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Anguillan experience a boost for young Caymanian hospitality workers

Tourism 05 Jun, 2024 Follow News

Dart work exchange participants (L-R) J’Shante Pearson, Jamar Ellis and Diane Conolly, Dart Hospitality Programme Manager, Mikol Bodden and Kiahna Tibbetts.

Four young Caymanians who are building careers in hospitality have benefitted from an opportunity to enhance their skills and understanding of the industry during a work exchange at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla.

The opportunity was provided to employees at Dart-owned hotels in Grand Cayman and recent graduates of the Dart Hospitality Training Programme. Spending two weeks in Anguilla were Ja’Shante Pearson of Hampton by Hilton Grand Cayman, Mikol Bodden and Kiahna Tibbetts of Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, and Jamar Ellis - who along with Tibbetts - recently graduated as part of the latest cohort of the Dart Hospitality Training Programme in November 2023.

Dart, which acquired Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla in 2022, introduced the work exchange to provide an opportunity for the quartet to be exposed to and immersed in one of the leading global luxury hotel brands, while gaining valuable training. They were able to cross-train within a range of different departments at the resort including finance, security, food and beverage, rooms division and guest services.

“By leveraging our position as the owner of hotels in two well-positioned Caribbean destinations, we can provide these opportunities to hard-working and deserving Caymanians who have displayed interest and ability to have meaningful careers in hospitality. The opportunity to gain experience with a top luxury brand like Four Seasons is not one that would have otherwise been afforded to these young hospitality ambassadors,” said Dart Chief of Staff, Joanne Lawson. 

She added that providing these types of opportunities helps to ensure that the Cayman Islands has an equipped and prepared workforce to deliver worldclass hospitality to visitors.

Tibbetts, a 2023 Dart Hospitality Training Programme graduate, said “Overall, my experience at the hotel really exemplified what a hospitality experience should feel like. The team allowed for more personal connections to be built. I really think that this was such a great opportunity to be a part of. And I want to thank Dart and Four Seasons for having such faith in me to allow me to be a part of this insightful opportunity.”

After graduating from the Dart Hospitality Training Programme last November, Tibbetts secured employment with Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa as pastry cook at Ave restaurant.

Mikol Bodden, who works in the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa housekeeping department, also shared his experience. “This exchange programme was a great opportunity for aspiring individuals who want to grow in the hospitality sector. The limitless mindset I adapted from this trip has motivated me to seek new heights in my career.”

Bodden has recently been promoted to be a loss prevention supervisor at Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman and will transition into a new role when that hotel opens in April 2024. 

As part of the exchange programme, a number of employees from the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Anguilla spent two weeks last September sharpening their skills and exchanging best practices at Hampton by Hilton Grand Cayman.

It is anticipated that a similar opportunity will be provided to other Caymanians working at Dart-owned hotels in Grand Cayman or who have graduated from the Dart Hospitality Training Programme.


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