Stingray award-winners announced

The shining lights of the Cayman tourist industry were honoured by industry colleagues and peers recently at the sixth annual Cayman Stingray Tourism Awards gala.

The event was also supported by the Department of Tourism and the then Acting Premier, Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, who gave an inspiring speech about the importance of tourism as one of the two economic pillars in the Cayman Islands.

The National Song was beautifully sung a capella by up-and-coming Caymanian Rico Orrett. It set the mood to a wonderful evening of dinner, awards and dancing hosted at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.

The event was organised by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and the CITA Training, Education and Scholarship Committee. There were 14 awards, representing various sectors within the industry.

There were also two very special awards, as selected by the awards committee.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating a lifelong contribution to tourism, was presented to Bob Soto. The Tourism Excellence Award went to Rose Gadsby.

Another special award recipient that evening who was not able to be in attendance due to her health at the time was Cleo Conolly fondly known on island as Ms Cleo, who received one of the Long Service & Special Contribution Awards.

Trina Christian of CITA thanked attendees and explained how difficult it was to pick the winners from a high-quality field.

‘All of our nominees were of an extremely high calibre and therefore it was difficult for the committee to make a selection which is why in some of the categories multiple selections were made,’ she said.

The 2009 Cayman Stingray Award recipients were as follows:

Accommodations Employee of the Year: Tracey Bodden; Accommodations Manager of the Year: Sarah Black; Allied Employee of the Year: Brad Nelson; Restaurant Employee of the Year: Rohan “Dileep” Jayamanna; Restaurant Manager Of The Year: Gunter Gosch; Transportation Employee Of The Year: Rose Gadsby; Transportation Manager Of The Year: Wendy Jackson; Watersports Employee of the Year: Joan Lagman; Watersports Manager Of The Year: Brad Ross; Rising Star Tourism Award: Brian Ebanks; Rising Star Tourism Award: Elda Green-James; Long Service/Special Contribution Award: Hilda Ebanks; Long Service/Special Contribution Award: Blossom Grant Thompson; Long Service/Special Contribution Award: Cleo Conolly; Tourism Excellence Award: Rose Gadsby; Lifetime Achievement Award: Bob Soto.