Resort receives Certificate of Excellence; a nomination for General Manager Jennifer Mills
The Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman was well represented at the annual Cayman Stingray Tourism Awards, hosted by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA). The awards ceremony, held at the Ritz Carlton in June, recognizes excellence in the various sectors of the hospitality industry. Every year CITA takes nominations from member companies and appoints a committee to determine the winners. Fernando Yorke, a 15-year veteran of the Southern Cross Club’s maintenance team, won the “Accommodations Employee of the Year” award and took home the coveted, glass-blown, cobalt blue Stingray Award.
“I was very surprised and also pleased when I found out that I had been nominated for the award. I was, however, really excited when I found out that I had actually won!” said Mr. Yorke. “It was a select group of very distinguished people from the industry and I felt very pleased to be part of it, and very proud to have won and be acknowledged in this way. Being recognized for my service and hard work means a lot to me, it is a very nice boost.”
“We are all very, very pleased for Fernando, and very proud of him,” said General Manager Jennifer Mills, who nominated Yorke. “I’ve worked with him for 12 years − 6 as General Manager of the resort − and there is not a single time when I have heard him complain. Fernando always gives 100% and he loves helping our guests, who in turn, enjoy visiting with him.”
Ms. Mills was nominated for ‘Accommodations Manager of the Year’ and the Southern Cross Club was awarded a Certificate of Excellence at the gala. She says Fernando Yorke’s hard work and commitment are essential to keeping the resort running smoothly. A skilled carpenter, he has built walkways, cabinets, sheds, porches, the pool deck and numerous other projects on the grounds.
“Because they operate quietly behind the scenes, maintenance team members are often the unsung heroes at the resort,” she says, “but without their efforts we would not be able to maintain our high level of efficiency giving our guests the good experience that brings them back.”
Fernando Yorke’s generosity doesn’t end when his workday is over. He helps his community in numerous ways, such as being involved with the island’s two major fundraisers – Mardis Gras and the Little Cayman Cookoff. Fernando pitches in wherever he’s needed: assisting with setup, raking the beach, hanging lights, arranging tables and chairs, filling and arranging coolers, building parade floats and more.
With no pastor or church committee stationed on Little Cayman, Fernando Yorke volunteers to be the church caretaker. He leads church services during the week and on special occasions, and also assists at the occasional wedding and memorials. Mr. Yorke also volunteers at the Little Cayman School each week, setting an example for the entire community.
“I am very happy here on Little Cayman and at the Southern Cross Club, which has been my home-from-home for 15 years. I enjoy the company of people and enjoy visiting with the guests, coworkers and other residents on the island,” he says. “I like the peace and quiet that Little Cayman offers. I do not need many distractions, as long as I am privileged to be able to go to church, then I am content.”
Jennifer Mills credits Fernando Yorke and the rest of the Southern Cross team for the resort’s Certificate of Excellence award. He explains the work ethic that has won him many friends among the resort staff, guests and residents of Little Cayman.
“I have a lot of respect for my place of work and my job so I set myself a high standard so that I make sure that I always give my best and am fully committed. I always say that whatever you do you should do it with your heart and give 100%. I enjoy my job and I feel very satisfied at the end of the day knowing that I have done my best and done a good job. I believe that hard work and good deeds are rewarded.”
About the Southern Cross Club
The casually sophisticated Southern Cross Club Fish & Dive Resort is Little Cayman’s original resort. It features 12 beachfront bungalows complete with a top-rated, professional in-house diving and fishing operation. A unique blend of rusticity and elegance the resort is often described as “Barefoot Luxury”. Guests can expect friendly and diligent service, delicious food, inviting rooms with breath-taking views and a comfortable dive boat ― a few of the things that bring them back year after year. Little Cayman is renowned for its breath-taking and pristine coral reefs and spectacular dive adventures. The resort’s beach-based location also provides flats fisherman with access to Bonefish and Permit just minutes away.