Gypsy: ‘Nothing untoward’ in NCC seeking new CEO

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo: NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters.

There is nothing untoward in the National Carnival Commission’s (NCC) looking for a new CEO, its chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters has said.

He added that the contract of its previous CEO Colin Lucas, simply came to an end.

The commission recently advertised the post. The closing date for applications was October 31.

Lucas said his contract came to an end in October and was now moving on to assist with a family business.

“The family has had a guest house for a few years and covid19 kind of devastated that – it closed it down completely – and we are now in the process of reopening. We just reopened last month, actually. That is basically what I am going to be focusing on for a little while,” he said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

He said it was unlikely that he would be back to spearhead Carnival initiatives.

He was contracted as the commission’s CEO for four years, which was extended for a further six months, which ended in October. In a 2018 press release, the commission announced that Lucas, its former chairman, would act as CEO from May 1-July 31 that year.

The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts of that time, headed by Dr Nyan Gadsby Dolly, dismissed rumours that Lucas had been fired as chairman, saying his competencies matched closely with those needed at the commission at that time.

Lucas was chairman and executive chairman from November 2017-April 2018.

Peters was appointed chairman in 2018 and on November 23, 2021 the commission’s board was reinstated, with Peters as the chair and Davlin Thomas as deputy chairman.

In a one-on-one interview about Carnival 2023 on Monday, asked about the position being advertised, Peters said, “We have already advertised and we are having interesting people. We have a lot of people who have applied so far. So we know that HR (Human Resources) will be looking at that.”

He said Lucas’s contract had ended.

“Nothing untoward at all. Mr Lucas is a great man to me, and a great friend. He has been my friend for a long time, and it has nothing to do with anything else but that.”

The commission’s ad said the qualified individual must have a proven track record of strategic leadership in the public sector, entertainment, creative industry or tourism/culture management environment and must possess a “demonstrated strong work ethic and be capable of critical and creative thinking.”

The individual must also have an MSc or MBA in business management or project management, and certification in Carnival studies would be an asset.

Carnival 2023 was launched on November 5 at the Queen’s Park Savannah.