NABHOOD creates strong tourism connection for The Bahamas

(left to right) Ashanti Darville, UB Hospitality Management student; Dr. Ruth Gardiner, Associate Professor, UB College of Tourism, Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Leisure Management; Rocco Angelo, Associate Dean, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Florida International University; David Romer, UB Hospitality Management Student; and Elreka Cooper, UB Tourism Management student

Bahamians are amongst the hundreds of attendees at the National Association of Black Hotel Owners & Developers (NABHOOD) 27th Annual International African American Hotel Ownership & Investment Summit & Trade Show. The event brings together hotel owners, managers, aspiring owners, students and others from some of the biggest brands in the region for three days of intense panel sessions, conferences, luncheons and dinners. NABHOOD is changing the landscape of the hotel Industry by promoting black people, other people of color and minorities into leadership in hotels and other tourism-related industries.

Dr. Andy Ingraham, Founder, President and CEO of NABHOOD is descended from Eleuthera, Bahamas, and he has made it a point to include The Bahamas in this annual event, as he continues to promote the country’s number one industry, tourism. The 27th NABHOOD Conference is being held concurrently with the 11th Annual International Multicultural & Heritage Tourism Summit & Trade Show, further increasing opportunities for people in The Bahamas and the Caribbean, as well as the United States, to augment their businesses and careers.

Phyllicia Hanna, Director of Investments, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Investments is attending NABHOOD’s conference, considering it an important platform to liaise with investors looking for new opportunities to promote existing brands or create new ones. She is particularly excited for the opportunity to meet people of color who value destinations like The Bahamas for its rich cultural heritage and island charm. She is joined by R. Andrew Burrows, consultant for the Bahamas Investment Authority, who is also seeking out new connections and investments for the country.

Dwayne Mortimer, President of the Balmoral Club, New Providence is meeting with some of the most influential hotel leaders in America during the summit. He is gaining advice and successfully networking as the Balmoral prepares to add 50 new rooms to its luxury boutique
hotel property.

Ruth Gardiner, hospitality associate professor at the University of The Bahamas College of Tourism, Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Leisure Management, brought students to the conference for life-changing opportunities to clarify their career paths and open their eyes to new opportunities in the industry. This year’s University of The Bahamas student attendees are: Ashanti Darville, Hospitality Management major; David Romer, Hospitality Management major; and Elrika Cooper, Tourism Management major. The students did not hesitate to pose questions to leaders and owners from brands like Marriott International; Hilton; Choice Hotels; Wyndham Hotels & Resorts; the Hyatt; Best Western Resorts & Hotels, and more. Ailsa Coakley, a Bahamian psychologist living in Washington, DC, traveled to Miami to attend this conference as she prepares to carve out a new career path – hotel ownership.

Countless stories are being shared at the NABHOOD Summit of everyday people who, through this summit, were able to become successful hotel owners. Others shared stories of climbing the ladder from bellmen to CEOs. NABHOOD is changing mindsets towards hotel ownership and leadership, with an increasing amount of minorities becoming leaders in the industry year after year.

The NABHOOD 2023 Conference Awardees are: NABHOOD Chairman Award: John Lancaster, Choice Hotels International; AAHOA/NABHOOD Outstanding Hotelier of the Year: Kendra Plumber- Founder, Elise Capital; NABHOOD/Hank Thomas Trailblazer Award: Sheila Johnson; NABHOOD Deal of the Year: Waldorf Astoria Washington DC; NABHOOD Diversity Award, Geoff Ballotti, President/CEO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts; and NABHOOD 2023 Scholarship Recipient: FMU (NABHOOD Fund).

The International African American Hotel Ownership & Investment Summit & Trade Show is designed to educate attendees on how to become a hotel owner or investor, share minority investment trends, explore supplier opportunities and decide how to market to minorities and diversity issues affecting the industry.

Source: Felicity Darville

More photo highlights below:

Dwayne Mortimer, president of the Balmoral Club (left) meets with Andy Ingraham, President, Founder and CEO of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners & Operators (NABHOOD) (right) during its 27th annual Summit

Pushing for investments for The Bahamas: Phyllicia Hanna, Director of Investment, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Aviation and Investments (left) with Roland Andrew Burrows, consultant, Bahamas Investment Authority

Ailsa Coakley, Bahamian psychologist living in America, meets successful luxury hotel brand owner Sheila Johnson and NABHOOD President Andy Ingraham