The Baha Mar team has people from all walks of life and cultures, and diverse professional backgrounds. Together, they have found a consistent approach to deliver a world-class project.
Mr. Sarkis Izmirlian was born in Switzerland, and currently resides in Nassau, The Bahamas. He holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, with a double major in International Business and Finance.
As Chairman and CEO of Baha Mar Ltd., Mr. Izmirlian is the driving force behind the Caribbean’s largest single-phase hospitality investment in history. The US$3.5 billion resort, financed by the Export-Import Bank of China, is currently the largest project under development in the Western Hemisphere. His decision to completely redevelop the Cable Beach area of Nassau by acquiring over 400 hectares of land with one kilometer of beachfront, and re-routing Nassau’s main road around the perimeter of the property, established his unique vision for the project and the rebirth of The Bahamian Riviera.
Baha Mar will be a collection of the most extraordinary names and experiences in hospitality: Mondrian, Grand Hyatt, Rosewood Hotels and the largest casino hotel in the Caribbean. In addition, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, the largest and most modern convention center in the region, world-class dining, shopping, spas and entertainment, and an 8 hectare beach and pool experience will set a new standard of luxury and excitement in the resort industry.
Mr. Dunlap has over 30 years of management experience in the Resort and Hospitality industry. Prior to his appointment as President, he served Baha Mar as Executive Vice President, Development and Construction. Before joining Baha Mar, he was President of Washington D.C. based Revolution Places Development, responsible for Cacique, Costa Rica, a $1 billion luxury resort development in Costa Rica, as well as development expansion for the Miraval wellness resort brand .
Prior to that, Mr. Dunlap was a Partner with East West Partners and was the senior project development executive for The Highlands at Northstar, a ski destination resort anchored by a newly constructed $300 million Ritz Carlton Hotel and Residences.
He also worked for 15 years with the Walt Disney Company as Senior Vice President for Walt Disney Imagineering responsible for the design, development and construction of a variety of projects including Disney Vacation Club Resorts, Disney Cruise Line ships, terminals and the Castaway Cay private island located in The Bahamas. Mr. Dunlap also oversaw the development of a portfolio of hotel projects in Paris, Florida and Hong Kong.
Mr. Ludwig spent a 21-year career at Four Seasons Hotels Inc., where he held numerous financial and planning positions, including the position of Chief Financial Officer. As CFO, Douglas led all financial aspects of the company, including strategic planning, treasury, technology, tax and investor relations, financial reporting and statutory compliance.
During his tenure at the Four Seasons, Mr. Ludwig also led the initial public offerings on both the Toronto and New York stock exchanges; led the strategic initiative of transforming the Four Seasons’ business model; established strategic objectives and executed numerous asset dispositions and acquisitions.
Before joining the Four Seasons, Mr. Ludwig worked at KPMG, one of the world’s leading accounting, auditing and tax firms. Various promotions throughout his seven-year career span with the company led to his appointment as Senior Audit Manager. He was responsible for a number of the firm’s large, international audit clients, including the Four Seasons Hotel Inc. for two years.
Mr. Djerejian manages business development and strategic planning initiatives for the Baha Mar group, including the structuring, negotiation and execution of strategically important transactions. He plays lead roles in forging agreements with Baha Mar's financing, governmental, hotel and other key partners and stakeholders. Prior to his role with Baha Mar, Mr. Djerejian worked as a corporate lawyer at a New York City law firm focused primarily on project finance, securities and merger & acquisitions transactions, as well as insolvency-related matters. He also has extensive experience in commercial real estate and alternative investments, cross-border negotiations and special situations. He holds both a Masters of Business Administration from Columbia University's Graduate School of Business and Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center and received a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He is a member of the New York State Bar.
Ms. Godreau started her notable marketing career at P&G (Procter & Gamble) in San Juan, Puerto Rico where she was born. She relocated to the United States in an executive leadership position with Pizza Hut, as Director of Marketing for Central America and the Caribbean, and later moved to Blockbuster Video, where she was a key player in their international expansion to Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region.
She joined the Walt Disney Company in 1997 where she held executive positions of increasing responsibility over a 12-year career, ultimately serving as Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Walt Disney World Resort and Global Multicultural Marketing for all Disney Theme Parks.
In 2009, Ms. Godreau joined an entrepreneurial team to establish a new online university in Southern California, and served as Chief Marketing Officer of Brandman University, part of the Chapman University System. Ms. Godreau earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard University.
Mr. Clinton is responsible for overseeing all of Baha Mar’s legal and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining Baha Mar Mr. Clinton served for three years as Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for Multimedia Games, Inc. (a publicly traded manufacturer of slot machines and gaming systems). Mr. Clinton founded Multimedia’s Law and Compliance Departments. Mr. Clinton has over 10 years of legal experience in the areas of commercial litigation, regulatory compliance, commercial and international transactions, mergers and acquisitions, risk management, governmental affairs, and corporate governance.
Prior to joining Multimedia, Mr. Clinton served as Vice President of Legal Affairs for Caesars Entertainment Corporation Central Division, previously Harrah’s Entertainment, where he counseled senior executives on legal matters including commercial transactions, business operations, regulatory compliance, advertising and marketing initiatives, risk management, and the implementation of corporate strategic initiatives for 11 facilities located across four gaming jurisdictions, with a combined approximate annual revenue of $1.3 billion, including 4,690 hotel rooms and 700,000 sq. ft. of casino space.
Mr. Clinton holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, a Juris Doctorate from Gonzaga University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
Before joining Baha Mar, Mr. English was Managing Director of Asset Management, Middle East/Africa, for Wyndham Worldwide’s turnkey business unit. Prior to that, he served as a senior advisor to members of the Saudi Royal Family, where he was involved in the design and launch of Manazel Al Haramain, as well as the enhanced design, marketing and sales of Le Meridien Towers.
Mr. English also worked for Marriot Vacation Club as Regional Director, Sales and Marketing, Middle East/Africa, and at the Walt Disney Company, where he was responsible for international distribution of the company’s Disney Vacation Club shared- ownership products. Mr. English holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Natal in South Africa and a Master’s degree in International Business Administration from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT.
Robert “Sandy” Sands started his career at the Nassau Beach Hotel in 1970. He subsequently spent terms as General Manager at various hotels in the Caribbean, and worked for three-years as Vice President & General Manager of the Wyndham Nassau Resort & Crystal Palace Casino before returning to the Nassau Beach Hotel in 2004.
In May 2005, Baha Mar Ltd. announced the appointment of Mr. Sands to Vice President of Administration and External Relations. In this role, he assumed responsibility for the development and execution of Baha Mar's corporate outreach initiatives, industrial relations and human capital programs. Mr. Sands holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree in Hospitality Management and Tourism Administration from Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
Ms. Williams also serves as the interim Vice President of Operations for The Crystal Palace Casino. Ms. Williams started her career as a CPA, focused on corporate tax. She then went to work for the PGA Tour in golf course and tournament operations. Ms. Williams joined Caesars Entertainment (formerly Harrah’s Entertainment) in 1999 as the Corporate Director of Executive Recruiting and moved through a succession of positions of increased responsibility over the next 12 years in both corporate and operating functions at multiple properties across the US, including Human Resources, Gaming and Non-Gaming Operations, and Marketing.
Before joining Baha Mar, Anne was most recently the Vice President of Casino Marketing for Horseshoe Hammond, just south of Chicago. Ms. Williams has an undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Montana, and a Masters of Business Administration from Pepperdine University.
Baha Mar, Ltd.
Established in 1982, CSCEC is the largest construction company and largest international general contractor in China. A recent accomplishment includes the completion of the Beijing National Aquatics Center, referenced during the 2008 Summer Olympics as the “Water Cube.” CSCEC was designated the general contractor for Baha Mar in March 2010. An investor agreement between the two entities was signed simultaneously, giving CSCEC preferred equity investment in Baha Mar.
Baha Mar’s principal architect, Mike Hong, leads a new firm fueled by young, fresh talent on the cutting edge of the next design generation. With a belief that human beings naturally desire to gather, exchange culture commerce and ideas, Mike Hong seeks to inspire the next generation with innovative, provocative designs at Baha Mar that will unite people and instill the desire to return.
Dianna Wong, Baha Mar’s leading interior design architect, recognizes that good design has the power to elevate lives. Her architectural frameworks are infused with romantic references to the best of modernist decorative design and extend to the detailing of all furnishings and decorative elements. Wong’s appreciation for craftsmanship and simple geometry are the trademarks of her brand.
The Ex-Im Bank is one of three institutional banks in China established to implement state policies in industry, foreign trade, diplomacy, economy and finance with the goal of promoting the export of Chinese products and services. Providing US$2.45 billion in crucial financing, the Ex-Im Bank signed extremely rare, formal agreements with the private company, Baha Mar, Ltd., in March 2010. The arrangement has been seen as a promising indicator of the impending upswing for the travel industry.
Baha Mar is at its core about The Bahamas. As a proud and dedicated member of the Bahamian community, we are committed to enhancing the quality of life for everyone that lives, works and plays in this tropical paradise. Our corporate responsibility vision is based on five guiding principles that will create meaningful and sustainable social growth:
• Positive Economic Impact
• Local Talent Development Through Education & Training
• Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability
• Support for the Arts and Culture
• Passionate Community Involvement
These guiding principles drive our daily decisions allowing us to design, construct and operate with responsible environmental impact and maximum social benefit. From a comprehensive sustainability strategy for the use and preservation of natural resources to educating local talent and supporting Bahamian art forms, Baha Mar is already implementing dozens of small and large programs to ensure The Bahamas continues to develop into a world-class destination to live and visit.
A World-Class Resort Providing Local Economic Benefit and Quality of Life
Baha Mar is a one-of-a-kind resort built on the dream of sharing the authentic Bahamas with the world’s travel elite. Part of realizing this dream rests on ensuring that the community that provides a home for Baha Mar also benefits from its success. From the outset, the Baha Mar team has worked to ensure that Nassau – Baha Mar’s island home – and The Bahamas as a whole reap substantial economic, social and community benefit from the construction and operation of the megaresort. Thoughtful planning, negotiations with The Government of The Bahamas and wise use of resources have created an environment that will lead to substantial tangible and intangible benefits for Bahamians for years to come.
Most importantly, Baha Mar will create a total of 8,000 permanent jobs for Bahamians when completed. It also is estimated that Baha Mar will contribute US$1 billion to the local economy and generate a GDP contribution of $11.2 billion (ten per cent) over a 20-year period. Throughout the building process, local businesses will have the opportunity to tender bids on approximately US$400 million in construction projects. To-date, construction projects totaling US$120 million have been awarded to Bahamian firms.
The community also has seen an immediate positive impact from the Baha Mar project through the recently completed diversion and modernization of West Bay Street – the main thoroughfare through the Cable Beach area. In addition to rerouting the road, this project included a new commercial center -- three new bank buildings, a new fire station and a new police station -- bordered by a public-access nature preserve and adjacent walking trails and park.
In addition, numerous programs focused on natural resource stewardship, support of local charities and arts organizations, job skills training and other community support have been implemented to positively impact local quality of life.
Baha Mar Academy
As part of its focus on identifying and developing local talent, Baha Mar will commit approximately US$8 million to create and run the Baha Mar Service and Training Academy with $US3 million dedicated to construction-period training. The mission of the Baha Mar Academy is to identify Bahamian talent and provide training – in partnership with government – for the more than 8,000 jobs that will be created by the resort. When fully functioning, the academy will play a key role in ensuring that staff is trained in a range of areas from construction and practical skills to the finer points of impeccable service expected from a world-class resort.
Between now and the opening of Baha Mar, the Academy will conduct job fairs and scout for talent in The Bahamas and in Bahamian communities throughout the world. Once candidates are identified, screened and selected for Academy programs in construction and hospitality skills, they will receive additional training and skills fine-tuning to prepare them to deliver the highest standard of excellence regardless of the job they are performing. After Baha Mar’s opening, the Baha Mar Academy will continue to provide on-going training and development to prepare current and future generations of Bahamians for professional growth.
Baha Mar recently embarked on an ambitious restoration project aimed at returning a more than one-half mile stretch of oceanfront in Cable Beach to the natural state it enjoyed in the 1950s before decades of development interrupted the natural cycles of the beach. During the next 15 months, Baha Mar will complete a three-phase restoration program that will add structural enhancements to help reverse the effects of erosion, re-establish the vegetated dune and remove man-made enhancements.
Improvements include surge wall protection works during Phase 1, offshore protection and removal of the man-made Wyndham Nassau Resort lagoon during Phase 2, and introduction of additional sand to round out Phase 3. When complete, the restoration program will create a 3,000-foot continuous beach running from the western side of the Sheraton Nassau Beach Resort through to the eastern tip of Goodman Bay, which will benefit Baha Mar guests, as well as local and international visitors to the Bahamian Riviera. Over the next ten years, the work that is being done today will continually be enhanced to ensure the beach returns to its former glory.
Recycle, Reuse, Reduce
Whether it is every day recycling programs or re-use of significant amounts of building materials, Baha Mar has introduced many programs to minimize or eliminate the amount of construction waste sent to the New Providence landfill. Baha Mar is fully committed to carrying out the demolition of existing buildings, clearing of land and construction of the new resort in the most sustainable way possible. To achieve this goal, the company has worked with its staff and contractors to ensure that materials are repurposed, recycled and reused whenever possible. Many of these programs reach far beyond the resort, benefitting the community through tangible donations and decreased stress on the local environment.
Surplus Building Materials Benefit Hurricane Victims
Early in the demolition phase of The Wyndham Nassau Resort Tower F, Baha Mar committed to donating a trove of the hotel's building materials to Bahamian hurricane victims. A collection of bathroom fixtures -- basins, bathtubs and toilets -- along with closet and entry doors were donated to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for use in rebuilding homes lost to storm damage. Rather than littering scarce space in the island's landfill, these building materials are now helping Baha Mar's neighbors and fellow Bahamians rebuild their lives.
As construction kicks into high gear, the Baha Mar team continues to implement practices designed to reduce the strain placed on the area's delicate environment and limited landfill space. As old towers and structures come down to make room for Baha Mar’s new buildings, the supply of used concrete continues to grow. To deal with the issue, Baha Mar instituted a concrete repurposing/ recycling program designed to minimize the amount of construction waste. The process involves stripping the steel rebar from the concrete and sending the steel to a recycler. The concrete then is processed through a crusher to make aggregate for use as fill for pipe bedding and road sub-base on the Baha Mar construction site.
Screening for Topsoil
Topsoil is a rare item in the Bahamas and will be in great demand for Baha Mar’s numerous landscaping needs. When faced with a surplus of soil removed from the project and road construction sites that was unsuitable for use as structural fill, the Baha Mar team adopted a screening process to repurpose this extra material. Rather than being trucked off site to the landfill, the extra material was collected and stored on the nearby old golf course site. A multi-step process was set up to screen out the rocks and tree waste from the unsuitable fill. The end product was then blended with sandy soils to make topsoil for use throughout the Baha Mar project demonstrating yet another way that Baha Mar is fulfilling its commitment to recycle, repurpose and reuse the island’s limited resources.
Antonius Roberts Woodworking Program
Initial Baha Mar site preparation included the clearing and removal of non-indigenous trees and plants. Especially abundant were Casuarinas, non-native trees whose needle drop and shallow root systems inhibit the growth of other plants. There was no question as to whether the trees should be removed. The only issue was how to deal with them in an environmentally sensitive manner.
Through some creative thinking and a strong partnership with renowned Bahamian artist Antonius Roberts, this destructive tree became the root of a productive mentoring program designed to teach new job skills to young Bahamians. Working with Baha Mar and through the government’s “Job Readiness Program,” Roberts began teaching program participants the skills needed to transform the Casuarina trees into park benches and other furniture for use in and around the Baha Mar property. As of July 2012, four young men have joined the program creating 40 benches and many one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture, keepsake pens and birdhouses. Many of the benches and birdhouses have been installed around the newly restored Hobby Horse Lake and its adjacent public walkways. Baha Mar and Antonius Roberts are committed to keeping the program alive well into the future with the hopes that it will become a self sustaining program for training the next generation of Bahamian craftsmen.
Baha Mar Tree Farm
One of the challenges faced by Baha Mar designers was to identify an environmentally sensitive way to remove trees from the resort construction site. Given the resort’s focus on environmental stewardship, the Baha Mar team wanted to find a way to preserve the trees rather than send them to the landfill. Some plants and trees, like the Casuarina tree, were non-indigenous, invasive varieties and were recycled as part of the Baha Mar / Antonius Roberts bench and furniture-making program. Others varieties of mature trees benefitted from the extra time and effort the Baha Mar team invested in relocating them to other locations on the resort property. To-date, more than 200 trees have been moved and are thriving in their new permanent Baha Mar homes or in a tree holding area where trees are transplanted until a permanent home is available for them.
Although world renowned for its turquoise clear waters, The Bahamas offers many natural treasures away from its shores. A rich illustration of this is the 1,000-acre home of Baha Mar. The area supports several distinct ecosystems and one of the richest bird preserves on New Providence Island, the care of which represents a significant environmental responsibility for the resort.
True to its strong commitment to preserving the natural beauty of The Bahamas, Baha Mar is dedicating more than 70 acres of sensitive Cable Beach wetlands as the home of a much anticipated wetland preserve. Through an initial US$1million investment from Baha Mar – and an additional US$1million for maintenance – the area of mostly wetlands and mangroves will become a public-access sanctuary featuring indigenous flora and fauna.
Protected tree species such as Brasiletto, Caribbean Pine, Horseflesh, Mahogany, and Black Ebony will thrive in the “no build zone” and native wildlife will again flourish in the area. The preserve also will protect a recently discovered archaeological site featuring a cave and artifacts that pre-date Columbus. The cave, which will be part of the soon-to-be-built Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, will be protected by a “no disturb zone” that will limit access in order to preserve its fragile environment.
The Baha Mar Wetland Preserve will include sensitive shoreline, diverse wetlands and native forests, and as part of a master conservation and protection plan, will feature boardwalks and signage to allow visitors and residents to enjoy the area’s natural diversity in a sustainable way.
Simultaneously, Baha Mar has embarked on the restoration of Hobby Horse Lake – named for the famed Hobby Horse Hall Racetrack that once stood across the street. Restoring the lake, which will serve as the entrance to the 70-acre preserve, includes removal of invasive plants to allow indigenous varieties to once again flourish.
To guard the fragile lake during the restoration process, Baha Mar opted for the eco-friendly method of manually clearing the area rather than employing heavy machinery. And, partnering with conservationists and environmental experts -- geologists, environmental technicians and a former president of the Bahamas National Trust -- Baha Mar underwrote an extensive training program for the clearing team that emphasized plant identification and environmental conservation. Native plant field guides were developed for correctly identifying plants to be protected and workers received special training on how best to treat native trees to promote the plants’ long-term health.
This meticulous process underscores Baha Mar’s firm commitment to environmental stewardship, and when completed, the Baha Mar Wetland Preserve -- with Hobby Horse Lake as its entrance -- will be a pristine, safe haven for native Bahamian flora and wildlife. It also will be a permanent showcase of The Bahamas’ many natural treasures for visitors and residents to enjoy for generations to come.
Support For The Arts
Baha Mar’s design vision is to remain authentic to The Bahamas. The resort’s architecture is inspired by the African, Colonial and Caribbean heritage of the Island. But high regard for artistic expression does not stop there. Meaningful support for the arts is a guiding principle for Baha Mar, whether in the selection of artwork for the resort or in fostering excellence in the local arts community.
D’Aguilar Arts Foundation
The D’Aguilar Art Foundation, located in the heart of Nassau, boasts one of the most comprehensive privately held art collections in the Bahamas. The foundation features more than 450 works of art representing the development of contemporary art in The Bahamas. The diverse genres include paintings, photography, sculpture, and printmaking. Baha Mar worked closely with the D’Aguilar Foundation to secure the ability to showcase Foundation artwork on Baha Mar property following the resort’s opening in 2014. Through the partnership, various art forms will be displayed in the resort’s public areas to allow visitors and residents to experience an array of Bahamian art that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world.
Support For Community Artists Through Arts Purchases
Baha Mar also is strongly committed to building on the D’Aguilar Foundation art exhibits by including additional paintings, sculptures and other works of art from local artists in public and guest areas throughout the resort. The recently started program seeks to identify local artistic talent and select artwork for display in guest rooms, offices, back-of-house operations and resort public areas. In an effort to showcase the breadth of Bahamian talent, a variety of media and forms, including painting, ceramics, sculpture and mixed media will be purchased and displayed on an on-going basis.
Corporate Gift Giving
Baha Mar already has established a tradition of providing Bahamian art as gifts for dignitaries and corporate partners. Whether gifts crafted by renowned Bahamian artist Antonius Roberts from trees culled from the Baha Mar site or handcrafted teapots by local ceramic artist Jessica Colebrook, Baha Mar is committed to sharing with others the quality, charm and beauty of authentic Bahamian art.
Passionate Community Involvement
Baha Mar will employ more than 8,000 team members when it opens in late 2014. Mindful of the large positive impact this large workforce can have, Baha Mar is committed to creating a new “gold standard” in community involvement. The company’s community programs – from enriching the lives of children to supporting local charities to ensuring the careful stewardship of island resources – rely on getting every Baha Mar team member engaged and excited about giving back.
The Salvation Army - Baha Mar Challenge
To help increase donations to The Salvation Army’s “Welfare and Feeding” program and the School for the Visually Impaired and Blind Children, Baha Mar committed to matching donations dollar-for-dollar for a limited time during the holiday season. Special donation sites were added to the Wyndham Nassau Resort and Sheraton Nassau Resort lobbies to drive donations from staff and guests. Baha Mar partnered with radio, newspaper and other media to raise awareness of the campaign. The Challenge successfully ended with Baha Mar matching $10,000 in donations – a $20,000 Christmas present for those served by The Salvation Army.
Ride for Hope
Baha Mar is a strong supporter of Ride for Hope’s flagship event, an annual Spring bike-a-thon staged in honor of cancer survivors and those who have lost their battle with the disease. Through its partnership with Ride For Hope, Baha Mar has contributed thousands of dollars and sponsored numerous teams in the annual bike rides. Truly a rallying event for the community, Baha Mar actively promotes participation by its employees and team members, supporting the community-at-large and encouraging health and wellness goals.
The Baha Mar team has people from all walks of life and cultures, and diverse professional backgrounds. Together, they have found a consistent approach to deliver a world-class project.