Posts Tagged ‘Caribbean’

Royal Caribbean Group acquires cruise ship Endeavor, growing Silversea Cruises’ expedition offerings

MIAMI, July 18, 2022 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) today announced it has received court approval to acquire the ultra-luxury cruise ship Endeavor. Originally delivered to Crystal Cruises in 2021, the ship will be renamed Silver Endeavour when it officially joins the Group’s wholly owned subsidiary, Silversea Cruises’ fleet, this month.

The purchase price for the vessel was $275 million, significantly below the cost of construction. The vessel was fully financed through a 15-year unsecured term loan, guaranteed by the German export credit agency, Euler Hermes, with no amortization payments in the first two years. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings, cash flow and ROIC.

“With Endeavour, we are seeking to grow our world class fleet to meet the exceptional demand for ultra-luxury expedition cruising, while also enhancing our profitability profile and affirming Silversea’s position as the industry’s leading ultra-luxury and expedition cruise line,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO, Royal Caribbean Group.

Built to PC6 polar class specifications, the ship can operate all of Silversea’s current expedition itineraries and is designed specifically to take travelers to the world’s most remote destinations, including both polar regions.

“The expedition cruising industry is poised to resume accelerated growth driven by demand among high-end, affluent customers for travel to remote and hard-to-access destinations,” said Roberto Martinoli, president and CEO, Silversea Cruises. “This ship will be the fourth vessel to join Silversea’s fleet since 2020, which demonstrates our commitment to growth.”

Silver Endeavour offers the highest standards in the industry in terms of space-per-guest ratio, and crew-to-guest ratio, as well as top-notch accommodations and public areas. The ship’s state-of-the-art expedition amenities offer guests some of the most immersive and luxury experiences available, including traveling with a fleet of zodiac boats for remote exploration.

“Delivering the best vacations in the world, responsibly, is Royal Caribbean Group’s purpose,” Liberty said. “While our acquisition only covers the physical vessel, we want all of our guests to know we go above and beyond to take care of them.”

As part of the ongoing RCL Cares program, Royal Caribbean Group will protect the deposits of guests who were originally booked on Crystal Endeavor and make a new booking on one of the Group’s global brands – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises.

“We believe those Crystal guests will receive back their deposits, but we want to give them added assurance,” Liberty added.

To the extent the Crystal Endeavor guests do not receive their deposits back from Crystal or other sources, the Royal Caribbean Group will refund any amount paid on their new booking up to the amount of their lost deposits from Crystal. Complete terms of the offer will be provided on each brand’s website soon.

Silver Endeavour is scheduled to begin service winter 2022/2023, spending its inaugural season in Antarctica starting November 2022.

About Royal Caribbean Group
Royal Caribbean Group (NYSE: RCL) is one of the leading cruise companies in the world with a global fleet of 63 ships traveling to approximately 1,000 destinations around the world. Royal Caribbean Group is the owner and operator of three award-winning cruise brands: Royal Caribbean InternationalCelebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises, and it is also a 50% owner of a joint venture that operates TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Together, the brands have an additional 10 ships on order as of June 30, 2022. Learn more at www.royalcaribbeangroup.com or www.rclinvestor.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release constitute forward-looking statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to, among other things, the company’s expectations and projections regarding growth in the expedition cruising industry, customer demand, and profitability. Forward-looking statements reflect management’s current expectations and are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied in those forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect our results include, among others, those discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q, as well as our other filings with the SEC, copies of which may be obtained by visiting our Investor Relations website at www.rclinvestor.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov. Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements in this release, which are based on information available to us on the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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The Dominican Republic Fully Committed to Hosting the 2022 FCCA Cruise Conference

MIRAMAR, Fla., June 22, 2022 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) is pleased to announce that the Dominican Republic will host the 2022 FCCA Cruise Conference, the only official cruise conference representing the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America. Taking place in Santo Domingo from October 11-14, the event will feature a series of meetings, workshops and networking opportunities with an expected 100 high-level executives from FCCA Member Lines, which represent more than 90 percent of global ocean cruising capacity. It will also allow the Dominican Republic to showcase its potential for increased benefits from cruise tourism and help the destination fulfill targeted objectives.

“I am thankful for the continued partnership with the Dominican Republic that paved the way to hosting the FCCA Cruise Conference,” said Micky Arison, Chairman of Carnival Corporation and FCCA. “This will be a crucial time and place for the industry gather to continue cruise tourism’s recovery, and it is a testament to the country’s commitment.”

All Conference participants will have access to workshops led by cruise executives and successful stakeholders, including ones focused on tour operators and increasing local employment and sourcing opportunities.

Participants will also have opportunities to interact with the expected 100 cruise executives during a series of meetings – including one-on-one meetings – and networking functions throughout the event, which will be celebrating FCCA’s 50th anniversary.

Additionally, the Dominican Republic will showcase some of the best to see, eat and hear in the destination for cruise guests, along with what its opportunities for growth that hosting the event has historically driven.

Before, during and after the event, FCCA will work with the Dominican Republic toward its goals of developing a new cruise terminal in Samana and increasing demand for Sans Souci Terminal in Santo Domingo. FCCA is also partnering with the Dominican Republic on initiatives focused on cruise lines hiring citizens, cruise ships sourcing local goods, and increasing the already high percentage of cruisers that return as overnight guests.

More details about and registration for the event will be announced in the coming months and available at www.FCCAConference.com.

About Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA)

Created in 1972, FCCA is a not-for-profit trade organization representing mutual interests of the cruise industry and destinations’ private and public sectors. For more information, visit F-CCA.com and @FCCAupdates on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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THE DAVOS ALZHEIMER’S COLLABORATIVE LAUNCHES INNOVATIVE EARLY DETECTION EFFORT

Seven Flagship Pilot Sites Aim to Measurably Increase Timely, Accurate Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s

  • Unique global collaboration to prepare health systems for a future with new Alzheimer’s treatments
  • Pioneering use of blood-based biomarkers with digital cognitive assessments in primary care
  • Innovative, culturally relevant methods that can scale in high, low-and middle-income countries

CARIBPR WIRE, New York, NY, May 3, 2022: The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative (DAC) today announced that people with or at risk of Alzheimer’s in six countries will soon have an opportunity to participate in a pilot program designed to increase access to early detection and diagnosis of the disease through the use of innovative new screening tools, which is an essential step to provide better care today, and to prepare for the future availability of treatments. DAC is launching seven pilot sites beginning this month in the US, Scotland, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico and Brazil.

“We are finding enormous appetite from healthcare systems around the world to prepare for future Alzheimer’s treatments, but first we must help healthcare systems adapt to early detection,” said George Vradenburg, Founding Chairman of the Board, Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative, and Convener, The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease. “By working directly with medical professionals, researchers, people at risk, and patients, these sites will utilize cutting-edge technology to change the way we deliver care, and help prepare healthcare systems to get the right treatments to the right patients at every stage of the disease.”

The pilot sites will use simple digital cognitive assessment tools to detect the signs of the disease early, and innovative blood biomarkers to help evaluate the cause of identified symptoms. The goal is to measurably increase rates of timely and accurate diagnosis to put people on the correct person-centered care pathways and mitigate the impact of Alzheimer’s disease on the individual and their family.

Digital cognitive assessments such as Linus Health’s Core Cognitive Evaluation, Cogstate’s Cognigram, and Cognivue’s Clarity will be made available to the pilot sites, reducing the need for broad neuropsychological testing, which is time consuming for patients and requires specialized physicians for administration. Digital cognitive assessments also mark a significant technological advance over paper-and-pencil tests in terms of reliability and objectivity. DAC program sites are training other healthcare professionals to administer the digital cognitive assessments. In some cases, it can be administered via a tablet in the patient’s home, marking a dramatic step forward in terms of access and ease-of-use.

The blood-based biomarker, known as the PrecivityAD™ test, is a technology developed by specialty diagnostics company, C2N (St. Louis, MO). The test will aid in the accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, and reduce the need for expensive, hard-to-access, more advanced tests.

“We’re proud and excited to play a key role in DAC’s groundbreaking work to enable Alzheimer’s early detection on a global scale,” said Dr. Joel Braunstein, Co-Founder and CEO of C2N Diagnostics. “Harnessing the power of advanced diagnostics like our PrecivityAD test at DAC’s pilot sites will accelerate the fight to end Alzheimer’s.”

“DAC and the flagship pilot sites are driving new tools into the front lines of care. This is important to help patients today, and develop the data we need to better detect, treat and ultimately prevent this devastating disease,” said Stephen Friend, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Sage Bionetworks, Visiting Professor of Connected Medicine, and President 4YouandMe.

The pilot sites will provide localized care and treatment for individuals and develop models for broader healthcare systems to study and adopt. DAC Learning Labs, a network of governments, public health and healthcare system leaders, will provide a forum for sharing best practices that can be scaled globally.

About the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative

Launched at the World Economic Forum’s 2021 meeting on The Davos Agenda, The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative is a multi-stakeholder partnership committed to aligning stakeholders with a new vision for our collective global response against the challenges Alzheimer’s presents to patients, caregivers and healthcare infrastructures. Convened by The World Economic Forum and The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi) and fueled by a mission of service to the estimated 150 million families and half a billion people inevitably impacted by this disease by 2050, DAC is a collaborative for the benefit of all people, in all places.

About DAC’s Healthcare System Preparedness Project

DAC’s Healthcare System Preparedness Project is funding innovative approaches that measurably increase rates of cognitive screening, early detection and accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. The pilot projects are: AdventHealth Central Florida, FL, USA; Municipality of Volta Redonda, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Alzheimer Scotland; University of the West Indies (UWI), Caribbean Institute for Health Research, Jamaica; Kobe University, Japan; INGER/National Institute of Geriatrics, Mexico; and, Indiana University School of Medicine/Indiana University Health, IN, USA. These initiatives are incorporated into DAC Learning Labs, a network of governments and public health and healthcare system leaders, to share best practices that can be scaled globally.

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NOTE: To join an upcoming Learning Lab such as Meeting of the DAC Learning Laboratory: Driving Early Detection Across Aging Societies, planned for May 17, 2022, click here. This Lab will feature DAC healthcare system pilot sites and demonstrate the first of many collaborative exchanges championed through DAC’s initiatives.

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Flex Seal Expands Retailers in the Caribbean

WESTON, Fla., May 3, 2022 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – The global Flex Seal® Family of Products is filling gaps, cracks and holes across the Caribbean. And many of their products are now available at a variety of retailers in Barbados, Bermuda, Guyana, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and St. Lucia.

Available products include Flex Seal, Flex Tape®, Flex Glue®, Flex Seal Liquid®, Flex Shot® and the Flex Seal Mini® products, each in a variety of their respective colors. These products are available at over 30 locations in-store and on some websites.

“The whole Flex Seal Family joins me in the excitement of this new opportunity and growth for our company,” said Phil Swift, CEO, Inventor and Spokesperson. “We are proud to partner with these new retailers and expand our offering of products to more countries globally.”

It’s important to protect your home and property during the storm season, and The Flex Seal Family of Products is there for you. Each product is useful for a variety of fixes and weatherizing around the home.

About The Flex Seal Family of Products
Swift Response, LLC is the distributor and marketer of The Flex Seal® Family of Products. Founded in 2011, the company provides a variety of DIY home repair and maintenance products specializing in waterproofing, adhesive, bonding and sealing.

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Caribbean Nationals Wanted For Heart Study

CaribPR Wire, FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, Sat. Jan. 22, 2022: A US study is putting the spotlight on Afro-Caribbean nationals who have heart disease, or have been diagnosed with Transthyretin Amyloid Cardiomyopathy, (ATTR-CM).

Afro-Caribbeans with lived experiences can now share their story via a national, qualitative study and get paid if they are considered a good candidate.

The national study is intended to deepen understanding of Afro-Caribbean people suffering heart issues, including heart failure and related health conditions, such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, etc.

“We are focused on the Afro-Caribbean community due to a higher prevalence of heart failure and specifically Transthyretin Amyloid Cardiomyopathy (ATTR-CM),” said Donna Fullerton, Research Partner at Now What. “It is well-established that the broader Black community is disproportionately affected by ATTR-CM, which is driving our attention here. We are looking to speak with, hear stories from, and understand the nuances within the Black community so that future communications and resources around disease awareness and treatment options will be culturally relevant and appropriate and hopefully lessen the health disparities we see today.”

To qualify, Afro-Caribbeans must be between ages 45-75, live in the US, and have been diagnosed with heart failure. Qualified participants will be paid $200 compensation for 2.5 hours of engagement, answering questions and completing activities over a computer or smartphone.

Participants who make the first round of the study, must also be open to take part in a follow-up 75-minute zoom call, for an additional $150.

If you feel you qualify, complete a short pre-qualification survey at: tinyurl.com/heartresearch before January 31st.

“The online exercises will ask people questions about their culture, their community, their thoughts about health and the healthcare system, and their experiences living with a heart condition,” added Fullerton. “All of our questions are designed to be respectful and empathetic – we only ask people to share what they are comfortable sharing and always respect people’s privacy.”

Heart diseases, such has coronary heart disease and heart failure, are more common in Blacks, than other ethnic groups — and so are the other cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and peripheral artery disease. Health issues like obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes can increase a person’s risk of heart failure. People of African heritage have higher rates of heart failure, hospitalization and death from the disease, according to national data.

Although care of patients with Heart Failure, HF, has improved in the past decade, important disparities in HF outcomes persist based on race/ethnicity. Recent scientific data shows that age-adjusted HF-related cardiovascular disease death rates are higher for Black patients, particularly among young Black men and women whose rates of death are 2.6- and 2.97-fold higher, respectively, than White men and women.

Similarly, the rate of HF hospitalization for Black men and women is nearly 2.5-fold higher when compared with Whites, with costs that are significantly higher in the first year after HF hospitalization.

While the relative rate of HF hospitalization has improved for other race/ethnic minorities, the disparity in HF hospitalization between Black and White patients has not decreased during the last decade.

The ultimate goal of this ongoing, targeted research is to learn from and speak with members of the Afro-Caribbean community so that future communications and resources around disease awareness and treatment options will be culturally relevant and appropriate, in order to hopefully lessen the health disparities currently.

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As Mid-Terms Gear Up A Caribbean American Voter Leverages Educational Products To Empower The Disenfranchised

CARIBPRWIRE, WASHINGTON D.C., Thurs, January 6, 2022: Caribbean-born, US voter, Juliette Adams, a thought advocate and creator of The Frederick Press, has launched a creative, civic education tri-initiative to empower the politically disenfranchised in the U.S.

Launched on January 1, 2022, Education/Actions/Self-Investments, (EASI), was created within the framework of the Gifted & Magical 95 Percent (G&M 95%) series, a five-book political tool kit.

As Congresswoman Yvette Clarke highlighted at the Caribbean American Voter 2020 Townhall, low self-esteem contributes to the community political apathy, a feeling of powerlessness, and hopelessness, disenfranchisement and damaging the direction of one’s destiny in democracy.

Deployment of an EASI vehicle assists as an educational solution, said Adams.

The Funding vehicles, ‘A Human Capital Star – Civic Education Thought Initiative,’ is on Kickstarter and continues through January 28th.

‘Gifting Knowledge For Democracy Preservation,’ is on GoFundMe and ‘Legislative Input – Powering Economic Democracy,’ on Indiegogo, continues through February.

The community can opt to become revitalizing democracy players through creative and innovative civic education advocacy with the projected mid-term sweep of the House and Senate seats by Republicans.

Adams believes that a fundamental reason for Caribbean-American political firsts is their personalized cultural democracy, strong spirituality, love of freedom, and high education prioritization. Firsts include Caribbean American Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm (D – NY), Vice-President Kamala Harris, whose roots extend to Jamaica, (D), Congresswoman Mia Love, whose roots extend to Haiti, (R – UT) , and Lieutenant Governor-Elect, Jamaican Winsome Sears (R -VA).

EASI also applies to the underserved white community, evident in the September 18, 2021 rally. It highlights the powerful Trademark of Education in competitive politics, as the issue unexpectedly switched the VA governorship to Republican Glenn Youngkin and his running mate, Caribbean American Winsome Sears.

If the Virginia “Education” win directs mid-term campaigns, the Caribbean American community has an EASI route to be recognized for its substantial contributions, and the influence to direct national and regional policy, said Adams.

The Caribbean American thought advocate added: “It manifests Warren Buffett’s words: ‘Philanthropy is harder than business. You are tackling important problems that people with intellect and money have tackled in the past and had a tough time solving. So, the search for talent in Philanthropy should be more important than the search for talent in investment.’”

Educate, Inform, Embolden, Engage/Empower the EASI way, said Adams. “Support an EASI Grassroots Philanthropic Civic Education today.”

MEDIA CONTACT

Juliette Adams

202-733-0408

limegiftedmagical@thefrederickpress.com

The Frederick Press


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Chuck E. Cheese Signs New Development Agreements In Qatar, Suriname And Guyana

Three new countries will soon experience the world’s number one family entertainment restaurant brand, Chuck E. Cheese, adding to an already rapid expansion story for Chuck E. Cheese internationally

DALLAS, Dec. 6, 2021 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Chuck E. Cheese, the global family entertainment brand, continues to drive international expansion and has successfully signed development agreements in three new countries across South America and in the Middle East. This adds to the rapid ongoing international expansion of the brand already announced in new regions like Egypt, Morocco, Romania and Kuwait, and sets Chuck E. Cheese on track to have over 100 international locations by 2022.

Chuck E. Cheese

“Investors and entrepreneurs continue to recognize Chuck E. Cheese as a high ROI opportunity within their local markets,” says Arun Barnes, COO & SVP of international development for CEC Entertainment. “With a unique business model that is unmatched in the Family Entertainment Center (FEC) landscape, we are the brand that can have an immediate impact in almost any country around the globe, while providing a reliable cash flow for franchise partners who have a passion for family entertainment.”

One of the most effective avenues of growth is through existing franchisees who see success in their own regions, such as franchise partner Joanna Rostant of Yay! Entertainment in Trinidad & Tobago who has signed to expand the brand through sub franchising into Guyana and Suriname. The first site at Suriname is under construction and scheduled to open in the first half of 2022.

Joanna Rostant stated, “We are thrilled to partner through a sub franchise arrangement with Sasja Lie Pauw Sam and his team at Blue Falcon N.V. to bring the joy of Chuck E. Cheese to families in Suriname. We note with confidence Suriname’s recent discovery of substantial volumes of hydrocarbons, and in keeping with the recent IMF forecasts, believe that Suriname will experience strong positive economic growth in the next couple of years. For these and other socio-economic reasons, we believe that the world’s leading family entertainment brand will be thoroughly enjoyed by children and families in Suriname.”

“It makes sense for Caribbean markets, and we are thrilled that Joanna’s strong operating model has positioned her company well to achieve and lead this exciting expansion. We look forward to her success in Suriname, and later in Guyana,” added Arun Barnes.

In addition to the Caribbean, Chuck E. Cheese has also partnered with new franchise partners, Benchmark Hospitality Services, to expand new locations across Qatar throughout the next few years.

“Working with the CEC International team is a pleasure,” said Yanni Jouaneh, franchise owner and CEO of Benchmark Hospitality Services. “They have great systems and processes to support international franchising, and our business feasibility survey of the brand showcased a unique opportunity to bring in a highly profitable brand into Qatar’s exciting market landscape. There is no other brand that offers a great mix of games, food, entertainment and birthday parties. Qatari families with kids will soon experience the joy of Chuck E. Cheese nearer to their home.”

For franchising interests or to learn more about how to bring the joy and profits of Chuck E. Cheese to your market, please visit the all-new international franchising website where you can discover all of the latest news and exciting expansion plans.

About CEC Entertainment, Inc.

CEC Entertainment is the nationally recognized leader in family entertainment and dining with its Chuck E. Cheese, Peter Piper Pizza and, delivery only, Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings brands. As the place where a million happy birthdays are celebrated every year, Chuck E. Cheese’s goal is to create positive, lifelong memories for families through entertainment, food and play. Committed to providing a fun, safe environment, Chuck E. Cheese helps protect families through industry-leading programs such as Kid Check®. As a strong advocate for its local communities, Chuck E. Cheese has donated more than $19 million to schools through its fundraising programs. The Company and its franchisees operate a system of nearly 600 Chuck E. Cheese and 120 Peter Piper Pizza venues, with locations in 47 states and 17 foreign countries and territories. For more information, visit our website or connect with us on social media.

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Ankura Appoints Fernando Batlle as First LATAM Chairman

Brings Wealth of Management Experience to Expansion Efforts in Latin America & the Caribbean

NEW YORK, Oct. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Ankura Consulting, a global expert services and advisory firm, today announced the appointment of Fernando Batlle as the Firm’s first Chairman of its Latin America & Caribbean (LATAM) region. Mr. Batlle’s new position as LATAM Chairman underscores Ankura’s commitment to strengthening its presence in the region and to offering an expansive suite of solutions for clients across the world.

Ankura (PRNewsfoto/Ankura)

“We are thrilled to have an experienced executive like Fernando lead our growing LATAM team. This is a critically important region to many of our clients, and Fernando’s addition bolsters our ability to support them in the market,” said Ankura’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Lavin. “Fernando brings broad industry expertise complemented by a deep connection to and knowledge of the regional landscape, and truly embodies the collaborative culture at Ankura.”

Prior to his appointment as LATAM Chairman, Mr. Batlle served as a Senior Managing Director at Ankura and helped establish the Firm’s position in the turnaround and restructuring market. He holds three decades of leadership and executive experience in both the private and public sector, with a proven track record of executing turnarounds and growing businesses at high profile financial institutions. Mr. Batlle has provided strategic and financial advisory for the Government of Puerto Rico throughout the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. He has held senior leadership positions in commercial and investment banking, securities brokerage, asset management, and public finance. His multiple areas of expertise encompass financial services, energy, capital markets, public-private partnerships, implementation of performance improvement and major transformation initiatives and debt restructuring. He has extensive experience advising governments, state-owned entities, and businesses on strategic and financial matters from development of comprehensive financial plans to economic strategy, debt management strategy, and governance.

“I look forward to growing our team and presence in Latin America and the Caribbean so that we are optimally positioned to address the complex business and financial issues our current and prospective clients face in the region,” said Mr. Batlle. “I’m honored to assume this new position and to advance the Firm’s commitment to developing innovative solutions and driving impactful results for our clients’ continued success around the world.”

Mr. Batlle holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS from Northeastern University.

About Ankura

Ankura Consulting Group, LLC is an independent global expert services and advisory firm that delivers services and end-to-end solutions to help clients at critical inflection points related to change, risk, disputes, finance, performance, distress, and transformation. The Ankura team consists of more than 1,500 professionals in 34 offices globally who are leaders in their respective fields and areas of expertise. Collaborative lateral thinking, hard-earned experience, expertise, and multidisciplinary capabilities drive results and Ankura is unrivaled in its ability to assist clients to Protect, Create and Recover value. For more information, please visit, www.ankura.com

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Caribbean Celebrities Are New “Disaster Fighters” For 2021 Hurricane Season

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. May 31, 2021: A slew of leading Caribbean celebrities have adopted the new title of “Disaster Fighters” ahead of the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which climate scientists forecast will be above normal.

Top West Indian cricketers and music stars are joining arms as the new “Disaster Fighters” with The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the regional inter-governmental agency for disaster management in the Caribbean Community, (CARICOM).

The creative campaign to fighting disasters this season, kicks off today, May 31, 2021, one day ahead of the start of the hurricane season, and aims at reiterating the importance of Caribbean nationals to be prepared, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Indian cricketers, DJ Bravo, Darren Ganga and Stacey-Ann King of Trinidad and Tobago; Jamaica’s Chris Gayle; St. Lucia’s Darren Sammy, and St. Kitts & Nevis’ Kieran Powell, have joined forces with retired celebrity cricketing great, Sir Gary Sobers of Barbados and former cricketer turned music star Omari Banks of Anguilla, as well as musicians Mr Killa of Grenada, Tafa Mi Soleil of Haiti and Ricky T and QPID of St. Lucia, for the May 31st campaign kick-off.

The new CDEMA ground-breaking initiative, supported by the Africa Caribbean Pacific – European Union Natural Disaster Risk Reduction (ACP-EU NDRR) Program, the Canada Caribbean Resilience Facility, the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (managed by the World Bank), and Binance Charity, aims at increasing community preparedness and resilience to risks, such as hurricanes, volcanoes, COVID-19, and other natural hazards affecting the Caribbean region, through a catchy disaster prevention song and music video that will be promoted on social media.

The month-long campaign that coincides with the beginning of the annual hurricane season and will feature important preparedness messages alongside the campaign song and music video on Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as the campaign’s website, disaster-fighters.org.

In an unprecedented move for the campaign, CDEMA will implement its first-ever Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) marketplace to raise donations and support disaster preparedness and disasters in the region. Participating musicians, cricketers and other celebrities will donate signed balls, t-shirts and various memorabilia including exclusive, limited-edition collectibles, that will be auctioned to the public as part of the initiative’s fundraising efforts. Items will include unique, personalized messages from the “Disaster Fighters” celebrity team.

Fans and the public are encouraged to show their support for the initiative by purchasing collectibles signed by their favorite celebrities to assist CDEMA in the important and meaningful work it does.

“Many Caribbean countries have been battling the compound impacts of drought, COVID-19, volcanic eruptions and now hurricane season,” said Elizabeth Riley, Executive Director (ag), CDEMA. “We wanted to use an innovative, inclusive approach to ensure that communities are empowered with the necessary plans, information and tools to tackle the disaster impacts that we as a region have been facing.”

Tahseen Sayed, World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean, added: “The past year has been very challenging for the Caribbean. Although much of the region has managed the health effects of the pandemic through early actions, the socioeconomic impacts have been severe. It is more important than ever this year for Caribbean countries and people to be well-prepared for the hurricane season. We are pleased to support this innovative new campaign from CDEMA that aims to help communities protect themselves and their livelihoods.”

For more log on the initiative and the marketplace log on to disaster-fighters.org or on  Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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The Future of Barbados Does Not Include Waste

An exciting and important project has been approved by the Government of Barbados; the project, a cooperation between the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) and Barbadian company Prosource Limited, will completely transform residential waste collection in the country.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, May 7, 2021 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Waste management is a significant challenge for any society. An appropriate waste management strategy mitigates public health risks, contributes to sustained economic activity, and enhances Public welfare generally. While waste management is one of the least recognized public policy issues in the Caribbean, with the implementation of this project, Barbados will have a world-leading and technology-driven solution for the efficient collection of residential waste.

Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Hon. Adrian Forde, M.P. observed, “The consequences of COVID 19, climate change and the ash fall caused by the recent eruption of the La Soufriere volcano only serves to underscore the importance of solid waste management and the need for efficient waste collection in Barbados. One of the most important tenets of sustainable development is a partnership, whether with private entities, community groups or individuals. The health and safety of our people are paramount in our environmental planning and development. This project will ensure our streets, beaches, ecosystems, wetlands and other areas of biodiversity are maintained. I am eagerly looking forward to this seamless transformation at SSA. My Friends, this is who we are.”

The project is a cooperation between the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) and Barbadian company Prosource Limited, which will vastly improve the efficiency, reliability, and regularity of waste collections. Prosource Limited, whose expertise lies in the residential, commercial, and industrial waste sector, will provide and implement a fully managed end to end solution for the country. Prosource Limited is a part of the Innotech Group and has successfully completed similar projects in the region. In 2020, the Solid Waste Management Corporation of St. Kitts engaged the company to undertake an island-wide waste collection improvement project. David Tomlinson, Director of Prosource Limited, explained how it works for the people of Barbados. “Each household in Barbados will be provided, free of charge, with a standardized Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) enabled 65-gallon roll-out cart for general waste and an 18-gallon bin to be used for commingled recycling. In addition, all the SSA’s collection compactor trucks will be retrofitted with market-leading equipment for mechanically lifting the carts. The RFID readers installed on the trucks will track collection activity, improve collection efficiency, and the in-cab route optimization and management solution will also benefit drivers whilst reducing SSA’s operational cost. Once implemented, the residential waste collection methodology for Barbados will change from a manual system to a much more efficient and safer mechanical operation.” The solution includes a specialist software system capable of tracking, monitoring, and providing analytics for waste collection services and operations. It also allows for automated work orders and asset inventory management. Households will now also have a convenient way to dispose of recyclables using the new recyclable bin provided by the SSA.

It is not just the public who will benefit from this project, according to SSA Chairman Ramon Alleyne. “This project will not only allow our team to be better equipped with state-of-the-art tools and technology, we will be able to deliver a higher standard of service to the public. Just as importantly, it will ensure safer, healthier and better working conditions for SSA’s workers who provide this critical service to the country.”

A cleaner Barbados will also be a benefit for the island’s tourism promotion efforts. A modern and progressive way of keeping the island environmentally friendly and clean can be a competitive edge for a destination, especially with health being a paramount consideration of travelers in deciding where to visit. Chairman of Innotech Group, Anthony Da Silva, stated, “This groundbreaking initiative is a huge win for the island, both for our people and our key industries such as tourism. It is innovative projects such as these that will hopefully serve as a model for the region. We must not overlook the importance of waste management and recycling, and this public health project is evidence that we are serious about making the improvements and investments necessary.”

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Most Anticipated Film “THE RANSOM” – Exploring Haitian History – Will Tell The Stories Of The Indigenous Taíno And The African Experience In The Caribbean

CaribPR Wire, Boston, Mass., Mon. Mar. 15, 2021: Award-winning filmmaker, writer, and producer, Jonas Nosile, invites the Haitian and Caribbean community to bring to life The Ransom.

This new film dramatizes a difficult and tumultuous journey of human suffering and resiliency, throwing light on the brutality faced by Taíno and African slaves in Hispaniola, while ending on a hopeful and positive note.

“Society has made great progress and come a long way, but this struggle for equality has been underway for more than 400 years—and still continues. The Ransom will show that the quest for equality is universal by telling the story of how, early in American history, a group of Africans brought to the Caribbean revolted to fight for their freedom and right this wrong,” said Nosile.

The Ransom tells this incredible story through Marie-Jeanne, a wealthy multi-racial Haitian woman living in France, who journeys back home for family affairs and is kidnapped. Her ransom, however, will require more than just money: she must travel back in time to reckon with her family’s complicity in Haiti’s tragic and violent history and face the truth about her own estrangement from her homeland. To be filmed in Panama and Haiti with ethnically accurate casting and with dialogue in English/Castellan/Spanish-Taíno creole/French, the movie will highlight the daily life of a once-thriving indigenous people and the desire for liberty of African slaves, all against the backdrop of the Caribbean sugar plantation system.

“As the world continues to deal with the negative effects of discrimination, racism, and imbalances of power, The Ransom provides a difficult but necessary reminder of the past and uses it as a catalyst for change. The rough yet resilient tale will tap the emotions of audiences around the world and keep this important part of our history alive. There couldn’t be a better time than now for a film with a social message,” said Nosile.

Jonas’s last project, “Haiti: Triumph, Sorrow, and the Struggle of a People,” won numerous awards, including the Associated Press Award for Best Documentary, and was nominated for an Emmy Award (Regional) in Outstanding Societal Concerns Programs. For The Ransom, he is teaming up with film veterans in Hollywood including veteran screenwriter Mark Richard, a former executive at LD Entertainment.

For more information about this film and to learn how the Haitian and Caribbean community can help bring it to fruition, visit http://theransommovie.com or email info@theransommovie.com

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$100,000 Art Contest Announces Winners

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The Engage Art Contest announces its winning artists for their 2019-2020 contest. The contest, open to artists in North America, featured four categories—Visual Art, Music Video, Film and Performing Arts—and drew more than 1,000 submissions from 24 countries. Each category was juried blind by a panel of experts in that field of the arts. Cash prizes total $100,000.

The Engage Art Contest is the creation of art appreciators and philanthropists, Bill and Linda Bantz of North Carolina. Bill felt a strong calling from God to re-introduce artists to a time-tested source of inspiration —the Holy Scriptures. For centuries, artists such as Bach, Mozart, Chagall, Dali and Matisse have been inspired to create works based on Scripture. Bill and Linda feel that now is the time for this generation to draw on this source and contribute a contemporary take.

The topic of this contest is the Spiritual Battle as described in Ephesians 6:10-20, with each artist asked to explore this spiritual dynamic from their own viewpoint. In truth, the theme is universally relevant and evergreen, and it provides fodder for a broad array of artistic response.

The 2020 Engage Art Winners are:

Visual Art
1st Place: Steve A. PrinceArmor of God: Equipping Ourselves to do Social Justice—Virginia, USA
2nd Place: Jonathan MilletThe Contenders—Texas, USA
3rd Place: Jeffrey A. GomezForever and Ever—California, USA

Honorable Mentions: Geoffrey Bowton (Oregon), Sandra Jean Caes (Colorado), Maria Andrea Diaz Perazache (Costa Rica), Nirvani Harriram (New York), Cody F. Miller (Ohio), Ronald Mondesir (Massachusetts), Michelle Washington (California)

Performing Arts
1st Place: Willow PinkertonTrial and Faith—Pennsylvania, USA
2nd Place: Karlos SmithTransformed—Ohio, USA
3rd Place: Triston N. Gollop—Insurrection—Barbados

Honorable Mentions: Marcelino DaCosta (Ontario), Camille C. Hanson (Minneapolis), Sanjae Shanna Kay Innis (Jamaica), Daniel Knudsen (Michigan), Javaughn Lewis (Jamaica), Jhenelle Lewis (Jamaica), Gersha H. Tjaaroeme (St. Maartin)

Music Video:
1st Place: Jeremiah BligenWake—North Carolina, USA
2nd Place: Shane ‘Rizon’ GibsonAct Like You Know—Trinidad and Tobago
3rd Place: Bj’orn PierreNo Grudge—Trinidad and Tobago

Honorable Mentions: Esther Acheampong (Ontario), Robert Barrera (Michigan), Darian Johnson (California), Marley Nunez (Belize), Andrew Pickens (Missouri), Wrudell Timothy (Trinidad and Tobago), Katrice Walker (New York)

Film:
1st Place: Isaac MornatusFirm—Dominican Republic
2nd Place: Antwan WitterMy Biggest Fear—South Carolina, USA
3rd Place: Patrick MeikleTruly Valiant—Jamaica

Honorable Mentions: Daniel Anleu (Guatamala), Johnny D. Dutch (North Carolina), Jonathan Rothermel (Pennsylvania), Alfonso Meléndez Sánchez (Mexico), Willie Singh (Trinidad and Tobago), Simon Joseph Thompson (Jamaica), Christian Vargas (Costa Rica)

Plans for the 2021-2022 Engage Art Contest are underway and will be announced in January 2021. For more information or to view the winners work, visit www.EngageArt.org.

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University Canada West Promotes Women’s Leadership with virtual seminar and MBA Scholarship for Women

CaribPR Wire, TORONTO, Canada, Fri. Oct. 2, 2020: University Canada West (UCW) recently announced details on its next public program, a Women in Leadership virtual seminar with prominent Caribbean speaker: Lisandra Rickards on October 7th at 6pm EST. The featured topic is “Risk and Reward: Lessons from Caribbean Women in Entrepreneurship.”

In June 2020, the Vancouver-based UCW unveiled the Women in Leadership MBA Award, an MBA scholarship. This seminar further expands the university’s support of women leaders in this area.  The audience interested in registering for the seminar can sign up at: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_q5lpT5EnTAyr_4gwgUnIcA

As the talk is virtual, men and women across the Caribbean can log on to view this important and informative seminar. Speaking about the Women in Leadership MBA award, Brock Dykeman, UCW President said, “This is an important initiative for UCW and aligns with our goals to empower women to become business and community leaders. We hope to help develop future leaders through this unique initiative by providing them with the industry-relevant skills that employers are looking for in the fast-changing business and technology landscape.”

Speaker Lasandra Rickards is Founder and CEO of Soul Career, former CEO of the Richard Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, and a Harvard MBA. As CEO of the Richard Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, she coached over 220 entrepreneurs, created online programs for over 2,500 entrepreneurs, built a team of 12, and made the Centre a player in the venture capital space. With Soul Career, she helps executives, professionals and entrepreneurs lead authentically, and build powerful legacies.

Research shows that communities thrive and grow when women advance in their careers and run their own businesses.  UCW feels that these virtual seminars will provide women and men with tools to advance their leadership skills.

UCW is also of special interest to the Caribbean community because they offer the Americas Tuition, which provides tuition support for prospective students from North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. With the Americas Tuition award, students save up to 60% compared to regular international student’s tuition fees for UCW’s Associate of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and MBA degrees. UCW is offering the Americas Tuition Award for students starting in the intakes of January, April, July or October 2021.

Background:

University Canada West is a contemporary independent university located in the heart of vibrant Vancouver. Established in 2004, UCW offers a range of career-focused programs including the Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication, Associate of Arts and Master of Business Administration. Courses are offered at UCW´s two downtown Vancouver campus locations, as well as online.

The virtual seminar “Risk and Reward: Lessons from Caribbean Women in Entrepreneurship” is part of a Women in Leadership Seminar Series made up of four seminars focused on Mexico, South America, Brazil, and the Caribbean respectively. The registration link for the seminar is: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_q5lpT5EnTAyr_4gwgUnIcA

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Mastercard Study Shows Consumers in LAC Make the Move to Contactless Payments

Consumers cite simplicity, cleanliness and speed through checkout experience as contactless payments booster

– Mastercard champions effort to raise limits for contactless payment transactions across Latin America & Caribbean

MIAMI, April 30, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – During first quarter of 2020, as many countries imposed necessary restrictions on social distancing, a growing number of consumers in Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) turned to contactless payments for necessary purchases, a new Mastercard study shows. According to the survey, 35% of people in the region have increased their usage of contactless payments, citing simplicity, safety and cleanliness.

Consumer polling by Mastercard paints a picture of accelerated and sustained contactless adoption. This shift in consumer behavior is particularly clear at checkout as people express a desire for contactless cards and concerns over cleanliness and safety at the point of sale, according to the study. In fact, findings of the study show that the impact of social distancing and other safety guidelines on consumer payment behavior is extensive:

  • 56% of Latin Americans said they are more aware of dirtiness of cash.
  • 84% of Latin Americans believe contactless is a cleaner way to pay.

1.        Mastercard’s own initiatives, along with the intelligence of its technology, data analytics and investments in security, will continue to propel a world beyond cash. Already, more than half of consumers around the world (63%) are using cash less often, or not at all, since the pandemic began. The same is true in LAC, where on average 66% of consumers are using cash less often, or not at all:

  • 77% of Brazilians indicated that they are using cash less, or not at all, since the pandemic.
  • 61% of Colombians indicated that they are using cash less, or not at all, since the pandemic.
  • 68% of Costa Ricans indicated that they are using cash less, or not at all, since the pandemic.
  • 58% Dominican Republicans indicated that they are using cash less, or not at all, since the pandemic.

2.       Consumers are quickly appreciating the benefits of contactless payments with 79% across LAC finding them more secure when compared to keeping or paying with cash. Additionally, regional consumer polling by Mastercard indicated sustained contactless usage with consumers preferring the quick and efficient checkout experience.

  • 78% of Latin Americans indicated they will continue using contactless payments even after the pandemic is over.
  • The belief was even stronger among those under the age of 35, where 82% of this population indicated continued use post-COVID.

“As we all experience the first global pandemic in an age defined by the digitalization of our lives, contactless card payments have taken on a new urgency. It has been both encouraging and gratifying to see our partners throughout the LAC region adopt the changes and acceleration of contactless. The technology is available, and it’s clear that the change we are witnessing in consumer behavior is here to stay,” said Walter Pimenta, Senior Vice President, Products & Innovation, Mastercard Latin America and Caribbean.

Accelerating faster, cleaner, safer payments
Throughout the world, Mastercard has been spearheading the transition to contactless for more than 15 years, championing it as the simple, safe and fast way to pay. As a region with countries where contactless technologies are a newer experience, LAC has seen a rapid increase in infrastructure, with 75% of point of sale terminals ready to accept contactless transactions, and 60% of financial institutions issuing contactless-enabled cards.

In March, Mastercard led a move to increase the contactless payment limits across the LAC region as people looked for safer ways to pay in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, four countries have already raised their contactless payment limits including, Colombia, Argentina, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, with many others expected to follow soon. The initiative is in line with similar actions taking place around the world as health officials recommend social distancing and a growing number of merchants are encouraging consumers to pay with contactless instead of cash to avoid contact.

“As the spread of COVID-19 highlights the steadfast mindset for ‘contact-free’ environments and experiences in many aspects of our lives, the increased interest in contactless payments is far reaching. We believe in providing consumers with the freedom of choice in how they pay and peace of mind when they pay. With increased convenience and security, we look forward to expanding the contactless footprint more than ever before,” added Pimenta.

Contactless Payments Growth
As consumers increasingly seek out ways to quickly get in and out of stores without touching terminals, Mastercard data reveals over 40% growth in contactless transactions globally in the first quarter of 20201. Further, 80% of contactless transactions are under $25, a range that is typically dominated by cash. LAC, a less mature region when it comes to contactless penetration, saw exponential growth, with contactless transactions up 500% overall since March of last year.

While countries worldwide are at different stages of contactless card deployment and usage for daily shopping habits, Mastercard’s insights on grocery and pharmacy trends – two areas where many day-to-day essentials are being purchased – showed that nearly all regions experienced significant spikes in February and March. Further, reinforcing changing behaviors and consumer checkout preferences, Mastercard saw the number of contactless card payments at grocery stores and pharmacies grow twice as fast as non-contactless transactions globally2.

Notes to Editors:

1 Growth calculated as the percentage increase in contactless transactions compared to the percentage increase in non-contactless transactions, comparing March 2020 to March 2019, at Grocery and Pharmacy categories

2Growth calculated as the percentage increase in contactless transactions compared to the percentage increase in non-contactless transactions, comparing March 2020 to February 2020, at Grocery and Pharmacy categories

Survey Methodology

  • Online interviews of 17,000 consumers in 19 countries worldwide
  • 1,000 banked respondents per country in the US and Canada (North America); Australia, Singapore (Asia Pacific); UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, South Africa (Middle East and Africa); UK, Italy, France, German, Spain, Poland, Russia, the Netherlands (Europe).
  • 500 banked respondents per country in Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Colombia (Latin America and the Caribbean)
  • Research conducted April 10-12, 2020
  • Nationally representative sample
  • Readable sample sizes of:
    • Gen Z/Millennials
    • Affluent [defined at a country level]
    • Contactless users
    • Primary shoppers
    • Those with high levels of concern about Covid-19

About Mastercard
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

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FRANCES-ANNE SOLOMON’S HERO OPENS LA’S 28th ANNUAL PAN AFRICAN FILM & ARTS FESTIVAL

Caribbean Film Hero To Open LA’s 28th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival

HERO_Castle_groupShot

CaribPR Wire, Weds. January 8, 2020 (Toronto, ON) – CaribbeanTales Media Group, California Pictures and Imagine Media International announce the screening of their feature film HERO: Inspired by The Extraordinary Life and Times of Ulric Cross directed by Canadian-Caribbean filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon at the Opening Night of the Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) on Tuesday February 11th, 2020 at the Directors Guild of America Theater, 7920 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles.

“To be selected as the opening film for this prestigious festival is an honour,” says Solomon. “It’s a go-to event for Black Hollywood and to be recognized in this way by an audience of my peers is important to me as a Caribbean filmmaker of African descent.”

PAFF is the largest Black film festival in America with approximately 200 films from around the world and 100 fine artists participating in the largest Black History Month cultural event in the United States. The festival will be held from February 11 – February 23, 2020 at the Cinemark Rave 15 Theaters and the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) designated PAFF as an official qualifying film festival for live action and animation short films.

“We are very excited to screen HERO and share the triumphs and victories of Judge Ulric Cross and his Pan African brothers, which led to the creation of our modern world. It is truly an honour for me personally, as well as the Pan African Film Festival to present and create awareness about this great, important, enriching and entertaining story,” said Ayuko Babu, executive director of PAFF.

HERO is inspired by the extraordinary life and times of Trinidad and Tobago citizen, diplomat and judge Ulric Cross, the most decorated West Indian of World War II. He was a member of the highly decorated group of Caribbean pilots who flew combat missions for the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force (RAF) in World War II. After his service, Cross went on to play an active and important role in the Pan African Movement, which led to the creation of the 28 modern Caribbean and 54 modern African nations.

HERO--Official-Poster

“I first had the opportunity to see Hero in London’s Piccadilly Circus and was captivated by the depth and flavors of Ulric Cross’ life,” says Steven Istock of California Pictures. “I immediately knew I wanted to be involved in helping spread awareness of this great man’s story and impact around the world.”

Funded by Canada’s Telefilm and Trinidad’s Republic Bank, HERO boasts an all-star international cast that includes Trinidad and Tobago’s Nickolai Salcedo , in the lead role of Ulric Cross, alongside Canada’s Peter Williams ( Stargate SG1 ), UK stars Joseph Marcell ( Fresh Prince of Bel Air ), Fraser James ( Resident Evil ), Pippa Nixon ( John Carter ), and Ghanaian superstars John Dumelo, Adjetey Anang and Prince David Oseia.

“PAFF is an important platform in the US for our film HERO, which has captured the imagination of viewing audiences around the world,” said Executive Producer Lisa Wickham of Imagine Media International. “We are thrilled at the auspicious recognition it has received as the Opening Film for PAFF 2020.

An award-winning filmmaker, producer, curator and entrepreneur, Solomon is a 2019 member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences . HERO is her third feature film and has received critical acclaim on its worldwide tour, that has included a theatrical run in the U.K. Following a successful career as a TV Drama Producer and Executive Producer with the BBC in England, Solomon launched the CaribbeanTales Media Group in Canada and Barbados that includes an international film festival and distribution company. Full bio: www.francesannesolomon.com

MEDIA INQUIRIES:

For media inquiries and interviews with Frances-Anne Solomon contact:

Fennella Bruce |647.290.7610 | fennella@fkbmedia.com

FOLLOW HERO ON SOCIAL:

Facebook: @Hero4Alltime

Instagram: @Hero_Film

Twitter: @Hero_Film

Visit the HERO Website

HERO World Tour Official Trailer

CaribbeanTales (CTMG) is a group of media companies that produces, markets, exhibits and distributes Caribbean-themed films from around the world, including CaribbeanTales Inc – a registered Charity in Canada, and CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution. Activities include The CaribbeanTales International Film Festival (CTFF), now in its 15th year; the renowned CaribbeanTales Incubator Program (CTI) – a year-round development and production hub for Caribbean, Diaspora, and diverse Producers; CaribbeanTales-TV a VOD streaming service; and CaribbeanTalesFlix, its production arm. More info at www.caribbeantales.org

About California Pictures

California Pictures was originally founded in 1944 by Howard Hughes and Academy Award winner Preston Sturges and reincorporated in 2008 by Steven Istock. The company is focused on creating great movies and television content with dynamic characters, strong and personally identifiable themes and powerful journeys for a worldwide audience.

California Pictures is an international production and distribution company, exhibiting and selling independent films across the world. They produce and sell films at the Cannes, American, Berlin and Hong Kong film markets and represent a diverse group of filmmakers and projects from around the world including England, China, India, Jamaica, Mongolia, Canada, Denmark, Australia, South Africa, Scotland, Nigeria, Russia, Barbados, Columbia, and Cambodia.

About Imagine Media

Imagine Media International Limited is an award-winning, full-service, production Company, based in Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa. Founded by award-winning, Producer-Director & Media Personality Lisa Wickham, the Company provides content creation across all media platforms, event management, marketing & PR Services, graphic design and training & consultancy. Imagine Media has developed and coordinated projects in Europe, North America, Africa and several Caribbean countries.

About The Pan African Film Festival

Over the past 27 years, The Pan African Film & Arts Festival has sought to increase cultural awareness and bridge diverse communities from the African diaspora by providing a creative safe space for the development and expression of the Black narrative through film, poetry, art and music.

PAFF’s legacy is evidenced by the success of storytellers and award-winning actors and actresses who’ve spotlighted their work at the festival, including such names as Denzel Washington, Kevin Hart, Jamie Foxx, Ryan Coogler, Alfre Woodard, Ava Duvernay and countless others. The festival’s platform proudly serves as a conduit for the careers of thousands of talented actors, actresses, directors, producers and executives; many of whom have gone on to win the industry’s top honors.

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The Caribbean’s First Non-Profit Investigative News Network Launches

-CIJN releases four hard-hitting investigations-

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jan. 6, 2020 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – The Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network (CIJN) just launched with the unveiling of four deep dive exposés produced by over a dozen Caribbean journalists. CIJN is a project of the Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC) which is headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica.

The four long-form multimedia investigative stories were led by former Los Angeles Times publisher and editor, Davan Maharaj; former CNN anchor and correspondent, Jim Clancy; senior Caribbean journalist, Wesley Gibbings; and Caribbean-based media executive, Kiran Maharaj.

Maharaj, President of MIC and Co-founder of CIJN, said the CIJN initiative was meant to “create space for our Caribbean region on the global map of quality investigative reporting…. in small island nations we are straddled with the constraints of lack of resources, and the constant fear that our identities will be known and our lives at risk.”

The ISIS story reveals a trail of activities related to the recruitment of Islamist militants by a network of organizations in the twin-island state.

Human Trafficking in Plain Sight explores the sordid realities of human trafficking arising out of the turmoil in Venezuela. The existence of criminal networks working in tandem with corrupt police, immigration authorities and businesses is investigated in harrowing detail.

The team’s investigation of heavy Chinese investments in the Caribbean traces the growing influence of the Asian economic giant on regional development. Using supporting data, the story examines the impact of opaque investments in Caribbean mega-projects on a legacy of debt and geo-political influence in the Americas.

CIJN reviews the ill-fated PetroCaribe energy deals with the Caribbean; unravelling details on how an oil alliance founded by Chavez to confront U.S. influence in the Caribbean collapsed into broken deals, dashed hopes and rampant corruption.

Speaking at the launch, Jamaica correspondent, Steffon Campbell, said he saw the regional network of investigative journalists as being capable of seeing “the bigger picture; a regional picture; a transnational picture.”

MIC is a member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN), Global Forum for Media Development (GMFD), Institute for Non-Profit News (INN) and the International Press Institute (IPI). Its Advisory Board comprises leading media leaders, journalists and media development players from North America, Europe and the Caribbean.

CIJN stories can be accessed at cijn.org. All content can be freely republished with attribution and without amendment. For more information email: cijninfo@gmail.com.

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Archipelago International Expands Portfolio in Cuba

Now Open: Grand Aston Cayo Las Brujas Beach Resort & Spa

JAKARTA, Indonesia, July 29, 2019 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ – Archipelago International, Southeast Asia’s largest independent hotel group, today announced the signing of a Management Contract with Grupo de Turismo Gaviota S.A, for the 5 Star Grand Aston Cayo Las Brujas Beach Resort & Spa in Cuba. The signing ceremony took place recently in Havana, Cuba.

Grand Aston Cayo Las Brujas Beach Resort & Spa

Grand Aston Cayo Las Brujas Beach Resort & Spa is located in the Northern Cayos of Cuba on Las Brujas Island, adjacent to Cayo Santa Maria. The resort is comprised of 727 rooms and suites, family and adult-only areas, five swimming pools, eclectic dining offerings, a ‘Technogym’ equipped fitness center, water sports, tennis, multi-sport areas and Cuba’s only Balinese-themed spa together with its own Pueblo (resort village with even more dining choices, a lively Salsa venue, the island’s most happening beach bar, a bowling alley and a variety of shops). The resort also has its own 3 km long private beach.

Archipelago has been brought in to maximise the potential of this wonderful new resort and will apply its proven operational, technical and training capabilities. The resort will provide guests with a multitude of choices and experiences throughout their stay, and will imbue a sense of our Southeast Asian heritage“, commented Gerard Byrne, Managing Director, Archipelago Overseas.

We are delighted to debut in Cuba and are honoured to be part of Grupo de Turismo Gaviota’s growing international family. Grand Aston Cayo Las Brujas Beach Resort & Spa is a truly remarkable resort. Cuban hospitality services, combined with international management expertise, will ensure a memorable all-inclusive experience for its guests“, commented John Flood, President & CEO, Archipelago International.

Grand Aston Cayo Las Brujas Beach Resort & Spa is Archipelago’s second project in Cuba. Its first, Grand Aston Varadero Beach Resort, is currently under construction and is expected to open in 2021.

About Archipelago International
Archipelago International is one of Southeast Asia’s largest operators of hotels, resorts and residences with more than 145 operating hotels (20,000 rooms) and a further 100+ properties under development across Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Its 10 multi award winning brands are Aston, Huxley, Alana, The Aston Heritage Collection, Kamuela, Harper, Quest, Neo, favehotels and Nomad.

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Caribbean Countries Agree to Protect Endangered Largetooth Sawfish

Dutch Proposal to List the Species under the Cartagena Convention Succeeds

ROATÁN, Honduras, June 5, 2019 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Today, on World Environment Day, the critically endangered largetooth sawfish gained a lifeline as Caribbean countries unanimously agreed to add the species to Annex II of the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol under the Cartagena Convention. Seventeen member governments are thereby obligated to impose strict national protections for the species and cooperate regionally to recover populations.

“We are pleased that governments from across the Caribbean have seen the value of saving the iconic and irreplaceable largetooth sawfish from further regional extinction,” said Olga Koubrak, legal advisor for Sealife Law. “Sawfish are among the world’s most endangered marine species and urgently need strict legal protections wherever they remain.”

All five sawfish species worldwide are classified as Endangered or Critically Endangered under the IUCN Red List. Largetooth and smalltooth sawfish were once common in the Caribbean but are now seriously depleted. The smalltooth sawfish was added to SPAW Annex II in 2017. Caribbean countries thought to still have sawfish in their waters include the Bahamas, Cuba, Colombia, and Costa Rica. The level of national sawfish protection varies, however, and regional conservation initiatives are lacking.

“Today’s decision is warranted and welcome, as time is running out for sawfish,” said Sonja Fordham, president of Shark Advocates International. “The success of this measure depends on prompt and robust implementation of associated conservation commitments. We thank the Netherlands for proposing sawfish listing and urge continued engagement to ensure sawfish protection programs are developed across the Caribbean, before it’s too late.”

Found globally in warm waters, sawfish can grow to nearly 20 feet. Like other rays, low reproductive rates leave them exceptionally vulnerable to overfishing. Incidental catch is the main threat to sawfish; their tooth-studded snouts are easily entangled in nets. Despite increasing protections, sawfish parts are used for curios, food, medicine, and cockfighting. Habitat degradation also jeopardizes survival.

Sealife Law (SL) brings legal information and education to ocean conservation. Shark Advocates International (SAI) advances science-based policies for sharks and rays. SL and SAI have joined with marine researchers from Havenworth Coastal Conservation (HCC), CubaMar, and Florida State University to form a Caribbean sawfish coalition, supported by the Shark Conservation Fund. SAI, HCC, and CubaMar are projects of The Ocean Foundation.


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A Free Benefit Concert For The USVI Is Coming To St. John This May

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. Apr. 17, 2019: The countdown is on to an exciting free benefit concert for the US Virgin Islands this May 18th in St. John.

The “Music Is Life” benefit is being presented by Intellectual Global Concepts, (IGC), in collaboration with The Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis, The RTPark, The University of The Virgin Islands, (UVI) and Grammy-Award winning Jazz Drummer, Dion Parson.

It is set for May 18th-19th from 5 p.m.-12:30 a.m. at The St. John Bayfront at The Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis.

The event will feature world renowned South African electronic music maestro, Hyenah, who is known for his elusive identity, top charting tracks on ‘Resident Advisor,’ and his performances at top clubs across the globe. Additionally, the event will showcase USVI’s own Cool Session Brass Band and UVI’s SHUT Down Band along with DJ Mike Swells of NYC and local fire dancers and drum circle.

Event attendees will also be able to experience the local food culture with several amazing food vendors placed throughout the venue and an online Silent Auction at 32auctions.com/musicislife, that will feature a fantastic selection of prizes with winners of the auction announced live at the event.

Taxis will be available to bring guests to the venue and back for US $6 each way, while boat operators will offer trips from St. Thomas to St. John throughout the entirety of the event along with late night options for transportation after the event ends.

Proceeds from the event, merchandise sales, food, art, merchant vendor fees and sponsor donations will be used to bolster music education via the Music Education Program at the University of The Virgin Islands lead by Mr. Parson. Both the St. Croix and St. Thomas campuses were heavily impacted by the 2017 back-to-back Hurricanes Irma and Maria that damaged the university and the RTPark’s 64 West Center Building, leaving a long-lasting impact on the local economy.

This event has a limited number of attendees so music fans must register for free tickets only on Eventbrite or donate US $10-50 for a variety of donation packages, including items like T-shirts and free drinks at the venue.

For more information see Facebook at facebook.com/musicislifeusvi/ and Eventbrite at usvimusicislife.eventbrite.com

Sponsors interested in collaborating with IGC on this event can contact organizers at musicislifeusvi@gmail.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Felicia Persaud

Hard Beat Communications

(P): 718-476-3616

Email: felicia@caribpr.com

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A Caribbean War Hero Remembered

HERO features a host of celebrated British actors including Joseph Marcell of Fresh Prince of Bel Air fame, playing the role of writer CLR James; Fraser James, of Terminator Salvation, playing the role of George Padmore and British-Nigerian actor Jimmy Akingbola, of BBC’s Holby, playing Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah.

HERO features a host of celebrated British actors including Joseph Marcell of Fresh Prince of Bel Air fame, playing the role of writer CLR James; Fraser James, of Terminator Salvation, playing the role of George Padmore and British-Nigerian actor Jimmy Akingbola, of BBC’s Holby, playing Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah.

CaribPR Wire, LONDON, UK, Sat. April 6, 2019: The life and times of Trinidadian war hero, judge and diplomat, Ulric Cross, will be portrayed in a new film – HERO to be screened at the British Film Institute, Southbank, London on May 18, 2019.

The feature film, produced by former UK resident, Frances-Anne Solomon, has already received international acclaim at its screenings in Trinidad and Tobago and Canada. (not the US yet).

The story told is of Cross, a trailblazer who made his mark on history as a Navigator of fighter planes in World War II. He became one of the RAF’s most decorated West Indian Airmen. He then went on to play a central role in the independence struggles of both Africa and the Caribbean.

“Ultimately, the story is about us. About who we are as Caribbean people and as citizens of the world,” says filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon. “In that spirit, we’re thrilled to be bringing HERO to the UK where much of the filming took place. It is particularly poignant that this year is the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first major generation of Caribbean arrivals in Britain — on the Empire Windrush.”

Filmed across the UK, Trinidad, Ghana, and Canada, HERO features a host of celebrated British actors including Joseph Marcell of Fresh Prince of Bel Air fame, playing the role of writer CLR James; Fraser James, of Terminator Salvation, playing the role of George Padmore and British-Nigerian actor Jimmy Akingbola, of BBC’s Holby, playing Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah.

Following its premier at the BFI Southbank, HERO will be taken across the UK in the lead up to the 75th Windrush celebrations in June.

For media enquiries, please contact Evadney Campbell, Shiloh PR, 07716 289 717 or email: Evadney@shilohpr.com

HERO Inspired by the Extraordinary
Life & Times of Mr Ulric Cross.

TRAILER

Click to view Trailer

Filmed in Trinidad, Ghana, the UK and Canada, HERO is the story of Ulric Cross, who in 1941, left his small island to seek his fortune, and became the Royal Air Force’s most decorated West Indian. Then his life took a dramatically different course when he followed the call of history. He joined the African independence movements sweeping the world in the 50s and 60s.

About Frances-Anne Solomon

An award-winning filmmaker, producer, curator and entrepreneur in film, TV, Radio and new media. Following a successful career as a TV Drama Producer and Executive Producer with the BBC in England,  Frances-Anne launched the CaribbeanTales Media Group in Canada and Barbados, which includes Production, International Distribution, and Industry Training worldwide.   Frances-Anne has just completed her latest feature film  HERO- Inspired By The Extraordinary Life & Times Of Mr. Ulric Cross, which (while in development) won the Best Feature Pitch at Discop 2016.
About CaribbeanTales Media Group
CaribbeanTales (CTMG) is a group of media companies that produces, markets, and exhibits Caribbean-themed films for Regional and international distribution, including CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution, CaribbeanTales Inc –  a registered Charity in Canada. Activities include The CaribbeanTales International Film Festival now in its 14th year; the renowned CaribbeanTales Incubator (CTI) a year-round development and production hub for Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora Producers; Caribbeantales-TV a VOD  streaming service for Caribbean films; and CaribbeanTalesFlix, their production arm.
https://twitter.com/hero_film?lang=en

About the BFI
The BFI is the UK’s lead organisation for film, television and the moving image. It is a cultural charity that:

  • Curates and presents the greatest international public programme of World Cinema for audiences; in cinemas, at festivals and online
  • Cares for the BFI National Archive – the most significant film and television archive in the world
  • Actively seeks out and supports the next generation of filmmakers
  • Works with Government and industry to make the UK the most creatively exciting and prosperous place to make film internationally

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.

BFI Southbank
The BFI Southbank is open to all. BFI members are entitled to a discount on all tickets. BFI Southbank Box Office tel: 020 7928 3232. Unless otherwise stated tickets are £13.75, concs£11.25 including Gift Aid donation. Members pay £2.20 less on any ticket - www.bfi.org.uk/southbank.
Young people aged 25 and under can buy last minute tickets for just £3, 45 minutes before the start of screenings and events, subject to availability - http://www.bfi.org.uk/25-and-under.
Tickets for FREE screenings and events must be booked in advance by calling the Box Office to avoid disappointment

CaribbeanTales is a registered Canadian Charity no. 87896 4618 RR0001 committed to connecting people through film. This commitment to fostering intercultural understanding includes building community here in Canada, as well as a global community between Canadians and like-minded artists, cultural entrepreneurs, and community builders throughout the Diaspora.
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