UWIAA CHTM (Centre for Hotel and Tourism Management)


The UWIAA CHTM Chapter has now been established, following a weekend of activities (October 2 - 3, 2020 ) at an All Years, All Countries CHTM Reunion.

The Inagural UWIAA CHTM Executive Committee: 

President:  Richard Blades - Barbadian; 1992 Graduate

Vice President: Karyn Williams-Sykes - Trinbagonian; 1991 Graduate

Secretary: Roxanne Malcolm - Jamaican; 2005 Graduate

Treasurer: Kevin Snaggs - Trinbagonian; 1994 Graduate

Social Media Officers: Maria Mason-Roberts and Terrence Rojas - both Trinbagonian Graduates, from 1992 and 1993 respectively


The University of The West Indies’ Chancellor Robert Bermudez' virtual keynote address marked the official launch of The UWI Alumni Association Center for Hotel and Tourism Management Chapter (UWIAA-CHTM).  The Chancellor noted that the  Chapter was the first established under his tenure. 

The UWI CHTM Virtual Reunion 2020 was the result of a year-long planning process by a team of CHTM graduates.  With Initial plans to have an on-island, in person reunion event impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic, the planning team made the decision to shift to a virtual event in June 2020.  The Virtual Reunion was held over the period October 2 – 3, 2020.  The event included social gatherings as well as Round Table Discussions on Product Development and Sustainable Tourism, Education and Human Capital Development, Industry Investment and COVID-19 Best Practices. 

Chancellor Bermudez exhorted over eighty (80) graduates who gathered on October 3rd, 2020 to collaborate and cooperate, to engage and contribute as these actions were the key values for the new Chapter to gain success.  These values, he asserted, will form the core of any successful effort to thrive and meaningfully contribute to the Caribbean Region’s Tourism and Hospitality industry.  He noted the impact of COVID-19 upon the Region's tourism activity; observing that the post-recovery era will be a significant challenge for all.

Stalwart friends of the CHTM, and its graduates were also in attendance at this signal event.  These Included regional tourism luminaries such as Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, former Caribbean Tourism Organisation Secretary General and Clifford Hamilton, present Senior Tourism Advisor to the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Tourism.  Mr. Vanderpool-Wallace challenged the new Alumni Chapter to collectively leverage their synergies and passion for the industry especially within their home territories. The call to arms being to leverage multiple approaches to the single challenge of progressing Caribbean Tourism. 

The Alumni and its Inaugural Executive were also congratulated by Mrs. Celia Davidson-Francis, Director of Alumni Relations for The UWI. Davidson-Francis noted her pleasure at seeing the multi-cohort, multi-territory representation, a vital marker for a Regional effort intended to make a difference. Alumna and Current Acting Head of The CHTM, Dr. Michelle McLeod was also present, serving later on in the proceedings as a panelist/presenter on the Education and Human Capital Development Round Table.  The UWIAA CHTM Chapter Executive, led by its Inaugural President Richard Blades of Blades & Blades Consultancy, Barbados, now proceeds into the planning and execution phase of its activity to deliver a fully functional CHTM Alumni Chapter with a clear mandate and mission to impact Caribbean Tourism, provide graduate employment and student internship opportunities, drive philanthropic ventures and support industry-wide eMentorship programmes.


PRESIDENT: Richard Blades, Founding Member, Blades & Blades Consultancy Services, Barbados (1992 Graduate)

Richard has been training the workforce since 1990. He worked with teams in various sectors including commission sales and marketing teams, hospitality organizations, the transportation sector, health and wellness sector, medical and dental organizations, cultural industries, and not for profits; who must still ensure revenues exceed expenditure to remain viable and sustainable. Around the Caribbean, he’s known as Richie B.

Seeing Richie B in action you will realize that he was born to train. He has a conversational style that is easily understood by everyone in the room. He also takes a practical approach that participants can readily engage when they return to their domains.

Simply put, Richie enables operations that receive his training to see results in as little as 24 - 48 hours. He believes that once participants can see tangibly that aspects of the training work they will be more accepting of the training in its entirety.

Though he resides in Barbados, Richie trains throughout the Caribbean. When he enters the room, he is well prepared as he knows some organizations can throw you when participants relate experiences that are not written about in books.

Participants say Richie B.s knowledgeable, thorough, hands-on, sound, and the list goes on.  His background in hotel management where he’s worked in all areas of the hotel, help to ground his training; enabling him to bring practical approaches to areas of rooms division, food and beverage, retail sales, inventory management, cost controls, accounting and just about every business area. This experience proves helpful in the delivery of competency-based education and training [CBET] incorporating the NVQs [National Vocational Qualifications]. Where he’s certified as a trainer, assessor, and internal verifier.

He has sound expertise in entrepreneurship, being himself an entrepreneur. He has a firm grasp of the requirements of getting into the business and staying in business which he candidly shares. He is the Founding Partner of Blades & Blades Consultancy Services.

VICE PRESIDENT: Karyn Williams-Sykes, Learning & Development Consultant and Master Trainer, Qatar (1991 Graduate)

Karyn is a multi-disciplinary, international, learning and development professional who earned her BSc in Hotel Management from The University of the West Indies. She commenced her career as a Food and Beverage Manager for Grafton Beach Resort in Tobago and followed that with Industrial Catering Management and an Event Catering business. Karyn later did her MBA with University of Leicester and became an AHLEI CHDT® (Certified Hotel Department Training). She then moved into Lecturing in Hospitality Studies at the Community College of the Turks and Caicos Islands, while delivering professional training for many hotels on the islands.

Moving to Dubai, UAE in 2007, Karyn joined The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Studies as a Lecturer, then shifted over to Professional Training eventually to become the Director of the department where she remained until 2015. During this time, she qualified as a WSET Educator, did her CHT® (Certified Hospitality Trainer) and achieved a MA in International Relations from University of Middlesex.

Karyn has designed, developed and delivered training in all areas of hospitality, along with a range of soft skills - Leadership, Team Building, Business English, Customer Service, Wine & Spirit Workshops, Upselling etc. - throughout The UAE, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, The Maldives, Papua New Guinea as well as the Caribbean Region.

Key Strengths and Core Capabilities:

Design, development and facilitation of customised professional training programmes, built around identified organisational needs and objectives.

  • Training of Department and Organisational Trainers
  • Hospitality Service and Systems; as well as blending “hospitality standards” with other commercial business’ customer service delivery.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with diverse and multi-national cultures.
  • A dynamic, highly interactive facilitator, who is self-motivated with a positive, ‘it can be done’ attitude.
  • Project Management, Event Management, Online Coaching and Facilitation.

Karyn currently lives in Doha, Qatar where she is a Freelance Consultant and Facilitator, delivering professional workshops in a wide range of Management Skills; Business English Communications; Customer Service and Engagement programmes at all levels; Motivational Workshops and Coaching


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