Category Archives: exceptional service

Stay Fit with LEE!

SHERRY-ANN LEE is a certified fitness instructor with over two decades of experience coaching and training clients to achieve their fitness goals.

If you are lucky enough to meet her in person, you’ll be surprised that you just read 2+ decades! (Not to sound cliché, but simply because great things come in small packages and still waters run deep.)

Sherry is a tiny ball of FUN energy wrapped in a youthful package brimming with humility, grace and a wealth of wisdom (of course I may be a bit biased, since we’ve been friends since 2005 after having her as my trainer in 2004!).

Sherry (or Lee as she is endeared by her clients) uses a combination of cardio, free weights and fun ‘extras’ like kettle bells, steppers, resistance bands et cetera tailored to each client’s needs to empower a holistic sense of well-being and equilibrium.

Variety makes life fun: Lee incorporates outdoor activities as part of her clients’ routine; not limited to hikes, hills, walks/jogs, at-home 1-2-1 consultations+personal training, improvising with weights found around your home.

Your Goals: Whether your goal is weight loss; strength training, toning or flexibility, you can count on Lee to find the right mix of personalized training to achieve your desired outcome. She’ll monitor your weight ensuring that you keep on track with a healthy lifestyle including: dietary guidelines, proper water intake and more to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI) that’s right for your height, age and frame.

A softy at the core, Lee can appear at times to be a bit of a drill-sergeant. But only on those days when exercise is the last thing on your mind and you may be in need of that extra push (not literally of course!).

Sherry bringing ENERGY + JOY to clients everyday!

Bonus: She’ll share motivational tailored tips to create a positive body and fitness image required for the balance and energy to carry on with your specific routine and day-to-day life pursuits.

Lee is available to conduct specifically tailored presentations for community groups, NGOs and companies based on request.

A consummate professional, Sherry-Ann Lee remains a humble student of life constantly striving for ways to serve the needs of her clients in a way that brings them joie de vivre, vitality and appreciation for Living their absolute Best Life!

For more, you can reach her at (868)-702-4643/354-5025.

Beverley Fitzwilliam Harries’ journey through art

As a child, Beverley Fitzwilliam Harries was all about exploring new outlets for her creativity through colouring books and craft kits, while many girls her age were reading storybooks.

Her seventh solo exhibition was inspired by the people and landscapes of Trinidad and Tobago, which she recreated in acrylics. Beverley says she is unable to imagine living life anywhere else, as the Caribbean is home to her and serves as her muse. 

“Art was in my blood, as my extended family were creatives and my parents always supported my decision to pursue art. As a girl, I always found myself colouring on whatever I could find including the wrapping papers of sweets,” Fitzwilliam Harries said.

Winning prizes for her art were a constant part of her elementary and secondary school years and her alma mater Holy Name Convent acted as the main catalyst for the artist you see today.

Beverley received a distinction in Fine Arts at the GCE Ordinary Level Cambridge examinations and with the help of her parents, she went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in painting at Fanshawe College of Applied Arts & Technology, Ontario, Canada. 

“I would have loved to study at The University of the West Indies, but unfortunately the Visual Arts department only opened up in 1979 when I returned from Canada,” she shares.

She painted in watercolour upon returning to T&T, being strongly influenced by Jackie Hinkson and John Newel Lewis. While some may not consider art to be the most economically viable career, Fitzwilliam Harries believes that it is possible to an extent.

Art entitled ‘Mayaro Again’ inspired by Trinidadian seaside landscapes

The artist said even back in those days working by commission, you needed a full time job – especially as a single person to live a practical life. Shortly after returning from her studies in Canada, she landed a job as Bishop Anstey High School’s art teacher where she taught for 19 years, also serving as a CXC Examiner between 1993-7. 

“It is indeed difficult to find the time and motivation to pursue your craft after a long day of teaching 275 girls in one week from forms one to upper six … at that time I painted like I taught, since teaching and working experiences can affect your art.”

A view of some of Fitzwilliam Harries paintings at the 101 Art Gallery at her 7th solo exhibit (Oct-17)

In 1997 Beverley made the decision to move to Jamaica with her growing family until they again changed locales in 2000 and resided in St. Lucia until 2007 before returning home to Trinidad.  During those years, she practiced her art along with self-study. 

“I was fascinated by the works of Turner, Derain and Van Gogh. I also loved the Fauves! Hence my use of red. I wanted to paint with more body, so I made the shift to acrylics since I studied this at college.” 

The artist attended a few workshops in Barbados facilitated by Margaret Roseman (of Canada) and Heidi Berger (of Germany) launching her first solo exhibition in 2006 with the encouragement of Rachael Du Boulay – owner of ‘The Inner Gallery’.

“Prior to this, I always participated in group exhibits with other artists. You need workshops – no matter how old or experienced you are. You need to step out of your box and refresh yourself to learn new techniques.” 

 

Fitzwilliam Harries encourages all creatives across various genres to pursue their art for the right reasons and stay committed to learning.

“This is the secret to continued success.” Beverley says as we exchange knowing smiles and she explains the names of the photos hung at her exhibit held at 101 Art Gallery circa October 2017.

That’s ME! @ my 2nd (ever) art exhibit experience!

 

The 411: A&E Musiq Fest (formerly Book Talk & Jazz)

Oct-2016 Written by Carissa Daniel | Business Coach & Consultant

First published on The Caribbean Current

My experience started as soon as I contacted Carolyn about attending the event. Her excitement and heart was very evident as she shared more about the event and her passion to help others realize their purpose. 

I remember thinking that this was definitely an indicator of what the event would be like. 

A few years ago, I purchased Carolyn’s first book Thinking out Loud and was very much moved by her candidness expressed in the book about her journey of finding herself and her passion. This prior experience coupled with my intrigue, secured my spot for my first ever Book Talk & Jazz. Without hesitation; in my usual fashion of sharing with my friends and family, I immediately sent the flyer encouraging them to attend as well. 

As the day finally came; I honestly did not know what to expect, however, I decided to go with an open mind ready to receive. Upon entering the venue; I was extremely impressed by the beautiful ambiance of the backyard garden.

The stimulating music as it played softly in the background, the array of people seated awaiting the beginning of the show and the quiet buzz of excitement all greeted me as I entered. My inward smile then began showing outwardly as I knew it was definitely going to be an amazing evening.

Carolyn was simply awesome, she did an incredible job of bringing her books to life through the accounts she shared about her journey toward self-discovery and realizing her reason for being. It was truly an opportunity for me to take a deep look at my own journey and life to assess whether I was truly pursuing my dreams and passion.

From time to time, I casually looked over to my friends and family who were sitting closeby and witnessed how deeply introspective they were, absorbing Carolyn’s every word and what seemed to be a piercing into their lives as well. The mood of the evening was without a doubt positive, inspirational, motivational and encouraging.

This was further amplified by Patrice Inglesbirth’s jazz performances. In one word, phenomenal. Patrice’s singing was like that of the Greek Mythical Sirens: beautiful, alluring and angelic. Her singing seemed to touch every fibre of my being. Her self-composed rendition aptly captured the essence and theme of the evening and succinctly reinforced Carolyn’s objective.

As the evening came to an end, patrons felt liberated to get up and share their excitement with everyone. One by one, attendees went to the front expressing how much the Talk and Jazz inspired them to go out and pursue their passion and purpose.

Their excitement spilled over to the others, who from their facial expressions all seemed extremely happy and satisfied with the evening’s agenda.

We then had the opportunity to mingle ‘n mix; drink wine, enjoy the beautiful ambiance of the backyard garden, while being entertained by the DJ’s selection of some grown folks music.

Everyone I spoke with all shared the same sentiments of the impact of the evening. Some reported that they felt it was just what they needed at that very moment to help them move forward with their ideas, while others were motivated to continue pursuing their dreams and passion.

Book Talk & Jazz is an event that should be definitely calendared as a ‘must go’ for those of us who are seeking alternative mediums of inspiration, entertainment and socializing.

Without a doubt, I will be attending the next Book Talk & Jazz.

Secure your tickets here for this year’s Music, Arts & Motivation Festival happening on Sunday 29th July, 2018.

Photo credit- IIEYE photography Neville B. Alexander 2016.

 

One of Tobago’s Finest Chefs! Curlyn John

Me & Curly at the Buccoo Goat & Crab Races Easter Tuesday Circa 2013

Entrepreneurship can be considered a risky road few traverse or stay the distance. Like certain professions, you must be born for it and adapt if you want to be sustainable and maintain your responsibility to serve in the best manner.

 It may seem glamorous and even lucrative to some who are looking on from the outside, but the road is certainly not one to be coveted, if that is your sole purpose.

You will be in for a rude awakening when you realize that the road is not paved in gold. In fact, you may find it filled with many sleepless nights, doubts, fears, failures and personal sacrifices in terms of time, resources and former luxuries.

 For many of us, we see no other option to share our innate talent/passion for maximum effect, with as many as possible who appreciate and value our ‘craft’. One such person is Curlyn John, who I was lucky to meet when I lived on the sister-isle in 2013 and travel to Grenada with circa 2014 for the wedding of mutual friends.

 Similar to business; friendship and anything you deem worthwhile are about compromise, communication and appreciation of character for what the person brings/brought to your life. Without this, you become dust in the wind scratching the surface on the meaning and joy in life.

Curlyn’s personality is warm and embracing. It makes for good business. She shares that her recipe for attracting [repeat] customers is her commitment to outstanding service, packaging and creating the mood for her customers’ eclectic and mouth watering meals of choice to be enjoyed.

Her culinary journey began at the School Feeding Programme in Mason Hall (Tobago) where she worked as a cook for a year before pursuing a Diploma in Chef Training at the Trinidad & Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (Trinidad Hotel School).

Soon after graduating John along with a few classmates were offered the opportunity to showcase their culinary skills aboard a cruise ship that was dry-docked in Chaguaramas (Trinidad).

There were no passengers, so we cooked for the crew and were soon hired to work on different ships going to all of the Caribbean islands, with the exception of Barbados, Jamaica and Cuba. We got as far as the Bahamas and Cayman Islands, but Palm island took my breath away. It’s a private island off the coast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” John recalls.

The ship was based in Antigua and John eventually settled making this island her new home. The warm welcome made it an easy transition. She worked at the Trade Winds Hotel as a Chef de Partie; the Grand Royal Antigua, Jolly Beach Resort and Jimmy’s Beach Grill and Bar to name a few of the well-known establishments in Antigua.

However, for Chef John this was not enough to showcase her gifts in the best light, so she took a calculated risk and quit her 8-4 after 11 years to open her own restaurant. It was called ‘Trini Delights’ and it was a gamble that paid off since it soon became a hit with the locals.

She served take-away lunches and breakfast, opening her doors at 6 a.m. Monday to Saturday. Many times her neighbours and other customers would come a-knocking any time of day or night saying to her: 

“You must have some kind of food or a cup with ice and a cold drink in your freezer!”

She says that was the only drawback of working from home, but loved cooking for her customers offering a new special each day, while maintaining her regular menu. Her top sellers included specials such as roti, made from scratch and her Tuesday pepperpot – an Antiguan soup made of spinach, okras, dumplings and various peas.

 

Chef Curlyn mastered all the local dishes and on Thursdays served up saltfish with ducuna (similar to what we call paime in Trinidad and Tobago, but made with sweet potato). Fungi was also popular (similar to coo coo, but made of a softer consistency and served piping hot). She accompanied this dish with stewed fish and chop chop (callaloo made with spinach).

Listening to her describe these mouth-watering delights, made me realize that her business really lived up to its name, as I remembered visiting her one Sunday for the Tobago Jazz Festival and asking for seconds!

She served a plethora of dishes for breakfast and most times the same customers returned for lunch. Business was so good that she was able to fund her eldest daughter’s undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Applied & Forensic Sciences at The University of the West Indies, Mona Jamaica without taking a loan.

Then the recession hit and Curlyn decided to move back home to Tobago at the end of 2012. She had to start all over again but admits that ‘home will always be home.’ 

She maintained old friendships and will never forget the tremendous support she received during the transition. Chef John says re-adjusting to Tobago life was hard and chuckles as she remembers mentally converting the currency whenever she visited the supermarket.

To get back on her feet she accepted a job as Chef/Lecturer at the Tobago Hospitality & Tourism Institute and was grateful for the memorable experiences mentoring the students and helping them host their Student Dinners. John later received her Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) and toyed with the idea of teaching, but her dream was to open her own Fine Dining Restaurant.

 “I want to serve tasty food with superb service that wouldn’t cost a pound and a crown.”

To achieve this goal and with little rest for the weary, Curlyn did private catering and sold lunches on the weekends. She received repeat business from private and corporate clients, along with referrals from friends and colleagues.

In 2016 through her continuous efforts and prayers, Curlyn was granted a 2-year lease at the Crown Point Beach hotel to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner. Though her lease has recently come to an end, she continues to give thanks for the opportunity to put a smile on the faces of her guests by doing what she loves and was created to do.  

Barbados Surprise

With so many experiences under her belt; the mother of 3 beautiful daughters beams as she shares in the most humble way, as it if happened yesterday:

“While working in Antigua: two different groups (foreign and local) asked to see the chef after their meal.

The first was so impressed, they paid double their bill. The second group of about 100 people who filled the restaurant, all stood on their feet and applauded when I entered the room!

 I will never forget that for as long as I live; I think I floated a few feet off the ground! No one can ever break my stride because of my faith in God, everything I do is for Him and my children; they are my world and continue to make me so proud.” John says.

 

For more, you can contact Chef Curlyn John at (868)-764-0989, curlynjohn@gmail.com.

HIC OMEGA CONSULTING Copyright 2015. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Kindly note the above information should in no way be copied, modified or disseminated for use for another entity. The legal rights remain with the creators of this content and the persons for which it was created. Any violation of such, will be treated accordingly.

If you’d like to read more stories like this, you can click subscribe to receive email updates straight to your inbox. To have your story/business featured and told in this format, please read the instructions below and send us your best elevator pitch to info@hicomegaconsulting.com. Our team will be sure to contact you within 48 hours with feedback and details.

Please keep it tight, with enough information that explains the nature of your business, along with links to your social media pages, samples of your work and at least five (5) customer testimonials. This is to ensure the highest quality service providers/SMEs/artists are shared with our mailing list and subscribers.

Hacienda Jacana – Home Away From Home

Nestled in the sublime forests of Talparo Trinidad, lies a dreamy escape from reality known as Hacienda Jacana. Only an hour’s drive from Port-of-Spain; you can find the most perfect combination of comfortable lodging, scrumptious food, breathtaking nature at its best, hospitable people and the rest is left up to your imagination.

Somewhat off the beaten path is a secluded utopia that few know about. It’s an adventure worth exploring since once you leave your comfort zone, you’d experience a (local) paradise that parallels those seen on The Travel Channel.

Forget the wildly popular phone app – ‘Waze’ and GPS; because once you’ve booked your trip, you are provided with flawless directions. Buckle up and grab an old fashioned map as part of the adventure and learning!

“Once you’ve reached San Raphael RC Church, you can’t get lost” the directions read. A few more roads and corners later, I was led to a little trace and ‘went brave’ just as instructed and drove until there were no more houses.

The little white arrow that pointed to Hacienda Jacanda was akin to following a treasure hunt and my excitement grew as I entered the gates and was granted access inside for the next couple days. We were directed to our cabin and the real adventure began as we got a tour of the estate.

Sitting on 22 acres of land, Hacienda Jacana consists of four wooden cottages outfitted with Greenheart wood imported from Guyana. The cabins are each named after birds: Gallinule, Lapwing, Nightjar and Wood Rail. The name was derived from the Spanish influence and a Caribbean feel reflecting the tastes of the owners. The name Hacienda translates to ‘a large estate or plantation with a dwelling house’ and Jacana is the name of a bird found on the estate.

After considering several sketches and designs for years, the owner finally decided on a rustic appeal that is both charming and homely complementing the outdoor environment.  Keeping it local, the décor is adorned with fresh flowers from the garden and mounted colour photography by Gregory Scott which were carefully selected by the owner.

Each cottage is equipped with a fully functional kitchen, two air conditioned bedrooms, bathroom, dining and living rooms and a porch overlooking the most magnificent view of the lake that seems to stretch as far as the eye could see! As you take in the view from the porch, it is easy to get mesmerized as you watch the reflection of light on the water and the various species of birds that hop to and fro on the lily pads way down below.

The most spectacular sight of nature to witness, were the various coloured hummingbirds that came up to the feeders that hung right above my head. I was amused by the fight that ensued with this one particular green hummingbird that marked his territory chasing all the other hummingbirds away!

Constructed in 2010, the cottages are available for vacations, church, staff or writer’s retreats, plant, bird and even bat conservationists or anyone in need of quiet time to relax and unwind from the stresses of daily life. They can safely accommodate 25 persons for a one-day event.

During the day; guests can enjoy a stroll around the grounds, canoeing in the lake or fishing where you can catch big guabins, tilapia and pacu. For the less adventurous, the pool is available for you to relax. There are also tours available for foreign visitors who are so inclined to visit. These include the Asa Wright Nature Centre, Wild Fowl Trust, Nariva or Caroni swamps, Tamana caves or Waterloo mudflats.

I got a welcome geography, agricultural and history lesson all rolled into one as we walked around the estate. There were some fruits that I did not know except what I was told about by my father as a child such as shaddock and Tamarind des Indies (Chinese tamarind). More familiar ones include caimite, pomerac, tangerine, sapodilla, five finger, chataigne, breadfruit, hog plum, barbadine, citrus and more.

Many animals can be seen on the estate including: chickens, agouti, caiman, manicou, mongoose, morocoy, iguanas, squirrels, fish, birds like the famous Jacana and several species of hawks. There are two donkeys, one of which was made famous since making its way onto the cover of a book sold on Amazon. Other occasional visitors guests seldom get to see are deer, ocelot, otter and tattoo. Interesting to behold are a wide and unique variety of butterflies.

At night, guests can relax on the porch, watch Direct TV or fall asleep to the sounds of nature. If you’re lucky to visit when there is a full moon, you are in for a special treat as you get a front row seat to the magnificent view.

For those interested in booking a romantic getaway, family get-together, or just a quiet escape to study, write or complete business projects, the quietest periods are from August to October, while the peak season is January to the end of May.

There were so many favourites during this wonderful escape from reality to a utopia that seemed almost like a fantasy. But if I had to choose only one; the food brought to our door was like a dream I didn’t want to wake up from. I feasted my palate on mashed yams, veggies, baked lamb, salad, soup, pineapple chicken, scalloped potatoes, sweet corn and THE most delicious dessert I’ve tasted in a long time! 

 

Hacienda’s refreshingly humble and down to earth owner says that his legacy for the estate is to be a hallmark of excellence:  

“Excellence in beauty, maintenance, food and customer service…that’s all I want.”

For more (868)-498-7597, haciendajacana@gmail.com or website: www.haciendajacana.com

All photo credit attributed to Carolyn K. Correia (c) 2015

 

HIC OMEGA CONSULTING Copyright 2015.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Kindly note the above information should in no way be copied, modified or disseminated for use for another entity. The legal rights remain with the creators of this content and the persons for which it was created. Any violation of such, will be treated accordingly.

If you’d like to read more stories like this, you can click subscribe to receive email updates straight to your inbox. To have your story/business featured and told in this format, please read the instructions below and send us your best elevator pitch to info@hicomegaconsulting.com. Our team will be sure to contact you within 48 hours with feedback and details.

Please keep it tight, with enough information that explains the nature of your business, along with links to your social media pages, samples of your work and at least five (5) customer testimonials. This is to ensure the highest quality service providers/SMEs/artists are shared with our mailing list and subscribers.

RENALDO ALCALA has a long list of talents and credits to his name. Most noteworthy, the accomplishment of being an entrepreneur for over a decade.

The owner of Sawdust Plus is a self-taught craftsman, that always credit his alma maters – St. Anthony’s College and MIC Institute of Technology (formerly Metal Industries Company) for his foundation.

You can say the degree of precision and perfection in his craft is sheer art.

He fell in love with gourmet desserts which was his first taste of business. Baking since the age of seven, he made the business official in 2005. His specialties included, Nanaimo Bars and pound cake.

Other decadent delights were millionaire bars and the most mouthwatering apple and lemon meringue pies you have ever tasted, all packaged in the most enticing manner.

His clients’ satisfaction acted as his catalyst to continue the flexible, rewarding and at times challenging entrepreneur lifestyle. However, in order to maximize sustainability he had to diversify his brand, since his largest customers and orders mainly came in at holiday time.

He has since passed on most of the baking elements of the business to his two nieces, while still managing orders for his major clients on special occasions.

 Alcala formed Sawdust Plus in 2010 where he designs creations via 3D imaging, and crafts furniture and other signature woodworking pieces.

His clients enjoy the best of both worlds, as they can actually see what their project would look like before a single piece of wood is cut.

As the good news spread; his clientele expanded through referrals for his intricate, unique and state-of-the art designs that you would usually associate with high-end furniture chains and creations as seen on HGTV and architectural magazines.

The secret to being in business this long is more than meets the eye.

The entrepreneur’s impeccable customer service, work ethic and aftercare is what allows for repeat business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Steel Spaces is his latest creation and dream business which is the design, outfitting and creation of containerized homes or ‘pods’ most popular in Europe and North America.

With an idea in his head; a pencil and pad in his hand and his computer and the ocean as his muse, Renaldo’s work ethic is simple: 

“Listen more, talk less and place the customers’ needs first. Your only competition is with your former self.”

HIC OMEGA CONSULTING Copyright 2017. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Kindly note the above information should in no way be copied, modified or disseminated for use for another entity. The legal rights remain with the creators of this content and the persons for which it was created. Any violation of such, will be treated accordingly.

If you’d like to read more stories like this, you can click subscribe to receive emails/blogs straight to your inbox. To have your story/business featured and told in this format, please read the instructions below and send us your best elevator pitch to info@hicomegaconsulting.com. Our team will be sure to contact you within 48 hours with feedback and details.

Please keep it tight, with enough information that explains the nature of your business, along with links to your social media pages, samples of your work and at least five (5) customer testimonials. This is to ensure the highest quality service providers/SMEs/artists are shared with our mailing list.