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About the DHTA 

The Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association (DHTA), first established in 1972, is a non-profit organization providing centralized and innovative information, advocacy, and leadership for the tourism industry in Dominica. 


Operating as a membership-based tourism development organization for over four decades, the Dominica Hotel & Tourism Association is a focal point for the tourism industry in Dominica. The DHTA assumes a leadership role in the industry, and acts as a catalyst for enabling Dominica’s tourism economy to reach its full potential to the benefit of our current and future members, visitors, investors and travel partners, citizens and the Commonwealth of Dominica.

 

DHTA Board of Directors for the year 2014-2015

 

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President - Gregor Nassief is Owner/Director of Secret Bay and Executive Chairman of the Fort Young Hotel, as well as Founder and CEO of Cerca Technology, a Latin America based Software Implementation company founded in 1993.   Gregor is also a Director of Agostini Limited in Trinidad and a member of the board of the Rotary Club of Portsmouth as well as Crime Stoppers Dominica.  Gregor was born in Dominica and studied information technology and finance at New York University.  He is married to Venezuelan Sandra Vivas.  They currently reside in Trafalgar, Dominica with their two children Gaston and Manuela.

 

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First Vice President - Simon Walsh 


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Director/Finance and Fundraising - Sheldon Bruno is from the Capital city of Roseau. Sheldon has a finance background with over 10 years’ experience in the Hospitality Industry. His careers involved positions at Rosalie Bay Resort and Spa and The Fort Young Hotel where he served roles in Food & Beverage, Functions and Accounting. He is currently the General Manager at Pagua Bay Oceanfront Cabanas ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). This is Sheldon’s first time on the Board of Directors of the DHTA and he is eager to lend his hand in helping to continue shaping the Tourism Product in the Nature Isle.

 

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Director/Membership – Vanessa Prevost is from the capital, where she was recently elected to the Roseau City Council. She received an undergraduate degree in agribusiness management from the UK and masters degree in world heritage from Italy. Since returning ‘home’, she has been very involved in environmental conservation projects, Dominica’s growing organic agriculture movement and other sustainable initiatives. She has previously served as President of DOAM (Dominica Organic Agriculture Movement), among other positions. She is currently the Manager of the Prevo Cinemall in Roseau, which contains conference facilities and two restaurants ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ). She is delighted to be on the DHTA Board for the first time and feels strongly that tourism is important as so many different businesses are indirectly dependent on visitor expenditures in order to survive.

 

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Director/Accommodation - Marvlyn Alexander James is presently the General Manager of the Fort Young Hotel and has been in that position for the last 14 months.

She has worked within the Tourism Industry for the past 15 years, nine of those years at the now defunct National Development Corporation and the Discover Dominica Authority. She has held a number of progressively responsible positions to include, Tourism Officer, STEP Coordinator, Quality Assurance Officer; Head of Marketing and acted in the position of Director of Tourism on several occasions.  She is presently serving on the Marketing Committee of the Discover Dominica Authority.

Before joining the Private Sector Mrs. James headed the implementation of the Tourism Sector Development Programme, an EC$10m European Union funded project and was instrumental in setting up the National Community Tourism Association and working with several community groups to improve on the quality and packaging of their tourism product.

Marvlyn holds Bachelor of Science with Honors in Management and Marketing from the University of the West Indies and undergone graduate courses leading to an MBA at the University of Leicester.   She is also a Certified Hospitality Department Trainer.  

 

Director/Tourism Services - Arienne Perryman began her studies in London Ontario, majoring in International Development & French. Her university career allowed her study abroad opportunities in France, Panama and The United States. In between her Bachelors & Msc. She took advantage of a teaching opportunity to Michoacán Mexico. She moved back to Dominica in 2006/7 and accepted a position at the Discover Dominica Authority as a Marketing Executive responsible for France, French West Indies and The Caribbean. This was an ideal segway into her current role as Manager of Castle Comfort Lodge/Dive Dominica, a family owned and operated business. She has sat on the DHTA Board in 2012/3 and her role as Secretary in 2014 immediately led to Vice President responsible for Tourism Services.

 

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Director/Related Services - Jacqueline Dupigny iis a Small Business Operator of KAI K Boutique and Cartwheel Café. She holds a Certificate from the Barbados Hotel School in Institutional Catering and Hospitality  Services, as well as a Diploma in Business Management University of the West Indies (UWI). Jaqueline is also a Founding member of  the Society for Historic Architecture and Enhancement (SHAPE).

 

 

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Immediate Past President – Renée Whitchurch-Aird Douglas spent a number of years studying abroad in Toronto, Canada; Geneva, Switzerland; and Miami, Florida. When she was completing her business degree in Miami, she participated in a variety of cruise-related trade shows and meetings on behalf of her company, H.H.V. Whitchurch & Co. Ltd. ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) for about eight years before coming ‘home’. She is a certified insurance specialist and a member of the Steering Committee for the Dominica Tour Operators Association. This is her fifth year on the DHTA Board, as she has previously served as a Director (2 years), Secretary (2 years) and is Vice President this year. She continues to be a key organizer of the National Tourism Cocktail and Experience Dominica magazine subcommittees. 

 

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Director - On February 16, 2009 Mr. Colin Piper officially took office as the CEO and Director of Tourism of Discover Dominica Authority. Mr. Piper has over two decades of sales, marketing and operations experience both domestically and internationally. Prior to his appointment as CEO, Mr. Piper worked for Microsoft Corporation, where he developed strategies for sales to the financial services sector. These sales strategies generated over $12 million in sales of software products for computing devices worldwide to clients including US Bank, the 6th largest bank in the US, and Ameriprise Financial, the 3rd largest financial advisory firm in the US ranked by number of advisors. He held similar positions at Thomson Reuters and IBM, where he cultivated and advanced his professional career.

Mr. Piper further spent two years working as a key member of the management team of the National Development Corporation for Dominica. He played a vital role in operationalizing the World Creole Music Festival and acted as the Executive Director for the 2001 staging of the Festival. Mr. Piper also was a principal of FreeStyle Inc, a leading local media consultancy firm, where he helped develop destination marketing campaigns to grow the destination’s tourism industry. Mr. Piper served two years as treasurer of the Dominica Hotel and Tourism Association where he implemented fiscal policy to balance the books. 

Mr. Piper manages a staff of 25 individuals and is the chairman of the Dominica Festivals Committee.  In his capacity as CEO and Director of Tourism, Mr. Piper is responsible for the areas of Destination Marketing and Product Development. In his most recent tenure he has implemented the Nature Island Challenge and the Dominica Film Challenge, two events that have generated content for the destination and utilized the digital space to distribute such content. 

Mr. Piper is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Carlson School Of Management, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance and his MBA in Marketing, Finance and Strategic Management.

 

Secretariat 

 

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Executive Vice President – Stephanie Astaphan is from the Roseau Valley. Stephanie has an economics background, with work-study experience in non-profit management, project administration and research. She earned a postgraduate degree in international economics from the University of the West Indies, with specialization in the area of trade and sustainable development economics. Stephanie serves as Co-Founder/Director of Operations of the DREAM Foundation, a non-profit organization founded on a commitment to support the development of Holistic education in Dominica.  She has also served as consultant and board member to the DHTA, providing support on a number of the Association’s core services and working closely with the Association and it’s Board of Directors to restructure and strengthen the Association.

 

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Office Administrator – David Thornhill has been the face and voice at the DHTA Office since 2008. He is very keen on the tourism and hospitality industry as he has an Associate Degree in this specialty from the Dominica State College. In 2011, David was awarded Tourism Industry Employee of the Year by the Discover Dominica Authority. He is currently furthering his studies through the Anglia Ruskin University online programme by working towards a BA (Hons) in International Hospitality and Tourism Management and has been elected as Course Representative of that faculty, for the second consecutive year.  Aditionally, David is completing a Certificate in Global Hospitality Management with Cornell University and Quality in the Tourist Service Management with Campus Mintur. He is also an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Roseau, Member of the DHTA and Executive Member of the Nature Isle Toastmasters Club - Where Leaders are Made. He helps the Board with a variety of administrative matters and can also provide assistance to you when you visit the DHTA Office at 17 Castle Street. You can also contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 767-440-3430/613-3300.

 

 

Mission

The DHTA's mission is to overcome the challenges and embrace the opportunities facing current and future members as well as all tourism stakeholders by influencing government policy, raising public awareness, educating members and engaging influential travel partners.