RODNEY BAY, St. Lucia — The new Canadian-born General Manager of The Landings St. Lucia is determined to help the luxury Caribbean resort retain its ranking as one the Caribbean’s top resorts by boosting staff training programs and by giving back to the local community.
“Of course we are honored and delighted to have been named the best hotel in St. Lucia for the second consecutive year at the 2014 World Travel Awards and we will maintain the elevated standards by focusing on enhancing the skills of our already well-trained staff,” declared Taylor who took over the all-suite resort following the departure of Caribbean hospitality veteran Kashmie Ali, who led a turnaround of fortunes at the premier Caribbean resort over the past year.
Noting that “people are the most important resource in virtually all businesses,” she pointed to relevant training programs established in all departments. “For example, our food and beverage staff are undergoing a food health and safety program,” Taylor explained, adding her support to staff initiatives for further education, fully reimbursing team members for pre-approved courses provided a passing grade of 80 percent or more is achieved.
But the former Ontario resident, who brings to her new post more than 30 years of senior level business experience primarily in global investment management where she held positions in portfolio management, marketing, sales, client service as well as communications and public relations, wants to do more for the people of the local community.
Charitable work and community outreach, she recalled, is an area that has not had sufficient focus in prior years. This year the Board approved a separate line item for charitable donations which Taylor said complemented recent activities, including a contribution to the Cutty Ranks Grooming Project and a significant donation to victims of a large fire at the south end of the island that put 80 people out of their homes. “In addition to dry foodstuffs, clothing, toys and school supplies we donated five large solid wood armoires along with flat screen TVs and DVD/sound systems,” she explained.
Taylor, who left Barclays Global Investors as a Senior Managing Director, when the asset management arm of Barclays Bank was one of the largest institutional money managers in the world, said The Landings wanted to recognize the value of the local community by setting up a Community Enhancement Fund where each guest contributes $3 for every day of their stay.
Two-thirds of the donation is channeled to the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association to support its ongoing community activities and the remainder to Grow Well, a charity in neighboring Gros Islet that helps underprivileged children in a variety of ways.
Taylor, who also assumes the role of Chair of the Executive Committee and a member of the Board of Directors, declared: “We have achieved much success thanks to the skill and dedication of our staff and our loyal returning guests, but as we strive to maintain our leadership it’s important we also give back to those stakeholders who help as we continue our journey – and that’s our local community.”