21 people in 2021: Denise Powers

While the Cayman 2.0 series has thus far been looking at the ideas and strategies that could make the country a better place, we changed things up for December. We’re highlighting 21 people who could turn some of those ideas into reality – or at least get the ball rolling – over the next calendar year.

 

For Denise Powers, the COVID-19 crisis has provided an opportunity to adapt her business and help other Cayman Islands companies change with the times. 

Specifically, she has the tourism industry in her sights.

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The owner and CEO of Fountainhead, which has nine employees, shifted the business fully to remote working during lockdown.

“Before the pandemic, we were already about 50/50 remote, but it hadn’t occurred to me to give it a go full-time until the situation forced our hand,” Powers said.

The digital public relations and marketing agency has become more diverse and dynamic while working with businesses to respond and adapt to the crisis.

21 people in 2021

James Whittaker
• Rachel Smyth
• Andre Gooden
• Adam Sax
• Marc Langevin
• Louisa Sax
• Dr. Marc Lockhart
• Lauren Nelson
• Jordan Stubblefield
• Brandon Caruana
• Josephine Horwitz
• Juliet Austin
• Stacy McAfee
• Blair Lilford
Mike Mannisto
Sergio Coni
• Jason Washington

“Funnily enough, I see the business through a different lens now,” said Powers. “It feels more global. It is more global.“

New technology platforms have made Fountainhead more efficient, while its corporate culture has deepened and developed.

“The technology is the lynchpin for the modern business,” said Powers. “I can’t imagine it would have been as easy as this even five years ago.”

As an entrepreneur, she saw opportunities for a specialised business model to scale working in a specified niche. For Powers, this is tourism.

“I grew up in that business and I have witnessed incredible resilience through crises before,” she said. “I believe that Fountainhead can add value to the recovery of the tourism industry across the Caribbean and Latin America. So that is our goal – to create a competitive advantage for hotels, attractions and destinations across the region, assisting with digital transformation and the move to sustainable tourism.”

As Powers points out, tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of people depend on tourism for their livelihoods.

“When borders around the world reopen and people start travelling again, we want them to consider an authentic, culture-rich experience in this region and in turn, positively impact the people,” she said. “Then, we all win.”

Denise Powers at a glance.

Cayman’s experience at adapting as a country has been proven time and again and Powers believes the effects of the pandemic will once more trigger such innovation.

Powers is also involved in non-profit endeavours and called for the voluntary sector to work together during this time.

“Cayman is an extraordinarily philanthropic place,” she said. “There are so many charities doing incredible work.”

But, with a smaller pot of money and resources to be divided among increasing needs, she warned there was a danger of some areas being missed.

“Everyone should be trying to figure out how to do more with less and, I sincerely hope, how they can amalgamate agencies to create more efficiencies and produce less waste,” she said. 

“There is nothing more wasteful, and sad, than duplication of effort in one area and ‘missed spots’ in others because of a lack of communication between, and competition amongst, agencies.”

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