Board of Directors

Executive Director & Treasurer
Charles Peterson hails from Antigua & Barbuda and now lives in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/ St. Paul, Minnesota. Charles, as a founding member of the Twin Cities Carifest and the new Co-Executive director, believes that culture defines a person. With a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota and several years of experience in the food, dairy and beverage industry, Charles manages an engineering group that services, designs, and builds dairy plants throughout the USA. Charles is also a founding member of the Minnesota Cricket Association, and cricket is considered the glue that binds the West Indies. He has managed and promoted many porting tournaments, entertainment activities, fundraisers and relief efforts to benefit the Caribbean. Charles has always been involved in cultural exchange and continues to be an ambassador for Caribbean culture, and advocates for a united West Indies.

Director of Community Outreach
James Byron originally from Trinidad and Tobago, has been living in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1989. James has a degree in business management and currently owns and operates a retail business. James has been an active supporter for Carifest for 14 years. James is very interested in advancing the culture of Trinidad and Tobago and the West Indies as a whole throughout the Midwest.

Managing Director
Donna Rankin is a native of Antigua and Barbuda. Arriving in Minnesota after attending college in Trinidad for stage production and dance.  Once in Minnesota attended Dental School and also Event Planning.  Ms Rankin has been volunteering with Carifest and other non-profits for the past 17 plus years while staging many events and fundraisers. Ms. Rankin has contributed her knowledge to her community in helping to build a better and stronger Caribbean community in MN.

Deceased founding member & past finance director
Churaman Ragoonanan hailed from Trinidad & Tobago and was a founding member of the Twin Cities Carifest. Churaman, fondly known as Ragoo, was well recognized in the community as owner and operator of Ragoo Realty and Tax Service, here in the Twin Cities. From Carifest’s inception he wore many hats within the organization and continued to be an active supporter of Carifest until his untimely death in 2013.