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SECSA Highlights

Tim Flohr, Director of Networking for the SECSA Federation

I would first like to introduce myself and tell you how excited I am to be the new Director of Networking for the SECSA Federation of ICHRIE! I have been an instructor and Internship Coordinator at the Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality and Resort Management at The University of Memphis for the past four years and prior to that I was the Director of Operations at Drexel University’s Center for Hospitality and Sport Management. Most of my career has been spent in hotel, restaurant, and corporate dining environments and that has prepared me well for my role as Program Manager at the brand new Kemmons Wilson Culinary Institute. As someone who is relatively new to academia, I cannot begin to tell you how much I have benefitted from all of the networking opportunities that have been made available to me through ICHRIE and the SECSA Federation. As the new Director of Networking for SECSA, I am committed to providing our members with opportunities to both cultivate new  relationships and strengthen existing ones as we continue to capitalize on  the rich diversity that we have over the Southeast United States, Central and South American, and the Caribbean.
 
Though we are facing one of the most difficult times in our nation’s history, I am confident that our leadership team will continue to build upon the outstanding achievements of our predecessors. In recent years, SECSA has seen unprecedented growth in membership from the Caribbean, Mexico, and countries in Central and South America. In addition to the normal challenges faced due to our widely-dispersed geographic membership, working through a global pandemic poses an entirely new set of obstacles that we must overcome. I was very excited to host SECSA’s 2021 Annual Conference at The University of Memphis, but with all of the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19 we have been forced to postpone this conference until 2022.

However, I am thrilled to see how resilient the new Board of Directors in pivoting to focus on organizing a virtual conference this spring. We are going to need a lot of volunteers to help make this a world-class event, so please contact me if you are interested in assisting with our planning committee.

In the interim, there are several ways that you can start connecting with the SECSA Federation and fellow members (known as “SECSANS”).  Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/secsafederation and our LinkedIn Group page is https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8301078 

 Please do not hesitate to contact me either at timothy.flohr@memphis.edu or direct at (901) 800-7142 if you ever have any questions, comments, or suggestions as to how SECSA can help serve your needs.
 
Thank you and stay safe!

 

SECSA – Member Highlight

Prof. Vikneswaran Nair, 
Dean, Graduate Studies & Research
Professor, Sustainable Tourism
University of The Bahamas

A full bred of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Vikneswaran Nair, better known as Vik Nair, completed his Bachelor of Science in Horticulture in 1994. After 2 years in the plantations, he was offered to do his Masters in Systems Engineering (Environmental Systems), an IRPA (Intensified Research in Priority Area), Ministry of Science & Environment Malaysia, funded project in developing an expert system for terrestrial vegetation management for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in 1998. Five years later, he completed his Ph.D. in Systems Engineering (Ecotourism Systems) with his research on developing an expert system for ecotourism accreditation and rating for Malaysia based on safety, health, and environmental assurance.

He was a former Professor at the School of Hospitality, Tourism & Culinary Arts at Taylor’s University, Malaysia; Program Leader for the Responsible Rural Tourism Network and Associate Research Fellow of the Centre for Research & Innovation in Tourism (CRiT). He was also the founding Director of the Centre for Research and Development of Taylor’s University, Malaysia. He left Taylor’s University after serving them for 19 years. He joined the University of The Bahamas as the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and Professor in Sustainable Tourism, in 2017.

Vik Nair’s research specialisation is on Sustainable and Responsible Tourism, Rural Tourism, Ecotourism Management, Environmental Management, Community-based Tourism and Green Tourism. He has conducted many guest lectures and sort after keynote speakers across Asia and other parts of the world, namely Malaysia, France, Japan, Macau, Taiwan, Philippine, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Brazil, and many more.

With extensive publications to his credit, he is also an award-winning researcher with numerous accolades from across the globe. He has successfully completed many consultancy projects for the Government of Malaysia and now executing more projects with the Government of The Bahamas. A certified Licensed Environmental Auditor (Environmental Management System), Vik Nair, was the past President of the APacCHRIE. He became a member of CHRIE in 2004, and subsequently have served APacCHIRE in various portfolio and set in various Committees at I-CHRIE. His leadership role at APacCHRIE allowed him to contribute to I-CHIRE in the Strategic Planning Committee (2009/2011) and the Nomination Committee (2011/2013). Even after 2013, he continued to contribute in the APacCHRIE Council of Presidents and attended almost all the Board Meetings and APacCHRIE Conferences in Asia. He organised two APaCCHRIE Conferences in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2005 and 2014. Besides organizing the conferences, the highlight of his period in the leadership of APacCHRIE was to continue strengthening the Federation status that was accorded to APacCHRIE in 2006 and the many discussions to introduce the emerging nation membership. 

In The Bahamas, he completed his first consultation work with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in writing the Sustainable Development Goals country report. Currently he is engaged with the Tourism Development Corporation of The Bahamas in developing community based tourism toolkit for the country, and recently appointed as Tourism Specialist for the Ministry of Environment and Housing in the Integrated Water Land and Ecosystem Management (IWEco) project in East Grand Bahama.

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