The arrival of an NFL star to Cayman stirred interest beyond our shores.
Many people from the US came down to get a glimpse of the island and Dallas Cowboys tight-end Martellus Bennett.
Among those visitors was Miami-based entrepreneur Shayne Ettienne.
Ettienne was here two weekends ago to catch Bennett take part in a free one day flag football youth camp put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association and One 345 Designs.
The camp was held Saturday 21 February at the Cayman International School Field for kids aged eight to 14.
It also doubled as an introduction to The Security Centre Youth Flag Football League which kicked off last weekend.
Many well-known local faces were out for the camp ranging from former national track star Kareem Streete-Thompson to established flag football players like Renford Barnes and Celester Anderson to models from Lisa Lee Promotions.
Ettienne, an admittedly big American football fan, saw Bennett talk to the kids about youth diabetes and HIV/AIDS awareness, sign autographs and play schoolyard games (‘duck, duck, goose’ and ‘freeze tag’) with the kids.
All in all Ettienne said it was a great day and it was a good thing seeing the kids and a big name like Bennett together.
At first glance it is easy to mistake Ettienne for a pro player as well. His tall, agile frame and youthful looks give him the air of an up and coming wide receiver rather than that of a businessman.
However the 35-year-old Miami native is used to that misconception.
‘When people look at me they always think I play. I used to play college ball back at Florida International University but that was it. Now I just follow the NFL players where I can and hopefully be a concierge for any of their high-end home theatre needs.’
The FIU alumnus is always looking for potential clients as the owner of S2NET Inc, a high-end telecommunications company based in Sunrise, Florida. The business focuses on three major areas: audio, video and security.
According to the company website [www.s2corp.net] top-of-the-line products are used from brands such as Bose, Fujitsu and Polk Audio.
Its clientele ranges from private homeowners to local colleges to commercial enterprises.
Among its more recognizable clients are Coca-Cola, Nova Southeastern University and the Riviera Country Club.
As Ettienne explains many of the residential jobs he’s involved with offer six figure paydays.
‘Home audio is big business in the States with systems and configurations going from 100 grand to half a million.
‘For example the project that we are working was originally US$850,000 and the client changed some things to make it $583,000. The house is 24,000 square feet and includes a synagogue, a 500 square foot theatre, 14 bedrooms, two kitchens, a pool and other niceties.
‘We installed 50in and 60in plasmas, full home lighting control along with that for the shades and A/C, an integrated alarm system with 42 security cameras along with controllable cameras and an Intercom system with listening capability along with touch screen panels in every room.
‘Among the equipment we used was Crestron controls and touch panels, Lutron lighting and blinds, Boston Acoustics speakers, Toshiba cameras, Ixos Cables and Samsung Bluray.’
Ettienne went on to say that particular job took 14 months, six guys and a lot of hours to complete. If it had not been for the presence of other contractors he reckons it could have been done in six straight months.
He also said jobs like that are the norm and not rarities. In the past year alone he says he’s worked on five major projects.
They were the 48 room Edge Water Hotel in South Beach; the 96 room Ocean Reef Hotel in Key West; a 6,000 square foot apartment in Aventura, Florida; a 12,000 square foot residence in New York and the home of Miami Dolphins tight-end Anthony Fasano in Fort Lauderdale.
Ettienne’s visit to Cayman was not his first. He says he has come a few times in the past, most recently two years ago for Pirates Week.
Then again Ettienne is not like most visitors in that he has a Cayman link. As he explains, it is a relatively close one to One 345 Designs Executive Director Luigi Moxam.
‘My fiancé is Genesis Abreu and she is best friends with Erikka Moxam, Luigi’s sister.
‘As a result I know the Moxams real well and they consider me part of their Miami family.’