With The Marina at Christophe Harbour expecting one of its busiest yachting season since operations began on the Southeast Peninsula of St. Kitts, the certification of the director of yachting, Aeneas Hollins, will substantially raise the quality of service experienced by guests at The Marina.
Hollins recently completed a certification program administered by the U.S. based Marina Industries Association and became a Certified Marina Operator.
In the process, Hollins said, one has to do several courses – a basic course, and intermediate course and an advanced course.
“I was very impressed by the quality of the education, by the speakers, by the discipline and energy of the Association itself, and especially by the advance course, which was very high level, very demanding – quite hard for people to succeed at. From the completion of the advanced course, one is entered into the certification path of the program,” Hollins explained.
The director of yachting informed that certification can be obtained for various duties carried out at a marina, such as certification for dockhands, or fuel attendants.
“All of those things come with qualifications, he stated. “We are in fact putting St. Kitts and Nevis nationals through that program so they can become certified, so they can become marina professionals.”
Normally, a longterm goal is to go from dockhand to fuel attendant, to marina manager, to dock master and to the director of yachting over a period of time.
Speaking about The Marina, Hollins said, “So, I am the first person to achieve the whole pack, and I have my certification as Certified Marina Operator. After two more years of experience in running a high level marina, at another level, is the Certified Marina Manager. I am months away from getting that one.”
Reflecting on the time spent in pursuing the qualification, Hollins thought of the benefits to be derived from such a program.
“It demonstrates both personal development and professional development. I have learned a lot in the process, and I can educate my team through that entire process. I recognise the value of the education and the time that I spent in doing the certification,” Hollins remarked.
He pointed out that the course was very exacting.
“It demanded of me things that I did not know were going to be unique, understood and respected by my company,” said Hollins.
Continuing, he explained, “For example, it demanded of me to be involved in legal negotiations, in fiscal negotiations, and as such, it led me to do some things that I had not previously done in order to satisfy the requirements.”
Hollins believes that his qualification will have a direct spin-off for his teams and The Marina in general.
“For the company, what it means is that we have established an education path, and that’s about capacity building for the nation, and because it is such a high level program, dealing with environmental matters and responsible stewardship, persons with the CMO and the CMM qualifications, not only have they studied the business of marinas and the business of hospitality, they have also looked at the broader implications to society and to the environment,” Hollins emphasised.
He noted, “So, here at Christophe Harbour, that allows me to implement programs such as a fuel facility spill response plan. Now we have the highest level of spill response planning in place, with associated monitoring equipment, reactive equipment and training for our teams. That all comes from a qualification like this.”
So as the super yachts sail through the marina harbour, their guests and crew can be assured of the highest standard of service from the hard working teams at The Marina at Christophe Harbour, making their stay in St. Kitts and Nevis most delightful and memorable.