Elected as a member of Parliament in November 2015, the Hon Tracy Ann Panton, is the first woman to have ran and won as the Area Representative of the Albert Constituency in Belize City. She is currently serving as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum Investment, Trade & Commerce, with direct oversight for Investment, Trade & Commerce. An active and influential leader within the tourism industry in Belize for some 30 years, she has served as Belize’s Director of Tourism for 12 years and, as the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Civil Aviation for 3 years just prior to her decision to seek electoral office. During her stewardship of Belize’s tourism the industry became one of the fastest growing economic sectors in Belize and served as a catalyst for the country’s sustainable development guided by, a first of its kind, National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan, the blueprint for tourism development in Belize through 2030.
Minister Panton has also served on numerous government and non-governmental boards and committees both locally and regionally. These include, among others, the National Economic Development Council; the Caribbean Tourism Organization; and, on the Executive Committee of the System for Tourism Integration of Central American States (SITCA). Presently, she chairs the House Committee for Public Utilities, Transport & Communications and also serves as a standing member on the Public Accounts Committee as well as the Committees for Natural Resources and the Environment; Health & Human Development; and, Tourism, Archaeology & Information.
A humanitarian at heart, she was elected for a two-year term as the National President of the Belize Red Cross Society. She has also held the position of General Manager of the Belize Natural Energy Conservation Charitable Trust that was established as a partnership between the Government of Belize and Belize Natural Energy Ltd for the development of educational, capacity building and environmental projects in vulnerable communities countrywide.
Minister Panton holds a Master of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Tourism Management from Florida International University in the United States. She has also participated in a number of leadership development initiatives included the Women in Politics Programme organized by the Belize Woman's Commission (2010); the Senior Leadership Development Programme delivered by the Civil Service College in the UK (2012); Women and Power Leadership Programme, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Massachusetts (2013); and, in 2014, participate in a Leadership Development Programme facilitated by the Canada School of the Public Service and the Cave Hill School of Business at the University of the West Indies.
Minister's Panton extensive experience; her compassion for humanity; her demonstrated commitment to Belize and ability to lead by example has helped her to excel as a Leader, Mentor and Role Model for young women.
Tracy and her husband Herbert have two lovely daughters, Adreanna-Maud and Hope Robyn who are, undoubtedly, her most important life achievement.