April 18, 2004 The League of Women Voters Saturday picked board members for the 2004-2005 year at the League's 35th Annual Meeting.
The League also heard guest speaker Frank Schulterbrandt and honored member Edith Bornn.
Clovis Emmanuel was elected first vice president; Ana Anita Davila was elected as second vice president. Eileen Hendrickson was chosen as secretary and Margaret Quetal as treasurer. Other board members chosen were: Lydia Lettsome, Elise Rose, Carol Seale-Howell and Linda Wymer.
Bornn was recognized as one of the charter members of the Virgin Islands Chapter of the League of Women's Voters and was made a Member Emeritus of the group. Bornn will also be recognized on the national level later this year for her years of service with the League.
"Unfortunately, some people think it is not in the best interest to speak out for the League," Bornn said. "But if the League is quiet, where would we be?"
Bornn encouraged members to let their voice be heard. "We have a duty as citizens to be in leadership; to try and make these islands the best possible for ourselves, for our children," Bornn said.
In his speech, Schulterbrandt, chief executive officer of the Economic Development Authority, spoke about the role of the Economic Development Authority and more specifically the Economic Development Commission.
"Our mission is to promote and enhance economic development," Schulterbrandt told the group.
The EDC provides tax incentives and benefits for companies seeking to do businesses in the territory, Schulterbrandt said. He added that there are specific target markets that the agency looks for when approving businesses for receiving benefits. The markets are: financial services companies, agriculture/agritechnology, mariculture/aquaculture, manufacturing (specifically jewelry and watch making), tourism-related businesses and marinas.
"The private sector is what drives the economy," Schulterbrandt said. "You don't want the government to be the main employer in any place. Sadly, this is the case in the Virgin Islands."
Schulterbrandt said education is the key in attracting businesses to the territory. "Shall we continue to trivialize education in our community?" Schulterbrandt asked.
Schulterbrandt cited Japan and India as two places where they focused on training and educating their workforce. Because of this these two countries have a large private sector workforce, Schulterbrandt said.
Terry Rawson, league member, asked what are the chances of local companies who have been there for years becoming EDC beneficiaries.
"It's always based on what they can invest into the community," Schulterbrandt said in response.
Twenty-nine league members attended the meeting. The group has 64 members. All citizens of voting age are eligible to become members. Non-citizens and people under voting age may become Associate Members but will not have a vote in the League. Membership dues are $50 per individuals and $85 per household.
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