For the past 15 years Dr. Todd Palmer, a professor at St. Bonaventure University based in New York, has travelled to the island of Grand Bahama with a number of students enrolled at the learning institution, actively involved in a service-based group known as Enactus.
According to the school’s website, (www.sbu.edu) Enactus is an internationally recognized nonprofit organization that promotes partnership between leaders in business and university students, to make a difference in their local communities.
As an advisor for the program, Palmer revealed this past Friday (January 5) that forging such partnerships is indeed important to the university; therefore, their continued collaborative efforts with the University of The Bahamas (UB) and now, for the first time this year, with the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA).
Not only is the group of more than 20 faculty and students from St. Bonaventure University collaborating with the above mentioned entities to host, a free of charge three-day business oriented seminar at Wallace Groves Auditorium (Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy campus), beginning today at 6:30 p.m., but they are also on island continuing their community service efforts; something they find joy in assisting with during their visits.
“I have been coming to Grand Bahama Island for the past 15 years and it has been wonderful working with everyone. Your students at UB are smart kids and they work really hard,” said Palmer. “It has been one of the joys of my life to be able to work with them and to be able to bring our kids from New York State here … it is a wonderful thing. It is a good thing to be able to pull people together, to give people opportunities.
“I have been saying this at my seminars for any years, Grand Bahamians are full of great ideas and they want to do things. I would probably say, per mile, there are probably more entrepreneurs on the island of Grand Bahama, than there are in The United States.
“I know that the GBPA has been doing things for years … UB is really gearing up, there have been tremendous changes going on at UB. I think that there are a number of resources that the community is going to be offered, in the next year, and in the next couple of years especially.”
Noting how impressed he is by GBPA’s involvement, Palmer said, “I am very impressed by the Port Authority and the role that they are taking in trying to move things forward. I think that it is a realization that it is a brand new day and with a brand new day, we have to come up with different ways to be able to deal with things that maybe we haven’t done before.
“I have been here long enough to say that I am optimistic. I love coming to Grand Bahama Island and I think that there is real opportunity for growth, to create businesses and to create value,” Palmer added.
He noted that the amount of talent, pride and passion on this northern island is amazing “One of the things that we are really working on this year is continuing our hurricane cleanup assistance from Matthew and other hurricanes. One organization that we are working really diligently with is the Total Education Center (TEC), in the Hunter’s and Pinder’s Point areas.
“As you all know they were devastated by Hurricane Matthew; a big part of our service day is going to be spent on site there. We are actually going to be helping them build a carpentry shop and some painting as well. It is really exciting, in addition to the UB and GBPA, seeing great initiatives like TEC, headed by Fred Delancy,” noted the St. Bonaventure professor.
Glendia Sweeting, Business Development Officer with the GBPA, also shared the company’s commitment to fostering such partnerships with St. Bonaventure University, UB and other institutions that may be interested in doing the same, to empower both their licensees a residents of the island at large.
“The GBPA’s partnership with these entities is another example of our commitment to the Grand Bahama community and, particularly, to the small business owners, as we continue to do programs and initiatives on the island. Each and every year, we add more and more to what it is that we can offer to these persons to be successful.”