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Six Community Leaders Honored at the 21st Annual African-American Achievers Awards

The Jim Moran Foundation Presents Miami Central Senior with FSU Scholarship

Deerfield Beach, Fla. – Six extraordinary individuals were recognized at the 21st annual African-American Achievers awards ceremony on April 18 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 2013 African-American Achievers are: Dinizulu Gene Tinnie, Arts & Culture honoree; Albert and Bérénice Chauvet, Business & Entrepreneurism honorees; Newton B. Sanon, Community Service honoree; Fedrick Ingram, Education honoree; and Rashard Johnson, recipient of the Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever Award presented by The Jim Moran Foundation.

“Our company’s founder Jim Moran believed that people deserve recognition, especially the unsung heroes who give so much and ask for so little in return,” said Colin Brown, president and CEO of JM Family, during the celebration. “These honorees are the reason African-American Achievers was created, not only to thank them for all they do but also to encourage them to continue inspiring others in our community."
 
The event was hosted by Calvin Hughes, evening news anchor for WPLG Local 10, and featured an energetic opening performance by the Walker Elementary School Marching Band. Dillard High School Air Force Junior ROTC cadets presented the colors during the Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem, which was performed by Dillard senior and saxophonist Markus Howell. Perry Stokes, a 2010 Achiever, closed the program by singing Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All.”
 
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 $325,000 has been awarded on behalf of 130 African-American Achievers since automotive legend Jim Moran created the program in 1992.
 
Organizations chosen by the honorees to receive donations include the Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc.; Mel Fisher Maritime Museum; Tigertail Productions, Inc.; New Birth Corporation; SHEAR, Inc.; Food for the Poor; Community Habilitation Center, Inc.; Youth Survivors Foundation; OIC of South Florida; Zeta Chi Omega Psi Phi Educational and Benevolent Fund, Inc.; Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Lake Stevens Middle School Band Program; Miami Carol City Senior High School Band Program; Miami Jackson Senior High School Band Program; and the UTD Teaching Excellence Foundation, Inc.
 
Youth Achiever Awarded FSU Scholarship
At the ceremony, The Jim Moran Foundation presented Miami Central High School senior Rashard Johnson as the 2013 Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever. Each year, The Jim Moran Foundation, in partnership with Florida State University (FSU), recognizes a 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 award includes a needs-based, four-year scholarship to FSU with funding provided through The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at FSU. Caryn Beck-Dudley, dean of FSU’s College of Business, joined Tom Blanton, founding director and treasurer of The Jim Moran Foundation and a Miami Central High alumni, in presenting Rashard with the scholarship.
 
In middle school, Rashard realized he had a decision to make. He could either live beneath his potential or he could choose to work hard, achieve success and set an example for other kids. Growing up as one of seven children, Rashard finds motivation in his mother’s determination to provide for him and his family. He credits his basketball coach since the sixth grade for inspiring him to reach beyond life’s circumstances and, through the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, Rashard gives back by tutoring and mentoring younger students. Because he recognizes hard work is the key to success and always finishes what he starts, this star basketball player will graduate in the top two percent of his 2013 class with a 4.63 GPA. Rashard is now looking forward to his years in garnet and gold at FSU before launching his career as a professional sports agent.
 
About the 2013 Adult Honorees:
 
Arts & Culture: Dinizulu Gene Tinnie
An artist, author, educator and activist, Dinizulu Gene Tinnie uses his talent to preserve the heritage and culture of the African-American community in South Florida. Dinizulu moved to Miami in 1974 after earning a master’s degree in New York and studying linguistics and literature in France. He quickly became a prominent figure in the local art scene. Dinizulu’s paintings, sculptures and monument designs are influenced by his passion for historic preservation and social justice. His work on behalf of the freedom struggle in South Africa earned him the African name Dinizulu in memory of the great Zulu kings. Over the last 39 years, he has left his creative mark across South Florida. His art has been widely displayed at festivals, city beautification projects and in private collections, galleries, and museums, including the prestigious Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Most recently, Dinizulu was called upon to work on two local monuments, a Richmond Heights tribute to honor the pioneers of one of the country’s first planned black communities, and another for the African Cemetery Memorial in Key West, dedicated to remembering the 295 rescued African captives who were buried there in 1860. Through his art and activism, Dinizulu inspires his community to respect the past and understand how it shapes the future.
 
Business & Entrepreneurism: Albert and Bérénice Chauvet
Successful entrepreneurs Albert and Bérénice Chauvet built an international company by focusing on three principles: value, innovation and performance. Chauvet manufactures professional entertainment lighting for production, touring, DJ and corporate event markets, and has more than 100 full-time employees. The company has earned numerous industry awards, and Chauvet’s products are regularly used at high-profile concerts, well-known sports venues including Marlins Park and Sun Life Stadium, and iconic structures like the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Chauvet also strives to be environmentally conscious, producing the latest energy-saving fixtures and incorporating green enhancements at its corporate headquarters. Growing up in Haiti, both Albert and Bérénice learned the value of hard work and the importance of taking care of those around them. They treat every employee like family and are committed to remaining hands-on in the day-to-day operations of the company. Professional accomplishments are just one part of the couple’s achievements. Their generosity extends to the community as well. Albert and Bérénice are enthusiastic supporters of several non-profit organizations, including Food for the Poor and the Community Habilitation Center, which serves adults with developmental disabilities. Through their work, Albert and Bérénice strive to show that the American Dream is real – and achievable – regardless of your background.
 
Community Service: Newton B. Sanon
Newton Sanon has dedicated his career to helping underserved members of the community realize their potential for greatness. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Newton worked for the Minnesota Vikings and his hometown Miami Dolphins supporting football operations, which included serving as a youth advocate teaching life skills to inner-city children. In 2000, he became the project director for a Broward Community College program offering tutoring and mentoring to middle school students living in low-income housing developments. Under his leadership, students achieved measurable increases in their grade point averages and academic success. Today Newton is the president and CEO of Opportunities Industrialization Center of South Florida (OIC), an agency that provides job and life skills training and employment opportunities to disadvantaged residents with the goal of helping them become self-sufficient, productive members of the community. Newton works hard to promote OIC’s diverse programming, including job readiness for ex-offenders to re-acclimate to society, teen pregnancy prevention and health initiatives, substance abuse treatment and education, and vocational training. For its efforts, the White House Office of Faith and Community-based Initiatives recognized OIC with its “Honor of Hope” award in 2008. In his daily life, Newton strives to lead by example, provide encouragement to others and convey that everyone plays a part in lifting our community to new heights.
 
Education: Fedrick Ingram
Fedrick Ingram’s life has been influenced by his three passions: teaching, music and family. Fedrick was inspired to become an educator after his childhood teachers believed in his potential and laid the groundwork for his success. He also credits music for keeping him in school. Fedrick earned a degree in music education from Bethune-Cookman University, becoming the first member of his family to graduate from college. His commitment to teaching and helping build character in children led him to establish the Advanced Placement Music Theory program at two inner-city Miami schools. Over an eight-year period, more than 90 percent of the program’s students received higher-education music scholarships. For his work in the classroom, in 2006 Fedrick was recognized with the prestigious Francisco R. Walker Miami-Dade County Teacher of the Year Award. Today he serves as the secretary and treasurer of the United Teachers of Dade, the fourth largest teacher’s union in the country, and he will begin his term as president in May. His tireless work for academics has also inspired his mother to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Fedrick continues to be guided by his mission to ensure all children have an opportunity for a great education.
 
Independent Selection Committee

The 2013 honorees were selected by an independent panel of community leaders from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties that included former achievers. The selection committee reviewed nearly 300 nominations after an extensive public outreach campaign.

  • Rodney Baltimore, Radio Host at Hot 105 FM
  • Ramon A. Brayan, Account Executive at WPLG Local 10
  • Rick Christie, Public Affairs Editor at The Palm Beach Post
  • Lieutenant Nathaniel Lasseur, 2011 African-American Achiever and Operation Lieutenant for West Palm Beach First Rescue
  • Dinah Stephenson, 2011 African-American Achiever and co-founder of Dwight Stephenson Construction
  • Lu Welters, 2007 African-American Achiever and Director of the Jubilee Dance Studio
  • Levi Williams, 2006 African-American Achiever and Attorney at Law
 
Click here to download high-resolution photos with captions from the African-American Achievers awards ceremony and headshots of the 2013 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 an $11.5 billion diversified automotive company ranked No. 37 on Forbes’ list of “America’s Largest Private Companies.” JM Family is also currently ranked No. 32 by FORTUNE® as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” its 15th consecutive year on the list. Primary subsidiaries include: Southeast Toyota Distributors, World Omni Financial Corp., JM&A Group, 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., in addition to international offices in Mississauga, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec and São Paulo, Brazil. 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 $35 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.
 
Media Contacts:
Christie Caliendo
Christie.caliendo@jmfamily.com
Office: 954-363-6385
Cell: 954-873-9377
 
Sheba Munn
Sheba.munn@jmfamily.com
Office: 954-420-3279
Cell: 954-415-0893
 
 
 
Photo Captions:

 

Image 1: The 2013 African-American Achievers with JM Family President and CEO Colin Brown and Jan Moran, Chairman and President of The Jim Moran Foundation: (standing, L to R) Albert and Bérénice Chauvet (Business & Entrepreneurism honorees); Fedrick Ingram (Education honoree); Dinizulu Gene Tinnie (Arts & Culture honoree); (seated L to R) Rashard Johnson (Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever) and Newton B. Sanon (Community Service honoree).
 
Image 2:
2013 Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever Rashard Johnson with Caryn Beck-Dudley, dean of Florida State University’s College of Business, and Tom Blanton, founding director and treasurer of The Jim Moran Foundation.
 
Image 3: Youth Achiever Rashard Johnson (center) is joined by former Youth Achievers (L to R) Jason Green, Alycia LaFavor, Wondra Pittman, Kharian Burnett-Foster, Victoria Fleury, Kayla Sanders, Khenitha Reeves and Jermaine Bridges.
 
Image 4: Irv Kiffin, a member of The Jim Moran Foundation’s Board of Directors and a 1995 African-American Achiever, joins his father Irv Kiffin Sr. at the ceremony.
 
Image 5: Saxophonist and Dillard High School senior Markus Howell, pictured with JM Family President and CEO Colin Brown, played the National Anthem at the start of the awards ceremony.
 
Image 6: Fedrick Ingram, the 2013 African-American Achiever in the category of Education, celebrates with his family.
 
Image 7: Dinizulu Gene Tinnie, the 2013 honoree in the category of Arts & Culture, with Calvin Hughes, WPLG Local 10 evening news anchor.
 
Image 8: Newton Sanon, the 2013 honoree in the category of Community Service, with Calvin Hughes, WPLG Local 10 evening news anchor.
 
Image 9: Business & Entrepreneurism honorees Albert and Bérénice Chauvet.