Community Advocate Al Tucker’s passing leaves BIG SHOES to fill, creating     a void throughout the community

Charles Moseley

By Charles Moseley

      The mark of a true leader is one who leads by example, a person who not only talks the talk, but more importantly, walks the walk. Al Tucker by any definition personified what it means to be a leader. South Florida must now come to grips with his sudden recent passing, at a time when he will be gravely missed. His lost will clearly be most felt.

Albert A. Tucker may have been a native New Yorker, but when he arrived in Fort Lauderdale several decades ago, he quickly embraced the city as his home, making a difference in the community throughout the years. His untimely demise sent shockwaves throughout South Florida while grappling under the weight of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Tucker touched the lives of thousands of South Floridians, many of whom were unaware that he was responsible for improving lives. Tucker shunned the spotlight, choosing rather to fulfill his calling to serve, under the radar from behind the scenes.

“Albert (Al) Tucker was the face of Bro-ward County’s Convention Visitor’s Bureau – Cultural and Diversity Tourism department. He served as Vice-President and excelled in his profession. Al served with integrity, professionalism and honesty. He developed friendships with almost everyone he encountered. As Mayor of Broward County, I am honored to have served with Al. We developed a strong professional relationship and a great friendship. He will be missed by his family, his friends, his coworkers, and certainly Broward County’s government,” commented Broward County Mayor Dale Holness.

Whether he was working in his official capacity as the Vice-President of Multi-Cultural Tourism for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Visitor’s Bureau, serving as a board member for the Urban League of Broward, member of the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale, he always used his position to up-lift others and improve his community.

Kathy Eggelletion, Managing Partner Avenue Executive and Founding Director of the Women of Color Empowerment Institute, witnessed firsthand Tucker’s impact locally over the years.

“Mr. Tucker has been so important in supporting our vision to grow the South Florida Women of Color Empowerment Conference into an annual destination event hosting professional women leader from across the nation. He also has been a catalyst in the efforts to strengthen and brand the historic and cultural sites which are gems of the Sistrunk community.

Al is like our very own town crier of multicultural tourism: he not only has a phenomenal success rate in courting travelers with money to spend to our county, he is relentless about educating the community and including local minority businesses in opportunities to service the visitor economy,’’ said Eggelletion.

Beginning in October 2000, Albert Tucker served as Vice President of Multicultural Business Development for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB), where he focused on ensuring that organizations and families of diverse backgrounds select Greater Fort Lauderdale as the destination of choice for conferences and family reunions. It is Tucker’s vision to expose ethnically diverse individuals and groups to Greater Fort Lauderdale so that Greater Fort Lauderdale became the destination of choice for individuals of color.

He served as the Executive Director of the American Tennis Association, the oldest African American sports organization in the country from 1994 to 1998.

Before relocating to Fort Lauderdale in 1996, he served as the Director of Programs for the Washington Tennis Foundation where he was responsible for managing the Legg Mason Tennis Classic now known as the Citi Open.

After his tenure with the ATA, he formed Unity Event Management, a destination management company specializing in sporting venues, conventions and conferences.

He was an avid tennis player and bowler.  He was a dedicated father and grandfather.

Over the past several years Greater Fort Lauderdale has been a magnet for Family reunions, where that segment of the market increased by more than 45%.  Group business expanded in a major way and over the past several years the destination has hosted national organizations such as the Kappa Alpha PSI Fraternity Province, the Airport  Minority Advisory Council (AMAC), the National Urban League (NUL) and the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), just to name a few.

He also spearheaded the arrival of conferences by The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the National Newspaper Publishers Association(NNPA, the Black Press of America), the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) Southern Regional Conference and the 100 Black Men of America.

“Brother Al Tucker was a great friend and mentor. His passion for creating new opportunities for Greater Fort Lauderdale was unmatched, including opportunities for our youth. It is no question that the 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale was blessed by his leadership and Brother Al Tucker will forever be revered as one of our founding leaders,” said Dennis Wright, 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale, President Emeritus.

In addition to his public service, Tucker served on the Advisory Board of the Urban League of Broward County, Advisory Board of the 100 Black Men of Grater Fort Lauderdale and was intimately involved with the expansion of Jazz in the Gardens musical festival, which brings in more than 45,000 visitors to South Florida.

Tucker always made those around him feel that they mattered. His trademark smile rarely escaped notice by his peers.

“Al Tucker’s smile always filled the Urban League’s board room as he served as a director for 10 years – giving unselfishly of his time, talent and treasure.  As we brainstormed ways to uplift the community, we would chide each other about being unapologetically Black.  Al was a great friend, mentor, comrade in this fight for justice and recognition of diversity in the community.  We were both members of each other’s personal and professional fan club.  Without Al’s tireless advocacy, the Urban League of Broward County and the City of Fort Lauderdale would not have been selected to be the 2015 host of the National Urban League conference. The success of the 2015 NUL Conference was a moonshot for the Urban League of Broward County,” recalled Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, CEO Urban League of Broward.

“Tucker made you feel proud that you are Black and in business. He allowed you to shine on a national level and when your organizations came to town, he put you up front and center. He gave you the best with his trademark infectious smile.” Bobby R. Henry, Sr., Publisher Westside Gazette.

His surviving family include: wife, Caroline; children- Taryn Tucker, William Tucker, Kendra Tucker, Alexis Williams, Julien Henderson; grandchildren – Dominique Lynch, Taryn Tucker, Kennedy Williams, Ethan Williams, Maison Henderson; sisters- Darlene Greenidge, Brenda Harris and several nieces and nephews.

 

Arrangements

     Thursday, April 23, 2020. Viewing from 5 to 8 p.m. at McWhite’s Funeral Home, 3501 West Broward Blvd Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Only 10 people allowed in at a time and must wear a mask.

     Funeral service Friday, April 24, 2020 beginning at 10 a.m. at McWhite’s Funeral Home 3501 West Broward Blvd Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 

     Due to the coronavirus mandates, only 50 people are allowed. Regrettably, this is by invitation only; however, it will be lived streamed starting at 9:45 am. 

About Carma Henry 20527 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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