I love the endless synchronicities and magical things that happen to me in my life – most of them completely unplanned but somehow turns out perfectly. One of those unplanned “things” was becoming the Director of Operations of Gems of Saint Lucia which has officially expanded it’s services to Canada. You can read more about Gems of Saint Lucia at http://www.gemsofsaintlucia.com/
How did this all happen? I did not apply for the job. In fact I had no idea that this company existed until last August when I went to New York to spend a weekend with my dear girlfriend Margot, who travelled from England to meet me. Along this journey, I met with the CEO of Gems of Saint Lucia, Wilson Jn Baptiste, through an initial Facebook connection. From the very first meeting, I realized that we had some common interests in Saint Lucia (our homeland) and since then we have both been talking non-stop about how we can support the socio-economic development of Saint Lucia through tourism.
A few weeks ago, he made an official offer for me to join his company and to assume the role of Director of Operations. I asked him why he chose me for that particular role. His response was:
” You make things happen. Gems needs someone who is committed, loyal and trusted in the implementation of the concept. It is a new and innovative concept which require a person like yourself to bring in new energy, interpersonal respect, and sincere support for ensuring the success of Gems of Saint Lucia and the grassroots people of Saint Lucia through tourism.”
Over the last few years of living in Canada, I have searched for ways to make a more visible and sustainable contribution to the development of Saint Lucia. When I understood the Gems concept, I felt completely in alignment with it. Through the concept of “Marketing is everybody’s business”, I realized that everyone (Saint Lucians and friends of Saint Lucia) can easily play a role in the marketing of Saint Lucia – not only for sea, sand and sun but to expose our visitors from across the world to the rich cultural and heritage sites of Saint Lucia. This in turn will have great economic benefits to the indigenous people on the island who own and operate cultural and heritage sites and products.
Wilson’s life journey in establishing himself as a professional in the tourism industry is an inspiration. With 2 decades of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry, a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel and Tourism Administration and a Master’s degree in Tourism Management, from New York University, and a hard core entrepreneur with a brilliant mind and extraordinary ideas, I have no reservations that his vision for Gems of Saint Lucia will be a success. In fact he has been a true mentor to me in this new business venture.
My role as Director of Operations went into full force in April 2014. This role involves creating a smooth integration of Gems products and services to the public which encompasses support services such as IT, HR and finance as well as logistics, communications and working with the CEO to develop long term strategies for sustainability.
Our first order of business was to re-brand the company, develop a website and communication material for the public. Within a month of working quite intensely on this project, we successfully launched Gems of Saint Lucia to the Canadian Public. The concept was completely embraced by our network and we had a great official launch of the company on April 24th, 2014. Please see press release here.
(Part of the audience at the launch – toasting to Gems of Saint Lucia)
Our invited guests were all amazing and represented 30 countries from across the world.
What I have learnt from this experience is that by keeping an open mind, communicating effectively, being in alignment with a vision and pushing my boundaries, I have once again, used my talents and strengths to expand myself… and in the process created new possibilities for supporting Saint Lucia.
(Kevin Carroll, Managing Director of Innovation, Invest Ottawa with the CEO of Gems, Wilson Jn Baptise)
I would like to invite you to join me on this amazing adventure. This blog reaches 82 countries across the world. As you read, from whatever part of the world you are, I want you to imagine the possibilities of visiting Saint Lucia and perhaps joining us on a Gemscapade ( A special trip planned to meet professionals from across the world) . You can show your support by liking our Facebook page and keeping in contact with us for future Gems opportunities. You can also share this blog.
TuneIn to the many talents you have. StepUp and showcase them to the world so that others can know what you are capable of. It is not all written on a resume. Networking and being able to effectively communicate your interest and passion to others are very often the key to accessing hidden opportunities.