SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Well known Civil Engineer Omar Ottley announced on Monday that he will be contesting the upcoming Parliamentary Elections of January 9, 2020 with the United People (UP) party. He will run in the #3 position on the list.
Omar Eric Cornelius Ottley was born in October 1986 to Mrs. Merlyn Meyers Ottley and Mr. Milton ‘Bobby Ottley in Queens, New York. One month later, he was brought back to St. Maarten, where he later attended the Methodist Agogic Centre and St. Maarten Academy.
Ottley, the eldest of three boys for his parents, later moved to the United States where he spent three years at Lithonia High School in Atlanta, Georgia, before attending Martin Luther King Jr. High School, where he graduated in 2004. That same year he entered Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida, and read for a Bachelor of Science degree, which he obtained in 2009. In October 2010, Ottley entered Strayer University in Georgia, where he earned a Master’s degree with honors in 2013.
After gaining his first degree and spending some time working with MNO and WWR, Ottley started his own business, O & Eric Construction Company, in 2010. In the years since then, he has completed a number of projects, including remodeling the Central Bank in Philipsburg and supervision the Foga Project in Sucker Garden.
Several buildings around the island also stand as testimony to his engineering abilities. These include Ace Lumberyard in Cay Hill, Motor World in Cole Bay, the Rockland Project at Emilio Wilson Estate, the Bastion Harbour Project, Mrs. Lalie Commercial Center on Bush Road, and the extension of the St. Maarten Vocational and Training School in South Reward.
Building on the values passed down to him from his parents and grandparents, the father of one said his motivation for starting his own company is mainly to provide opportunities for locals. When he started in the business, he noticed that there were mainly Dutch construction companies, with one specific company capitalizing on the labor for the projects and subcontracting the jobs. This gave him the inspiration to begin his own company and hire local workers.
As St. Maarten continues to face many challenges two years after Hurricane Irma, Ottley plans to focus on the people of the island and the myriad of issues in the neglected areas. To him, a country is only as good as its people.