The Board of Trustees
Cedar is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees, the members of which may serve up to three consecutive 3-year terms. Terms are staggered to allow for continuity, and further terms can be granted in exceptional circumstances with support from other members. The Board is a self-perpetuating Board, nominating and approving new members from the community as openings arise and evaluating potential members based on desired areas of expertise and other characteristics that align with Cedar’s strategic plan and mission. Currently the Board consists of ten members, representing a diverse make-up of legal, financial, business, property, and educational expertise.
The Board meets a minimum of four times per year (once per quarter), with committee meetings occurring more frequently as needed. The Board is guided in its policy and decision-making by Cedar’s Mission, which is reviewed annually, and also by Cedar’s Strategic Plan, which helps to set annual goals and the creation of “project-based” committees each year to move progress in designated areas
Mark Forte, Chair
Mark has been a board member for 9 years, and Chair for the last 4. He has three kids in Cedar and a keen supporter of education on-island through to graduation. Although committed to a great deal of overseas travel, Mark enjoys time on island messing around on boats and is a keen supporter of arts. Now in his twelfth year at Conyers Dill & Pearman, there is no end in sight for Mark’s stay in the BVI and his ambition remains to grow Cedar and the Territory to bigger and better things.
Richard Georges, Vice Chair
Richard Georges is a writer, lecturer, and editor of Caribbean literature and currently serves as Head of Humanities at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. His writing has won or been shortlisted for several awards and he is the co-founding editor of Moko, a digital magazine of Caribbean art and literature.
Scott Crawford, Director (ex officio)
Scott Crawford has served as Cedar’s Director since 2011. He holds degrees from Columbia, Cornell and Ohio State universities and headed a PK-12 school in the U.S. Virgin Islands prior to joining Cedar. A firm believer in international education as a powerful change agent for the future, he has championed the creation of Cedar’s Solution Studio and an expansion of Cedar’s scholarship programme to ensure the school’s brand of quality education is accessible to as many students as possible.
Walter Reich, Treasurer
Walter Reich is Managing Director of Tovel Investments Ltd. He has a son and a daughter at Cedar, grade 7 and 5 respectively. His personal interests include Football, Hockey, Squash, Gardening, Snorkeling, Travelling, Coaching, and Boating. He has lived in the BVI for 15 years. He first arrived in the beautiful BVI in 1995 from Sudbury, Canada but spent 6 great years in London, UK before returning to the Islands in 2006.
‘Both my wife (Julie) and I believe in “giving back”. When asked to be part of the Cedar Board of Trustees it was an easy decision and a natural extension of other projects I am involved with at Cedar primarily on the Football side of the equation. I was very fortunate growing up in Canada to have some fantastic teachers and other volunteers “giving back” and providing kids an opportunity to learn and play different sports. I love the fact that Cedar promotes the same type of thinking and equally important that it has the teachers and parents who share the same vision. Sport is so very important in this ever changing world and football specifically is a terrific and fun team sport that provides so many great life lessons including but not limited to leadership, confidence, commitment, dedication, cooperation, communication, team work, respect, listening skills etc.’
Nilani Perera, Assistant Treasurer
Nilani Perera, Director of Borrelli Walsh’s BVI office, was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2016. Ms. Perera has over 10 years of experience in insolvency, forensic accounting, investigations and valuations in BVI, Hong Kong, Cayman Islands, Singapore and PRC. The firm she represents, Borrelli Walsh, has been a staunch supporter of Cedar for years. As such, she brings an important voice to Cedar’s Board of Trustees: one of financial expertise and demonstrated support of Cedar’s mission.
Arabella di Iorio, Secretary
Arabella is a partner in Maples and Calder’s British Virgin Islands office, where she is head of the BVI litigation and trusts practice groups. Arabella previously served as the Managing Partner of the BVI office for six years. She specialises in complex international commercial litigation, including insolvency, distressed funds, shareholder issues, asset tracing, trust disputes, insurance and reinsurance, professional negligence and contractual claims. She has considerable arbitration and mediation experience and is a solicitor-advocate. Arabella also advises on non-contentious trusts matters. Arabella was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 2012.
Barbara O’Neal-Rhoden is a director and owner of JOMA (Properties) Ltd., a BVI-property development firm. In addition, she is general counsel of JOMA Properties. She is a lawyer and has practiced commercial and property law for over 30 years, and was a former partner of the BVI firm of O’Neal Webster. She is one of the most experienced lawyers in BVI property law and has worked for major real estate clients in the tourism industry and, in that regard, was instrumental in obtaining an amendment to BVI land-holding regulations to allow for stamp duty relief in certain transfer scenarios. Barbara has considerable experience in planning law having served as both a member and Chairperson of the Land Development Control Authority and as a member of the Planning Appeal Tribunal. She holds, and has held, a number of other positions on several statutory and private Boards, including the position of Chairperson of the Social Security Appeal Tribunal, having just completed a term in December of 2015.
Gareth Thomas is Managing Director of Appleby Corporate Services. He has been in BVI for 14 years and is married to Dara Smith. He has one son at Cedar (Tai- grade 4). He sits on various government advisory committees in relation to financial services, education and legislation and is a keen cyclist and paddle boarder.
Julia Dawson has been employed in the family business at Maria’s By the Sea as Managing Director for 19 years. She has one child, a son, in Grade 7. She is a native BVIslander and has always lived in the BVI with the exception of high school and college. Her interests include sailing, reading and music.
We would love to hear from you.
If you are interested in finding out more about Cedar International School, or would like to visit our campus in the British Virgin Islands please send us an enquiry and we will get back to you as soon as we can.