Charlene Pedro: the 'accidental entrepreneur'

Founder of Conventus Consult Inc., Charlene Pedro. -
Founder of Conventus Consult Inc., Charlene Pedro. -


When Charlene Pedro lost her job as the head of HR at the company for which she worked just over a decade ago, she did what most people would – she began sending out applications hoping to return to the corporate stream.

But before she could get a positive response, she was contacted by a colleague who informed her of a client who needed an HR consultant.

Understanding the value of training, as well as the need to strike a balance between honing the technical as well as the individual skills of her trainees, she put together a training programme that obviously made a good impression on her first client. The rest, as they say, is history.

May 14 marked the fifth anniversary of Conversations Over Coffee with Charlene Pedro, one of several interactive sessions hosted by the leadership expert.

What initially convened as a session to address HR issues has evolved somewhat into a leadership programme that seeks to inform, engage and inspire leaders to return to the work environment inspired to make a positive impact.

Pedro describes these breakfast training sessions as being very engaging and providing, among other things, opportunities for integration and networking, for participants.

"I see it as providing support to these leaders by teaching them techniques to evolve into their better selves,” Pedro told Business Day.

Her years of experience and academic training qualify her for what she does. She holds first degrees in business management and sociology, and a master’s in management, supported by Train the Trainer certification. Pedro describes herself as “an accidental entrepreneur, who walks by faith” and whose career has “evolved from being an HR professional to full-time consultancy. It wasn’t planned at all.”

Over the years, Pedro, through her company Conventus Consult Inc, has developed her craft into more than mere HR training modules. Her focus has become creating leaders who were first inspired people, and then good HR practitioners or leaders. Now known as "the corporate trainer," Pedro said witnessing the "aha moments" from her clients has become one of the most rewarding aspects of what she does.

“Looking at participants learning, and engaging while having fun, places me on cloud nine for a little while…I really, really enjoy seeing people learn and recognise something in themselves that they didn’t recognise before. That’s really what fills my cup.” She is also a motivational speaker and life coach.

She said as a child, because her mother was employed in the office of the chief justice, she wanted to be an attorney. At some point, though, she heard the comment that "lawyers are liars" and that was the end of that aspiration. In hindsight, she concludes it would have been too rigid for her anyway, noting that she has found exactly what she was meant to do.

Charlene Pedro has chanelled her years of HR experience and academic training into doing something she loves. -

In May 2020, partly in response to the pandemic stresses and the sense of foreboding that many people experienced, she developed a week-long programme and offered it online at no cost. At the end of the course, a few participants contacted her expressing an interest in continuing to work with her. She continued offering the programme virtually, extending her reach of clients. Although most of them are local and regional, she has had clients from as far as Romania and Nigeria.

In the post-pandemic period, Pedro has observed an increase in the popularity of two particular programmes that she offers – Tap into Your Power and Be a Better You. She is especially encouraged by this trend, as it is a demonstration that organisations are beginning to understand the value of developing and empowering their employees in a more holistic way.

"(They are) recognising the individuals as whole beings, and not just as workers. Helping people to discover and understand what their strengths are, what their values are, and whether those values are in line with the organisation’s.”

She said these sessions also assist both management and workers learn how to continue to be motivated and inspired at work. She believes the challenges people faced during the pandemic has caused many people to re-focus and re-prioritise what is important in life, both at home and in the work place. Surprisingly, she said, these requests for training and engagement have come from both the private and public sectors, noting that historically, there has been minimal engagement from public-sector entities.

In March, Pedro and Conventus Consult Inc were recognised by the Association of Female Executives of Trinidad and Tobago (AFETT) with the Spirit of AFETT Award. She has been associated with the group for several years through which many networking opportunities came about. She said even the outsource business model by which her company is run, creates opportunities for others to grow. The core team comprises a pool of consultants in various fields, and other services required for efficient operations on a daily basis are outsourced.

Pedro, a wife and mother of two, spends her downtime gardening, making good use of the green thumb she inherited from her mother. But, she said, with the exception of pimentos, she has not been as successful with food crops as with her ornamentals. But she intends to persist. Philosophically, she said, for her, gardening parallels life.

"The same rain that overwhelms and threatens to drown the plants is the same rain that the plants must have to thrive. Likewise, the challenges that threaten to overwhelm us in life are exactly what we need to matter how chaotic life becomes, there’s an order for things. You plant a seed, give it some food, water it, it’s gonna grow; and we understand that if we trust the process, keep the faith and do the work, we too will grow.”

Charlene Pedro, centre, with participants of Conversations Over Coffee. -

One day she plans to open a plant shop with a difference – one where patrons have the option of stopping by for some tea, or perhaps engage in some inspirational sessions while they decide on which plant they will leave the shop with.

She makes family time a priority, reserving time for road trips, church attendance and beach visits. She is also writing her first book, The Journey to Me, a Guided Journal to a Better You, inspired by her The Mastery of Me programme.

"Each of us is so much more than they told us, and the world needs what we have to offer, and we need to find out what that is because we are all here for a bigger purpose.”


"Charlene Pedro: the ‘accidental entrepreneur’"

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