CHAMBER’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS 2021/2022
Kiran Maharaj is the Managing Director of Caribbean Lifestyle Communications, Music Radio 97.1FM, The People’s Station Radio 90.5FM & Heartbeat Radio 104.1FM (the world’s first radio station for women). She is Co-Founder and President of the non-profit Media Institute of the Caribbean (MIC) headquartered in Jamaica; a former President of the Trinidad & Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) and a Past President of the Greater Tunapuna Chamber of Industry and Commerce. She currently serves as a Council Member of the Organization of American States (OAS) Centre for Media Integrity of the Americas.
Her career spans over 30 years in media and entertainment where she has been involved in all aspects of media as a senior executive and owner including radio, television, film and events management. Her academic background includes Literature, Political Science, Business Administration; Journalism; Digital Marketing, Media, Sports and Entertainment Management and Strategy; and Events Management
In 2018 she was the recipient of the Woman of Courage Award from the US Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago. She enjoys working with non-profits and civil society entities who are focused on improving lives and providing opportunities through innovation.
Mr. David Hadeed has been a part of Carib Glassworks Limited for the past 4 years and has held the position of Managing Director since 2013. Carib Glassworks Limited is a subsidiary of the ANSA McAL Group and is the only glass container manufacturer in the Caribbean.
He joined the ANSA McAL Group in 1997 and since then has served as a Director on the Boards of Carib Brewery (St Kitts & Nevis) Ltd., ANSA McAL Trading Ltd. (Guyana), Stokes & Bynoe (Barbados), DCI Miami Inc, ANSA McAL (US) Inc. and Carib Glassworks Ltd.
In addition to serving as a board member for several ANSA McAL subsidiaries, Mr. Hadeed’s extensive experience spans across the manufacturing, beverage, financial services and distribution sectors, having held several positions within the group.
Mr. Hadeed is the holder of a B.Sc. in Business Administration with specializations in Marketing and Finance from Boston University, as well as an MBA from the University of Miami. In 2014, he completed the Harvard Business School’s Executive Leadership Program which has further enhanced his leadership skills.
He is married and the father of 2 children.
Ms. Karen Yip Chuck
BSc (Econ,), MBA, ACIB, CIA
As women we have the power to be great leaders. We can serve with empathy and warmth thatlights fires in others to succeed. When others succeed, we succeed.
Karen Yip Chuck is the Group Vice President of Republic Financial Holdings Limited and Vice President of Republic Bank Limited. She is a career banker for over 30 years who has held many senior management positions and acquired skillsets in Leadership, Strategy, Banking Operations, Investments, Commercial Credit, Corporate and Investment Finance, Risk Management, Process Re-engineering, Project Management and Board Governance. A certified Internal Auditor for 16 years, Ms Yip Chuck holds a B.Sc (Hons.) in Economics from the University of the West Indies and Masters of Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University of Edinburgh, U.K. She is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.
Ms Yip Chuck has contributed to the business landscape through the Trinidad Chamber of Industry and Commerce where she joined as a Director in 2016 and now sits as Vice President at the Executive Committee. She is a Director on the Boards of the International Women’s Forum of Trinidad and Tobago as well as United Way and holds the position of Chancellor’s Nominee on the UWI Campus Council.
• Republic Bank Grenada Limited
• Republic Bank St Maarten N.V.
• Republic Bank Trinidad & Tobago (Barbados) Ltd
• Republic Funds Barbados Inc
• Republic Bank Barbados Limited
• Republic Bank (EC) Limited
• Republic Bank Anguilla Limited
• Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Industry & Commerce
• The International Women’s Forum of Trinidad and Tobago
• United Way
• UWI Campus Council
Sonji Pierre Chase is a practicing attorney with twenty (20) years invested in number of areas in the legal sphere. She is a holder a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of London and Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School. Additionally, she has a Masters of Law (LLM) degree, majoring in Conveyancing & Contracts and International Trade Law. Post graduate diplomas in International Relations (University of the West Indies) and Anti-Trust Law also are part of her list of accreditations.
Ms. Pierre-Chase has considerable experience in the area of commercial law and tenancy management and is the Legal Advisor to the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry of Commerce, assisting with the drafting of leases and tenancy agreements for the Chamber. She has also advised on number of private sector organizations on various sector issues as well as on tenancy management.
Her experience extends further into the area of international trade law and anti-trust law (specifically, fair trading/competition law), having worked as a Legal Trade Specialist at the Ministry of Trade & Industry. She has advised on various issues relating to the domestic trade and investment regime; trade negotiations at the international, hemispheric and regional levels and on fair trading practices, in Trinidad and Tobago.
She also has extensive experience in the area of property and mineral title analysis and the preparation of oil mining leases for the petroleum industry, having worked as a Legal Officer in the Exploration and Production Strategic Business Unit of the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin).
Ms. Pierre-Chase joined private practice in April 2006, specializing mainly in the areas of Conveyancing and Property Development, Intellectual Property and Probate Practice.
In the area of Conveyancing and Property Development, she has prepared and vetted security documentation for different types of consumer lending, for the major lending institutions in Trinidad and Tobago, including co-operative societies. She negotiated, prepared and vetted commercial leases and rendered advice on landlord and tenant issues relating thereto.
In the area of Estates, her practice incudes the preparation of wills, applications for grants of representation and advising on estate planning. Since September 2006, she has been an Associate Tutor at the Council of Legal Education/Hugh Wooding Law School, for the Practice and Procedure course.
In the area of Intellectual Property (IP), her practice includes preparation and filing of trademark applications and generally advising on intellectual property rights in Trinidad and Tobago. Ms. Pierre-Chase also served on a Cabinet-appointed committee for the purposes of reviewing and considering the IP laws of Trinidad and Tobago. She served as a Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company for the period 2006 to 2011, providing legal support towards the development of the film industry in Trinidad and Tobago and Intellectual Property issues relating thereto.
Dr. Christian Stone obtained his PhD in Management with a specialization in entrepreneurship and strategy from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada (2016). He also holds a Masters in Education, Framingham (2010), an Executive Masters in Business Administration, UWI (2010) and a Honours degree in Business Administration from the Ivey School of Business (2003).
He was awarded the EY Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year in 2015, is a recipient of a National Open Scholarship with a focus on Development Needs and Entrepreneurial Education.
He is a serial entrepreneur with interests in consulting, the food and beverage industry, education, manufacturing and crypto currencies.
Dr. Stone has had several written works published in peer reviewed academic journals and serves as a Director on a number of private and non-profit boards.
Mrs. Chatoor graduated from Howard University in 1991, Magna Cum Laude, with a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She has held various leadership positions as a Brand Manager, Trade Marketing Manager, Caricom District Manager, Sales and Marketing Director and now General Manager.
Mrs. Chatoor is a firm believer that the path to success must involve hard work which caused her meteoric rise over the past 26 years. She is today, a seasoned professional able to deliver successfully on the financial and operational goals and objectives for her employer Caribbean Bottlers T&T Ltd.
She is a member of the IWF – International Women’s Forum and a mother of 3 children.
Jean Paul Dookie is the Vice President and Country Executive of Fujitsu (Caribbean) Trinidad Limited.
A veteran of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry, Jean Paul brings over thirty (30) years of experience in the area of ICT solution delivery, to private and public sector customers across the Caribbean. An entrepreneur by nature, he has also been instrumental in setting up and managing operations for ICT start-up businesses in Jamaica and Barbados.
Throughout his career, he has held leadership roles in ICT sales and service delivery; specific areas included strategy development, general management, sales and business development and project execution of enterprise, government and telecom sector mission-critical solutions.
An architect of ICT solutions, Jean Paul’s areas of experience include an in-depth understanding of ICT enterprise architecture and systems integration, from infrastructure to applications. His focus and passion is about the business value and positive outcomes that organizations can derive from their investment in technology.
When Jean-Paul joined Fujitsu 16 years ago he was given the responsibility to lead government business development across the region. During this tenure he has successfully collaborated with various governments, to deliver connected government and citizen centric solutions, to assist with public sector modernization.
Under his stewardship as Country Executive Jean-Paul has developed a culture of urgency, high performance and team collaboration, with business profitability achieved year on year. He is currently leading customer engagement and co-creation initiatives, as businesses seek to realise the value from digital transformation including; business innovation, efficiency and improving customer experiences.
Mr. Jason Julien is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer – Business Generation at First Citizens Bank.
Mr. Julien is a Chartered Financial Analyst with over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. He is the holder of a B.Sc. in Management Studies with Honours from the University of the West Indies; an MBA from Edinburgh Business School as well top honours in IABF’s 2018 Professional Certificate for Financial Advisors Programme (Cert. FA) in Banking Specialization. He is currently enrolled in the Stonier Graduate School of Banking. His career has covered consultancy with PricewaterhouseCoopers and management positions at an International bank. He was also employed with one of the largest financial services conglomerates in the Caribbean, where he managed over $8 billion in assets.
He is a member of the Finance Faculty at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, and is a commentator on economic, investment and financial matters. Mr. Julien was also honoured as one of the Distinguished Alumni of UWI, St Augustine. Mr. Julien is a Past President of the CFA Society of Trinidad and Tobago and has served on the boards of the Mutual Fund Association of Trinidad and Tobago, the Securities Dealers Association of Trinidad and Tobago, as the Vice-Chairman of the Capital Markets Development Committee of the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, and as Chairman of the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Mr. Julien is also a Director on the boards of several subsidiaries within the First Citizens Group.
Mr. Mark Laquis is the Managing Partner at Pollonais & Blanc. He is primarily a conveyancing and real property attorney but has gained experience in many areas of commercial practice such as large mergers and acquisitions and tax related matters.
He joined the firm of Pollonais & Blanc in 1994 and in his over 22 years with the firm, has gained a wide range of experience in real estate transactions including care and control of property transactions, drawing and completing transactions such as conveyances, assignments, leases, mortgages, chattel mortgages, bills of sales, debentures and matters incidental thereto.
Mr. Laquis is also involved in probate matters including the applications for grants of representation and letters of administration and advising on estate planning. He has a great deal of experience with commercial matters and is a great asset to any transaction due to his extensive knowledge of the legal aspects of tax matters and deal structures.
Beginning with his initial exposure during his undergrad business degree at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, Mr. Marc Persaud has developed an unwavering passion for the theory of business, its foundation principles, core tenants and architecture.
He also found a natural alignment with his own notions about building a strong and scalable business–understanding your employees, charismatic leadership, honesty and transparency, financial discipline and innovation.
This is strongly reflected in his unconventional career trajectory in which he has successfully worked and gained experience and knowledge in a wide cross-section of business types.
Upon returning from Canada, Marc worked in general management in both the marine and retail spaces. After three years in the local arena, he was then invited to join the prestigious BP Global Challenge Programme where he was able to gain world-class experience and hone his skills in economic analysis and modeling, long-term business planning, International negotiation and value optimization.
He was then recruited to create IBM’s oil and gas consultancy practice for the region. Upon leaving IBM, he chose to enter the entrepreneurial space and founded two regional start-ups.
At the end of 2011, he moved to the U.K. with his family where he became deeply involved with the London start-up scene and joined tech behemoth eBay in its European operation. During this time, he gained increasing exposure to the advanced financial markets of London, and his interests exponentially grew into the areas of capital markets, deal structuring and International strategy and finance. As a result, Mr. Persaud shifted trajectory on his return to Trinidad when he joined the transaction advisory group at EY and focused on corporate finance.
Most recently, he joined the leadership team of a regional financial services group as the head of its strategy and business development functions. In this role, he is able to bring to bear much of his previous experience as he is spearheading the Group’s transformation to a strategic, performance driven and innovative organisation.
Marc Persaud’s career mobility has been synonymous with a continuously steep and challenging learning curve. He has led teams through the numerous challenges of starting, rebuilding or turning around companies and just as effectively, he has performed economic risk evaluations for globally scaled projects and helped analyze the strategy for large International blue-chip companies. He has worked, negotiated and most importantly learnt, across the full spectrum of business and in a myriad of industries, geographies and commercial models. His journey has been one of discovery and breadth, upon which he has developed a strong competitive advantage.
Marc Persaud continues to be an ardent supporter of the start-up and SME space in the region and demonstrated this passion through his activism as a member of the NOVA Committee of the T&T Chamber of Industry and Commerce, as a curator of Google Start-up Grind and in an individual capacity as a mentor and advocate for the community.
Sacha Thompson joined the Board of Directors for the first time. Mrs. Thompson is the co-founder and CEO of The Customer Experience Company Ltd. (EXCO), a company she started three years ago based on her passion for and understanding of the importance of customer experience, as a key differentiator and growth driver for businesses.
Prior to joining the day to day operations of EXco, she performed a consultancy role as COO of WiPay. She has also worked with world renowned brands like Coca- Cola, Johnson & Johnson and Nestle. Ms. Thompson then enjoyed a stellar ten-year career at Digicel, eventually reaching the position of CEO. In January 2017, she stepped down as CEO to assume the Chairmanship of the Digicel Trinidad and Tobago Board of Directors where she sits today.
With a BA in Administrative and Commercial Studies combined with Economics from the University of Western, she has strong combination of business acumen and marketing flare. She also holds certification in Customer Journey Mapping and NPS (Net Promoter Score Masterclass).
Bryan Ramsumair is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of DeNovo Energy (‘DeNovo’) which is currently developing the Zandolie gas field in the Gulf of Paria. This is DeNovo’s second gas field development in three years. Before being promoted to Managing Director, Bryan was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) where he led the commercial, finance and procurement team in the acquisition and fast-track development of the Iguana field which included the securing of a US $250MM investment from Proman AG and a Gas Sales Agreement with the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited. Previously Bryan was the CFO at Trinity Exploration and Production Plc. (‘Trinity’) and was involved in growing Trinity from a 1,100 bopd to 4,400 bopd through the drill bit and via mergers and acquisitions. Bryan led the finance team that took Trinity public via a reverse takeover on the London Stock Exchange which was accompanied by a US $90 MM common share offering, and follow on fund raisings of US $63MM in senior credit facilities.
Bryan’s first career was in banking at RBTT Merchant Bank where, during the course of his career, he was involved in the originating and structuring of over US $2 billion in equity and debt transactions in Trinidad and throughout the Caribbean. Subsequent to RBTT Merchant Bank (where he left as Vice-President of Equity Capital Markets), Bryan co-founded a corporate finance boutique called ONE1 Financial Limited which raised over US $150MM in financing in its first year of operations and which was then sold to one of the Caribbean’s largest conglomerates.
Bryan is a former Non-Executive Director of Trinidad Cement Limited (where he was part of the independent board to advise on the takeover by CEMEX Sa), Development Finance Limited, and the Securities Dealers Association of Trinidad and Tobago.
Bryan holds a Masters in Business Administration and Honors Business Administration from The Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University, Canada and is an Ivey Merit Award winner.
Roxane De Freitas is the Senior Vice President & Chief Executive officer of Massy Stores Trinidad, the leading supermarket chain in the Caribbean and has direct responsibility for its Trinidad and Tobago operations with 23 stores and over 2000 plus employees. She also holds Directorship on the Integrated Retail and Distribution Portfolio, a subsidiary of Massy Holdings that oversees the retail and distribution businesses across the Caribbean and US.
Prior to Massy Stores Roxane has had an extensive and successful career as a Leadership Executive with Unilever. At Unilever Caribbean, she held the position of Marketing Director Caribbean, Regional North Exports Director and was a member of the Unilever Greater Caribbean Board. Roxane was the first female Managing Director of Unilever Caribbean Limited where she served for five years up to August 2012 when she was expatriated to the Head Office in Puerto Rico for 4 years.
Roxane graduated from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Roxane was appointed to the Bank’s Board of Directors in February 2009 and in December 2017, assumed the role of Chairperson of the Scotiabank Trinidad and Tobago Foundation, a registered charitable organization that manages Scotiabank’s philanthropic activities in Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr. Charles Pashley has over 25 years of management experience. He has worked with a major International accounting and auditing firm and has held various senior positions across the food, retail, manufacturing and distribution industries. He most recently held the position of Chief Executive Officer / Director at Prestige Holdings Limited.
Mr. Pashley holds an MBA in Business Administration. He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants of the United Kingdom (FCCA) and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago (CA).
Mr. de Gannes graduated from the University of the West Indies as an Electrical Engineer in the field of Electronics and Telecommunications in 1990. He later furthered his studies at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business where he pursued a Master’s degree in Management of Business Administrations with a focus on Strategic Planning and Entrepreneurship. In his career, Mr. de Gannes worked with the then Neal and Massy Group and TSTT in several junior managerial positions.
His global business background extends to then working as the country representative for multinational corporation Rockwell Automation, a major US manufacturer of Electrical and Control equipment for Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, and Industrial organizations worldwide, and the local branch of a Houston based engineering company. With expertise in change management and organizational transformation, he successfully restructured their local divisions.
His most recent post was at Trinidad Systems Limited (TSL) as Vice President, Subsidiaries, with responsibility for the document management and the outsourced payroll companies where he led business development resulting in increased profitability.
Stephen brings a strong foundation of leadership and strategic insight with keen understanding of transformation during turbulent times. He is eager to work with all stakeholders for the good of the business community, and the country in general.