Celebrating International Women's Day 2019 in Style

Updated: Jul 1, 2019

In celebration of International Women’s Day, on Tuesday 12th March 2019, the Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago (AFETT), in collaboration with title sponsor - the Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago (BATT), hosted the annual Women of Influence Awards and Mentorship Function at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The event was a coming together to honour so many of our change agents and leaders and to gain inspiration, insight and motivation.

From Left: Mrs. Sharon Rowley, wife of the Honourable Dr. Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms. Karen Darbasie, Vice President, Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago; and Mr. Nigel Romano, Director, Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Keynote Address was delivered by Mrs. Sharon Rowley, wife of the Honourable Dr. Keith Rowley, Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Other speakers included Mrs. Yolande Agard-Simmons, President, Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago; Mr. Brian Lewis, President, Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee; Ms. Karen Darbasie, Vice President, Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago; and Mr. Nigel Romano, Director, Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago. This year’s event included a unique Couch Conversation segment that saw Ms. Darbasie and Mr. Lewis sharing their individual perspectives on the issues of Empowered Women, Emasculated Men; Social Media affecting Self-Esteem; Is the playing field level. The event was ably chaired by Ms. Hema Ramkissoon.

Distinguished guests were the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts; Lara Quentrall-Thomas, President, Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries Limited (TTCSI); Mr. Terrance James, General Manager, NIPDEC; Mrs. Indera Sagewan-Alli, Economist; Mrs. Roberta Clarke, President, Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CADV); Mrs. Kathyann Thomas-Elbourne, Vice President, Trinidad and Tobago Midwives Association; Past Presidents and members of AFETT; among others.

Included in the audience were some ninety students from schools across Trinidad, including Arima Central Secondary; Bishops Anstey High School; Bishops Centenary High School; Moruga Secondary School; Rio Claro East Secondary; St Francois Girls High School; St. Joseph's Convent Port of Spain; South East Port of Spain Secondary; and Success Laventille Composite.

Many thanks to our title sponsor Bankers Association of Trinidad and Tobago; and our school sponsors: ACCA Trinidad; Deloitte Trinidad; East Port-of-Spain Development Company Limited; Grant Thornton; National Gas Company; Massy Group Foundation; and Shell Trinidad.


Business Pioneer - Candice Welch

Candice Welch is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor and one of two Directors at a leading and well reputed construction consultancy firm, Welch, Morris + Associates Ltd, where she heads the Quantity Surveying Division. Candice has held the position of Director for the past fourteen (14) years following the passing of her father, the Founder and, the then Principal, the late Desmond Welch. Managing the business and upholding its high standards at the age of twenty-three (23) did pose its many challenges, but her youth saw the implementation of many innovative concepts. She brings to the Practice a wealth of experience in the fields of Cost Planning and Cost Analysis, Budget Proposals, Advice on Investment Appraisals, Advice on Feasibility Studies and Procurement Methods, Tender Documentation Preparation, Negotiation and Settlement of Contract Claims and has successfully provided these and more Quantity Surveying Services on a number of sizable projects with varying degrees of complexity throughout Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean. Candice is a holder of a BSc. Quantity Surveying from the University of Reading, UK and was one of two (2) females who graduated with First Class Honours out of a class of forty-three (43) in a field that is predominately male-dominated. She also holds a Masters of Small and Medium Enterprises Management (MSMEM) with Distinction from the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, UWI. She is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, an Incorporate Member of the Chartered Institute of Building and a Member of the Institute of Surveyors of Trinidad & Tobago.

National Spirit - Renele Forde

A native of Trincity, Trinidad and Tobago, Renele rose through the ranks after starting volleyball at the age of 14 with Glamorgan volleyball club. She has Captained the 2007 gold medal-winning T&T Youth Volleyball squad in the Caribbean Youth Volleyball Championship while earning MVP accolades as well as the Best Setter Award ... she later Led the National Junior Team to a pair of gold medals in 2005 and 2007. Today, she currently captain’s the National Senior Women's Team that has made significant strides in the regional and international stage, such as the Cazova volleyball championship title for seven consecutive years, which recently created history by competing in the prestigious World Grand Prix of Volleyball in 2017 and the first English speaking Caribbean country to qualify for the volleyball world championship in 2018. A member of Technocrats Volleyball Club locally, Rénele made her professional debut in 2017 when she was contracted to play for Svedala volleyball club in Sweden for the 2017/2018 season. Currently she plays for LAU volleyball sports club in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus where she leads the league in assists that recently won the league’s Federation Cup.

Social Entrepreneur - Chevaughn Joseph, Just Because Foundation

Having successfully completed several management, sales and personal development courses over the past twenty-five (25) years, Chevaughn has worked in sales and marketing in the insurance and office supply industries where she received a number of awards for her performance, including Salesperson of the Year on two occasions. Deeply affected by losing her three and a half-year-old son, Chevaughn’s passion was fired up with the desire to honour the memory of her son by helping children with cancer and their families from across Trinidad and Tobago and throughout the Caribbean. With a firm belief that this was an assignment from God, together with her husband Noel, she set about to establish the Just Because Foundation…Just Because, He Cared. As the President and Co-Founder of The Just Because Foundation (JBF), Chevaughn is responsible for the conceptualisation, development and management of many of JBF’s one-of-a-kind projects which include, the JBF Home Away from Home, JBF Paediatric Specialty Unit, JBF Kiddi K – Children’s Walk Against Childhood Cancer, and JBF Embrace – Family Bereavement Support Group.

Young Female Leader - Nyoshia Cain

Nyoshia Cain, also known as “HurriCain Nyo”, made her debut on the international sporting stage in 2014 representing Trinidad and Tobago in the area of Track and field as a Para Athlete in the T44 class. Her appearance was at the Mexican Championships, held in Mexico City, where she took the Double Sprint Gold. In 2015, at the World Para Athletics Championships held in Doha, Qatar she placed 3rd in the 100m in a time of 13.31 secs, thereby qualifying to compete at the Paralympics in Rio in 2016. Another Double Sprint Gold was achieved in 2016 at the Arizona Desert Challenge in the 100m and 200m. In 2016, HurriCain Nyo represented Trinidad and Tobago at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She did the country proud as the only Female athlete to bring home a medal from the Olympic and Paralympic Games combined. Though she was disqualified in the 200m race, she kept her equilibrium and brought home the Bronze in the 100m in a time of 13.10secs. In 2017 she went on to compete at the Para World Championship held in London and brought home another bronze medal in the 100m in a time of 13.25 secs.

Spirit of AFETT - Sherleen Young-Griffith

Sherleen is the Managing Director of Callelujah Limited - a full-service catering company co-founded with her husband, Caleb Griffith. Over the last 15 years, she has gained valuable experience working at Pier 1 Limited, Hand Arnold (Trinidad) limited as a Promotions Coordinator where she managed and coordinated all promotional events for the local brand Moo! It was at Kapok Hotel, as the Events Coordinator, she learned the most lessons that impacted her business and her professional mantra. In the future, Sherleen hopes to open a kitchen as an institute of learning, and also expand her philanthropic efforts.

Link to event photo album: https://www.facebook.com/groups/37617198282/permalink/10156698338423283/

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