Business Building Sessions – Meet our speakers >>>BBA Elevate 2014!<<<

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Bahamas Bridal Association is pleased to announce the list of our Guest Speakers at our annual educational event  BBA Elevate 2014. The speakers will be covering variety of topics important for professionals working in the event & wedding industry, such as Prospecting for New Business, Strategic Partnerships, Industry standards ,etiquette & customer service , Creative Catering Trends, Sales & Marketing trough traditional and social media, Government Regulations & Policies , Time lines, Design layouts & schedules, Importance of Certification & Re-certification.


lynn Gape (2)Lynn Gape – Deputy Executive Director

Bahamas National Trust

Lynn has devoted over 25 years to the Bahamas National Trust joining the organization as a volunteer and serving as the Honorary Secretary and the Chair of the Public Education Committee.  She joined the organization in 1991 as their education officer and worked with partners Birds Caribbean  and the American Museum of Natural History to develop two highly used and recognized Enviromental Education Teachers Resources – Wondrous West Indian Wetlands and Treasures in the Sea – A Teachers Resource for marine biodiversity.

She became the Deputy Executive Director in December of 2006 and continues to provide guidance  and direction for the BNT’s Educational Programmes  and  Communication and Outreach for the organization.  She is involved in fundraising activities for the organization and has been the driving force behind the BNT’s popular annual events – The Christmas Jollification and the Annual Wine and Art Festival.  More recently she worked with Abaco Stakeholders to conceptualize and plan for an Abaco Discovery Trail which would link local communities and  tour providers in a unique partnership to promote their island to visitors.

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Micklyn J. Lightbourne, President/ Facilitator 

Coterie of Caribbean Butlers Hospitality Institute

Mr. Lightbourne is the President of the leading Frontline Hospitality Institute in The Bahamas, the only one of its kind, specializing in Butler Services Training. He is also a Motivational Speaker, Interpersonal Skills Specialist, Facilitator, Youth Leader, Mentor and Author.

He began his Hospitality career in front line hospitality more than twenty years ago and today holds a Cacique award for Employee of the Year in Hospitality, a distinction awarded only to the best in the industry. Trained by two of the world’s leading Butler training organizations, earning certification with both and becoming a FULL Member of The Guild of Professional English Butlers.

Howard Givner

Howard Givner – Executive Director, Event Leadership Institute

With over 20 years of industry experience, Howard is a widely recognized expert and innovator in the field of special events, meetings and small business growth strategy.

Educator & Thought Leader

Howard is the Founder and Executive Director of the Event Leadership Institute, provider of best-in-class training and education for the events industry, through online, on-demand video classes, interviews with industry leaders, white papers, webinars and live events.

Event Agency Owner

He is the founder of Paint The Town Red, Inc., and the former CEO of North America for Global Events Group, the 13th largest event agency in the world, which acquired Paint The Town Red in 2008.  During his tenure the company won over 30 industry awards.

Industry Leader & Expert

Howard is a Past President of the ISES (International Special Events Society) NY Metro Chapter; has served on the board of directors of MPI (Meeting Professionals International) Greater NY Chapter as VP of Education; has served on the Advisory Board of Special Events Magazine; been a judge of the Gala Awards & HSMAI’s Adrian Awards. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences on a wide range of topics. He currently writes the monthly In Business column for Event Solutions magazine.  He has been profiled in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, National Public Radio, ABC News, The Apprentice, and USA Today, in addition to numerous trade media.


Nicole Halton – Director of Corporate Events, ABC Television


Nicole Halton has been a professional event planner for 13 years. Nicole  is currently director of corporate events for Disney/ABC Television Group. For 8 years, she has been leading and collaborating on major events throughout the country for ABC Network, Disney and ABC Family Sales. Nicole is also currently an Adjunct Professor at NYU, teaching an Introduction to Special Events class. She was also nominated for Corporate Event Planner of the Year from BizBash magazine in 2012.

She previously served as events director at SPARTY!, a full service event marketing company that creates and executes custom spa experiences. There, she planned events for clients including Shaquille O’Neal,Vogue magazine and The Emmy Awards. She also worked at GM R* Works, the exclusive sales promotion agency of General Motors, where she worked events including the NCAA, NFL, PGA, NBA, NASCAR, MLB, Tribeca Film Festival, EssenceMusic Festival, Fashion Rocks, and the ESPY Awards.

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PJ Douglas Sands – Luxe Worldwide, The DS3 Group

PJ Douglas Sands is an Event Planner, Business Consultant, Journalist and Speaker who has used her expertise in the tourism, entertainment, events and hospitality industries to create a successful Boutique Branding, New Media and Events Agency – The DS3 Group – with several thriving subsidiaries including LUXE Worldwide Events.

PJ Douglas Sands is the co-founder of The DS3 Group, a global boutique branding agency focused on executing destination events and concerts, designing branding strategies for creatives, launching start-up businesses and showcasing public figures with an emphasis on the implementation of technology and new media in the digital lifestyle era.

PJ’s professional event planning career began at Atlantis and Ocean Club in Special Events and Conference Services where she developed and launched their Wedding Department. She is best known for her success as a Celebrity Wedding and Event Planner and founder of DS3’s flagship subsidiary LUXE Worldwide Events. Formerly known as A Design For Destiny Luxury Events, LUXE was re-branded in 2010 to meet its growing international clientele.

Over the last 18 years PJ has worked with Colin Cowie, and coordinated events for Lenny Kravitz, BeBe Winans, Jimmy Buffett, U2, RKelly and Tyrese Gibson to name a few. The wedding she designed for Victoria Secret Supermodel Ines Rivero is featured as one of the top 10 Latino Weddings of all time in Kalliope Karella’s best selling book Weddings of Style.

PJ was a 2013 Bahamian Icon Award Nominee for Entrepreneur of the Year. Black Enterprise Magazine also recognized her as one of the Leading African Americans in Technology at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas for her articles on weddings, entertainment, special events technology and start up business advice on and the Caribbean Lifestyle Magazine Profiles98.

Most recently, PJ has taken on a new role in the Caribbean Hospitality and Tourism industry with The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. In her capacity she heads the Business Development and Marketing Team in the Southwest USA by engaging with leisure and corporate travel agents, wholesalers and airlines as well as pursuing sports, entertainment and investment tourism endeavors originating from the Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico markets.


Deryn_HiltonDeryn Prabhu – British Colonial Hilton

Deryn Prabhu has been with the Hospitality Industry from the age of 19. She has a passion for making customers happy and ensuring they leave with a smile. Ms. Prabhu has obtained her Bachelor’s Of Arts Degree in Hospitality Management with a Minor in Travel & Tourism from Florida International University.

Deryn has started her career at Atlantis, then went on to Sandals Royal Bahamian for four years in the Catering & Conventions Department. She is currently Catering Sales Manager at the British Colonial Hilton in the Catering Department where she has been in the past five years.


To find out what topics our guest speakers will be covering please click HERE. Early registration for Business Building Sessions ends September 15. Regular all day ticket price of $140 will start September 16th. Tickets are available at Luciano’s Of Chicago , East Bay Street. Half day tickets available as well, for more info click HERE.


Ms. Shenika Knowles is a Senior Private Secretary employed at the Registrar General’s Department. She have dedicated over 18 years of service to the Department and in particular have worked closely with the Marriages Section for approximately 10 years.  In addition, she serves in the capacity of Administrative Assistant to the Acting Registrar General and have a vast of knowledge as it relates to both the civil and corporate aspects of the Department.





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Ivana Zivanovic is the 2014 President of the Bahamas Bridal Association. She is a Certified Wedding Planner and Interior Decorator and brings her knowledge of floral and event design to LUXE Worldwide as the head of the European and Caribbean Events Division with expertise and experience in the Cruise and Travel Industries. LUXE Worldwide was founded in 2002. Formerly known as A Design For Destiny Luxury Events, LUXE specializes in destination events including weddings, milestone celebrations, concerts, festivals and productions across the globe. LUXE also houses a custom design studio which specializes in custom stationery like programs and invitations as well as personalized favors, hand-painted aisle runners and engraved gifts.