On September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Bahamas, made landfall on Elbow Cay with 200+ mph winds and storm surges that destroyed or significantly damaged over 70% of the homes on the island. Dorian completely leveled the school and medical clinic along with hundreds of homes and dozens of local businesses. Hundreds of multi-generational Bahamian residents were displaced, their lives turned upside down. All of the island’s infrastructure was destroyed.
Hope Town United was initially launched in the hours after Hurricane Dorian to provide critical assistance to Elbow Cay’s residents. With no way off the island, Hope Town United accomplished the following in the immediate aftermath of the storm:
Underwrote and led the immediate evacuation of approximately 250 Elbow Cay residents
Coordinated on-island medical support and K9 search & rescue teams
Raised almost $2 million through a grassroots fundraising campaign to support our efforts
Accepted over 50 tons of donations including 15,000 lbs of critical medical supplies that were transported by barge to Elbow Cay, in full coordination with Hope Town Volunteer Fire & Rescue
Formed a disaster response team that solicited and secured assistance from multiple NGOs, most notably Samaritan’s Purse
Hope Town United will be there for the long haul. Having secured our nonprofit 501c(3) status, we are turning our focus to the long-term restoration of Elbow Cay.
Sands Family Foundation
Philanthropic arm of the Sands family, founders of Constellation Brands, the largest multi-category beverage alcohol company in the world.
Member of the Sands family, Managing Director of WildStar Partners (Sands family office), and Hope Town community member. Connect with Matt on LinkedIn.
Former Hope Town Fire Chief and emergency responder, 8th generation descendent of Wyannie Malone.
Active Hope Town community member, entrepreneur for 20 years, realtor on Elbow Cay for the last 16 years, and 8th generation descendant.
One of the largest engineering firms in the world with over 3000 professionals and a multitude of large-scale projects across the Bahamas, EXP will provide expert, objective oversight and consultation working with HTU and the community to recommend the most resilient and environmentally-sustainable infrastructure solutions for Elbow Cay.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
BCG was hired by the City of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the City of New York after Superstorm Sandy, to develop disaster relief and recovery strategies. BCG will work with HTU and the Hope Town Community on impact investment strategies and potential public-private partnership structures with central government.
Precision Strategies is an integrated marketing and communications agency founded by the digital team that led the successful reelection campaign for President Obama in 2012. Precision Strategies will work with HTU to create a compelling narrative and international fundraising campaign platform.
Executive Vice Chairman, Constellation Brands
Mr. Sands is Constellation’s executive vice chair. Richard is responsible for providing strategic leadership, working with the board of directors to advise on the company’s long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies.
Richard has been with Constellation in various capacities since 1979. He was elected as chairman of the board in 1999 and served in that role for 19 years. Richard led the company as chief executive officer from 1993 to 2007 and as president from 1986 to 2002. He served as chief operating officer from 1986 to 1993 and as executive vice president from 1982 to May 1986.
Richard serves as Chairman for the Education Success Foundation, Education Success Network, Friends of CMAC, and as the Treasurer for the Canandaigua Area Development Corporation. He is currently an emeritus board member of both Rochester Institute of Technology and University of Rochester after having served many years on both Boards of Trustees.
Senator Tom Harkin
United States Representative (Iowa), 1975-1985, United States Senator, (Iowa) 1985-2015, Elbow Cay resident since 1978.
Senator Harkin served five U.S. Senate terms and at the end of his time in the Senate served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Senator Harkin authored the American Disabilities Act in 1990 and was its chief sponsor in the Senate. When he left the Senate in 2015, he was the most senior junior senator after serving for 30 years and the sixth most senior senator overall.
C. Vernon Malone
Justice of the Peace, Marriage Officer for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas
Recipient of the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Gold Medal and Certificate in the fields of Business and Religion, Vernon is a lifelong resident of Hope Town. He received his education in the public school system and from private tutoring for advanced studies in bookkeeping. At the age of eighteen he began his professional life at the New Hope Lodge and Marina which later became the original Elbow Cay Club. In 1962, Mr. Malone went into business for himself as a merchant, baker and hosteler. Located on property which was passed down from the original Malone settlers in 1785, Vernon’s Grocery and Upper Crust Bakery continued to serve the international community until Sept 1st, 2019.
Partner, Nixon Peabody
Michael Cooney is a partner at the international law firm Nixon Peabody LLP in its Washington, DC office, and the head of its higher education and exempt organizations groups. He has spent more than three decades at the firm representing a range of colleges and universities, healthcare providers, foundations, cultural and religious organizations. Mr. Cooney provides the nonprofit corporate and tax-exempt context in which these organizations can drive mission and margin. He was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in both 2017 and 2019 as Non-Profit/Charities Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Washington, DC.
Partner, Lennox Paton
Mr. Johnstone heads Lenox Paton’s Real Estate, Resort Development, and Private Client Groups headquartered in Nassau. He is the clear industry leader in representing resort developers in all aspects of resort development, including acquisition, financing, regulatory approvals, development, master planning and sales programmes. He has extensive regulatory experience, including drafting applications to the Bahamas Investment Authority, drafting heads of agreement, and drafting and negotiating subdivision, and utility agreements with Government.
GOVERNMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE
M.P. Parliamentary Secretary OPM
Chairman of the Central & South Abaco Branch of the Free National Movement
Hope Town District Council
Hope Town District Council