Dr. Melissa Varswyk

Chairwoman and Executive Director

Dr. Melissa Varswyk is a distinguished figure in education, healthcare, and energy, with established leadership roles in multiple international organizations. She holds the position of Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Georgetown American University (GAU), an esteemed institution with a presence in Guyana and registered in Georgia, and Maryland, USA.

In addition, Dr. Varswyk has demonstrated her commitment to philanthropy as the founder of the GAU Foundation, the university’s non-profit division based in the USA. Through her extensive work in both the education and healthcare sectors within Guyana and the USA, she has amassed substantial knowledge of transnational business operations and best practices.

Broadening her influence into the energy sector, Dr. Varswyk recently pioneered the inception of Sispro Inc., a trailblazing energy corporation owned and operated by Guyanese women. With an investment focus on renewable and non-renewable energy resources, Sispro Inc. is characterized by its corporate social responsibility agenda, aiming to empower women, girls, and underserved communities.

Within the broader business community, Dr. Varswyk holds significant positions, serving as Vice-Chair for both Women in Energy and the Black Entrepreneurs Association. Furthermore, she has a seat on the Board of Directors for the American Chamber of Commerce Guyana and Georgetown International Academy, demonstrating her comprehensive influence in the public and private sectors.

An alumna of Keele University and the University of Guyana, Dr. Varswyk holds a Doctor of Medicine Degree and post-graduate qualifications in Health Professions Education. Her accomplishments have been acknowledged multiple times, earning her accolades such as the Most Influential Person of African Descent Under 40, UN OHCHR human rights fellow,  and a place among the Most Influential Women Leaders in Guyana.

 

Mrs. Abbigale Loncke- Watson

Secretary and Executive Director

Abbigale Loncke is an innovative entrepreneur and the founder of the Loncke Group, a business enterprise consisting of three companies, which she heads as its Chief Executive Officer. Her fastest-growing firm is MBW Energy Support Services, a comprehensive oil and gas service advisory that is an industry-leading authority providing guidance for companies entering the Guyanese energy market.

In 2016, Abbigale was recognized in a speech by U.S. President Barack Obama for her exemplary leadership in the Guyanese business community and providing employment opportunities to single mothers and young women. As a widely known and celebrated business leader in the country, she sits on the Board of Directors and is the Chairwoman for Women in Energy Guyana.

In 2017, she launched WeLead Caribbean, a not-for-profit dedicated to the economic and social advancement of Guyanese women. Through its partnership with ExxonMobil, The Nico Consulting Group, and U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, WeLead has trained over 500 Guyanese women and hosted six regional women entrepreneur and empowerment conferences.

Dr. Ayodele Dalgety-Dean

Executive Director

An entrepreneur, Ayodele Dalgety-Dean is the Founder and Director of Blossom Incorporated that works with children and families affected by sexual violence and exploitation in the host, migrant, and refugee communities. Here, her mission is to eliminate sexual and gender-based violence against children and women in society.

In addition to overseeing Blossom Inc.’s programmes throughout Guyana, Ayo co-manages a real estate portfolio offering residential and commercial rental space. Ayo also managed the roll out of the Dalgety Herbal Tea products, to European and Caribbean markets. Ayo started her journey as a Finance Analyst in the retail sector where she generated management accounts and marketing reports, including commentaries and variance analysis, conducted research, and provided insights to help businesses and organisations make informed decisions. Her skills also extend to predictive modelling and forecasting, which can be useful in predicting trends and identifying potential risks and opportunities in businesses.

She then left the financial analysis world to work as a Family Therapist, managing programs for families in the UK, recruiting, training, and supervising staff and developing care plans, services, and activities for service users (children and families) living under difficult circumstances. She also managed programs working with young people leaving state care to enable them to live independently and becoming productive members of society. Ayo is also a current PhD candidate at Nottingham Trent University and Marie Sklodowska-Curie PhD Fellow researching suicide in Guyana, a wife, and a mother of 3 beautiful children, two huge and energetic dogs, and one shy cat!

Mrs. Dee George

Executive Director

An Economics major from the University of Guyana, Dee George, is a distinguished figure in the business landscape of Guyana. Her journey as a co-founder and Director of Herdmanston Lodge, a wholly Guyanese-owned boutique hotel, is a testament to her deep connection with the rich history of Guyana. 

Furthermore, Dee has also been at the helm of Herdmanston Corporate, which offers an array of real estate options over the years and has been expanding given the new economic  thrust.  Added is her role as Director of Sispro Inc, an all-Guyanese and all-women-led company which she aids in spearheading initiatives in the energy sector and beyond.

Dee’s involvement extends beyond the corporate world. She has recently assumed the role of President of the Tourism Hospitality Association of Guyana. Additionally, she serves as a Director on the Protected Areas Commission, where she actively contributes to safeguarding Guyana’s natural beauty and biodiversity.

However, Dee’s passion for community and social responsibility shines through in her roles as a Trustee on the board of Uncle Eddie’s Home, a residence for senior citizens. She is also a tireless advocate for community enhancement and importantly, teenage mothers through her involvement with Women Across Differences, a well focused organisation. Dee is an active member of the Rotary family, embodying the spirit of service and humanitarianism.

Beyond her professional and philanthropic pursuits, Dee is an ardent lover of nature, with a particular fascination for birds. Her genuine appreciation for the natural world underscores her commitment to preserving Guyana’s environmental heritage and promoting the richness of  the essence of her peoples.