Palm Beach — Wichita Villacres whose life-long career in tourism is closely intertwined with the island of Aruba accepted the position of President of the 2014 SITE Florida and Caribbean chapter. On January 9th, 2014, the board installation took place on board the Liberty of The Seas. Prestigious RCL International sponsored a lavish luncheon to welcome Wichita and to swear her in as the first ever, new President, proud to represent Aruba.
SITE, is the Society of Incentive and Travel Executives. It was founded in 1973, as an international, not-for-profit, professional association devoted to incentives, a multi-billion dollar global industry. SITE, headquartered in the USA, provides educational seminars and information services to those who design, develop, promote, sell, administer, and operate motivational programs as an incentive, to increase productivity in business. Currently counting over 2,100 members in 87 countries, with 34 local and regional chapters, SITE is an important partner of the Aruba tourism industry wishing to claim its share in the MICE, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions industry.
In her role as President and ECO of Destination Management Services of Aruba & Curaçao, Wichita has been a member of SITE for 25 years, and she actively participated and formed part of one SITE university, one SITE conference in Aruba, and one SITE conference in Orlando. Additionally, she has attended at least 20 of these conferences worldwide, including : Maui, Ireland, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Orlando, NYC, Cancun, Montreal, Beijing-China, and more.
As board member of the original Caribbean Chapter, she brought the Florida Chapter closer to incentive planners from Canada, becoming the liaison between the two sister chapters.
More importantly, in an effort to bring educational content to the Caribbean, she actively worked and lobbied for many years to unite the Florida chapter with the Caribbean. Finally with a Caribbean President on board, Jane van der Bol from Grand Cayman, her mission to unite the two regions was successful, as Florida and the Caribbean now belong to the same chapter, facilitating the marketing of Caribbean destinations.
Wichita has always lobbied and initiated the Caribbean workshop forums, delivering content to various Caribbean destinations such as Curacao in 2012, Grand Cayman in 2013, as well as Jamaica and St. Lucia, planned for following years.
Through her efforts, in collaboration with the Aruba Tourism Authority, the Aruba Convention Bureau and Jerusha Rasmijn, an educational forum is now set Aruba, to unfold on Friday, May 16, 2014. Mark your calendar and plan to attend, says Wichita, there is an excellent list of speakers committed to the event, including a Green Meeting Industry Council speaker on global green initiatives, who will provide young Aruban leaders with a learning opportunity and insight to incentive education and the MICE, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions industry.
Pictured here snapshot of the last SITE conference in Orlando, attended by Wichita Villacres, ECO DMS, Aruba Convention Bureau’s Jerusha Rasmijn, and winner ECO DMS’ Young Professional Award, Ilaina Franco, of the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, an outstanding young leader from Aruba.