KINGSTON, JAMAICA – –On Friday, June 10th the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) in association with the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) presented two distinguished travel industry individuals, Winsome Charlton, general manager of WVCG Radio; and Sarah Greaves- Gabbadon, deputy editor of Caribbean Travel & Life, with awards of excellence for their efforts in marketing the Caribbean as a premier travel destination.
The presentations were made during the CTO’s Allied Awards Luncheon held at The New York Marriott Marquis as part of annual activities to mark Caribbean Week in New York. The Marcia Vickery-Wallace and Marcella Martinez awards honor the significant achievements of individuals whose work has shared the Caribbean experience with the world.
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 Minister of Tourism Edmund Bartlett presented this year’s Marcella Martinez Award to Winsome Charlton, general manager of WVCG Radio. The Tourism Minister noted, “Like Marcella Martinez, Miss Charlton is equally passionate in her endeavors to share the extraordinary individuality of the region. She expresses this through her ardent love of Caribbean music.”
Charlton’s eagerness to draw increased awareness to the distinctive music of the Caribbean led to her creation of the Reggae Soca Music Awards in 1994, an event she believes could aptly be described as the “Caribbean Grammies.” Charlton became the first Caribbean woman to head a radio station in the U.S. when she was appointed general manager of WVGC Radio. She demonstrated her commitment to the region by introducing a music format that appealed to all sectors of the Caribbean-American community.
Despite her busy schedule, Charlton has been an avid supporter of the Caribbean Heartmenders Association for nearly two decades. The mission of the association is to help provide life-saving surgery for children in need as well as help train medical professionals in the region.
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 Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon, deputy editor of Caribbean Travel & Life. Greaves-Gabbadon earned this award for her dedication to both Jamaica and the Caribbean islands as a whole. She is an editor, writer and Caribbean travel expert who has worked in the hospitality industry for more than two decades.
In presenting the award, Jamaica’s Tourism Director said, “Sarah epitomizes all things Caribbean and is one of our stronger advocates for destination travel to the Caribbean. Having appeared as a Caribbean expert on the Travel Channel, Sarah was also known as the ‘shopping diva’ on Air Jamaica’s award-winning in-flight video program, Island Stylee, a segment where she would showcase some of the many fine treasures of each destination.”
Greaves-Gabbadon also hosts Caribbean Travel & Life’s television show and digital series, Best of the Caribbean, which airs in the U.S. on the Discovery Channel and on Caribvision throughout the region. In addition to her work at Caribbean Travel & Life, her writing has appeared in Destination Weddings & Honeymoons, Essence, Florida Travel & Life, Islands, Porthole, various spa magazines as well as several in-flight magazines including those published by United Airlines, Air Canada and Air Jamaica.