The SUNSHINE Awards Program is often described as an organization that embraces cultural diversity giving enhanced credence to the much-vaunted concept of “unity in diversity.” One should also note that cultural diversity and the performing arts in this global village where we all reside play a major role in crystallizing the values of discipline and ethics in society. Social skills and education have deep roots in the performing arts and culture.

Gilman T. Figaro, Sr

Chairman and Founder

The road to success for many individuals is often paved with hardships and hard work which force them to draw upon their inner resources to stay the course and attain their goal even in the absence of popular support. Those who prevail manage to achieve success through perseverance and determination, giving testament to their strong desire and dedication to make tangible contributions for a better world.

Gil Figaro is one person who has prevailed with all those disciplines not only as an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago but also as an individual who believes that his daily objective is to make a difference in peoples’ lives. To accomplish this goal, he founded the SUNSHINE Awards Program in 1989 to recognize excellence in the performing arts, education, humanity, science and sports in the various Caribbean countries. Over the years, the program has expanded in depth and breadth with a global view including countries from Africa, Europe, South America and Central America. This program has evolved into an annual black-tie event staged every October.


Gil has received multiple, recognitions, Awards and Proclamations, including a State of New Jersey Senate Resolution (2013), the Caribbean Tourism Organization Distinguished Caribbean Citizen Award (2019), and his alma mater’s, St. Benedict’s College of Trinidad and Tobago Golden Jubilee Award for making a difference in our world. He is also blessed with over 35 years of sales experience combined with Executive and Sales Performance Coaching credentials assisting global businesses, of various sizes, spanning multiple industries to eliminate business challenges and accomplish goals and objectives.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from St Francis College and an MBA from Long Island University.

Dr Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool

Co-founder SUNSHINE Awards Hall of Fame / Chairman of Nomination Network Committee

Dr. Hollis “Chalkdust” Liverpool is the Co-founder of the SUNSHINE Awards Hall of Fame and the Chairman of the Nomination Network Committee and member of the Global Strategic Team. He is a university professor, author, researcher, historian and calypsonian and is a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Trinidad and Tobago. He has written many books including, Rituals of Power & Rebellion – The Carnival Tradition in Trinidad & Tobago 1763 to 1962 (2001), Calypso: Its Growth and Function in Trinidad and Tobago Society (1974)A commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery – 1834 to 1984 and Calypsonians to Remember (2002). As Professor of Calypso Arts at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Liverpool has conceived, developed, designed and implemented the “Saving the Calypso” lecture series. His lectures cover various social and political topics and are often described as his unselfish way of sharing his knowledge and research to benefit society.

Dr. Liverpool is the recipient of many awards and recognitions including Trinidad and Tobago’s highest national award — the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT), The Netherlands Government “Prince Claus Award” for contribution/inroads into culture, and the SUNSHINE Awards Merit Award. He also won the Calypso Monarch Competition of Trinidad and Tobago on nine occasions.

He played an active role in securing the approval from the Mandela Family and the Nelson Mandela Foundation to establish the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Achievement SUNSHINE Award. He also wrote the criteria for the Award which was unanimously approved by the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Dr. Liverpool sees his involvement in the SUNSHINE Awards Organization as his unique and special way to uplift the sprits and enhance the pride in all the great men and women for whom the SUNSHINE Awards Program was founded.

Dr Harold Hampden Robertson

Director of Diplomatic & Public Services

Dr. Harold Hampden Robertson joined the SUNSHINE Awards Global Strategic Team in 2011 after over 35 years of Diplomatic and Public Service experience for the Government and people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. His many years of experience spans diplomatic assignments in many countries around the globe, membership on many International Committees as well as selected representational conferences and events. He has many publications to his credit including articles such as The Maritime Provinces of Canada. In Research Guide to Central America and the Caribbean. K. J. Grieb (Ed.), The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison 1985; The Nova Scotia-British West Indies Commercial Experiment in The Aftermath of The American Revolution, 1783-1802. Co-author: S. Basdeo, Dalhousie Review, Vol. 61 No.1, 1981, pp. 53-69. and West Indian Peoples. The Canadian-Caribbean Connection, G. Walsh (Ed.) Carindo Cultural Association, Halifax 1992.

Dr. Robertson has earned accredited scholarships, many awards, and recognitions for his accomplishments including being the first to complete a Master of Arts Degree in one year in a special program at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada. He played an active role in securing the approval from the Mandela Family and the Nelson Mandela Foundation to establish the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Achievement SUNSHINE Award.

Dr. Robertson often describes his role in the SUNSHINE Awards Organization as his special way to underscore his desire for a better world through his passion for the education, humanity, science, technology, and the performing arts.

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