Southern Cross Club owner gets lifetime achievement nod

| 03/08/2016
CNS Local Life

(L-R) Southern Cross Club owner Peter Hillenbrand receives award from Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell

(CNS): For his work and dedication to the Southern Cross Club, Little Cayman and the environment, resort owner Peter Hillenbrand recently was presented with a lifetime achievement award during the annual Cayman Stingray Tourism Awards gala. He said he was deeply honoured by the recognition of his peers in the industry, but added he had not done it alone.

“The Southern Cross Club is the proudest achievement in my life, but it is not for me to take the credit. Without the many people who worked with me and put everything into building the mission and the resort, I would never be receiving this award,” Hillenbrand said.

He singled out general manager Jennifer Mills and Neil van Niekerk who have been with the resort for years and have been instrumental, along with many others, in making the Southern Cross Club a success.

“Pete thoroughly deserves his lifetime achievement award; we are all extremely pleased for him and proud of him here at Southern Cross Club,” Mills said. “He is a great boss, a much-valued friend and someone for whom I have the utmost respect. I congratulate him on this milestone and look forward to what lies ahead.”

As for the success of the Southern Cross Club, Mills said they take their cue from the boss.

“He is a very unique individual; an unusual combination of entrepreneur, high profile business man, environmentalist, conservationist and easygoing, fun-loving guy,” she said. “Pete is a motivated, enthusiastic and ambitious person who is very hard working and not afraid to get his hands dirty when necessary. He is passionate about the environment and the tourism industry alike; someone who strives for success but not at the expense of moral reasoning.”

Mills said Hillenbrand also embraces and respects the environment around him, and the community in which he lives, and he shows immense generosity and kindness to his neighbours, friends, family and employees.

‘The rare blend of these characteristics, beliefs, and the vision that Pete encompasses are what drive and shape the Southern Cross Club; emanating down the chain of command through management to the Staff and in turn to the Guests,” she said. “Pete has helped create the resort’s personality, its “vibe” – making it the very special place that it is.”

He bought the Southern Cross Club in May 1995, when it was a “run-down resort”, Hillenbrand recalled. “And it was a rather huge task to see its potential and put in the work – mentally, physically, and financially – to bring it to what it is today,” he said.

Hillenbrand, who is also a board member of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, said he is not finished with his dreams for the Southern Cross Club and Little Cayman.

“I look forward to continuing to improve on my product, and to hopefully help guide the direction of Little Cayman’s continued development. There are no accessible places like Little Cayman left in the Caribbean,” he said. “What she is, and what she means to those of us who love her, is precious beyond compare. It would be devastating to me to see her take a direction other than the laid back tranquility and pristine natural environment that our guests are so in love with.”

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Category: Marine Environment, Tourism

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