Dean Ackin, chief executive officer of mas band Tribe is the new queen maker in town. On Thursday, he received and accepted documents from Miss Universe Inc, certifying the band as the new local franchise holder, and he immediately issued a call to the beautiful women of T&T interested in becoming a Miss T&T to prepare for the screening.
"The plan so far is to have both the casting and the finals in September this year. It may be the first week in September to host the casting and maybe the last week in September to host the final," he said. The final of the Miss Universe 2012 is advertised for December, but the country and venue are yet to be decided.
Tribe was granted the rights following the submission of its impressive Carnival and corporate resumes, as well as recommendations from previous franchisees Peter Elias and Ian Lee. Lee, who is a Tribe associate, was the previous queen maker. But Tribe's involvement in preparing a Miss T&T Universe for the world stage is not new.
Ackin once served on the adjudication panel to select a candidate, and his company Ultimate Events provided logistical support for the staging of previous pageants. Former Miss T&T Universe delegates La Toya Woods and Gabrielle Walcott wore Tribe costumes for the international pageant. Last year, Walcott placed sixth out of 86 delegates.
"It's a triumph. I don't want Tribe to be considered a band, but a brand. This is just one of the ways that Tribe as a brand will be stepping outside the boundary of Carnival to leverage its brand and good name and lend it to other ventures. "T&T has a rich history with regards to success in the Miss World and Miss Universe competitions. We have beautiful people in our land. For such a small nation we have Janelle "Penny" Commissiong Chow, Giselle La Ronde-West and Wendy Fitzwilliam.
Many of our other delegates have done very well," Ackin said. He was of the belief that with the Miss T&T Universe franchise under the Tribe banner, challenges relating to sponsorship might no longer be an issue. Tribe, he said, intends to raise the level and standard of the competition and ultimately its image.
According to Ackin, "We have a wealth of experience in event management. We have a wealth experience in model management. We have the resources and talent in house. So it was an easy decision for us to make. Ackin said Tribe was ready to bring home another Miss Universe title.