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Hoteliers in training: 18 young Caymanians enrolled in Dart Hospitality Training Programme

Dart Hospitality Training Programme class
The 2024 Dart Hospitality Training Programme students joined by Dart Senior Vice President, Active Investments, Enrique Tasende, Dart Hospitality Programme Manager, Dianne Conolly and Senior Administrative Assistant, Ariana Bodden.

A new cohort of young Caymanians have joined the Dart Hospitality Training Programme where they will attend classes run by Lynn University and gain hands-on experience across Dart’s portfolio of hotels in Grand Cayman. Last year’s programme produced 16 graduates, with eight currently employed in a range of jobs from guest service agents to a pastry cook and a concierge agent.

Eighteen high school and college graduates have been selected for this year’s programme which is designed to prepare local applicants for careers in hospitality.

The trainees had tours with each of Dart’s four hotels in Grand Cayman: Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Hampton by Hilton and the brand-new Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman which opened this month.

They wrap up their second week of in-classroom training this week learning what it takes to succeed in the hospitality business taught by the experts from the Lynn University Hospitality Management programme. Each student will then have the chance to experience some of the wide variety of jobs throughout hotel operations during a four-week rotation between front desk, back of house and food service.

Trainees are compensated throughout the three-month programme and graduates who excel will have the opportunity to transition into full-time employment, where retention bonuses are offered at various points of tenure.

“We are pleased with the results we have seen so far, with over 25 graduates and another 18 enrolled this year,” said Dianne Conolly, Dart hospitality programme manager. “The Dart Hospitality Training Programme not only teaches job competencies, it also develops skills such as customer service, professionalism and a willingness to accept feedback. I look forward to seeing this new cohort learn and grow over the next three months.”

Now in its third year, the Dart Hospitality Training Programme was launched in 2022 to attract more Caymanians into the hospitality business and ensure those wanting to pursue a career in the field are equipped with the right skills. The current cohort is the third to go through the training.

“The spirit of hospitality is part of our Caymanian heritage,” said Joanne Lawson, Dart’s chief of staff. “As the owner of a diverse portfolio of hospitality properties, Dart is committed to providing career paths for young people in hospitality and to providing visitors a true Caymankind experience beyond the roles traditionally associated with hospitality such as chefs, waiters, bar staff and housekeeping, other opportunities include jobs in engineering, finance and human resources, among other areas. Working for an international hotel brand like IHG or The Ritz-Carlton also presents the potential to transfer and work overseas.”

Meantime, 10 graduates recently received certificates and retention bonuses for reaching six-month and one-year anniversaries after successful placement after completion of the Dart Hospitality Training Programme. Those marking their six-month anniversaries were: Angel Smith (Front Desk), Yarik Smith (Guest Services), Andre Washington (Cook III) and Trudy Cotterell (Cook III) – The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman; Kihana Tibbetts (Pastry Cook) and Destiny Russell (Concierge) – Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

Celebrating their one-year anniversaries in 2023 and 2024 were Ja’Shante Pearson (Server) – Hampton by Hilton; Pertice Williams (Sales Coordinator) – Hotel Indigo Grand Cayman; and Gerardo Rosales (Splash Park Attendant) and Romario McLauaghlin – (Engineering Coordinator) – Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

The Dart Hospitality Training Programme is available to Caymanians aged 17-30. The next intake will be in February 2025. For more information, visit:


Dart media contact:

Ben Meade

Senior Manager, Communications


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