By Paul Pannone
Caribbean Week, 2012, in New York City brought together over 30 countries, pooling resources, ideas and goodwill of the most popular wedding destinations in the world. Information and education guides the group who strive to always keep ahead of trends and make travel experience to the region the best it can be.
I’m especially impressed by the group’s choice of speakers for the event. Headed by committed people including my friend, Jacqueline Johnson, the organization continues to grow and thrive at a time when economic challenges make it increasing difficult to do business.
Philip Wolf argued to get the PA system to work and delivered an impressive presentation.
This year the organization kept pace with the standard of excellence they’ve set for themselves and cried wolf; Philip Wolf.
It’s customary that you sit through a presentation before passing judgement on how good (or bad) the speaker was. With Wolf, his argument and vehement exchange with Marriott management over the public address system set the tone in my mind of what was to come. Problems with the system and a corporate approach by Marriott was not good enough for Wolf.
Mr. Corporate Marriott Man: “Let’s get the contract and review it.”
Wolf: “There’s no need to get the contract, let’s fix the problem.”
After some ear-splitting feedback and slight delay to the start of the presentation the dynamic speaker mesmerized the audience offering some radical ideas that upset some of the more tight (a$$) traditionalists who will differ with Wolf’s approach; to telling the truth– instead of being politically correct.
In his presentation he made it clear how “good enough” is no longer good enough. His message clearly tells of the lackluster experiences that offer no explanation turns off consumers in a way never seen.
“It’s OK to be delayed on the tarmac for an hour, it happens. But to leave people to wonder why is unacceptable. It should be, ladies and gentlemen, we’re going to be delayed because there are 400 flights leaving this evening and we’re number 399,” said Wolf.
Mr. Wolf’s non-nonsense approach and unwillingness to accept some bullshit, corporate reason for ineptness, is both refreshing and needed. Raising the standards and refusing to accept things as they are is what’s going to bring about change.
Jacqueline Johnson continues to masterfully rise above injustice and adversity. She never misses a chance to hire the most dynamic speakers for her events that spark a bit of controversy, raise the blood pressure and bring about change. Smile Jackie– you know you love it.
I am thankful to my friend, Jackie Johnson, for inviting me. It’s no secret Jackie has been through her share of injustice, experiencing prejudice at every level. I admire her ability to survive and thrive in her world where she’s sometimes forced to deal with fluff, fake happy thoughts and false, gracious wishes. But I am equally happy in knowing she’s smiling, getting the story that most reporters would never cover.
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