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

Gareth Thomas, Chair

Gareth Thomas is Managing Director of Estera Corporate Services. He has been in BVI for 18 years and is married to Dara Smith. He has one son at Cedar (Tai- grade 10). He sits on various government advisory committees in relation to financial services, education and legislation and is a keen cyclist and paddle boarder.

Vanessa King, Vice-chair

Vanessa King is Managing Partner of O’Neal Webster, and a current Cedar parent. Vanessa joined Cedar’s Board of trustees in 2018.

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 the Tovel Group of companies. He has a daughter at Cedar in grade 11, and his son graduated in Cedar’s class of 2021. His personal interests include Football, Squash, Gardening, Snorkeling, Travelling, Coaching, and Boating.

He first arrived in the beautiful BVI in January 1995 from Sudbury, Canada to work for KPMG as a chartered professional accountant and never looked back apart from a brief spell spent in London, UK working for an arbitrage hedge fund.

‘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. I was very fortunate growing up in Canada to have some fantastic teachers and volunteers “giving back” and providing kids an opportunity to learn and play different sports.

On the educational side of the equation, I am extremely appreciative of the fact that families living in the BVI have the option of sending their children to an International Baccalaureate (IB) accredited school. “As the world continues to change more rapidly it is more important than ever to ensure the education that kids receive addresses tomorrow’s world”. To ensure this opportunity is open to all families, Walter and Julie have generously donated to fundraising causes including Cedar scholarships. In this area, Walter continues to try to cultivate other donors for Cedar which allows kids who might not otherwise have the ability to receive a world recognized IB education.
For those that know Walter, he can be usually found on the Cedar pitch as a volunteer coach of the Youth Football Manatees Program he founded back in 2006. “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.”

Arabella di Iorio, Secretary
Arabella-HeadshotArabella is a partner in Advocates BVI, and previously served as the Managing Partner of the BVI office of Maples and Calder. 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.
Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas is the owner, CTL Ltd., and is a former Cedar parent. Michael joined Cedar’s Board of Trustees in 2018.


Emily Oakes

Emily Oakes lives in Virgin Gorda and is the former Head of Operations at Oil Nut Bay. Emily joined Cedar’s Board of Trustees in 2018.

Emma Baker
emma-baker-HeadshotEmma K. Baker recently retired from her position as the Director of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. Emma chairs the Cedar Board’s Committee on Trustees.


Russell Crumpler

Russell CrumplerRussell Crumpler is a Managing Director in the KPMG practice of the British Virgin Islands, and a current Cedar parent. Russell joined Cedar’s Board of trustees in 2021.​


Photograph of Scott Crawford by Cedar student Lily Graham under tutelage of Fernando Reyero-Noya.

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.