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Speakers Bureau

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Marketplace Excellence (MPE), a full-service public relations, marketing and media firm, has launched a new speakers bureau, promoting world class professional and motivational speakers for conferences, corporate retreats, graduations, seminars and special events. MPE recognizes the rapidly changing business landscape is hungry for new ideas so we want to ensure the speakers we attract are those which can entertain, as well as educate, the emerging leadership and add value to the marketplace. For bookings, or more information on the bureau, please contact Chris Mawji via email by clicking on the following link:

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Bevan Springer

Bevan is an award-winning journalist and seasoned public relations professional. He has worked as the North American correspondent of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union and contributed for media houses such as the Caribbean Media Corporation, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, and Saint Lucia’s Radio 100.

He is well known to the Caribbean Diaspora in the New York tri-state area, having hosted several radio programmes, including the weekly five-hour, radio show, “The Caribbean in Five” on 1190 AM WLIB in New York
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A weekly columnist with New York’s renowned Amsterdam News, Bevan’s international reach includes contributions to the Trinidad Guardian, BBC World Service, New York Daily News, 1600 AM WWRL, UN Radio, and WNBC-TV in New York.

As former North American editor of the Barbados Advocate, Bevan spent several years covering the United Nations where he served as editor of The Islander publication, covering the 1994 Barbados Small Islands Conference, the 1995 Copenhagen Social Summit and the 1995 Women’s Conference in Beijing.

For the past decade, he has produced the popular Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx), designed to improve the quality of media coverage of sustainable tourism in the Caribbean.

A former national tennis player of Barbados, Bevan has worked as a sports reporter with the Barbados Nation and Barbados Advocate newspapers.

He is a member of New York’s Christian Cultural Center, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, National Association of Black Journalists and United Nations Correspondents Association. He is an alumnus of Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific in British Columbia, Canada – a member of the United World Colleges’ (UWC) network, and sits on the Leadership Council for the International Institute for Tourism Studies and the Masters of Tourism Administration Program at The George Washington University School of Business.

Recipient of a diploma in public relations from the University of the West Indies and a guest lecturer in public relations at New York University, Bevan has received awards from New York’s City Council, the Council of Barbadian Organizations in New York, BWIA West Indies Airways and the Caribbean Hotel Association. In the summer of 2010, he was conferred with honorary Jamaican citizenship by the Jamaica Consulate in New York, and in June this year, he received the 2012 The Marcella Martinez Award for strengthening the marketing programmes of Caribbean destinations.

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Basil Springer

Dr. Basil Springer has more than 40 years of Project Management experience primarily in the areas of Agricultural Development, Tourism, Tourism Linkages and Enterprise Development. He is a Director of the Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism (CMEx). He was a Management Consulting pioneer (1977) and now leads the charge with the private sector-led Caribbean Business Enterprise Trust Inc. (CBET) to franchise The CBET Shepherding Model™ as a necessary and sufficient strategy for sustainable economic development in small states and emerging nations. He currently promotes the ManoBiz Matrix™ as an action planning and gap analysis tool for start-up businesses.

Dr. Springer trained as a mathematician, statistician and operations research scientist in Jamaica, Wales and London, England. He received a Princess Royal Scholarship to pursue undergraduate studies at the University of the West Indies, Mona where he earned a BSc in Mathematics; he earned an MSc in Statistics at the University of College of Wales, Aberystwyth; and received a Commonwealth Scholarship to pursue Doctoral studies and holds a PhD. in Statistics and Operations Research from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London. A weekly newspaper columnist with the Barbados Advocate since 1993, Dr. Springer was awarded the Order of Barbados (Gold Crown of Merit) from the Government of Barbados in 2000.

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Lelei LeLaulu

A journalist and communications consultant with wide-ranging experience in the Americas and the Caribbean, Lelei LeLaulu served as a correspondent in Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions for several publications including, the Financial Times of London, TheMiddleEast Magazine, and New African.

His career at the United Nations includes writing and producing radio and television programs as well as editing the UN Report and UN Secretariat News.

In addition to designing communications strategies for the series of global conferences and summits of the 1990s, he reported from the UN for CNN’s “World Report”.

From New York, Lelei was a regular correspondent for a variety of organizations, including Pacifica Radio PBS, Deutsche Welle, Radio France International, Swiss Radio, Sky TV, London, Rand Daily Mail, Radio New Zealand, International Publications of London and hosted “One World One Voice” for PBS TV.

Lelei is vice president of the Caribbean Media Exchange, and coordinator of the Oceania Sustainable Tourism Alliance which uses the world’s largest industry – tourism – to alleviate poverty in the Pacific and Asia.

Lelei set up sustainable tourism projects in Africa, and the Mundo Maya project in Mesoamerica, Brazil and Central America with the Inter-American Development Bank. He is an adviser for National Geographic, The International Institute for Tourism Studies and Master of Tourism Administration Program at George Washington University and writes book reviews for The Washington Times.

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Gail Moaney, APR

Gail Moaney is executive vice president and director of Ruder Finn’s travel and economic development practice. Gail has 20 years of experience in agency and corporate public relations and in broadcasting, implementing communications programs for destinations, transportation companies, hotels and resorts, and economic development entities worldwide. She has also served as chief of communications for the State of Ohio Department of Economic Development, managing radio, television and print communications for international trade, science and technology, business development and tourism.

An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Gail has been a member of the board of PRSA NY since 1995. She also sits on the boards of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies Partnership, Caribbean Media Exchange, Counterpart International, New York Urban League and Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America. Gail is an Adjunct Professor at New York University.

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Zhivargo Laing

Zhivargo S Laing was born in 1967. He lives with his wife, Zsa Zsa, and their four children in The Bahamas; on the gorgeous island of Grand Bahama. Laing achieved national acclaim, and is perhaps best known, for his work with young people in The Bahamas and then as national political leader, twice a cabinet minister and Member of Parliament and then a senator.

Laing has a Bachelor’s degree from University of Western Ontario and pursued a George Washington MBA. He has served as cabinet minister in The Bahamas responsible for youth, sports and culture, education, economic development and finance. He has also served as a respected public speaker on matters of leadership, finance, economics, faith and youth development.

Zhivargo is the founder of the Laing Consulting and Research Group, which specializes in business consulting, market research and human resource training and development. He is a leadership and motivation expert. His leadership expertise is especially targeted at “Nurturing Emerging Leaders” , “Developing and Maintaining Public Trust in Leadership” and “Effective Executive Execution” . His motivational skills are broad ranging but he especially focuses on “Eliminating Worry to Promote Wellness”, “Eradicating Fear as the Path to Freedom” and “Understanding and Building Trust as the Key to Optimizing Relationships”. He is the author of three books: Who Moved My Conch that addresses issues of free trade in The Bahamas; A Trust Out of this World that provides a modern day parable on faith; and College, Career and Money- A Guide for Teens and Young Adults, a co-authored book for young people.

Laing says that a major challenge to individual and group success is translating the large body of useful knowledge that we have into daily practices that produce positive results for wholesome personal and community life. He notes that success in this area is often a matter of motion, moving minute by minute, step by step in the desired direction while fighting off the temptation to look too far ahead or too pessimistically at the small effort. Whether in leadership or custodial work, this realization can achieve great gains for the learner. He further believes that success in life is a matter “purpose, prudence and persistence”.

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Allen M. Chastanet

Allen Chastanet is viewed as an inspirational leader and innovator in almost every position he has held.

Whether as a Cabinet Minister, an international marketing executive or a non-profit innovator, he has always been persuaded by his peers to take the helm and to inject energy and drive into any initiative.

In 2006, when Saint Lucia was looking for direction and dynamism, the Prime Minister, impressed with Allen Chastanet’s success as President of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association and for his dynamic service as Director of Tourism, appointed him, not only as Minister of Tourism, but also as Minister of the important Aviation portfolio – two areas the country’s leadership deemed essential to the island state’s sustainable development. He served in this role until 2011 during which he guided the creation of a Saint Lucia destination brand and strengthened the island’s sustainable tourism product.

Recognizing Senator Allen Chastanet’s value to the wider region, fellow government leaders enthusiastically welcomed him as Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization to coordinate inter-governmental actions to protect and grow the region’s most important industry. As CTO Chairman, Chastanet helped the organization restructure, redefine its mission and become more responsive to its member countries.

A big believer in process, competitiveness and branding, Allen Chastanet continues to be seen and heard in the capitals of the industrialized and developing countries extolling the unprecedented role tourism is playing as a development tool and wealth creator. Caribbean and other island states cheer him as he chides wealthier countries for levying onerous taxes on global travelers and heed his common sense and strategic development in the growing of international airline links.

Before his recent stint in public service, Chastanet was keenly pursued by the private sector seeking his help in promoting the value of smaller hotels during difficult times and appointed him Chairman of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s (CHTA) Advocacy Committee. Today, he serves as CHTA’s Regional Vice President for the Eastern Caribbean region, and continues to assist the association with broadening its traditional hotel base to attract more members.

In 1995, a struggling Air Jamaica appointed him Director of Sales for North America, but upon seeing his rapid success quickly promoted him to Vice President. The airline – under the leadership of Caribbean business icon Gordon “Butch” Stewart – soon achieved unprecedented growth in the diaspora and leisure markets as Chastanet helped define and deliver Mr. Stewart’s vision of a dynamic regional and international carrier.

A firm believer in the drawing power of culture, Allen Chastanet launched the seminal Saint Lucia Jazz festival, the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival as well as signature events and projects in North America and the Caribbean, which continue to flourish.

Allen Chastanet’s national and international successes were preceded by his early career helping another Caribbean icon, entrepreneur Chris Blackwell of Island Records, convert his properties into highly sought after boutique hotels for the savvy traveler. He also positioned a 100-plus roomed family-owned Coco Palm property as a high quality boutique resort where he currently serves as Chairman.

Among his many distinctions, Allen Chastanet’s unerring instincts for promotion and marketing led to his being named Travel Agent Magazine’s “Caribbean Destination Person of the Year”. On the international stage he received Counterpart International’s “World Leadership Award” in the distinguished company of the President of the Dominican Republic.

Charities and non-profit organizations look to Allen Chastanet for guidance and support. He was instrumental in the launching of Air Jamaica’s Lovebird Kids’ Club as well as the Caribbean Media Exchange, CMEx, the region’s premier non-profit forum for the examination and design of sustainable tourism as a community development tool.

He has also arranged, without fanfare, to steer humanitarian and development assistance to many Caribbean nations in their times of need.

An avid sportsman, Allen Chastanet played college basketball and captained Saint Lucia’s national team. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Political Science and a Master of Science in Development Banking from Bishops University in Quebec and American University in Washington D.C. respectively.

He enjoys being of service to his native Saint Lucia and relaxing with wife Raquel, daughter Rhyan and son Braden.

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Ian Williams

An author, freelance writer and broadcaster, Ian Williams appears in print around the globe, and often on television as well, on politics, business and economics. Born in Liverpool, he graduated from Liverpool University after two years’ suspension for protests against its investments in South Africa. Consequently, he had a variegated career path, which included a drinking competition with Chou En Lai, an argument about English literature with Mme Mao and being a rail workers’ union executive, before taking up journalism, briefly taking time off to be a speech/article writer for British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock in the 1987 election campaign. He is a columnist with www.guardian.co.uk and senior analyst with Foreign Policy in Focus, www.fpif.org. His books include Rum: A Social and Sociable History of the Real Spirit of 1776, The Alms Trade, a study of the role of charities in Britain, and The UN For Beginners.

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