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Beaches Bar Manager Uton Graham Training The Next Generation For 25 years

Bar Department manager Uton Graham

Persons having an interest in careers within the hospitality industry in the Turks and Caicos Islands, will always look towards attaching themselves to the most recognised international brand in the industry, the Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC) resort. This is true for Bar Manager, Uton Graham, who has been with BTC for over 25 years.

Having developed his craft within the department, this father of four credits his growth to the training and mentorship of the largest all-inclusive family resort on the islands, Beaches Turks and Caicos.

Joining the organisation in 1998, Uton started as a bar porter. With training, came regular promotions to bartender, supervisor, assistant manager and now the manager of one of the most dynamic departments at the resort.

“When I started with this company, little did I know that I would become the head of the bar department. I knew that this was the best place for me to improve my skills and Beaches Turks and Caicos provided the best opportunities for growth and improvement,” Graham shared.

While revealing that he knew very little about the standards affiliated with providing international bartending services at family resorts, he was quick to point out that it was through the many training courses that he became an expert. “Within Sandals and Beaches resorts, training and mentorship the hallmarks we live by. Former bars manager at BTC, Sam Hall, was the first person who saw the talent in me and exposed me to the qualities of being the leader I am today,” Uton noted.

Being guided by experienced leaders throughout his career, Uton is committed to also training and building those who enter his department. He views as one of the major factors of his leadership structure, the need to empower and build leaders in whatever career path they may be interest in. This experience, according to one of his protégés, Simone Woodfine, a bartender for more than 10-years is one of Uton’s biggest strengths.

“Uton is patient with us as team members and is always encouraging us to challenge ourselves to be certified and empowered in our respective areas. The many online courses that are offered by the Sandals Corporate University (SCU) are mandated by him as our manager. He oftentimes tells us about his growth within the organisation and reminds us about the value of working at BTC,” Woodfine shared.

James McAnally, general manager shared, “Uton is arguably one of the finest leaders that we have at our resort. He has grown within the organisation and is currently sharing the blueprint of his success with those he’s leading. He maintains an open door policy which allows his team members and those from other departments to relate to him as a leader and friend. He has shown genuine interest in the development of his team members and has been a father figure to the young professionals entering the field.”

“Being able to manage the bar department at a family resort takes tact and drive. You have to be firm and fair in how you train the staff to relate to guests while maintaining a professional demeanour at all times. Uton adds value to his team as he empowers them to enroll in SCU courses that will allow them to grow and develop as leaders,” McAnally noted.

When asked what would be his advice to young professionals entering the industry, Graham shared “The opportunities for growth, educationally and professionally are endless. In order to excel in the career of choice each person is given the tools with which to build their skillset. It is not difficult to accomplish your goals here at BTC, you just have to prepare yourself for the change and make it happen. The opportunities are endless.”

Having shared his story of seizing every opportunity to grow, Uton oftentimes encourages his team members to always look for new ways to excel. Getting started as a bartender was never easy, but the leaders he had around him saw the potential in him and empowered him to grow beyond his comfort level.

“The support from family, both at work and at home, will always be the pivotal part of my career as these are the people who enabled me to dream bigger and enjoy a more prosperous and fulfilling life. They are my biggest supporters and they have consistently made it possible for me to empower my team to be able to provide world-class professional service to all our guests,” Graham shared.



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