Johnson & Wales University students recently met Wichita Villacres as she talked to them about diversity in the workplace. Villacres, the President and CEO of ECO DMS a local destination management company met roundtables of 10 to 12 students at a time, from 9 am until 1 pm, encountering a fresh group every 30 minutes.
The students were amazed to learn about the Dutch Caribbean, the islands of Aruba and Curacao and their cultural diversity with more than 42 nationalities living together.
Villacres explained that tourism was the islandâ€™s main source of income and that the message of ONE HAPPY ISLAND was directed towards visitors and locals.
While at Johnson & Wales University — founded in 1914 as a nonprofit, private institution, and recognized as a leader in career education — Villacres met an Aruban student preparing to become a chef in the culinary school and another studying in the Hospitality and Tourism branch.
Villacres reports that students were mostly interested in learning about new cultures, and they willingly shared how they handled and managed diversity in their hometowns, and how they interacted with people of different backgrounds and how diversity affected their lives.
Villacres took the opportunity to educated the youngsters about SITE, MPI & ISES widely-recognized international travel organizations and how these organizations bring their large conferences to the four corners of the universe and how those conferences are receive all over the globe with worldwide attendance, promoting the MICE market, the Meetings and Conventions industry.
The roundtable event was open to the entire Johnson & Wales University student body and it was set up by the students of Stacy Sterns, an international Event Planner who teaches special event courses at JWU.
Villacres also shared her experiences sitting on the ISES board when she was president of the International Special Events Society, South Florida/Caribbean Chapter of which Stacy was also a past president.
Villacres who shares her time between Aruba, Curacao and Florida is President & CEO, PRA Destination Management Southeast Florida, a proud green company.