SHTA names Dennis Richardson and Richard Gibson Person of the YearPOSTED: 11/29/10 2:10 AM
St. Maarten—The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association recognized Dennis Richardson and Richard Gibson sr. for their outstanding contribution and commitment in achieving the new constitutional change for St. Maarten and awarded them with the Persons of the Year Award. The awards were presented during the fifth annual Crystal Pineapple Awards ceremony at the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Casino on Friday evening.
Richardson and Gibson received a standing ovation from the audience and were greeted with loud cheers that lasted several minutes. The award was described as an “honorable recognition” by the SHTA said Dennis Richardson who noted that many people had contributed to the achievement of country status. “We fought for this country status because we believe in the community of St. Maarten to make it one of the shining examples in the Caribbean.” He indicated that even though there are challenges, they must be faced with dignity. “We will fall, but we should dust ourselves off and continue. The work is not over but just beginning.”
Richardson indicated that all he and Gibson had done was create the conditions to show what is possible. “I believe in St. Maarten, I believe in you (the audience – ed.) that we can do it.” He called on the community to strive for excellence and contribute to the status by doing their very best.
It has been a 12-year odyssey, said Richard Gibson that ended with 10-10-10. He described the process as “a roller coaster and a lifetime experience” that he will never forget. The opportunity we had only happens once in a lifetime and once in many generations, he said.
“It has never been so in history that a group of people got together to form three different countries and to dismantle one. It is a very complicated process.” Gibson expressed his gratitude to the people who had faith in them and mentioned that regardless to what is happening up to now, he thanked the SHTA for the award and said that the best is yet to come.
During the ceremonies president of the Daily Herald Roger Snow and his wife Mary Jane Snow Hellmund who is the newspaper’s managing director were honored with the Lifetime Awards for their exceptional service to the community. Among the other awardees were the night editor of the Daily Herald Rajesh Chintaman for outstanding community service, Michael Granger for outstanding tourism journalism and Roderick Halley for outstanding environmental achievement. Isidore “Mighty Dow” York was awarded for outstanding achievement with the youth, Arnold Maurico is the trade employee of the year, Jesse Peterson trade manager of the year, Terrence Rey employer of the year, and Hector Acevedo employee of the year. Manager of the year is Joyce Prince. The small hotels award went to Edna Evans, hotelier of the year is Juan Fernandez of the Sonesta Great Bay Resort and Casino and William Bell was awarded for his outstanding public sector achievements.