Trelawny Councillors lead successful Jamaican delegation to South Florida
Philip Service (Councillor, Martha Brae Division) and Telka Holt (Councillor, Sherwood Content Division), were the leaders of a successful Falmouth (Trelawny) delegation to the Florida International Trade and Cultural Expo (FITCE). This was held at the Broward County Convention Center between October 12-16, 2015.
What is Florida International Trade and Cultural Expo (FITCE)?
The goal of the first ever Florida International Trade and Cultural Expo (FITCE) is to expand the business opportunities for Broward County by creating new businesses and growing existing ones. Over 30 countries were represented and the expo created an international medium for the exchange of business ideas, contacts, assistance, and most importantly, investment.
Why Falmouth Represented Jamaica
Falmouth represented Jamaica because of its status as sister city to Lauderhill City in South Florida.
The Falmouth Delegation
The Falmouth delegation was led by Trelawny Councillors Philip Service and Telka Holt. They were assisted by Joan Findlator, who is the President of the Hague Citizens Association.
Accompanying them were the Trelawny Song and Dance Ensemble, led by Joan Shields.
Service was the Chief of Delegation, but Holt was in charge of getting visas for the dance group, booking flights, coordinating accommodations, mobilising support, managing the children, among other things.
Phillip Service’s Speech
On Day 2, Tuesday October 13, Phillip Service was one of the panellists on the theme: “Expanding Your Global Sales To Latin America And The Caribbean.” He (Service) was one of the day’s speakers, alongside others from Brazil, Colombia and Ecuador.
According to compatriot Telka Holt, she was proud of Service’s delivery. “I am proud of the representation by Philip Service on behalf of the Trelawny Parish Council. He didn’t just speak on behalf of Trelawny, he represented Jamaica and showed the different opportunities available locally.” She flatteringly went on to state that his delivery was befitting of a statesman.
Falmouth Investment Opportunities
The success of this venture must be judged by the investment interest in Falmouth as well as the commitments Falmouth received for future assistance. Some of this investment interest from foreigners transcended Falmouth, and will have to be looked at nationally by ministers of government. The areas of interest included:
- Construction of a recycling plant.
- Investment in the medical marijuana industry
- Construction of a transportation hub (high rise parking lot)
- Jamaican restaurant in South Florida interested in setting up branch in Falmouth
- Agriculture – South Florida was interested in agricultural produce (especially for Jamaican restaurants). The main areas of interest were yams, papaya, pepper, honey, mangoes and rum.
- Buying local Jamaican craft
In addition, the Falmouth (Trelawny) delegation promoted local products, including yam and it’s by-products, to stimulate Jamaican exports.
To fully understand the United States import process, Service and Holt attended a seminar entitled “How to Import Into The United States.”
Commitments to Falmouth
The delegation met with Lauderhill Police Chief Constance Stanley. She confirmed a commitment to provide a vehicle for the Trelawny Parish Council Municipal Police. They also discussed the possibility of sending other accessories including batons, vests and more. there was also discussion about the possibility of providing training in tactics and management to the local police.
Falmouth also met with Lauderhill fire Chief Marc Celetti, who made a long term commitment to assist with a fire engine. In the short term, Falmouth was asked to provide a shopping list of small items including tools, etc. The Falmouth delegation could not provide it, so it will be provided by the relevant person, Falmouth’s Fire Chief.
Trelawny Song and Dance Ensemble
This Falmouth dance group has been around for years keeping the traditional dances of Jamaica alive through the young dancers.
The occasion was a great opportunity for the local group. According to Councillor Telka Holt, “There were lots of problems with money for air fare, accommodations, food and logistics, but several persons in Florida contributed in making their stay comfortable.”
The Trelawny Song and Dance Ensemble dancers performed during the expo, showcasing the Jamaican culture. It was the first time most of the dancers travelled, so it was a great experience for them.
The trip to the Florida International Trade and Cultural Expo (FITCE) was a success. Jamaican products were promoted, export opportunities identified, investment opportunities identified, commitments made, and Jamaica was once again sold to the world. The Jamaican culture was also exposed to the world (through Trelawny song and Dance Ensemble). In addition, the Falmouth delegation kindled their relationship as sister to Lauderhill City.
Thanks to all who made it possible
The Falmouth delegation would like to thank the following persons who all made the trip a success:
- Catherine Malcolm of Jerk Machine
- Madge Johnson (Florida resident from Granville, Trelawny)
- Judy Hamilton, Chairperson of Falmouth Committee, Lauderhill Sister City
- John Beckford (Chief-of-Staff of Broward County Commissioner, Dale Holness)
- ‘Tony’ of Carl’s Seafood Restaurant
- Lahoma Scarlett (Personal Assistant to Dale Holness)
- rafiek Mohammed (President of Lauderhill Sister City)
- Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce
- Dwayne and Marlene