Natalie Urquhart, director of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, is the 2011 Young Caymanian Leadership Award recipient.
At a glitzy and sold-out awards ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman on Friday, 6 May, Ms Urquhart accepted her award from last year’s recipient, Collin Anglin.
Saying she had a hard act to follow by stepping into Mr. Anglin’s shoes as the YCLA recipient, Ms Urquhart also paid tribute to her fellow finalists, Richard Christian, Ventisha Conolly, Chantal Whittaker and Shari Whittaker.
YCLA alumni presented the individual finalists, and videos about the nominees were played on screens for the guests at the Ritz-Cartlon and broadcast to a live television audience on Cayman 27.
Tribute was also paid to Rick Alpert, CITN station manager, who died in October. Emcees Cynthia Hew and Winston Connolly said Mr. Alpert had played an integral part in the live broadcasts of the YCLA ceremonies over the past decade and was greatly missed, though “never forgotten”.
Keynote speakers were Mark and Susan Merrill from the US-based Family First organisation, which aims to re-prioritise the role and appreciation of families in people’s lives. The theme of this year’s YCLA event was Family: Building the Foundation.
Ms Urquhart, 34, was appointed director of the National Gallery in 2000. She first joined the National Gallery as an education officer in 2002, but even before that she had ties with the gallery, having volunteered as public relations chair of Friends of the Gallery.
She took part in Mentorship Cayman in 2009 and created a specialised mentorship programme for young artists and performers, which is scheduled to launch in September. ..