part of our showcase along with an equally distinguished literary giant,” said Frances-Anne Solomon, founder and CEO of CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD), producers of this weekend’s showcase.

The afternoon session of the day-long Saturday showcase will be presented by CTWD in partnership with New-York based educational distributor Third World Newsreel.

The joint afternoon program, which starts at 2:30 p.m., includes CTWD’s “Calypso Dreams” and TWN’s “The Other Side of The Water,” which follows a group of young immigrants who take an ancient music from the hills of Haiti and reinvent it on the streets of Brooklyn.

Other highlights of the day include a Filmmakers’ Brunch at noon featuring a keynote address by Mark Walton, The Africa Channel’s executive vice president of sponsorship and corporate development.

An evening “Rum and Fishcakes” gala reception precedes the screening of the riveting documentary “Fire in Babylon”, the inspiring story of how a West Indies cricket side, one of the most gifted teams in sporting history, triumphed over its colonial masters. Other short films from up and coming Caribbean-American filmmakers, including “Dominion” (Barbados) and “Jerk Chicken” (Jamaica), will be screened.

CTWD, a member of the BIM Ventures family of entrepreneurs, has hosted two film festivals in Barbados, another in Canada, produced training workshops for filmmakers, and now has more than 60 films in its catalog.

The New York Showcase is FREE to the public, however, patrons must RSVP to secure their spots.

The CaribbeanTales New York Film Showcase which brings the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Caribbean Week in New York to a close, is supported by The Africa Channel, Barbados Tourism Authority, Bay Gardens Resorts (Saint Lucia), Brammer’s Subway of Brooklyn, Bullzii Marketing, Caribbean Cookbook by Rita G. Springer, Caribbean Lifestyle TV, Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Consulate General of Barbados in New York, Caribbean International Network (CIN TV), Cockspur Rum, Creatively Speaking, cynergy spa, Distribution Specialist Michelle Materre, Falco Ink, Funsation4 Media, Great Huts Resort (Jamaica), Ocean Style Magazine, Spanish Court Hotel (Jamaica), Third World Newsreel, Tribeca Film, and ZYNC TV.

For further information, visit, or

Scenes From Invest Caribbean 2011

National Black Chamber of Commerce® Meets in Miami

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Black Chamber of Commerce® is holding its 19th annual conference July 21-23 in Miami at the Four Seasons Hotel. The theme is “Making the World Business Friendly,” a nod to less regulation for a healthier business climate. Panels will include energy and telecom regulations, international trade, procurement, social media, managing your business and maintaining your wealth.

Two of this year’s award winners hail from the great state of Florida; Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-Fl) will be this year’s recipient of the Parren J. Mitchell Award and Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll will receive the Trailblazer of the Year Award. The Lt. Governor will also host a panel on the merits of opening or expanding a business in the Sunshine State.

The stellar accomplishments of John Biagas, CEO of Bay Electric will be highlighted when he is presented with the Entrepreneur of the Year award and John Boyd of The Black Farmers Association will be honored with the Arthur A. Fletcher Lifetime Achievement Award.

Comcast/NBC Universal will instruct us and give recommendations on how to do business with their corporation. Ms. Tebelelo Mazile Seretse, Ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the United States and Elkanah Odembo, Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to the United States, will be on hand to discuss opportunities within their countries. Patrick Lozes, founder of the French African Diaspora Chamber of Commerce, will discuss francophone companies and Michael Harris, Chairman of NBCC International Trade Committee, will give updates on Gabon and Republic of Congo.

The National Black Chamber of Commerce is known for its advocacy on issues that affect a business’ bottom line and to that end updates will be presented on electronic payment exchange, digital download tax, fuel sufficiency and the always necessary educated workforce.

This networking event provides an opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs, business leaders and chamber executives and is open to the public. Registration is available at

Bermuda Minister For Invest Caribbean Power Breakfast Today

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, June 9, 2011: Minister of Business Development & Tourism of Bermuda, Patrice Kimberly Minors, is among a stellar panel set to address the inaugural Invest Caribbean Power Forum in New York City today, Thursday, June 9th.

Minister Minors will join panelists Martin Mohabeer, the Guyana-born Managing Director of Spackman Group and CEO of Spackman Capital; W. Dave Dowrich, Vice President at Goldman Sachs, and David Brillembourg, CEO of the Brilla Group at the investment event being co-presented by digital media company Hard Beat Communications and The Caribbean Tourism Organization.

The Invest Caribbean event, titled “Investing In Paradise,” will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the New York Marriott Marquis hotel in Time Square, New York City.
Minister Minors brings her considerable expertise in goal setting to the government and performed in an outstanding fashion in her role as a government senator.

“We feel this is an outstanding forum for us to share the message with an influential audience that Bermuda is ready, willing and able to provide meaningful and mutually beneficial investment opportunities,” said Minister Minors. “We are already seeing positive signs for development and know that events such as this one can help showcase Bermuda as an extremely attractive partner.”

Also set to address delegates are New York City Comptroller John Liu, who helps manage $646 million in pension funds for New York City; Brian Lilly, CEO of Lilly Broadcasting and Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and St. Kitts/Nevis minister of tourism, Ricky Skerritt.

The Hard Beat/CTO forum will be moderated by Professor Temisan Agbeyegbe, professor of Economics at Hunter College and Graduate Center, City University of New York and a research associate with The Caribbean Center for Monetary Studies, The University of The West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.
Attendees include Hon. Hayden Hughes – Minister of Tourism; Anguilla, Hon. Richard Sealey, Minister of Tourism, Barbados; Hon. Ed Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica among several others and over a dozen directors of tourism, officials of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, and money managers and others from the real estate, business, travel and investment community.

“The power will be packed into one room on Thursday in New York City. No other place will there be so many ministers and commissioners of government from the Caribbean and money managers and investors at one time,” said Felicia Persaud, CEO of Hard Beat Communications.

“The Caribbean is a perfect destination for investment, given its stable governments, its tax incentives, its close proximity to the U.S. and it’s very high literary workforce and its superb beauty and climate,” added Sylma Brown Bramble, director of CTO North America.

The Bermuda Department of Tourism and the Pennsylvania-based WSEE TV and, both part of Lilly Broadcasting Corporation, are the official sponsors of the ‘Invest Caribbean Power Breakfast.’

Additional sponsors include the PR Newswire, CaribPR Wire, The Bahamas Weekly, News Americas Now and the Caribbean American Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
Registration is now closed for this event but for more information on Invest Caribbean, log on

Eleven Killed In Mexico

News Americas, MEXICO CITY, Mexico, Thurs. June 9, 2011: Eleven people were killed at a drug treatment centre in northern Mexico yesterday after gunmen went on the rampage.

Police say at least two armed men burst into the centre in Torreon, in Coahuila state, and opened fire.

The motive for the shooting was not clear but officials said it was likely to be the work of drug gang hit men.

The shooting left two injured.

Since late December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on the gangs, some 35,000 people have died in drug-related violence.

Reggae Group Named Goodwill Ambassadors

News Americas, UNITED NATIONS, NY, Thurs. June 9, 2011: Jamaican reggae group Morgan Heritage have been handed a new title – that of Goodwill Ambassadors.

The group was named to the title this week at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

They were honored along with rhythm and blues artist Melba Moore for the construction of a permanent memorial at UN Headquarters in New York to honor the victims of the transatlantic slave trade.

Ambassador Raymond Wolfe of Jamaica, chairman of the committee established to implement UN General Assembly resolutions to erect the memorial, said that so far just under $1 million has been collected for the project, which he estimated would cost some $4.5 by its projected completion target of late 2012.
Moore, in a news conference after the ceremony, said she would concentrate on business communities, celebrities, and the media “to get the word out and get it funded.”

Tete Antonio, Permanent Observer of the African Union, said: “We are pleased with the commitment expressed by both Melba Moore and Morgan Heritage to help us to achieve our objective of establishing a lasting legacy at the United Nations in memory of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade. This is a significant initiative for all of humanity, but more so for Africans and for persons of African descent.”

Melba Moore Now A Goodwill Ambassador

Singer and Actress, Melba Moore, pose for the press as she and members of the reggae group Morgan Heritage, were introduced to the press, as Goodwill Ambassadors for the Permanent Memorial to honour victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Photo: Hayden Roger Celestin

Alicia Keyes At UN

Singer Alicia Keyes was among those in attendance at HIV Priorities For Positive Change in Their Own Words conference, held at UN Headquarters NYC 6-7-2011.
Photos Hayden Roger Celestin

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