45 Years of Service Let’s Celebrate

Forty five years ago, 10 Caymanians decided that the time had come to establish an organisation that would represent the views of the business community and speak with one voice. Instigated by the then Administrator Mr. John Cumber and guided by the research and exceptional organizational skills of civil servant Mr. Harwell “Harry” McCoy, the founders included merchants, business leaders and politicians. They believed that there was more strength by speaking collectively than independently, and that more would be achieved.
 
They were right. Today the Chamber represents more than 650 businesses of all sizes and industry sectors and is a member of the world’s largest network of international business organisations. The Chamber Council represents all industry sectors and addresses issues that matter most to the membership. From humble beginnings, the Chamber can be proud of its success and we believe it is a time to celebrate. 
 
We plan to host a special event recognising the men and women who have contributed to our success over the years and we will also share a new vision for the organisation that will stimulate increased involvement, representation and business opportunities for the membership.  The Chamber will be moving into new offices that will be centrally located with plenty of parking.  The move will provide our members with greater access to our meeting and conference facilities and will provide more space to promote our members products and services. It is our hope that it will become a primary stop for tourist, relocation and investment information.
 
Communications will be at the heart of the Chamber’s new vision to better serve the membership and the wider community. A new state-of-the-art website will become a leading information and promotional portal for the membership, visitors and investors from around the world. THE CHAMBER magazine will be redesigned to provide our readers with more provocative, interactive topics and useful information. 
 
Leading these initiatives is Mrs. Roberta Bostock, who has joined the Chamber recently as communications manager. Mrs. Bostock has many years experience in the communications field, which began at leading advertising agencies in London, and then locally with the Cancer Society, Quincentennial Celebrations Office, Cayman National Cultural Foundation and Ministry of Education, Training, Employment, Youth, Sports & Culture. She has also written for a number of local publications.  I am delighted that Roberta has joined the Chamber team and confident that members will begin to see significant progress in all areas of communications as she designs a plan that will increase involvement and interest in the work of the organisation.  Roberta’s talent will become evident in the months ahead as we move to the next level in the Chamber’s communications evolution.
 
Attracting workers with the right skills into the local workplace is becoming much more challenging as competition among the developed nations intensifies for a limited number of highly skilled professionals. The Cayman Islands has been fortunate for many years to attract some of the world’s best talent, but the term limit policy and the recent economic downturn has caused some people to question whether the country’s approach to developing and retaining talent is sufficient in today’s globalised economy. In this issue we focus on TALENT.
 
Economist Paul Byles provides readers with an excellent overview of the incredible challenge of balancing the country’s local and international labour needs and how the business community is coping with the challenges. We also profile the life of Mr. Roy Bodden who has climbed the ladder of success as the new president of the University College of the Cayman Islands. Mr. Bodden has dedicated much of his life’s work to education and his new vision for UCCI will surely produce significant results in the years ahead.
 
Be sure to mark your calendars for some important upcoming dates for some Chamber activities. These “big dates” include the Careers, Education, Training & Jobs Expo at the Family Life Centre on 19th and 20th March, 13th Annual Earth Day Roadside Clean-Up on April 17th, RE/MAX/Chamber Golf Tournament on April 30th, Golden Apple Awards May 29th, and the Business Expo October 21st-23rd. Of course there are lots of other little dates in between so we’ll keep you posted!
 
We are always looking for involvement from our membership but this year as we celebrate 45 years of service we invite you to share our vision for future development and seek out ways to make a positive difference within our community. We have many opportunities for joining one of our committees or volunteering your time or ideas at the Chamber office.   If you wish to get involved, please let me know by sending me an email to [email protected] or by contacting any member of the Chamber Council.  Best wishes for a prosperous and healthy 2010.

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