%> Print this page

Community Leaders Honored at the 23rd Annual African-American Achievers Awards

The Jim Moran Foundation Presents Coconut Creek High School Senior with FSU Scholarship

Five remarkable individuals were recognized at the 23rd annual African-American Achievers awards ceremony on April 15 at the Broward County Convention Center. Nearly 1,000 guests attended the event, sponsored by JM Family Enterprises, Southeast Toyota Distributors and JM Lexus.

The 2015 African-American Achievers are: Melton Mustafa, Arts & Culture honoree; Lou Ella Jordan, Business & Entrepreneurism honoree; Rodney Baltimore, Community Service honoree; Barrington Irving, Education honoree; and Coconut Creek High School senior Gaelle Mardy, recipient of the Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever Award presented by The Jim Moran Foundation

“Our African-American Achievers program was started by Jim Moran not only to honor and say thank you to outstanding leaders for all they have done, but even more importantly to inspire others to change their communities for the better,” said Colin Brown, president and CEO of JM Family. “It’s our privilege to share their stories and thank them for their commitment to improving the lives of others.”

The event was hosted by Calvin Hughes, evening news anchor for WPLG Local 10, and featured moving performances from the Dillard High School Gospel Choir and trumpeter Yamin Mustafa, son of Arts & Culture honoree Melton Mustafa. The invocation was delivered by Dr. Dorothy Jackson Orr, 2012 Community Service honoree.

Every year, JM Family, Southeast Toyota and JM Lexus donate $40,000 – $10,000 per category – in each adult honoree’s name to the charity(ies) of his or her choice. The companies also donate $500 to the charity(ies) of choice of those whose nominee was selected as an African-American Achiever. More than $410,000 has been awarded on behalf of 137 African-American Achievers since the program was created in 1992.

Organizations chosen by the honorees to receive donations include Experience Aviation, Inc.; Girls II Women, Women's Forum, Inc.; MSM Arts, Inc.; Broward Citizens for Seniors; Keeping Siblings Together; Pass the Blessings; New Hope Baptist Church; Faith Community Baptist Church Dance Ministry; Sickle Cell Disease Association of Broward County; Alwayz Lady Like; Koinonia Worship Center Distinguished Gentlemen Ministry; Muhammad Mosque; and 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale.

About the Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever Award
The Jim Moran Foundation, in partnership with Florida State University (FSU), annually recognizes a South Florida high school senior who qualifies for financial aid and has applied and received admission to FSU. Named in memory of 1995 African-American Achiever Jerome Edmund Gray, Esq., the four-year, needs-based scholarship is provided with funding through The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at FSU.

Gaelle Mardy, recipient of this year’s Youth Achiever Award, is a senior at Coconut Creek High School who is also dual-enrolled at Broward College. Though modest about her status, Gaelle will graduate as valedictorian of her 2015 class. 

“Gaelle is a hard working, determined young woman with an appreciation for learning,” said Jan Moran, chairman and president of The Jim Moran Foundation. “This scholarship not only recognizes her academic success but also her positive attitude and resilient spirit. We are excited to provide Gaelle with this opportunity to attend FSU and fulfill her greatest potential.”

Gaelle moved to America from Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and says she is very grateful and blessed for the many opportunities here. She especially appreciates her parents for instilling in her the importance of education and motivating her to do her best. When she is not babysitting her younger siblings, Gaelle attends teen events at her local library. She volunteers through her school’s Key Club and National Honor Society -- and enjoys dance, music and reading. Gaelle will be a first-generation college student and plans to major in biochemistry at Florida State University.

Independent Selection Committee
The 2015 honorees were selected by an independent panel of community leaders from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties that included former Achievers. The committee reviewed more than 200 nominations after an extensive public outreach campaign.

  • - C. Ron Allen, Founder of Knights of Pythagoras Mentoring Network and 2006 Community Service Honoree
  • - Sonya Burrows, Co-owner of Burrows Electric
  • - Marshall Davis, Managing Director at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center and 2014 Arts & Culture Honoree
  • - James F. Griffin II, Principal at Lauderdale Lakes Middle School and 2014 Education Honoree
  • - Angela Perry, Executive Assistant at Cox Media Group
  • - Trina Robinson, WTVJ NBC 6 South Florida Reporter
  • - Newton B. Sanon, President & CEO of OIC of South Florida and 2013 Community Service Honoree
Click here to download high-resolution photos with captions from the African-American Achievers awards ceremony and group shots of the 2015 Achievers. 

To learn more, visit www.africanamericanachievers.com or like us on Facebook.

About JM Family Enterprises, Inc.
JM Family Enterprises, Inc., founded by Jim Moran in 1968, is a $13.1 billion diversified automotive company ranked No. 23 on Forbes’ list of “America’s Largest Private Companies.” JM Family is also ranked No. 34 by FORTUNE® as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For®, its 17th consecutive year on the list. Primary subsidiaries include: Southeast Toyota Distributors, JM&A Group, World Omni Financial Corp., JM Lexus, and JM Service Center LLC. Headquartered in Deerfield Beach, Fla., JM Family has major U.S. operations in Jacksonville and Margate, Fla.; Commerce and Alpharetta, Ga.; Mobile, Ala.; and St. Louis, Mo. Interact with JM Family at Facebook.com/JMFamilyEnterprises.

About The Jim Moran Foundation
Founded by automotive pioneer Jim Moran, the mission of The Jim Moran Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the youth and families of Florida through the support of innovative programs and opportunities that meet the ever-changing needs of the community. The Foundation has invested more than $55 million in education, elder care, family strengthening, after school and youth transitional living initiatives since its inception in 2000 -- with efforts currently focused in Broward, Palm Beach and Duval counties. Through a long-term Grant Agreement, The Foundation’s significant funders are JM Family Enterprises, Inc., and its subsidiaries, including Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC. It is located at 100 Jim Moran Blvd., Deerfield Beach, Fla. 33442. To learn more, visit www.jimmoranfoundation.org or call (954) 429-2122.