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The Caribbean Summit

On Friday November 3, 2017, Les Cayes Partners and Seton Hall University hosted a day dedicated to exploring leadership, tourism, education, the arts, and investment opportunities in the Caribbean region. We also addressed how organizations could fulfill contractual obligations and maintain business operations in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Stretched across a million square miles of land and sea, we recognize that the Caribbean is a diverse community of countries, cultures and people bound together by shared history and common challenges.  Blessed with unparalleled natural beauty, but beset by susceptibility to nature's elements, external economic shocks and the comparative size of its individual states, it is understood that the Caribbean has struggled to attract the constant attention of the international community.  

Program Agenda

  • The State of Leadership in the Caribbean
    • Scott Hilton-Clarke, Partner Inspiration Labs
  • Innovative Approaches in Education,  
    • Steven Lorenzet, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Management Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University
    • Bridgette Johnson, Program Manager Grace’s Key, Hatfield Primary School
    • Dana François, Program Manager, Kellogg Foundation
  • Business of Tourism
    • Stephanie Barnes, Director of Sales, Marriott Hotel Port-au-Prince
    • Hugh Riley, Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism Organization
    • Kim Jack Riley, Director of Tourism, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, US
  • Private Equity and Venture Capital Advances
    • Kenneth Allen, Founder and Managing Director, Azurest Partners
    • Christal M. Jackson, Founder, Head and Heart Philanthropy
    • Michael Derham, Partner, Novam Portam
  • The State of Creative Industries 
    • Lisa Cosimano Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Hawtan Leathers
    • Sabine Toussaint, Director of Programs, JPHRO
  • Enterprise Resiliency and Business Continuity
    • Rocky Romanella, CEO and Senior Partner, 3SIXTY Management Services
    • Paul Williams, Director of NA Procurement Operations, Mondelēz International Inc.

Our full-day event included continental breakfast, plenary sessions, and a Caribbean-inspired lunch. Following panel presentations in the afternoon, participants enjoyed networking at our closing reception at 5:30 p.m. 

Speaker Biographies

Karen A. Passaro, M.B.A., J.D., Dean Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies, Seton Hall University

Karen A. Passaro, M.B.A., J.D., currently serves as the Dean of the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies (CEPS) at Seton Hall University. Her appointment marked the revitalization of CEPS as part of the University’s continued implementation of the Strategic Plan, Strength to Strength, which calls for ambition in outreach to various external communities. Passaro leads her Division in serving both the personal and professional needs of a diverse community of learners through a range of educational offerings that includes credit and non-credit courses, professional development and bridge programs, workshops, and professional accreditation programs. The Division specializes in the development of custom programs for corporate and nonprofit partners. In her entrepreneurial position, Passaro identifies new strategic business opportunities for the University’s academic colleges and leads the marketing and cultivation efforts. Dean Passaro previously served as Associate Dean for Academic Services in the Stillman School of Business, where she played an integral role in a variety of strategic planning efforts, including the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International Reaccreditation, enrollment management, marketing and fundraising. She has been the academic liaison to the Offices of the Bursar and Financial Aid. In addition, she created and managed the off-site M.B.A. cohort in Bergen County, at Hackensack University Medical Center. During her tenure, she served as an adjunct faculty member in both the Management and Legal Studies departments. Before joining Seton Hall University, Passaro was an associate and then Of Counsel at the law firm of Nowell Amoroso, P.A., where she specialized in municipal and business law. For fifteen years, she also served as Municipal Public Defender in Mahwah, New Jersey. Passaro currently serves as the Chair of the New Jersey Women’s Network in Higher Education, an American Council on Education affiliate. Previously, she co-chaired the Programming Committee which was responsible to develop and manage statewide conferences for women in higher education. She also enjoys her volunteer work with the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey and serves as Chair of various committees for the Home School Organization Boards within her town. She earned her B.A. (English), M.B.A. and her J.D. degrees at Seton Hall University.

Scott Hilton-Clarke, Partner, Inspiration Labs

Scott Hilton-Clarke has spent much of his 25-year career advising and inspiring senior executives and entrepreneurs to raise their level of personal and leadership effectiveness. He is the Founder of Inspiration Laboratories, a firm focused on advancing companies through building and harnessing their human capital. Prior to Inspiration Labs, Scott co-founded Confida Corporation, a management consulting firm specializing in the development of leadership teams and the implementation of strategic initiatives. Scott has focused much of his work in the areas of strategic leadership development, particularly in the area of emotional intelligence and personal effectiveness. It is with this experience and understanding that Scott mentored and coached over two hundred managers to enhance their leadership and delivery capabilities. Scott’s experience has spanned a wide range of industries and countries, including the Energy, Information Technology, Manufacturing, Telecommunications, Healthcare, Education and Financial Services sectors and has involved primarily Fortune 500 Corporations, the US Federal Government and various companies in the Caribbean, Middle East, Africa and the Far East. Scott earned his M.B.A. from Harvard University and his B.S. in Information Systems and Economics from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Prior to Confida, Scott worked at Symmetrix (a boutique management consulting firm serving Fortune 500 companies), where he was engaged in the development and implementation of re-engineered business practices and organizational systems. Scott also worked for IBM Corporation in the areas of product development, finance, and product planning, where he won both Divisional and Laboratory (Organizational) Awards. Throughout his career, Scott has been engaged as a master facilitator, lecturer and speaker. Scott has facilitated sessions ranging from ‘difficult conversations’ to ‘low morale managers’ to ‘accelerated MBA programs’. Scott is a self-proclaimed, “Greatness Detective” and his latest research interest is in the area of uncovering employees’ passions and special gifts to access higher levels of productivity. Scott was appointed by the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago to be a Founding Director of the Board of Governors for The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). During his tenure, Scott was Executive Director and Acting Vice Provost for a number of the Academies at UTT. For a five-year period, Scott was Chairman of the Human Resource Sub-Committee, Chairman of Information Communications Technology Advisory Committee, and Chairman of the Academy of Performing Arts Advisory Committee. Scott was also a Member of the Board of Directors for Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA), Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (NIHERST) and the Harvard Business School Community Partners Program which was established to offer pro-bono consulting services to Non-Profit Organizations in South Florida. Scott has been featured speaker at the National Conference of the Minority Business Development Association (US Commerce Department) in San Diego, CA and most recently at Virgin Atlantic’s Business as an Adventure conference where he spoke on the “State of Caribbean leadership”. As part of the team launching TEDx in Trinidad, Scott was the host of TEDx Port-of-Spain in 2011 and 2012. In 2014, Scott was a TEDx speaker where he talked about his life's work, which revolves around helping people, identify and own their signature strengths and unique self-expression.

Kenneth Allen, Founder and Managing Director, Azurest Partners

Kenneth Allen, M.B.A. is the founder and a Managing Director of Azurest Partners. He has over 25 years of experience in investment banking, business strategy and project management. At Azurest Partners, Mr. Allen leads the firm’s business development efforts, particularly for clients in industry sectors including financial services, financial technology, business services and Internet / technology. He has also completed client engagements in the oil field services, education and real estate sectors. Mr. Allen is responsible for strategic planning, regulatory affairs and compliance, and general administration for Azurest Partners. He has business relationships with companies and government agencies in the US, various nations in West Africa (e.g., Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria) and a number of countries in the Caribbean including Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique and Trinidad & Tobago. Prior to founding Azurest Partners, Mr. Allen held various senior roles at Lehman Brothers as well as JP Morgan Chase’s Investment Bank. At Lehman Brothers, Kenneth covered clients in the business services, telecoms / information services and financial technology sectors. Kenneth has been involved in equity and debt capital raising transactions as well as M&A assignments on behalf of his clients. He also served in the Corporate Strategy group at Lehman Brothers and has served as a chief administrative officer in the Mortgage Capital division of that company. At JP Morgan Chase, he was a Global Business Manager, overseeing planning and administration, compliance, management reporting and special projects for various groups in the Investment Bank. Mr. Allen received a degree in Systems Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He also has an MBA and a Master’s in Education from Stanford University.

Christal M. Jackson, Founder, Head and Heart Philanthropy

Christal’s career in the impact sector began nearly two decades ago as an intern with The Children’s Defense Fund. Six years ago, she launched, Head and Heart Philanthropy (HHP) a social impact agency focused on improving outcomes for communities of color in health, tech, education and economics. HHP began as an invite-only Summit on Martha’s Vineyard. Now it’s an agency serving some of the best and brightest focused on economic and social impact. After obtaining a dual-degree in Psychology and Religion from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, she furthered her education by attending Duke University School of Divinity where she obtained a Masters of Theological Studies. She was recognized by EBONY Magazine as one of their Future 30 Leaders of America and has received numerous awards and recognition for her work. Christal sits on several boards committed to breaking barriers around access and opportunities.

Michael Derham, Partner, Novam Portam

Michael Derham is a Partner with Novam Portam. He has previously covered Emerging Markets at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as well as on Wall Street, and began his career as a journalist with LatinFinance magazine. Additionally, Michael has advised political campaigns in the US and the Emerging Markets on economic policy and strategy. Michael is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a Fellow of the Truman National Security Project. Michael has a Master of Arts degree in International Affairs and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.A. from the Johns Hopkins University. Michael has studied at the SAIS Bologna Center in Italy and additionally lived in Brazil and Argentina; he currently lives in New York City. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, and conversant in Italian.

Lisa Cosimano Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Hawtan Leathers

Lisa Cosimano Gallagher has been the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Hawtan Leathers, LLC, a family owned and operated international leather manufacturing company, based in Newburyport, Massachusetts since 2003. Hawtan owns and operates one of the largest leather tanneries in the Caribbean, located outside of Port Au Prince, Haiti specializing in industrial glove leather. Ms. Gallagher is also the Chief Financial Officer of Port City Glove, a glove manufacturing company in Haiti and the Director of Development for the Cuirs Hawtan Haiti Relief Fund, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization serving the needs of the people of Haiti. From 2010-2014, Ms. Gallagher held the position of Chief Financial Officer and was primarily engaged in capital raising for acquisitions for Fusion Media Group, a national outdoor advertising company based in Wenham, Massachusetts. Prior to joining Fusion and Hawtan, Ms. Gallagher was Managing Director and Head of Media & Entertainment Investment Banking for Robertson Stephens, a San Francisco based investment bank and BancBoston Securities, in Boston Ma. She has held various public and private company board positions and has served on a number of non-profit boards. She has an MBA from Simmons graduate School of Management and a BA from Mount Holyoke College.

Sabine Toussaint, Director of Programs, JPHRO

Native New Yorker Sabine Toussaint grew up in Queens to Haitian immigrant parentage. She has built a unique career bridging her business background with the non-profit sector to create sustainable economic growth and job opportunities for underserved persons and communities. A Fordham University undergraduate with a degree in Accounting, Sabine started her career in entertainment, beginning at Uptown records. Over the next 15 years, she furthered her career in Finance and Accounting as a Business Manager for media production companies, advertising agencies such as J. Walter Thompson, and music and publishing companies, specifically, Warner Music and Essence Magazine. Wanting to use her business knowledge on the international development stage, Sabine pursued and completed a Master’s degree at NYU in Global Affairs. Upon graduation, she began working at the William J. Clinton Foundation on the Haiti Initiative. As the Director of Programs at Clinton Foundation, she has facilitated investments and job creation opportunities working with the tourism, agriculture, energy and artisan sectors. Sabine has organized various investment trips with the President and potential investors showcasing the richness and diversity, as well as investment potential of Haiti. Accomplishments include collaborating with companies such as West Elm in creating market linkages with the artisan sector in Haiti; Marriott International building a new hotel in Haiti and sourcing local talent and targeting local procurement wherever possible. She most recently helped to create the Women’s Economic Participation Consortium, a platform created to help women entrepreneurs in Haiti get their businesses to the next level and become investment ready - working with local partners to help Consortium businesses become investmentready while creating a support network for the businesses.

Steven Lorenzet, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Management Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University

Steven Lorenzet is an Associate Dean and an Associate Professor of Management in the Stillman School of Business at Seton Hall University. In his role as an Associate Dean he provides support to the students and faculty of the undergraduate and graduate Business programs. In current and prior administrative roles has been very active with corporate and international partnerships, new program development, and external relations. His teaching interests are primarily in Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior. He received his Ph.D. in Organizational Studies (Human Resource Management/Organizational Behavior) from the University at Albany, State University of New York. Although his primary focus is administrative, Dr. Lorenzet has remained an active researcher. A sample of journals his work has appeared include: Leadership and Organization Development Journal, Human Resource Development Quarterly, and Organizational Research Methods. A sample of professional organizations his research has been presented at include: the Academy of Management, the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and the Society for Human Resource Management. His research has received multiple awards including the Citation of Excellence from Emerald Management Reviews. Previously, Dr. Lorenzet was an active consultant working with pharmaceutical, legal, military, financial, and academic organizations.

Bridgette Johnson, Program Manager Grace’s Key, Hatfield Primary School

Bridgette Johnson is a past student of U.W.I. Mona and currently works as a Legal Project Manager at Grace’s Key, a program initiated and run by former female students of the Hatfield Primary School. The program provides counseling sessions for female students, school supplies, and school lunches.

Dana François, Program Manager, Kellogg Foundation

Dana François is the Haiti Program manager for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation based in Salem, Massachusetts. As a member of the Latin America and the Caribbean staff and the Haiti place-based team, she is responsible for the management of a $28 million portfolio supporting the implementation of regional strategies in family economic security, health, education and social equity & civic engagement. She also develops and executes key strategies for emerging bodies of work, provides strategic and leadership support for grant making activities, the processing and management of proposals and grants, analyzing reports, collecting data, conducting environmental scans and collaborating with internal and external partners to further the foundation’s mission while supporting and leading the integration and coordination of efforts. Prior to joining the foundation, François served as a research assistant at the Center for Social Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston. At the Center for Social Policy she conducted research and worked closely with the team to develop and advance key socio-economic development policy recommendations and efforts to expand access to critical services in empowering minority and low income families within the Boston Neighborhoods. Prior to this she also served as a project coordinator at the William Monroe Trotter Institute where she coordinated and managed all of the Haiti focused initiatives. In this role, in partnership with the Provost office, she advanced the development and execution of key activities in support of the creation of a consortium of 20 domestic and international lead Higher Education Institutions partnering to support the rebuilding and improvement of the higher education system in Haiti. François also previously served the Massachusetts communities as a commonwealth corps member, an initiative from Governor Devil Patrick’s office. In this capacity she designed, executed and implemented community service programs such as well-attended adult computer literacy classes. She also assisted with grant writing, and led youth tutoring and mentorship activities in an effort to advance the Center for Public and Community Service at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s mission to serve and support the community. Through her more than 10 years in development, François has contributed to numerous key efforts to advance community development domestically and internationally. In these roles, she received many citations acknowledging her leadership and contributions such as the “Who’s making Massachusetts Strong” recognition and the University of Massachusetts Boston Beacon Leader award. She has served internationally, in Haiti, as a community leader in crisis response, leading university and community partnerships to address community needs in the wake of natural disaster. She has contributed to fora and key conversations in the U.S, Haiti and France to advance racial and social equity efforts as well as key development strategies to support poor vulnerable families. François is currently pursuing an MBA from Babson College while holding dual-bachelor’s degrees with distinction, from the University of Massachusetts Boston, in economics and political science with concentrations in philosophy and clean energy. She has also studied in Haiti, Germany, China and England with a focus on economic development. She is fluent in French, Haitian Creole and is currently learning advanced Spanish. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.

Stephanie Barnes, Director of Sales, Marriott Hotel Port-au-Prince

Stephanie Barnes serves as the Director of Sales at The Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel, the premier address for business and leisure hospitality in Haiti’s capital as well as the country’s newest hotel. Mrs. Barnes oversees all Marriott Port-au-Prince sales and marketing initiatives, including advertising, public relations, and social media, while also directing the hotel’s comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility program. A native of Boston, Mrs. Barnes carries 10 years of hospitality industry experience. Immediately prior to ascending to the Director of Sales post at The Marriott Port-au-Prince, Mrs. Barnes served as the hotel’s Marketing Manager, playing a key role in launching the property in 2015. Before relocating to Haiti in 2014, Mrs. Barnes held the position of Group Sales Manager at the Boston Marriott Newton Hotel. Her hospitality career also includes managerial posts overseeing sales, events, and catering at Marriott and Renaissance Hotels properties throughout New England. In addition to her duties at The Marriott Port-au-Prince, Mrs. Barnes also serves as President of the Accommodations Committee for L'Association Touristique d'Haïti (ATH), a private-sector non-profit organization founded in 1951 to promote travel to Haiti. A graduate of The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Mrs. Barnes holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and International Business. Hugh Riley, Secretary General Caribbean Tourism Organization As the chief executive officer, Hugh Riley oversees the CTO’s offices in Barbados, North America, the UK and Europe and leads the organization’s initiatives to strengthen relations with the tourism industry’s key strategic partners; these include hotels, airlines, cruise lines and all categories of retailers and wholesale packagers of the Caribbean’s tourism products. His responsibility is to deliver the CTO’s mission as the Caribbean’s tourism development agency, providing specialized services and technical support to thirty-three governments and a variety of private sector members in the areas of marketing, human resource development, communication, research and statistics, events planning and execution, information technology and sustainable tourism development.

Kim Jack Riley, Director of Tourism Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, US

Kim Jack Riley is an experienced and well established Travel Marketing and Hospitality specialist with expertise in content production, integrated marketing and digital traffic growth. Riley began her career in the travel industry in 1997 when she operated a successful home-based travel agency specializing in personalized tours of The Caribbean and Europe. In 2007, she led a phenomenally successful start-up joint venture for mega-marketers Proctor & Gamble and NBC Universal. From there, Riley joined Flight Center USA (FCUSA) as a Marketing Team Leader where she used her expert knowledge of the North American demographic to install marketing and social media strategies to grow awareness across air, land and sea products (FlightCenter.com, HotCaribbeanDeals.com and DiscountCruises.com). She has also held roles with field sales (MSC Cruises) and destination marketing for various hotels and tourism boards. In her role as Director of Tourism, US for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Jack Riley is responsible for marketing the twin-isle destination in the US. Ms. Jack Riley also sits on the Board as Vice President of the 41-74 Club of New York -- the prestigious association of women engaged in all aspects of the travel industry first established in 1937.

Rocky Romanella, CEO and Senior Partner, 3SIXTY Management Services

Rocky Romanella is an Author, experienced CEO, Director, Keynote Speaker, Executive Advisor, and expert in Customer Service and Leadership Development. A true storyteller, his humble Italian charm and innate charisma creates instant connections with a wide-range of audiences. After an illustrious career spanning nearly 40 years focused on Supply Chain, Logistics and Transportation, Retail, Sales and Operational Excellence Strategy at UPS – including The UPS Store franchise network and UPS Supply Chain Solutions – Rocky became the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors for UniTek Global Services, a provider of Engineering, Construction Management and Installation Services to companies specializing in the Telecommunications field. Rocky led the company’s restructuring and sales effort along with rapidly building the enterprise brand and developing a culture needed to integrate past acquisitions, while creating a unified company with one vision. Rocky is currently the Founder and CEO of 3SIXTY Management Services, LLC, a management consulting firm specializing in Executive Speaking, Leadership Development and Consulting Services. Through his executive roles and leadership advisory services, Rocky delivers results by developing and implementing his Balanced Leadership Model™ across enterprise operations. This includes a laser focus on customer needs, employee empowerment and the demands of shareholders. Rocky has the rare ability to see a clear vision of the changing business landscape, the passion to develop strategies, tactics and metrics to drive desired results, and excellent interpersonal and communication skills to develop highly motivated teams and optimized work environments.

Paul Williams, Director of NA Procurement Operations, Mondelēz International Inc.

Paul Williams is currently responsible for North American Procurement Operations at Mondelēz International, a $37 billion company. His responsibilities include managing supplier service, quality, and business processes for over $6 billion of goods and services to support operations in the USA, Canada, and Mexico. Paul has over 22 years of Strategic Sourcing, Supply Chain, and Business Process Improvement experience at The Procter & Gamble Company, Pfizer, Inc., and The Clorox Company. Paul also served as a Small Business Development volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps – Morocco, where he worked with the Minister of Small Business to drive economic development and women’s entrepreneurship initiatives. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the NYNJ Minority Supplier Development Council. Paul graduated from Florida A&M University School Business and Industry with a B.S. in Business Administration. He currently lives in Maplewood, NJ with his wife, Kali, and four daughters – Zora, Nina, Maya, and Sonia. His personal motto is “To whom much is given, much is required.”

Reginald Canal, Managing Partner, Les Cayes Partners

Reginald Boisrond Canal is the Founder and Managing Partner with Les Cayes Partners. Prior he was Head of Global Business Development with The Medici Group. Preceding The Medici Group, Reginald excelled in a variety of roles at HSBC over a 15 years banking career including: a two-year overseas assignment with HSBC’s Consulting Group in Hong Kong, managed HSBC’s New York City flagship Premier Affluent Center to record sales results and started the Affluent African American Segment targeting High Net Worth Individuals and Commercial Clients. He is a lifetime member of the National Black MBA Association. He is the recipient of the National Eagle Leadership Institute Award and was named one of the Network Journal Magazine’s 40 Under Forty Black Achievers. Reginald received the Vice Chancellor’s Achievement Award from The American Foundation for the University of the West Indies. He is also the recipient of the Community Service Award from the Greater New York Chapter of the Links Inc. Organization. Reginald is a founding board member of the Haitian Roundtable; member of the Board of Directors of Valley Arts; and the Multicultural Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Reginald holds a Bachelors of Arts in French and a Master in Business Administration in International Business from Binghamton University. He is fluent in French and Kreyol.