Cayman Connection is proud to announce the winners of the inaugural Making Waves Awards, which recognise Caymanians living abroad who have made outstanding contributions to, and excelled in, their respective fields.
Winners include a former NASA scientist and inventor, a budding teaching professional with a passion for education, a global attorney, two gifted student athletes, a top notch neuropsychiatrist, a keen environmentalist, a proud tourism ambassador, and a brilliant performing artist (with an infectious laugh!). They all share a love for the Cayman Islands and strive to promote the Cayman community globally.
“It is truly special to witness the successes of Caymanians overseas,” said Cayman Connection Executive Director Kate Kandiah. “It’s important to celebrate Caymanians overseas, whether they are students, just starting out in their careers or are accomplished professionals. Caymanians carry Cayman with them everywhere they go. They promote our community globally and these awards create an avenue for them to be recognised at home and stay connected to Cayman.”
The awards comprise eight categories, including the Block.one STEM Award, the CIIPA Environment & Sustainability Award, the Davenport Development Arts & Culture Award, the Dart Education Award, the Maples Financial, Legal & Professional Services Award, the Health & Wellness Award, the Sport Award and the Tourism, Travel & Hospitality Award.
Maples Group Financial, Legal & Professional Services Award
Tracey is a qualified attorney in the Cayman Islands and has spent the last eight years working in Mourant’s Hong Kong office, where she flourished as a banking and finance lawyer and played a significant role in business development for the relatively new office. She was fast-tracked to the position of Counsel and has worked closely with global financial powerhouses like Goldman Sachs.
Dart Education Award
A second-year Primary Education student at the University of Reading, Ashley is described by her peers as a Trainee Teacher who is passionate, good-natured and dedicated to providing quality education for her students. Ashley has served as both the course and student representative for her specification the past two years, working to improve coursework and education generally. She has earned straight-As during her time at Reading and was designated the role of inclusion and diversity officer for the initial Teacher Training Society.
Aaron made Cayman Islands sports history in 2022 while grabbing headlines all around the world when he qualified for and participated in a pair of major championships.
Teeing off in both The Masters and The Open, he’s the first Caymanian qualify for these tournaments – an honour he earned by winning the 2022 Latin America Amateur Championship. Aaron plays golf collegiately at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is one of two Caymanians currently playing golf at the NCAA Division I level.
Davenport Development Arts and Culture Award
King is a passionate performer who simply aims to bring joy to people’s lives. King lives in Manchester, England where he recently appeared on the hit Channel 4 reality series “Come Dine with Me.” and was named by producers as the funniest guest the show has ever had. King is very involved with Cayman Connection and currently hosts the Celebrating Caymanians Overseas podcast, which profiles Caymanians living throughout the UK. King also spends his time playing music and hosting events throughout Manchester.
Health & Wellness Award
Mark is the Dept. Medical Director and Consultant Neuropsychiatrist at London’s Cygnet Health Care, working in a tertiary level unit specializing in brain injury. His accolades include has presenting his work at various international conferences, contributing to a textbook and peer reviewed papers, serving as an honorary clinical lecturer at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and acting as an examiner for both professional examination and academic post graduate programmes. Mark has trained at some Europe’s premiere research and training institutions for psychiatry and neurology. He completed his core medical training and also holds a degree in Microbiology and Immunology.
Tourism, Travel & Hospitality Award
Nijel serves as Inflight Lead with British Airways, perfectly positioning him to serve with Caymankindness and act as an ambassador for the islands in a public setting. Having lived in the UK for nine years, Nijel has spent the last five with BA, where he worked hard to move up the ladder and now manages the cabin crew on long- and short-haul flights. He’s also been offered and taken roles in several of the major international airlines’ commercial productions.
Elijah holds the distinction of being the only Caymanian footballer to play professionally in three countries. He has been living and playing professional football across Europe since he was 15 and scouted by a club in England while playing with Academy Sports Club. Elijah has played professionally in the UK, Portugal and Romania while also studying at the University of Hertfordshire, where he’s pursuing a degree in Business and Sports Management and holding a 4.0 GPA.
CIIPA Environment & Sustainability Award
Isabela is the embodiment of Caymankind and of works to protect Cayman’s
Delicate ecosystem. Isabela volunteers with Protect our Future, the Youth Ambassadors Program and was invited by the National Trust for the Cayman Islands to speak in front of the world at COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, on the connection between culture and climate change. Isabela recently completed her first year studying Marine Biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Martha Kay Williams
Block.one STEM Award
A National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scientist for 29years, Martha was inducted into the NASA Inventors Hall of Fame after her work developing and evaluating advanced polymeric and composite materials/systems assisted NASA in its space exploration needs. She served as the lead polymer scientist/principal investigator and inventor at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center until she retired in 2018. Her 20 published patents revolve around a variety of technologies and the well-published author has won the 2014 R&D100 Top Technology Award, a NASA Commercial Invention of the Year Award and an Excellence in Technology Transfer Award
“This group is an excellent example of Caymanians not only succeeding in their respective fields but promoting their home along the way,” Kandiah said. “There were many others deserving of these awards, which goes to show that a small country like Cayman can produce many highly skilled, high-performing individuals who can succeed and be competitive in much larger jurisdictions. That’s something the people of the Cayman Islands should be proud of and a testament to our strong community.”
The winners were chosen after a public nomination period and a selection process that involved a group of five judges with a diverse range of knowledge, skills and experience across a variety of disciplines. Judges made their determinations using a scoring matrix based on criteria which included:
Promotion of the Cayman Islands and ‘Caymankind’ overseas
Community Service and Philanthropy
Winners were announced at the Cayman Connection Annual Reception on 24 August at Government House, hosted by H.E the Governor Martyn Roper. A second awards ceremony will take place at the annual Cayman Day in the UK on Saturday, 17 September.
Cayman Connection would like to thank the Making Waves Award sponsors, including Block.one, the Cayman Islands Government UK Office, The Ministry of Financial Services & Commerce, Tower, Dart, Maples Group, the Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants, Davenport Development, the Ministry of Youth, Sports, Culture and Heritage, Carey Olsen, Maritime Authority of the Cayman Islands, DM Financial and Compass Media.
About Cayman Connection
Cayman Connection’s main objectives are to develop a vibrant overseas community for the Cayman Islands diaspora to create meaningful connections, meet like-minded people, grow networks, share resources, introduce skills and knowledge, and access support overseas.
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