The St. John Festival and Cultural Organization has named one of its long-time supporters, Graeme Davis, as the 2007 St. John Festival parade marshal in honor of his continued devotion and contributions.
Davis, the former general manager of the Westin Resort and Villas, who is now the vice president of operations for Starwood Hotels in the South Florida and Caribbean, has supported St. John Festival for several years, according to Leona Smith of the St. John Festival and Cultural Organization.
“He is a big contributor to the fireworks, and he’s given back a lot to the community — not only to this organization, but throughout St. John,” said Smith. “The Westin has a troupe in the parade every year. I think he’s a good corporate citizen, which is one of the reasons we selected Mr. Davis as parade marshal.”
Festival honorees are chosen by the Festival and Cultural Organization. Several names are submitted, and whoever earns the most votes becomes the honoree, explained Smith.
An “Honor” to Support Carnival
Davis is honored to support carnival through the Westin, he explained.
“As a responsible community leader, it is an honor for the Westin to support and celebrate the heritage and culture of St. John during Carnival,” said Davis. “The Westin Resort and Villas’ leadership team and more than 400 employees are continuously giving back to the community in many ways to many organizations, from the Love City Pan Dragons, to the local schools, the St. John Community Foundation, St. John Rotary, church groups and numerous charitable organizations in St. John and our neighboring islands, because giving to and supporting our community is in our core values as a company and it’s the right thing to do.”
“All businesses in St. John have a responsibility to help celebrate and support our community,” he added.
The Westin has supported St. John Festival for several years.
“They’ve been supporting the festival celebration for a lot of years now,” said St. John Cultural and Festival Organization Treasurer Natalie Thomas. “Mr. Davis is supportive of the Westin troupe’s participation in the parade, and the hotel donates to the princess and queen contestants. We wanted to do something to say thank you for all that he does, so we thought this was a very appropriate gesture to show him how much we appreciate him and all that he and the Westin do.”
Davis, who came to St. John six years ago, has lived in the Caribbean for 14 years and has visited most of the Caribbean islands. St. John remains his favorite.
“I can truly say we have the best island in the entire Caribbean because of the culture, the wonderful community spirit, preserved natural beauty in the V.I. National Park, safety, security and a village that is extraordinary for visitors and the community to enjoy,” said Davis. “We are all fortunate to have St. John as a world-class destination to call home.”
“Experience for All to Enjoy”
Taking part in Festival, when the island comes together to celebrate, is something Davis looks forward to every year, he explained.
“I particularly enjoy the time that our children, family and friends can come together and escape into the celebration of Carnival in all of its splendor from the fireworks, to the carnival rides and the exciting and colorful parade,” said Davis. “I am always motivated to personally be involved in the festival so we can give back to the community and our resort family of associates an experience for all to enjoy and celebrate.”
Davis, who has been in the Festival parade with the Westin troupe several times in past years, has his own fond memories of the celebration.
“I have been in the parade supporting our troupe almost every year, and I have been in the parade on stilts and as a pirate commanding our ship float,” said Davis. “I always enjoy the team and family spirit of getting our employees together in our troupe to celebrate the season.”
Wishing a Safe Carnival Season
This year’s parade marshal is very much looking forward to leading the St. John Festival parade, he explained.
“I am very honored to have been selected as parade marshal and am looking forward to celebrating Carnival with all of our community, family and visitors from around the world,” said Davis. “I would just like to thank the Cultural and Festival Organization for all of their tireless efforts in creating exceptional memories for all of us to enjoy each year. I would also wish all of our St. John community a very safe and enjoyable carnival season.”