In May of 2021, Mr. Vernon A. Jeffers Snr, took up the role of Executive Chairman of the Antigua & Barbuda Hotels and Tourism Association/ABHTA, leading the Association at a critical time during the Covid-19 pandemic, as members of the body were fighting to manage the effects of the pandemic and its devastating impact on the industry.
The Board of Directors of the ABHTA took the decision to offer Mr. Jeffers this interim position to ensure that there was a keen focus on addressing issues impacting the membership of the Association on a national level, in advocating on behalf of the Association with Government Ministries and Statutory Corporations, Unions, Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Colleagues along with Civil Society whose policies impact the Associations Membership.
In remarking on his time at the Association in this key role Mr. Jeffers commented that “After the completion of my two-year tenure as Chairman of the ABHTA, it was a great honour that I returned to the Association, at the request of the Board, to lead the charge at a time that was the most challenging for the industry. There were difficult decisions to be made on matters such as vaccinations, consultations on protocols and negotiations on the Collective Bargaining agreement, all of which were critical to the industry and its resurgence. These unprecedented times, albeit challenging, presented a great opportunity for the Association to interact successfully with Industry partners and Government. I wish to thank the Board of Directors for affording me this opportunity and our partners for their continued support of the Association.”
The Honourable Charles ‘Max” Fernandez, Minister of Tourism and Investment thanked Mr. Jeffers for the high level of collaboration during his tenure remarking that “During the period of Mr. Jeffers’ time at the Association, we saw a high level of cooperation and collaboration both of which were extremely important, at a time that we were working hard to remain open and manage all the effects of the pandemic. I wish to thank him for taking up a role few envied and for leading the Association with distinction. I am looking forward to continuing our partnership with the ABHTA and its Board of Directors lead by Mr. Alex de Brito and the Executive Director Mrs. Patrice Simon.”
Mr. Alex de Brito. 1st Vice Chairman of the ABHTA expressed gratitude to Mr. Jeffers on behalf of the Board of Directors stating that “Having Mr. Jeffers back onboard with the Association over the past year meant that we had a trusted voice in the industry and a support that was needed at the most critical time. Thank you, Mr. Jeffers, for taking up the charge and for your support and dedication to the industry.”