“I want to take the opportunity to thank you both for the concept and the execution of the ICABA Salute 2012 in such great style. I believe Marlon said quite appropriately much of what needed to be said on behalf of the Caribbean Community and you provided a fitting occasion.”
Sandra Grants Griffith
Miami Consulate General of Jamaica
The ICABA® Salute to Caribbean Excellence will be an elegant black-tie tribute to the accomplishments and societal impact of individuals and organizations throughout the Caribbean and the United States.
The ICABA® Salutes Caribbean Excellence will assemble highly accomplished leaders, entrepreneurs, corporate executives and other professionals. A goal of ICABA® is connecting accomplished professionals and entrepreneurs of color to build wealth and attain their career, business and lifestyle aspirations. Through networking at ICABA® Salutes Caribbean Excellence, productive relationships will be activated and critical information and valuable opportunities shared.
The ICABA® Salutes Caribbean Excellence will feature some of the best of Caribbean food, libations, art and music. Attendees will enjoy the ambiance of the well-appointed Tower Club atop the Regions Bank Tower in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. The Tower Club offers panoramic views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. The breath-taking views combined with superior customer service will create a uniquely upscale and culturally relevant experience.
Award-Winning Jamaican-American chef Sheron Chin-Barnes who beat Bobby Flay in an Escovitch Cooking Throwdown has curated a special Caribbean menus that will be served at multiple stations throughout the evening.
Clément V.S.O.P. Rhum Agricole Vieux is aged a minimum of four years in virgin Limousin barriques and re-charred Bourbon casks. The superb alchemy of natural rum from sugarcane juice matured in a unique variety of the world’s finest oak barrels orchestrated by our Cellar Master gives this exceptional aged rum its brilliant mahogany color, roasted cocoa bean aroma and its illustrious smooth mellow character.
Live entertainment will provide attendees with native caribbean sounds, R & B and dance tunes.
JOIN US October 22, 2016 7pm-11pm Tower Club
Caribbean Food | Open Bar | Art | Live Entertainment
As the Chief Executive Office of Corporate Strategies Ltd., Aubyn Hill has over 35 years working experience in the private sector. In early 1980s he led a start-up team to open a branch of American Express International Banking Corporation (AEIBC) in Sri Lanka, and success there led to promotion to Amex Bank in Bahrain. Prior to his work in Sri Lanka, Hill had worked with Amex Bank in New York, Rome, and Mumbai.
During his 21 years as a banker in the Middle East, Hill assisted in and led the restructuring of two major banks — Burgan Bank in Kuwait and the National Bank of Oman, where he served as CEO. He also led the management team that completed the successful turnaround of one of the largest banks in the Caribbean, National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCB). In 19 months Hill and his team worked to move NCB’s stock price from $5.51 when he joined to J$31.70. Market capitalization of NCB moved from $13.5 billion to $78.2 billion in two years and profits increased from about $330 million to $3.2 billion during the same period.
Hill established Corporate Strategies Limited as a management consultancy firm in 2005. The firm has done work for many of Jamaica’s biggest corporations. Between December 2005 and October 2011, he worked in various roles as a unpaid and paid consultant, chairman, and finally CEO of SCJ Holdings Limited, the company that carried the six Government of Jamaica-owned sugar estates (approximately 40,000 hectares) and five sugar factories. He and his divestment team were successful in the primary objective of divesting these loss-making sugar assets. In June 2014, the leader of the Opposition, Andrew Holness, appointed Aubyn Hill to chair his newly established Economic Advisory Council (EAC).
Hill is often engaged as an expert speaker on Finance, Corporate Governance and Management Restructuring at universities, to pension fund managers, on television and radio, to Institute of Chartered Accountants in their annual regional conference in Antigua, and in May and June 2014 to the South Asian Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), and to the Commander and his senior officers of the Sri Lankan Navy in Colombo.
Mr. Hill sits on various corporate boards, including that of Jamaica Broilers Group Limited (the largest food processing company in the Caribbean), Salada Foods Jamaica Limited and also serves on the University Council, which governs four campuses of the University of the West Indies. He was recently appointed by the newly elected government to serve as chairman of both the National Water Commission and the National Irrigation Commission. In March 2016, Prime Minister Andrew Holness appointed Aubyn Hill to the Senate — Jamaica’s Upper House of Parliament — and he was subsequently elected as Deputy President of the Senate. The Prime Minister also appointed Senator Hill as Special Investment Ambassador and Envoy to India.
His academic qualifications include an MBA from Harvard Business School, which he earned in 1978. Mr. Hill and his wife, Tamara, have two grown children.
Bernard A. Weatherhead, J.P., better known as “Bernie” is the Chairman of Sun Group Inc. in Barbados. His entrepreneurship passion has led him to develop and acquire multiple companies,mostly in the tourism sector over his 45 years in the industry. He began his career in tourism in February 1971 as General Manager of the Sandridge Beach Hotel (which he later purchased) and in 1972 opened a car rental company called Drive-A-Matic Car Rentals.
Sun Group has grown over the past 45 years into a very successful Group operating Hotels, Car Rental Companies, Transportation (Buses and Taxis), Destination Management Services,Adventure Tours, Pharmacies, Service Stations, Travel Agencies and General Insurance; with many of these Companies being spread throughout the Caribbean and Going Places Travel into Florida and the Bahamas.
Throughout his career, Bernie has been a Director of the Barbados Tourism Authority, Caribbean Commercial Bank and RBTT Bank. He is a past President of the Barbados Hotel Association, having served four terms in this post and has also served as a Director of the Caribbean Hotel Association; he is a Past Chairman of the Sandy Lane Property Owners Association and past Vice-President of the Sunset Crest Property Owners.
Over the years he has received many awards and accolades including being nominated for the Caribbean Hotelier of the year in 1978. In that same year he received the award of Outstanding Contribution to the Hotel Industry from the Barbados Hotel Association. In 1991 the Barbados Chamber of Commerce recognized him for his Outstanding Contribution to Tourism and in 2001 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement award by the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association for his work and dedication to tourism in the island. In 1997 Bernie was made a Justice of The Peace for Barbados and in 2006 he received the Sunset Crest Property Owners Award for his continued service during the years 1997 to 2006.
Bernie is a Lifetime Member of the Barbados National Trust, a Charter Member of Lions Club of Barbados (North) and Chairman of the Barbados Light Aeroplane Club, amongst various others.He has a passion for flying and has been an avid pilot since 1975 and he also enjoys golfing, water and snow skiing.
He and his wife Marilda (who is Venezuelan born) have two sons, Alfredo and Roddy, who today play integral roles within the Group of Companies.
Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson proudly represents Florida’s 24th Congressional District. It is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse districts in the nation and includes parts of northwest Miami-Dade and southern Broward counties.
Recognizing her record of service and productivity, in 2010 voters overwhelmingly elected her to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a former educator, elementary school principal, community leader, school board member, state legislator, and founder of the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, Congresswoman Wilson earned a reputation as a “Voice for the Voiceless.” Her tenure in Congress, now in its third term, also has been marked by her signature spirit of unrelenting advocacy on behalf of the less fortunate.
The Florida lawmaker has continued her mission to improve the quality of life for her constituency by creating jobs with dignity, improving education, stopping home foreclosures, safeguarding Medicare and Social Security, and strengthening ties with Haiti and the Caribbean.
Congresswoman Wilson, the Ranking Democrat on the Education and Workforce Protections Subcommittee, has introduced the American Jobs Act of 2013, an innovative bill that promotes full employment and boosts workforce development opportunities; the Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights, which would provide vital relief to overburdened student loan borrower; and the Youth Corp Act of 2013, which reconnects youth with education, the workforce and their communities. She has also sponsored legislation to reduce homeowners’ insurance premiums, protect foster children, and defend Haitian women against gender-based violence. In addition, the lawmaker, whose mantra is “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs,” hosted one of the state’s largest job fairs, which connected thousands of Floridians to more than 100 local and national employers.
Congresswoman Wilson is the founder of the Florida Ports Caucus, a bipartisan coalition formed to help pass the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. After being stalled for 12 years, the GOP-led Congress in a bipartisan vote passed the bill in 2014. As a result, her district was awarded billions of dollars in capital funding for major projects like the PortMiami Tunnel, which created thousands of jobs. It also highlighted the lawmaker’s ability to successfully work across party lines.
Congresswoman Wilson has consistently secured resources for various projects in her district, including a $1 million grant in 2014 to help reduce crime in Miami-Dade County’s highest crime area, the Northside District. The Department of Justice grant will bolster the Miami-Dade Police Department’s ability to combat crime and violence and make the area a safer place to live, work, and raise families. During her tenure, the district has received $3.1 billion in grants, contracts, and other assistance.
In May 2015, Congresswoman Wilson was appointed to the advisory council of President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Alliance, a public acknowledgement of the life-changing results for boys and young men of color that she has achieved through the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project. President Obama often cites this program, which she created nearly a quarter century ago, as an example of the kinds of projects that his “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative is designed to emulate and support. Congresswoman Wilson also is founder and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus’s “My Brother’s Keeper” Task Force.
Congresswoman Wilson understands Congress’ role as a global leader in human and civil rights and has led its efforts to fight for the safe return of the 219 Nigerian schoolgirls still missing since their June 2014 abduction by Boko Haram and to aid in the defeat of the terrorist group. In addition to participating in two fact-finding missions to Nigerian and passing two resolutions, she has been a leading voice in a daily, international Twitter campaign to #BringBackOurGirls. The Florida lawmaker also created “Wear Something Red Wednesdays,” a weekly photo opportunity and press event with congressional leaders and lawmakers. The initiative helps to ensure the girls are not forgotten by maintaining media attention and pressure on U.S. and Nigerian officials to honor their pledge to do all they can to rescue them. A leading political newspaper has dubbed her relentless attention to this human rights crisis “Frederica Wilson’s War.”
The Florida lawmaker has worked tirelessly to recognize Americans who have made significant contributions to our nation. She ushered through legislation in record time to memorialize a new Federal Bureau of Investigation building in honor of Special Agents Benjamin P. Grogan and Jerry L. Dove, who were killed in what is considered the “bloodiest shootout” in FBI history. Most recently, she passed legislation to rename a Miami post office in honor of Father Richard Marquess-Barry, a pillar of the community and one of South Florida’s most influential and unifying faith-based leaders.
After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from Fisk University and a Master of Science degree in elementary education from the University of Miami, Congresswoman Wilson worked as a teacher and assistant educational coordinator for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools Head Start program. She quickly rose to become principal of Skyway Elementary School, which was recognized as one of the best schools in America in President George H. W. Bush’s “America 2000” plan to upgrade national education standards.
In addition to raising academic standards and expectations, Congresswoman Wilson taught her students the power of advocacy. Their target was a compost plant built across the street from Skyway that emitted odors that posed a major health and environmental hazard and distracted the children from their studies. She and her students mobilized their community and lobbied government and school board officials until they achieved their goal. The compost plant closed its doors just short of two years after its opening.
The experience highlighted the need for stronger local leadership and led Congresswoman Wilson to successfully campaign for a seat on the Miami-Dade County School Board in 1992. Her first legislative achievement was the establishment of the 500 Role Models of Excellence Project as a district-sanctioned program. The innovative mentoring program was inspired by the extraordinary impact of positive male influence on the attitudes and performance of the boys at Skyway Elementary during her tenure as principal. Now known as the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, the program has flourished and earned much-deserved national acclaim.
The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project has awarded millions of dollars in college scholarships to help hundreds of young men achieve their dream of earning a college degree or post-secondary certification. In 1997, President Bill Clinton honored the program, which today serves more than 8,000 students each year, with the Teaching Example for the Nation Award at the Summit for America’s Future. She won seats in the Florida House of Representatives in 1998 and the state Senate in 2002, where her peers elected her Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore and Minority Whip. The Florida lawmaker was considered the “Conscience of the Senate” based on her drive to improve life for low-income families and individuals.
As a state legislator, she worked with Governor Jeb Bush to remove the Confederate flag from the State Capitol and passed a bill mandating HIV/AIDS testing for prisoners upon their release and linking them to care in the counties where they relocated. She also passed a bill that made rape in prison a felony crime. Other legislative achievements and priorities included relocating women in Florida prisons to facilities that would enable them to be closer to their children while serving out their sentences; opposing high-stakes testing; pushing for a ban of the term “illegal alien” in state public records; and partnering with Governor Charlie Crist to restore voting rights for ex-felons.
Born in Miami, Congresswoman Wilson learned the value of public service and community activism from her parents. The late Beulah Finley Smith and the late Thirlee Smith, Sr., were small business owners and civil rights activists. Her brother, the late Thirlee Smith, Jr., was the first full-time African American reporter at the Miami Herald and a long-time educator for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, who was responsible for implementing African-American history into the district’s curriculum. Congresswoman Wilson is widowed and the proud mother of three children: Nicole, LaKesha, and Paul – and has five beautiful grandchildren.
Beverly Nicholson-Doty serves as Commissioner of Tourism for the United States Virgin Islands, a cabinet-level position. She oversees the Department of Tourism’s advertising and marketing strategy, its national and international tourism-related efforts and product development.
A passionate advocate for Caribbean tourism and sustainable development, KarolinTroubetzkoy is the President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) for theterm 2016-2018, having previously served as a Vice President of the association since 2012.
She is also the Executive Director, Marketing and Operations of Anse Chastanet and JadeMountain Resorts in St. Lucia, spearheading the marketing and day-to-day operations of theseaward winning resorts since 1984.
From 2012 to 2014, Mrs. Troubetzkoy chaired the CHTA Advocacy Committee for the region,and she currently serves as the Chairperson of the Caribbean Alliance of Sustainable Tourism(CAST), a CHTA initiative.
President of the St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) from 2010 to 2015, she wasinstrumental in the successful launch of a St. Lucia Tourism Enhancement Fund.
She served as a director of the St. Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) from 2010 to 2016, and chairedthe destination’s marketing committee from 2014 to 2016.Mrs. Troubetzkoy received the St. Lucia Hotelier of the Year Award in 2006, and in 2012, shereceived the prestigious Caribbean Hotelier of the Year Award from CHTA. She is a citizen of St.Lucia.
Committees & Boards:
Dr. Rudolph Moise is the President and CEO of Comprehensive Health Center, LLC a large primary health care practice with centers in Dade, Broward and Central Florida. He practices family medicine and pain management. He is an entrepreneur; he owned and operates multiple Businesses. Dr. Moise has a Medical Degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine,he holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Miami,and a Juris Doctor from the University Of Miami School Of Law. Dr. Moise has received multiple awards from several organizations around the country. In 2005 the South Florida Business journal named him one of the five finalists for the “Best Physician of The Year” award. He is a member of multiple boards, including The Dade County Medical Association, United Way of Miami Dade County, Jackson Memorial Foundation. He recently retired from the Air Force Reserve after 21 years of honorable service as a Colonel and Flight Surgeon. He was recently appointed Ambassador at large for Investment in Haiti. Dr. Moise and his wife Mirjam have two school-aged children, Rudy Jr. and Maya.
Rohan Marley is the founder of Marley Coffee®, son of Bob Marley, and a passionate entrepreneur. He was born in Jamaica in 1972 and later moved to the United States in 1984, going on to study sociology at the University of Miami and played as a linebacker for the Hurricanes. After school he went on to play one year as a professional in the Canadian Football League for the Ottawa Rough Riders, known today as the Redblacks. Although he was an accomplished athlete, Rohan dreamed of getting back to his roots, and like his father, shares a deep respect for nature.
With coffee as his medium, Rohan delivers his father’s message of peace, love and unity alongside his commitment sustainability around the world. Dedicated to ethical farming practices, Rohan’s coffee farm pays workers twice the average wage, and Marley Coffee supports the nearby Chepstowe School, where many farmers’ children attend.
Rooted in the Marley family values of love, passion and social responsibility, Marley Coffee is dedicated to creating a brighter tomorrow for future generations, while building a thriving international business. Rohan is actively involved as ambassador to Water Wise Coffee™, is Vice President of Protecting African Lions (PAL), recently joined Fortune Rookies in Finland and is know as the Govern General of the Marley Family business and supports all family brands. Rohan integrates coffee, tech and charity to encourage social connectivity globally.
Mireille Louis Charles is currently the Executive Director of the Green Family Foundation, a private non-profit organization dedicated to providing funding and resources to organizations that support education, global health, community development and cultural preservation in the US and abroad. Since 2011, she has facilitated securing numerous grants, collaborations and partnerships with organizations and entities in the US and abroad; liaising with universities, government and community-based agencies and private foundations, as well as serving as docent for multi media exhibits.
Mireille joined the Green Family Foundation following a 20-year career in both stewardship and development at United Way of Miami-Dade, the largest not-for-profit organization in Miami-Dade focused on improving education, financial stability and health. During her tenure at United Way, Mireille also concentrated her efforts on informing, involving and creating partnerships with the Haitian and Caribbean communities in Miami.
When she first arrived to the United States from Haiti in 1986, Mireille forged relationships with community leaders and became a community liaison while working for the Haitian Task Force and the Caribbean Marketplace. In working with Haitian and Caribbean communities in Miami, she developed her personal mission of connecting Caribbean young professionals with mentors, their cultural roots and with each other to enrich their own communities.
Mireille serves on various community boards including the Sant La Fellows Program advisory board, the Prizm project board of directors and the Kosanba advisory board. She has received award
Mireille is a proud mother of two children who inspire her every day to leave a legacy of giving back to the community.
Christine Edwards, MD, FACOG immigrated from Jamaica to the US as a teenager. She received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College of Columbia University & received her medical degree and post graduate training in Maternal Medical Medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.
Dr. Edwards did her residency at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in New York. She started her post graduate medical career at Cornell University Medical Center in New York in 1989, where she practiced general OBGYN for two years before returning for further training as a Fellow in Maternal Fetal Medicine. Dr. Edwards then relocated to Baltimore, Maryland where she served as Director of Maternal Medicine at St Agnes Hospital, and held faculty positions at University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Medical Center.
To be closer to her native Jamaica and family, Dr. Edwards, her husband and two children moved to South Florida in 1999. In January 2000, Dr. Edwards started her Maternal Fetal Medicine practice and has become one of the most respected practitioners in the South Florida area. Dr. Edwards’ practice has grown to a staff of 20 employees, including two physicians. She earned the confidence and trust of obstetricians who refer their patients for consultation and co-management of complications in pregnancy, such as advanced maternal age, hypertension, multiple gestations and gestational diabetes. She is currently the Vice Chair of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at West Boca Medical Center, and also serves on the Credentialing and Perinatal Committees at local hospitals.
Dr. Edwards’ patients constantly show their appreciation by referring their friends and family. Her patients frequently return to the office to introduce the office staff to their newest family members. She often takes pictures of the babies, providing them to the patients as a keepsake. These photographs are also prominently displayed in our office, and on our web and social media sites.
After learning of a dire need at the Spanish Town Hospital in Jamaica, West Indies, Dr. Edwards provided the hospital with ultrasound equipment and fetal Doppler machines. The equipment donated has helped make maternity care safer for many of their patients.
Dr. Edwards owes her dedication and commitment to service to her mother, and the moral principles that were instilled in her at early age in her native Jamaica.
Under the threat of persecution, Haitian-born Carl-Philippe Juste and his politically active family were forced to flee their homeland in 1965. Settling in Miami’s Haitian community, Juste flourished academically and attended the University of Miami. He vigorously pursued photojournalism and, since 1991, has worked as a photojournalist for The Miami Herald. Juste has covered many international and national stories for The Miami Herald. He has carried out extensive assignments for the Miami Herald, in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. In addition, he has worked on three documentary projects for the Historical Museum of Southern Florida: At the Crossroad: Afro-Cuban Orisha Arts in Miami (2001) and South American Musical Traditions in Miami (2002), Haitian Community Arts: Images by Iris PhotoCollective, and all are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Juste has been a guest lecturer for various national organizations and universities. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. His work has been exhibited in various prestigious institutions and galleries in Cuba, Dominican Republic and United States. Carl-Philippe Juste is one of the founders of Iris Photo Collective in 1998, a collaboration to create a new context in order to explore and document the relationship of people of color to the world. Juste currently founded IPC Visual Lab, a new school of thought teaching the art of photojournalism as a visual language.
Mayor Wayne Messam has lived in Miramar for over 15 years. A first-generation American, Wayne was the first of his parents’ children born in the United States. He was raised in South Bay, Florida by loving and hard-working Jamaican parents. His father, Hubert Messam, labored in the sugar cane fields of the Glades as a migrant contract worker for nearly two decades after immigrating to the United States with his family. Growing up in the Glades, Wayne learned the values of hard work, discipline and the pride of culture, community and heritage. Miramar’s cultural diversity and sense of community attracted Wayne to the City of Miramar to raise his own family. Wayne and his wife of 18 years, Angela, have three children: Wayne II (age 18) and twin daughters Kayla and Kyla (age 16). His twin daughters attend public schools in Miramar and Wayne II is off to college.
Lindell Douglas is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (TM) professional (CFP®) who has been serving clients since 1998. Certified by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards in Washington, DC. CFP® certification marks identify professionals who have met the high standards of competency and ethics established and enforced by CFP® Board. CFP® Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct require CFP® professionals to act in their clients’ best interests. His client base consists of retirees, pre-retirement clients, small businesses, cities, and charitable organizations.
As the Managing Partner, and Founder of LDA Wealth Management in Plantation, FL, he is a successful financial planner serving clients nationwide. He oversees the operation of his financial planning practice. His discipline includes: Asset Management, Retirement Planning, Retirement Income Strategies, Education Funding Strategies, Estate and Legacy Planning, Risk Management, Investment Strategies, Fixed Income Strategy, Business Planning and High Yield Savings Opportunities. (Securities offered through J.W. Cole Financial, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through J. W. Cole Advisors, Inc. LDA Wealth Management, Inc., J.W. Cole Financial, Inc., and JW. Cole Advisors, Inc., are unaffiliated entities).
He earned a BSc degree in Finance with honors at the University of Phoenix and was inducted Delta Mu Delta International Honor Society in Business, and his CFP® course study from the College for Financial Planning.
Lindell was awarded the Broward County Council of Chamber Small Business Person of the Year 2014. Legacy Magazine recognized Lindell as one of South Florida’s Most Powerful and Influential Black Professional in Business and Industry in 2015. Over the years he has received numerous other recognitions for business and sales growth.
Lindell is a contributing writer for an article called Financially Speaking published in the Caribbean National Weekly Newspaper, Legacy Magazine, and the Doral Tribune.
He is also the President and Founder of The Galleon Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships to disadvantaged children in the USA and Caribbean with four signature events each year (Galleon Open Golf Classic, Caribbean Village Music Festival, Miss Jamaica Diaspora, and The Galleon Scholarship Gala).
Lindell is a person who believes that giving back to his community is essential for the development of the next generation. Through his foundation he has given more than $25,000 annually to scholarship. He established a $5,000 annual scholarship at FMU for Caribbean and African American Students.
He is married to his lovely wife Cheryl Levy-Douglas and enjoys fishing, golf, and discovering new places.
Sharon Gill is an American success story. Sharon came to the United States in 1986 with the equivalent of fifty-six American dollars and a dream. Her odyssey began in New York City where she worked as a nanny prior to striking out to test herself in the business world. It wasn’t long before she obtained employment with American Express and became a multiple Pace Setter, an award given only to the top 5% of all employees, by area of responsibility, worldwide.
Sharon later left American Express to join her husband, Wayne in his startup law-firm. Together they grew the law firm from one employee in 1997 into a merger that resulted in the firm becoming a part of an eighty-million dollar legal conglomerate. Sharon retired from the law business in 2003 and formed the Oasis Compassion Agency, an award winning nonprofit corporation that helps to restore dignity and hope to the least fortunate in society. The Oasis provides food, clothing, counseling and economic empowerment to all of its constituents, which hail from all walks of life. Since its inception, Oasis has assisted more than ten thousand individuals.
She is an award-winning leader, author, and coach with extensive experience in leadership development, non-profit and business strategies, coaching and training. She is the recipient of the Giraffe Award from the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches, an award given to women who have “stuck their necks out for others”, the Local Heroes Award from Bank of America, the Martin Luther King Leadership Award from Palm Beach State College and many other prestigious recognitions from groups such as the Jim Moran Foundation, Palms West Chamber and the American Red Cross.
In 2010, Sharon took one of the biggest steps in her life: She went back to school to finish her college degree; which she had postponed while having children and attending to her family. In true Sharon style, she graduated Summa Cum Laude, at the top of her class, and was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Award from the MacArthur School of Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Her publishing credits include The G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. Woman which received many five star reviews on Amazon and Comeback with Confidence (previously published as “You’re Fired, Now What?).
Sharon Gill has made appearances on Ion TV, Chanel 5 and has been featured in many local newspapers and magazines including the Palm Beach Post, Sun Sentinel and the Wellington Magazine. She was recently featured on BlackEnterprise.com for her work with women.
She has also spoken in many locations such as The Rotary Club, 100 Black Women of South Palm Beach County, Florida Atlantic University’s Student Leadership Program, Church Groups, Luncheons and Galas. She was honored to give the Outstanding Graduate Address at the Palm Beach Atlantic University’s MacArthur School of Leadership.
Her civic and community involvement extends beyond her own non-profit organization to include board memberships for the Women’s Chamber of Commerce Foundation, EmpowHer of the Palm Beaches and YouMom.
She is a mother of two incredible millennials, a new grandmother, and an avid dog lover. She enjoys road trips with her family, reading and watching movies.
Person Most Like to Meet:
Michelle Obama-We share the same birth date, including birth year. I would love to sit with her for a day and just ask her questions.
Road trips, reading, watching movies
Something people would be surprised to know:
I am deathly afraid of lizards. It does not matter what size they are. I once left my infant son on a change table because I saw a lizard on the wall next to it. I still consider myself a good mom though, lol!
Words that Inspire Me.
My life verse is paraphrased from the book of Ephesians 3:20 – God can do immeasurably above all I can ask or imagine.
Lana Kerr is the founder and President of Your Fat Loss Coach. She is a bestselling author, and one of the nation’s leading health and wellness experts. Thousands of Lana’s clients, including legendary supermodel Beverly Johnson, have lauded her coaching methods as inspiring and motivational. Lana strives to be a positive role model and harnesses her motivational prowess into her public speaking, through which she educates her audience on the importance of proper nutrition and the secrets to low body fat.
Having undergone her own personal journey to achieve a healthy, low-fat physique, Lana is able to empathize with every client. Her passion for wellness was ignited at an early age by the illness of her beloved brother and has only continued to flourish since then. She combined research with her family’s emphasis on wellness to discover the secret to low body fat. Despite her success, Lana believes that learning is a lifelong journey and is continually seeking to refine her methods through study. She loves sharing this passion of hers with clients.
Lana has been a wellness coach for over 14 years. Her first college degrees were in business and accounting, but she supplemented these with her studies at the Global College of Natural Medicine where she developed a nuanced understanding of Nutrition. She also is certified as a Master life coach in Subconscious Restructuring, a technique she uses to help her clients adopt a positive outlook and restructure their perspective with regards to health, body image and emotional eating.
Lana has developed a great online program which allows her to reach a larger audience and help more clients achieve their ideal physique. She has many more exciting programs and educational books in the works.
Lana’s blog, which can find on her website yourfatlosscoach.com is full of invaluable information for those frustrated with their diets. Through her blogs, she debunks persistent myths about dieting and weight loss and offers her own insights from her years of experience and research.
Lana lives with her husband Terry and her beloved sons, Tyler and Lane in Weston, Florida. When she is not working with her clients or doing her public speaking ,she is busy volunteering helping people learn the Bible. Despite her packed schedule, she places a great emphasis on family bonding and always sets aside time to just hang out and relax with her family or take a family vacation.
Dr. Stacey J. Oddman served as Chief of the Family Medicine Department for four consecutive years at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale. She is a proud alumna of Florida International University having earned her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and a minor in Clinical Chemistry. She later completed her Doctorate in Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine where she served as President of the BU chapter of the Student National Medical Society. Dr. Oddman completed a three year residency in Family Practice at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey and is Board Certified in Family Medicine.
In 2005, Dr. Oddman returned to South Florida, where she calls home, and since then has been a part of the Holy Cross Medical Group. She remains active in hospital administration serving on multiple committees for the hospital. Dr. Oddman also served as an oversight physician for the Target Walk-In Clinics in West Palm and Boynton Beach. She dedicates time to the community by volunteering at Light of the World Clinic providing care to the uninsured, partakes in community health fairs, publishes healthcare related articles and conducts lectures to various professional and social groups. In 2012, Dr. Oddman was recognized by ICABA as being one of South Florida’s 100 Most Accomplished Caribbean Americans and one of South Florida’s Distinguished Achievers in Healthcare in 2014. She was also a recipient of the Legacy Magazine award for being one of South Florida’s 50 Most Powerful Black Business Leaders in 2013. Since 2014 she has been a member of the Foundation Board of Directors for her alma mater, FIU. In her free time, Dr. Oddman enjoys cycling, exercising, reading, and traveling.
Carson ‘Eddy’ Edwards is Founder and President of Riddims Marketing, Inc., an integrated marketing and events production company specializing in Caribbean Diaspora markets in the United States. He has positioned the company as the premier marketing organization in South Florida’s Caribbean community and has produced events and marketing outreach for several municipalities, arts establishments and corporations In 2014, Edwards was chosen as a member of the Creative Minds to develop a unique approach to showcase local talent in a series of performances to celebrate Broward County’s 100th birthday through a mosaic of art, culture, and entertainment.
In 2001 Edwards conceptualized and produced the Jamaican Jerk Festival, leading a team to develop this event into a major South Florida festival, attracting over 18,000 patrons. He oversaw all aspects of marketing, sponsor acquisition, talent booking, event coordination and logistic support. The Festival’s success attracted major corporate support such as Grace Foods as title and Publix Supermarkets as presenting sponsors. In July 2010 the festival expanded to New York with superb success growing to 16,000 patrons and rave reviews in six years. A third city, Washington, D.C., was added in June 2016 again with spectacular success, attracting 7,000 patrons in it’s first year.
He is Executive Producer of Caribbean Riddims a popular radio program, currently aired 3-6 p.m., Saturdays on WHIM 1080 AM, with Edwards, Cleve Osborne and Gillian Smart as hosts. Edwards was voted Best AM Radio Personality for 2007 by New Times Magazine and in 2009 recognized by HOT105 FM as a Caribbean American Heritage Month Honoree for his contribution to Cultural Education in South Florida. He was also voted best Jamaican Radio Personality 2015 by Jamaicans.com. A founding member and former president and director of Jamaica Awareness Incorporated, Edwards was instrumental in the early growth and development of this non-profit organization. During his tenure, the organization was established as one of the premier presenters of cultural events. Mr. Edwards serves on the Board of Directors for the Jamaica/USA Chamber of Commerce and Rootz of Music and sits on the Cultural Task Force for the Miramar Cultural Center.
His personal philosophy is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” a maxim he has been guided by from childhood. He finds motivation in the words of Nelson Mandela, “It always seem impossible until it is done.” An avid runner, he has been married to Bridget for 29 years and is the proud father of a son who is a City of Miami firefighter.
Jerry Hamilton is a trial lawyer. He is board certified by the Florida Bar and has been recognized among the Top Ten Insurance Defense Lawyers in the United States by one of the world’s largest insurance companies. He is a founding partner and managing shareholder of Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP, a Martindale Hubbell® AV rated® minority certified law firm ranked as the 7th most diverse law firm in Florida by the Daily Business Review.
Mr. Hamilton has dedicated his practice to litigation, defending major insurers and corporations in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, premises liability and negligent security, insurance coverage and bad faith, medical and professional
malpractice, admiralty and maritime, commercial litigation, insurance fraud, hospitality, transportation, and product liability.
He has been named a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by Law & Politics, named to Florida’s “Legal Elite” by Florida Trend, AV® rated by Martindale Hubbell®, and named as one of “100 Most Accomplished Blacks in Law” by ICABA. He is a member of the Defense Research Institute, the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, the National Association of Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF), a Proctor Member of the Maritime Law Association, The Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys, and a founding member and past president of the Caribbean Bar Association.
Admiralty and Maritime Claims
Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Defense
Hospitality Law Claims Insurance Defense Commercial Litigation Transportation
Property and Casualty Complex Business Disputes Products liability
Medical and Professional Malpractice Defense
Board-Certified in Admiralty and Maritime Law by the Florida Bar
AV® Rated by Martindale Hubbell for the highest level of professional excellence
Honored as Top Ten Lawyer by AIG Insurance, 2010
Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Florida’s Legal Elite, Florida Trend
Recognized as a Florida Super Lawyer by Law & Politics
Named Best of the Bar by the South Florida Business Journal
Named as one of “100 Most Accomplished Blacks in Law” by ICABA
J.D., with special citation, University of Florida College of Law
B.A., University of Miami
BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS
Florida Bar, 1993
U.S. District Court for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. Supreme Court
Defense Research Institute, Member
Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM), Diversity Committee National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF) Hospitality Lawyer, Advisory Board of Global Congress on Travel
Academy of Hospitality Industry Attorneys
Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association
Caribbean Bar Association, Founding Member and Past President International Council of Cruise Lines, Executive Member Maritime Law Association, Proctor Member
NOTABLE VERDICTS AND EXPERIENCE
• Obtained defense verdict where plaintiff was injured in a restaurant, had multiple neck surgeries and claimed she could no longer be gainfully employed. Plaintiff’s demand was $7 million.
• Obtained defense verdict in a Jones Act trial (standard of care is slight negligence), where plaintiff claimed that his work was unreasonably dangerous which led to a three-level cervical fusion and resultant medical malpractice claim. Plaintiff’s demand was $6 million.
• Tried an indemnification/contribution product liability case, where plaintiff lost substantial portion of arm. Brought third-party action against product manufacturer and obtained verdict against the product manufacturer and also an award of attorney’s fees.
• Tried a case where plaintiff allegedly suffered brain injury on hotel property due to improper scuba instruction. Obtained favorable verdict of $300 K which was considered a defense verdict for client.
• Tried personal injury case involving Captain who allegedly fell and suffered several herniated disc in neck. Demand was $3 Million and case settled on second day of trial for solely medical bills.
• Tried commercial case for Toyota distributor. Obtained defense verdict on allegations of Unfair Trade
• Prevailed on appeal in case involving jurisdiction over foreign tour operators.
• Has successfully handled numerous catastrophic cases, some involving mass torts, to satisfactory conclusion. One such case in 2010 involved 16 claimants from a bus crash. Injuries included paraplegia, vision loss, irreparable kidney damage, severe internal injuries, loss of fertility and a host of other injuries.
Marie McKenzie has served as Vice President of Global Destinations Services and Sourcing for Carnival Corporation & plc since March of 2015.
As part of this function, McKenzie leads a team of brand experts who are responsible for geographical regions on behalf of all 10 brands, while also maintaining their reporting lines into the leadership structure of their respective brand. Together, they coordinate and manage processes and relationships with tour operators and port services officials around the globe to deliver the best possible tour excursion and port experiences for the nearly 11 million guests who sail every year on the company’s 100 ships visiting hundreds of ports across the globe.
McKenzie previously served as vice president of global financial planning and analysis for Carnival Corporation, where she played an integral part in interpreting and engaging all 10 brands to prepare the company’s executive team for its quarterly earnings guidance and position the overall strategy and financial direction of the company. She also led the process of capturing, consolidating and analyzing data from the 10 brands as well as the corporation’s annual planning process that is key to the execution of the company’s overall long-term strategy. McKenzie started her career with Carnival Corporation in 1996 and since then has held a number of roles of increasing responsibility.
McKenzie began her career in 1992 with Arthur Andersen LLP in Washington, D.C. Originally from Jamaica, West Indies, she is a graduate of Howard University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting. She also attended Florida International University where she earned a master’s degree in international business.
McKenzie serves on the board of directors for Honey Shine Inc.
Bevan is an award-winning journalist and seasoned public relations professional. He has worked
as the North American correspondent of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union and contributed for media houses such as the Caribbean Media Corporation, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, and Saint Lucia’s Radio 100.
He is well known in the New York tri-state area, having hosted several radio programs, including the weekly five-hour, radio show, “The Caribbean in Five” on 1190 AM WLIB in New York;and he is a weekly columnist with New York’s renowned Amsterdam News.
Bevan has worked as a sports reporter with the Barbados Nation and Barbados Advocate newspapers, and has contributed to the Trinidad Guardian, BBC World Service, New York Daily News, 1600 AM WWRL radio and WNBC-TV in New York. As former North American editor of the Barbados Advocate, Bevan spent considerable time covering the United Nations, the tourism industry and events and activities in North America’s Caribbean Diaspora.
Since 2001, he has produced the popular Caribbean Media Exchange on Sustainable Tourism(CMEx), designed to improve the quality of media coverage of sustainable tourism in the Caribbean.
A former national tennis player of Barbados, Bevan is a member of New York’s Christian Cultural Center, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, National Association of Black Journalists and United Nations Correspondents Association. He is an alumnus of Lester B.Pearson College of the Pacific in British Columbia, Canada – a member of the United World Colleges’ (UWC) network, and sits on the Leadership Council in the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management at the George Washington University’s School of Business.
Germain Bebe is a seasoned business professional with over 10 years of leadership experience across multiple industries. Germain holds a Bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University and pursuing and MBA from West Texas AM University. German has often been recognized as a leader and visionary and has served as Associate director of CareerTech, VP of the South Florida Careers Inc. of Broward County, Co-Chair of North Miami Film Coalition and a directing member of the Florida National University Human Trafficking Steering Council. He has helped set the bar and has found success at both a fortune 100 company and small to mid-size companies. Germain’s passion for success lies in his vision. He is a believer in data driven decision making and is proven to be able to adapt and adjust well to changing economic climates. Germain has been recognized as one of the youngest to hold the position of CEO for a Chamber of Commerce in the State of Florida and been the recipient of Legacy’s Miami 40 under 40 award in 2016.
Germain is the Cofounder of the North East Dade Film coalition, co-chair of the Flavors of North Miami Food and Wine Festival and Co-Chair of several community and cultural initiatives promoting tourism, business and culture in North East Dade. Germain Bebe’s latest venture is 3Phases Investments, which focuses on investing and consulting in real estate and manufacturing projects both within the United States and emerging markets abroad. Germain understands critical business drivers in multiple markets and industries: creating partnerships in multiple industries including financing, tourism and marketing. During his time in serving in leadership roles, Germain has led to two start-ups in both the tech and education industries. Germain success has come from his ability to build strong relationships with government officials, corporate partners, nonprofits and clients.
Germain’s passions have always been for community, culture, the arts, technology and success. Germain is an avid reader and is known for having a general curiosity for all things. “Every time I hear or see something new, I tend to spend hours on sites like Wikipedia and google reading up about it and everything associated with it.” His favorite authors are Glen Cook, Ibram Gaunt, Edwidge Danticat and Richard Wright. Germain’s passion for books, development, art and culture all blend into one. He is an avid collector of different paintings and some antique furniture. His favorite artist are Jean-Michel Basquiat, Levoy Exil, Edith Adan Patrick, Philippe Dodard.
Lastly, Germain is also passionate about development. Not just the buildings themselves, but the psychology and sociology of placing them there. “I get excited about discovering new places where the architecture creates a sense of place. Cities are enigmas for me, and questions like; how do they decide how high a sidewalk curb should be? are questions I catch myself asking all the time. It’s the reason I got an Urban Planning degree.”
Germain’s belief is that success begins with working hard, and because of this he has always chosen to live by example. Germain has found that success comes from the people involved and he seeks to leave behind a legacy of lasting change and progress.
Yve-Car Momperousse is CEO and co-founder of Kreyol Essence (KE), an agribusiness that creates beauty products with ingredients from Haiti. The millennial started the company three years ago and has raised 1.5million dollars in startup capital for this international business. Leveraging Black castor oil, sourced from the mountains of Haiti, the agribusiness produces natural and organic body, hair, and aromatherapy products, including exotic oils, pomades, soufflés, and therapeutic candles. KE currently employs over 70 farmers and women in Haiti to produce the unique line and is poised to hire 300 people in the next few years as part of the company’s social impact mission. Investors and partners include global development leaders such as YUNUS Social Business, the Clinton Foundation USAID in addition to private angel investors. Yve-Car, a social entrepreneur, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies and Metropolitan Planning from Rutgers University and a Masters in International Development with a focus on Rural Agriculture at Cornell University. She has received numerous honors including the: • Sustainable Business Award, Global Now • Business Leadership Award, Haitian Roundtable • 20 Under 40 Business Award, Caribbean Life, A News Corp Publication She has also been featured in the Huffington Post, Cornell Business Review, Madame Noir, and Virgin Unite.
Alison Smith is a partner at the law firm of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman P.L. and currently serves as the deputy City Attorney for the City of Miramar. Her primary area of practice is labor and employment law. Ms. Smith graduated magna cum laude from Nova Southeastern University Law School in 2003 and was the valedictorian.
In 2014, Ms. Smith was named as a Florida Rising Star by the Super Lawyers publication and received three separate awards for being: one of the top 40 professionals under 40 in South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal; one of the top 40 rising star attorneys in South Florida by the Daily Business Review; and one of the top 40 leaders under 40 in Broward County by Legacy Magazine.
In 2015, Ms. Smith was again named as a Florida Rising Star by the Super Lawyers publication, was named as a Top Up and Comer by the South Florida Legal Guide, was named a Rising Star by the Superlawyers publication, was given the Most Powerful & Influential Woman Award by the Florida Diversity Council, and was named one of the top 40 outstanding attorneys under 40 by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
In 2016, she was named one of the most powerful and influential women in South Florida by Legacy Magazine, was given the professionalism award by the Broward County Bar Association, which is given to a person who “exemplifies the highest ideals of professionalism in the practice of law and in life.” She was also recently featured in the prominent Caribbean newspaper Caribbean National Weekly as one of the top 20 Distinguished Jamaican Youth Under 40 in South Florida.
She has been interviewed on legal topics by both CBS and WSVN Channel 7, and has participated in radio talk shows where she has discussed cutting edge labor and employment topics.
Ms. Smith is the Chair of the Board of Directors of Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida, Inc., a member of the board of directors of the Broward County Bar Association, as well as a member of the 17th Judicial Circuit’s Professionalism Panel.
Victor Demesmin Jr. is currently an Associate Attorney at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine. Mr. Demesmin received his Juris Doctor and Graduate Diploma in Comparative Law degrees in 2015 from Louisiana State University (LSU) Paul M. Heber Law Center. Mr. Demesmin is a member of the Florida Bar Association.
Mr. Demesmin was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Victor is a forward thinker and an astute problem solver. In 2008, at the age of eighteen, Mr. Demesmin became a licensed Florida realtor, specializing in residential sales and rental properties. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Entrepreneurship with a minor in Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida (UCF).
Mr. Demesmin is a proud Haitian-American product and is very involved in the community here in South Florida. Victor speaks up to three different languages .He is fluent in Creole and possesses conversational skills in French. He is a young licensed Florida Attorney (member of the Florida Bar Association, a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc., and an active member of the Broward County Bar Association (Young Lawyers Section), the Urban League of Broward County (Young Professionals Network), and the T.J Reddick Bar Association.
Victor is also the Co-owner of his own business (Demesmin Power Team Realty Inc., Mortgage and Insurance) in Plantation, FL and serves as Vice President. He is a licensed realtor, licensed Insurance Agent (2-20 property and casualty), and a Mortgage Loan Originator. While he is not busy with the law or running a 1st class Real estate and Mortgage Company, he educates the Haitian community about the housing market as the co-host of the Demesmin Power Team Radio Show (Every Friday at 6:00P.M on 1320 AM,).
During his personal time, Victor enjoys poetry, cooking, basketball, and running. Victor is currently engaged to be married and is looking forward to new beginnings with his future wife, Anne-Rachelle Lexima. Victor’s childhood heroes are his parents (Victor Demesmin Sr. and Nancy Demesmin) , Muhammad Ali, and Malcolm X. Victor’s favorite quote by Muhammad Ali is “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in a world they’ve been given to than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a Declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
Joaklin Raphael currently serves as a Development Officer at Florida International University (FIU), helping the university achieve its $750 million capital campaign goal. He has also developed multiple scholarships and endowments to help many students reach their full potential—because for today’s students financial need is often a barrier to going to college. Mr. Raphael is committed to giving back to students, and he values the payoff of investing his time in an educational institution that prepares students for the next generations’ challenges.
Mr. Raphael is actively involved in both the university and local communities, serving in several organizations. His current leadership positions include advisor for the FIU undergraduate chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., youth mentor at the Sigma Beta Youth Club, undergraduate advisor for M.A.L.E.S. (Men Achieving Leadership Excellence & Success), mentor for 5000 Role Models of Excellence Mentoring Program, and participant in Leadership Miami. Other volunteer service includes work with Camillus House, American Cancer Society, Amigos for Kids, and March of Dimes. As a collegiate advisor to the FIU Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Mr. Raphael plays a major leadership role in the chapter’s success by providing stability, continuity, and strategic guidance to its members. His leadership philosophy is “lead by example,” while providing enough autonomy and rich experiences so that those involved are able to visualize their paths. He realizes and acknowledges that he provides guidance, but not with a ruling hand.
The ultimate goal in higher education is to prepare all students to become prominent, productive citizens. As an advisor, Mr. Raphael possess a genuine and lasting interest in young people, their challenges, their objectives, and their limitations. It is important to be patient with students as they maneuver through life’s challenges, which oftentimes are met with errors of judgment—a difficult but critical part of a dynamic learning experience.
One of the things that Mr. Raphael enjoys providing to the students is professional development. Over the years, he has coordinated various activities, including mock interviews, workshops, etiquette classes, career development planning, and job search management. Today, he is a mentor and tutor to young people who may be considered at-risk youth. Through volunteer service, he is able to motivate and guide young African American students, especially males, who are lost and disillusioned. Mr. Raphael helps them see their self-worth, potential, and bright futures. He has had countless opportunities to share hard truths about life, about what he has seen firsthand and what he has been through, including homelessness. Mr. Raphael shares with them how critical it is to work hard so that they can achieve their goals. Knowing that education and self-awareness are key, he wants our youth to know that giving up is never an option!
Calibe Thompson is a Jamaican-American entrepreneur. Her titles include TV producer, director and personality, author, columnist and public speaker. In 2015 she became the first Jamaican producer to secure series placement on US national public television. The series she developed was the first Caribbean cooking series that the network giants PBS and Create TV had aired nationally.
Through her company Blondie Ras Productions, she manages the production of the series “Taste the Islands”, as well as “Island Origins” – a television lifestyle magazine featuring Caribbean community notables, which she also hosts. Her programs have aired in over 40 American states, over 20 Caribbean countries, Canada, the United Kingdom and Brunei.
As a columnist, Thompson contributes weekly opinions to the region’s most prominent black newspaper, The South Florida Times. She has gained recognition for her eloquence and the bold perspectives she shares here and on television.
Her diverse career has spanned over two decades in the entertainment industry and has seen her move from touring the world as a vocalist with stars such as Beenie Man, Kevin Lyttle and Kymani Marley to lending her smooth Jamaican accent to commercials and TV shows.
She has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Leaders and Future Leaders of Broward County.
She is a graduate of Jamaica’s Immaculate Conception High School and Campion College, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from the University of Technology.
Currently Thompson and her team including veteran filmmaker Lukkee Chong are working on a documentary chronicling the past, present and future of Chicago State University, as well as the second seasons of both their original productions.
Thompson’s ongoing mission is to help corporate entities tell their stories and share their passions through media, and to create high quality Caribbean-inspired media for a sophisticated, mainstream audience.
Sady I. Díaz-Martorell is a proud daughter of the Dominican Republic. Ms. Díaz-Martorell currently serves as the Public Engagement Manager for the City of Sunrise. She leads corporate citizenship and impact investment initiatives, including the City’s highly-regarded Word Up! Poetry Slam. As a direct result of her efforts, the Word Up! program has expanded to include monthly Lyrical Lounge teen open mic nights, quarterly Poetry in Motion workshops, and an annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day creative writing seminar introducing students to award-winning contemporary poets. Since spearheading Word Up (2009), the program has fostered the self-expression of 5000+ youth.
Her heritage illuminates her activism, and led to her role as a founding member of Border of Lights (BOL) (2012), an international human rights collective. BOL facilitates arts-education-policy events throughout the U.S., the Dominican Republic, and Haiti to raise awareness of the historically negated 1937 Parsley Massacre. The organization has evolved into an annual think tank, focusing on the progression of 250,000+ stateless Dominicans-of-Haitian descent. BOL is championed by Caribbean diaspora authors Michelle Wucker, Edwidge Danticat, Julia Alvarez, and Junot Díaz. Her work with BOL has been featured on the BBC, DW (Deutsche Welle), NPR, Miami Herald and Miami Times, respectively.
Sady also partners with the O’ Miami Poetry Festival curating cross-county initiatives for at-risk youth. To date, her programs have included SOul FLO – a teen spoken-word showcase at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex (2015); and Les Petite Poetes – a three-month series of poetry workshops for elementary students, culminating into a reading at the Betsy Hotel (2016).
Sady holds a Bachelors in Business Administration in International Business/Management from Florida International University, and earned an Economic Development Finance Professional Certification through the National Development Council.
Ms. Díaz-Martorell is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the National Charrette Institute, and the LeaderShape Institute. In addition, she devotes her time to mentoring students and non-profits highlighting philanthropic themes focused on the arts, technology, economic parity, fitness, and the Caribbean diaspora (bluApple Poetry Network, Jason Taylor Foundation, and O, Miami).
His work is undeniable. When it comes to non-traditional marketing methods for the multi-cultural market, he has made a tremendous impact in the landscape of marketing endeavors for the Caribbean Diaspora in S. Florida.
Asa was born in Trinidad and attended the prestigious Fatima College where he graduated and left to the United States to further his education. He attended St.Thomas University and F.I.U. where he studied Mass Media Communications and Economics. Asa started his career as a Promotions Director of WRGP FIU radio in 1999. While at FIU, he also served a Special Events Coordinator and held the Special Events Chair position in Student Government.
In 2003 Asa opened his own Marketing Company and catered to Caribbean Brands and Special Events. His company has handled the marketing and event planning for some high profile companies and special events. With an array of corporate and special event clients that include: Caribbean Airlines, Carib Beer, Miami and Broward Carnival, and Interscope Records – Asa has become the architect responsible for some of the most exciting campaigns throughout South Florida promoting everything Caribbean.
In 2011, Asa was offered a full time position with one of his long time clients, Carib Beer as their S.E Business Development Manager, managing the company’s portfolio of great tasting beer and premium stout products. Responsible for the management of the Distributor network from Virginia to Florida, the role allows Asa to utilize his communication and planning skills to maximize results for the company.
In 2013, Asa decided to hang his traveling hat up and return to running his own business, while spending more time with his young family. After resigning his position with Carib Beer, Asa opened a boutique agency specializing in branding, marketing, artiste management and event planning, Aifos Agency. With international clients, events and brands like, Ato Boldon (Olympic multi-Medalist), Kevin Lyttle (International Recording Artiste), Walshy Fire (of popular group Major Lazer), DJ Mad Linx (TV Personality/DJ – BET), Verizon Wireless, Florida Beer Company, Miami Children’s Museum, Caribbean Airlines, Miami Under40, Carib Style Week, and Colors of the Caribbean, Asa has already positioned himself and his company in a commanding position within a very competitive industry.
In 2016, Asa launched a specialty design and print company, A Branding Shop offering his clients unsurpassed quality in custom branding, design and production. This “do it yourself” platforms allows small businesses and young entrepreneurs access to some of the industry’s trade secrets used in the presentation and representation of their brands.
He is a devout husband, proud father and believes in making family the top priority in his life.
In his spare time, Asa likes to travel, listen to music and play golf. He is the Executive Director and Founder of Caribbean American Heritage Florida (CAHFI), Chairman of the Board of Miami Carnival Inc and sits on the Board of Directors for the Rhythm Foundation and the Miami Broward One Carnival. He is also the Miami Leadership Representative for the Hip Hop Caucus Leadership Committee.
JOIN US October 22, 2016 7pm-11pm Tower Club
Caribbean Food | Open Bar | Art | Live Entertainment
Highly accomplished private and public sector leaders who are assisting ICABA® with their guidance and support to ensure the ICABA® Salutes Caribbean Excellence is an unqualified success.
A life dedicated to the service of the less fortunate.
Born and raised in his native Haiti, Dr Barrau received primary and secondary education in a religious institution. It gave him a solid foundation of principle upon which he later built a career dedicated to serving the Health needs of his fellow Haitians. He received his Medical Degree at the State University School of Medicine in Haiti. Rotating through the General Hospital in Port au Prince, he observed the medical needs of the poor and less fortunate, and learned very early to make the best of any situation and judiciously utilize very limited resources.
Dr. Barrau turned his attention to the USA and moved to Florida. After successfully passing all of his equivalency tests for diplomas in medicine, Dr Barrau was granted a residency position in Family Medicine and Internal Medicine at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital and Veteran’s Administration Hospital.
After residency, he joined forces with Dr. Rudy Moise and Dr. Nelson Adams founding the successful Black Independent Practice Association Florida Access IPA, so minority physicians would no longer feel disenfranchised in an ever-changing Health Care
Dr Barrau also founded Unihealth of South FL Inc., a thriving primary care practice comprising a database of over 5,000 patients. As an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, he helped shape the future of Medical Education by teaching students various aspects of cultural diversity. The Governor of Florida appointed him as the first Haitian-American member of the Board of Medicine. As Chairman of the Expert Witness committee for the Board, his groundwork translated into law regarding who can testify in the State of Florida on Medical cases.
Dr Barrau was a founder of the new FIU H. Wertheim College of Medicine. Dr Barrau is also Board Certified in Internal Medicine and continues as President of Unihealth of South FL Inc. He is a member of the Dade County Medical Association and serves as a Fellow and an Advisory Council member for the Florida Chapter of the American College of Physicians.
He and his wife Jose of 25 years, donate their time to various philanthropic organizations including Lauren Kids Organization, dedicated to battered and sexually assaulted children.
Despite his numerous obligations, he still found ample time to be very involved in raising two wonderful boys Sidney and Carmel Jr., now both proudly attending college.
Pauline Grant is Chief Executive Officer of North Broward Medical Center. Grant has an MBA from Nova Southeastern University and MS degree from the University of the West Indies. She began her career as a nutritionist with the Ministry of Health for the Government of Jamaica.
Grant held positions in health care with the Broward County Government; the Seminole Tribe of Florida; and the Government of Jamaica. She joined Broward Health in 1993 as the Director of Primary Care Services and in 1999 became the Vice President/Ambulatory Services for Broward Health. She managed 14 primary care sites, Healthcare for the Homeless, HIV/AIDS programs and home health and hospice agencies.
Grant was named CEO of North Broward Medical Center, a 409-bed hospital with Adult Level II Trauma Center, in March 2003. Grant is on the board of several community service organizations, such as Pinecrest Preparatory School, the Urban League of Broward County, John Knox Village. She is also active with the Minority Development and Empowerment board and the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a Certified Healthcare Executive (CHE).
Jhonson Napoleon is President/CEO Azure Group, Inc. Azure Group, Inc. comprises of Azure College, the first Haitian accredited college in the USA with three campuses and three (3) School of Nursing (Miami Gardens, Sebring, and Boca Raton), Azure Media, LLC a media company that owns and operates four (4) radio stations, three (3) AM Stations WFHT 1390 AM in Avon Park, Fla. WXBR 1460 AM in Brockton, MA, Palm Beach, and the first Haitian owned FM license in the USA 105.7 FM in Key West Florida. Azure Staffing Inc., and Medical Simulation Center, the goal of this company is to offer continuing education to the medical community in South Florida.
Being a Father of three boys and husband to his wife Dr. Betsy Napoleon are his special achievements. Additionally in January 2012 Mr. Napoleon was honored by the Miami Dade County Commission as one of the 10 Haitian upcoming leaders in the county, in May 2012 He was honored by the Miami Dade County School Board for his work in the Education Sector, he is the Recipient of the Toussaint Louverture Leadership award by FANM, he was honored by Tabernacle of Glory, and was named one the successful alumni of Miami Dade College as part of their I am MDC Campaign.
Mr. Napoleon is a Member of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU), The South Florida Hospital & Healthcare Association, the Florida Association of Post-secondary Schools and Colleges, an advisory Board member of the Little Haiti Salvation Army, a member and parking attendant of Evangel Church international.
Mr. Napoleon has Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) and is now finishing PhD in Education Technology
Mr. Napoleon favorite quote is: Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. M. L King
Ricardo Treco is the fifth of ten children born to Herbert Leon Treco and Marjorie Ramona Treco on December 26 th , 1957. He is a dedicated family man who has been married to Jennifer Michelle Treco nee Knowles for 34 years. He is the proud father of four biological daughters, Ria Treco, Rhondi Treco, Ronquil Mootoo and Ramanda Lee. He also has one adopted daughter, Patrice Robinson and two son-in- laws, Chris Mootoo and Geoffrey Lee. Ricardo has three grandchildren, Ricardo Desarion Leon Smith, Cadence Ramona Mootoo, and Carter Matisse’ Mootoo. Ricardo is an avid family man who has visited most of the family islands. Every summer, family vacations were spent in either the Exuma’s, Abaco, Eleuthera, or Long Island, using that time to teach them about the wonderful national treasures of our Bahamas. This included camping, fishing, snorkeling, spearfishing, diving for conchs, bird watching, catching crabs, pineapple picking, sailing and swimming. He would even spend time teaching them how to make “hummer” kites, how to shoot marbles, how to spin tops, playing rounders or even a game of “around the world” basketball.
Ricardo began school at Wee Wisdom primary school, then went on to Jordan Memorial, Kingsway Academy, Miami Military Academy, Queens College and finally graduating from the R.M. Bailey Senior High School in 1975, with five (5) G.C.E.’s and eight (8) B.J.C.’s. Ricardo is an alumni of Lindsay Hopkins Technical Education Center in Miami, Florida, where he obtained an Associates Degree in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Engineering. Ricardo is also a graduate, with honors, of the Commonwealth Bible College after completing a two-year Diploma course on Theological studies, including Homiletics, Biblical survey and exposition.
Ricardo has been a member of Grace Community Church for 45 years and has served the church in various capacities during that time. He served as a member of the Deacons Board for ten (10) years, as Sports Director for the Grace Awana Ministries, Director of Sports, including Basketball Leagues and Softball leagues. He has been a member of the choir as a lead tenor, is presently a member of the Grace Praise Team. Ricardo and his wife Jennifer are also the current Directors of the Lamplighters ministry, which is a systematic chronological reading of the bible, which encourages Spiritual growth and family devotions. He is also a member of the Compassion ministry that identifies needs within the church and its community to help with medical, food, clothing and housing for those in need. He is an active member of the church’s Short Term Mission team, which delivers ministry and medical assistance to local and foreign entities, including Haiti, Dominican Republic, St. Vincent, Greneda, St. Martin and the family islands.
Ricardo was also the head coach for the Kingsway Academy senior girl’s softball team. He has coached the team from 1999-2004, and his teams have won a total of five (5) BAISS championships. His teams has also participated in the Austin Knowles High School National Softball championships on four occasions, winning the tournament in 2001 and 2002, and placing second in 2003. He was also the president of the Whirlpool Eagles Softball club, a member of the New Providence Softball Association. He can also be found on occasion at various basketball courts throughout New Providence, playing a casual game or just shooting around for fun. He also is the oldest participant in Bahamas Games history (basketball) as he was drafted and selected by the long Island Basketball team at the age of 42 years. He was also an avid softball player and a team member (2nd Base and centerfield) of the Calvary Bible Church Softball Club, winners of the 2006 Baptist Sports Council’s Softball Championship. Ricardo has also been a Vice-President of the Bahamas Basketball Federation, and traveled with the Bahamas National Basketball Men’s and Women’s team as team manager to international tournaments.
His patriotism to the Bahamas and his core sense of National Pride is evident in his love for the family islands, involvement in the various sporting arenas including Bahamas Games.
Ricardo is an avid junkanoo participant. As a member of the World Famous Valley Boys junkanoo group for over 35 years, He has “rushed” on Bay Street with his children, his wife and a host of nieces and nephews. In fact every Junkanoo morning he always has either his gorgeous wife or a couple of his beautiful daughters and nieces at his side. Ricardo is the winner of the 2012 Boxing Day Parade Free Dancer Award, portraying King Henry Vlll. Mr. Treco is a collector of Bahamian art including works from artist like Chan Pratt, Jerome’ Miller, Holly Parotti, Ronquil Mootoo and Kevin Cooper.
Ricardo started his working career at the age of fourteen years old. After school he would walk to Master Technicians from R. M. Bailey High School and team up with a technician as an apprentice. This work continued over the summers and it is where Ricardo developed a love for the career. After returning from Lindsay Hopkins Technical Education Center in May of 1977, at the age of nineteen (19) years, he along with Mr. Copeland Bassett restructured the Service and Parts division of Master Technicians Ltd. He served as Service Manager for five (5) years. As the business grew, he was promoted to Assistant Manager in 1982 responsible for the Service and Sales Division. He held that position until 1991 when he was promoted to General Manager. In 1993 Ricardo was again promoted to Managing Director with responsibilities for the entire corporate operation. As Managing Director, Ricardo directed Master Technicians to its most successful years of operation, advancing the company from 2.8 million in sales to over 7.2 million in 2002. During that time Mr. Treco was the perennial winner of the Whirlpool Corporation’s annual percentage growth competition for seven straight years as an independent International Distributor (Caribbean and Latin America), continually outperforming countries like Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda. In 1999 Mr. Treco received the coveted Bahamas Quality Council’s Prime Minister Above and Beyond Award. In 2003, Mr. Treco resigned from Master Technicians Ltd. and opened his own Customer Service and Parts Center. His company, Ricardo’s Customer Loyalty Center is the service provider for Master Technicians Ltd., and also provides loyal service and parts support to thousands of Bahamian homes and business.
Ricardo’s background and performance in Business, Sports, Culture, Religion and Politics, uniquely qualifies him as a true Bahamian Patriot, who is serving his God and country with distinction.
Deanna is VP & Managing Partner of The RADD Group, LLC, a business consulting firm specializing in The Bahamas. In this position, she organizes and facilitates meetings with government officials/entities, industry professionals and legal counsel for foreign companies or individuals currently doing business in The Bahamas or those who desire to incorporate in The Bahamas. In addition, she consults with political candidates on strategic planning for campaigns both here in Florida and in The Bahamas and was the Agent to oversee the historical inaugural elections abroad for Bahamians in Florida during the recent Bahamas General Elections. Deanna and The Bahamas are synonymous in that she is known as ‘the
Also dabbing in the fashion industry, in July, Deanna will launch RockARooster.com, an online store featuring a casual line of chic t-shirts featuring the ‘Expensive Kitty’ and ‘Rock A Rooster’ designs.
Deanna serves or has served on boards including The Council of Bahamian American Associations (founding member), The National Association of The Bahamas (former Executive Director), The Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, Miss Black Florida, Walk A Mile With A Child (committee member), her son’s school PTA, Boy Scouts Troop 21 (Advance Chair), the Portuguese International Parent Association (founding member); a member of the American Management Association and the American Marketing Association. Deanna is an active member of her church Alpha Agape in Miami, Florida.
Deanna received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Thomas University and numerous certifications in Sales & Marketing, International Business, Human Resource Management & Conflict Resolution. Deanna has received honors and commendations for her contributions to the education of Bahamian students, children’s foster homes in The Bahamas, The Bahamas Hurricane Relief Efforts and the Bahamas Independence celebrations in Florida.
Deanna was born in The Bahamas to a Bahamian mother and a Scandinavian father and has one son, Dylan.
Attorney, United States Navy veteran, community volunteer, and scholar. Frantz “Jahra” McLawrence was born on August 11, 1972, in Portsmouth, Dominica in the West Indies. At age seven, he immigrated to Queens, New York to live with his mother.
After high school, at the prestigious Brooklyn Technical High School, McLawrence joined the U.S. Navy, wherein he served tours in Iraq and Bosnia-Herzegovina. After four plus years of service, he enrolled at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Tallahassee. Having started college five years later than his peers, he was determined to make the most of his educational opportunity. And that he did, by completing his bachelor’s degree in three years, being inducted into the Golden Key National Honor Society and graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s of science in accounting. Following college, McLawrence matriculated through law school at the University of Florida, wherein he was selected as a member of the Florida Journal of International Law.
In 2003, McLawrence fulfilled a personal promise to protect the constitutional rights of the indigent, by joining the Broward County Public Defender’s Office. Soon after, he taught as an adjunct professor at Florida International University. In 2006, he served as a guest lecturer for the Florida Bar. In 2010 he campaigned for a judicial seat as a County court Judge in Broward County. Currently, he operates his own firm in Fort Lauderdale.
In addition to his dedication to the law, McLawrence makes a conscious effort to give back to Broward’s communities. He has conducted legal seminars at churches and schools throughout South Florida and mentored youngsters in the Public Defender’s summer justice program. He volunteers with the Urban League and supports numerous community activities.
Since 2010 currently serves as Chief of Staff to Broward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness. From 2008 – 2010 served as Board Chair and Executive Director of the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Prior to that With 24 years in the Staffing Industry, John served as the VP Operations & Senior Lead Executive Search Consultant for ERI Staffing Services, a certified W/MBE Staffing Services company with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach and Orlando.
John is a Fellow of the Black Executive Forum (Miami) Batten Fellows Leadership Program, and also served as a Board Member and Chairman. John currently serves on the board of Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee, Inc., Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce, Broward Caribbean Carnival, Inc., Hills of Inverrary Association, City of Lauderhill Code Enforcement Board and served as a member of the Lauderhill City Master Planning Task Force.
John has received numerous awards and certifications for his contributions to the staffing industry. Certifications include: Certified Staffing Professional (CSP); Certified Temporary Staffing Specialist (CTS) and Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC). He has served as State Chair for the National Association of Personnel Consultants. Prior membership of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), The National Association of African Americans in HR (NAAAHR) and the local NAAAHR South Florida Chapter and the Human Resources Association of Broward County (HRABC).
John was born in California, USA and raised in Jamaica and Trinidad. He attended Middlesex County College in New Jersey and Florida International University with an Engineering major. Married, he currently resides in Lauderhill with his family.
Basil Bernard is President and Chairman of Apricot Office Interiors, Inc. one of the largest independent furniture companies in South Florida. Apricot holds the franchise rights to Office Furniture USA in South Florida. OFUSA is the only national office furniture chain allowing for seamless delivery through the continental USA to many major corporations. Apricot provides “Turn Key” office environments.
Basil Bernard manages the sales force and the business development for Apricot. The set up and maintenance of the Dade and Broward showrooms also falls under his portfolio. He also represents the company on several industry committees.
Basil grew up in Jamaica where he attended Jamaica College and EXED Community College majoring in Business Management. He moved to New York in 1980 where he worked with New York Telephone as a Rep in the Installation Dept. In 1985 the family moved to Miami where they reunited with childhood friends Greg and Stacey Silvera and founded Apricot Office Supplies & Furniture, Inc. the following year. In 2005 he graduated from FIU with a Masters in Business Administration and a Minor in International Business.
Basil met his wife and best friend Marlene at EXED in 1976 and they have been married for 31 years. Marlene is the CFO of Apricot Office Interiors, Inc. and they have a son Andre who also works in the family business.
Apricot has been the recipient of several business awards such as:
Community and civic involvement has always been important to Basil. He sits on the boards of the GMCC, MDCC, BAC Funding, FIU School of Business Advisory and the Florida Regional Minority Business Council Vendor Input Committee. One of his favorite activities is Principal for a Day and he feels that some day he will become a teacher.
As an Afro-Cuban American Born in New York and raised in Miami, Crespo entered community activism in 1988 when he became the assistant campaign manager for former State Representative Elaine Gordon, assistant campaign manager for Judge Manny Crespo, legislative aide for former Miami-Dade County Commissioner Bruce Kaplan and former Housing Director for the city of Opa-locka. Crespo from that point on would remain active in the political landscape of Miami, serving as a former member and vice chair the Miami Zoning Board, member Miami-Dade Hispanic Affairs Advisory Board and Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board.
Crespo has demonstrated leadership serving as the former State of Florida African American Campaign Coordinator for the Wesley Clark presidential campaign, president of the Miami- Dade Young Democrats, president of the Miami-Dade Democratic Black Caucus, chairman of the Miami Beach Black Host Committee, deputy political director for Alex Sink for Governor (2010) and served on the transition team for District 17 Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson.
Currently, Crespo serves on the Greater Miami Convention & Tourism Bureau Board of Directors, Affirmative Action Committee for the Florida Democratic Party, columnist for the South Florida Times and elected vice chair of Outreach for the Miami-Dade Democratic Party. Crespo and his wife, Salia Nelson, run URGENT, Inc., a community development and social services located in Overtown. URGENT, Inc. stands for Urban Renewal Greater Enhancement National Team.
URGENT, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 community based organization that was founded in 1994 by a small group of concerned urban residents who wanted to see positive change in their Miami community. URGENT started out as a grassroots initiative to inform change through media education and provide an avenue for open dialogue between community stakeholders on public access television and radio to promote solutions to problems facing urban communities. In 1999, URGENT, Inc. began direct services. In 2003, URGENT added a
community development component.
Dr. Winnifred McPherson holds the position of President of the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce as well as the Chief Executive Officer of Virtue Medical Staffing Services, LLC of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Virtue Medical Staffing was established in 2012 and serves clients in need of medical care at home, as well as hospitals, and other facilities.
She also served as Chief Academic Officer from 2010 to 2012 at the University of Fort Lauderdale which was established in 1994, but gained accreditation in 2011. Dr. McPherson was instrumental in bringing the University to accreditation. Dr. McPherson’s duties include hiring and managing Faculty, advising students, developing courses and degree programs, preparing curriculum, conducting audits, and building community partnerships.
Dr. McPherson’s prior experience included employment with the Broward Sheriff’s Office from 1980 to 2010, where she retired after 30 years of service as a Major in the Department of Detention. At retirement she managed the North Operations Bureau, which consisted of 3 jail facilities with a combined staff of 735, an inmate population of approximately 3300, and a budget of 70,000,000.
For 18 years she worked as an Adjunct Professor at Broward College, 11 years at the University of Fort Lauderdale, and 3 years at Union Institute teaching classes in business and management. She was also the Director of the Solid Rock Entrepreneurial Institute, which operated in conjunction with Broward County and the Center for Urban Redevelopment and Empowerment at Florida Atlantic University.
Dr. McPherson earned a Doctor of Education degree in Education with a specialization in Organizational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, a Master’s Degree in Management, and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from St. Thomas University.
Dr. McPherson is a member of a number of professional organizations, which includes Broward International Women’s Club (Board Member), Leadership Broward foundation, Inc. alumni (Class XIV), Nova Southeastern University Alumni, NAACP, as well as others.
Most recent awards include:
2016 Woman of Distinction from Lauderhill Commissioner Howard Berger
2016 South Florida’s Most Powerful and Influential Black Professionals in
Business and Industry from Legacy Magazine
2016 Small Business of the Year from Lauderhill Regional Chamber of
Dr. McPherson authored articles which were published as follows:
Evans St. Fort is a licensed Funeral Director and owner of St. Fort’s Funeral Home in North Miami Beach. He was born in Miami to Haitian parents and is very active in community organizations in South Florida. After receiving a degree in Mortuary Science from Lynn University, Evans continued in the funeral business his father began in Haiti by opening his own funeral home in North Miami Beach.
St. Fort’s Funeral Home is approved and recognized by the State Department of Florida as a training facility for college students entering that field. Evans St. Fort is a member of the NFDA (National Funeral Directors Association), ICCFA (International Cemetery, Cremation, and Funeral Association), Executive Board Member of the Haitian Heritage Museum, and Board Member of the North Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. He founded Cremations of South Florida and the non-profit LifeLiv Foundation that provides assistance to individuals struggling with drug addiction.
Evans St. Fort is happily married with a daughter and a son and currently resides in Miramar, Florida.
Wayne is an attorney, philanthropist and multiple author. His book, “This Business of Supplier Diversity,” is considered a must-read for supplier diversity professionals and minority-owned businesses seeking to elevate their results to the next level. He has a passion for people and is regarded in the business and faith communities as a mentor, strategist and trusted counselor.
In addition to leading the Gill Law firm for nearly twenty years, Wayne is a sought-after speaker and social entrepreneur. He’s won too many professional awards to list, but is most proud of his Humanitarian Awards: Northwood University’s Turner Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Betterment of Mankind; FSMSDC’s Doing Well While Doing Good Award and Macy’s Crystal Award for Outstanding Minority Business Advocacy. He’s also proud to be a former ICABA “Luminary” in the legal field.
He’s the co-founder of the Oasis Compassion Agency, a non-profit corporation that empowers the less-fortunate in his community through job training and placement, food distribution, and life counseling. He sits on the Oasis Board of Directors and on YouMoms, Inc., a nonprofit ministry to single mothers. He resides in Palm Beach County with his wife, Sharon, and two children.
For 15+ years, Natacha has created transformational impact, while consistently delivering meaningful economic change – both regionally and nationally. She combines her Masters of Taxation and Bachelors in Professional Management, coupled with her certificate in Economic Development and in-depth experience in cross-boundary collaboration to create robust business communities. Natacha’s extensive experience in entrepreneurship, impact investment, strategic partnerships, and multicultural inclusiveness, has established her as a change agent across the Tri-County area.
Natacha has a passion for the public sector and believes firmly in finding creative ways to link business, community, and education, seamlessly. She has professional experience working on issues related to growth/development, business/society, and wealth/poverty. She has planned large-scale corporate citizenship initiatives related to economic empowerment including the American Express South Florida Diversity Council; Black Enterprise’s Golf & Tennis Challenge, Women of Power Summit, and Entrepreneurs Summit; and the American Black Film Festival. Her events have been featured in Ebony, Essence, Black Enterprise, Miami Herald, and Sun-Sentinel, respectively.
Currently she leverages her insights as a Small Business Development Specialist within Broward County’s – Office of Economic and Small Business Development. In this role, she articulates problems, crystallizes effective solutions, and bridges the gap between the public-private sectors. Natacha notes the most enriching part of her role is shaping sustainable initiatives which impact the County’s business owner’s daily lives – specifically through creating successful economic development strategies for business stakeholders and cross-boundary collaboration initiatives.
Natacha’s passion has given her the ability to incorporate impactful results – specifically through career readiness, education, and economic parity projects. She is a long standing community advocate and devotes her time to non-profits including Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, the Jason Taylor Foundation, the Omari Hardwick bluApple Poetry Network, and the Word Up Poetry Initiative. Additionally, she managed the stewardship process for GLAAD South Florida as their Chairperson, including development of corporate donors and pro-social/philanthropic efforts. Natacha affirms her most significant professional and public service contribution, is enabling people to realize their full potential, and leverage their capacity to better society.
The Host Committee is a group of distinguished leaders assisting ICABA® by providing guidance and input in identifying individuals and organizations for recognition at the ICABA® Salutes Caribbean Excellence. The Host Committee provides feedback and suggestions regarding initiatives and opportunities that can enhance the quality and success of the ICABA Salute and provide support where possible to enhance execution of it.
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