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   Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018 St. Croix Foundation, St. Croix U.S.V.I.    

The Vanguard
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Women's Business Center's Mid-Year Conference Huge Success

     Hailed as a great success in all media outlets and, most importantly, by conference participants, the First Annual Mid-Year Conference, Economic Empowerment for the 21st Century, drew crowds numbering in the hundreds. The message was clear: women must empower themselves by harnessing available resources to positively change the condition of their lives and their families' as well. And based on the turnout, women are ready!
     Addressing issues impacting women of all ages, the St. Croix Foundation secured scholarships for twenty five members of Central High School and St. Croix Educational Complex chapters of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Provided by the Industrial Development Commission, Rotary Mid-Isle and The March Group, the scholarships gave the students a succinct overview of the keys to success. One student remarked that she was even offered a job at the conference!
     It is all about networking after all, and the conference provided an abundance of that. Almost every presenter underscored the strong correlation between business success and networking. Featuring representatives of private and government sectors, the conference outlined other key components of business success.
     While health issues may not grasp the attention of many entrepreneurs, presenters convinced participants that health care, drug and alcohol abuse and family violence are major impediments to economic vigor. Clema Lewis of the Women's Coalition elaborated, stating that employers, by becoming more sensitive to the needs of women in distress, can in fact help women break cycles of abuse.
     However, women may still face obstacles. The leading barrier for women in business is access to capital even though they open and maintain businesses at rates higher then men. Don Christensen, Associate Administrator for Investment, US Small Business Administration, outlined his division's programs which focus primarily on venture capital, remarking, however, that anyone in business must have a winning business plan and be willing and able to provide collateral funds. Other sources of funds were delineated by Pedro Cherry of Southern Energy and Dayton Watkins, Administrator of the Dept. of Agriculture, Rural Business Cooperative Services.
     During the open forum, Osborne Fleming, Chief Minister of Anguilla, spoke of his island's complete economic turnaround, attributing much of it to better education, a sensitivity for the importance of tourism, a favorable investment climate and its ability to provide much of its own needs such as agricultural goods. Dr. Simon Jones-Hendrickson, a professor of economics, lamented that in the VI we want tourism and not the tourists. Yet, according to him, a change in attitude would allow the VI to better recognize the multiplier effect tourism has - $1 spent by a tourist generates up to $4 in additional revenue.
     The conference concluded on Saturday with presentations on wealth management and technology. John Engerman of, told the audience that "it's up to us - the business community here in the islands - to really see the potential and take our businesses into the 21st century," using the Internet as the vehicle.

Foundation Receives $50,000 GrantVice Chair Gerville Larsen and Executive Director Roger Dewey
   The U.S. Department of Agriculture awards the St. Croix Foundation a $50,000 Rural Business Enterprise grant.
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FirstBank Gives Virgin Islands Women's Business Center $15,000
   FirstBank demonstrates its commitment to this community.
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Foundation Hails Work of Architect
   William Taylor's involvement with the St. Croix Foundation led to his designing Sunday Market Square's master plan and the reconstruction of 22A Market Street.
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Women's Business Center Hosts Southern Energy Seminar
   Join Jim Davis, President & CEO and Harold Cain, Manager, Supplier Development, both of Georgia Power, a Southern Company, as they outline Southern Energy's economic development plan and potential procurement opportunities with the company.
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Air Freight Pioneer Becomes Trustee
   Emery became interested in supporting the Foundation, having recognized its ability to serve as the bridge between the private and public sectors.
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Sunday Market Square Update
   $215,000 in additional funds were secured through the Virgin Islands Housing Finance Authority (VIHFA) to complete reconstruction of 22A King Street.
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The Importance of the Foundation's Fiduciary Services
   The fiduciary services of the Foundation have essentially translated into one thing: the continuation of an HIV/AIDS program in the Virgin Islands.
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Bill & Helen Gilbert Named Honorary Trustees
   "St. Croix has been very important to us for over 30 years. We want to help the community realize its great potential."
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Women's Business Center's Mid-Year Conference Huge Success
   It's up to us - the business community here in the islands - to really see the potential and take our businesses into the 21st century.
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What is the Foundation's Council of Trustees?
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Mid-Year Conference Session Topics
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Downtown Parking Gets Easier
   Recognizing the need for additional parking spaces in downtown Christiansted, the Saint Croix Foundation has created twenty additional spaces
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Buccaneer Hotel and Bank of St. Croix
   The Pacific Grill at the Brass Parrot at the Buccanner Hotel opens Wednesday, December 8. The opening, sponsored by the Buccaneer Hotel and the Bank of St. Croix, benefits the Saint Croix Foundation.
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Foundation Finds Home for VIPD
   When news surfaced that the V.I. Police Department was leaving Christiansted, the Saint Croix Foundation immediately intervened.
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Visible Change in Sunday Market Square
   The Saint Croix Foundation has made further progress in the redevelopment of Sunday Market Square.
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Attorney Lee Rohn Donates $19,000 Copy Machine to Women's Business Center
   Attorney Lee Rohn, who continues to personify philanthropy at its best, donates a copy machine to the Women's Business Center.
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Women's Business Center Orientation Conference
   Saint Croix Foundation and the U.S. Small Business Administration Introduce Resource Center for Women in the V.I.
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AmeriCorps*VISTA Members Train for Community ServiceVISTA members sharpen their communication skills
   This year, the Saint Croix Foundation coordinated training for six AmeriCorps*VISTA members whose focus lies in the area of literacy.
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Committed to Our YouthRohn Summer Program participants at the Landmark's Society
   For the fourth consecutive year, Attorney Lee J. Rohn demonstrates her commitment to St. Croix youth.
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Saint Croix Foundation Launches Women's Business Center Fundraising Campaign
   Through this fundraising campaign, the Saint Croix Foundation, in partnership with the Small Business Administration, will create immeasurable opportunities for women in the Virgin Islands through the establishment of the Women's Business Center.
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