High flyers’ event attracts 160 to Island
What is the YPO-WPO?
The Young Presidents’ Organisation was formed in 1950. Its members have all achieved a high level of success before the age of 45. The worldwide organisation allows members to meet and network and form partnerships. Notable past members include investment giant Charles Schwab, Motorola founder Bob Galvin and former Estee Lauder CEO Leonard Lauder.
When members reach the age of 50 they move into the World Presidents’ Organisation.
A dynamic, global networking and educational organisation for young chief executives and high achievers has come to Bermuda for its annual conference.
About 160 members and guests of the Young Presidents’ Organisation and World Presidents’ Organisation are on the Island to soak up Bermudian hospitality and history, while mixing with their peers during a multi-day event at the Hamilton Princess and Beach Club.
The organisation, which also goes by the acronym YPO-WPO, has more than 400 chapters worldwide, with 23,000 members.
For Bermuda, the decision by the group’s Southeast US and Caribbean Region branch to visit is a welcome boost for the hotel and hospitality sector.
It comes only a few weeks ahead of a planned campaign by the Bermuda Tourism Authority to encourage group travel.
Todd Boren, conference chairman, said he was only too happy to bring the event to Bermuda as he has a love for the Island that stretches back to his childhood.
He explained that in 1979 he came to the Island with his parents and remembers seeing a performance by the famed Talbot Brothers.
Then, in the 2000s, he made almost weekly business trips to the Island, working as a venture capitalist.
“I probably stayed in Bermuda for five years, but one week at a time,” he said. “I became a semi-local and I fell in love with Bermuda.”
Mr Boren is managing partner at Florida-based MacArthur Capital, and he suggested to the YPO-WPO that it host its regional conference in Bermuda.
“Many people think that Bermuda is just a bunch of insurance companies. I felt that bringing the conference here was an opportunity to show people that this is a great place to come on vacation,” he said.
“It has always been a great place to do business. I’ve introduced many people to the Island, and this was a great opportunity to bring more people here for the first time.”
Conference delegates have been dining at local restaurants, including the newly opened Marcus’ at the hotel, and will also experience dining out at private homes during their stay.
“The conference is hosted by the Southeast region, but people have come from around the world.”
The event includes guest speakers covering topics from economics and lifestyle to entrepreneurship and even treasure-hunting. Attendees will also have time to explore different aspects of the Island and attend parties.
Having such a large group of influential business leaders on the Island was welcomed by Glenn Jones, Bermuda Tourism Authority’s director of public and stakeholder relations.
He said the authority is working on a campaign to encourage more group travel, and will tell stories of success, such as Todd’s, to encourage other groups to come to Bermuda for their meetings and events.
“Those might be business groups, church groups, sporting groups, or others,” he said.
“A great thing about Todd’s event is that they are making sure their people get the full Bermuda experience, even going into people’s homes. So they get a better feel for Bermuda.”
Mr Boren said: “I’m passionate for Bermuda, and since coming back I’ve seen a lot of great differences.”
He said many at the conference had already told him they were pleasantly surprised by what they had seen of the Island.
“They have told me this is not what they had expected. They are really fired up.”
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