Board & Management
|Dr. Helmer Hilwig, Chairman
Born in the Netherlands, Dr Hilwig is a medical doctor by profession. He came to Trinidad in 1983, to stay for one year, but 23 years later he is still here and at present the Clinical Director of Occupational Health and Priority Care Facility Departments at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex.His involvement in theatre dates back to his university-days when he joined one of the major Dutch Theatre companies and soon extended into film and television.
He has been very involved in local theatre since his arrival as actor or director and worked with The Bagasse Company, Raymond Choo Kong Productions, The Love Movement, PresCon Choir, Brian MacFarlane Productions, Nancy Jackman and Christopher Rodriguez to name a few.He was an Executive Member of the National Drama Association for seven years.
|Ms. Nisa Suepaul, Deputy Chairman
Nisa Suepaul has been a member of the Board of Queen’s Hall since 2011 and Deputy Chairman since 2012. She is the holder of a BSc. Economics (Hons) degree from the UWI, a Masters degree in Education Studies (University of Sheffield, UK), A Professional Certificate in HRM (SBCS), a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Administration (UWI), Training and Assessment Certification at the Level IV (NTA), Intellectual Property certification from the WIPO, LLB (Hons) University of London and is currently employed as a senior officer with the Ministry of Education. She has served on several national committees and State Boards in the fields of Education, Youth Affairs and Culture.
Ms. Suepaul supervises the implementation of Business curricula across all schools in Trinidad and provides opportunities for training and advancement of all Business teachers. She has significantly contributed to promotion of entrepreneurial ability among youth through development and endorsement of several strategies and opportunities. She is also the Chairman of her own company.
|Ms. Charlene Griffith, Member
Born and raised in the east of Trinidad. She was the Personal Assistant to the Minister of Marine and Land Resources.She is a singer/songwriter and the co-founder of the group 2Ntrigue, who was known for pioneering the genre presently called “Island Pop”. Ms. Griffith’s goal is to assist in developing young artistes and motivating young women to embrace and develop themselves. She spent five years between Trinidad , Atlanta and New York working with producers and developing the sound for other artistes.
On her return to Trinidad and Tobago she was frontline for a Soca Band and entered the Soca Monarch Competition in 2013. She also represented Trinidad and Tobago internationally with other entertainers to showcase the country’s culture.She holds a Diploma in Festival Development and has marketed several events and concerts in the USA and the Virgin Islands. She is also the founder/owner of Islandholik Entertainment , a young company geared towards promoting culture , music, fashion and events from the Caribbean.She is a strong believer in faith and an optimist by heart.
|Ms. Michelle Joy Cato, Member
Michelle Joy Cato, LPT, a graduate of Howard University, Washington, D.C. has over 20 years physical therapy experience. She holds licenses from the Commonwealth of Virginia, Board of Medicine and the Council of Professions Related to Medicine of Trinidad and Tobago. She has received training in piano, guitar and voice from Trinity College of music and Howard University.
Founder of RehabWorks in 1996, she is committed to provide quality care to restore function and enhance the quality of life of their patients in a warm and friendly, ‘at home’ environment. Michelle holds a minor in music therapy and combines her love for the arts and healthcare when working with children in particular. She gives strong credence to the importance of early intervention and prevention and has designed wellness programs such as Healthy to the Bone for school aged children and Ergoworks for the working population.
In addition to her interest in health policy and promotion, Michelle also has keen pursuits in art, music, drama and literature and its value to the development of a holistic society.
|Ms. Karla C. Gonzales, Member
Karla C. Gonzales began performing at a young age in school, as a dancer and soon won national dance competitions, allowing her to travel to the USA. Within the following years she began her life in musical theatre, performing alongside Trinidad’s great actors, singers and dancers.
This soon blossomed into lead roles in the television soap operas NO BOUNDARIES and WESTWOOD PARK as well as multiple television ads and voice-overs. However, this latest development only served as another stepping stone for this performer. Within the following years, Karla began singing on countless studio recordings, locally, regionally and internationally, all while performing with local musical bands ATLANTIK, CHARLIE’S ROOTS and ROY CAPE ALL STARS and regional musical band SPICE & Co. And with her talents shining brighter, she soon attracted the attention of French Zouk band KASSAV, who Karla then recorded and toured with for four years. Karla’s time with KASSAV also earned her two Gold Albums, while sharing credits with music greats Stevie Wonder and Tito Puentes. Karla later shared Jazz Festival stages with Erykah Badu, Gladys Knight, Miriam Makeba, Diana Ross and Mary J. Blige, to name a few.
Within the last few years, Karla turned her focus back to studies, graduating at the top of her class from the University of the West Indies as well as getting her first book, FROM TEARS TO LIP GLOSS, published by Plain Vision Publishing, all the while stage managing local plays and musical performances, along with working behind the scenes for international movies such as Grown Girls Getaway, produced by US based Bobcat Films.In 2019, Karla was honored by the Trinbagonian Unified Calypsonians Organization for all her work in the industry. At the beginning of 2021, Karla finally released her new music video, “SECRETS”.
|Mr. Victor N. Prescod, Member
A citizen of Trinidad and Tobago who has been a Choral Clinician and Adjudicator at numerous Festivals and Competitions in Trinidad and Tobago and across the Caribbean. For many years he has presented workshops on vocal production to School Teachers, Choral Conductors and Singers, as well as workshops in Education and Music Education to School Administrators and Teachers.
The founding Musical Director of the PresCon Alumni Choir (now ‘Genesis Chorale’) in his hometown of San Fernando, Mr. Prescod has worked with several Steel Orchestras (most notably Caribbean Airlines Skiffle, with which he has been associated since 1986) and has served as the Musical Director for highly-acclaimed productions of: Jesus Christ Superstar; West Side Story; Les Miserablés School Edition; and The Phantom of the Opera, as well as the Children’s musicals: Big Bad – the Musical; Law and Order ([C]rhyme and [Pun]ishment; and, currently, Alice@Wonderland. He has also served as a Rehearsal Director and Conductor for the Lydians (Lydian Singers and Lydian Steel). Most recently, he was the Musical Director for Brian MacFarlane Productions’ ‘Reflect’ and served as that organisation’s Assistant Musical Director for its 2018 production of ‘Christmas Joy’.
In the Public Service, he has served as a Teacher, Curriculum Officer and Project Coordinator (Pan In The Classroom Project Unit) in the Ministry of Education and was the former Chairman of The Trinidad and Tobago Music Festival Association.
|Mr. Brian Wood, Member
Mr. Wood is a business professional and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Sociology (Brock University, Canada) and a Master of Commerce Degree in Marketing (University of Strathclyde, Scotland). During the early years of his career, he held several senior marketing management positions in the Tobacco, Floriculture, Retail, Oil & Gas and Shipping Industries. In the past twenty years, he has held executive management positions in the telecommunications, ICT and gaming industries.
Currently he leads his own software solutions company and consults in the fields of ICT, business development and gaming. Mr. Wood has been actively involved for almost ten (10) in the performing arts through his membership and current chairmanship of the Patrons of Queen’s Hall.
|Mr. John Thomas, Member
John Thomas, local tenor, impresario, music educator calls himself a proud Arimian and son of the soil of Trinidad and Tobago. He is a graduate of The State University of New York, and holds an ATCL from the Trinity Guildhall of Music. The award-winning tenor, titled “Best Tenor of the Festival” at the T&T’S biennial Music Festival is presently musical director of The Eastern Chorale, The St Joseph’s Convent POS Choir and The St Mary’s Collage Choir. Thomas hold’s five (4) National Youth Awards for Youth in Leadership, Music, Community Service, Performing Arts and was awarded by the Mayor of Arima for “Excellence in Community Service” to the burgesses of the Royal Chartered Borough of Arima.
Chairman of The Eastern Performing Arts Fraternity, and CEO at “John Thomas Productions” John enjoys producing shows around the country. The concert series ” Believe” today has earned a national following where the impresario currently explores the use of technologies, still allowing his cast, crew and patrons to safely enjoy both live and virtual performances during this pandemic. Being dyslexic, the educator continues to raise awareness of the disorder and encourages the use of music as a learning tool for young children with dyslexia.
|Mr. Garfield George, General Manager, Member
Garfield George, holder of a Masters in Business Administration from the Anglia Ruskin University, UK, has over twenty (20) years’ experience in Project and Operations Management working in both the private and public sector. He has proven success in the areas of Change Management, Business Operating Systems, New Product Implementation, Process Re-engineering, and Strategic Planning.
Garfield worked as Manager of Operations and Technical Services with the National Carnival Commission (NCC) of Trinidad and Tobago. He oversaw infrastructure projects and logistics for all Carnival related projects including stages, stands, artiste facilities, lights and audio.
Garfield is the founder and Director of Dynamic Youth Foundation, a registered Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) focused on promoting the Creative Arts Industry as a career choice for entrepreneurship and development.