The St. Maarten Chamber of Commerce and Industry held its Gala Event last Wednesday evening commemorating its 35th Anniversary of serving the business and general community of St. Maarten.
The evening was attended by a cross section of business, professional and government representatives. In her welcoming remarks Prime Minister of St. Maarten, the Honorable Sarah Wescot-Williams, congratulated the Chamber and Business community on its milestone and encouraged the institution on its role as a being the mouth piece of the business community as well as the advisory body to government regarding economic issues.
At the event former board President Tamara Leonard disclosed her resignation from the Board of Directors and introduced the new Board of Directors President Attorney Peggy Ann Brandon. Miss Brandon indicated that she is left with “big shoes” to fill, however she was very much encouraged and humbled to be part of an enthusiastic and committed board. She also praised the Chamber’s management and staff as professional and capable.
The evening was themed “an Evening of Reflection and Appreciation” and to this end the Chamber recognized all past board Presidents and the past Executive Directors who had served the institution since its establishment on St. Maarten in 1979.
The Keynote address was delivered by Professor Dr. Robertico Croes of Rosen College School of Hospitality at the Central Florida University. Dr. Croes’ keynote address was themed Exploring ‘smart’ tourism pathways: The case for St. Maarten. His presentation outlined a number of ideas based on case studies conducted on some 30 islands. Dr. Croes talked about the various ways of conducting Smart Tourism philosophies by determining specific needs, plotting actions and adopting the ‘Just do it’ mentality. Dr. Croes further elaborated on how smart tourism development can be achieved, mainly though in-depth research, harvesting of relevant data and applying expert intelligence.
The capacity crowd that attended the event were all impressed with the Professor’s presentation and some of the attendees have requested that the presentation be released to the general public. The Chamber indicated that the video recording and copies of the presentation will be made available to all Stakeholders. In addition, an airing of the presentation will be on our local cable TV within a short period.

The Chamber of Commerce wishes to thank everyone who attended this Gala event.