Past Achiever Spotlight

William "DC" Clark

2010 Honoree — Business & Entreprenuerism

As an African American Achiever, the award is confirmation that I've heeded my calling and am doing what the Creator put me on this Earth to do. I consider myself a true humanist, someone who loves humanity, and treat all others as if they are a member of my own family--that is until they do something that would play themselves out of that status. I've always treated people as I would like to be treated, and that's a code I will continue to live by until my last breath.

I've won several awards for my service in the community over the years but none as prestigious as the JM Family African-American Achievers award. When looking at the list of previous winners, it reads like a "Who's Who" in the tri-county area. They all are stalwarts in their respective communities and I'm extremely honored to be among such a distinguish group.

Since winning the award, I've been working on trying to develop ways to elevate the status of perennial low-performing schools within the Miami-Dade County school system. I'm a member of the Educational Transformation Office task force that was put together to develop solutions to get these low-performing schools on par with those that are doing well. I also am a member of I.C.A.R.E. (Inner City Alumni for Responsible Education), which is a group of concerned alumni who have come together to develop methods, tactics and strategies to fight against the inequities and even the playing field where our schools are concerned. We recently fought and won against one of the country's media giants who attempted to televise a local match up of high school football powers without justly compensating them. We are currently working with the Superintendent to develop ways to protect the licensing and branding of all of schools within the Miami-Dade School system.

I've just recently returned from a trip to Tallahassee, where I was a guest of the United Teachers of Dade County, who traveled to the state capitol to fight against school closures and unjust practices as it relates to teachers salary and other similar issues. I was fortunate to address Governor Rick Scott in an open forum to let him know of the human consequences of his decisions as they relate to his proposal of turning public schools into charters for personal/business gains and slashing teachers' salary to fund other pet projects. On April 28, I will be honored for my Community Activism by the Business and Professional Women's Club of South Florida at the Country Club of Miami in Miami Shores. So, as you can see, I'm as busy as ever doing everything in my power to elevate my community by any means necessary.

Once again, I'm honored to apart of the JM family and I will always do my best to show the world that your selection of me was not in vain.

Sterling D. DuPont

1994 Honoree – Education

For over 38 years, Sterling D. DuPont held a variety of positions in the realm of education. He received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Florida A&M University, a Master's degree in Administration and Supervision from Florida Atlantic University, and completed additional graduate work at Nova University in Fort Lauderdale. DuPont held positions ranging from an elementary teacher, a middle school teacher, coach, middle school assistant principal, high school assistant principal, assistant to the area superintendent, middle school principal, resident principal for the state of Florida, educational consultant and District School Superintendent of Gadsden County, Florida.

After relocating to Fort Lauderdale, he became a middle school Social Studies teacher. For the next 28, years he served in a variety of positions for the Broward County School District. DuPont was appointed principal of one of the lowest performing middle schools (Rogers Middle) in Broward County. After three years of his leadership, the school began to receive recognition for its improvement efforts. It won several state and national recognition awards, including the National School of Excellence Award and the National Blue Ribbon School Award. For his hard work, DuPont received the Commissioner's Outstanding Leadership Award and the African American Educational Achievement Award.

In his role as Resident Principal for the Department of Education (DOE), DuPont was able to give his perspective as a principal to the Commissioner of Education. Serving as the liaison between school districts and the DOE, he created newsletters, represented the Commissioner, facilitated state meetings, conducted workshops, and acted as the link between principals' professional organizations, superintendents, and the DOE staff. He founded DuPont Educational Services Incorporated in 1997.

In 2000, DuPont was elected Superintendent of Gadsden County Schools where he used his leadership ability to improve the school system and give the students a brighter future. Even in retirement, Sterling DuPont continues to serve his community by volunteering and serving on numerous boards and committees.

Dr. M. Tina Dupree

1994 Honoree - Non-Profit

I remember the day when I got the call that I was to be honored as an African-American Achiever. To this day, I still display my distinguished award. Being one of those who received this honor from Jim Moran has left more than just a lasting impression. It has left the wonderful feeling of the handshake from this great and wonderful man. He later invited me to be a guest on the Gallant Lady yacht. Since that time, I have accomplished so much that it would take me writing another book.

So, I will name just a few:

1. I have been recognized for outstanding community service more than 500 times over the past 18 years. I have boxes and boxes stored up since I now work from my condo.

2. I was featured on billboards and the Metro Bus in a Success Campaign for Miami Dade College, where I teach as an Adjunct Professor, and I also teach at Florida Memorial University.

3.I have written 4 books and produced a public speaking instruction video.

4. Next month, I will be celebrating 22 years as the pastor of my church, where I have been a member since 1952.

5. Last year, I was so honored to be included in the AT&T 2011-12 African American History Calendar as the September Calendar Girl.

6. I was the featured speaker on Trinity Broadcasting Network and 10 million people watched. The video is available on my YouTube channel www.youtube.com/chickenlady109.

7. I now have been teaching and training progressive professionals to become Certified Professional Communicators for 20 years and have helped more than 100 of them get their books written and published. One was Dr. Mia Merritt, one of the wonderful African-American Achiever honorees last year, and Ann McNeill who nominated her. Both I have trained.

8. Co-host radio talk shows: 880thebiz, a Bloomberg Station; WMCU, 12 years as host; and 2 other stations.

9. Television host of my own show on Cable Tap, Speak for Success sponsored by Miami Dade College.

10. Owner of Motivational Training Center LLC, which provides professional speaking, corporate training, consulting, one-on-one coaching and other customized services for small and large businesses and the faith-based community.

11. Honored to have a visit in the Oval Office at the White House with President George W. Bush for a special discussion on reforming education. Only eight people were invited. I have pictures. www.motivationaltrainingcenter.com and www.thechickenlady.com

12. Grandmother of Olympian Tiffany Ross Williams, who is a two-time USA Champion in 400 hurdles.

13. Featured and on the cover of WE Magazine.

14. Clients listed on www.motivationaltrainingcenter.com. Some are: Burger King Corporate, ARAMARK, Bell South, MERCK, South Florida Minority Supplier Development Council ( 450 top corporations attended and this was my second time speaking for this group), and other businesses.

15. I have earned a Bachelor of Science degree, a Masters of Science degree, and a Doctorate degree.

Ashley Greene

2003 Honoree - Youth Achiever

We never know what the future holds for us or how an experience can change our lives forever. 2003 was no exception. In 2003, when I was honored as the African-American Youth Achiever, I could not have imagined the impact that experience would have on me. I was moved to have been recognized among other amazing individuals who selfishly give back to their communities. They inspire me to do more, be better and give back as much as I can every day. This is still true today.

Since being honored, I have graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Florida State University and received a Master of Science degree in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University. I currently live in Miami, Fla., and work for American Express as an operations analyst. During my free time, I volunteer with numerous organizations and causes that are dear to my heart. They include Relay for Life, Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund and American Heart Association, where I am a member of the team Nadine's Heartbeats, affectionately named after my sorority sister whom I have lost.

I am grateful to have had this opportunity and my goal is to uphold the standard of outstanding community service, and I hope that I can inspire other young men and women to go out and make a difference in their communities.

Linda Houston-Jones

1996 Honoree– Arts & Culture

Winning the African-American Achievers Award was one of the most memorable events in my life. Memorable because I did not feel to be honored for service given to others is to be celebrated but given out of joy. Since being recognized as an Achiever, I have been blessed to:

1. Serve as founding President of Ashanti Cultural Arts & Enrichment, Inc. for 22 Years

2. Recognized by ArtServe as Arts Administrator of The Year

3. Graduated Leadership Broward Class XXVI

4. Arts & Community Service Award Fort Lauderdale Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

5. Appointed to the Broward County Cultural Council

6. Community Service Award Fort Lauderdale Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

7. Established after-school cultural arts and literacy programs to youth in communities throughout Broward County

8. Serve on the Board of Directors for ArtServe, Inc.,

9. President of The North Broward County Chapter of The Links, Inc.

10. Community Service Award from the Crockett Foundation

Pastor Wayne Lomax

1995 Honoree–Non-profit

Being an African-American Achiever is a signature honor. It is a light that connects our mutual journeys of struggle and advancement. The vision of the late Jim Moran continues to ensure that the future is much brighter than the past.

Samuel F. Morrison

1997 Honoree – Government

One of the awards I cherish most deeply was my selection as a JM Family African-American Achiever in 1997, joining the outstanding Achievers who preceded me and those who came after. I believe that the success of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, from the fundraising efforts through the grand opening in 2002, (our 10th Anniversary this year!) may be fairly attributed to the Achiever Award for a variety of reasons.

In the last few years since my retirement in 2003, I have been elected to the Board of Trustees of Nova Southeastern University, appointed by Governor Christ in 2009 to The Children's Service Council, elected to the Board of Trustees of the Fort Lauderdale History Center, was recently honored by The Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, and I continue to support many community organizations involved in working to make Broward County a better place for all of us to live, work and enjoy.

Herbert (Proverb) Newsome Jr.

1997 Honoree — Arts & Culture

It was huge deal to receive the honor and have my family, friends, and co-workers join me at the celebration where I received the award. At the time, I was working in the juvenile justice system and at local Christian radio station, as well as being in a national recording artist. Since then I have been on a couple of mission trips, one to Beirut, Lebanon, and the other to Cambodia. In Cambodia, the team traveled all over the country and I had a chance to marry my music with the humanitarian relief that Musicianaries International brought to the region.

I have maintained a recording career (www.proverbnewsome.com ), as well as co-wrote a book called Midnight Run: A 40 Day Souljourn Down the Narrow Road.

I also work for an urban ministry in West Palm Beach called Urban Youth Impact (www.urbanyouthimpact.com ) as the program manager of their Leadership Academy.

I am now married to Pamela with 2 kids, Micah Gideon, 5, and Miles Parker, 2. We live and serve in West Palm Beach.

Tarra Pressey

2007 Honoree — Business & Entrepreneurism

Since 2007, Tarra Pressey has led Tarra Enterprises to new growth opportunities in the Miami and New York City markets. Her company, which provides branded retail stores and food and beverage concepts to airports, now operates a variety of shops in partnership with Hudson Group at Miami International Airport; Fashion Gallerie, featuring Hugo Boss and Lacoste; Tech On The Go, a proprietary concept offering cutting-edge electronic products; Indulgences, travelers' source of luxury bath and skin care products; and three Hudson News stands, providing travelers with reading materials, snacks and convenience items.

Tarra is also in final negotiations regarding another Hudson group partnership that will expand her organization into John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, which will involve two international brands and nine retail operations.

With these additions, Tarra Enterprises will be a partner at JFK, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Palm Beach, Atlantic City and Miami International Airports.

Tarra also continues to play a leadership role with Girls II Women, the nonprofit organization she helped establish in 1997 to help underserved girls in Riviera Beach, West Palm Beach and Belle Glade achieve their full personal and professional potential. President of the board of directors of Girls II Women until 2011, Tarra remains an active member of the board and stays involved in the organization's in-school and out-of-school activities. Notably since 2007, Girls II Women has provided mentorship opportunities, etiquette training, exposure to the performing arts and college tours to South Carolina, Georgia and other locations. (Please visit girlsiiwomen.com for the list of current programs.)

Another exciting achievement for Girls II Women was the establishment of A Taste IV the Future in 2010. Tarra and other members of the board began this annual event to raise awareness of, and funds for, Girls II Women. Local restaurants contribute food and beverages, and local businesses and organizations become involved as sponsors.

Leslie Riley

2000 Honoree - Youth Achiever

I attended Florida State University where I received mentorship and guidance from Drs. Melvin and Patricia Stith. Dr. Patricia Stith encouraged me to study abroad, so one summer I spent a month in London taking her class "People of Color in Western Europe". It was an interactive class, so we got to see a lot of the culture in London.  About 10 of us even took a weekend trip to Paris. That month in Europe was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and I was so blessed to experience it.

Throughout my college career, I served as an officer in several honor societies, school organizations, and at my local church's collegiate ministry while working part-time. I successfully graduated from FSU with a bachelor's degree in Accounting in December 2003 and a master's degree in Accounting with a major in Taxation in April of 2005.

After graduation, I moved back to Plantation and purchased a home down the street from my high school. I have been working in Tax and Accounting for almost 7 years now. I started my career in a "Big Four" accounting firm for 2 years, and I am currently working for a mid-size accounting firm in downtown Fort Lauderdale where I have been for almost 5 years. I became a licensed CPA in 2010.

In July of 2010, I married Sherwin Riley and we are now expecting our first child.  It's a boy!  

I must say that being awarded the Jerome Edmund Gray Scholarship definitely gave me the opportunity to start my adult life on the right foot. I am extremely blessed and grateful for all God has allowed me to achieve as an a result of JM Family's generosity, and I know the best is yet to come! A special thanks to Jan Moran and her late husband, Jim Moran, who I have very fond memories of.

My husband and I are looking forward to attending this 20th anniversary celebration on April 11th.

Peter and Retha Spann

1995 Honorees - Business

As recipients of this distinguished and most honorable award, it meant the world to the both of us after having served the Miami (Carol City) community. As we have reflected on our most humble beginnings we are indebted to our community and family for having allowed us to serve  for over 30 plus years. We are most gracious to have met the late Jim Moran and his wife Jan who we look forward to seeing each year and sharing our challenges and triumphs. As of October 2006, we both have retired from Spann's Citgo Gas & Grocery and embellished on the gratefulness of God's blessings. We spend our time involved more in our church (Antioch Missionary Baptist of Miami Gardens), with family and with our most precious daughter and only child "Delena" who resides in Chicago. 

Maude L. Storr

2005 Honoree – Arts & Culture

To have received the distinction of being honored as an African-American Achiever will always be remembered as a humbling experience and a challenge to continue my outreach and service to the community.

Since 2005, I have continued documenting and writing historical biographical data about local African Americans who have made a positive impact on the religious, social, civic, business, educational and family life in our local communities. One hundred of these biographies are being finalized for publication later this year. I have also continued to serve on the Executive Board of the Friends of the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center to help support its programs and projects related to presenting, promoting, and preserving African-American history and culture.

Tony Thompson

2006 Honoree – Arts & Culture

Since winning the JM Family African-American Achievers Award for Arts and Culture in 2006, I have continued working with and mentoring youth, but I have also written four new plays. My most noteworthy experience has been writing a full-length musical in 2010 entitled "Bravely We Sat Down, Fearlessly We Marched!" It is about the sit-ins by college and high school students in Greensboro, North Carolina (my home town) in the 1960s and its impact on the history of this nation. The musical was workshopped and mounted at the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center in 2011. I am now planning to do a production of "Bravely" in Greensboro as a fundraiser for college scholarships.

Runette L. Williams

1993 Honoree – Education

Mrs. Runette L. Williams is one of the founding members (1984) of the Broward Community Foundation now known as the Community Foundation of Broward, where she established the Ola L. and Runette L. Williams Scholarship Fund. The scholarship is presented annually to a graduating senior and alternates between Blanche Ely High School and Northeast High School – the two high schools where her husband worked. He was employed by the School Board of Broward County for 30 years. He retired in 1984. Nowadays, Runette delights in the company of her nieces, her goddaughter (Glenda W. Allen), her many friends, former students, and parents of former students. She resides in her same neighborhood and enjoys reading, traveling and going to the theater. She continues to volunteer but on a much more limited basis since her heart bypass surgery in 2006. Runette has a heart for service and helping others. Even after a stroke in May 2011, she is slowly but surely "creeping" back into the "service mode."

She continues to serve as: A Trustee Board member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church Chairperson, M.C.B.C. Scholarship Committee Chairperson, M.C.B.C. Women Ministry's Annual Prayer Breakfast Parliamentarian, Pompano Beach Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Chairperson, Kiwanis Club of Pompano Beach – Westside, Young Children, Priority One Committee

Since being named an African-American Achiever, Mrs. Williams has received many awards and recognitions including: Hopewell Baptist Church "Silent Hero" Award 1997 Bethel A.M.E Church "Community Trailblazer" 2000 Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity's Citizen of the Year 2000 honoree City of Pompano Beach Parks and Recreation Department "A Salute to Greatness" 2003 honoree New Life Alpha Omega Ministries, Inc. Community Involvement Award 2008 Named Pioneer of Broward County by the Pompano Beach Historical Society, Broward County Commissioners, and the Broward County Historical Commission – October 11, 2008 Honored by the North Broward County chapter of The Links, Inc., Senior Community Service Award – April 14, 2011