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The weekend of May 18, 2014, Travel Markets Insider Editor/Publisher Lois Pasternak was privileged to attend a very special event that recognized one of the most remarkable accomplishments of the travel retail industry – the official inauguration of the Lycée Jean-Baptiste Pointe du Sable – the educational complex built as a humanitarian response following the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010.
Created by the Hand in Hand for Haiti Foundation and built with the assistance of extraordinary support from the travel retail industry worldwide, the Lycée actually opened its doors nearly 3 years ago, in October 2011. But on May 18 it received recognition from the highest levels of the country when Michel Martelly, President of Haiti, and his wife, Sophia, officially inaugurated the school and another remarkable facility, the US$1.5 million Dubai Duty Free Sports Complex.
The Complex will play a key role in the future of the Lycée students. The practice of sports is an integral pillar of the school curriculum as a way to foster individual and collective talents.
HIHH was founded by Estée Lauder Travel Retail Worldwide President Olivier Bottrie, former DFS Group President and CEO Ed Brennan, and The Moodie Report Chairman Martin Moodie less than three weeks after the earthquake. (DFASS Founder and President Benny Klepach joined the Board of HIHH in Spring of 2013). The travel retail industry has been a major contributor to the Hand in Hand for Haiti project, which has raised many millions of dollars since the January 2010 earthquake. It is the biggest charity fund-raiser in travel retail industry history.
But these are just words until you see the scope of this accomplishment amid the dire living conditions of many of the people in the surrounding countryside. This school is so much more than a school – it can be the future of the country. Please see the full story Inside this special Insider Report. A special thank you, also, to the team from Onboard Media who graciously provided many of the photos illustrating this issue.
In Memoriam. TMI is very sorry to report the passing of another beloved duty free and spirits industry veteran. Charlie Sipple, who had a career spanning 50 years, most recently with Sidney Frank Importing Company, died of natural causes on May 21. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 21, in Boca Raton, Florida. See details on page 4.
In other industry news, Derryl Benton joins HMSHost, Caribbean Airlines names a new CEO and Miami agent Selekt announces a deal with Azzaro accessories.