Mr. Carlvin A. Brooks will step into the position of Chairman of the Board of the Unleased Potential Group Foundation (UPG) and will replace founder and initiator Raimond Nicodem, who started and built UPG the last 2,5 years. The reason for the change is the numerous appeals that our foundation has made to the Government of Sint Maarten in order to help boost the social-economic climate of the island and to create a bridge to train and motivate educated Sint Maarteners to return to Sint Maarten. To date, despite the enormous efforts that our group has made, the analyses and concrete plans to get the island back on its feet since (and before) hurricane Irma, talks with and offers made to the Government of Sint Maarten, no decision has been taken by the Government to make use of our own young professionals.
UPG Foundation was started by young professional Sint Maarteners for Sint Maarten; grouping together, to work as a team. To learn by doing. To gain experience and give back to the island where we come from. With the ultimate goal to boost the economy and social welfare and attract young Sint Maarteners back to our island. This reverse migration issue (also called brain drain) is a serious worry for the continuity of the island’s future. Guided and coached by senior professional experience and knowledge, our group has worked tirelessly to help our island.
Applauded by the Governments but it never came to the point of filling the desires of the island’s recovery projects, project management, and planning. Back in February of this year, our group built an entire project management structure and designed how it should be staffed. It was ready to go. It was built to manage the recovery projects. Also, this initiative bounced by the Government.
The group has analyzed that the island is not able to absorb the strategic vision and related actions, which are desperately needed, but not well understood.
Near future developments of the group
As of yesterday, we transferred our statement “who can better help Sint Maarten than a Sint Maartener” effectively to the entire organization of the UPG Foundation. This has been the goal and purpose from day one, but it will be put in effect earlier to overcome eventual barriers. The Board and the team of the UPG Foundation will be manned by Sint Maarteners. With this and some initiatives going forward, the team will be synchronizing their efforts to a more appropriate level for the island. The group has the hope that Sint Maarten is ready to understand and use us as a resource. Which will quantum leap the development of the island. Clearly, the goals of UPG will not be changed, only the type of effort and the structure will be amended.
Raimond Nicodem: “It is with sincere regrets to have to take this decision. Despite the many occasions of discussing the full benefits of the UPG team and its genuine potential. It has been almost a full-time job. Talks and meetings with the interim Government, the current Government, the Governor, and many more over the last 1,5 years, unfortunately, Sint Maarten does not seem to be accepting the seriousness of our intentions and has difficulties to absorb the level of our ability and power. The island has been, and still is many ways, in a deplorable state, which we had hoped to deliver a maybe atypical, but nevertheless integer and serious help to the Government under the Governments supervision. The new Board will hopefully succeed in balancing this out and be able to reach the noble goals we have started out with. ”.
Carlvin Brooks: “On behalf of everyone in UPG and on behalf of the people who we have given hope to from Sint Maarten, we thank Raimond for the time and investment as Chairman of UPG. His efforts will not be in vain and we look forward to continuing our work together within the new structure. This is an exciting time that we as UPG are entering into. It is a compliment to us that we have made it this far and also that we have been trusted to continue this vision.
It will give us all the chance to take a more dominant role in UPG and push us to do new things to accomplish the vision that UPG has for Sint Maarten. We need each other and all the ideas we can think of to be a success! It will also be a time of uncertainty because now we have to make UPG work or it will not be successful. But then again the uncertainty has always been there. Raimond helped with guiding us through the uncertainty. But it has always been and will always be our job to find our own way through this uncertainty. The good thing is that we are more than capable of doing it. We also have each other for support.
Thank you Raimond”.