Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awardees 2022

Iesha Sweeting

Read Biography

Passionate about sewing since she was a young girl, lesha Donnalee Sweeting honed this natural skill by attending summer school where she made clothes for dolls from scraps of fabric given to her by her seamstress. The light bulb was flipped on and she knew that sewing was her gift from God.

Ms. Sweeting later strengthened those skills under the tutelage of Collin Francis who left an indelible mark on her life, encouraging her to, “Make sure the inside of your garment always looks as neat as the outside.”

Ms. Sweeting’s confidence grew more when she enroled in BTVI’s Women’s Apparel Production ll course. She later transitioned from the position of Senior Accounts Clerk at Temple Christian School to a Family and Consumer Science Teacher, teaching Sewing, Art and Family Life to grades 7-12. In fact, in 2012 and 2014, two of her students received the country’s highest grades for the Bahamas General Certification of Secondary Education Clothing Construction examinations.

Ms. Sweeting specializes in sewing women and children’s apparel, school uniforms and dance attire; her work ranges from simple alterations to extravagant ball gowns.

Tawanna Delancy

Read Biography

Tawanna Delancy is a proud 1996 graduate of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI). While enroled in the Electronics programme and employed at the country’s national telecommunications company – then known as BaTelCo – Tawanna embraced and mastered her craft.


Over time, she has transitioned from a temporary employee in the Underground Cable Construction Department to the Networking and Engineering, and later Data Communication Departments. In the male-dominated telecommunications field, Tawanna has never ceased to advance herself and is presently BTC’s Technical Manager in the Business to Business (B2B) Service Delivery Department.


She has received several local and regional accolades including BTC’s Most Outstanding Employee of the Quarter, High Achiever Award and the Liberty Latin America Recognition award.

Alexandria Pinder

Read Biography

Alexandria Pinder has capitalized on many of her hobbies which include composing music and modeling. She is a proud graduate and Media Technology Top Student in the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute’s Class of 2022.


As an on-air personality on 103.5 The Beat, she is known by many as A.C.E. She also takes on the title of Madam Producer for the ILTV show Freedom March with host Rodney Moncur and Spiritual AdvisorBradley Rolle. Beyond success in media, Alexandria earned the Top Model Worldwide Bahamas title in 2021 and travelled to London to represent The Bahamas. She competed against 27 countries and returned home as Top Model Worldwide International 2021.


Ms. Pinder has also launched several businesses including Ace Point Promotions and Natural Rootz. She is also the official organizer of the Great Bahamas Shootout Pool Tournament, which hosts safe, fun and competitive sporting events in The Bahamas.

Stefanique S. Russell

Read Biography

In January 2017, Stefanique S. Russell enroled in BTVI as a Business Office Technology student.

The skills gained at BTVI included certifications in PowerPoint and Excel. In Fall 2019, Ms. Russell opened her current business S.S.R GraphicsTM, a graphic design company which was inspired by a course she completed with BTVI’s Head of Department for Business, Ms. KerimaSmith. Further, Ms. Sweeting successfully completed her internship in Fall 2020 at the BTVI Testing Center, attaining the Pearson VUE Certified Test Administrator certification in the process. By June 2021, she landed a job at Proficent Business Services Ltd. where she serves asService Desk Manager and Certification Trainer.

Today, Ms. Sweeting has an Associate’s Degree in Business Office Technology and several Microsoft and CompTIA certifications, among others. The 2021 graduate was also inducted into theNational Technical Honor Society during the completion of her studies at the institution.

Jessica Storr-Myers

Read Biography

Jessica Storr-Myers has explored many careers. She has worked as a farm labourer, cook, security officer and office clerk. More recently, she has become a local government representative, the president of a non-profit organization called Andros We Care and an entrepreneur. The proud Androsian is also a member of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute’s (BTVI) Class of 2020 and BTVI’s first Andros graduating class in 2022, receiving an Office Assistant certificate and Associates degree in Office Administration respectively.


Ms. Storr-Myers has a selfless desire to serve her community. As such, she is instrumental in Junior Achievement Bahamas, Caribbean Woman in Leadership, BTVI’s Alumni Association, in addition she is on the Andros Community Emergency Response Team, Chairperson of the Nicoll’s Town Township Committee and a Justice of the Peace, among other achievements like being certified in Disaster Risk Reduction and a certified National Youth Leader for the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.

While successfully running her home-based business called Bre’s Box Takeaway and Catering and working as a Customer Service Representative for a government agency, she is now pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management with hopes to climb the social and economic ladders while continuing to serve others.

Victor ‘JuJu’ Johnson

Read Biography

Victor ‘JuJu’ Johnson has sewn and altered garments for many prominent figures over the years. It was in 1978 when he opened his shop; it remained open until the 13 October 2021. Thirty-plus years of iconic designs, wedding dresses, suits, pants, training, alterations, mentorship and love were all poured from the seams of his modest shop.


From the age of six, Mr. Johnson found himself fascinated with observing and creating drawings. After high school, he enroled into The Bahamas Technical School – now BTVI – to sharpen his natural drawing prowess. However, he did not complete his studies due to a lack of finances required for the books and equipment needed.


After completing six months of training with Ms. Sylvia Crawford, Mr.  Johnson earned certifications in International Drafting Techniques and Creative Arts. Subsequently, he was hired by Ms. Crawford as an Assistant Designer, sewing lingerie and under her watchful supervision, made all of the jackets and skirts for Eastern Airlines.


His tailoring journey began when he went to work for Mr. Hazely Newton, also known as ‘Boogs’. Mr. Newton invested in Mr. Johnson by sending him to New York to attend the Institute of Technology for three months, during which time he obtained a certification in Tailoring Designs.


Further, Mr. Johnson officially started designing Junkanoo costumes in 1986. He worked privately for individuals from the various Junkanoo groups, sometimes sewing the blackout or crochet bag skirts for an entire group’s brass line. He was even responsible for sewing Saxons’ leader, Percy “Vola” Francis’ signature outfits which included the cape we have come to expect him to wear. Mr. Johnson had a love affair with the cultural art form of Junkanoo and his costumes graced the stages of the Miss Bahamas Pageant, with one costume winning in 2013 with several designs in the runner-up category.

Victor ‘JuJu’ Johnson made waves from behind his machine. He was truly a designer extraordinaire!

Distinguished Alumni Emerging Leader Awardees 2022

Ralph Burrows

Read Biography

Ralph Burrows began his career in the construction industry as a labourer. From 2008 to 2011, he was a Junior Carpenter for a company of which his duties consisted of constructing heavy duty building forms for Scotia Bank on the Baha Mar Blvd and working along with the Layout and Senior Project Manager. Little did he know that right across the street would be a world-famous resort where he would eventually rise as a respected manager.

It was 2011 when Mr. Burrows became a part of a programme at BTVI sponsored by Baha Mar. Heobtained a Certificate of Outstanding Performance in Carpentry and became Occupational Safety and Health Administration certified, Construction Safety certified among other training.

Mr. Burrows went on the Baha Mar site as a labourer, but he eventually went on to hold positions at the mega resort such as Field Coordinator & Project Coordinator and eventually, Project Manager. He was known to coordinate construction site teams to discover the best and fastest solutions when challenges arose at the resort.

Today, Mr. Burrows is the Environmental/Health & Safety Manager at Arawak Port Development. Overall, he is an experienced Field Operations, Environmental, Construction, Health and Safety Manager. He is skilled in Heavy Equipment, Team Building, Environmental Awareness, Project Engineering and Construction Safety. He is also the proud owner of Anchor Forestry and Green Waste Management Solutions, with his latest business venture being Sanitize Air.

Terez Tiffany Rolle

Read Biography

Dr. Terez Tiffany Rolle, who is known as ‘Tiffany’ in the beauty industry, began her path tocosmetology during high school. Upon graduation, she enroled in the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) while it was the Industrial Training Centre (ITC) and graduated top of her class in 1992. Not long after this accomplishment, she was hired as a Junior Stylist and later continued her training internationally in Los Angeles, San Francisco, North Carolina and Chicago to master the arts of haircutting, styling and hair colouring.

As Dr. Rolle’s desire to gain more knowledge about the industry grew, she went on to achieve a doctorate degree in Arts in Beauty Culture Science and became certified to professionally share her passion. Dr. Rolle started a mentorship programme at the salon she shares with her husband – Style Unisex Salon – is a BTVI instructor and sits as a board member for the Bahamian Cosmetology and Barbers Association. She also assisted in crafting policies for the reopening of the country’s beauty industry during the COVID-19 pandemic through the Ministry of Health and Wellness’ Infection Prevention and Control Beauty Industry certificate.

As a Design Essentials educator for The Bahamas, Dr. Rolle has additionally worked as a Lowes Wholesale Drug Agency’s professional haircare technician, where she was a platform artist and educator for other leading brands such as Clairol Professional and Luster Products.

Rodline St. Fleur

Read Biography

For Rodline St. Fleur, acceptance into the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) was a rainbow of hope after a rainstorm of hardship in many aspects of life. With the support of BTVI instructors Ms. Kerima Smith, Ms. Gia Gibson, Mr. Stanley Gordon and the late, Ms. Ann Knowles, she juggled the responsibility of working a full-time job, attending college and raising her young son while pregnant with her daughter.


After graduating from BTVI in 2016, Ms. St. Fleur transitioned from working at a local gas station to utilizing knowledge gained in her programme of study at an office job for roughly two years. Outside of work hours she built a brand reflecting her talent in hair braiding. Ms. St. Fleur’s success in braiding hair from the laundry room of her home led her to resign from traditional office work and open her very own salon in 2017.


Strong faith and love from family propelled Ms. St. Fleur as a self-taught beautician. With new ventures on the horizon, she is the proud owner of Nails by Roddi and Studio Fleur, formerly known as Magic Hair.

Distinguished Alumni Scholar Practitioner Awardees 2022

Dr. Denise Michelle Hanna

Read Biography

From Shampoo Assistant to Lead Stylist, to the owner of her own beauty salon with a Doctorate Degree in Cosmetology, Denise Michelle Hanna is a woman of excellence.


It was 1989 when Dr. Hanna enroled into the then Industrial Training College – now BTVI – graduating with her Diploma. Shortly afterwards, she became a Shampoo Assistant in a local salon. Her instructor, Dr. Gwendolyn Rolle, saw potential in her and gave her a job opportunity at Gwen’s New Image.


Dr. Hanna learned to perform other services such as waxing, nail technology, barbering, etc. As a result of her exceptional skills, she became Head Stylist at Gwen’s, followed by Head Stylist at Ivoine’s Beauty Salon.


Dr. Hanna went on to further her studies at Dudley’s Advance School of Cosmetology in North Carolina, where she received her Advance Training Certificate.  Her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate Degrees in Cosmetology are from The National Institute of Cosmetology and Beauty Culture League Incorporated in Washington, D.C.


Dr. Hanna has been a Cosmetology instructor at BTVI for the past 10 years, creatively pouring into students her knowledge and skills obtained over the past 30 plus years. She has even transitioned into a Dual Therapist, becoming a Barber instructor as well at BTVI. She also received her Certification in Adult Workforce Education & Program Planning from Nova Southwest University. In 2022, she became a Ministry of Health Infection Prevention and Control Trainer – training other salon owners on Sanitation, Sterilization and Infectious Disease Control in their salons.

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awardees 2021

Bernard Rolle

Read Biography

Bernard Rolle is a successful businessman and entrepreneur, who is the proprietor of Rolle’s Electric – a three-phased electrical company. For 30 years, he has operated a successful company, providing a range of electrical services on residential, commercial, and industrial projects throughout The Bahamas.

It was at C. C. Sweeting Senior High School, where he began his technical training career path. During high school, he articled with his brother-in-law – an electrician – whom he worked with from the tender age of 14. He sat under the tutelage of Henry Bain and by the time Mr. Rolle graduated high school, he was able to wire doorbell systems, install electrical panels and outlet boxes.

He later joined the Electrical Engineering program at the then Industrial Training College (ITC) – now BTVI – and under John Greene, developed a greater love for the electrical trade. It was at ITC he learned how to read and understand the electrical code books, eventually completing his single-phase electrical engineering program.

While Mr. Rolle is well known as an electrical contractor and entrepreneur, he is also known for his work as a community builder.

Dr. John S. Bain

Read Biography

Dr. John Bain studied Electrical Engineering at C. R. Walker Technical College – now BTVI – for one year. By the time he was finished, he had successfully completed his single-phase electrical engineering program. He later switched his focus and pursued courses with the Institute of Financial Services, eventually returning to BTVI to study accountancy at night school.

The chartered certified accountant (CPA) is an adjunct business professor at the University of The Bahamas and is an instructor for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants exams. He is also Managing Partner at UHY Bain & Associates. In 2019, Dr. Bain was inducted into the University of The Bahamas Hall of Fame and named Alumni of the Year.

The adjunct professor of Business at the University of The Bahamas is also an instructor for the

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants exams, teaching the Becker Review course.

Further, he has given lectures in The Bahamas, the Caribbean, the UK and the USA on Money

Laundering, Forensic Accounting for Elder Abuse and Cyber Warfare in Information Security.

Dr. Zelrona Mackey

Read Biography

Dr. Zelrona Mackey was a member of BTVI’s Beauty Trades department for 17 years, lending her expertise in curriculum development. She traveled throughout the United States of America, taking students to the National Institute of Cosmetology and elsewhere, ensuring they were gaining international exposure and the latest trends in the industry.

Meanwhile, she is proud to know that a program she contributed to and designed for Cosmetology teachers is still being used for those who teach the subject throughout the country. In fact, she also volunteered to teach Cosmetology at Her Majesty’s Fox Hill Prison.

Dr. Mackey was President of the National Association of Bahamian Cosmetologist and Barbers Association between 1992 and 2013; a member of America Career and Technical Educators since 1992; Vice President of the National Association of Bahamian Cosmetologist and Barbers Association, 1988 – 1992. Further, Dr. Mackey lectured at the National Institute of Cosmetology in Washington DC between 1999 and 2009.

Distinguished Alumni Emerging Leader Awardees 2021

Percy Wallace

Read Biography

The late Percy Wallace was considered among the most talented fashion designers The Bahamas has ever seen, delivering creations that were avant-garde. It was in 1992 that he began seeding into the lives of students at the then Industrial Training College (ITC) – now BTVI.

The Ragged Island native’s pursuit of Fashion Design officially began once he graduated from Government High School in 1976 and enrolled in Miami Dade Community College. He graduated with an Associate’s degree in Fashion Design in 1981. He went on to establish his personal signature design dubbed, Garfi Designs. It became the house where daring was an understatement! Thanks to a scholarship granted by The Bahamas government in 1989, Mr. Wallace later went on to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He graduated in 1991 with a degree in Apparel Production Management.

Mr. Wallace, who passed away in 2012, landed an apprenticeship spot with Ralph Lauren in New York and an Assistant Designer position with Liz Claiborne in New Jersey. Further, his designs graced the stages of Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss Bahamas and Miss Commonwealth Beauty Pageants. He was undoubtedly a respected figure on the local fashion scene, who incorporated indigenous items in his designs, including straw.

Kenton Roker

Read Biography

Kenton Roker is Chair of Construction and Mechanical Trades at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute’s (BTVI) Grand Bahama campus.

Mr. Roker attended BTVI – then known as the Industrial Training Centre – graduating with a certificate in Automotive Technology back in 1992. He has since distinguished himself in the field.

Excellent at his trade, Mr. Roker was an automotive teacher at St. Georges High School between 2010 and 2012. Meanwhile, he has served at BTVI for some 19 years, teaching many men and women the intricacies of Auto Mechanics.

With such expertise, Mr. Roker is also the owner of Roker’s Auto, one of Grand Bahama’s most respected automotive centers, and has been a member of the International Automotive Technician Network for the past 30 years.

Kenneth Russell

Read Biography

Former Member of Parliament, Kenneth Russell, studied architecture and carpentry at C. R. Walker Technical School, now BTVI.

He added Land Surveying and Engineering Drawing to his plate, studying towards the London-based General Certificate of Education (GCE) O Level exams. This determined man received an ‘A’ in both Engineering Drawing and Land Surveying. Also, he achieved Special Credit in the City and Guilds of London Institute’s Carpentry and Joinery certificate.

In 1976, Mr. Russell landed a job at the Bahamas Oil Refining Company (BORCO), serving in the Engineering, Inspection and Maintenance Planning Departments, in addition to the Drawing and Projects Management offices. He remained at the company for 25 years.


The former Minister of Housing and National Insurance and later, The Bahamas High Commissioner to Canada, is owner of two businesses in Freeport, Grand Bahama: a construction and building services company, and an architecture firm.

Distinguished Alumni Scholar Practitioner Awardees 2021

Christina Amanda Gilbert

Read Biography

Christina Gilbert is a two-time graduate of BTVI. Back in 1995, she enrolled in the then Industrial Training College (ITC), which later became BTVI. She obtained a Commercial Skills certificate in July 1996 that catapulted her career in business studies and management.

Twenty-five years later, Ms. Gilbert attained an Associate of Applied Science degree in Human Resources Management from BTVI (spring 2021) with an incredible 3.91 grade point average (GPA). This landed her a spot on the President’s List. She is expected to be inducted into the National Technical Honors Society in 2022.

Ms. Gilbert’s goal is to create a workplace conducive to learning and growth, through employee advocacy, talent management and strategic planning.

She is currently a licensed Custom Broker and the Purchasing Manager and Buyer for the Bahama Subs & Salads Restaurant chain.

Dr. Dellarese Taylor

Read Biography

A cosmetologist with over 35 years of experience, Dr. Dellarese Taylor began studies in the field of Cosmetology at the then Industrial Training College (ITC) – now BTVI.

Her zest for more knowledge in her craft led her to pursue and obtain her Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Cosmetology from The National Institute of Cosmetology. She also studied and earned a diploma in Adult Learning Education from Nova Southeastern University.


Dr. Taylor is currently an adjunct Cosmetology instructor at BTVI and owner of Tropical Heat Beauty Salon and Tropical Heat Institute. She holds the position of President of The Bahamian Cosmetologists and Barbers’ Association.

Sidney Sinclair

Read Biography

From humble beginnings to successful entrepreneur, Sidney Sinclair is the name synonymous with Sinclair’s Rent A Tool – just one of his multiple businesses in a diverse portfolio.


Mr. Sinclair received his formal training in the field of carpentry, earning a certificate in 1983. He considers the knowledge, skills, and hands-on training at BTVI to all be relevant tools when transferred into each business he owns.  He has diversified his portfolio of businesses and operates many of them on a nine-acre property in the Carmichael Road area inclusive, but not limited to a farm, a campsite and a pizza palace.

He attributes his success to hard work, determination, perseverance and organization, but also pays homage to his alma mater, BTVI.

Ismella Davis-Delancy

Read Biography

Ismella Davis-Delancy was the first woman Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Upon graduating high school in 1981, she attended the Industrial Training College – now known as BTVI – where she pursued a certificate in Hotel Training.

She interned at the then Balmoral Hotel. It was that hotel training that helped to lay a foundation for the type of police she became. Although firm, she was approachable and kept customer service at the forefront of her mind, noting the importance of the relationship between the police and the general public, including suspects.

The retired officer’s division command areas included being in charge of the Fox Hill Police Station, the Eastern Division, Airport Division, Eleuthera District and Grand Bahama District. She was also the former Assistant Commissioner of Family Island Districts and Assistant Commissioner of Police with responsibility for Human Resources. Further, Ms. Davis-Delancy was President of the Police Disciplinary Tribunal before becoming Deputy Commissioner of Police in 2020.

Ms. Davis-Delancy’s distinguished honours and awards include, but are not limited to the Queen Police Medal, the Royal Bahamas Police Force Medal for Meritorious Service and Royal Bahamas Police Force Medal for Long Service & Good Conduct.

Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awardees 2020

Dr. Bernadette Burrows

Read Biography

Dr. Bernadette Burrows studied Cosmetology at Nassau Technical College – now BTVI – under the tutelage of Dr. William Saunders. She then went on to graduate as Valedictorian of the Sunlight Beauty School in Miami Florida, where she also did her teacher’s training and became an instructor at the school.

Dr. Burrows eventually became licensed in her craft, having taken the board examination in Winter Haven Florida.

Additionally, Dr. Burrows has won first place in multiple hair competitions across America, Europe and Canada. Among the highlights of Dr. Burrows’ career was travelling throughout West Africa and France as a personal stylist to the wife of a former President of the Ivory Coast, in addition to coordinating the weddings of two princesses – one in the Ivory Coast and the other in Paris, France.

For over 30 years, Dr. Burrows and her husband have been the owners of Tamarind HairInternational Manufacturing Plant providing quality human hair.

Ericka McIntosh

Read Biography

It was September 2013 when Ericka McIntosh enroled in the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute’s (BTVI) Office Assistant programme in Grand Bahama.  She completed that programme in 2015 and immediately signed up for the Office Administration Associate’s degree. She graduated in 2017, receiving the Most Outstanding Award in Mathematics and Business Administration.  

Ever seeking to stay educationally relevant, Ms. McIntosh then enroled in the Human ResourcesManagement Associate’s degree in fall 2018.

A very involved student while attending BTVI, Ms. McIntosh served as the Secretary for the BTVI Pride Committee, Student Representative for recruitment and graduation exercises, and was instrumental in the formation of the first Student Government body at BTVI Grand Bahama.

Kevin Evans

Read Biography

Kevin Keith Evans hails from the quaint settlement of Evansville in Nicholl’s Town, Andros.

Mr. Evans career began at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) in 1998, where he pursued studies in Electronics. Having completed the programme, Kevin soon realized that Electronics was not his passion. In 2001, he enroled in the Cushion and Drapery Manufacturing programme at BTVI. It was during this course that his interest in constructing and tailoring were awaken. In 2005, he observed furtherskills in fashion designing emerging and sought other opportunities to combine his new found interests and skills. He then enroled in the then Tailoring and Fashion Design Programme at BTVI. Alas, the flame of his passion was set ablaze!

On completion of the course in Tailoring and Fashion Design, Mr. Evans forged ahead with establishing his own business, thereby giving birth to KE Collection.

Mr. Evans has has showcased his work at Los Angeles Fashion Week, Raw Miami Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week.

Mark Russell

Read Biography

Mark Russell’s journey towards studying Industrial Engineering began in 2001 at Ceago De Avela University Cube, where he received a scholarship.

Passionate about the industrial park community, this Grand Bahama native began his 10-year employment at the Freeport Container Port in 2002 where he became a straddle carrier operator and a gantry crane driver. He later transitioned to the safety team of Buckeye Bahamas in 2012, working as a land operator and a part of the fire and safety team, specializing in fire prevention.

Mark’s tenacious desire to further his career in the industrial community led him to enrol into the Electronics Engineering programme at the Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute (BTVI).  His ingenuity took off while working on a project at BTVI. Mark used his acquired education to help him in producing electronic games. The industrious Mark has also processed patents for his developed games.

Mr. Russell received the BTVI Electronic Trades 2019 Top Graduate Award.

Patricia Minnis

Read Biography

Mrs. Patricia Minnis is the spouse of former Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Most Honourable Dr. Hubert Minnis. The former BTVI plumbing student served as Patron of the 2020 RBC Race for the Kids of which BTVI was a beneficiary.

While serving in the Office of the Spouse, Mrs. Minnis – who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Bethune Cookman University promoted tertiary education and professional development. She further encouraged girls to complete their secondary education and delay pregnancy. Further, Mrs. Minnis promoted awareness against gender-based violence.In fact, Mrs. Minnis, opened the internationally recognized Clothesline Project held at BTVI back in March 2018. As a way to break the silence of violence against women, BTVI adopted the Clothesline Project, which was founded in Massachusetts in 1990.

Additionally, Mrs. Minnis completed training for the practice of real estate and currently manages her real estate empire locally. However, for more than 30 years, Mrs. Minnis worked at the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources, where she rose to become Assistant Director of Agriculture. Meanwhile, she is a strong advocate of health, nutrition and wellness, and works out daily. She is a marathon runner, having participated in local and international races.

Rickey Castleberry

Read Biography

As a former employee of the public sector, Rickey Castleberry understood the importance of a job versus a career. Therefore, he appreciates what has been embedded in him by the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) regarding success and development. Today, he is owner and manager of R.C. Air-conditioning and Refrigeration.

Mr. Castleberry completed a certificate in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration at BTVI; he went on to establish his business, which specializes in the retail, installation and repair of all makes and models of air condition and refrigeration equipment, inclusive of repairs for government departments.

The grateful alumnus pursued his Associate degree in Electronics at BTVI.

Ryan Bethell

Read Biography

Ryan Bethell began his professional career at Higgs & Carroll Satellite Company and after four years moved onto the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BaTelCo), where he spent 15 years. He started at the bottom of the ladder from a Technician 4 and rose to a senior Technician 2. It was during his tenure at BaTelCo that Mr. Bethell went to the Industrial Training Centre – now BTVI – and obtained a certificate in Electronics, graduating in 1995.

Mr. Bethell then started his company Sat Sound in 2001 a 100% Bahamian-ownedcompany that specialized in satellite technology and the design and building of hometheaters. He has several international certifications including being the first Bahamian Certified Electronics Systems Technician II, the first Bahamian Electronic Systems Certified Technician and the first Bahamian Electronic Systems Professional Alliance certified Technician.

In 2011, Mr. Bethell changed the direction of his company and went fully into Smart Home Technologies and Home Automation. Subsequently, he renamed the company Touch Control Ltd., which is dedicated to the service, design and applications of highend electronics.

This entrepreneur credits BTVI as the launching pad of his professional Electronics career, which has helped to bring him to his present position of Electronic Systems Contractor. He gives all praise to his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ for guiding him safely through such a rewarding career.

Distinguished Alumni Emerging Leader Awardees 2020

Moses Taylor

Read Biography

Moses Taylor does not hide the fact he never finished high school, but what he does know is the journey is as important as the destination. He is now a proud graduate of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) with an Associate of Applied Science degree in OfficeAdministration.

It is what Moses learned at BTVI that has been pivotal in him effectively and efficiently running his growing business enterprise. This young man is in the beverage manufacturing industry with his brand of fruit punch marketed under the name Red Sea, which he stirred up in his kitchen back in 2015. The drink gained quite a lot of attention via social media, radio talk shows and on Cable channel 12.

Additionally, Moses is a huge supporter of giving back. On several occasions, he addressed students at BTVI on entrepreneurship and its power to produce more jobs.

Mr. Taylor is the 2019 National Youth Awardee for Entrepreneurship and encourages people to put God first in everything they do.

Richine Bethell

Read Biography

Richine Bethell pursued an Office Assistant certificate at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institution (BTVI).

In 2017, BTVI launched its BTVI Proud series featuring alumni and Ms. Bethel, who graduated in 2016 was then Guidance Counsellor/Coordinator at Mt. Carmel Preparatory Academy. She said in the advertisement, “BTVI has influenced me to achieve the importance of a trade career no matter the age or IQ. This institution cultivates the possibility of ownership, independence and opportunities through career trades, positioning its students for a successful future. It is that mindset that I have adopted and carried with me into my career as a Guidance Counsellor/Coordinator.”

Ms. Bethell has assumed the post of Vice Principal at Mt. Carmel Preparatory Academy, has served as an adjunct instructor at BTVI and is the founder of her own organization called, Millennial Enterprise.

Warren Berry

Read Biography

Warren Berry’s tertiary education commenced at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institution (BTVI) in the fall of 2014 where he went on to obtain an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Office Administration. He simultaneously enroled in the American Academy of Project Management where he became a Certified International Project Manager in July 2015.  

Additionally, this goal-driven young man has achieved several certifications in anti-money laundering and compliance from The Bahamas Institute of Financial Services. This two-time BTVI graduate also completed his Associate of Applied Science Degree in Information Technology Management.

Mr. Berry is the owner and operator of two businesses, namely Ever Clean Landscaping and General Maintenance and BerryXpres – a transportation business.

Mr. Berry currently serves on the BTVI Board.

Distinguished Alumni Scholar Practitioner Awardees 2020

Chi-Kara Armbrister

Read Biography

Chi-Kara Armbrister has been in the natural hair business since 2000 and is presently the co-owner of The Artisans Beauty Salon.

Ms. Armbrister is very passionate about the natural hair field, so much so that following her time of studying Hair Braiding and Barbering at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), she became an adjunct instructor in August 2011. She has remained an integral member of the team since then.

In the journey towards perfecting her craft, Ms. Armbrister has attended international workshops with Master Locticians. As a creative, her work has been featured in The Kinky Project, which graced the National Art Gallery. It was a collaboration of natural hair models and artists.

Further, Ms. Armbrister has given back to the community as a facilitator of the Ministry of Education’s summer workshops. She also worked with Lowe’s as a platform stylist for Coconut Restore and Carol’s Daughter.

Michael Smith

Read Biography

Michael Smith is currently the Career Resource Officer at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI), advising students and helping them along career pathways which best fit them. Having worked at BTVI since 2014, he wears many hats. He coordinates thestudent work programme, in addition to student job procurement and placement. He is overall responsible for student success and retention.

Mr. Smith studied carpentry at the institution. He also has a Bachelors degree in Information Systems Administration with a concentration in Computer Systems from Sojourner Douglass College, has extensive computer training, including knowledge of multiple networking environments and business software packages. As a former National Insurance Board Area Manager for North and Central Andros and the Berry Islands, Mr. Smith is a founding member of NIB’s Job Evaluation Committee.

Mr. Smith continues to enjoy his role as BTVI’s Career Resource Officer, stating that it is important to help students with their career trajectory, encouraging them to do what they are passionate about. 

Shakera Forbes is an Assistant Quantity Surveyor at the Ministry of Public Works. She has an Associate degree in Construction Technology from the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI). In addition, the former Lyford Cay Scholar has earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Construction Management from New England Institute of Technology, Rhode Island, USA.  

As someone who is a lifelong learner and believes in remaining on the cutting edge, Ms. Forbesis an Associate Member of The Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Canada and a Member of The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, United Kingdom.

One of Ms. Forbes’ long term goals is to stand with other professional organizations, vocational training programmes and lawmakers who have vital roles to play in bringing more women into the construction industry which has historically been predominantly male.

Ms. Forbes has served as an adjunct instructor at BTVI.

Shakera Forbes

Read Biography

Shakera Forbes is an Assistant Quantity Surveyor at the Ministry of Public Works. She has an Associate degree in Construction Technology from the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI). In addition, the former Lyford Cay Scholar has earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Construction Management from New England Institute of Technology, Rhode Island, USA.  

As someone who is a lifelong learner and believes in remaining on the cutting edge, Ms. Forbesis an Associate Member of The Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, Canada and a Member of The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, United Kingdom.

One of Ms. Forbes’ long term goals is to stand with other professional organizations, vocational training programmes and lawmakers who have vital roles to play in bringing more women into the construction industry which has historically been predominantly male.

Ms. Forbes has served as an adjunct instructor at BTVI.

Trailblazer Alumni Award of Excellence 2020

Kevin Basden

Read Biography

Kevin Basden is a former Chairman of the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) and a former student of the institution. Mr. Basden studied a few independent courses including Engineering Science, Surveying and Technical Drawing.

Mr. Basden eventually became an Electrical Engineer. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and Harvard Business School with more than 40 years of experience in the electrical industry. He rose from the position of Engineer in Training at the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) – now Bahamas Power and Light – to General Manager.

Additionally, Mr. Basden once served as Consultant and Advisor to the BPL Board. He also served as a member of the Association of Electric Utilities in the Caribbean Board for some 11 years and was a founding Director of the Bahamas Society of Engineers where he also served as Vice President.

Jeffrey Lloyd

Read Biography

Former Minister of Education, Jeffrey Lloyd attended high school at St. Augustine’s College, followed by St. Gregory’s College in Oklahoma, where he received an Associate’s degree andXavier University in New Orleans, where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree. Mr. Lloyd also studied Carpentry at the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI).

Mr. Lloyd’s professional life spans the fields of Media, Communications, Education, Religion and Business. In June 2000, he was ordained to the diaconal ministry of the Roman Catholic Church, where he served as a Permanent Deacon for 11 years.

Mr. Lloyd was the Founder and first Executive Director of the YEAST programme – the country’s first residential alternative educational programme for academically and vocationally-challenged young men. The programme lasted 13 years. He helped transform the lives of over 1,000 young men.

Prior to venturing into politics, Minister Lloyd was a prominent national radio and television host. He simultaneously obtained a law degree from the University of Wolverhampton, England, completed his Certificate of Legal Education at the Eugene Dupuch Law School in Nassau and was admitted as Counsel and Attorney to The Bahamas Bar in 2009.

In 2014 to 2015, Minister Lloyd impacted the development of over 1,000 young people as he served at the Baha Mar Leadership Development Institute.

Between 2017 and 2021, Mr. Lloyd served as Minister of Education.