Presented on a biennial basis by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and Baxter family, the Edith Baxter Memorial Award recognizes an outstanding community leader who uses their influence to elevate Destination Jamaica within Canada.
ABOUT EDITH BAXTER, OD
As co-founder of Baxter Media and editor-in-chief of Canada’s most influential travel trade publication, Canadian Travel Press, Edith Baxter was a powerful voice within the Canadian travel industry for more than five decades. A passionate advocate for Destination Jamaica, Mrs. Baxter was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Government of Jamaica in 2009 in recognition of her contributions to the tourism industry.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Baxter played an important role in supporting and spotlighting Jamaica’s tourism product within the Canadian market and this memorial award honours both her legacy and her special connection to the island.
The Edith Baxter Memorial Award recognizes individuals who have made a substantial contribution towards the positive advancement of Jamaica’s tourism industry and/or Jamaican culture within Canada. Individuals working in the fields of tourism and hospitality, music, arts and culture, community activism, education, healthcare, athletics, communications and technology, and public service will be considered for the award.
- The Edith Baxter Memorial Award is open to individuals only. Groups, companies and organizations will not be eligible for consideration.
- Nominees must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, aged 18 or older.
- Individuals can apply for the award themselves or nominate someone else for consideration.
- Individuals who are directly employed by the Jamaica Tourist Board or Baxter Media will not be eligible for the Edith Baxter Memorial Award.
Nominations for the 2023 Edith Baxter Memorial Award must be completed and submitted using the entry form below by 11:59 p.m. EST on July 31, 2023. Entries will be received and reviewed by the Edith Baxter Memorial Award judging panel.
For more information about the Edith Baxter Memorial Award, please contact [email protected].
Finalists for the 2023 Edith Baxter Memorial Award will be announced in August 2023. Each of the finalists will receive a prize certificate in honour of their nomination and will be recognized during the a special presentation ceremony in September 2023.
The grand prize will winner of the 2023 Edith Baxter Memorial Award will receive a five-night Luxury Included® Vacation in Jamaica for two from Sandals Resorts with round-trip airfare to the destination provided by Air Canada Vacations.
Angella BennettRegional Director, Canada, JTB
With almost 30 years of travel industry experience, Angella Bennett brings an impressive level of knowledge and passion to her role as Regional Director of Tourism for Canada at the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB). Leading the tourism board’s national sales team, she works closely with industry partners and travel agents across the country to build relationships, provide educational resources on the destination, and drive year-round tourism to Jamaica. Originally from Montego Bay, Bennett has worked in hospitality sales and marketing positions across the globe in several international markets, the U.S., Europe, Latin America and her native Jamaica. Prior to joining the JTB, Bennett previously served as Director of Sales at RIU Hotels & Resorts, Jamaica overseeing sales and revenue management activities for 2,500 rooms across five resorts. During her 13-year tenure with the organization, she successfully opened five of the six RIU Hotels in Jamaica and most recently launched the opening of the Melia Braco Village hotel in Trelawny.
Wendy McClungExecutive VP, Baxter Media
Wendy leads Baxter Media, Canada's foremost travel industry media source with its long-standing print and digital publications, Canadian Travel Press, Travel Courier and OFFSHORE Travel Magazine. She has been captivated by the world of travel from a young age, touring the world with her parents, co-creators of Baxter Media. However, it was her mother who introduced her to the island of Jamaica, a special place that she has returned to for business and leisure countless times in her life. After graduating from Trent University, she began her career as a flight attendant for Transair where she learned the value of customer service. Concurrently, she joined the family business, combining her passions for the travel industry, family, publishing, and business into a successful career. With her dedicated team, she has spent decades building Baxter Media into the most trusted source of travel news and information in Canada today with a commitment to serving the travel agent community and outbound destinations such as Jamaica.
Lincoln G. DownerConsul-General, Consulate-General of Jamaica, Toronto
Mr. Lincoln George Downer is the Consul-General of Jamaica at Toronto, Canada. Mr. Downer is a global connector and change agent who has served as a career diplomat in Jamaica’s Foreign Service for over 25 years, He is passionate about community development, nation building and people connectivity. Mr. Downer has created and maintained strategic partnerships with multiple stakeholders in pursuit of Jamaica’s strategic interest and has been integral to the implementation of several ground-breaking initiatives by the Ministry for greater inclusion of the Jamaican Diaspora in nation building. These include the Mapping Jamaica’s Diaspora Project, and the establishment of the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council and the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council. Mr. Downer is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Mona and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations with a Minor in Spanish.
Kelly SchmittPresident, Spoiled Agent
With more than 30 years of experience working in the travel industry, Kelly Schmitt brings a vast knowledge of supplier needs and wants to her role as President of Spoiled Agent. Kelly began her career at Club Med as a G.O. working with properties across the globe. She later returned home to Toronto and joined Holiday House, first in the reservations department before moving into sales. Kelly later took on the role of National Sales Manager for AAT Kings (TravCorp). The Islands came calling again and she moved on to spend over a decade as the Sales Manager with SuperClubs. In 2009, Kelly and her partner Franca Floto launched Spoiled Agent, a centralized platform that allows travel advisors to access incentives and agent rates from a wide variety of suppliers. Kelly currently serves as the President and main contact for suppliers and travel agent partners. Kelly is married with two children and still loves to get away every chance she can get; travel is in her blood.