ICABA community leaders and entrepreneurs event emphasizes service to others
Horace Hord, Jerome Hutchinson with Germaine Smith-Baugh, Community Leader of the Year.
Submitted by Zachary Rinkins
MIAMI SHORES, FL — Great networking, exposure and achievement create the cornerstones of personal and professional success. Those vital ingredients are always in the mix at every ICABA signature recognition event.
This year’s ICABA Honors South Florida’s Most Accomplished Black Community Leaders and Entrepreneurs showcase was no different. ICABA along with more than 400 supporters recently celebrated the contributions of 100 community leaders and entrepreneurs at South Florida’s premiere networking and recognition event. The affair occurred at Nova Southeastern University’s Davie Campus at the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship. The honorees placed a major emphasis on service to others.
“None of us are an island unto ourselves. We must all reach back and serve others. Get off your butt and help someone else,” charged Al Dotson, Sr., chairman emeritus of the FIU Board of Trustees and ICABA Icon Community Leader.
Fellow ICABA icon John W. Ruffin, Jr., a noted entrepreneur and community advocate also chimed in on service.
“I am grateful to the South Florida community for embracing my family and my business. But, beyond my business successes, I am extremely proud of our contributions to the community,” Ruffin said.
ICABA identified the honorees through public nominations, advisory board recommendations and editorial research. At this empowering forum, ICABA unveiled its inaugural Community Leader and Entrepreneur of the Year recipients, each selected by the public through an online vote.
Community Leader of the Year
“Promotion does not come from the east or the west. It comes when God rises up. To whom much is given, much is required,” declared Germaine Smith-Baugh, president and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County, upon receiving the ICABA’s first Com-munity Leader of the Year ho-nor. “Make sure that whatever you do in 2013, be impactful. We can’t take our excellence with us. We must share it.”
Entrepreneur of the Year
Felicia Hatcher, ICABA’s very first Entrepreneur of the Year, is the co-founder of Feverish Gourmet Popsicles and Ice Cream, a desert café’ and ice cream manufacturing business in Midtown. Hatcher also encouraged the audience to remember to serve others.
“We weren’t supposed to be here. But, I thank my parents for supporting us. My husband (Derick Pearson) and I founded our community with a commitment to fight youth unemployment in South Florida and throughout the nation,” she said.
The burgeoning business owner made a special plea promoting economic advancement through increased technological skill sets.
“We can literally change the world with our laptops. Techno-logy can be our ticket out of poverty, just like football and singing are for some people,” she continued, to thunderous applause.
ICABA commemorated the success and contributions of each honoree in a full-color, interactive DVD and digital publication that is available online at www.icabaworld.com. The publication includes forewords by Bill Diggs, president and CEO of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and Patrick Franklin, president and CEO of the Urban League of West Palm Beach. Noted honorees include U.S Representative Frederica Wilson; U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings; Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert; Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief; noted real estate mogul R. Donahue Peebles; entrepreneur and former athlete Dwight Stephenson, among other distinguished individuals.
Jerome Hutchinson, Jr., ICABA president and CEO, applauded the contributions of the honorees, “We were inspired by quality of their service and that lead us to showcase the contributions of those who both serve selflessly and create economic opportunities for our community.”
The group enables opportunities to identify and engage Black professionals through its publications, website, social media platforms and signature events.