Black Meetings and Tourism

March/April 2012

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Page 36 of 76

MS. DITTIE F. GUISE BACK HOME AND IN THE CENTRE OF THINGS: BY VICTORIA HEAD Visiting Montego Bay is first off a delight to the senses; the food is uniquely rich with delectable Caribbean flavors; the breeze flows carrying scents of Jasmine, Passion Fruit, hints of Guava,Banana and Oleander; and with just looking upward, you can capture the site of the low picturesque mountains,with the richest hue of green that only a Jamaican hillside can offer. Here, you will find yourself enveloped in the breathtaking beauty of paradise,while still being able to enjoy the excitement and com- forts of a metropolis. Worries of being in a foreign land soon subside due to the welcoming nature of Montegonians and the ease in communicating as Jamaica is the number one Caribbean country where English is the main language. After arrival toMontego Bay's Sangster InternationalAirport, in just 15 minutes, you can reach the beautiful Elegant Corridor. This strip is named for its major attractions and beautiful beach- front properties providing all the amenities a tourist and/or business traveler seeks. The latest and most exciting addition located near the Rose Hall estate, is the newly opened, state-of- the-art Montego Bay Convention Centre. There, Ms. Dittie F. Guise is delightfully overtaken with the tasks of implementing new ideas, establishing her many years of foundational manage- ment principles and by the new fulfillment of her long-time dream, becoming general manager of this impressive facility. At three-years-old, Guise and her family left their beautiful Jamaican homestead pursuant of new opportunities. Guise grew up and was educated in London England, graduating from Chiswick College with a Bachelor of Science degree in business management and a Bachelor ofArts degree in fashion merchan- dising. With talents and desires in various areas, Guise enter- tained the world of fashion and the intrigue of law, but didn't 36 Black Meetings & Tourism March/April 2012: really find the fulfillment she sought until her employment with Pan American World Airways, which initiated her passion for the hospitality industry. Leaving England in the 1970s, bound for the US, Guise con- tinued her pursuit in hospitality. She managed the Kansas City, MO City Market, worked as COO for the Pennsylvania Convention Center and was hired in Convention Sales at the Columbus, OH Convention Center. During her tenure there, the Columbus Center came under the management of SMG, a world leader in venue management and marketing of private facilities; they currently manage over 70 Convention Centers around the world. In additional to her work in Convention Sales, as a new member of the SMG team, Guise also held the positions of VP of Convention Marketing, assistant general man- ager and general manager. With such an impressive resume of accomplishments in the states, I asked Ms. Guise what it was that prompted her to return to Jamaica. She shared that prior to her father's death five years ago, they had earnest discussions concerning her desire to one day be in a position to give back to her homeland. She wanted to be of benefit to Jamaica and her people by bring- ing back what she had learned abroad. Because she so wanted the new Montego Bay Convention Center to be a success, she promised her dad that she would become the general manager of the facility. Today Guise has fulfilled that promise, holds that position and shares that one of her most encouraging moments at the Centre thus far was the task of filling 100 facility positions and receiving over 2,500 applicants. She was subsequently able to select the best of the best, all with prior hospitality experience and all Jamaican, except for one. Guise is excited that she is positioned to be of benefit to the Center, SMG, her staff, the Jamaican government and her homeland. To consider the MoBay Convention Center for your association's upcoming event, call (876) 622-9330 or go to

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