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Director of Tourism under fire from staff; Meets with Jr Minister of Tourism

- Sharon Flax-Mars is to meet with staff soon to resolve complaints & low morale at the BVI Tourist Board
Director of Tourism, Sharon Flax-Mars recently had her contract renewed for another three years. Photo: VINO/File
Junior Minister of Tourism, Honourable Archibald C. Christian has been intervening in the alleged staff unrest at the BVI Tourist Board. Photo: VINO/File
Junior Minister of Tourism, Honourable Archibald C. Christian has been intervening in the alleged staff unrest at the BVI Tourist Board. Photo: VINO/File
It is believed that the management issues and tension between management and staff at the BVI Tourist Board have begun to affect productivity and the tourism product. Photo: Internet Source
It is believed that the management issues and tension between management and staff at the BVI Tourist Board have begun to affect productivity and the tourism product. Photo: Internet Source
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Our senior National Democratic Party (NDP) sources have advised our newsroom that there is employment unrest at the BVI Tourist Board (BVITB), mainly the Tortola office located in Road Town, the Virgin Islands' capital city.

Many of the staff are reportedly not pleased with the way the Director of Tourism, Sharon Flax-Mars, who recently had her contract renewed for another three years, is managing the statutory agency.

Staff met with Jr Minister to report on Director

As a result, more than 11 staff members reportedly took their complaints to the new Junior Minister of Tourism, Honourable Archibald C. Christian, the Territorial At Large Member, in a closed door meeting last week.

The staff, both from the Tortola and Virgin Gorda offices, registered their complaints over low staff morale, Ms Flax-Mars’ management style, issues with the Human Resources Unit within the Tourist Board and hostile working conditions.

They also raised the issue of the working relationship with staff and the Financial Comptroller, Ms Jaslyn Frett-Thompson who operates from the New York City Office. Ms Thompson, working from the New York City office while reportedly studying, has come under fire from many and was a hot item in the House of Assembly’s Standing Finance Committee 2016 deliberations.

After the meeting!

According to the NDP source, following the meeting between the Jr Minister of Tourism and the Tourist Board staff, Hon Christian met with the Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office Mr Brodrick Penn and the Director of Tourism Flax-Mars on how the issues could be addressed.

It’s reported that Ms Flax-Mars circulated an e-mail to line managers recently about a meeting to discuss issues within the Department and to address working conditions and provide a forum to express grievances.

However, it remains unclear if that meeting took place or if it would be enough to address the issues, especially the human resource matters.

It is believed that a few weeks ago a staff member was sent on paid leave over a debate on his request for a vacation.

It is also believed that the management issues and tension between management and staff have begun to affect productivity and the tourism product.

Meanwhile, Hon Christian denied having any meeting over issues with management and staff at the BVI Tourist Board, saying there "are no issues" and that he just had his regular "once a week meeting" on the way forward for tourism.

Efforts to reach Flax-Mars for comments were futile up to the time of publication.

60 Responses to “Director of Tourism under fire from staff; Meets with Jr Minister of Tourism”

  • dog (15/06/2016, 12:10) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    well sah ting to talk
  • SMH (15/06/2016, 12:12) Like (32) Dislike (0) Reply
    you mean Archie telling lies like the NDP and governor?
    • The TRUTH (15/06/2016, 20:22) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
      And like the FS to with that Post Office situation ..... These men are a set of LIARS!!!!!!
  • Scary Mary (15/06/2016, 12:25) Like (58) Dislike (2) Reply
    Did Archie deny the meeting?? What a bold face LIE and I was a staff member in the meeting SMH... These people mehson… they care about no one but their self and keeping power
  • Lies (15/06/2016, 12:57) Like (37) Dislike (0) Reply
    Why Archie telling lies? BVI Tourist Board has a lot of issues!
  • SMH (15/06/2016, 13:22) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    Two complete wastes! This country can never move forward by rewarding incompetence! No matter which party is in power as long as we have these people holding positions way above their pay grade, we will have problems. More to come.
  • Both Sides. (15/06/2016, 13:42) Like (14) Dislike (40) Reply
    These daxxmxxn staff so spoil. They can't and don't want to take instructions... Shut up and work. Please. We need some action. The place dead...I know These Flax people and some leaders don't like to listen..they always think they right...But its for the boss to lead and to listen.
  • zoe (15/06/2016, 14:07) Like (36) Dislike (3) Reply
    She sould have never been there in the first place
  • What? (15/06/2016, 14:14) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
    An Important post like the Financial Comptroller and they are on study leave?
    • Really? (15/06/2016, 17:30) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
      She is? What is she studying? Inquiring minds want to know.....
      • More lies (15/06/2016, 20:27) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
        Why the FC asking questions about herself? Since you commenting why don't you tell us.....
    • Reading Is Fundamental (15/06/2016, 19:08) Like (11) Dislike (11) Reply
      Did the article say she's on study leave or she's working and studying ?
  • Ha! (15/06/2016, 14:29) Like (33) Dislike (2) Reply

    Lies lies lies. $^^^^ is incompetent that's why +******is running the office. From she went to get her baby on the government money in NY she never came back. All them doing is wasting the government money. I'm glad the story is finally out.

    • straight up (15/06/2016, 21:14) Like (4) Dislike (20) Reply
      You can tell you work at tourist board. Not picking sides but why hate on the comptroller is she not doing her job? Finally tourist board out of debt and doing good business with lenders and her location is an issue? Look don't hate on that lady because she went and educated herself works hard and does her job well. Maybe you should do like she did and go to college and make a difference. Jealousy is a sickening disease that virgin islanders all suffer from towards there own people, if it was a person from the u.k or elsewhere y'all would have shut up and done the people's work. In short go sit down dummy nobody hearing you whine like a five year old!
    • Double Ha (15/06/2016, 21:32) Like (23) Dislike (2) Reply
      Yes, yes. She is sitting back enjoying New York City on the tax payers dime. maybe she is working from her laptop at home.
      • Satan 2 (16/06/2016, 07:10) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
        In a home our tax money paying for. Went in HOA and lied that it's not costing anything. All ah them is a set of liars. Shameful and always playing she the biggest christian. Them does forget God when them get money and power.
  • poor things (15/06/2016, 14:30) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    Someone downgraded from first class travel? or had their 3 day conference at a 5* hotel reduced to just those 3 working days? heartfelt condolences
  • one eye (15/06/2016, 15:13) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    So tell me more about the one hired working out of nyc and the fsmily member yhat wss hired by misd
  • wize up (15/06/2016, 15:29) Like (21) Dislike (1) Reply
    What is up with the NDP administration it's imploding
  • Hmm (15/06/2016, 15:59) Like (26) Dislike (2) Reply
    Finally the truth is out. It's about time everyone knows what they doing with our tax money. Trying to get rich quick and set up them self and their family members before their time up
  • concern (15/06/2016, 16:48) Like (8) Dislike (17) Reply
    Some employees just to damn spoil. They want to show up late to work, take extended lunches, leave on time every day - and when asked to do a task beyond job description fighting you. But come time to request vacation, they want first preference. Some people just don't want to be reprimanded for bad behavior. Strupes man... this aint news...
    • just ask (15/06/2016, 17:12) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply

      You obviously don't know what goes on at the tourist board. Ask any employee, they all singing the same tune. No one has respect for hr. They all walk all over her. If you ask me hr do not exist. What the boss and the Fc says goes, even if it's wrong.

      • Really (15/06/2016, 18:22) Like (3) Dislike (11) Reply
        Ooooohhhhh So because you can't walk over the boss too ayo mad?
        • poor we (15/06/2016, 20:45) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
          It's the other way around.she is walking all over the staff. Actually she is stomping and crushing them. Ruling with an iron high heel is not the answer. The reality is that there are serious violations at the board every day. Going to Labor does not help at all. They too are intimidated.hencethe slavery continues.
        • Yes Really (15/06/2016, 20:45) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
          Only the FC can walk over the boss because she is incompetent
    • more to come (15/06/2016, 18:19) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
      Where in labor code it speaks to doing tasks outside job description without pay. They tellbemployeed to their face that their evenings, weekends, and holidays are theirs and not for TOURIST BOARD WORK. Why should regular employees give up theirs. Those who show up on time, work through lunch, and past 4:30 are often hsrrassed.Those who carry coffee and pastries to the Director every morning, lime all day in the corridors and do absolutely nothing are the ones being rewarded and not reprimanded for their behavior. More to com
  • Tourism industry (15/06/2016, 18:11) Like (4) Dislike (9) Reply
    When the person in charge don't become intimidated employees becomes frustrated ................proffesonalisim
  • Yes (15/06/2016, 18:12) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'm just here for the comments lol
  • cnn (15/06/2016, 18:20) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    only VINO will have this look melee
  • Ting2Talk (15/06/2016, 18:40) Like (99) Dislike (0) Reply
    No man! You can't be serious! How she gon be on study leave with that kind of job? Wait, what the finances looking like? She doing her job? VINO do tell!!!
  • How (15/06/2016, 20:02) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    No post of my concern?
  • Appreciate (15/06/2016, 20:17) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Tourism board is to promote just that, but they need to stop directing tourists and visitors into people's private
    property. good thing guns aren't allowed around here - in some parts of the world, the intrusions would be met
    with a twelve guage. your sitting at the table having breakfast when a bunch of tourists clicking cameras drives
    by with these silly smirks on their faces. that is not good all the way around. and i mean WAY off the public road.
  • the rock (15/06/2016, 21:33) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    let it go she has friends in high places..BY THE WAY WHERE IS THE CHAIRMAN? another one Awal and helping himself
  • sooo (15/06/2016, 22:03) Like (17) Dislike (1) Reply
    Blame NDP!!
  • ABC (15/06/2016, 22:21) Like (22) Dislike (1) Reply
    There is only one way to bring this to a halt!! get rid of the NDP
  • Mick Mars (15/06/2016, 22:37) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    The centre shrinks everyday while the margins grow and cast long shadows.
  • well sah, (16/06/2016, 03:28) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    What the H#ll is going-on inside one of the pillars of our economy? This is just downright embarrassing. There are obviously major problems in this operation. There is an assessment known as Appreciative Inquiry (AI), it needs to be conducted- IMMEDIATELY!
    • next (16/06/2016, 06:48) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
      I agree SHAMEFUL. The boss think she still little dix? In there really need a shake up. Looking out for your story VINO. Waiting to hear her out and who in
  • ?????? (16/06/2016, 05:54) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply

    Study leave in New York?????
    HaHaHa,LOL. This is the best time to be in NYC. Summertime, warm weather, shopping, you name it. All What a thing to tell the king. I wonder if our tax dime is paying for rent. NYC rent is high.

  • Hmmmm (16/06/2016, 07:15) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Just imagine because financial comptroller got big name she could go on study leave and some of us in the office can't get it. You think they nice in Tourist Board!
  • Why they really mad? (16/06/2016, 12:21) Like (4) Dislike (13) Reply
    Lol I know these young ladies and I highly doubt they'll be on here blogging lol. Y'all keep your heads up! Don't mind the noise eh! When folks can't get their way they'll make you out to be a horrible person. Nonetheless, keep up the good work because tourist arrivals up and as far as I know, employees getting paid and the financials at their and THE best!
    Jaslyn, whatever you're studying, you study - I'm sure it's only for the betterment of the territory.
    Sharon, you keep the organization in places.
    Nuh mind um! #partydone!
  • insider (16/06/2016, 13:05) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    Don't talk bout the HR Manager. I won't know what school she went to and she go to make decisions on the board behalf. Mind! One day the premier will say, If I had known!!
  • Lawd Help! (16/06/2016, 14:09) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    Years of service does not count. Have to kiss ass and be serving to get recognized and anything in the organization. To much violation is happening in the organization. Need strong leaders who will address the issues and not go along with friends syndrome. Who doesn't go along with what one person is saying about an individual and not look at the other person behavior and see the issue and correct it. Why only certain people getting opportunities and not others who have been there for years and want to accomplish the same thing. Punish a member of staff because they express themselves against the wrong and their rats (informants) go back and report their new news. Instead of looking at why these comments were made by the individual(s) and present a solution, the individuals are punished and treated badly - becomes a outcast. The psychopathic behavior continues - lies to maintain control and power. The individual(s) will do what ever it takes.
  • Lily Ann (16/06/2016, 17:56) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
    ANYWAYYYYYYYS Sharon, Hurry fire them so that people can have a Job !!! Nuff people looking jobs....Thnx
    • B (16/06/2016, 19:48) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
      Hope when you are violated you will feel the same way then. And don't look for the support of other people. Deal with you own oaths on your own.
  • Realistic (16/06/2016, 22:22) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    All of you need to stop. The reality is is that there is a problem at this statutory body. There is blame to go around from the top to the bottom as no one is perfect. An environment of bullying does not lend itself to productivity. It is also a known fact in the BVI that the work ethic of most government workers is not where it should be. Instead of bribing staff with champagne and breakfast a good leader would sit down genuinely with each staff member to ascertain what the real issues are and not utilize the old divide and conquer tactics. The BVI did not become and is not a top tourist destination because of a Director at the top. He or she CANNOT do it by his or herself. It is the collective efforts of the entire organization, the industry and the entire population of the country.
  • l (16/06/2016, 22:50) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don't know why it's a surprise that man a yard Archie can't recall. It's his M.O.! Bigs can lie sa.
  • hey (17/06/2016, 10:58) Like (4) Dislike (12) Reply
    Sharon hold your head up high. These d$#* employees are too ungrateful. They are just some spoiled ra$% wanting their own way. People will always be reluctant to change. They are accustomed to slackness under the previous regime and now they cant get their way they are complaining. As for Jasmine she came in and clean up all that financial mess that the other one went to jail for . And now you all are still ungrateful...
  • am (17/06/2016, 11:00) Like (5) Dislike (7) Reply
    This kind of pettiness is why some people can't ever rise up, and they would forever to jealous of others and blaming others for their failures.
    For the uninformed, or those just being malicious (because you know better), you are aware that the BVITB have offices both in NY, and in the UK, and these offices are staffed by local? Also if there was any truth to the FC being up in NY studying, then she must be doing a heck of a job, being in the office everyday and still going to school.
    People need to gather the facts before they start jumping to conclusions.
    Because someone say something doesn't make it true. For years the BVITB's name was in the mud, I guess there has not been anything to report on in a while, so people have to try and make things up in order to try and ruin the reputation of others.
  • boy (17/06/2016, 23:14) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply

    One word to describe this louse named m@*s- " CLUELESS"

  • REAL TRUTH (23/06/2016, 15:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    This sound so bad for all this mess to be on a news sight and dragging down the V.I. I can tell by the comments that there are at least 11 or 12 disgruntled tourist board staff in this forum commenting negatively about the tourist board, and its shameful and embarrassing that they choose this forum to vent their issues. I am a government employee and not in management but if I were and my staff did something like this I would want them replaced like now. Everybody have issues but jah man take it to management. If nothing getting better take the next step until you get satisfaction, but to kill your own department image with this mess? I don't know either of these ladies but from what I read in here what is wrong with study leave, if she is still taking care of business? what is the issue with nyc could have been china is the job being done? If so then keep yall mess in tourist board and sort it out instead of throwing these dirty tantrums and killing the boards rep.
  • Really (07/11/2016, 20:36) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    post office is still the worst

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