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Jamaica Honors Media Mavens Promoting the Caribbean at CTO Allied Awards Luncheon

NEW YORK – The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) on June 7 presented two distinguished travel media mavens, Gay Nagle Myers, Senior Editor of Travel Weekly; and Neysha Soodeen, publisher of MACO Caribbean Living, with the Marcia Vickery-Wallace and Marcella Martinez awards respectively.

The recipients were chosen because of their commitment in covering and marketing the Caribbean as a premier travel region.

The presentations were made during the CTO’s Allied Awards Luncheon held at The New Yorker Hotel as part of annual activities to mark Caribbean Week in New York 2013. The Marcia Vickery-Wallace and Marcella Martinez awards honor the significant achievements of individuals whose work have shared the Caribbean experience with the world.

The Marcia Vickery-Wallace Award

The Marcia Vickery-Wallace Award was established in 1987 as a tribute to Marcia Vickery-Wallace, former editor of Brides Magazine. Each year the JTB, in conjunction with the CTO, dedicates an award in her memory to a journalist who has followed in her footsteps with the same dedication to promoting the Caribbean region.

This year, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism John Lynch presented the award to Gay Nagle Myers, Senior Editor of Travel Weekly. Myers, who has been covering travel and tourism for decades, earned this award for her consistency and commitment to reporting on the Caribbean region.

She is a lover of the Caribbean and has participated in all the major conferences and trade events, interviewing a wide cross section of persons from government ministers and high ranking tourism officials to middle management, line staff and tourism support services.

In presenting the award, Mr. Lynch said, “Gay has never met an island she didn’t like, although she admits to being partial to Jamaica and Jamaicans. Sunscreen, flipflops and island-made wacko earrings are always in her carry-on bag, as she is a firm believer in experiencing what she writes about.”

The Tourism Director noted that Gay shuns the spotlight and would rather be writing about her latest Caribbean experience rather than being the subject of the story. Currently, Gay serves as senior editor for the Caribbean and Mexico at Travel Weekly, the largest travel trade publication in the United States.

Marcella Martinez Award

Established in 2004, the Marcella Martinez Award is presented annually for unparalleled achievement in the design and implementation of successful programs to strengthen and support Caribbean tourism. The award is named in honor of Jamaican Marcella Martinez, who
dedicated her extraordinary career as a public relations professional to the promotion of tourism to the Caribbean.

Jamaica’s Deputy of Director of Tourism Donnie Dawson presented this year’s Marcella Martinez Award to Soodeen.

According to Mr. Dawson, “Ms. Soodeen embodies the spirit behind this award. And those who know her, know that her passion for the region is consummate, resulting in her business venture which showcases the sophisticated side of the Caribbean.” Soodeen is the brainchild behind Toute Bagai Publishing, responsible for the publication of MACO Caribbean Living, the Caribbean first regionally distributed retail magazine focusing on architecture, cuisine and travel.

The publication became the first Caribbean-produced magazine to be distributed internationally at major booksellers such as Barnes & Nobles, Borders, WH Smith, Chapters and Indigo. Soodeen has been at the forefront of the growth of Toute Bagai Publishing which has produced a broad spectrum of magazines and coffee table books, including the official Sandals Resorts International in-room magazine, as well as other Caribbean tourism publications. Her latest endeavor is a Caribbean APP company, using her 15 years of content in the Caribbean to place on interactive portals, and downloadable on all smartphones.

(From left to right) Jamaica’s Director of Tourism John Lynch; Gay Nagle Myers, Senior Editor, Caribbean & Mexico, Travel Weekly; Kate Wallace Rogers, daughter of Marcia Vickery-Wallace; Neysha Soodeen, Publisher, MACO Caribbean Living, and Jamaica’s Deputy Director of Tourism, Donnie Dawson

The CTO Allied Awards Luncheon is jointly sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board and American Express Publishing Company.

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