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BTA executive Karla Lacey to step down

Karla Lacey will resign her post as chief operating officer at the Bermuda Tourism Authority (Photograph supplied)

The Bermuda Tourism Authority’s chief operating officer will step down later this month, it was announced today.

Karla Lacey has spent almost seven years as a founding member of the organisation’s executive.

A BTA spokeswoman said that Ms Lacey “tendered her resignation in May this year to pursue personal projects but agreed to stay on through 2020 to ensure operational stability amid the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

She added: “As the first employee hired by the BTA’s inaugural chief executive officer, Bill Hanbury, in March 2014, Lacey oversaw the formation of all organisational processes during its start-up and since then has been responsible for managing numerous related functions, from finance, office administration and human resources and learning and development programmes to facilities management in Bermuda and New York.”

Philip Barnett, the director of the BTA board, said: “Karla’s commitment and contribution to the Bermuda Tourism Authority throughout its six years of growth, evolution and achievements have been formidable – we owe her a huge debt of gratitude and wish her the very best in whatever she chooses to do next.

“Not only has she played an indefatigable role in the BTA’s strategic development, but Karla is also a devout advocate for the hospitality industry and its employees, as well as a driver for coaching and mentoring across the organisation.

“She will be greatly missed.”

Ms Lacey led work to improve transparency, performance and accountability at the BTA.

She was recognised by the Information Commissioner in 2019 for her governance leadership skills, particularly in her work related to the Public Access to Information Act.

Glenn Jones, the BTA interim chief executive officer, said: “We owe Karla a debt of gratitude for helping create this well-built organisation from the ground up.

“Karla’s leadership has resulted in the recruitment of the finest tourism industry talent, along with accolades on the organisation’s commitment to transparency.

“The Bermuda Tourism Authority’s reputation is built on a track record that Karla was instrumental in shaping.”

A decision on filling the chief operating officer role is to be made in the new year.

The BTA spokeswoman said: “Lacey assisted the BTA to obtain Destination Management Organisation accreditation within its first year of operations and delivered six consecutive unqualified audits of the organisation.

“She managed the revenue-generating Bermuda Visitor Services Centres throughout the island, including construction of the new Hamilton property that opened on Front Street in 2019.

“Notably, Lacey worked extensively with hospitality stakeholders, implementing the first industry-wide certification programme for tourism ambassadors, along with National Service Standards Certification for businesses.

“In 2019, she led a successful collaborative effort to launch a private-public workforce readiness initiative for Bermuda’s restaurant sector.”

Ms Lacey said: “It’s been a true privilege to serve Bermuda and our stakeholders across the tourism industry at the BTA.

“I’m incredibly proud of the tough work and big successes our team has achieved in just a few years.”

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Published December 02, 2020 at 10:30 am (Updated December 02, 2020 at 12:19 pm)

BTA executive Karla Lacey to step down

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