The following article was originally published in the second edition of TRUE Anguilla magazine in 2015.
Mimi Gratton and Amelia Vanterpool Kubisch are two True Anguilla Ambassadors who bring a sense of style and fun to every encounter and finish each other’s sentences because they are so in tune.
Their knowledge of the island: how to get here, where to go, what to do and most importantly who does what, is encyclopedic. Visitors tell us that “the People” are the reason they keep coming back to the island, and Mimi and Amelia are definitely two of those “people.”
This dynamic duo have introduced thousands of visitors to the delights of Anguilla, and their warm island welcome is supported by a wealth of professional credibility and expertise.
Born Anguillian, Amelia worked her way up from being the first-ever employee at the newly conceived Tourism Offices (in 1978) to ultimately becoming the Director of Tourism at the Anguilla Tourist Board.
Anguillian by nurture, Mimi is a native (bilingual) French Canadian, who spent many years as the Executive Director of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association.
In their complimentary public and private sector roles they cemented an enduring friendship and professional relationship based on a love of their island home and mutual support of Anguilla’s innovative “High value/Low volume” tourism plan.
After stints working at Malliouhana and Cap Juluca Hotels respectively – the friends are working side by side again at the Destination Management company that Mimi formed with partners Fred and Marva Thompson in 2005 – Blue Sea Anguilla.
Amelia and Mimi’s obvious love for their island and its people influences what they do – opening up new niche markets and delivering a great Anguilla experience. Working with the world’s leading travel planners, Blue Sea orchestrates seamless and stress-free arrivals, departures and on-island activities for the luxury “incentive” market.
Tiny Anguilla, with its boutique hotels, is not the first place that springs to mind when it comes to corporate travel, but thanks to Blue Sea and hotel partners like Four Seasons and Cap Juluca – the island now attracts the “crème de la crème” of incentive groups by offering unbelievably luxurious experiences for President’s Clubs and Chairmen’s Circles from some of the world’s leading brands.
“The participants often haven’t heard of Anguilla, and they love it – they feel like they’ve ‘discovered’ somewhere special – then they go back home and boast about the experience to friends and colleagues.”
They also offer Wedding Coordination (Amelia’s area of expertise) and Film Production Services (Mimi’s “baby”).
The cool, calm and collected Amelia is the perfect person to soothe the pre-wedding nerves of jittery Brides and Grooms, and she smiles as she recounts the story of one couple who argued after they arrived on island, split up and 48 hours prior to the event asked her to cancel the wedding (which she did). She let them “cool down” then happily rearranged everything 24 hours later – much to everyone’s relief!
The boundlessly energetic Mimi will “flex all her muscles” and utilize her enormous database – great contacts and goodwill – to meet the needs of the international film crews that repeatedly return – leading one client to say “it’s easier to get things done here than in New York City!”
The ladies are fulsome in praise for their huge network (sometimes over 100 local contacts can be involved in successfully delivering a large event) of government officials, Blue Sea staff, hotel & restaurant teams, transportation, décor, photographers and musicians – the professional and friendly “Blue Sea Family” who help them create exceptional visitor experiences.
Want more Mimi & Amelia? Then watch them on TRUE Anguilla TV.
In the first episode of TRUE Anguilla TV, we catch up with some of the special people we have interviewed over the years and find out what’s changed for them since we last spoke to them. So check out the show to hear the latest on Armel Harrigan, Omari Banks and Kenroy Herbert of Olympus Chauffeur Services and Leviticus Luxury Lifestyle.