Three new staff members recently joined Government Information Services, bringing the information officer section up to full strength.
A total of seven persons now cover public information roles for the high-demand government sector, said a GIS press release.
The familiar faces of Bina Mani and George Alleyne, both formerly of the Caymanian Compass, bring a wealth of hands-on experience. And young Caymanian Samantha Whittaker, who also worked briefly for Cayman Free Press, adds energy and creativity to the unit, the release said.
Bina, a native of Bangalore India, has resided in Grand Cayman for the past 16 years. She was employed at Cayman Free Press for 15½ years as a senior journalist, and later rose to become the acting editor.
Before then, she was a state correspondent for India Today, India’s leading news magazine and she had stints with the Deccan Herald, Current, and Probe India magazine, all well-established publications in India. She has bachelor’s degrees in English and Communications, and a master’s in English, all from Bangalore University.
‘I am looking forward to working in this challenging and stimulating atmosphere,’ says Bina. ‘There are so many aspects and activities within government that impinge on the public, and I feel privileged to be able to communicate these to the people. I am elated to have this opportunity.’
From Barbados, George has more than 25 years experience in writing for the print media. Launching his career with Guyana’s Government Information Services, he moved on to the Caribbean News Agency as an information specialist, where he produced the regional business magazine, CANAbusiness. His first position in Cayman was with the Cayman Net News, but moving over to the Cayman Free Press, he later rose to the position of news editor.
George’s accolades prior to coming to Cayman included earning the Don Rowlands Memorial Prize for being the most outstanding journalist on the Cardiff (Wales) course. While serving with Guyana’s leading newspaper, The Guyana Chronicle, he was also awarded a Commonwealth Press Union Fellowship that enabled him to study at City and Oxford universities.
‘My interests are in collecting information and delivering it efficiently,’ says George. ‘Regardless of whether the medium is private or public, my obligation is to clearly inform readers and listeners.’
Born and raised in Grand Cayman and a resident of George Town, Samantha recently graduated from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications, with a concentration in public relations. While studying, she was a resident advisor and she interned at the university’s Campus Recreation Department as well as at the American Lung Association of North Carolina, where she performed public relations and marketing tasks.
‘I am enthusiastic about working for GIS,’ says Samantha. ‘As a young Caymanian, I am very interested in how our government works and understanding its needs in relation to public information.’