About Us

Who We Are

We Are GUTSY, Inc. is a Not-for-Profit 501 (c) (3) Organization registered in New Jersey, USA.  Its Board of Directors volunteer their time and resources to improving the lives of young children in Guyana. All funds raised go toward achieving our mission in Guyana.

Our Board of DIRECTORS

Janice-Hall-200

Janice Hall

Founder and Chair

Janice’s relentlessness has caused her to beat the odds in her professional and personal life. She is now working to help others do the same. Janice is resilient and unwavering.

Janice Hall is the Founder and the heart of We Are GUTSY, Inc. She has spent most of her life working pro bono to develop and manage creative approaches and funding to help provide vulnerable children a new lease in life and has now turned her attention back to the land of her birth. Janice is relentless in her quest to help nurture young Guyanese by teaching them life skills to navigate the generational issues they face.

Janice is an active Board member of several not-for-profit Organizations in New Jersey, USA. She is an award winning Real Estate practitioner - she holds lifetime membership in the New Jersey Realtors Distinguished Sales Club. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Guyana, and a Post Grad Dip. in Communications, UWI Jamaica.

Dr. DANA MASON Ed.D

Dana Mason, Ed.D.

Director and Lead Trainer

As a young music teacher Dana recognized that students will need a blend of the arts with 21st century skills to be productive contributors in the modern workforce, and reinvented her approach to teaching through personal growth and education.

Through her tenacity she works hard to inspire those around her to be life-long learners so that they can stay current in their personal practice and enjoy a fulfilling life.

Dana Mason is currently an Adjunct Professor at the New Jersey City University Educational Technology Department and Technology Teacher at the Henry E Harris School, Bayonne Board of Education where she teaches STEAM, digital citizenship, basic computer programing and Robotics.

In 2017 and 2018 she trained with NASA trainers at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. She also attended STEAM classes and trained in flight simulations and the centrifuge at the National Aerospace Training and Research Center in Southampton, PA.

Dr. Mason is the recipient of the New Jersey Governor’s Educator of the Year Award, Henry E. Harris Community School 2020-2021.

She also holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance from New York University, a Master of Arts in Educational Technology from New Jersey City University and a Doctorate in Education Technology Leadership from New Jersey City University, Jersey City New Jersey.

Burnell Mingo

Burnell Mingo

Treasurer

Burnell neither commits nor engages without deep self-reflection and introspection. These traits allow him to make the right decisions in life.

Burnell Mingo has over 20 years of service in the Financial and Investment Banking sector with experience that includes Client Management, Project Management and Process Improvement. With his financial expertise Burnell adds value in managing resources for the transformation of children’s lives through the efforts of We Are GUTSY, Inc.

Burnell has a B.S., Accounting from Rutgers University, New Jersey and M.S., Information Systems from Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey.

Lourdeth Ferguson

Lourdeth Ferguson

Secretary

A single parent to two accomplished young women, Lourdeth calls on her inner strength and faith to overcome adverse circumstances and to make a difference in the lives of others.

Lourdeth Ferguson brings to the We are GUTSY, Inc. Board her passion for developing and promoting the rights of Women and Girls. With over 25 years of experience in youth advocacy, intergovernmental engagement on gender equality, women’s empowerment and governance through her work at the United Nations, Ms. Ferguson provides strategic coordination and the global lens for executing the We Are Gutsy mission.

Ms. Ferguson holds a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Guyana and Master’s degree in Social Science from Long Island University, New York.

Neil Bacchus

Neil Bacchus

Director

It takes determination and pluck to succeed in a non-salaried career in an environment that was foreign and potentially hostile. Neil succeeded and excelled and has reached the pinnacle of success in his field.

Neil Bacchus, the founder and principal of The Bacchus Real Estate Group is well known in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia real estate market areas for his outstanding work ethic. With over 29 years of experience in the business, Neil has built a stellar reputation as one of the most trusted & admired real estate experts by focusing on exceptional client service and industry knowledge. He is the area’s real estate’s "go-to" for expert advice and in-depth knowledge of real estate trends. Neil has served on numerous executive boards in the fields of real estate, business, investment property and property management. He also owns and manages a property management company.

Despite Neil’s tremendous success as an entrepreneur, at heart Neil is a humble caring soul who is always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Clients, colleagues and friends alike turn to Neil for advice when faced with a challenge.

Carla Felix Meertens, M.Ed.L.​

Carla Felix Meertens, M.Ed.L.​

Director and Trainer

Carla’s love for Mathematics and ultimately a career in education began when she was in grade seven. Her patience, perseverance, and resilience has afforded her the ability to be in a position to serve others.

Carla Meertens has served in her current position as an Assistant Principal in New York City for the past ten years. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Marymount Manhattan College and her Master’s Degree in Mathematics Education from Brooklyn College.  She also attended The College of Saint Rose and obtained a second Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership.

Her educational career spans the past 22 years during which her mission continues to be to inspire teachers and support staff so that they can help students work and live productively in our ever-changing society.  Mrs. Meertens strives to create structures that sustain a cohesive learning environment where everyone succeeds.  She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction where she hopes to work in positions involving social and community service, professional development, instructional coordination, and teacher education.

Nalini Tiwari

Nalini Tiwari Greenan

Director

At age 15 and living in New York, Nalini’s goal was to become a successful entrepreneur. She quickly learned how to be resilient and to persevere and uses these attributes to help people from all walks of life.

Nalini Tiwari was born in Guyana and moved to New York in 1980. She is a graduate of Columbia University and lives in Manhattan.
Nalini started her advertising career at Young & Rubicam in New York and now owns and manages a marketing company that specializes in the Tourism, Alcohol and Fashion sectors and an importing company that imports Alcohol and Specialty Foods into the USA.

She is passionate about supporting organizations that advocate equal rights for all regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation and that empower women and children. Nalini believes in the mission of We are Gutsy, Inc. and is committed to using her experience in fundraising for Non Profits to help We are Gutsy, Inc. accomplish its objectives.

Greg McPherson

Greg McPherson

Director

Greg is a highly focused and determined GUTSY resource, dedicated to spending his time away from work and family volunteering in his local community and improving the lives of the less fortunate.

Greg McPherson has over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, including Product Development, Business Analysis and Institutional Sales and Trading. Greg spent 4 years living and working in the city/state of Singapore gaining valuable professional and personal exposure. With his range of experience Greg adds value to the GUTSY team by stepping into the daily operations to ensure the board meets its strategic goals to improve children’s lives in Guyana. Greg has a B.S., Finance from Manhattan College, NY is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst and holds a Certificate in Product Management from Columbia University School of Engineering & Applied Science, New York.

Nalini Tiwari

Nalini Tiwari Greenan

Director

At age 15 and living in New York, Nalini’s goal was to become a successful entrepreneur. She quickly learned how to be resilient and to persevere and uses these attributes to help people from all walks of life.

Nalini Tiwari was born in Guyana and moved to New York in 1980. She is a graduate of Columbia University and lives in Manhattan.
Nalini started her advertising career at Young & Rubicam in New York and now owns and manages a marketing company that specializes in the Tourism, Alcohol and Fashion sectors and an importing company that imports Alcohol and Specialty Foods into the USA.

She is passionate about supporting organizations that advocate equal rights for all regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation and that empower women and children. Nalini believes in the mission of We are Gutsy, Inc. and is committed to using her experience in fundraising for Non Profits to help We are Gutsy, Inc. accomplish its objectives.

Claire Goring

Claire Goring

Director

Tenacious, undaunted, and fiercely loyal to everything Guyanese; Claire’s civic-mindedness makes her unstoppable.

For almost four decades, Claire Ann Goring has unselfishly advanced Guyana’s graphic and festival arts and has demonstrated a consistently high level of commitment to managing creativity and promoting the celebration of Guyanese creativity.

As the Cultural Director of the Guyana Cultural Association of New York since its inception in 2001, Claire has almost single-handedly been responsible for the respect the GCA has earned for its work to reaffirm and celebrate the folk heritage of Guyana’s multi-ethnic ancestry. More recently in 2015 Claire spearheaded the creation of the Guyana Cultural Association Arts and Cultural Center in New York.

For her impressive work Claire has received numerous accolades, citations and awards from City entities including the Brooklyn Borough President and the New York City Council.

Neil Bacchus

Neil Bacchus

Director

It takes determination and pluck to succeed in a non-salaried career in an environment that was foreign and potentially hostile. Neil succeeded and excelled and has reached the pinnacle of success in his field.

Neil Bacchus, the founder and principal of The Bacchus Real Estate Group is well known in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia real estate market areas for his outstanding work ethic. With over 29 years of experience in the business, Neil has built a stellar reputation as one of the most trusted & admired real estate experts by focusing on exceptional client service and industry knowledge. He is the area’s real estate’s "go-to" for expert advice and in-depth knowledge of real estate trends. Neil has served on numerous executive boards in the fields of real estate, business, investment property and property management. He also owns and manages a property management company.

Despite Neil’s tremendous success as an entrepreneur, at heart Neil is a humble caring soul who is always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Clients, colleagues and friends alike turn to Neil for advice when faced with a challenge.

Deanna Butters

Deanna Butters

Director

Straight out of college Deanna decided on a career that called for empathy and tolerance and has dedicated her life to caring for patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease. This speaks volumes about her compassion for others.

Deanna Butters brings to the Organization a passion for caring for others especially the elderly and has worked in this capacity since graduating with a BA in Psychology in Maryland USA. She also holds an MA in Organizational Management with a focus in Healthcare Administration.

As a sports enthusiast and very talented former women’s basketball player – she played in the North East Conference (NCAA) Finals while in college, Deanna appreciates the relationship between a healthy body and healthy mind and will focus her attention on the mind body connection for We Are GUTSY, Inc.

Our Work

We Are GUTSY, Inc. works with students, parents, volunteers and staff utilizing the curriculum we developed around our six critical focus areas, our resource center, media, and communication channels.
  • Beginning with a pilot program in pre-selected schools and youth groups to allow for program assessment and fine tuning
  • Develop a curriculum around each of our focus areas and train volunteers to lead face to face interactive discussions with the schools and youth groups and when necessary the parents
  • Set up a resource center staff with qualified, caring volunteers
  • Use electronic, print media and strategically placed billboards to reinforce our messages
  • Host a hotline service for anonymous reporting

Our Trainers

Our Trainers who are responsible for coaching the core values to educators and children in Guyana while working along with parents and caregivers to support the GUTSY mission.
Ruth Cummings

Ruth Cummings-Hypolite, Ed.D.

Larenza Hernandez

Larenza Hernandez, PgDipEd

Trevin London

Trevin London, Ed.D.

Dana Mason

Dana Mason, Ed.D.

Aileen Matias Castro

Aileen Matias Castro, Ed.D.

Carla Meertens

Carla Felix Meertens, M.Ed.L.

Dr. Rosalind October

Dr. Rose October-Edun, Ph.D., LMSW, CASAC, ICADC

Renate Perry

Renate Perry, B. Ed.