PHILIPSBURG–The designated Interim Director of the St. Maarten Tourism Authority (STA) Rolando Brison has successfully passed all of the screening processes laid out by government to be appointed as its director, but is still awaiting formal appointment by the board of the STA.
Brison signed his job offer letter in the presence of Minister of Tourism Ingrid Arrindell on August 12. “We are pleased to confirm that you have been selected to work at the STA and I extend this offer of employment for the position of Interim Director of the STA,” the Minister writes in the letter.
The letter also mentions that Brison will be offered an employment contract for the duration of one year starting September 1, 2016, and ending August 31, 2017.
This contract is supposed to be presented to Brison by the Supervisory Board of the STA. Brison has not received the contract, now more than a month after it was indicated in writing that he would. What he has done in the meantime, however, was undergo every screening process as laid out by government.
It should also be noted, however, that having to go through screening was not a requirement mentioned in the previously mentioned job offer letter.
Screening only became an issue after allegations surfaced regarding misappropriation of funds were made about Brison’s tenure at Winair. Winair itself has never commented on the validity of such allegations but according to well-placed sources have informed the Council of Ministers that affairs between itself and its employees are private and internal.
Additionally, Brison himself has already addressed the Winair issue as a misunderstanding and on Sunday when asked for comment stated that there exists no issue between his person and Winair. “I have no issues with Winair and in my recent meeting with them I can say that the board of Winair also has no issues with me and I’m confident that they have since expressed this feeling to the relevant authorities during my screening process,” he said.
With that out of the way, Brison proceeded to take the required drug and alcohol tests and complete a physical check-up and passed all. Even more significant, he has produced a clean police record and signed a document for the Minister of Justice, legally empowering the Minister to do a thorough background check.
The Prosecutor’s Office has since provided a positive advice on Brison making it clear that he has no criminal record or pending investigations against him.
Finally, Brison has provided multiple references from entities for whom he worked in past, including International Liquors Tobacco & Trading (ILTT), the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF), Heineken Regatta, SXM Music Festival, Shortkutz New York LLC, Tantra Night Club, Blue Mall and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). All of these entities lauded Brison’s skillset which could, in their opinion, only benefit St. Maarten’s first ever STA.
“I can only express that I am still anxious and more than willing to serve my country as Interim Director of STA. I have done everything asked of me. Produced every document and undergone every test required,” Brison said.
“In signing my job offer letter I also had to ensure that I was free of any contractual commitments with any other companies, so I resigned my positions with Carnival, Tantra etc.
“For this terrific opportunity to assist in moving my country forward, I literally gave up what I have worked so hard on the past five years. I can only hope that the Minister and the board STA finalizes this process quickly so we can move on and build the STA into the vital organization that it is meant to be for the country,” he said.
The selection process for an Interim Director of STA was a lengthy and thorough one. A Selection Committee was established, which consisted of the entire five members of the Supervisory Council of the STA which comprised of a representative of the SHTA, The Timeshare Association, the Princess Juliana International Airport SXM, Port St. Maarten, a representative of the Minister of Tourism and Minister Arrindell – six persons in total.
An advertisement for the position was placed in the newspapers in early May 2016. A total of 11 applications were received. An additional two applications were later received; however, they were submitted after the deadline and after the first round of interviews were already underway.
Of the 11 applications received, three were disqualified based on the criteria established by the Selection Committee. Following the first round of interviews, three of the highest scoring candidates were moved on to the second round of interviews.
All six members of the Selection Committee independently scored Rolando Brison highest, as a result of which he was selected as the candidate for the position of “Interim Director of the STA.”
Source: Daily Herald
Brison passes STA screening, awaiting official appointment