Press Release

Premier's Office
BVI Tourist Board
Release Date:
Wednesday, 3 October 2018 - 4:56pm

The TEDx Wilmington audience was graced with a British Virgin Islands experience in Wilmington, Delaware on September 28. The BVI Tourist Board promoted the territory through an interactive display booth, entitled “Sun, Sand and Sea”. Previous guests of the BVI expressed their desire to return, and many look forward to a BVI island-hopping experience.

Profound and inspiring talks on their experiences of Hurricanes Irma and Maria by sons of the soil, Dr. Michael A. Turnbull and Mr. Akeem Lennard, left the audience on their feet.

Dr. Turnbull, a licensed clinical psychologist and ordained minister, who spoke on the topic, “Live with the End in Mind”, strongly encouraged his listeners to live with the end in mind no matter what they may be going through.  “Like myself and the resilient people of the British Virgin Islands, you can push”, he explained, “Living with the end in mind doesn’t mean that you’re living ominously.  Living with the end in mind says that you’re going to grasp hope and a vision that allows you to push your way through obstacles”.

Immediately before Mr. Lennard’s talk, a surprise video message was played. Virgin Gorda’s, Arlington “Gumption” Creque, the first TEDx speaker representing the BVI in 2015, sent congratulatory remarks from the beautiful beach at The Baths National Park.

Founder and Lead Artisan of Greencrete BVI, Mr. Akeem Lennard Jr. spoke on the topic, “Surviving Your Personal Hurricane with Your Company in Tow”.  He described the devastation his company suffered, as a result of Hurricane Irma. Metaphorically using the experience of his business recovering from the hurricane, Mr. Lennard humorously encouraged others by giving five points on how their businesses can survive their personal hurricanes.  During his speech, Mr. Lennard sang parts of the Territorial Song. Mr. Lennard said, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to be over, but about learning to dance in the rain.”  He challenged the audience to stand with him and dance.  Mr. Lennard’s inspiring talk ended with his listeners on their feet dancing to a resounding round of applause.

The event ended with a cocktail party and the highlight was the sampling of the famous Pusser's Painkiller™.

The 7th Annual TEDx Wilmington was a successful event.  TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design; is a non-profit organization that is devoted to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. TEDx is a local, self and independently organized event that brings people together as they share a TED-like experience. TEDx Wilmington is organized and produced by Mr. Ajit Mathew George. Mr. George is a TEDx organizer, certified Dream Builder™, Life Coach, creative marketer, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, gastronaut, wine aficionado, and dream catcher, who divides his time between Wilmington, Delaware and Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.

In his comments, Mr. George said, “TEDx Wilmington was honored to have Dr. Michael Turnbull and Mr. Akeem Lennard give two inspirational talks based on their experiences during and after Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  We have 29 speakers from 12 different states including Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin plus 4 countries including South Africa, Sweden, Mexico and the British Virgin Islands. This group of speakers was carefully chosen from a list of over 230 applications from 33 states and 8 different countries. I am thrilled that the BVI was the only country where two of our speakers came from”.

Director of Tourism, Mrs. Sharon Flax Brutus was excited for the opportunity the British Virgin Islands was afforded to showcase the speakers’ intellect, their passion and territorial pride. “I am

absolutely proud of Dr. Turnbull and Mr. Lennard for their motivational and eloquent presentations at TEDx Wilmington.  The British Virgin Islands’ participation at this grand event not only provided the Territory with tremendous exposure needed for successful marketing but also demonstrated that the BVI has the human resources to deliver world class services and ideas.”

Attached:  Photos of Dr. Michael Turnbull and Mr. Akeem Lennard courtesy of Joe del Tufo, Moonloop Photography