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St. Thomas TV Journalist Remembered For Promoting Territory’s Tourism Product

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Journalist Netfa “Tafa” Romain, who died Tuesday, is being remembered as a creative powerhouse who used his talents to promote and uplift the territory.

“It is with great sadness that I received this news,” Governor. Albert Bryan said Wednesday. “I know Netfa from the early days with TV2. I always thought him to be the epitome of a V.I. son, kind, smart and a totally professional with his craft. I was sad when he moved to the mainland, and now on his passing, I really mourn for his entire family and the community. A great one gone too soon.”

As News Director of News2, Romain’s work garnered national recognition, including a bronze Telly award for “Haiti the Road to Recovery: V.I. Heroes” and an RTDNA Edward R. Murrow Award in the Video Breaking News Coverage category for “Soldiers Undertaking Disabled Scuba.”

“We are proud and thrilled that our stories have earned this recognition,” Romain said in 2011. “These awards are a testament to the hard work and dedication that makes CBS TV2 such a great organization, to be recognized for our hard work is a tremendous honor.”

Romain owned and operated his own production company, JNR Media Solutions, and his TV program, “USVI Ambassadors with Netfa Romain,” highlighted the accomplishments of Virgin Islanders in conjunction with the Tourism Department.

“On behalf of my team at the Department of Tourism, I convey deepest condolences to the family and friends of our teammate, colleague and brother Netfa ‘Tafa’ Romain,” Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte said in a statement Wednesday.

“Tafa was a consummate professional who embraced excellence in everything he did for the department and the wider U.S. Virgin Islands. I consider it a privilege and a blessing to have worked with him through the years, and will always remember his calm, cool and collected, solution-oriented approach to his assignments,” Boschulte said.

He added that Romain’s commitment to the territory and Virgin Islanders abroad through his “USVI Ambassadors” series was unparalleled.

“Tafa mentored many Virgin Islanders and shared the success stories of our people on a global scale through his award-winning work. We grieve his loss and offer prayers of blessing and comfort over his family during this difficult season,” Boschulte said. “Tafa, we are indebted to you for all you contributed to humanity, and your labor of love in spotlighting, lifting up, and enriching the Virgin Islands. Rest in peace.”

“My condolences. He was shining star in the VI,” Pearl Parrilla said on Facebook.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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