With training budgets continually pressed by recovering Caribbean economies, it is a credit to the vision of the Saint Lucia-based Caribbean Governance Training Institute (CGTI) that organisations are showing commitment to strengthening the effectiveness of their highest executives by exposing them to governance training. CGTI’s latest client is Sandals Resorts International, the parent company of Sandals and Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean, who recently welcomed governance expert Dr. Chris Bart and director Lisa Charles to Ocho Rios, Jamaica to train a cadre of executives at the highest levels of the regional organisation.
The Chartered Directors Programme covers all aspects of corporate governance, and in the past two years the CGTI team has delivered the course to candidates from the region including Saint Lucia, Grenada, Guyana, Barbados, Turks & Caicos and Dominica, who have enthusiastically benefitted from CGTI’s extensive knowledge and expertise through high-energy, interactive sessions. The CGTI faculty is led by Dr. Chris Bart, founder of The Directors College at McMaster University in Canada, and made up of governance experts whose depth of experience is unparalleled. Some of the largest business organisations in the Caribbean have benefitted from the Directors Programme since its inception.
The complex world of corporate governance has undergone seismic upheaval over the past ten years and it is a business reality that no organisation can rely on unskilled directors to deliver profits and dividends to shareholders. Although Sandals Resorts International is one of the leaders in internal HR development and training, one top level executive who attended the Directors Programme described it as “immensely practical and most useful in all levels of management.” According to David Roper, Director of Industry Relations: “It has been many years since I have sat through two days of intense training . . . and the most remarkable thing was that I did not yawn once! That in itself states how engaging and knowledgeable all the presenters were.”
Indeed, Sandals Resorts International CEO Adam Stewart referred to the group as the “Dream Team” at a post-programme dinner at which generating “dream ideas” was the order of the day.
CGTI co-founder Lisa Charles was very enthusiastic about the experience with Sandals Resorts International, saying: “We are honoured to have been invited to train some of the most dynamic executives in the region, and the feedback from the Sandals participants has been excellent, underlining the importance of this level of training for all organisations regardless of size. CGTI is excited to have had the opportunity to share the Directors Programme with the Caribbean’s best known brand, and we’re confident that the Sandals Resorts International executive group increased their knowledge and skills in the area of governance.”
In late 2015, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, Kenny D. Anthony, expressed his support for the Chartered Directors Programme, and with courses scheduled in the Bahamas, Antigua, St. Kitts, Barbados, Dominica, Trinidad and Cayman during 2016, it is clear that board governance training is becoming one of Saint Lucia’s most influential exports, and that the Caribbean Governance Training Institute is fulfilling its vision of raising the standard of boards and their directors across the region.