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January 21, 2012

First Lady Honored in 2012 Destination Magazine as "Extraordinary Business Woman"

Encourages Mentorship Toward Community Development

First Lady Cecile de Jongh has been selected as one of Destination Magazine’s “extraordinary business women leaders” for 2012. This year’s edition features an article by Virgin Islands attorney Tom Bolt entitled, “Passing the Torch,” paying tribute to six Virgin Islands women in recognition of their individual accomplishments, spirit of entrepreneurship and business acumen.

“It’s wonderful to be honored by Destination Magazine, along with the five other Virgin Islands business women featured for the 2012 tribute. More than anything, this honor comes with the recognition that while success and achievement are the products of hard work and perseverance, business leaders also have a responsibility as role models to open doors for others and create pathways of opportunity for future generations. In so doing, we build a foundation that Virgin Islanders, especially women, can springboard from and help shape their future course,” First Lady de Jongh said. 

The article commends the leadership of the following Virgin Islands women: Elizabeth Armstrong, General Manager, Buccaneer Hotel on St. Croix; Sharmila Mohannani, St. Thomas’ Chalet D’Or jewelry boutique; Wendy Tarapani, Diamond International on St. Thomas; Nicole Boswell-Horstmeyer, Owner and CEO Blue Shore Grill Restaurant Group; Trudie Prior, General Manager Coral World on St. John; and First Lady Cecile de Jongh, who in addition to her responsibilities as First Lady of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is Manager of Financial Trust Company, based on St. Thomas. 

In the article Bolt writes that “historically, the U.S. Virgin Islands have been known for their matriarchal leadership from Mary Thomas, who led a revolt against the Labor Acts of 1849, to Ruby M. Rouss, who, in 1981 became the first black woman elected to preside over a state legislature.” Referring to the 2012 honorees as “risk takers,” Bolt commends the six women for standing “above the crowd with the proven skills and business acumen necessary to achieve success in today’s competitive market.”

Bolt also writes, “The U.S. Virgin Islands are blessed to have such women who are willing to give not only to their business, but to the community at large.” 

With this tribute, Destination Magazine highlights the importance of community leaders passing along life lessons learned to fellow Virgin Islanders, especially the younger generations.

“It’s important to extend a helping hand to that next woman along the way by either opening doors or mentoring. We can’t be afraid to fail or be reluctant to make the tough decisions that come with achieving our goals, and just as it takes a village to raise a child, so, too, must a community give back and help carry its and future generations forward,” First Lady de Jongh said. 

Destination Magazine is distributed at the gates of all inbound direct flights to the Territory on American Airlines, Continental and US Air, as well as select American Eagle flights from San Juan. The magazine is also available at various local shops and boutiques throughout the Virgin Islands, for free.

Tom Bolt, writer of the “Passing the Torch” article for Destination Magazine, is Managing Attorney of BoltNagi PC, a full service St. Thomas law firm concentrating on corporate law, real estate, finance, tax, estate planning, labor and employment, civil litigation, family law, immigration and government relations.