Speaker Bios for The 22nd Annual Bahamas Business Outlook

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January 02, 2013

The 22nd Annual Bahamas Business Outlook starts at 8:30 a.m. on January 10, 2013. The one day forum will be held at the Wyndham Nassau Resort under theme “Building on The Spirit of Independence: New Blueprints for Social and Economic Development” and the Prime Minister’s remarks will set the stage for a day of insightful presentations by top local and international experts across a wide spectrum of business sectors.


The Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie was born in Nassau. He attended the Government High School, later studying under the care of D. W. Davis, and went on to read law at the University of London.

He was sworn in as the fifth Prime Minister of the Bahamas on May 8, 2012, following the Progressive Liberal’s Party (PLP) victory in the general elections of May 7, 2012. He is also the Minister of Finance with responsibility for the Office of the Prime Minister, Department of Lands and Surveys, Department of Statistics and the Ministry of Finance. He had become the third Prime Minister of The Bahamas on May 3, 2002 Mr. Christie is believed to have been the youngest Bahamian ever appointed to the Senate.

Named Senator by Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Sir Lynden Pindling in November 1974, Mr. Christie served in that capacity until June 1977. In January of the latter year he was appointed chairman of the Gaming Board. Mr. Christie was elected M.P. for Centreville in the 1977 General Election, and shortly after appointed Minister of Health and National Insurance. During the June 1982, general election, he was re-elected Member of Parliament for Centreville, and was once again appointed to the Prime Minister’s Cabinet, but as Minister of Tourism. In January 1993, following the PLP’s defeat in the August 1992 general election, Mr. Christie was elected Co-deputy leader of the PLP. He was subsequently appointed Leader of the Opposition in 1997 having been elected leader of the PLP

George Markantonis

George Markantonis serves as the President and Managing Director of Kerzner International Bahamas and also served as a Co-President and Co-Managing Director of the company since 2005.

Geoff Houston

A seasoned telecoms professional, Geoff Houston, CEO of BTC, has more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, starting with BT in the UK and has been with Cable & Wireless (C&W) for the past 19 years. During his time with C&W he has worked in several locations serving in various capacities including as CEO of C&W’s operations in the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Bermuda business unit where he successfully turned around an incumbent operator in Guernsey to become a top 3 performing business amongst CW’s Global portfolio, whilst successfully launching 2 start-up mobile businesses in Jersey and the Isle of Man and established a world-leading e-gaming hosting business.

Prior to this, he was CEO in the Seychelles leading the successful transformation of the business to become a self-funding and customer focussed operation. He was also instrumental in acquiring the licence and setting up C&W’s mobile network in South Africa (MTN), following which he was based in Hong Kong as Operations Director for CW’s mobile businesses in Asia and Australia and has also driven start-ups in Panama (Mobile) and Kuwait (ISP & Data). Geoff came to Cable & Wireless Jamaica in 2008 to take up the post of Chief Operating Officer with a brief to turnaround the operations and restore stability to the business.

Following the rebranding of C&W’s business across the Caribbean as LIME, he was appointed Country Manager for Jamaica in January 2009 and then Managing Director for Jamaica & Cayman in January 2010. He successfully restored stability and significant customer and service improvements to the Jamaica business, winning LIME’s Caribbean customer service award for best service organisation in 2010, whilst successfully managing the integration of Jamaica into the LIME regional operations model. He has a BA Hons -History, Post-graduate Diplomas in Marketing from Bristol Business School and the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing and an MBA from Henley Business School in the UK.

Aliya Allen

Aliya Allen is the CEO and Executive Director of BFSB, having taken up the post in January 2012. Prior to this she was a partner in top tier Bahamas law firm, Graham Thompson, specializing in financial services and general corporate law. She was listed in Chambers Global 2012 as an up and coming leading lawyer.

Prior to this, she was counsel to the Office of the Attorney General in international cooperation and civil matters. She holds a LLB(Hons) from the University of Buckingham and completed the Bar Vocational Course at Manchester University. She is admitted to the English and Bahamas Bars and is a member of the Honourable Society of Gray's Inn.


Ian Fair was appointed Chairman of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) and Port Group Limited (PGL) in April 2012.A distinguished business professional in The Bahamas, and throughout the world, Mr. Fair guides the strategic direction of both GBPA and PGL and focuses on maximizing growth opportunities for Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, and by extension, The Bahamas. Mr. Fair has had an illustrious career of over 46 years, the last 43 of which have been in The Bahamas, in the financial services sector, with an impressive portfolio of International contacts.

His wealth of knowledge in global business plays a significant role in further developing and enhancing important partnerships that are critical for the growth and development of Freeport and Grand Bahama Island. Mr. Fair currently serves as Chairman of the Bahamas First Insurance Group and Chairman of The Bahamas International Securities Exchange (BISX). He is also Deputy Chairman of Butterfield Bank (Bahamas). He was the founding Chairman of The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) and former Chairman of The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA). Mr. Fair is currently on the Boards of The Governor General’s Youth Award (GGYA) and The Living Oceans Foundation.

Maggie Bain

Born in Kano Nigeria and raised in Scotland, Maggie came to the Bahamas in 1988. She trained in the United Kingdom as a Registered Nurse, Midwife, and Critical Care Nurse. After more than thirty years of nursing, she decided to pursue her lifelong interest in human sexuality at the Florida Sex Therapy Institute, West Palm Beach and returned to break new ground by becoming the first Sex Therapist in The Bahamas and sparking conversations on sexuality. She started her weekly column titled ‘Loving Relationships’ for the health section of the Nassau’s Tribune newspaper, and also hosted her own ‘Love On The Rock’ interactive relationship radio show on Island FM.

Maggie’s clear message on the creation of extraordinary relationships in our lives, is both relatable and recognizably achievable.

Grant Walsh

Mr. Walsh is the Director and founder of the KPMG Enterprise: Centre for Family Business in Ottawa. For the past fifteen years, his professional services have been dedicated solely to assisting family businesses in working through their management and ownership issues with a focus on the transition/succession process.

Mr. Walsh is an active member of CAFÉ (Canadian Association of Family Enterprise) and serves on both the National Board and the Board of the CAFÉ Ottawa chapter. Mr. Walsh is also a member of the Family Firm Institute (FFI), an international association of family business professionals providing in depth information on family businesses from around the world as well as ongoing education and training in the field of family business consulting. Mr. Walsh’s career background includes; corporate finance, sales and marketing within a large multinational pharmaceutical company; public administration in a large teaching hospital; owner/manager of a local residential construction firm and associate professor of graduate studies (Finance and Strategic Planning) at the University of Ottawa.

George Gobin

George Gobin is currently the Microsoft Country Manager for Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Belize, Turks & Caicos (BCBBT). He is based in the Microsoft Regional Head Quarters office in Ft Lauderdale, Florida and is responsible for the growth of Microsoft business in those countries along with positioning Microsoft role of citizenship assisting both the public / educational and private sectors. Recently he has been speaking to organizations about new world of work, communications technology and the advent and preparation for the Cloud.

Prior to this he was the General Manager for the Microsoft West Indies regional office of Microsoft Corporation USA and was based in the Microsoft Trinidad & Tobago office headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad with responsibilities for Bermuda and the West Indies including the English speaking, French and Dutch speaking territories. He is a national of Trinidad & Tobago and studied at the University of the West Indies in Mathematics and Computer Science. He has a Diploma in Systems Analysis and Design for the National Institute of Higher Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST). George has been working in the Information Technology field for the last 31 years and has had experience in all aspects of the IT Industry and the management of people and companies.

Sharlyn Wilson Smith

Sharlyn Smith received a Bachelor of Laws with honours degree from the University of Reading in the UK in 1997 and further completed the Bar Vocational Course in London. She was called to the Bahamas Bar in 1998. Before commencing her practice of law she completed a Master’s in International Business Law at American University in Washington, D.C. While in Washington she interned at the international law firm, Fulbright & Jaworski. During 1999-2005 she was an Associate with McKinney Bancroft & Hughes, and in 2005 joined the law firm of Sharon Wilson & Co. She qualified as a Chartered Secretary in 2009, qualifying in corporate law, finance, governance and business management.. She was appointed in 2002 to the National Bureau of Women’s Affairs, and served as legal advisor on the Health Professional Council between 2003 and2007.

Edward Charles Carter

Charles Carter (Edward Charles) grew up in Nassau and received his early education at St. John’s College, later graduated from Rhodes School in New York. He entered New York University in 1961 where he studied Business Administration in the Bachelor of Science Program, his studies were then furthered at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto, Canada where in 1969 he obtained a degree in broadcast management, and then went on to complete his studies in 1974 at the University of Manchester, England where he obtained a certificate with distinction in public administration. In 1964, he joined the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas as a radio announcer, and subsequently became programme director, assistant general manager and was responsible for the setting up of the television service, and appointed general manager of television. He hosted of the “Young Bahamian Show” and the TV series ‘Focus’

Charles Carter resigned from ZNS to go into business and created a number of successful ventures and worked as the Vice President of Restaurants (Bahamas) Ltd., distributors of Kentucky Fried Chicken.He was elected to the House of Assembly in 1982 and served for 10 years as the M.P. for the Holy Cross Constituency. During the years of 1982-1992 he served as Chairman of the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas; Chairman of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly; Minister of Foreign Affairs, and finally in October of 1990, Mr. Carter was made Minister of Health where he remained until the FNM won the government in August of 1992. He then served as leader of the opposition in the Senate up to June 1993 resigning to pursue a radio license after private radio was introduced.

Mr. Carter created Carter Marketing in 1993 that organizes the advertising and public relation interests of a number of businesses in the Bahamas. In late 1999, he was granted a license to open a radio station and in August 2001, Island FM 102.9 came on the air.

Mr. Marcellus C. Tayloris

Mr. Marcellus C. Tayloris an educational planner and policy analyst who currently serves as Deputy Director of Education for Planning and Development, in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. Over a ten-year period, Mr. Taylor worked as a teacher and school administrator in several public schools in the Family Islands and New Providence. Since 1999, Mr. Taylor has served in the capacity of an Education Officer in the Planning, Research and Development Division and then as Director of Educational Planning before assuming his current responsibilities in August of 2012.

He received his teacher training at the College of The Bahamas and, later, at Florida International University, completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in History with minors in International Relations and Geography. Additionally, Mr. Taylor undertook graduate level studies in educational administration, planning and policy studies in the United Kingdom, France and the United States.

News date : 01/02/2013    Category : About Bahamians, Business

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