Michael J. Winfield. *Photo supplied
Michael J. Winfield. *Photo supplied

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15: Derek Stapley, Chairman of Cambridge Beaches and its parent, the Frascati Hotel Company, has announced that The Hon Michael J. Winfield JP, President & CEO of both companies has decided to retire, effective August 16th.  “Discussions between Mike and the board have been ongoing for a considerable time but both parties believed it better to delay any announcement. We all wanted to ensure an orderly transition, not cause any uncertainty as to the succession of management and to work through all of the details. These objectives have been achieved and we will be announcing the appointment of a new General Manager in the very near future. Mike has spent nearly thirty years of his life guiding and directing Cambridge Beaches. His careful leadership has helped the property evolve into the renowned position it is today. We respect Mike’s wishes to take time now for himself and to consider his future but we are going to be very sorry to see him go. We suspect we will be hearing more of him in the coming months and years as he continues to contribute to Bermuda and to the industry both of which he has worked so hard to protect and enhance for so many years. Personally, having been Chairman of these companies for only two years, I have grown to respect Mike greatly as one of the leaders of this industry and to admire and like him as an individual. You can be assured that I will continue to ask him for advice and assistance. We are grateful that he will remain a shareholder of our companies.”

Mike Winfield adds, “For the past few years I have been looking at my life and asking what more I could be doing. Many have heard me describe my relationship with Cambridge Beaches as a love affair and this was no exaggeration. Like any love affair though, it has been all consuming, particularly of late and I need time now to just think things through and to relax, if I can learn how to do that! The responsibilities of running a resort on a day to day basis have become onerous and stressful and I have concluded that that leadership and those responsibilities, at this time, are best vested in a younger individual, leaving me free to explore and contribute to Bermuda in different ways. I also have much personal growth to undertake and my long serving and ever patient wife and children deserve far more of my attention. My passion for Cambridge Beaches and my belief in its potential remains undimmed and I expect to be able to watch it continue to grow and prosper. It is manned by a team of excellence who has shared my passion and vision and I know they will continue to serve the resort well. It is also a sense of real pride to me that the majority of our team are Bermudians; Cambridge is truly the Bermudian resort, manned, managed and owned, predominantly by Bermudians.   I would like to take this opportunity to thank them all for all they have done, all the sacrifices they have made and for their continued faith in the resort and for putting up with me over so many years! My belief in Cambridge is manifested by the fact that I intend to retain my shareholding in the company. It is a truly unique resort, the epitome of Bermuda, being the original cottage colony and today still preserves and treasures the fact that the resort itself has a proud place in the history of Bermuda. There is much to be done to restore Bermuda to its rightful place as a leader in tourism: We now have a tourism plan in place and although there is a great deal to do, make no mistake we can, given the attention, investment and commitment by all involved, bring back Bermuda to its leadership position. I am hoping I can contribute to that growth. And, I am convinced that Cambridge Beaches can, and will be, part of that rebirth.

I intend to take some time off, to just breath and relax, something I have not done since I began my hospitality career at the then Southampton Princess. I shall be considering my future and trying to answer what seems to be a very difficult question for me, how do I have fun and what is it that I really want to do. I am mindful of someone I respect hugely, ex Premier David Saul, who I had the privilege of serving with in Cabinet many moons ago, who changed careers on several occasions and who continues to contribute to our Island and our planet today. His is a great example of someone who welcomed change, indeed embraced it and always seemed to be successful. I only hope I can contribute as much as he has done. I hope to spend a few months considering my options, talking to many wise friends and looking for opportunities that will bring challenge and excitement. I shall of course remain in touch, with and be available to, my associates at Cambridge.”

Derek Stapley concluded by saying, “Mike has asked that he be allowed to disappear for a little while but when we can we will be organizing an evening for him. We will have a gathering of friends, colleagues and associates and we expect it will be as much a roasting as it is a celebration for all he has done for us. At this point we wish him well as he now, at last, will have some time to reflect”.