Monique Hamaty-Simmonds is president and chief executive officer of the Miami-based Tortuga Imports.  Also known as the Tortuga Rum Cake Company, the organization handles worldwide distribution, mail order and online sales for the Tortuga Rum company based in the Cayman Islands. Born in Kingston Jamaica, Hamaty-Simmonds came to the United States in 1980, and in 1996 she earned a degree from Florida International University (FIU) in business administration. She is a second-generation entrepreneur. Her father Robert Hamaty and his wife Carlene started the Tortuga Rum Company in Grand Cayman in 1984.
At a time when being black in Florida meant being subjected to Jim Crow laws and limited opportunity, 26 African American youths from the Fort Pierce/Vero Beach area broke the mold by forming a loosely organized group of entrepreneurial artists that came to be known as the Highwaymen.
South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (SMDCAC) presents the Miami debut performance of Garth Fagan Dance on Saturday, November 5 at 8pm. Tickets are $25, $15, $10 ($5 tickets CultureShockmiami.com for ages 13-22), $5 off orchestra level seats for students and seniors. For ticket information visit smdcac.org or call 786-573-5300. The Center is located at 10950 SW 211 Street, Cutler Bay. Garth Fagan, the 71 year-old contemporary dance legend and Tony Award-winning choreographer of The Lion King, brings his company to Miami for the first time in its 40 year history.
The future of the 46-year-old Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s largest street festival and second only to Brazil’s Rio Carnival, has been thrown into doubt with the resignation of its two volunteer organizers. Already suffering from a chronic lack of funding, disagreements over the level of policing and internal disputes, the festival, which was created by West Indian immigrants in 1964, has been hit by the resignations of co-directors Anil Barclay and Chris Boothman.
President of the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce and Attorney-at-Law Milton Samuda has challenged the University of the West Indies (UWI) to foster a stronger nexus between commerce and science and technology. Addressing the Board retreat of the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI) at Golden Castle in Montego Bay recently, Mr. Samuda lauded the Foundation for its efforts in garnering the resources to fund not just an institution but by extension the participation of deserving young people in our region.