Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It’s no big deal

Sharma responds to ‘Tourism’ chairman’s resignation:

Brian Frontin has quit his post as chairman of the Tourism Development Company (TDC).

Permanent secretary in the Tourism Ministry Julianna Boodram told the Express on Thursday that Frontin had submitted his resignation letter last Monday. In the interim, she said, deputy chair, former Miss Universe and businesswoman Janelle Penny Commissiong-Chow, will assume the chairman’s duties.

Speaking to the Express yesterday, Tourism Minister Chandresh Sharma said he was “not concerned” and Frontin’s resignation after just 11 months of service was “no big deal”.

“It won’t affect the work of the board. The board carries out government policy and once it continues to do that then it’s fine,” said Sharma.

The Minister said he had been out of the country at a United Nations World Tourism Organisation conference in Spain so he was not clear on the details of the resignation, but it was not really a surprise.

Yesterday, the Sunday Express reported that Frontin was nominated by Transport Minister Stephen Cadiz to head the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) board but faced opposition from Sharma.

Cadiz, the Express reported, had denied the nomination and yesterday Sharma also denied knowing anything about any AATT conflict.

Frontin has had a tradition of following Cadiz as per his ministerial appointments.

When Cadiz was Trade Minister, Frontin was appointed chairman of Evolving Technologies Ltd (eTecK); in 2012 when Cadiz was moved to Tourism, Frontin followed soon after, resigning his post in eTecK to take the top job at the TDC in February 2013.

Cadiz and Sharma switched portfolios last September in Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s latest Cabinet re-shuffle.

Sharma declined to say when a replacement for Frontin will be considered.

The Express attempted to contact Frontin for comment, but despite several calls to his mobile, was unable to reach him.

This will be the fourth change of TDC chairman in 25 months.

Frontin was appointed to the board in February 2013. In December 2011, then tourism minister Rupert Griffith dissolved the board after sacking Tobagonian chairman George Stanley Beard.

In January 2012, a new board was appointed, chaired by hotelier Rajiv Shandilya. His term came to an end last January.