Cayman Arts Festival & Literary Arts
The event is finished.
- Feb 10 2021
- 5:00 pm
Latest reopening updates
The Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that the results from the annual State of Business Survey are back. Every year the survey is sent out to Chamber members with the purpose of finding out member views on issues impacting their own business, the economy, the community and the environment. The results enable the Chamber Council to determine advocacy priorities. The survey contains a varied series open-ended questions designed to bring out a wide spectrum of ideas, concerns and perspectives. In many of the questions, respondents are invited to list up to three answers, ranking them in order of importance. Results showed that the cost of living, alongside the cost of doing business stood out as top areas of concern across-the-board. There were also calls to increase the speed and efficiency of interacting with Government agencies, especially in vital areas of business operation such as recruitment. Traffic congestion and the reduction of crime were also highlighted. In answer to question 9, “What three business issues should the Chamber advocate in 2023?” members’ chief concerns, amounting to 33% centred on increased costs including rent, utilities, insurance payments and other necessities. 11% of respondents called for a ‘Reduction in red tape,’ which included more streamlined processes for vital aspects of business operation, especially in areas such as work permit application times as particular priorities. In Question 10, “What three community issues should the council address in 2023?” the cost of living and crime each accounted for around 16% of total answers. Cost of living concerns included ‘Lack of affordable housing’ among more general calls to address inflation. Traffic congestion and the need for a better public transport public transport accounted for a further 12% of responses. In Question 11, “Which three Government policy changes should the Chamber Council advocate for in 2023?” 12 % answered work permit along with WORC processing times were their main concerns, while 8% called for pension reforms. Traffic and transportation were named too and ranged between calling on restrictions on the number of vehicles being imported, to the creation of a ‘local transportation policy.’ In response to Question 12, “If the Chamber were to achieve only one success in 2023, what would be most helpful to your business?” cost of living and doing business again came top, accounting for around 20% of the total number of answers. This was broken down under headings including the high cost of rent, utilities, and costs and coverage of health insurance payments. Under this section, too, there was again consistent call for streamlining transactions with government entities to enable faster processing of work permits and other matters relating to recruitment, such as WORC processing times, along with reducing government fees, especially for small businesses. Other recurring themes appearing throughout the survey included special considerations aimed at protecting, small-and-micro businesses, education, and training of Caymanians. There were also calls for more recycling, single-use plastics and programmes which protect the environment. Community cohesion, especially in relation to breaking down the division between Caymanians and expats was also mentioned. Reducing violent crime, such as armed robberies, was consistently mentioned, but other kinds of crime such as financial crime were also named in the survey.
The Chamber of Commerce recognised Cristina Spratt as their Volunteer of the Year during their Annual General Meeting held at the Marriott Resort on Thursday 9 February. Presenting her award Chamber President Shomari Scott said, “I would like to recognise on individual who has committed her time, energy and expertise to support one of the Chamber’s signature programmes, Leadership Cayman, as Chairperson in 2022. She is an amazing individual who has contributed so much to the work of the Chamber over the years. It is only fitting that she be recognised as the Chamber’s 2022 Volunteer of the Year.” Cristina graduated from the Leadership Cayman programme in 2015 and has been part of the Planning Committee for several years. In 2022 she chaired the programme and worked along with the class to organise a class project that raised more than CI$ 75,000 in less than 10 hours for the Boyz 2 Men mentorship programme. Cristina Spratt is the newly appointed Country Manager for Flow Cayman Islands. She has been employed with Flow/Cable & Wireless since 2019, having worked in the telecommunications sector for over 12 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering from the Industrial University in Santander, Columbia. She has over 18 years of technology expertise, having worked with Fortune 500 technology leaders in the US, Latin America and the Caribbean As a Not-for-profit organisation The Chamber depends on committed and dependable volunteers for all its programmes and events, and the Chamber is fortunate to have attracted many talented and committed leaders who assist the President, Council and staff with completing its programme of work each year. Chamber programmes such as Junior Achievement, Mentoring Cayman and Leadership Cayman all require volunteers who are committed to helping run these programmes over a longer period of time. If you would like to volunteer, please contact the Chamber at 949-8090 or Caymanchamber.ky
The Hon. Wayne Panton, Premier and Minister for Sustainability and Climate Resiliency was the guest speaker at the Chamber AGM, on February 9 at the Grand Cayman Resort. Sharing the PACT government’s vision for commitment to a strong economy along with a robust social agenda, Premier Panton said: “ I am pleased to report that our economy is strong and getting stronger. Our economic growth rate is among the best in the region – we are in excess of 3.5% in real terms based on the last published numbers. International business is thriving. Hotels are full again. Shops and restaurants are bustling. And jobs are available up and down the economic ladder. It is my pleasure to report that, thanks to the successful reopening of the economy, there will be a surplus in this year’s budget.” Premier Panton highlighted several more achievements, including the extended reduction in fees for small and micro businesses, and a reduction in liquor license fees which benefitted a total of 380 license holders. “We also have made significant progress in meeting the ever-changing standards of the global financial regulatory regime,” Mr. Panton said. “Serving in Government is a privilege; it is not a right. It is not about personalities or power; it is about service and it is about people. We came into office promising to be a different kind of Government, a more transparent government, a government that grew our economy while at the same time ensuring that Caymanians are not left behind.”’ Premier Panton highlighted some of the provisions of the Government’s Sustainability Agenda, including an adjusted minimum wage, a substantial investment in affordable housing, and working with public and private sector initiatives to train Caymanians to earn, and keep higher skilled jobs, “From trades to board rooms.” It also included the development of a comprehensive transportation plan that, he said, included new roads infrastructure along with incentives for car sharing, biking and a new clean and reliable public transport system. “To outgoing President Scott, thank you for all you have done for our Country and our economy. To incoming President Dilbert, congratulations and best of luck during your tenure. I look forward to working with you to build a stronger and more secure economy where the rising tide of prosperity truly raises all ships or all people across our three islands.”
Nelson Dilbert was welcomed as the Chamber of Commerce’s new President at the 2022 AGM on Feb 9 at the Marriott Grand Cayman Beach Resort. Mr. Dilbert has served on the Chamber Council since 2021, first as Vice President and then as President-Elect. During his acceptance speech Mr. Dilbert thanked outgoing President Shomari Scott: “Shomari has kept the Council and Executive Committee focused and efficient during the past year, using his extensive public and private sector experience and solutions-oriented management style to benefit the Chamber greatly,” he said. Owner of the Cayman Spirit Company and several other tourism-related businesses, Mr. Dilbert’s entrepreneurial journey began with the Old Punch Brewery at Big Daddy’s, before opening Hammerhead’s Brew Pub in Central George Town. In 2006 Mr. Dilbert developed Cayman’s first locally made rum, Seven Fathoms, with partner Walter Romanica. Today the Cayman Spirit Company sells local products in the US, Canada, and Europe. Looking forward to his tenure as President, Mr. Dilbert said, “2023 is off to a positive start and in the months ahead there are more exciting plans being developed that will engage our members and the wider community. These include hosting a series of focus groups with chamber members across the various industry sectors to gain a better understanding of their needs on how we can serve them better. “We will be developing a campaign to explain the benefits of Chamber membership, specifically targeted for micro and small businesses. It is one of my personal goals to attract more micro and small businesses to the Chamber, and working with the ministry of Commerce and Innovation to discuss areas for innovation that could generate new sources of economic activity.” Mr. Dilbert said that the Chamber would also continue its quarterly meetings with Caucus, the Minister of Commerce and innovation and other key government departments such as WORC and Customs, Providing members’ feedback on key areas that will impact the National Minimum Wage Advisory Committee, and Establishing closer links with businesses in Cayman Brac and Little Cayman to involve them in the Chamber activities and to better understand their needs. The Chamber would also develop a new three-year strategic plan, he said. “The newly elected Chamber and I look forward to engaging with the membership on these activities as we work together to build a better and more resilient community. Before he left the podium, Mr. Dilbert presented Shomari Scott, with a special award of appreciation for his tenure as President.
Shomari Scott warmly welcomed incoming President Nelson Dilbert, along with the Chamber’s new President Elect, Joanne Lawson, during his final speech as President at the Chamber AGM on February 9: “I am excited for the leadership that will follow from a notable entrepreneur and small business owner to a successful professional who will be the first female President in several years,” he said. “The Chamber of Commerce is an ever evolving and continuously growing organisation that isn’t rooted in its President or its Executive Committee but rather the will and wants of the member companies, organisations for who and which we serve. “Supporting, promoting, and protecting the health of the business community is the DNA of the organisation and we will continue to fulfil this mission as you will hear from the incoming President. We look forward to putting our collective shoulder to the wheel to help to shape the vision for the future of our beloved islands as we grapple with population growth, sustainable development and educating our youth to partake of this economic miracle.” Mr. Scott said that he planned to remain involved with the Chamber’s valuable work in the future, before recapping on some of the Chamber’s 2022 achievements including the launch of the VoTech Stars Campaign, helping the Boyz 2 Men charity and taking on the operations of the Junior Achievement programme. “These will all impact positively on our youth and their success in the future,” he said. Mr. Scott was pleased to unveil the first of a new series of the award-winning animated “Growth Matters,” videos. The series began in 2017 with the aim of providing schools and the general public with a better understanding of how Cayman’s economy works, and why the private sector is the engine driving economic growth. The new series focusses on financial services and their important contribution to Cayman’s economy, and is entitled, “Financial Services Matters.” As the third consecutive Chamber President to deal with the impacts of COVID-19 among member businesses and throughout the islands, Mr. Scott looked forward to a “Tether free,” 2023, and the “Reignition of Cayman’s prosperity engine.” ”We have proven as a Chamber and as a country that we can deal with what would be deemed an insurmountable immediate catastrophe. Now it’s time to focus and move forward and demonstrate that together with government and private sector we can plan our course, ensuring that Caymanians receive opportunities to succeed and for our beloved Islands to flourish. Our ancestors laid the foundation for the miracle we are living today. It is our duty to ensure that our people continue to become entrepreneurs and business leaders, so that the future generations can reap the economic and social rewards from the land they call home,” he said. After inviting all 2022 Council members to ‘stand and be recognised,’ Mr. Scott presented awards to three retiring Council members who had completed their 2-year term, Marc Langevin, Omari Corbin and Richard Harrison.
Five new Nominees who had previously been submitted to the Chamber Nominations Committee were elected to the Chamber Council during this year’s AGM on 9 February at the Marriott Grand Cayman Resort. The nominations included positions for Vice President and Treasurer, along with three additional Council members. Voting took place by ballot early in the proceedings, allowing the votes to be counted. Later in the meeting Chamber CEO Wil Pineau announced the results. Omari Corbin was elected Vice President. Mr. Corbin, who served on the Chamber Council throughout 2022, is presently Director of Credit Risk Management, Wholesale, at RBC. Barbados. A forward-thinking banking professional and leader with almost 20 years of experience throughout the Caribbean, Mr. Corbin holds a BSc Computer Science & Accounts (First Class Honors) from the University of the West Indies. He is a constant contributor to his community and has previously served on the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters, and is a previous Chamber Mentor. Mr. Corbin is also Immediate Past President of the Cayman Islands Bankers Association and a member of the 2017 Leadership Cayman cohort. Colin Robinson was re-elected as Treasurer. As Director of SRS Cayman Islands, Mr. Robinson is responsible for the day-to-day management of portfolio of the SRS Cayman Islands captive insurance company clients, providing accounting, regulatory compliance, and general management services. Each of the three newly elected Councilors, Matthew Adam, Sarah Hobbs and Dan DeFinis represents a different sector of Cayman’s industry, ensuring that a wide spectrum of industry perspectives are supported within the Council. Matthew Adam, CPA, is a Director of Cayman Crystal Caves. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree and a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degree from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, and is a Licensed Practitioner by the Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants. He has over 15 years’ experience in the Financial Services Industry, providing accounting and auditing services to hedge funds, trust companies, and private banks. Sarah Hobbs is presently Vice President and Country Head of Scotiabank & Trust (Cayman) Ltd. With over 25 years of experience in the Financial Services industry , Ms. Hobbs has held increasingly senior positions over her career in Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and Operations. Ms. Hobbs is the current President of the Cayman Islands Banker’s Association. Ms. Hobbs loves travelling and spending time with her family and is passionate about the environment and giving back to the community. Dan DeFinis is Chief Executive and Engineering Officer with Davenport Development. In 2014 Mr. DeFinis began working at the Ritz-Carlton as Chief Engineer. In 2017, he became Engineering Manager for Cricket Square, and was recently appointed Chief Executive and Engineering Officer. He currently serves as President of the Cayman Contractors Association.
The 2022 AGM, held at the Marriott Grand Cayman Resort on 9 February, was a great opportunity for the Chamber Council to recognise the Chamber Champions – businesses that go ‘above-and-beyond’ – in their effort to help the Chamber’s mission to, ‘Support, Promote and Protect,’ through its programmes and events. In 2022 25 member organisations qualified as Chamber Champions, and Chamber President Shomari Scott was pleased to welcome representatives from each organisation to come to the front and receive their Chamber Champion awards. In addition to financial support through sponsorship, many of the Chamber Champions have given consistently of their time, talent and in-kind, making Chamber programmes and events even more successful. Their help touches every Chamber activity, including signature events such as the Earth Day Clean-Up, the Golf Classic, and the Legislative Luncheon, as well as signature programmes like Leadership Cayman, Mentoring Cayman and the Chamber’s new workforce development initiative, VoTech Stars. Many of the Champions also contributed by using Chamber resources such as the Chamber Training Centre or by participating in the Member’s Perks Programme. Chamber Champions are divided into Chamber Advocates, who contributed more than CI$ 10,000, Chamber Advisors who contributed between CI$ 7,500 and CI$ 9,999, and Chamber Stewards who contributed between CI$ 5,000 and CI$ 7,499 in total throughout 2022 Chamber Advocates included Caribbean Utilities Company Ltd, Corporate Electric, Davenport Development, Digicel, Fosters, Health City Cayman Islands, Rawlinson & Hunter, RBC Royal Bank, RSM Cayman Ltd, and Walkers. Chamber Advisors included Butterfield, Cayman National, CICSA Credit Union, Dart, HSM, and Maples Group. Chamber Stewards included Aquilae Consulting Group, Cayman Contractors Association, Cayman Turtle Conservation & Education Centre, CG BritCay, Cox Lumber, Inspire Cayman Training Ltd, Logic, Powah Ltd, and Wheaton Precious Metals. “The Chamber Council, staff and I thank you all for your dedicated support and engagement with the Chamber, and we look forward to serving you in 2023,” Mr. Scott said.
Total Health launched its newest addition to preventative healthcare, Hormone Pellets Therapy for men and women at a cocktail reception for Business After Hours on Thursday 23rd February at the Grand Pavilion. Dr. Mark Richards, an American Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, and Rajnish Kumar MD, Diabetes specialist with Total Health, each gave a presentation before inviting questions from attendees. “I am so happy to be here this afternoon to share my passion of restoring health and happiness to my patients as they get older,” Dr. Richards said. He outlined the benefits of the new treatment, which included mitigating risks of heart disease, strokes, diabetes, breast cancer, and prostrate cancer. Benefits also included treating general feelings of fatigue, depression and loss of wellbeing. Dr. Richards’ research, outlined in his book, “Nobody Wants You Healthy,” had uncovered that a group of chemicals present in most plastics known as phthalates, which now had found their way into our natural environment including our drinking water, rivers, and air. They were responsible for disrupting the normal working of hormones in humans and many other animals too. “The cost in the US is likely a trillion dollars annually,” he said. “How do we mitigate this serious health risk?” Dr. Richards asked. The answer was to provide a reliable source of testosterone by way of introducing specially-formulated pellets, the size of a large rice grain which could painlessly be injected into subcutaneous fat of men and women where they would steadily release the hormone. Dr. Richards said that, contrary to popular belief, both men and women needed an adequate supply of testosterone for optimal health. Dr. Richards is working with Total Health to make the new treatment available as soon as possible. Dr. Kumar’s presentation focussed on the importance of comprehensive, regular preventative health screening as a way of identifying and treating health risks at an early stage. Business After Hours is one of the Chamber’s most popular networking events, allowing Chamber members to get together and learn more about one another in an informal and friendly setting.
More than 50 high school students aged between 15 and 16 attended the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce’s Mentoring Cayman Educational & Careers Day which was held at the Camana Bay Cinema on Friday, 13 January. The purpose of the event was to provide the students with information about the different careers that are possible in Cayman. The Chamber invites different professionals from a wide range of industries based on the career interests of the students and gives the students an opportunity to ask questions they may have at the end of each presentation. Speakers from local colleges and universities were also invited to talk about the different programmes available. The first presentation, from HR professional Melissa Comparin, was all about the importance of setting career goals, tips on how to make your resumé stand out from the crowd and interview skills. Two Cayman Airways pilots, Leanni Tibbetts and Brian Seals came next, telling the stories of how they each chose careers in the aviation industry. Keith Whyte, Senior Project Manager with C.U.C told the students all about the range of careers that are available under the heading of ‘Engineer.’ There were several other presentations on careers in interior design, marketing, and architecture, law and medicine. Philip Liu, an education programme coordinator with Tech Cayman spoke about the growing number of careers in new technologies. Marilyn Whittaker, Admissions Director with the International College of the Cayman Islands spoke about the programmes on offer at the college. One of the afternoon sessions featured entrepreneur Bruce Gordon, Executive Director of media company, Zeal, who spoke about media production, and finally Dr. Ben Stading, Assistant Dean of Students from St. Matthew’s University, spoke about careers in veterinary or human medicine and the courses offered at St. Matthews. All of the attendees are part of the Chamber’s Mentoring Cayman programme which pairs high-achieving Year 11 students with mentors from the world of business or the professions, based on their interests and career choices. Since the programme began in partnership with the Government in 2002, it has impacted the lives of more than 800 public and private high school students in our community. All the attendees were enthusiastic about the presentations they had seen: “I believe that this conference that the Chamber of Commerce has set up for us is a very great one,” Said Raldayne Thomas, one of the attendees, “I am interested in being a pilot but I am also interested in media production and graphic designing so I have been really interested in those presentations. I believe that if you have the chance to join the Chamber of Commerce mentoring programme, then you should.” Michala O’ Connor also found the presentations very helpful: “Being at this Chamber of Commerce conference has definitely been a good experience,” she said. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity today. They brought in so many different people to represent the different careers and occupations. For me, I want to become an architect, and they brought an architect in. They told you about the different subjects you would need in school to follow those careers.” Dylan Levy, said: “I enjoyed the medicine presentation because I want to pursue medicine in the future, but I also liked how the person who gave the presentation showed all the different careers in medicine and the careers that I could choose from. The Chamber of Commerce would like to thank all of our sponsors for Mentoring Cayman including The Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture & Heritage, Aquilae Consulting Group; Cayman Water; Cox Lumber Ltd. Maples Group and Rocky’s Diamond Gallery.
The Chamber Travel Club is holding an information session on this year’s trip to ‘Greece, Land of Gods & Heroes,’ on 7 February, 6.00 p.m. at the Chamber Conference Room. The session, (which will also be accessible via Zoom) will provide information on what to expect from the trip, along with payment and travel details. Come with us on an amazing cultural journey through 5,000 years of Greek history. Explore the country’s archeological treasures. Walk in the footsteps of Socrates on the Acropolis and examine artifacts of Athens’ Golden Age at the outstanding Acropolis Museum, or Sail through the scenic Corinth Canal and enjoy the insights of a local guest speaker on the contemporary Greek economic and social scene. The trip will take place between 12-22 October and will include air and land travel, hotels, meals, day trips and the airfare from Grand Cayman. The price is US$4,595 for Chamber members and US$4,745 for non-members. In previous years, the Chamber Travel Club has visited the Great Wall of China, the pyramids in Egypt, and Machu Picchu in Peru. Don’t miss your chance to experience another amazing country at an affordable price! Download the brochure here to see further details about the trip. Interested persons should complete and submit form and payment to email@example.com