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WLC 2024 Speakers


Her Excellency Christine Carla Kangaloo ORTT

President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

Christine Carla Kangaloo was born in San Fernando on December 1, 1961, to Carlyle and Barbara Kangaloo. She is the fifth of their seven children. Ms. Kangaloo attended the Grant Memorial Presbyterian Primary School; St. Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando; and the University of the West Indies (St. Augustine and Cave Hill Campuses). She qualified with Honours in Law from the University of the West Indies in 1983. In 1985, she obtained her Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School and was admitted to the practice of law that year.

From 1985 to 1992 Ms. Kangaloo worked with her father, Carlyle, in his law practice. In 1992, Ms. Kangaloo entered the service of the Judiciary as an Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court. She served in that capacity for 4 years, until 1996 when, following her father’s untimely passing, she returned to private practice to wrap up his practice. In 1998, Ms. Kangaloo joined an established law firm in San Fernando.

Ms. Kangaloo commenced Parliamentary service in 2001 when, in that year, she was appointed an Opposition Senator. She was appointed Vice President of the Senate between January to August 2002; a Government Senator and Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister between 2002 to 2005; Minister of Legal Affairs between 2005 to 2007; and Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education between 2007 and 2010. Ms. Kangaloo was also the Member of Parliament for the Constituency of Pointe-a-Pierre between 2007 and 2010.

In 2015, Ms. Kangaloo was elected to the position of President of the Senate of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago – a position in which she served continuously until January of 2023. As President of the Senate, Ms. Kangaloo acted as President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on thirty-three (33) occasions. Ms. Kangaloo was the first person who served as Vice President of the Senate, to become the President of the Senate. Similarly, Ms. Kangaloo is also the first person who served as President of the Senate, to become the President-Elect of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

In Ms. Kangaloo’s first Ministerial position, as Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Social Services Delivery, Ms. Kangaloo acquired an in-depth knowledge and awareness of the needs of vulnerable, disenfranchised, marginalized and disadvantaged persons, and sought to become a voice for these persons. In this Ministerial position, Ms. Kangaloo also interacted with NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) in delivering social services to these persons, and acquired in-depth knowledge of the infrastructure for the delivery of services to the public.

In Ms. Kangaloo’s second Ministerial position, as Minister of Legal Affairs, Ms. Kangaloo oversaw the operations of the Consumer Affairs Division which was responsible for consumer protection and advocacy, and the heightening of awareness by consumers of their rights. As Minister of Legal Affairs, Ms. Kangaloo sought to become a voice for consumers and to provide them with information (including prices of consumer items) to enable them to make informed choices and to empower them as consumers.

In Ms. Kangaloo’s third Ministerial position, as Minister of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education, Ms. Kangaloo was responsible for developing and implementing training programmes for the nation’s youth (among others). She particularly delighted in seeing the impact of these programmes on the lives and employment prospects of young people.

As an elected Member of Parliament, Ms. Kangaloo assisted in addressing the everyday needs of constituents – the need for water, public transportation, schooling, medical care, employment – and for simply just listening to her constituents’ challenges and problems, and helping to solve them. As an elected Member of Parliament, Ms. Kangaloo acquired an appreciation for the unvarnished reality of daily living of her constituents and was an advocate for their upliftment and self-articulation.

Overall – as an Assistant Registrar in the Judiciary; an Opposition Senator; a Government Senator; an elected Member of Parliament; a Member of Cabinet; a Parliamentary Presiding Officer; and as Acting President of Trinidad and Tobago – and therefore, by reason of her long and varied career in multiple incarnations of public service, Ms. Kangaloo has acquired an acute, a singular and a comprehensive appreciation of the system and the mechanics of government, of public service, and of the needs of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago.

Ms. Kangaloo has been married for twenty-four (24) years. She is a cancer-survivor.


Stuart Franco

President | AMCHAM T&T

Stuart Franco is the Chief Executive Officer of The TSL Group of companies and the youngest member of the board of directors, having been appointed EVP in 2011.

Stuart holds a B.A in Statistics & Economics from the University of Western Ontario and began his career at TSL in 2003 as a Sales Representative. In this role, Stuart achieved an impressive track record of high-quality  salesmanship and tremendous care for his clients. He went on to become the Sales Manager and then E.V.P. of Sales and has brought the company significant success despite the challenging environment of the last few years.

Stuart is passionate about giving back to the community and also holds a seat on the board of directors of the TSL Foundation and has spearheaded several major projects in the role in the last two years.

In this role, he plans to continue building on the success of TSL and ensuring that the group continues to play a major role, not only in the local market but also the wider Regional Caribbean ICT arena.


Deborah Benjamin

Managing Director | ASCO

Deborah is currently the Managing Director of an upstream Energy Logistics Services Company serving several Oil & Gas majors in Trinidad and Suriname.

She an Operations Management Professional with 15+ years’ Management experience working with Global Brands in Regional Caribbean Markets with a focus on International Supplier relationships to support Sales, Marketing, Retail and Supply Chain segments. She specializes in returning operations to greater profitability. 

She utilizes her unique experience across the Downstream, Midstream and Upstream Energy Sectors to promote the United Nations SDG Goals.

Deborah is passionate in her advocacy of women and girls, and in her advancement of the tenets of diversity, equity and inclusion. She has been an invited speaker on several international forums, and holds various Board positions.         


Dr. Sharda Patasar

Writer | Researcher| Musician | Composer | Independent Senator

Sharda Patasar is an interdisciplinary artist who works through music, writing and film. Primarily trained as a classical sitarist, her musical work spans fusion/world music to experimental forms. She holds a PhD. in Cultural Studies and her academic interests cover folk music cultures, religion and religious iconography. 

In film, she has worked as musical director and co-director. Some include:  Coolie Pink and Green (2009) Musical director.
Travelling Palms (2022) a film on the Warao tribe’s migration to Trinidad, a film created on behalf of The Living Water Community. (Director, Musical Director/composer).  Ganga Dhaara (2020), an examination of the way in which sacred space is reconstructed in the Indo-Trinidadian diaspora. (Co-producer, co-director, Musical Director/Composer)

As writer/researcher her work spans the academic to fiction writing. Her writing has been published in Caribbean Beat and Moko Magazine among other local and international magazines and publications.  In 2020 she was selected as one of eighteen international writers for a collaborative fiction project funded by Kulturbryggan, a Swedish Arts Council.  In 2022, she was one of a cohort of twelve Caribbean writers selected for the Royal Court Theatre’s Writing for Performance Programme where her work explored the boundaries of sound, music and text for storytelling.  

She was appointed as an Independent Senator in the 12th Republican Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago in 2023 and also holds the position of Master Artist in Residence at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. 


Breanne Mc Ivor

Award Winning Author & Freelance Writer

Breanne Mc Ivor is an award-winning author, who holds degrees in English from the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh. Her short story collection, Where There Are Monsters, was published in 2019 by Peepal Tree Press. Her debut novel, The God of Good Looks, was published by HarperCollins and Penguin Random House in the summer of 2023. It was named the most anticipated book of the year by Oprah Daily, Good Housekeeping, Lit Hub, and Katie Couric Media, among others. Breanne was shortlisted for a 2024 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Debut Author; her novel was named one of Audible's best of the year for 2023 and received a 2023 Earphones Award from AudioFile. Before working as a writer full-time, she worked at Massy Technologies InfoCom and AMCHAM T&T. 


Karen Abraham

Vice President and Chief Risk Officer | Scotiabank

Karen Abraham is Scotiabank’s Vice President & Chief Risk Officer, for its Caribbean South & East operations. In 2005 at Scotiabank, Karen has held progressively senior roles within Corporate & Commercial Banking and Risk Management. In her previous role as Director, Credit Risk, Karen led and managed all commercial credit adjudication and credit risk. As Vice President & Chief Risk Officer, Karen provides strategic direction and leadership for the Caribbean South and East, ensuring effective communication of the Bank’s risk appetite and risk culture, and with oversight for financial and nonfinancial risk management including credit, market, operational and reputational risks.

Karen holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Chemistry from Campbellsville University and a Master of Applied Statistics from Ohio State University. She has also completed the professional qualifications of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.


Adrian Vincent

Manager, Human Resources | Methanex

Mr. Adrian Vincent is a Recruitment and Talent Development Professional with over 20 years of experience in the fields of Recruitment and Selection, Performance Management, Talent Management and Training and Development. He currently holds the position of Manager, Human Resources at Methanex Trinidad Ltd. and has been with the organization for over 10 years. 

Throughout his career, Adrian has held several Human Resources roles within the Energy and Financial Sectors and is passionate about continuous learning, workplace equity and inclusive corporate cultures. Adrian holds an MBA from Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business and a BSc in Psychology with a Minor in Human Resources. He is also a certified Assessor for the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business.


Group Captain Kemba Hannays

Commanding Officer | Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard

Group Captain Kemba Hannays is a career military officer with twenty-three years’ service. She is the substantive Commanding Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Air Guard and has acted in the capacity of Vice Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Defence Staff of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force. Group Captain Hannays has the distinction of being the first female officer in the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force to achieve this rank, as well as act in any of the capacities mentioned.

During her career, Group Captain Hannays has attained numerous military decorations in recognition of her service. She is a past student of the Woodbrook Government Secondary School and also attended St George’s College.  She graduated from the University of the West Indies with a Master’s Degree in Aviation Management with Distinction, and also holds an MBA in International Relations and Diplomacy (Merit) from the University of Cumbria and a Post Graduate Certificate in Research from the Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

Group Captain Hannays is the holder of a Professional Helicopter Pilot Certificate after graduating from the Professional Pilot Program at Bristow Academy in Titusville, Florida. She is married to Kyle Hannays and has a son, Aiden Hannays. She enjoys outdoor physical activity as well as reading and spending time with her family members and close friends.


Jarod Perryman

Managing Director | ScotiaLife Trinidad & Tobago Limited
Director, Wealth | Scotiabank Trinidad & Tobago Limited

Jarod has been in the banking and insurance industry for the past 27 years holding positions of increasing responsibility over that period. He joined Scotiabank Trinidad & Tobago Limited in 2013 and has led teams both locally and regionally in producing consistently strong results, bringing to bear his experience in business development, portfolio management, strategic planning and risk management.

Jarod was appointed as the Managing Director of the Life Insurance Company in December 2020. He also holds the position of Director, Wealth. In this role, he is able to bring Insurance and Investment distribution closer together. Jarod holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Planning from the Edinburgh Business School, a Post Graduate diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the U.K. and a Master Financial Advisor designation from the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association.



Tracey Weekes

Manager, Financial and Strategic Investments | The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago

Tracey A Weekes is an Actuary and a CFA Charterholder. She is currently Manager, Financial & Strategic Investments at The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC). Tracey has managed projects that have led to transformational change in financial systems in public and private sector organisations. Her technical expertise and experience span treasury, finance and investments, pension restructuring and management as well as actuarial science. Tracey is continuously learning so that she can be at the cutting edge of leading innovation in financial systems which yield substantial benefits and returns to organisations and clients.

Tracey is presently focused on identifying, assessing and recommending private equity investments in the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) space in furtherance of NGC achieving its future growth strategy and ambitious targets under its “Green Agenda” initiative. She has successfully completed two (2) online ESG Investing Certificate courses, offered by the Colombia Business School Executive Education and the CFA Institute, respectively. In an effort to build ESG capacity, locally, regionally and internationally, Tracey continues to share her newly acquired knowledge and insights with colleagues and peers through in-house sessions within NGC and participation in regional and international conferences.

To ensure that citizens are knowledgeable and engaged on issues related to the Green/Clean Energy transition, Tracey has participated in a multi-video television series titled “New Energy Conversations” forged through a partnership between NGC and One Caribbean Media, which aimed to sensitise the national and regional communities. Topics included “Financing the Energy Transition”, “Methane Measuring and Satellite Monitoring” and “Renewable Energy and its Relevance Today”.



Gillian Chevrotiere

Senior Manager, People Leadership and Culture | The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago

Mrs. Gillian Chevrotiere is the Senior Manager, People Leadership and Culture and a member of the Leadership Team of The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited.

A human resources advocate and leader with over 18 years’ experience spanning the oil and gas, financial services, construction, and consultancy sectors, Gillian earned a reputation for guiding and supporting through operational and people management strategies.  Prior to joining NGC, she led the HR team at the National Information and Communication Technology Company Limited (iGovTT) before operating her own consultancy practice and establishing a relationship with the Human Capital Institute (HCI) based in Ohio. This collaboration made accredited international certifications readily available to industry leaders both locally and regionally. Since joining NGC, she has used many platforms to share and influence the future of HR locally.  She is now on a journey to accelerate the company’s DEI strategy and actions, having completed the USAID Workforce Gender Equality Accelerated Program in 2023. Most recently she was invited to speak at an International Women’s Day event hosted by the Business Women Network of SAP.

Gillian holds a Master of Science Degree in HR from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology and HR from The University of the West Indies. She is a certified HR Business Partner, (HRBP) and Workforce Planner (SWP) through the Human Capital Institute of Ohio and certified in assessment centre design and development through the Institute of Leadership and Management of the United Kingdom.

Gillian is a member of the performing arts community and takes pride in being a singing member of The Lydians choir and a former member of the Board of Directors where she also chaired their HR Committee.



Vitra Gopee

Chief Operating Officer | DigitalEra Group

Vitra is a senior executive lead whose 25-year experience in the IT Services industry has been marked by a passionate and relentless obligation to people and service and an unwavering dedication to excellence and outcomes. Her career in operations, sales, marketing, and service has been punctuated by a deliberate commitment to transformation and change, performance, and profitability.

As Chief Operations Officer at DigitalEra Group, a US-based Next Generation Cybersecurity Services Provider, Vitra brings a unique mix of purpose-driven and progressive leadership that achieves meaningful and lasting change and delivers consistent and sustainable outcomes. She is a determined and innovative problem solver, whose career has sharpened such skills allowing her to create opportunity and produce results from solving complex strategic and operational challenges and embodies the belief that resilience, adaptability, and execution are the cornerstones for enduring success.

In September 2023, in addition to her role as COO, Vitra was appointed General Manager of the Services Business Unit at DigitalEra, tasked with the responsibility to reshape the work culture to reinforce their customer-first approach, mature their human talent, capacity, and capability and innovate in the delivery and deployment of Next-Gen Cybersecurity solutions and frameworks in order to expand their practice and reputation as an elite Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP).


Kathryna Baptiste Assee

Group General Counsel/ Corporate Secretary | Angostura

Kathryna joined the Angostura family as Corporate Secretary on April 1, 2019 and was appointed Group General Counsel on March 1, 2020 in addition to her substantive position.  She is an Attorney-at-Law with over twenty-five years’ experience. Kathryna holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL. B) (Honours) Degree from the University of the West Indies and a Legal Education Certificate (LEC) from the Hugh Wooding Law School, St. Augustine, Trinidad. 

She also holds an Executive Masters of Business Administration (Distinction) Degree from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, Trinidad.  Kathryna is a member of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute. 


Zara La Fleur

National Under 20 Chess Champion

Zara La Fleur is 17 years old. She is a form six student at St. Augustine Girls' High School, where she is part of the Senior Council. She is President of the Chess Club, and President of Girls Stand Up; a club against gender-based violence. She is also Vice President of the Cricket Club. 

Zara is a National Chess Champion having travelled many places representing her country, including India. Recently, she won the National U20 Open Category where she played against boys and girls alike. Zara loves music, chess, cricket, football, and watching movies.


Kieron Bailey

Sr Vice President: Country Compliance Officer - Trinidad / LATAM Compliance Monitoring & MCA Lead | Citi

Kieron Bailey is the Chief Country Compliance Officer (“CCCO”) and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer (“AMLCO”) for Trinidad & Tobago as well as the Manager’s Control Assessment Lead for LATAM (ex Mexico). 

Before that, he was the Citi Cluster Compliance Officer – Caribbean from 2016 to 2021 in addition to his CCCO and AMLCO responsibilities for Trinidad & Tobago. As the ICRM Caribbean Cluster Head, Kieron had oversight responsibility for ICRM over all of the Caribbean countries including Non-Presence Countries. Kieron is an experienced Compliance Officer with a deep understanding of the compliance risk management framework and the various compliance programs that comprise that framework. With that knowledge and experience, he has been able to guide the businesses under his responsibility in navigating the compliance risk associated with their activities. 

Before joining ICRM in 2012, Kieron was the AVP/Legal Counsel for Citi Trinidad & Tobago between 2008 to 2012, providing legal advice and support on complex transactions, regulatory compliance, litigation, employment and industrial relations matters. 

Prior to joining Citi in 2008, Kieron, an Attorney-at-law by profession, worked in both the public and private sector having been an Associate Attorney-at-Law in the Litigation Department of J.D. Sellier & Company and a Legal Officer with the Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Commission

Kieron is the holder of a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) Degree from the University of the West Indies and a Legal Education Certificate from the Hugh Wooding Law School where he was also awarded the prize for Best Overall Performance. In 2013, he also received his Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) certification from the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists. He is happily married with two children.



Jenifer Neidhart de Ortiz

Deputy Chief of Mission | U.S. Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago

Jenifer Neidhart de Ortiz is the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain.  Prior to that, she was the Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs in Guatemala, leading her team on White House priorities including migration, anti-corruption and rule of law, citizen security, and human rights.  Jen has advocated fiercely for DEIA issues in her career, including as a board member on several international schools and has advocated across her career for the modernization of bilateral relations, including achieving equal treatment for same sex diplomatic families and establishing safe havening for employees serving in our hardest postings.

Jen’s career includes seven overseas assignments and three in Washington, D.C. As the Senior Trade and Investment Officer in Baghdad, Iraq, Jen was nominated for a Department award for her work securing supply chains and access for live-saving medicines during the COVID pandemic.  In Washington, she served for two tours as the Special Assistant for the Western Hemisphere to the Deputy Secretary of State and covered global issues related to civilian security, democracy, development, and human rights.  She also served as Deputy Director for East Asia in the Human Rights Bureau, where she represented Department interests in frontline issues related to China, North Korea, as well as across Southeast Asia.

Other overseas assignments included Hanoi, Manila, Lisbon, and San Salvador.  In Hanoi, she was nominated as Human Rights Officer of the year. Jen has received numerous Meritorious Service, Superior Honor, and Meritorious Honor awards for her work across 20 years in the Foreign Service.  She holds a Ph.D. in international relations from American University.  Jen and her tandem husband, Juan, have three children.  She speaks Spanish, Portuguese, and Vietnamese.


Jane Wight 

CEO | The Business Supply Group Ltd.

Jane is the first female CEO of The Business Supply Group in the company’s more than 45 years of history.

The company has two divisions: SCRIP-J, an experienced manufacturer of Print & Packaging in T&T with distribution channels across the Caribbean and BOSS, a leading distributor of Office & School Supplies, Office Furniture and Thermal Rolls.

Prior to this Wight held the position of the CEO at BOSS and is currently a guest lecturer at the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business. Over the past 17+ years she has gained experience in Strategic Planning, Leadership Development, Performance Management, Employee Engagement, Sales Strategy in the Manufacturing, Distribution, Finance, Construction and Media sectors of Trinidad & Tobago 

Wight holds a Master of Human Resource Management from the Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business, University of the West Indies, and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Guelph in Canada. She is also a former member of the Employment & Labour Relations Committee at the Trinidad & Tobago Chamber of Industry & Commerce and former Board Member of the Human Resource Management Association of T&T.