DEERFIELD BEACH — A man-and-wife team who have built a business that hires some 100 people have been picked as achievers in an annual recognition of some of the best African Americans in South Florida.
Albert and Bérénice Chauvet, who own the Sunrise-based entertainment lighting company Chavet, will join artist Dinizulu Gene Tinnie of North Miami-Dade County, Newton B. Sanon, president/CEO of Broward-based Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC) of South Florida, and educator and union activist Fedrick Ingram on stage for the presentation of the 2013 African-American Achievers awards April 18.
JM Family Enterprises Inc. presents the awards in recognition of honorees selected for their efforts to improve the quality of life in their communities.
They were selected from among nearly 300 nominations submitted for the 21st edition of the event, according to a JM Family Enterprises statement. JM Family and subsidiaries Southeast Toyota and JM Lexus will donate $10,000 to the charity of each honoree’s choice, taking the overall total so far to more than $320,000.
“Our late founder Jim Moran established the African-American Achievers awards to celebrate individuals who go above and beyond to make a difference in the community and inspire future generations,” Colin Brown, president and CEO of JM Family Enterprises Inc., said in the statement. “Our 2013 Achievers exemplify the role models Mr. Moran wanted to recognize, and we are proud to carry on his vision.”
The winner of the Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever award, presented by The Jim Moran Foundation Inc., will be announced at the ceremony.
The needs-based, four-year scholarship to Florida State University is funded through The Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at FSU and is named in memory of the late 1995 African-American Achiever, attorney Jerome Edmund Gray.
Each achiever has a compelling success story.
The Chauvets, who have been tapped for the Business & Entrepreneurism award, own a company that manufactures entertainment lighting fixtures. It started in 1990 when Haiti-born Albert Chauvet purchased a rope lighting company and ran a one-man operation from a warehouse in North Miami Beach. He outgrew the space and moved first to Hollywood and then to Sunrise, according to the company’s profile on the Internet.
The company broke ground last Nov. 15 for a 65,000-square-foot building on 3.69 acres at 5200 N.W. 108th Ave., Sunrise.
The company makes professional entertainment lighting for the production, touring, DJ and corporate event markets. Its products are 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.
Tinnie, who is being honored in Arts & Culture, uses his talent as an artist and educator to preserve the heritage and culture of the African-American community.
He moved to Miami in 1974 after earning a master’s degree in New York and studying linguistics and literature in France. His paintings, sculpture and monument designs are influenced by a passion for historic preservation and social justice.
Tinnie’s work on behalf of the freedom struggle in South Africa earned him the African name Dinizulu in memory of the great Zulu kings. His 39-year body of work 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, D.C.
Most recently, Tinnnie‘s efforts have centered on a Richmond Heights tribute to honor the pioneers of one of the country’s first planned black communities and the African Cemetery Memorial in Key West dedicated to the memory of 295 rescued African captives who were buried there in 1860.
Sanon, a Miami native, who has dedicated his life to helping the poor to realize their potential for greatness, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He worked for the Minnesota Vikings and the Miami Dolphins in support of football operations including as a youth advocate teaching life skills to inner-city children.
In 2000, Sanon became project director for a Broward College program offering tutoring and mentoring to middle school students living in low-income housing developments. As head of the OIC, he leads an agency that provides job and life skills training and employment opportunities to disadvantaged residents.
Ingram earned a music education degree from Bethune-Cookman University, the first member of his family to graduate from college. He established the Advanced Placement Music Theory program at two inner-city Miami schools. In 2006, Ingram received the Francisco R. Walker Miami-Dade County Teacher of the Year Award. He is currently secretary/treasurer of the United Teachers of Dade and in May he will take over as president.