PHILIPSBURG–Minister of Tourism Ingrid Arrindell defended her position of choosing young businessman Rolando Brison as the head of the newly established St. Maarten Tourism Authority (STA) on Thursday evening with a press statement.
Arrindell stated that Brison, the applicant who is slated to be appointed as Interim Director of the STA, was chosen following a stringent selection process. An offer letter has been extended to Brison; however, the finalization of the process (the signing of the actual contract) won’t be done until the vetting process, which includes a background check, has been completed.
The selection process was as follows.A Selection Committee was established, which consisted of the entire five members of the Supervisory Council of the STA which is comprised of a representative of the SHTA, the St. Maarten Timeshare Association, the Princess Juliana International Airport, Port St. Maarten, a representative of the minister and Minister Arrindell – six persons in total.
An advertisement for the position was placed in the newspapers in early May 2016. A total of eleven applications were received. An additional two applications were later received; however, they were submitted after the deadlineand after the first round of interviews were already underway.
Of the eleven 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”.
The Minister claimed in the press statement that the picture in the Daily Herald on Saturday, August 13, whereby it was stated that Brison was appointed as “the Director of the STA” is incorrect because the actual appointment has not been done as yet. The minister said what was signed by Brison and the minister in front of this newspaper’s journalist was the offer letter, not a contract.
At the time Arrindell said, “For me to sit here today, and offer you this job is for me a great achievement.”
Minister Arrindell, who has the responsibility for tourism, is a member of the selection committee and had been designated by the selection committee to offer the position to Brison, with the intention that the official contract will be offered after the vetting process has been finalized. At that time, the Interim Director would be appointed by the Supervisory Council of the STA -not the Minister– she stated in her press statement.
Thursday’s release added “Rolando Brison is a highly intelligent, dynamic, committed, and fully qualified individual. We look forward to positive results from the vetting process, which will include background checks and a police report, following which we will be able to move forward in finalizing his appointment.
“The selection process was done in an open and transparent manner, in which all major stakeholders were involved.” I stand behind the decision taken by the Selection Committee. Furthermore, it is extremely important that the STA becomes operational as soon as possible,” she stated.
The establishment of a Tourism Authority on St. Maarten has been in the process for over 17 years. “It will allow St. Maarten to emerge out of the shadows and reclaim our rightful position in the landscape of Tourism,” added the minister.
Source: Daily Herald
Minister Ingrid Arrindell provides clarity on selection of STA Dir.