UWI's Western Ja Campus Ambassadors
Richard Ferdinand is a celebrated tennis instructor, hotel administrator and philanthropist. He is also the founder and chairman of Caribbean Tennis Professionals Limited (CTP), a premier tennis management company in the Caribbean.
Ferdinand has served as tennis director at locations across the United States, Anguilla, Malaysia, the British Virgin Islands, and Trinidad. He has also held membership in various professional organisations including, the United States Professional Tennis Association, the United States Professional Tennis Registry, and served as a council member on the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
He attended Cornell University, where he received training in hospitality management and remains a member of the Hotel Society of Cornell University. Since joining the Tryall Club, where he is now director of guest services, he has been critical to strengthening its institutional capacity in customer service, stakeholder relations and reputation management.
As a philanthropist, Richard supports the development of tennis in western Jamaica through the hosting of the free, annual Tryall Tennis Summer Camp to encourage young players. Ferdinand has also utilises connections with tennis champions such as Venus and Serena Williams to maximise fund raising for the tennis clinic.
A native of Trinidad and Tobago and now a proud Jamaican citizen, Ferdinand is married to the charming Melissa Chang.
Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, Laura Mazabel pursued business administration studies and a master's degree in accounting and controlling management in her homeland.
In 1993, Mazabel was offered a job in Jamaica as administrator of SAM Airlines in Montego Bay. SAM operated flights between Colombia and Jamaica. Her responsibilities included airport operation, promoting Jamaica as a preferred tourism destination to Colombians, and encouraging business relations between both countries. The job ignited her interest in and love for Jamaica and its people.
Equipped with operations and marketing experience in the tourism sector, organisational and financial management skills and a powerful drive to succeed, she started her own business - Solo Jamaica - in 1995, with life and business partner, Tristan Alvarado. The company's main objective was the promotion of Jamaica as a tourism destination in Spain before becoming a solid tour operator offering a wide choice of exclusive tours with Spanish-speaking guides. In 1998, Solo Jamaica got the concession contract for gift shops at the first RIU hotel in Jamaica. This new aspect of the business allowed Mazabel to support local entrepreneurs and gave her the opportunity to provide jobs and training to many young Jamaicans.
Her real passion is education. In 2007, the couple created SJ Foundation Ltd, a first step towards a more formal platform for giving back to communities in Jamaica, focusing on children's education and welfare. Funding is obtained from donations received from customers at their gift shops and also from companies. Benificiaries include: Food For The Poor, Kiwanis, CUMI, Palmyra Foundation, Spanish-Jamaican Foundation, Music Summer Camp, Tryall Club Summer Camp, and Mobay City Run. The foundation also supports the Garland Memorial Children Home in Montego Bay.
In September 2008, under the umbrella of SJ Foundation, Mazabel, opened Liceo Montessori in Reading, St James for children between the ages of 3-12 years old, adding a unique alternative in Montego Bay for early childhood education. The school has now been operational for eight years and Mazabel remains fully involved and committed to provide quality education and social development. A third of the students receive financial aid from the SJ Foundation.
Rajesh Kripalani knows fashion. After years of experience in the high-end jewelry retail market, he is now co-owner of the chic Déjà Vu Boutique at Shoppes at Rose Hall, and Secrets Resorts & Spa in Montego Bay.
Kripalani is buyer and designer for Déjà Vu, which is a Jamaican lifestyle brand with Indo-Western influences.
Born in Bombay, India, in 1969, he quickly developed a love for fine clothes from his father who was a well-respected clothier and his mother who was a fashionista in her own right.
Kripalani was exposed, from an early age, to the rudiments of business operation, and chose to study commerce at the Jai Hind College in India. In 1987, a young Kripalani travelled to Jamaica where he would eventually spend 22 years working for a jewellery company. In the process, he gained intimate knowledge of that aspect of the fashion industry.
In November 2007, he and his wife, Neha launched Déjà Vu at Shoppes at Rose Hall. This proved to be successful, warranting his full-time commitment in January 2010. After only a year in the business full-time, Kripalani spearheaded the establishment of Déjà vu's men's boutique at the coveted location. The couple also operates a boutique at Secrets Resorts & Spa which specialises in resort and silver wear.
Through Déjà Vu, Kripalani and his wife have proven that Indian fashion is much more than saris. Their clientele includes internationally renowned designer, Nicole Miller, and the who's who of Montego Bay and Kingston society. The boutique boasts high-end accessories; sandals, handbags and jewellery.
Kripalani considers himself fashion-forward, and has no qualms about sporting a pair of red shoes or a pink shirt. He and his wife have been married for 18 years and have two sons, Akshay and Ankit.
Kerry Ann Quallo Casserly
Kerry Ann Quallo Casserly has 22 years of experience in the hospitality industry. She is now sales and marketing director for hotel management company, Blue Diamond Resorts (Jamaica and St Lucia).
She formerly held positions of entertainment Coordinator, wedding coordinator, sales coordinator, and sales manager.
As director of sales and marketing, her portfolio includes reservations, sales, groups, weddings, tour operator allotments, inventory, and yield management.
Quallo Casserly holds a master's degree in business from Nova South eastern University and is a member of Alphi Chi National College Honour Scholarship Society. She currently serves as a councillor for the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association. She spearheaded the Spicy Hill Early Childhood Institution School Build in April 2015. The new school building was officially opened on November 13, 2015, accommodating approximately 87 children.
Born in 1969, Wayne Cummings entered the hospitality and tourism sector at the age of 19 as a management trainee with Sandals Resorts International. Decades later, he is still with that company and has had a successful journey from the days as a trainee to now senior corporate director for the Sandals Resorts and Appliance Traders Group of companies.
As the Sandals Group has expanded, he has been given different responsibilities, including the positions of manager of the rooms division, resident manager, hotel manager, general manager, and director across the companies.
With growing seniority came greater community involvement. This has seen him becoming involved with the Salvation Army, Jamaica Aids Support for Life, the Negril Chamber of Commerce, the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica.
Cummings was educated in Jamaica, the USA, and Switzerland.
He is the extremely proud father of one boy.