International Women's Day 2017
Women of Influence Awards and Mentorship Celebration
March 21, 2017
AFETT Honours Calypso Rose, Neysha Soodeen, Shanntol Ince and other Influential Women
Undisputed Calypso Queen, Calypso Rose added to her many accolades at the Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago’s (AFETT) Women of Influence Awards and Mentorship Celebration on Tuesday March 21, 2017, at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port-of-Spain. As part of their annual celebration of influential women in our society, AFETT awarded Rose McCartha Linda Sandy Lewis (AKA Calypso Rose) with their National Spirit Award, which is given to a woman whose visionary contribution has had a major social impact on our country.
Multi-medal winner Shanntol Ince was also honoured with the Young Female Leader Award which is given to a woman under 25 who has made a significant contribution in terms of effort, time and resources, while demonstrating AFETT’s own values of engagement, empowerment and transformation. AFETT members felt that the paraplegic swimmer’s commitment to representing her country and overcoming obstacles was definitely worthy of recognition.
Neysha Soodeen, CEO of Toute Bagai Publishing, considered one of the Caribbean’s largest magazine publishing houses, received the Business Pioneer Award in recognition of her innovative approaches in the business community. She was also recognised for giving inspiration to others through her field, for paving the way for women to continue to strive forward, and for her efforts to showcase the Caribbean to the world.
Krista Santos, President and Co-Founder of NourishTT, received the Social Entrepreneur Award for her work in improving the lives of women in general. Her organisation works to ensure good quality food, which would be otherwise destined for landfills, is given instead to NGOs that can redistribute to people in need.
Social Entrepreneur 2017
Business Pioneer Award 2017
Young Female Leader 2017
National Spirit Award 2017
AFETT member Colleen Cameron received the Spirit of AFETT Award for embodying the organisation’s values of engagement, empowerment and transformation. Ms. Cameron served as the Director of Communications on the Board of AFETT for the 2015/2016 period, and she continues to support the work of the Association as an active member of the Communications Committee. She is a successful female entrepreneur with her event management company Ebony Belle Communiques and Caribbean Concoctions, which supplies indigenous delicacies to the local and international market.
Spirit of AFETT 2017
Kristine Thompson, ground-breaking consultant, entrepreneur and franchise owner of Chuck E. Cheese’s Trinidad, delivered the feature address. She discussed how she came to bring the highly successful franchise to this country. Drawing on one of the themes of International Women’s Day 2017, Be Bold for Change, Ms. Thompson gave practical advice on how to run your own business and reflected on the lessons she learned. She noted that it is important to invest in building networks and observed that some women don’t always want to ask to build connections while many men don’t have a problem with it. Besides having the confidence to make a change, she added that “timing is critical”, and it was important to be prepared.
During her remarks, the Honourable Ayanna Webster-Roy, Minister of Gender Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister, highlighted some of the women in our society who have made significant changes in our communities and encouraged her audience not to be boxed in and to break the ceiling to make significant changes. Both Minister Webster-Roy and special guest, Mrs. Sharon Rowley, wife of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, assisted in distributing awards to the winners.
The Honourable Ayanna Webster-Roy
Minister of Gender Affairs
Office of the Prime Minister
Several students from schools across Trinidad and Tobago were also present. Traditionally, AFETT works with sponsors to fund entry for students so they can benefit from the wealth of inspiration and information inherent in the proceedings. This year, AFETT expressed their sincere gratitude to the following companies that sponsored several secondary schools: Barataria South Secondary - Choice HR Limited; Chaguanas North Secondary - PCS Nitrogen; Brazil High School - FLOW; Holy Faith Convent, Couva - Phoenix Park Gas Processors; Moruga Secondary - SHELL/BG; Holy Name Convent, POS - Republic Bank; Queen’s Royal College - Bankers Association; St. Joseph Convent Port-of-Spain - Grant Thornton Orbit Solutions; South East POS Secondary - Cannings Credit Union, and Success Laventille Secondary - East Port of Spain Company Development Limited
AFETT also expressed appreciation to the corporate entities who have thrown their support behind the organisation by providing sponsorship for the event. First Citizens (Trinidad and Tobago) was the event’s gold sponsor. Other event sponsors included Agard Boys Photography, Sound Room Productions, MH Photo and Videography, Lieno Innovations, Oscar Francois Limited, La Souce Environmental Designs, POUI Limited, Massy Stores and Southern Sales Car Rentals Division. AFETT also used the opportunity to allow several entrepreneurs to showcase their products and services at various booths. These exhibitors were Conflict Women, La Souce Environmental Designs, Rodco Home Essentials, Solé, and Sound Room Productions.