Organizers of the second annual Bahamian Icon Awards have announced this year’s nominations and six Grand Bahama residents are among those candidates up for national honors in a variety of disciplines.
The award show, founded by Addis T. Huyler, celebrates Bahamians believed to have made outstanding contributions in commerce, education, entertainment, entrepreneurship, fine arts, health, humanitarianism, journalism, music, and sports.
Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce President Barry Malcolm is nominated in the commerce category.
Pakeisha Edgecombe, host of The Pakeisha Edgecombe Show, has received a nomination for her daytime talk show in the entertainment category.
Keen i Media Limited President Erik Russell got a Bahamian Icon nod in the entrepreneurship category.
His company, now in its eighth year in business, has seen an increase in business from clients, both in Grand Bahama and New Providence.
According to Russell, the nomination was an unexpected, but welcome gesture.
“I was surprised to be nominated, but very honored and humbled. I just wasn’t expecting to be recognized,” Russell said.
Though he never set out to obtain such recognition, Russell said he is pleased that his dedication to his employees and clients is acknowledged and appreciated.
He applauded the awards committee for its efforts to honor those everyday Bahamians who make a difference in their community without regard for acclaim.
“I think that it’s a great thing to recognize people who are outstanding in their field; people who do their thing every single day and don’t really think about that part of it… people who work hard and have seen some success by great decision making. I think that’s an excellent thing that our society and our country needs,” Russell said.
Jack Hayward High School Teacher Arnold Martin received a nomination in the education category.
Martin, also the founder and president of Men of Honor, said he, too, was surprised upon learning of his nomination. The feeling, he said, subsided and was replaced with an overwhelming sense of joy and humility.
He added that the nomination was more than an honor, but it also served as reinforcement.
“Sometimes we go through the motions and we feel that we’re unrecognized. Spirituality is a big part of my life, that nomination came at the right time to encourage me,” he said.
“I thank God for the visionary because within my nomination, it has inspired me to continue to make that impact in society. When you feel like nobody’s watching you, somebody sees something.”
Martin has served as an educator for nine years and through Men of Honor, he has mentored scores of young boys and girls for even more years.
He said his nomination has not only inspired him, but has inspired his students to strive for greatness.
Bahamian Recording Artist and last year’s Bahamian Icon Winner for Entertainment Dillon “D-Mac” McKenzie is up for his second Bahamian Icon Award, this time in the music category.
McKenzie said it is a “tremendous honor” to be recognized yet again for his contributions to the music and entertainment industry.
He said the Bahamian Icon Awards is a positive step in the direction toward raising the standards for all Bahamians.
Rounding out the batch of Grand Bahama nominees is Olivia Curry, founder and program director of the Grand Bahama Childhood Asthma Management Project, with a nod in the health category.
Curry said she was initially skeptical after discovering she had been nominated for an award, especially since her organization is only a year old.
However, on learning that she had, in fact, been nominated and will contend with several doctors, the pharmacy technician said she is overwhelmed by the distinction.
Curry said she is more motivated now than ever before to continue her efforts to raise awareness for asthma management on the island.
She added that through the Bahamian Icon Awards more and more unsung heroes in the community will be honored for their achievements.
The 2014 Bahamian Icon Awards will be held on July 12 at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and Casino.
Published Tuesday, May 20, 2014