Hurricane Recovery in the Bahamas Driven by Community Collaboration

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Hurricane Recovery in the Bahamas Driven by Community Collaboration

By MPI | Nov 6, 2019

Though Nassau Paradise Island and many meeting locations in the Bahamas weren’t significantly impacted by Hurricane Dorian, the storm was nonetheless devastating for the Abacos and Grand Bahama Island. As a result, MPI and SITE (Society for Incentive Travel Excellence) chapters in Florida were quick to rally to the cause, so far raising US$11,600 through the SITE | MPI Abacos & Grand Bahamas Recovery Fund.

David Krech, recovery fund co-chair and a SITE Caribbean/Florida board member, says many hospitality employees in Treasure Cay—who themselves lost everything—chose to remain in the Abacos to assist in the recovery efforts led by Steve Kappeler, Treasure Cay Resort general manager. Needs still include generators, extension cords, gas cans, work clothes, fans, power tools, rollaway beds and much more.

“We have just about depleted our funds and want to continue our fundraising drive as long as we can. The recovery will take months if not years,” Krech says. “After receiving the first shipment of items, Steve called me with tears of gratitude in his voice: ‘Your donations were not only needed but were so meaningful in lifting the spirits of those working so hard under incredibly difficult circumstances.’”

Mark Benson, president of the MPI Greater Orlando Area Chapter, says members send heartfelt prayers and wishes for a fast recovery to the people of the Abacos and Grand Bahama Island devastated by Hurricane Dorian.

“We are making all efforts to support the relief efforts and have coordinated a statewide effort combining fundraising resources with MPI North Florida, MPI Tampa and MPI South Florida, as well as SITE Florida and Caribbean,” he says. “Also involved are both MPI Global and SITE Global for additional support in reaching the strength of thousands for our associations for these important fundraising efforts. Relief will come as fast as the resources are applied, so please give whatever you can towards the recovery.”

Liz Hogan, president of the MPI North Florida Chapter, has been encouraged by the collaborative effort.

“I am thrilled to see this collaboration amongst the organizations and the immediate attention to help our industry partners in the Bahamas,” she says. “I am confident this is just the beginning of increased collaboration in Florida.”

Krech says more donations are needed in order to continue the success of the recovery fund, and he encourages everyone in the industry to reach out through professional and social media channels.

Learn more and donate.

Sarah Soliman Daudin and Blair Potter contributed to this report.




Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is the largest meeting and event industry association worldwide. The organization provides innovative and relevant education, networking opportunities and business exchanges, and acts as a prominent voice for the promotion and growth of the industry. MPI has a global community of 60,000 meeting and event professionals including 17,000 engaged members and its Plan Your Meetings audience. It has more than 75 chapters and clubs with members in over 70 countries. "When we meet, we change the world."