Management Team

Executive Director: Dr. Sylvia Dohnert
Home Country: Venezuela
Education: Ph.D. in Economic Development; M.A in Public Policy; B.Sc. in Systems


Dr. Sylvia Dohnert joined the Compete Caribbean team Executive Director in November 2012. She specializes in conceptualizing and designing government policy and/or projects that will support private sector development.

Throughout her career, Dr. Dohnert has also worked to advance industrial policy, cluster development, export development, supplier relations, inter-firm cooperation, informality and business associations in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Guyana.

In terms of passion, she is keenly focused on stimulating entrepreneurship and enhancing the competitiveness of local firms in the global economy.

Financial Coordinator: Russell Franklyn
Home Country: Barbados
Education: CPA, PMP, B.Sc. Economics & Accounting; Certified Personnel in Procurement at the IDB

Prior to joining Compete Caribbean, Russell was the Fiduciary Consultant in the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB’s) Operations Financial Management and Procurement Services Office (FMP) and was assigned to the IDB Barbados Country Office. Having previously worked for the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards & Quality (CROSQ) as the Manager, Finance & Operations, he has in-depth knowledge of the Caribbean Region, its organs and institutions. This assignment entailed improving Regional Quality Infrastructure to support the competitiveness of the region through the successful management of several innovative projects with high stakeholder complexity.

Productivity And Innovation Coordinator: Annie Bertrand
Home Country: Canada
Education: CMA; Master in Business Administration; Bachelor of Commerce; College certificate in International Business

Annie Bertrand is a management consultant and social entrepreneur, building on 12 years of business and international development experiences in over 65 countries. Before starting her MBA at Harvard Business School (HBS) in 2004, Bertrand worked for Deloitte Consulting to improve the performance of multinational companies. She then transitioned to emerging markets to address social issues using best practices in entrepreneurship and economic development. Most recently, Bertrand has been involved with the Trident Angels investor network to foster employments by increasing access to finance for entrepreneurs. Born in Montreal (Canada), she has been living in Barbados for 10 years and was elected Director of Community Services for the Rotary Club of Barbados in 2015.

Business Climate Reform Coordinator: Valarie Pilgrim
Home Country: Trinidad
Education: Master of Business Administration; B.Sc. in Sciences

Valarie Pilgrim, who joined the Compete Caribbean team in April 2017, has extensive experience across the programme management cycle – strategic planning, project design, monitoring and evaluation to programme evaluation. Most of her career has been focused on improving the productivity and competitiveness of private sector enterprises either within the private sector, public sector or through the implementation of development programmes. She has either coordinated or served as a team member for various initiatives aimed at creating a more enabling business environment through policy, regulatory and institutional reforms and improvements to the trade facilitation infrastructure. Her main areas of interest are strengthening entrepreneurial ecosystems, integrating gender and social equality into private sector development; making small size an asset in private sector and economic development; and regional collaboration and competitiveness. Valarie was recently responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Caribbean Aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund) which was financed by DFID and executed by Caribbean Development Bank.

Project Development Officer: Stefano Pereira
Home Country: Canada
Education: M.Sc. Economics; B.Sc. (Hons.) in Economics

Stefano manages the daily tasks for the Business Climate Reforms portfolio. He has contributed to relevant research in the Caribbean region related to green economics, international trade, productivity and private sector development. His most recent work focuses on Green exports opportunities in the Caribbean and was featured at the Sustainable Futures for Climate Change conference in Finland.

Development Operations Consultant: Kayla S. Grant
Home Country: United States of America
Education: MA in International Trade Policy; BA in International Business and Economics; Certification in Monitoring and Evaluation Program

Kayla is a development operations consultant on the Compete Caribbean team and in the Competitiveness and Innovation Division of the IDB where she designs, manages, and monitors development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association and the Project Management Institute. Kayla holds an MA in International Trade Policy from University of the West Indies (UWI), a BA in International Business and Economics from the University of Indianapolis and Galen University, and holds a Certification in Monitoring and Evaluation Program from American University in Washington, DC.

Administrative Assistant: Shameka Cox
Home Country: Barbados
Education: B.Sc. in Accounting and Finance; Associate’s Degree in Office Administration and Management; Diploma in Computer Aided Drawing

With skills in various software packages, time management and varied experience in Accounting, Administration and Customer Service, Shameka wishes to add value and efficiency to the Program by offering her specialised abilities to the team.