By Dee Lundy-Charles
According to Dr. Chris Bart of the Saint Lucia-based Caribbean Governance Training Institute (CGTI), courage, curiosity and competence are three essential skills any corporate director needs if they are to contribute to the great governance of any organization. Equipping curious and courageous directors with the competence has been the primary mission of CGTI since its inception almost three years ago.
The objective of Caribbean Governance Training Institute, a collaboration between Dr. Bart, founder of The Directors College at Canada’s McMaster University, and Lisa Charles, founder and Managing Director of Milestone Development in Saint Lucia, is to deliver the information, research and skills required by directors serving on any type of board, whether corporate, educational or non-profit.
Since CGTI opened its doors in 2013, hundreds of Caribbean professionals have participated in their conferences around the region, learning about the fundamentals of good governance in the 21st century. In response to the feedback and input of many satisfied client companies, Caribbean Governance Training Institute also introduced a qualification for board directors called C.Dir which has become the regional gold standard in the short time since then.
The Chartered Director or C.Dir Program covers all aspects of corporate governance through high-energy, interactive sessions and includes an optional accreditation based on a two-hour exam. In the past two years, the CGTI team has delivered the course to executives from across the region, including Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Grenada, Guyana, Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent, BVI, Anguilla, Antigua, and Turks & Caicos with CGTI’s first session in the Bahamas scheduled for mid-November.
CGTI’s carefully selected faculty of featured speakers continued to share their extensive knowledge and expertise when Ms. Charles and Dr. Bart took the Chartered Directors program to Dominica for the first time in early October. During a break on day two of the C.Dir program, Registrar of Commercial Activities for the Government of Anguilla, Lanston Connor described the three day event as “enlightening and intense.”
“There was a lot of energy on day one and it is continuing on day two,” stated an enthusiastic Mr. Connor. “We are going to be able to take [the information they have provided] back to our boards to enhance our ability to govern. This is a really necessary program, and I think [CGTI] should travel to every island in the Caribbean. I attended one in Saint Lucia and I was keen to come to the event in Dominica to become a qualified Chartered Director.”
All of which gives CGTI and its co-founder, Lisa Charles, cause for celebration and expansion. On Friday, September 23, the Saint Lucia team welcomed invited guests to the launch of the of Caribbean Governance Training Institute’s new office in the Sotheby’s building at Rodney Bay. Family, friends and professional clients gathered at the chic, spacious centre of operations to show their support and hear about the company’s latest plans to take their unique type of training to a wider Caribbean audience.
“CGTI offers a very important advantage to organizations that wish to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their board, and the ever-shifting paradigm of 21st century business means that more companies are seeking to strengthen the skills of board members so that they can be accountable and make good decisions. We are proud of the continued growth of the Caribbean Governance Training Institute, which in practical terms has made it necessary for us to move to this new, larger location, and which will allow the CGTI team to continue offering excellent service to our clients in Saint Lucia and in an increasing number of Caribbean countries.”