SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- When Simon Suarez takes overs the reins of
the Caribbean Hotel Association (CHA) in January for a two-year
term as president, he will quickly put to use much of what he has
gleaned from his career in the hotel industry.
Suarez is currently the executive vice president of development
at Coral Hotels & Resorts in the Dominican Republic.
Suarez, who was elected during CHA's recent Caribbean Hotel
Industry Conference, will succeed Ralph Taylor, chairman of Almond
Beach Resorts in Barbados.
In other conference news, CHA named Rob Sherman, the managing
director of Curtain Bluff resort in Antigua, as its Hotelier of the
Year and presented him with its Golden Conch Award.
The Golden Conch Award, now in its 23rd year, honors individuals
who have maintained a successful hotel operation and participated
in CHA activities at both local and regional levels.
As CHA treasurer, Sherman serves as liaison between the
association and Antigua, Anguilla and St. Kitts and Nevis.
Sherman also is in charge of Antigua's Hello, Tourist
hospitality career program and is a trustee of CHA's Caribbean
Hospitality Training Institute and chairman of Antigua Sailing
Other award winners at the Caribbean Hotel Indus- try Conference
were:Nataly Sint Jago of Avila Beach Hotel in Curacao, who was named
Hotel Employee of the Year.Gladys De Freitas of La Cabana All Suite Resort in Aruba, who
earned the Supervisor of the Year Award.Bernadette Nathaniel, Trinidad Hotels, Restaurants and Tourism
Association, and Rodinald Soomer, St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism
Association, who were named Hotel Association Executives of the
Aruba swept the honors in the Green Hotel environmental
category, with Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort winning for the small
hotel division (fewer than 75 rooms) and La Cabana All Suite Beach
Resort capturing the award for large hotels (more than 75
In addition to the hotel awards, CHA and award co-sponsor
American Express named the Negril Area Environmental Protection
Trust in Jamaica the recipient of the Green Area Award.
This award was given for the group's educational programs and
community involvement in teaching locals to reduce, reuse and
Puerto Rico's Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort, Country Club &
Ocean Villas won the Betty Sperber Tourism Education Award.
The resort has a Hello, Tourist program for sixth grade students
who learn how tourism affects Puerto Rico's development.
The students visit cruise ships, a travel agency and the Puerto
Rico Tourism Co.