A leader who believes in ensuring that she cultivates new leaders within the hospitality industry, the Key West Village manager at Beaches Turks and Caicos (BTC), and former Miss Turks and Caicos Islands, Michelle Parker, has provided more than 27 years of stellar service to the resort she calls home.
Equipped with her training in social work and youth development, this veteran has helped in building a solid reputation in grooming younger leaders in whichever department she has managed.
Michelle entered the industry and joined the BTC family in September 1995 as a front office agent. She displayed tremendous work ethics and at the end of her three months probationary period, she was promoted to supervisor in that area. Michelle has grown exponentially within the organization, moving up to front office assistant manager, then front office manager, to Manager on Duty and now Village Manager.
Throughout her tenure, she has undertaken advancement courses such as the Art of Selling, Professional Communication and Leadership, Guest Certified Specialist, Creative Management, and Customer Service through the company’s Sandals Corporate University (SCU)
While reminiscing about the early days at Beaches Turks and Caicos’ Michelle has fond memories of her first interaction with the late founder, the Hon. Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart; the first visitor arriving to the resort and the first complaint from a guest. “We were in the departure lounge with a few travel agents, when he came in and said, ‘ladies and gentlemen, travel agents, one minute… this is one of my loyal staff members,’ by way of introducing me. That experience still lingers with me as one of the standout interactions with the former chairman,” Parker shared. “This company allows each team member to learn something new daily. For anyone dreaming to excel in the hospitality industry, my advice is simple - make that start with Beaches Turks and Caicos and allow yourself to grow within this organisation. In order to be successful, you have to be passionate about what it is you like to do and be determined to become a ‘mover and shaker’ as you learn what brings success in the industry,” noted Parker.
In highlighting the mentorship and support that she has received over the years, Michelle recalls guidance along her professional journey from former General Managers at BTC.
“One of the main reasons for me remaining a part of this organisation these many years, is the fact that they look out for the development of their workers. This company, through its leaders ensures that they add value to each employee by consistently providing opportunities for training and development.
The leaders in this organisation encourage open communication which I am confident is a boost to team members’ growth and by extension, the growth of our island communities. Every team member has the opportunity to voice his or her opinion and be assured that they are valued,” Parker added.
While emphasising the leadership acumen of Michelle Parker, General Manager James McAnally shared, “Michelle’s strength as a leader is phenomenal. She has helped to groom all the teams that she has had the privilege of leading at this resort. She’s a mentor and a friend who is firm and fair, and keen on inspiring the younger generation of workers to excel as ambassadors within the industry.”
Patrice Beckford, concierge supervisor and former Ultimate Award Team Member for the entire Sandals and Beaches group, shared her appreciation for Michelle’s guidance, noting that, “Ms Parker is one of those gentle giants who is always willing to impart her experience in the hospitality industry and never hesitates to teach her team the fundamentals of excellence. She believes in youth development and empowering those under her guidance to learn and uphold the Sandals and Beaches way of world-renowned and award-winning service.”
Michelle who is an ordained minister is also a staunch advocate for volunteerism which has led her to form and manage a non-profit organisation, Without Walls Outreach Ministry even while she finds time to volunteer with the Sandals Foundation. Without Walls provides mentorship and guidance for at risk youth throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands.