Our People

We’re a passionate and proud group of people determined to help the beauty of all cultures shine through.

Ambassadors

Priyanka Bose

Priyanka Bose is an Indian stage and film actor and a model. She is best known for her role in the 2016 Australian film Lion, which had six 2017 Oscar nominations, including best picture. Bose played Kamla Munshi, the main character’s birth mother, and starred alongside Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, and Nicole Kidman. Based on the book A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly, Lion tells Brierly’s story of being adopted by an Australian family and his search for his birth family 25 years later. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016 and was released in the United States that November. It was directed by Garth Davis.

Bose performed in the stage production NIRBHAYA, which premiered at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As a play that addresses the shame that prevents survivors of gender-based violence from speaking out, NIRBHAYA won the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award for its focus on human rights. It also won the Scotsman Fringe First Award and the Herald Angel Award for Outstanding New Play.

Bose’s portrayal of Gangor in the 2010 Italian film of the same name is another of her most well-known roles. The Indian tribal woman, Gangor, meets a man covering a story about the exploitation of her people after a photograph of her breastfeeding changes her life for the worse. The film is based on political activist Mahashweta Devi’s Breast Stories. Bose starred alongside Samrat Chakrabarti and Adil Hussain in this film, directed by Italo Spinelli. At the 2011 New Jersey Independent South Asian Film Festival in America, Bose won the Best Actress award for her role in Gangor.

Bose began her career by performing with amateur theatre groups and working as a dancer with two companies. She trained in Kathak, Manipuri, and ballet, and landed roles as a dancer in films.

Recent work

Bose  also actively supports environmentally friendly and sustainable industries. Most recently, she joined forces with actress Suzy Amis Cameron for her Green Dress Red Carpet campaign. For the 2017 Oscars, she wore a sustainable Vivienne Westwood gown in support of environmentally friendly practices. Proceeds from the campaign go to the environmental non-profit MUSE School in Calabasas, Calif.

Noted for collaborating with independent, eco-conscious design labels, Bose has also modeled for Anavila, Nor Black Nor White, and Pause.

As a human rights activist, Bose also works with filmmaker Megha Ramaswamy producing short films under the label Cause Effect. The socially aware productions explore stories about women’s and children’s health and social issues.

Bose is the first international ambassador of the World Heritage Cultural Center a New York-based non-profit that creates a cultural common ground for celebrating different ways of life through arts and food, while positively impacting the world with knowledge and charity. The Center began in 2005 and works with over 300 cultural groups in the United States with ambassadors visiting eight cities each year.

Having already portrayed many strong women characters in film and theater, Bose has become an actor who enjoys developing author-backed roles. She looks forward to interpreting similar roles in the future, especially those that address difficult social and human rights issues.

Personal Life/skills:

interests, skills, travel, languages, dance, etc.

Terry Gajraj, Guyanese Ambassador of WHCC

“PACK UP ME GRIP & LEH ME GO”
The Terry Gajraj Story

By Roshan Shiwcharran, GuyanaChunes.com

Heart pounding, butterflies out of control, Terry Gajraj paced back & forth nervously backstage at the Brightstar Productions “Indo-Caribbean Show” in Toronto, Canada. Terry was about to share the stage for the very first time with many of his Idols to sing in front of 8,000 hungry fans. This moment forever changed his life. “When I stepped on that stage, I felt like I was struck by lightning,” recalls the artist who was representing Guyana at the All-Star Concert. “I had that aha moment of OMG! This is what I want to do for the rest of my life”!

Terry never stopped.

He has dominated the Guyanese music scene for the past 25 years. He released his debut Album ” Soca Lambada” in 1990 but it was “Guyana Baboo” in 1994 that established him as a household name & propelled him to International acclaim. As a son of the soil, Terry is the most toured artist to emerge out of Guyana & whose success in promoting Guyanese Music & Culture around the world remains unmatched.

Here are 12 brief highlights of an eventful career.

1- Guyana’s Most RECORDED Artist with over 30 Albums and hundreds of songs.

2- TerryG is the only singer from Guyana who has been performing globally every single week, every single month, every single year for over 20 years, non-stop (since his monster hit  “Guyana Baboo” in 1994). Guyana’s Most CONSISTENT Artiste.

3- Performed off-Broadway in “West Indian Dreams” in Manhattan NY.

4- Guyana’s most TOURED Singer (performs in all the major cities & countries including the Caribbean, Surinam, Holland, India, UK & Spain). One of his most prestigious shows was at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Terry consistently adds a new Country & new City every year to his touring circuit.

5- Terry is the first singer from the Caribbean to perform at the BOLLYWOOD Music Awards, the Indian equivalent of the Grammys.

6- Terry has represented Guyana in all the major CARNIVALS in the world including Labor Day (NY), Caribana (Canada), Miami Carnival, Virgin Islands (Tortola), Notting Hill (London) & Trinidad (Spektakula Tent).

7- Terry created the “Screw the lightbulb” Indian Dance and introduced the “Call & Response” style to Guyanese Chutney Music thereby making it more interactive, exciting & popular. He has thrilled the worldwide audience with his brand of Guyanese Music & Culture and spread the sounds of Guyana beyond our borders.

8- Terry is the 1st Guyanese Artist to have his own professional website www.TerryGajraj.com. When Promoters want a Guyanese Entertainer, the 1st name that pops up is Terry “Guyana Baboo” Gajraj.

9- Unlike many Artistes who crossover & hide their Guyanese roots, Terry proudly waves his Guyanese Flag at all his performances and showcases his trademark One finger pose representing 1 People, 1 Nation, 1 Destiny.

10- Terry does a weekly TV show on Time Warner channel 96 in NYC every Saturday at 7 pm.

11- Collaborates with young Guyanese Artistes to give them a taste of stardom & promote the future of Guyanese music.

12- Since the inception of his singing career. Terry has consistently donated at least one free performance every month for various charitable groups.

He has further embraced his role model status as a celebrity spokesman for the Save Abee Charitable Foundation for Kids in Guyana. For the past 5 years, Terry & the Save Abee Team organized many Fundraisers in Canada & USA with 100% of proceeds donated to educate kids in the field of Computer Technology based on the “teach a man to fish” philosophy”. It has evolved with success, to not only represent his ideals to give back to those in need but most importantly to showcase the goodwill and strong community spirit of the Guyanese people that Terry represents as their musical ambassador.

Terry Gajraj grew up in Fyrish Village, Guyana. As a poor country boy, he had no TV in his home, so his only entertainment was learning to play every single musical instrument he could get his hands on. Having no TV was a blessing in disguise. Dance-inspiring Soca Chutney rhythms and a knack for Guyanese lyrics have made the charismatic Terry Gajraj one of Guyana’s most successful vocalists. That poor country boy is now an International Star who has made an indelible mark on the musical history of Guyana.

“Yuh can tek me outta Guyana, but you kyan tek Guyana outta me”
—TerryG.

SOME OF TERRY’s UPCOMING PERFORMANCES:
Orlando FL – Chutney Soca Brass (March)
Suriname – Paramaribo (March 23)
Guyana National Stadium – Phagwah Celebrations (March 24)
Bronx NY (March 25)
Richmond Hill NY – Phagwah Parade (March 26)
Somerset NJ – Phagwah Dance (March 26)
Queens NY (April 16)
Boston MA (April 23)
Montreal Canada (April)
Trinidad WI – Mother’s Day (May 8)
St Maarten WI – Chutney Soca Fest (May 14)
Jamaica NY (May 20)
Cayman Islands WI – GACI Dinner & Dance (June 12)
Hartford CT (June 18)

NEW 2016 SONGS:
“Buss Peppa” ft Shakti
“Tek Way Yuh Gyal” ft Rikki Jai
“Weakness For Sweetness” ft Ta.V.Ta
“Larkhi” ft A9

Releasing soon:
“Guyana 50th Tribute” Angels Band
“Pati Patna” Guyanese Traditional
“Girl You Turn Me On” ft Keri
“Tequilla” ft Prince Bengal
& many more for the Summer

Here are links to some of Terry’s You Tube Videos:

https://youtu.be/FdP-b85tvpQ (Guyanese Folk Songs)

https://youtu.be/ylujGTu30SE (Weakness For Sweetness)

https://youtu.be/Fy-xMGyO53Y (Love Is The Answer)

https://youtu.be/UFcBeZe6ua8 (Party Tun Up)

Founders

SATTIE I. PERSAUD

Co-Founder, WHCC Acting Director Accountant/ Screenplay Writer (NY)

Sattie Persaud came to the United States from Suriname with the hopes of gaining a college education. As it turned out, she had much to teach us herself.

Sattie broke the cycle of seven generations of women married at or before the age of thirteen. She went on to become the first in her family to make it past the third grade, and attend college, completing a B.A. in accounting from Pace University and a degree in Screenwriting from the New York Film Academy. She has written two screenplays and is presently working on her first novel, while managing a day job as treasury manager for the United Technologies Corporation. She has an impressive resume that spans multinational corporations such as IBM, UBS, and Lehman Brothers. Embracing her roots, though, led her to found the World Heritage Cultural Center.

“The Universe gave me a chance to fulfill my dream of getting an education, something no one can take away from me,” she began. “Witnessing your most intimate dream come true is the most beautiful feeling. Because I wanted to give back to the Universe, I thought about what I value at my core. It’s family. So I started the WHCC to share my overwhelming love for my fellow humans.”

This overwhelming love led her to present international culture on a global platform.

It may be difficult to understand how someone growing up in a small, low-technology nation could feel so connected to all of humanity, but Sattie explained that Suriname is culturally diverse itself.

“My parents taught us that love extends beyond the walls of your home,” she said. “We’re all one Family, one Human Race. Diversity is strength.” From her childhood exposure to the best that other cultures offer, Sattie learned that different is beautiful, and she wanted others to experience this same love of cultures—other’s as well as their own.

In the last century, we have truly become a global world. Humans migrate, immigrate, and escape to lands far from where they were raised.

“I began WHCC because I want to help people define their roots,” Sattie said. “Frequently, those born outside their native land feel lost in a sea of different cultures and backgrounds. Having a personal cultural identity, as well as an understanding of other cultures, is important. My own cultural identity shaped who I am.”

AVINASH INDAR PERSAUD

Business Entrepreneur and Student

”In Suriname, the beauty of each Culture, is shown in their food, their clothes, their mannerism. Here in the United States, the beauty of cultures are brought out at annual celebrations or festivities, sometimes only recognized in the home you are in and not the entire United States. WHCC is changing the way people think about culture. Culture is something that is needed in our everyday lives, to recognize how precious our values and customs are. WHCC is giving people the opportunity to experience their heritage directly through the arts and food.”

CHETRANIE GITA DAKA

Co-Founder
Full-time Mother

”We need a place to welcome anyone from any part of the world and still make them feel at home in the light of Diversity.”

2017-2018 Board of Directors

Victor Cruz

Actor, Writer & Producer; Founder of Victor Cruz Entertainment

victor-cruzVictor Cruz was born in Portsmouth, Virginia and raised in the heart of the South Bronx. At the tender age of sixteen, he performed stand-up comedy for the first time in New York City. He studied in the Acting Conservatory at SUNY Purchase College and the day before graduation, booked his first role on HBO’s The Sopranos. Some of TV & film credits include: Annie (2014), The Other Woman (2014), The Humbling, Gotham, Blue Bloods, Law & Order, and NBC’s The Blacklist.

Jim Luce

Writer for the Huffington Post and the Daily Kos and founder of Orphans International Worldwide

jim-luceMr. Luce has since raised over $1.5 million for orphaned children in Asia, Africa, and Americas. For his work with orphans, Mr. Luce was awarded the Certificate of Congressional Recognition in 2004 (Hon. Charles B. Rangel; 11/04) and again in 2007.

Jim is the son of Frances Dudley Alleman-Luce, child psychologist, and Stanford Leonard Luce, a French professor, both of Boston. He comes from a distinguished family that includes Lieutenant Nathanial Warren of the Mayflower, Governor Thomas Dudley, Third Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and co-founder of Harvard University, and Rear Admiral Stephen Bleecker Luce, founder of the United States Naval College at Annapolis. Jim Luce is frequently asked about his genetic ties to theTime-Life  Luces—it exists but is as far removed as it can be. Jim is a direct descendant of the first son of Henry Luce of England, who arrived in Martha’s Vineyard Massachusetts in the late 1600’s, eleven generations prior. Henry “Hank” Luce III, who mentored Jim, and his father Henry “Harry” Luce, in contrast, were direct descendants of the original Henry Luce’s tenth son.

Srujal Parikh

NYC Police Department 

Srujal came to the US in 1992 after graduating with a Bachelors of Commerce from MS University Vadodara Gujarat. Srujal works for the NYC Police Department. For community work, Srujal is the Vice President of the Federation of Indian Association and executive committee and the Vice President of the Edison Cricket Club since 2008. The organization has legends like Sunil Gavaskar as one of the honorary members. Srujal was instrumental as a team leader in coordinating the first South Asian Celebration of America’s Independence Day “4th of July” in Edison Township; he as has served as a Co-Chair in the Dushera Festival in Edison Township and was Part of PM VIST Event and handled PM Security and Public relation.

“My passion for serving the community comes from my parents, who served a small town of Gujarat through the Lions Club International. Joining WHCC will give me a platform to explore more avenues to promote different cultures under one umbrella.”

Sattie Persaud

Founder of World Heritage Cultural Center; Treasury Manager at UTC

sattie-persaudSattie Persaud is co-founder of the WHCC. To learn more about Sattie, please read about the founders at the top of this page.

BILL PICCIRILLO

The Piccirillo Group at Keller Williams,
Vice-Chair Board Member

Bill Piccirillo is a realtor in Fairfield County, CT. He had had the honor of serving his country in the US Navy as a Communications expert. As a builder, Bill has built many homes and developed commercial properties in the area. He has also owned and operated two restaurants in Newtown, CT for over 2 decades.

CHRISTINE M. SCOTT

Founder of Clever Crow Consulting and Design,
Co-publisher and Creative Director of Nosetouch Press,
Creative Director of Inspiring Lives Magazine

Christine has been a professional graphic designer, website developer & brand consultant for over 20 years. She is a freelancer, operating under the name Clever Crow Consulting and Design. She is also the webmaster of albedo1.com, Ireland’s premier magazine of science fiction, horror, and fantasy.

Also a visual artist, Christine uses found objects, collage, and assemblage to craft a world-within-a-world that communicates a playfully unnerving take on the contradictions, absurdity, and strangeness of postmodern American life.

She is co-publisher and creative director of Nosetouch Press.

Jyoti Soni

Founder of Flavors by Jyoti Soni

Jyoti Soni

is an internationally celebrated designer and event planner.  Jyoti Soni’s signature style combines exuberant and harmonious modern adaptations of traditional elements to excite the senses in profound ways. From wedding sets to jewelry and formal attire all inspired by the simple beauty of the natural world, Jyoti Soni is known for taking small, simple elements, changing them, reshaping them to create grand, spectacular dramatic statements.

Born in Burma (now known as Myanmar) and brought up in India, Jyoti Soni has made the USA her home for the past fifteen years. Headquartered in New Jersey, USA, Jyoti Soni has operations worldwide including the UK, UAE, and India. Jyoti, a very successful businesswoman and brings a vast hands-on experience in coordinating events of all kinds and sizes throughout the world.  (www.JyotiSoni.com).

Jyoti has now expanded her horizons and has her own signature food design and catering company. Jyoti has partnered with USA’s largest Indian food company Rajbhog Foods, Inc. of New York and launched a new signature foods division called “Flavors by Jyoti Soni” which caters to exquisite and global fusion menus (www.FlavorsByJS.com).

SOMA SYED

Soma Syed & Associates

Soma Syed is a New York civil litigation and transactional attorney with 12 + years of experience. She is the principal of the Forest Hills-based law firm, Soma Syed & Associates. She represents multi-faceted clients in all aspects of real estate law & foreclosure defense, business & corporate law, bankruptcy law, matrimonial & family law, immigration law, non-profits law, and general litigation. She is also a special prosecutor for the Village of Hempstead. She is admitted to practice law in New York, the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, the Southern District Bankruptcy Court, the Eastern District Bankruptcy Court, the U.S. Tax Court, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Soma Syed believes in civic participation and giving back to the community. Her sense of duty to her community has been shaped by her parents who were public servants, educators, freedom fighters, and advocates for women’s rights and education. Over the years, she has been active in various non-profits, started by helping immigrants as a teenager by assisting her late father with immigration paperwork. She provided seminars at the local libraries on Landlord & Tenant law and volunteered with the Volunteer Lawyers Program in Housing. She interned at the NY Senator office learning public policy and engagement, was a volunteer attorney for the Queens Volunteer Lawyers Project (QVLP) representing homeowners in foreclosure, volunteered with New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) to answer landlord & tenant questions relating to victims of Hurricane Sandy, and recently joined the board of South Asian American Voice (SAAVoice) where she moderated the Interfaith Panel this year.

Advisory Board

CHRISTOPHER BERNARD

Writer, Poet, Editor and Journalist, CA

JOHN GOLICZ

CEO at Unicomm & Founder of the Travel & Adventure Shows

CINDY VERO

Celebrity Radio Host (NY, CT & NJ)

THOMAS FRANCO

Council Person, NY

DAVID MATHISON

Author, Global Entrepreneur & New Media Activist

Peder Scott

P.W. Scott Engineering & Architecture

Dr. Shellie Hipsky

Founder of Inspiring Lives International & Editor-in-chief of Inspiring Lives Magazine

Corporate Staff Members

SATTIE PERSAUD

Acting CEO

BARTOSZ BOREK

Treasurer

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