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Turtle Centre gains total of three CITA tourism awards

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Turtle Centre gains total of three CITA tourism awards
18Jul 2018

Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter is pleased to announce that two of its employees, Jerris Miller, Farm Manager, and Willian Chisholm, Assistant Aviculturist, were recipients of the prestigious Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) 2018 Tourism Awards ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Every year CITA holds the ceremony, to show recognition to those who have excelled in the tourism industry. Mr. Miller gained the award for Manager of the Year in the Allied/Attraction/Transportation Category, and Mr. Chisholm won Employee of the Year Award in the same category. It was the first time that two employees from the same organization had simultaneously won awards in the same category.  Both Mr. Miller and Mr. Chisholm received beautiful cobalt blue, hand-blown glass Stingrays. In addition, the Centre itself was awarded the Certificate of Excellence Award, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the development and growth of the tourism industry in the Cayman Islands.

Mr. Chisholm has distinguished himself by being self-motivated, dedicated, and conscientious. He can often be found telling visitors all about the local and regional birds in the Caribbean Free Flight Aviary. His professional, yet friendly manner sets a first class example to all the visitors who enjoy coming to see, or feed the regional and local birds of the Caribbean Free Flight Aviary. Mr Chisholm has also taken a leading role in the establishment of the Cayman Turtle Centre Butterfly Garden, and has recorded and photographed the many different species of butterfly that visit there. In addition, he has been a vital part of the team, headed by Mr. Geddes Hislop, Curator of Education Programs and Terrestrial Exhibits, which has established important, pioneering work in the captive breeding of the Grand Cayman Parrot, which are endangered due to environmental threats.

Upon receiving the award, Mr. Chisholm said: “I feel both happy and humbled to have been chosen for such a prestigious award. I would like to express my thanks to CITA, as well as my colleagues and team members at Cayman Turtle Centre, who have helped make this possible.”

Mr. Miller has already won many different awards and accolades, both in regard to his selfless work in various aspects of the tourism industry, as well as in the sphere of sports management, especially in the area of sailing competitive sailing. In January this year he received the Heroes Day Sports Pioneer award for his years of organizing and administering local as well as international sports organizations. He is also President of the Cayman Islands Catboat Club where his dedicated work has helped promote interest in the boats, which for a long time were Cayman’s most important vehicle. At the Turtle Centre he has taken a lead role in the turtle release program, where yearling turtles are released on Cayman’s beaches, to replenish the wild turtle population. Release days are always hugely popular events for tourists and local residents alike, and many volunteers step forward to help the turtles into the sea. He has also helped pioneer the Nest Translocation program, which involves digging an artificial nest on beaches, and burying eggs laid within the Centre so that they will hatch, and make their way down the beach and into the sea, after several days.

Speaking of Mr. Miller, Cayman Turtle Centre Managing Director, Tim Adam, was chosen to open in prayer at the CITA Awards Ceremony. Later, speaking of Mr. Miller he said, “He is a true nation-builder that has held leadership positions in the tourism industry for many years. He is now one of our key leaders in the implementation of several turtle tourism initiatives that take our captive-bred eggs and head-started turtles to be released into the wild, enabling visitors and residents to witness these amazing events.”