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Emmy award-winning journalist Audrey Irvine of CNN will headline the inaugural Women’s Leadership Breakfast Awards during the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Caribbean Week in New York on Wednesday, June 19.

Cayman Islands Director of Tourism Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week this year, announced that CTO will feature Irvine as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. The event will honour exceptional women in Caribbean tourism leadership across three categories: the Director of Tourism Award 2024, the Minister of Tourism Award 2024 (both selected by industry peers), and the Secretary-General’s Distinguished Service Award.

The Distinguished Service award celebrates a female leader with over 20 years of service, notable contributions to regional tourism, and inspirational support to other women in the industry, selected by the Secretary-General. “We are delighted to welcome Audrey to Caribbean Week in New York as we showcase a Caribbean-American queen of the news media,” said Harris, noting that Irvine’s achievements inspire countless women and girls across the Caribbean and the Diaspora.

Harris and Dona Regis-Prosper, CTO Secretary-General and CEO , will address the attendees at the awards event, which is being sponsored by Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and Diamonds International. Irvine, Senior Director of CNN’s Newsource Newsgathering, is based in Atlanta. Born to Jamaican parents and raised in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, she has worked in the media industry for over 30 years with major industry leaders, including CNN, ESPN, and ABC News.

Currently, she oversees the affiliate news-gathering operation at CNN Newsource, servicing over 1,000 domestic local stations, including those in Alaska, Canada, Hawaii, and Guam. In partnership with CNN affiliate partners, her department meets the coverage needs of all CNN platforms, programming, and partners. Irvine earned an Emmy for her contributions to CNN’s coverage of George Floyd and the 2020 summer of protests.

She has produced key coverage for CNN, including post-Hurricane Katrina reporting from New Orleans, where she won a Peabody Award. Before joining CNN, she worked as an assignment editor at ESPN. There, she contributed to Emmy award-winning programs such as SportsCenter, College Gameday, and Sunday NFL Countdown, and covered two Super Bowls.

Irvine expressed her excitement about addressing Caribbean women of excellence during Caribbean Week. “I am thrilled to be among such exceptional women, as I would not have achieved the strides I have made in media without the guidance and inspiration of my late mother, who herself was a Caribbean woman of distinction,” she said.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation is the headline sponsor of Caribbean Week in New York. Gold sponsors include Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Experience Turks and Caicos, and U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism. The Jamaica Tourist Board and Sandals Resorts International are silver sponsors, and ADARA – A RateGain Company and Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority are bronze sponsors.

Additional supporters include Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Caribbean Media Exchange, Diamonds International, Marketplace Excellence, and S’Aimer NYC.