The Canadian Guyanese Congress has the following working committees:

Sharada Narain, CPA, CGA, CFE, CFF - Chair

Sharada Narain is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and also certified in Financial Forensics (CFF).  She holds a B.A. from University of Toronto, with a major in Economics.  She has over 25 years’ experience conducting audits in regulatory environments including the Law Society of Ontario (“LSO”), (17 years) and the Ontario Provincial government.   Within the LSO, she worked as an auditor in the Spot Audit Department and assessed the books and records of lawyers and law firms. With the LSO’s Trustee Services, as a Forensic Auditor, she assessed the books and records of lawyers and paralegals. In Investigations she worked as a Forensic Auditor where she provided analysis and guidance which lead to remedial actions in accordance with specific governing legislation and regulations.  She was entrusted with highly-sensitive and high-profile cases where confidentiality and integrity were paramount.

Sharada Narain has a set of fundamental beliefs by which she conducts her life both personally and professionally.  Humility, honesty, spirituality and respect influence her daily actions.  She is very community minded as well which aligns with her mantra of “doing good” and “giving back“ which is reflected in her volunteering activities. 

She also holds education in high regard, and for many years, she was the Co-Chair of the Education Committee for the Toronto chapter of Certified General Accountants (CGA) of Ontario.  In addition, she organized book drives for the rural libraries in Guyana and Vietnam, chaired United Way and Federated Health campaigns, organised fund-raising events for the Island Public Natural Science School, and regularly collects linens to be donated to the Toronto Humane Society.

She is known for her love of owls, but is crazy about cats.

Lyla Bronfman
Stephan Persaud

Business & Entrepreneurship
Sherena Hussain, BBA, MBA, J.D - Chair

Sherena Hussain is a leading business professional, lawyer, academic, policy maker, and media personality. She directs an investor led G7 initiative known as the Sustainable Infrastructure Fellowship Program, a pioneering partnership with the Investor Leadership Network, a consortium of leading institutional investors committed to advancing global sustainability and long-term growth. Sherena has practiced tax and complex commercial law at McCarthy Tetrault LLP, worked at Infrastructure Ontario in its public-private partnership programs, and across several North American cities where she was actively involved in the execution of new business models.  Sherena is frequently invited to provide business commentary and expert insights as a media guest on news outlets such as the CBC, CTV, National Post, TVO The Agenda, and The Canadian Press.

Passionate about advancing new business models and sustainable infrastructure investment in Canada and abroad, Sherena is a pioneering academic involved in the creation, development and delivery of actionable research catalyzing infrastructure development and innovative financing models. She has faculty affiliations at the Schulich School of Business, York University, and the University of Toronto. In addition to her policy advisor roles, she is a contributor to forums such as World Economic Forum’s work group on sustainable infrastructure, the scientific committee for the Sustainable Infrastructure Foundation (a G20 organization), Financing Sustainable Cities advisory group for C40 Cities, and the Global Infrastructure Hub’s (a G20 organization) academic advisory group.  With her extensive experience with developing and implementing new business models, education programs, partnership arrangements, and organizational change to support investable sustainable investments, Sherena founded Academic Collaboration Consulting with the objective of enhancing the application of leading academic research to real-world challenges.  She is also involved in a telematics startup, Tecium IoT, which supports the transition towards electric, hybrid, and hydrogen vehicles and heavy-duty applications.

As a daughter of Guyanese immigrants, Sherena strongly believes in drawing forward a diverse range of voices and perspectives in business leadership and actively seeks opportunities within academic and industry spheres for introduction to, and advancement in, business for women and people of colour. For her work in elevating inclusion opportunities for graduate business students across the Greater Toronto Area, Sherena is recognized as a Champion of the Women Leadership Initiative for the Urban Land Institute, and emerging leader nominee for the Women Infrastructure Network.  

Professor Hussain holds a combined Juris Doctor-Master of Business Administration degree, Graduate Master Diploma in Real Estate and Infrastructure, and Bachelor of Business Administration. She is the recipient of numerous accolades including the Hennick Medal for academic excellence and multiple prizes in the areas of tax, contract, commercial/corporate, real estate, trust, and estate law.

Tribu Persaud - Co-Chair

Tribuwan (Tribu) Persaud has been involved with recycling primarily PVC plastics in North America since 1989, having diverted hundreds of millions of pounds of post-consumer and post-industrial flexible and rigid vinyl plastics from land fill, into products that fit easily into our day to day lives. He has spoken on sustainability and recycling at several plastics industry events; conferences and tutorials, and was named one of Plastics News Rising stars in 2014. Tribu has been in a leadership role at Norwich Plastics since January 2000 and is a Board Member/Secretary of the Vinyl Institute of Canada as well as member of the Vinyl Sustainability Council’s V-cycle task force (Washington, DC), and Recycling Member of the Chemical Industry Association of Canada’s Plastics Division. Tribu is also a current member of the Society of Plastics Engineers, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, The Flexible Vinyl Alliance and the Hamilton Club. In his personal time outside of work and volunteering Tribu is an avid poet having composed hundreds of poems including English Translations of seminal Vedic prayers as well as poems on Vedic philosophy. Tribu is also a researcher and Freemason where he is a Past Master and Trustee of Hugh Murray Lodge No 602 AF&AM in Hamilton, ON and is a 3rd Degree Master Mason assisting with fund raisers for the community, blood donor clinics, and community groups like the Radha Krishna Mandir and Cultural Center in Cambridge, ON – where Tribu also serves as a Director. Tribu is Married to Radha Persaud and they and their three children cherish practicing our Indo-Caribbean Culture in Waterloo Region and proudly promote Guyanese culture in their home and in their lives; believing most in service to our planet and humanity.

Norwich Plastics has been in the recycling industry since 1986 and incorporated in 1987. Founded by Dwarka Paul Persaud (Tribu’s father), Norwich Plastics has specialized in the reprocessing of flexible PVC for decades and pride ourselves on being market innovators and leaders in the reclaim, reprocessing and repurposing of flexible PVC from recycled sources. Norwich Plastics was founded by Bill Gosse, Gary Everett, Sid Seraphim and Dwarka Paul Persaud and we have had several partners join our fold over the years. In 2017 Paul Persaud and Tribu Persaud bought 100% of Norwich Plastics Canadian Operations and 50% of its U.S. operations with our current U.S. Partner Glenn Longey. Today Tribu Persaud, Dwarka Persaud and Norwich Plastics stand out as one of Canada’s and the Plastics industry’s leading flexible PVC recyclers reprocessing over 50 million pounds per annum in its two Ontario facilities and 3 Tennessee operations.

Samantha McGregor - Chair

Sam McGregor is a digital strategist and email marketing expert. With a corporate background in Customer Success, Marketing Technology and SaaS. Organizations that have benefited from working with Sam include Toronto Star, TorStar Digital, Metroland Media, DataSwitch, Canopy Labs, TouchBistro and Stream Commerce. In 2019, Sam started her own consultancy and soon discovered a passion for bringing big business strategies to small business entrepreneurs.

Being intensely interested in eCommerce, Sam became a Klaviyo & Shopify Certified Partner. Sam is obsessed with customer success and a self-proclaimed data-nerd. Born in Guyana and raised in Toronto, where she lives, she works with female eCommerce entrepreneurs of colour or minority backgrounds design, develop and implement highly effective targeted and precise digital strategies.

Clients often come to her when they’re at a breaking point in their business. They’re frustrated, disheartened and unsure if they’ve made a terrible mistake in becoming an entrepreneur. Frankly, they’re finding this whole ‘running a business’ thing a little underwhelming and wondering whether they should give up. Sales are coming in, but the strategies they’re implementing just aren’t moving the needle enough. They’re spending more than they’re making right now, and that can’t go on.

Sam’s goal is to help clients get to a place where they can be excited, confident, and empowered again by their decision to become entrepreneurs. She wants them to have a positive outlook on their life and career and be inspired to make an impact in someone else’s life in the same way. Once you’ve gone through a considerable transformation and found the support of someone who understands and has been through it too, you want to pay it back, and she is passionate about working with clients who share that desire for positive change in the world.

Her clients appreciate her ability to translate technical information into language they can understand and break complex processes down into simple steps they can implement in their business. She’s down-to-earth and loves helping other entrepreneurs succeed.

Ultimately, Sam thinks she attracts clients because she’s passionate about what she does, and that shows, plus she gets results! Sam loves diving into strategy, analyzing numbers, and solving problems. She looks at digital strategy like a puzzle, and her job is to help her clients find the pieces and put them together in the best way.

Sam believes that becoming a successful entrepreneur requires two essential qualities: resilience and tenacity. If you genuinely believe in yourself and have a clear purpose, you can achieve anything. There’s an endless pool of resources available out there if you know where to look and work hard to find them. It’s not about having extreme wealth or the best connections; for Sam, success is about being resourceful and determined enough to overcome any obstacles you encounter along the way.

As an entrepreneur, challenges are regular and inevitable, but Sam believes if you’re tenacious, you’ll keep going, keep moving in the right direction, and find a solution each time. She believes taking appropriate action consistently is a key to success.

Sam’s success to date has been achieved through the five pillars that guide her North Star.  That is Trust, Excellence, Respect, Honesty and Professionalism. Sam seeks to build mutual trust with every client to ensure an honest business relationship that sees success. Every task from simple to complex is done with high regard for excellence. She respects her clients, and by being honest upfront on all decisions, she is always on the same page as her clients. Every interaction, from start to finish, is done with the utmost amount of professionalism.

 Over the years, Sam has been recognized internationally for her Customer Service acumen.

Ashraf Ali - Co-Chair

Ashraf is an award-winning, decisive, and visionary creative services leader with over 20 years of experience, offering the proven ability to transform brands through strategy, creativity, and experiences. He defines and executes creative storytelling through print and digital graphic design mediums for public and private organizations. His strategies have been proven to increase brand awareness, engage stakeholders, grow market share and enhance profitability. 

Ashraf has extensive experience in both the municipal and provincial government environment as well as private sector corporations, both on a local and international level. He currently holds a vital role in the not-for-profit government & unionized construction sector as a strategic creative lead charged with the promotion of the unionized construction and skilled trades throughout the province of Ontario.

Ashraf possesses strengths in working in a fast-paced and high-pressure setting that demands excellent communication skills, flawless work ethic, seasoned time management skills and great emphasis on superior customer service skills with the ability to build lasting relationships across all environments.

He prides himself as an innovative conceptualist with an intelligent eye for new methods and progressive graphic design modalities that possess depth in creative problem solving as well as sound work ethics in the areas of external/internal branding, digital media, report publication, web marketing and overall creative services.

With a proven track record of analyzing team strengths and leveraging individual assets to reach organizational goals efficiently in both unionized and non-unionized environments, Ashraf possess exceptional motivational and people skills and is an active listener committed to providing helpful feedback tailored to employees’ strengths and opportunities. Through his work, his commitment to the display of equality, empowerment and inclusion is evident. In addition to a full-time position, he currently has an extensive list of corporate clients for whom he provides creative services.

Indigenous Friendship
Mark M. Persaud - Chair

Mark M. Persaud, LL.B., LL.M., LL.D.  is a member of the Ontario Bar and held a broad range of positions with the Department of Justice as a prosecutor, counsel to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and civil litigation counsel. He studied political science at York University and obtained his law degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School . He also studied at the Center for Study of Values in Public Life at Harvard University. He is the recipient of many awards and recognition for his civic and public sector contributions including a Public Sector Law Alumni Gold Key Award in 2007 from Osgoode Hall Law School, both the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals, the Queen Elizabeth II 2022 Platinum Jubilee Award as well as a Canada 150  Medal for leadership and significant service to Canada. He was nominated by the diplomatic community for the prestigious 2006 Seoul Peace Prize. He was twice elected to the national executive of a Federal Canadian political party and has chaired and advised on political campaigns at the federal, provincial and municipal levels. He has also been recognized as an exceptional lawyer by the Law Society of Upper Canada as part of the Lawyers Make History project. Dr. Persaud  received a Doctor of Laws ( LL.D.) honoris causa in June, 2016 from the Law Society of Upper Canada. He practices in both civil and criminal litigation including in the areas of commercial and real estate litigation, administrative and regulatory law and professional discipline. He has  been an adjunct law professor in the United States. He is also a Director on the Editorial Board of Canadian Lawyer. He is the Chair of the Justice Committee for the Black North Initiative (BNI) and a Director on the Editorial Board of Canadian Lawyer.

Arts and Culture
Reshmi Chetram - Chair

Reshmi Chetram is an Canadian of Caribbean heritage, award winning performer, dance educator & cultural producer. A creative who has a wide spectrum of experience in the industry with an eye for detail and storytelling. Reshmi spent her formative years in dance with her first guru’s; her mother and her aunt the Late Deviekha Chetram and the Late Geeta Leo, the pair brought Indian dance from Guyana to North America in the late 70’s where they planted roots for many 1st generation Canadian youths through the’ Tarana Dance School’. Reshmi is trained in classical styles such as Kathak & Odissi dance as well as Filmy, Contemporary, Chutney, Nagara and has expanded into exploring dance as a modality for healing. Reshmi took to classical arts and pursued further education in Kathak dance. After being accepted under the tutelage of world renowned Kathak legend, Late Pandit Birju Maharaj in New Delhi, India Reshmi spent 7 years living between India and Canada, travelling and giving workshops, performances and serving as a bridge of knowledge bringing teachings from India to dancers abroad. Reshmi has given performances and workshops globally, has mentored over 1500 artists and presented international teachers in Canada to create opportunities for dancers to access intensive styled training. Reshmi has received recognition for her development of performing artists through her signature methods of teaching that include an approach that is mindful, rooted, explorative, challenging and individual to dancers. With her years of experience & training Reshmi is on a mission to create meaningful connections between the mind, body & artistic voices through choreography, dance education, mentorship and productions. Reshmi in a published author in ‘Hearts Linked by Courage’ by The Alzheimer’s Society. ‘Love on Loop’ shares the journey as a daughter, dancer and caregiver to her mother, her first dance guru. Their journey is filled with music, movement, love and expression during her mother’s years of living with a rare form of dementia and that journey is a real pillar of inspiration for the work and methods being created in Reshmi’s career going forward. Reshmi has worked with numerous Indo-Caribbean & Canadian charities such as Golden Age Association, March of Dimes Canada, Three Rivers Kids Foundation, Giant Steps Canada, The Alzheimer’s Society and more to bring access to the arts, resources to children in need and the promotion of the arts as a tool for mental health/therapy. Reshmi’s work has been featured in: The Toronto Star, Times of India, Breakfast Television, Rogers TV, Channel Canada, Idea City, CHCH TV, Zoomer Media and more

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