Members contesting Council elections
November 13, 2022

Susan Shurland

Biosketch – Nominee to Council Elections 2022

Ms. Shurland is the former Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries. In 2018 and 2019, she held the position of Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, where she chaired the Host Country Management Committee for CARIFESTA 2019.

Ms. Susan Shurland is a former Secretary General of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, Ministry of Education (2006 to 2017). Her 12 year experience at the Nat Com (fondly called) included travelling throughout the Caribbean as well as countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Her intention is to travel throughout the countries of the African continent during her retirement years.

Prior to that (1990-2005), she was employed at the Institute of Marine Affairs (IMA) for fifteen and a half years where she worked in the areas of environmental education, project management and planning, and public relations and marketing, both in the Information Centre and in the Technical Advisory Services Department. She also served as coordinator of the IMA’s Caribbean Marine Studies journal.

Ms. Shurland holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree, with a focus on Environmental Education, and a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning and Resource Development, both from the University of Waterloo, Canada. She holds certificates in Public Relations from the University of the West Indies’ Institute of Business; in Marketing Management from ROYTEC; in Multilateral Diplomacy and in Green Diplomacy from the United Nations Institute of Training and Research (UNITAR).
Her favourite art form is dance. Her dance experience began in primary school at the Caribbean School of Dancing all the way up until the mid-nineties as a founding member of the Metamorphosis Dance Company. In fact, she has certificates in Ballet and Latin dance and has performed and toured locally and internationally with the Metamorphosis Dance Company. She has also been trained in modern, jazz, tap and folk dancing. She is now a board member of the Metamorphosis Dance Company and committee member of the Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre.

Ms. Shurland has a 30-year-old son who shares her love of travelling, photography, lawn tennis, reading and dancing. Her motto “onward and upward”, encouraging persons of all walks of life to continuously persevere in the positive activities that will make the public service and by extension our country a better place.

Heather-Dawn Herrera

Biosketch – Nominee to Council Elections 2022

As a veteran in the conservation and eco-tourism sphere of Trinidad and Tobago for more than four decades, I am well positioned to contribute to the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago as a councillor. Since the publication of my first book in 1989, ‘Scenic Trinidad and Tobago’, I have been working to highlight the importance of preserving the land and seascapes across our Republic by identifying, protecting, safeguarding, advising and documenting our national heritage.

I have continued to work consistently and passionately to emphasize the natural beauty of the Trinidad and Tobago as well as the importance of protecting environmental and cultural landmarks and practices. My latest work towards this was the writing, producing and filming of ‘Showcase Environment’, a television series which aired throughout the Caribbean as well as Canada and the United Kingdom. In addition, I continue to write my weekly column, now spanning 29 years, as a form of education and outreach, promoting the value of our heritage, promoting the protection of wildlife and addressing key conservation issues within the country and instilling national pride and identity. For this work, I have received several national awards inclusive of the Hummingbird Silver Medal.

I am also a member of the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community of Arima and my indigenous roots allow access into the traditional cultural and environmental legacies our first nations.

For the past four decades, my work has catalogued the day-today life in communities around Trinidad and Tobago, their cultural celebrations as well as their built and natural landmarks. This long-from, in-depth research can contribute to a local model for development in this area and will definitely assist the trust in their mission to make more informed decisions about properties and places of interest, to educate the public about the value and beauty of the heritage of Trinidad and Tobago and essentially to deliver its mandate of Heritage Preservation, Research and Education of and Access to, the rich Heritage Assets in Trinidad and Tobago.

The hundreds of photos and scores of hours of video footage of these natural and cultural treasures that I have produced over the years to promote Trinidad and Tobago locally, regionally and internationally, can also contribute to a repository of heritage sites. With an intimate knowledge of the landscapes and seascapes across the island, I am also able to suggest a non exhaustive list of places that could be considered for the repository. These resources can also be utilised to educate the State and the public about the value of national heritage assets, garnering more support for heritage preservation.

My established connections to local community leaders will foster sustained synergies and partnerships to buoy collective efforts in heritage preservation and promotion. These connections will also provide the opportunity to identify key stakeholders who will benefit from and employ training in the field of heritage preservation and management and identify areas for archaeological exploration in Trinidad and Tobago.

We must engage our stakeholders to face up to the challenges of climate change, global warming, waste disposal, pollution, deforestation and demolition so that we can build a legacy for future generations and ensure that they can benefit from a sustainable heritage economy. I am excited to work with the National Trust to ensure our natural and built cultural heritage of Trinidad and Tobago is recognised, valued, safeguarded and celebrated by all.

Edward Kacal BSc, MBA, PMP, CFM

Biosketch – Nominee to Council Elections 2022

My career of over 32 years has centred on utilizing my Industrial Engineering, Project Management and Business Management expertise to improve business processes: building efficiency within business, and developing strategic growth opportunities.

I am the CEO of Servus Limited, an Integrated Facility Management service provider. I previously lectured part-time at the Masters’ level at the UWI in Project Management and Strategic Planning, from 2013-2019, and am a licensed Instructor for the International Facility Management Association’s (IFMA) Professional credentials. I also provide consultancy support to firms wishing to pursue strategic transformations or solve process and organizational problems.

From a volunteering and service perspective, I held the position of Secretary of the Caribbean Forest Conservation Association (CFCA) for 4 years, eventually leaving the organization because I felt that it had lost its way in terms of developing and implementing reforestation and forest protection projects and education.

While I am not a subject matter expert on historical or cultural topics, I am passionate about the preservation of the nation’s history, be it the built environment, our culture, or our art. I believe that I can provide a positive contribution to the Council using my engineering and management experience as a base, particularly in the areas of project management, finance, governance, and marketing and general outreach.

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