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SourceOne Partners Sponsors Florida Minority Business Development Event

DATE: June 18, 2014

South FloridaPEO broker firmSourceOne Partners sponsored a May 7 event hosted by Florida Minority Business Development at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale. The Second Annual Florida Minority Business Development Awards Dinner featured keynote speaker Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief. Mayor Sharief's speech was followed by the awards ceremony recognizing outstanding members of the community who support the growth and development of the minority business community in South Florida.

Florida Minority Business Development is an organization that was created to support small business owners and assist them on a range of issues concerning starting a small business, such as regulation compliance, finances, and employee concerns. The Board of Directors for Florida Minority Business Development includes: Emmanuel N. Okwor, President / CEO; Novia Bent, Board Chairperson; and board members Jonathan Aldred, Delroy Thomlinson, and Marcia Nelson.

The May 7 event was organized to support, promote, and engage the local minority business community, with a specific focus on why team building is essential to business development today. In addition to Mayor Sharief, Dr. Michael W. Gaffney, Professor at Nova Southeastern University, spoke to the group. Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by Les Jazz Band.

Jeff Hecht, President of SourceOne Partners, said, "We are excited to be a part of this burgeoning organization, and we look forward to a fruitful year, as well as next year's anniversary awards dinner." SourceOne Partners provides services to businesses that help reduce administrative burdens on payroll and human resources departments, including basic payroll and HR functions, and services that help companies contain health insurance and workers' compensation costs.

SourceOne Partners offers its expertise in how to grow a small business by providing essential business services that can be too burdensome for a growing business to take care of in-house and is a strong supporter of growth in the minority business community in South Florida. By relieving growing businesses of the administrative burdens involved in distributing payroll and employee benefits, SourceOne Partners allows companies to focus on their core business objectives.


Mayor Barbara Sharief is an AARLCC Culture Keeper

By Steve Vinik

DATE: June 12, 2014

BROWARD COUNTY, FL – On Monday, June 23, 2014, Broward County’s Mayor Barbara Sharief will be the second “African-American Culture Keeper” to be honored by the African-American Research Library and Cultural Center (AARLCC). A reception will be held at 5 p.m. followed by a moderated program from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The first Culture Keeper honoree was W. George Allen, Esq., a pioneer in Florida civil rights.

According to AARLCC’s Pearl Woolridge, a Culture Keeper is “someone who has made significant contributions to the community in such areas as education, religion or politics.” Ms. Woolridge is coordinating the Culture Keeper programs and arranging for the programs to be video-recorded, a copy to be kept in the archives of the library to be shared with future generations. Moderating the program is Dr. Tameka Hobbs, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History at Florida Memorial University. She will be guiding Mayor Sharief’s responses and giving the audience an opportunity to ask questions. Barbara Sharief, M.S.N., A.R.N.P. is the Broward County Commissioner assigned to District 8 in southern Broward County, along with being the County Mayor. She has a Master’s of Science in Nursing and an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Degree from Florida International University. In 2001, she created South Florida Pediatric Homecare Inc. to provide care for medically complex children and adults in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. She is a native of South Florida and comes from a family of 10. Sharief was raised in the public school system in Miami-Dade and Broward. She graduated from Jackson Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1992 as one of the youngest persons to have passed Florida’s RN boards. In 2000 she obtained a Master’s of Science in Nursing and an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Degree from Florida International University.

She has over 19 years of experience in the specialized field of issues pertaining to medically complex children. During her career she worked for the Jackson Memorial Health Care system and several other hospitals. She also worked for several national home health agencies as an Administrator and Director of Nursing.

In 2001, Barbara created the South Florida Pediatric Homecare Inc. The company is considered one of the top home health care agencies in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties for care of medically complex children and adults. In 2009, Barbara was elected to the Miramar City Commission, where she served as Vice-Mayor in 2010. In November 2010, she was elected to the Broward County Commission District 8 seat. She was selected to serve as Chair of the Health and Human Services Policy Committee for the Florida Association of Counties and is a board member of the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Homeless Initiative Partnership, and the Value Adjustment Board of Broward County.

On Nov. 19, 2013, Barbara became the first African American female mayor of Broward County and is currently pursuing her Nurse Practitioner Doctorate degree.

The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center is located at 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311. Call the Welcome Desk at (954) 357-6210.


Legacy South Florida Magazine unveils its listing of the 50 Most Powerful Black Professionals in Business and Industry

Contact: LaTiesha Riveria, Legacy Broward Magazine

DATE: April 28, 2014

Hollywood, Florida- For the tenth year, Legacy South Florida magazine is pleased to unveil its annual distinguished listing of South Florida's “50 Most Powerful Black Professionals in Business and Industry for 2014.” These honorees were nominated by the community at large, then carefully vetted and selected by a highly accomplished selection committee comprised of former honorees and business and civic leaders from South Florida.

"At Legacy South Florida, we pride ourselves in showcasing the best and brightest stars in our community. Their accomplishments inspire us and their commitment to serving others is the cornerstone of their power," said Publisher Dexter Bridgeman.

The publication recognized Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief as its Public Official of the Year; Brown Forman executive Eric Gudger as the Corporate Executive of the Year; McWhite Funeral Home owner Albert R. McWhite as the Entrepreneur of the Year; Attorney Reginald Mathis as its Trail Blazer of the Year; Community champions and real estate moguls Milton and Barbara Jones as the Legacy Award recipients; the noted Urban League of Broward County as the Community Organization of the Year; Betty's Soul Food Restaurant as the Small Business of the Year, and JM Family Enterprises, Inc as the Corporation of the Year.

This year’s stellar group of honorees is impressive. They range from several corporate directors, community leaders, several of South Florida’s top attorneys, public officials and several successful entrepreneurs.

Legacy South Florida will be published on Monday, April 28, 2014 and will be distributed in the Business section of Sun Sentinel. More than 150,000 copies will be circulated throughout South Florida.

For more information on Legacy South Florida magazine and its honorees, please contact LaTiesha Riveria at 305-761-7661 or LR@MIAMediaGRP.com.


FedEx donates plane to FLL for emergency training Boeing 727 touches down at FLL after final flight

Author: Liane Morejon, Reporter

DATE: Apr 02 2014 01:46:04 PM EDT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Boeing 727 made its final flight Wednesday after nearly 40 years of service.

The airplane was donated to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport by FedEx so that emergency personnel can train on a real aircraft rather than a simulator.

This is the 79th cargo plane to be donated by FedEx since the 1990s.

As the plane touched down, it was greeted with a traditional water salute. The pilot also greeted the crowd with a friendly wave.

The plane is named "Stephanie" after the now-grown daughter of a FedEx employee.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief honored FedEx with a proclamation for providing the county with a valuable tool.

Copyright 2014 by Local10.com. All rights reserved.


Broward Mayor Delivers State of the County at Broward Workshop Sixth Annual Business Forum

DATE: March 21, 2014

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla - Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief delivered a State of the County address at the Sixth Annual “State of Our County” Forum sponsored by the Broward Workshop this morning.

The Mayor stated that Broward’s economy was “very good” adding that unemployment was at a low 5.3%. “Much of that has been spurred by county construction projects at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, Port Everglades, and the new County Courthouse that has literally changed the skyline of the downtown area. The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau is also on a roll as a record number of visitors come to our area.”

The Broward Workshop hosts "The State of Our County" forum annually to address current and future issues related to Broward County business. This year, the event was attended by approximately 900 business and civic leaders and elected officials from across South Florida.

“We must be cognizant that Broward County is a working government, overseeing a $4 billion dollar company that creates jobs for people and provides necessary services for our nearly 1.8 million residents,” Mayor Sharief told the audience. “The Broward Commission is keenly aware that we don’t achieve success alone. It takes a strong partnership that includes the Broward Workshop, our 31 cities, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, our business communities, Chambers of Commerce, educational institutions and the spirit of our residents to make this great county what it is today. Together we are a major player in international trade and entrepreneurship. The development and resilience of our business community makes us unique and desirable nationally and internationally.”

Featured speakers included former Florida Governor Jeb Bush who spoke about the national economy, education reform, and immigration policy.

The Broward Workshop is a private, non-profit, non-partisan business organization established in 1981, consisting of the chief decision makers representing 100 of Broward County's major businesses and professions.

For more information on the Sixth Annual Broward Workshop State of Our County Forum, visit browardworkshop.com.


Broward Mayor Begins Assist & Achieve "150 in 1 Year" Small Business Program Broward Means Business Initiative Offers Opportunities for Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

DATE: March 20, 2014

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Students hoping to launch their own small businesses will find an experienced teacher in the classroom on Friday, March 21 as Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief takes part in the "Assist & Achieve 150 in 1 Year” Small Business Subsidized Program. The initiative aims to equip 150 entrepreneurs with resources during their first year start-up phase and mentoring through the course of their first five years in business.

The program includes Incorporation Services, Business and Marketing Planning, Credit Repair Assistance, Bookkeeping Assistance, Logo Design, Stationary Design, Printed Material, Website Design, Social Media and Marketing Launches and is being offered in collaboration with AvanzeCorp, Inc., a Hispanic owned business based in Miramar. The classes are being taught in English and Spanish at the Ana G. Mendez University campus in Miramar.

"As a business owner it is my intent to pass this knowledge on to others to promote economic advancement and growth of the small business community in my district and throughout Broward County,” said Mayor Sharief. “This is one of several programs available to assist small business owners.”

In November, Mayor Sharief launched the Broward Means Business initiative to focus on small businesses and Broward County programs designed to help. “Broward County has long been an advocate of small business. Our focus this year will be to build upon our successes with small business mentoring programs, loan programs and technical assistance,” said Mayor Sharief.

Earlier this month the Broward Means Business initiative began a series of business loan seminars designed to increase awareness about the State of Florida’s loan programs for the benefit of small businesses. These free seminars are conducted by subject matter experts throughout Broward County.

The Business Loan Seminar series is presented by Mayor Sharief and the Office of Economic and Small Business Development in conjunction with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Enterprise Florida and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC).


"Broward Means Business" Initiative Offers Free Loan Seminars South Florida businesses encouraged to learn about financing opportunities

DATE: March 13, 2014

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief is proud to announce the Business Loan Seminar Series. This is a primary component of the Mayor’s “Broward Means Business” initiative and is designed to increase awareness about the State of Florida’s loan programs for the benefit of small businesses. There will be six free seminars conducted by subject matter experts throughout Broward County beginning Saturday, March 15, 10:30 a.m., at the Northwest Regional Library, 3151 University Drive in Coral Springs. (See complete schedule with dates, times and locations below.)

“I want to make sure that every opportunity is given to businesses to be informed and given the tools necessary to qualify for loans or grants under the program,” said Mayor Sharief. “The Broward Means Business initiative includes educational programs. These free seminars will empower business owners and operators to get their share of these funds.”

Attendees can expect to leave the seminar with a working knowledge of Florida’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) , including an overview of the two primary programs – Florida Venture Capital Program and the Small Business Loan Support Program. The Florida Venture Capital Program targets emerging companies in the state with long-term growth potential. The Small Business Loan Support Program provides small businesses with tools to access commercial banks and export financing.

Created as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the SSBCI was designed by the federal government to help states strengthen existing loan and equity programs and/or create new programs that support financing small businesses. Florida was allocated more than $97.6 million by the U.S. Department of Treasury to implement the SSBCI. States can use these funds for programs that leverage private lending to creditworthy small businesses to expand and create jobs.

The Business Loan Seminar series is presented by Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief and the Office of Economic and Small Business Development in conjunction with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Enterprise Florida and Florida First Capital Finance Corporation (FFCFC). For more information, call Mayor Sharief’s office at 954-357-7008.


Six Pillars group making progess on goals

By Marcia Heroux Pounds, Sun Sentinel

DATE: February 22, 2014

In the fall of 2012, Broward County became an official "Six Pillars" community, setting out a growth strategy for the next two decades as the county's population of 1.8 million is expected to grow further.

On Friday, Broward leaders reported the community has addressed 40 percent of the nearly 400 goals in its first year.

The results "exceeded my expectations," said Bob Swindell, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Broward's economic development group.

More than 300 community members are involved in the project, part of a statewide effort to focus on six "pillars" that experts say lead to a sustainable economy. They include talent supply and education, innovation and leadership, infrastructure, business climate, governance and quality of life.

Mayor Barbara Sharief said the most important goal was job creation, pointing out that Broward's 5 percent unemployment rate is the lowest in South Florida and among the lowest in the state. She said making loans and resources available to small businesses is critical to driving unemployment even lower.

"We're going to give small businesses the tools they need to be successful," she said.

Lori Chevy, co-chair of Six Pillars Broward and Broward market president for Bank of America, reported that the county ranked high on several items: residents 25 and older getting bachelor's degrees, on 8th grade math and reading performance, land conservation and water consumption, per capita income and persons below the poverty line.

Photos: Things to do before it gets too hot

But improvement is needed, she said, in other areas, such as the percentage of residents who have a bachelor's degree in science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — fields; charitable giving; voter turnout and the uninsured as a percentage of the population.

J. David Armstrong Jr., president of Broward College and co-chairman of Six Pillars, said Broward College is adding new degrees in information technology and for medical jobs such as clinical laboratory technician. But those fields require more intense study in science, math and engineering, which some students resist, he said.

"We're working to interest students in those areas," he said.

Mason Jackson, president of CareerSource Broward, the county's employment agency, said the Six Pillars' goals to improve the county are important to attracting and retaining jobs.

"You have to have a place that has a quality of life. If you want people to stay here, you have to have a place that's both fun and interesting," he said.

Greg Stuart, executive director of the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization, said streets will be made safer for pedestrians and cyclists through $100 million in construction over the next five years, he said. Plans call for more bicycle lanes and wider sidewalks.

But cities can also make great improvements that aren't necessarily expensive, said Peter Kageyama, author of For the Love of Cities and the speaker for the event. But those changes should be "fun," he said.

Locally, he pointed to Chad Scott, a Re/Max real estate agent in Fort Lauderdale, who is developing a community garden. Scott has raised $86,000 — halfway to his goal — to turn a vacant lot into Flagler Community Garden, where people can grow plants for food.

"I've lived here all my life. I didn't want to move to another city, but to make amenities happen here," Scott said.

For information, go to sixpillarsbroward.org. Palm Beach County identified its Six Pillar strategies in 2011. For information, see economiccouncilpbc.org.

Copyright © 2014, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


Women Recognized by Chamber

By South Florida Times Staff Report

DATE: Thursday, 20 February 2014

Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce honored 10 women Feb. 7 at its first Women of Distinction Breakfast. The women were lauded for their professional achievements and community contributions.

The honorees included: State Rep. Hazelle Rogers; Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief; Lauderhill Vice Mayor Margaret Bates; Broward County Judge, Hon. Ilona Holmes; Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Dr. Brenda Snipes; Broward County School Board Member, Dr. Rosalind Osgood; president and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County, Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh; Jamaica National Building Society’s Chief Representative Officer Janice McIntosh; Broward Sheriff’s Office Cpt. Audrey Jones, head of the Civil Division; Lauderhill Police Department Maj. Constance Stanley and the Office of Economic and Small Business Development’s Community Relations and Outreach Manager Jasmine Jones. The Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that supports the growth of area businesses and improves the quality of life through responsible, sustained leadership on community and regional issues of relevance to chamber members.


African-American Achievers announced

By Doreen Hemlock

DATE: February 19, 2014

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief is among four winners of the 2014 African-American Achievers awards for South Florida, Deerfield Beach-based auto group JM Family Enterprises revealed Tuesday.

Sharief won in the business and entrepreneurism category for starting and developing home health care company South Florida Pediatric Home Care Inc., which employs more than 600 people.

Also honored:

For arts and culture, Marshall Davis, who ran the African Cultural Heritage Arts Center in Miami.

For community service: Estella Pyfrom of Palm Beach County, who runs a mobile learning center for low-income children.

For education, James F. Griffin II, an innovative teacher and school principal in Broward County.

JM Family will provide $10,000 to the charity of their choice for each honoree. The four will be recognized in an event April 9 starting at 6:15 p.m. at the Broward County Convention Center.

Copyright © 2014, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


Mayor Barbara Sharief Honored at Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce First Annual "Women of Distinction" Breakfast

DATE: February 3, 2014

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. - Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief is among the 10 extraordinary women who will be recognized at the the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce First Women of Distinction Breakfast, scheduled for Friday, February 7, at 7:30 a.m.at The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel – Sawgrass Mills.

In addition to Mayor Sharief, honorees include: Florida State Representative, Hazelle Rogers; City of Lauderhill Vice Mayor, Margaret Bates; Broward County Judge, Hon. Ilona Holmes; Broward County Supervisor of Elections, Brenda Snipes; Broward County School Board Member, District 5, Dr. Rosalind Osgood; President and CEO of the Urban League of Broward County, Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh; Jamaica National Building Society’s Chief Representative Officer, Janice McIntosh; Lauderhill Police Department’s Major, Constance Stanley; Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development’s, Community Relations and Outreach Manager, Jasmine Jones; and Broward County Sheriff Department’s Captain, Audrey Jones.

“These are amazing women at the top of their careers who have served the community well and touched many lives through their work,” said president of the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce, Maria Munro. “We created this award because we believe in women and their ability to contribute to the economy,” she added.

During the event, one of the ten Women of Distinction will be named Woman of the Year.

"As Broward County Mayor, I began the 'Broward Means Business' initiative this year to recognize local businesses who contibute so much to our economic strength in terms of jobs and revenue. Broward is also introducing a number of business education classes to assist people who want to start a business or grow their current company. It is an honor to be recognized by the Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce for the professional accomplishments that all of the honorees this year have achieved. We work day in and day out to serve our community in a variety of careers," said Mayor Sharief.

The Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization that exists to support the growth of area businesses, help to attract and establish new businesses and foster a healthy and inclusive business environment. Moreover, we improve quality of life through responsible, sustained leadership on community and regional issues of relevance to our members. We offer our members many resources and opportunities for business growth.

For more information on business assistance programs, visit Broward County's Office of Economic and Small Business Development.

For more information about the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce and the First Women of Distinction Breakfast , visit online at www.lauderhillcc.com or call 954-318-6118.


Mayor Sharief's MLK Day speech

By Brittany Wallman

DATE: 12:02 p.m. EST, January 21, 2014

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief's speech at the Sunrise Civic Center on Sunday wowed the audience, according to our report in the Sun Sentinel.

Sharief is the county's first female African-American mayor, and she was speaking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

According to our reporter, Anne Geggis: Lauderhill resident Eddy Remy, one of hundreds who came to Sunday's event, said he was awestruck by Sharief's delivery and wanted a copy of her speech.

Well, here it is:

Speech Given at The Defending the Dream 50 years later Celebration in Sunrise on January 19th 2014 by:

Mayor Barbara Sharief Broward County Commissioner District 8

Fifty years ago 250,000 people converged on the National Mall for a March on Washington. It became the beginning of a new era. An era full of hope and opportunity for an oppressed people.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a national hero whose birthday the country commemorates tomorrow but many are unaware of the vast body of his work. Though he wrote five books and delivered up to 450 speeches and sermons a year, he is world renown for one speech and one letter. He was a master with words and a literary genius. He was able to use real world experiences and translate it to a level of understanding that reached the depth of every person’s soul.

In a speech he delivered in New York he opposed the Vietnam War when others were supportive of it. He was a man that was not impressed with people being impressed with him but wanted to move his people in a direction of independent thinking and freedom to say and feel whatever it was that the moment brought to them. He was unafraid and uninhibited and in his speech he said words that ring true even today. He gave his life defending our liberties and we shall never take them for granted.

The title was called: 'A Time to Break the Silence'

Sermon delivered at Riverside Church in New York on April 4, 1967

“Money that should have been spent on Johnson's War on Poverty was being lost in Vietnam's killing fields. He said, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

"We are taking the black young men who had been crippled by our society and sending them 8,000 miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in Southwest Georgia and East Harlem. So we have been repeatedly faced with the cruel irony of watching Negro and white boys on TV screens as they kill and die together for a nation that has been unable to seat them together in the same schools."

The speech really expressed Dr. King’s belief that racism, economic exploitation and war were all connected as "triple evils." He was assassinated 1 year after he gave that speech.

Dr. King paved the way for so many of us here in this audience today. We have a number of firsts this past year. We are celebrating the re-election of our first African American President, President Barack Hussein Obama. We are celebrating in Broward County my being the first African American female Mayor. All the struggles of our ancestors and forefathers are not lost. I remember the stories my great- great grandmother told me of the slavery, torture and oppression of our people. The times that African Americans were segregated and tortured, if they were thought to have higher intelligence than average or if they were caught teaching others how to read. I believe these actions forced many of my family into the education system so they could bring forth the ones standing in line behind them to help them stand on their shoulders and succeed. We have come a long way. I hope that Dr. King is proud of how far we have come but still have a ways to go.

Many refer to themselves as Caribbean or other but we all came from one place, Africa. When our ancestors were taken from Africa and enslaved they were dropped off in different parts of the world, South America, North America, the Spanish and British territories. We lost our African culture and traditions and were forced to assimilate into the European traditions. We must never forget the history of our ancestors and not let the lessons they taught us fall by the wayside. Know that when we celebrate Dr. King’s birthday we are all one people, brothers and sisters.

This year I am focusing on Small Business because it creates jobs. We have a high poverty and unemployment rate in our African American Community. Although Broward’s unemployment rate is 5.8%, a large majority of those unemployed are African American or people of color. The Broward County Commission under my leadership will continue to focus its energies and efforts on small business support, small business lending, economic development and creation of jobs through steering those doing business in Broward County to try to buy products, hire locally and keep those dollars from leaving the state.

Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday gives us time to reflect on our rich culture and history of African Americans here in America. It also allows us to appreciate those people and things in our life that we were most grateful for. People take shots at politicians all of the time and ask why do we do this? My answer is simple I do it because I can take the shots and keep moving forward, I do it because the benefit to helping others is greater than the criticism or shots I take. Those shots and criticism make me stronger and prepare me for anything I have to face in this role. I would be remiss if I did not thank my husband and my children for sacrificing and supporting me to reach the heights that I have reached this far. I am unsure of where my path is taking me but I am prepared to go the distance unafraid and prepared to lead.

Thank you for the opportunity to address you this evening I am humbled. May God bless our President and God bless and keep these United States of America.

Copyright © 2014, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


“Broward Means Business” Features ARRI CSC Florida

DATE: January 17, 2014

BROWARD COUNTY FLA - ARRI CSC Florida has been serving customers with camera and lighting equipment for eleven years in Broward County and their service was recognized by the Broward County Commission as Mayor Barbara Sharief continues the “Broward Means Business” initiative this year.

Vice President and General Manager Ed Stamm was presented with a proclamation designating Tuesday, January 14 as "ARRI CSC Florida Appreciation Day" in Broward County.

The office opened in November 2002 with four employees and has grown the office to its current size of 14 full time staff.

“ARRI CSC is located in Fort Lauderdale has one of the largest and most diverse inventories of film production equipment in the United States and continues to expand its customer base throughout Broward County,” said Mayor Sharief. The company prides itself on great products, excellent customer service, training, workshops and support for the local community and film schools.

Mayor Barbara Sharief launched the “Broward Means Business” initiative to focus on small businesses and county programs designed to help. The Mayor also announced the Broward 100 program, which will recognize one hundred outstanding county employees.

“Broward County has long been an advocate of small business. I will be challenging the organization to expand this focus and to build upon our successes with small business mentoring programs, loan programs and technical assistance including the ABC’s of building a business plan,” said Mayor Sharief.

Each Tuesday a different Broward business is featured at 10:00 a.m. prior to the beginning of the Broward County Commission regularly scheduled meeting.


"Broward Means Business" initiative Recognizes Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurants

DATE: January 17, 2014

BROWARD COUNTY, FLA - Mayor Barbara Sharief continues the “Broward Means Business” initiative with this week’s recognition going to Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurant franchises, with seven restaurants located in Broward County.

Keith Clayborne's 7"K"Corp is the largest franchisee of Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurant Franchises in the United States with a total of eight restaurants grossing over $10 million annually and employing over one hundred people.

According to the franchise President, Lowell Hawthorne, "The Claybornes obviously have the Midas touch, any Golden Krust they touch turns to gold. They work hard to provide GK's gold standard of service, food quality, and ambiance to South Florida residents and have done an outstanding job representing the brand.”

The Clayborne’s received a proclamation from the Broward County Commission designating Tuesday, January 14 as "Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurants Appreciation Day" in Broward County.

"Broward Means Business" recognizes local businesses for their contribution to economic development and the community and the goods and services they provide locally and worldwide.

"Broward Means Business" recognition is given each Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the regularly scheduled Broward County Board of County Commissioners meeting, 115 S. Andrews Ave, Room 522, in Fort Lauderdale.


Broward "Point in Time" Count Begins January 21 - Broward Looks to Technology to Help End Homelessness

DATE: January 16, 2014

BROWARD COUNTY, FLA - It happens every year around this time. Hundreds of volunteers take to the streets to literally count and survey the thousands of homeless people and families living in Broward County.

It’s called the Homeless “Point in Time" (PIT) Count Survey mandated by the Federal Government to help communities grasp the magnitude of homeless individuals in their neighborhoods. Traditionally, the count occurs in one twenty-four hour period and provides a snapshot into a growing problem.

This year, technology will change the process and hopefully the outcome. Volunteers will spend three days identifying and surveying homeless individuals, information that will be used to assess their health and overall needs. The PIT count survey takes place on Tuesday, January 21 through Thursday January 23.

“With the help of the Broward Sheriff's Office and the Broward Commission, $350,000 in Law Enforcement Trust Funds was authorized to invest in homeless tracking software. Now if a homeless person shows up at a shelter here and then another shelter the next day, there will be a documented history of it and communication will be possible between agencies and those helping the homeless. We’ll be able to provide better service and assist law enforcement when we know the history of the person we’re dealing with," said Mayor Barbara Sharief, who is a member of the Homeless Initiative Partnership (HIP) Advisory Board.

The technology will allow for quick results and turnaround. Placing the homeless in available housing will begin as early as January 30. The increased precise data places Broward County in an ideal position to qualify for a variety of grants and other funding targeted at helping the homeless.

“As Sheriff, I believe that homeless people aren't problem people; they are people with problems, problems that can be corrected with help, understanding and guidance from our community,” stated Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.

In the end the Homeless Management Information System will assist in the formulation of a registry prioritizing the most chronic of the homeless. Once identified, Broward County and more than 200 organizations will seek to provide housing, healthcare and perhaps jobs to those most in need. The technology will increase the ability for Broward County to provide an award winning continuum of care.

The Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership, the Broward Regional Health Planning Council, Inc., the Broward Sheriff's Office, the TaskForce Fore Ending Homelessness, Inc., 2-1-1 Broward, Nova Southeastern University and Hands on Broward are joining forces to assist in the Homeless PIT Count Survey.

The 2013 Point in Time Count identified 2,810 homess individuals and families.

For more information on how you can volunteer, please email Sander Schrantz: sander@handsonbroward.org or visit http://www.browardpointintime.org. For information on the Broward Homelessness Initiative Partnership please call contact Michael Wright at 954-357-6167.


MEZ Security Services and the Broward County Office of Film and Entertainment are featured under the “Broward Means Business” 2014 Initiative

DATE: January 7, 2014

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief continues her theme this year of “Broward Means Business” by honoring MEZ Security Services, located in Pembroke Pines.

Mayor Sharief presented MEZ Security Service owners James and Natalie Mesidor with a proclamation designating Tuesday, January 7, as “MEZ Security Services Appreciation Day” in Broward County.

“I’d like to than the Commission and the Mayor for your ongoing support of small business. If it wasn’t for your support, we wouldn’t be in the position we are now,” Mr. Mesidor told Commissioners.

MEZ Security has approximately 25 employees and is recognized as a successful small business which provides exceptional services and is a dedicated pillar in the community.

MEZ Security employees are drawn from industries as diverse as Police, Corrections, and the U.S. Military. The company strives to be a leader in the security industry, providing new and innovative security sectors as they emerge in an unstable economy.

Mayor Sharief designated her term as Mayor as a year to promote “Broward Means Business” by honoring small and large businesses in the community that contribute to the economy and provide jobs.

In addition, the beginning of each regularly scheduled Commission meeting features a “Broward Moment” where County agencies are promoted for their contributions from a business point of view.

Today, Broward County’s Office of Film and Entertainment was featured. In 2013, Broward hosted 701 film productions generating $115.3 million into the economy. Film, television, video, commercials, photography and music projects all created more than 23,000 jobs in Broward County last year. That's more than 64,000 jobs since 2010 and 1.8 million hotel room nights generating revenue for Broward County. In 2014, a number of new television series and films are also in the works.


South Florida Inspiration – Barbara Sharief

SOURCE: Inspirations

Inspirations for Youth and Families teen rehab congratulates Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief, the South Florida Inspiration Award Recipient forthe Dolphins vs. Jets game on December 29, 2013. Mayor Sharief was elected to the County Commission in 2010. She has worked to bring health care and aggressive-dog issues to the forefront of county policy. She also obtained $3 million in funding for the Miramar Pineland Nature Park and she advocated for the Autism in Flight program to help autistic children. Mayor Sharief wraps up this year’s South Florida Inspiration Award Program with the Miami Dolphins. Thank you to all of our wonderful Inspirations who participated this year!


Broward County Commissioners selected Barbara Sharief to serve as Mayor

DATE: November 20, 2013

BROWARD COUNTY, FL – Broward County Commissioners today chose Commissioner Barbara Sharief to serve as Mayor. Commissioner Tim Ryan was selected to serve as Vice Mayor.

“Broward County means business,” said Mayor Sharief in her acceptance speech. “It’s more than just a theme for this year. It’s a way of defining Broward County and what we are about, which is outcomes and results!” Sharief was born in South Florida, raised in Broward County and is a long time resident of District 8. Mayor Sharief was successful at creating and managing a variety of companies and has a strong success record for making non-profitable businesses profitable. In 2001, Barbara visualized and created what is now known as South Florida Pediatric Homecare Inc. “SFPH”.

“Broward has long been an advocate for the business community. This year I will challenge our organization to expand this focus, building on successes such as business mentoring programs, loan program and technical assistance,” said Mayor Sharief.

Vice Mayor Ryan thanked his colleagues for selecting him to serve as Vice Mayor. “With the significant responsibilities and challenges that we have before us and unlimited opportunities, I look forward to working with this Board as Vice Mayor over the coming year,” said Ryan. A lifelong resident of Broward County, Tim Ryan was elected to the Broward County Commission, representing District 7, in November 2012. Vice Mayor Ryan served for eight years in the Florida House of Representatives, from 1998 – 2006, before leaving office due to term limits.

In the 2013 State of the County Address, outgoing Mayor Kristin Jacobs declared that the state of Broward County is “strong.” Commissioner Jacobs set the theme for 2013 by naming it the “Year of the Neighbor,” a year to focus on building relationships with our sister counties, government agencies, Broward cities and the state and federal governments. “We continue to reach new heights as existing services transition through tough times to inspired efforts to improve the quality of life in Broward County. It has been through the dedication and hard word of our employees that Broward residents are enjoying a strong steady recovery,” said Jacobs.

Jacobs noted Broward’s low unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, the lowest in the region. “Low unemployment rates are coupled with extensive services provided by city and county government. This shows economic growth can flourish side by side with comprehensive public services,” said Mayor Jacobs.

The 2013 State of the County Address showcased Broward County’s accomplishments over the past year including successes in transportation, the environment, at Port Everglades, the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Transit ridership is up two percent from the year before as Broward welcomed the addition of 21 new 40-foot hybrid buses to its fleet.

Broward County introduced the “Complete Streets” initiatives to ensure that streets are accessible to all modes of mobility, including pedestrian, bicycles, mass transit and automobiles.

Broward will also eventually take over operations for the “Wave” modern street car that will travel through downtown Fort Lauderdale. “I believe this will bring a transportation revolution that will bring people out of their cars and progressively change the commuter sy-stem that we have now,” said Jacobs.

Environmental issues took the spotlight this year as Broward became the first county in the state to add a climate change element and climate related land use policies as part of the County’s comprehensive plan.

The Fifth Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit took place in Broward County this year and received noticeable news cover-age locally and nationwide as three members of the U.S. House of Representatives participated in the event.

Broward County also launched the “Go Solar” and “PACE” programs which will help residents save money as they make home improvements de-signed to improve the environment.

A record breaking 13 million people visited Broward County this year as the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau launched the award winning “Hello Sunny Campaign” across the U.S.

At Port Everglades, success was celebrated as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released its draft report on deepening and widening the Port to allow the passage of new giant cargo ships. Congressional authorization is expected that will allow Broward County to fund planning and design projects that will deepen the Port and bring more opportunities for continued economic development.

“Under the mindset of the ‘Year of the Neighbor’ we have made great strides. We have achieved great things, but we know our work is not complete. The state of Broward County is strong, but we are committed to growing stronger. We have done that in the past year and I know we will continue to do so in the future,” said Jacobs.

The Broward County Charter stipulates that Commissioners, elected from single member districts, vote annually in November for the position of Mayor and Vice-Mayor.

Source: The Westside Gazette



Broward Commissioners Elect New Mayor, Vice Mayor

DATE: November 19, 2013

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- In an historic move, Broward County officials have elected its first African-American female mayor.

The Broward County Commission elected Barbara Sharief as the new mayor of Broward County and Tim Ryan as the new vice mayor, Tuesday morning. The nine-member county commission elected the two to serve for the next year.

Sharief was sworn in that day in the commission chambers at the governmental center. "We know it had been a really tough year, and a lot has been going on, but this is an indescribable feeling," she said. "I'm excited about being mayor, about where the county is going."

As mayor, she will serve as chair of the commission.

Source: WSVN-TV



Broward Elects First African American Female Mayor

DATE: November 19, 2013

FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Broward County has a new Mayor and Vice-Mayor.

In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the commission tapped Commissioner Barbara Sharief to be the new mayor.

Sharief, a mother of five, is the first African-American woman to be named county mayor. She was elected Vice Mayor last year.

Source: CBS Miami



Broward County’s First Black Female Mayor

DATE: November 14, 2013

Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief is no stranger to struggle! As the soon-to-be first Black female Mayor of Broward County, she is more than prepared to meet every challenge head on.

On Nov. 19, 2013, Sharief will take the oath that will place her name firmly in our county’s history books. But her journey to this defining moment was far from easy.

Born into a loving family, Barbara grew up in Miami, Fla., as one of eight children. Her mother was a retired teacher and homemaker and her father was an entrepreneur and bread-winner.

Her commitment to serving others was developed as a child when she would help her father with a program he started for needy families. Barbara would spend Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays packing up groceries and distributing food to those in need.

It was during this time that her father shared words that became a guiding force in her life, “If you get in a position in your life where you could give something back, you should always do that.”

Unfortunately, at the age of 14, Barbara lost her father to gun violence. He was shot and killed by a 15-year-old attempting to rob his clothing store. He never saw his daughter live out the words and lessons he so carefully planted in her.

It was at this moment that Ms. Sharief’s life took a drastic turn. Her family’s home was foreclosed and they began the all-too-familiar dance of relocation prevalent among low income families.

She had to get a job to help her mom provide for her younger siblings and she witnessed her family go from self- sufficient to government dependent— utilizing programs such as welfare and social security to sustain their basic needs.

In fact, once she got to college Sharief recalls, “There were times when I went to school and I didn’t have anything to eat. And I would go to the church and they would give me food on Sunday. I would take little Tupperware containers;  freeze the food and that’s how I ate for the week.”

But despite her financial and familial struggles, Barbara graduated from Florida International University and went on to earn a Master’s degree. She is currently one of the most successful business owners in South Florida, but even that title has not come without challenges of its own.

Barbara’s business, South Florida Pediatric Home Care, started over a decade ago with her mom and 30 nurses.  Today it provides 637 jobs for nurses, therapists, and internal office staff.

In 2005, Wilma almost destroyed all of it!

Hurricane Wilma decimated the office space where Sharief’s business was housed in Miramar. Windows were blown out, floors flooded, technology destroyed and patient records damaged. Barbara was forced to start over. No stranger to over-coming obstacles, she procured new office space at her current location and continued to build and grow.

The challenges Barbara was to face did not end with the re-building. Most recently, her reputation has been attacked in the media due to a Medicaid billing issue which she chose (under the advice of legal counsel) to settle.

Rather than run up costly legal fees that would eventually equal or trump the alleged billing discrepancy,  Sharief chose to pay the fee and move forward with her company’s commitment to providing quality healthcare to South Floridians.

According to Sharief, “I signed that settlement agreement reluctantly because I felt we were right.”   Unfortunately many small business owners like Sharief learn that what is right and what is prudent don’t always mix.

Looking towards the future, Sharief has several projects at the top of her to-do list as mayor. First she is committed to focusing on the needs of small business owners via a comprehensive program to support profit and non-profit businesses.

Sharief states, “Small businesses have not been getting the attention that they need in terms of helping them to get loans and helping them to get their business plans together,”

Secondly, she wants to encapsulate the knowledge and experience of exiting commissioners into video diaries. As a result of the Sunshine Law, current county commissioners cannot speak to each other regarding county business out-side the dias. This creates a serious void when new commissioners are brought in and have to spend months catching themselves up without the benefit of the exiting commissioner’s knowledge. Sharief’s innovative new program will alleviate this information gap.

Finally, Sharief wants to focus on improving employee morale and appreciation at the county commissioners office. “I want people to understand that while we are there for the business of the county, we also appreciate the input that the staff has and we respect them individually.”

In addition to her own priorities, vice-mayor Sharief will also be responsible for overseeing several ongoing labor projects: the port dredging and expansion, the airport terminal improvements and new runway; and the courthouse expansion and parking garage construction.

Barbara and her husband Max share five children; Amanda (15), Zach (14), Alyssa 12, Meia (13) and Hailey (six) and are long-term residents of District 8.

Surely Sharief’s  personal and professional experiences have more than prepared her for this defining moment. She has been lovingly dubbed the Commissioner on a Mission—now she will be the Mayor on a Mission!

Source:The Westside Gazette



Commissioners Meet with Italian Trade Officials

DATE: November 1, 2013

BROWARD COUNTY, FLA - Broward County and Italy have more in common that you may know. There are twenty two Italian companies in Broward. Fort Lauderdale is known as the “Venice of America” and the Italian marine industry is the largest in the European Union and represents an excellent prospect for U.S. products. Port Everglades has a sister port in Italy, Fort Lauderdale has two Italian sister cities.

Italy’s Deputy Minister of Economic Development Carlo Calenda, and Italy’s Ambassador to the U.S., Claudio Bisogniero were welcomed to Broward County by Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, Commissioners Chip LaMarca and Dale Holness and Broward’s Economic and Small Business staff. The Italian representatives were in town to visit the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.

"We are hoping to strengthen our trade relationships. Italy is already very present in Broward County, " said Ambassador Bisogniero.

Vice Mayor Sharief presented the pair with a ceremonial Key to the County and Commissioner LaMarca read a proclamation designating 2013 as the “Year of Italian Culture.”

"This is part of a broader business trip. South Florida is a strategic gateway for trade," said Deputy Minister Calenda. 

In addition to the marine trade, the Italian officials learned about opportunities in Broward’s growing industries such Aviation, Aerospace, Technology and Life Sciences.

Italian companies operating in Broward County include some well-known names such as the Ferretti Group, MSC Cruises, Mapei, Astaldi Construction and others. Italy is 16th largest trading partner for the U.S and the 23rd largest market for U.S. exports with a trade value of $52-billion.



Broward Joins 100,000 Homes Campaign to Track the Chronic Homeless

DATE: 10-24-2013

BROWARD COUNTY, FLA - An innovative and successful homeless housing effort sweeping across communities nationwide, will soon be in place in Broward County. In fact, beginning October 31, Broward County will be the training ground for the 100,000 Homes Campaign.

The goal is to identify and register the most vulnerable and chronically homeless and prioritize their needs for home placement. The chronically homeless are those we see on the street each day; as we know many have mental health issues with little to no capability to help themselves.

“Programs that will put in place in the coming months will allow us to have our chronically homeless off the streets by 2015, with substantial improvement during the next year. Broward’s new Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) will be used to register the neediest among the homeless. This will help us track who is out there, prioritize their needs and assist in identifying housing opportunities,” said Broward Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief who initiated a Commission approved partnership with the Broward Sheriff’s Office to fund the system.

In Broward County alone, there were 413 Chronically Homeless Individuals and Families counted in the January Homeless Point in Time Count.

In partnership with the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, Palm Beach County and the Broward Homeless Initiative Partnership, Boot Camp training for communities interested in the 100,000 Homes effort will be trained over a two day period at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, 751 Sheridan St. in Hollywood. Training takes place from 8:30 am to 5 pm both days and trainees have registered from across Florida.

Members of the Campaign will learn how to create a by-name registry of homeless people, line up a supply of available housing and resources to service the chronic homeless. “November is National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Month and we want to start now to bring attention to the cause. While the Homeless Point-in-Time Count used to be conducted every other year, we are now doing this annually to get better results that help meet the more stringent requirements from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” said Michael Wright, administrator of the Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership.

The effort is unique, in its three strategies: identify every homeless person on the streets by name, track and measure local housing rates working to house at 2.5 percent of the chronically homeless each month, join the nationwide Campaign to partner in resources and improving systems.



County Plans to Stamp Out Homelessness with National Program

FORT LAUDERDALE — People walk by them each day. They have become a part of the landscape along every commute route and are often ignored and overlooked. These are the chronically homeless, individuals living on the street and most vulnerable due to mental health issues, physical disabilities or other medical challenges. Broward County will work to identify and prioritize the most vulnerable and chronically homeless and prioritize their needs for home placement as part of the 100,000 Homes Campaign.

The campaign is a national movement in more than 175 communities geared to finding permanent homes for the homeless. In its most recent count, 413 chronically homeless individuals and families were identified in the county. In conjunction with the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust, Palm Beach County and the Broward Homeless Initiative Partnership, the 100,000 Homes Campaign is hosting a two-day boot camp at the Anne Kolb Nature Center in Hollywood to train advocates for the homeless from around the state.

There are three primary goals of the training. The first is to identify every homeless person on the streets of the county by name. Those identified will be measured in the Vulnerability Index which will include the person’s name, photo, health conditions and any institutional and social histories. This will allow the county to better match people with the appropriate housing subsidy and setting.

Second, attendees will learn how to track and measure their local housing rates against clear monthly goals. All participating communities must work toward a minimum monthly goal of 2.5 percent housing of their chronically homeless population, putting this on track to end homelessness for this group in approximately four years. The final goal of this initiative is to improve local tracking systems to make housing simpler, faster and more efficient. The gains in efficiency might include reduced times in housing a single individual, improved outreach and more targeted services and delivery.

“Programs that will be put in place in the coming months will allow us to have our chronically homeless off the streets by 2015, with substantial improvement during the next year,” said Broward County Commission Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, who initiated a commission-approved partnership with the Broward Sheriff’s Office to fund the system.

“Broward’s new Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) will be used to register the neediest among the homeless. This will help us track who is out there, prioritize their needs and assist in identifying housing opportunities,” she said.

Each year, the county releases the results of the Broward County Point-in-Time Count. It was conducted this year in a 24-hour period on Jan. 24-25. The county concluded that 2,810 individuals and families were homeless according to the federal definition of homelessness: living in places not meant for human habitation, emergency shelters or transitional housing programs. The count is required by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Florida’s Office on Homelessness.

An additional 783 people were counted as “at-risk” of homelessness, generally defined as an individual or family seeking permanent housing but who stayed the previous night at an institution; a hotel paid by self; a jail, prison or detention center; or a family or friend’s house; facing imminent eviction; or in foster care.

“While the Homeless Point-in-Time Count used to be conducted every other year, we are now doing this annually to get better results that help meet the more stringent requirements from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” said Michael Wright, administrator of the Broward County Homeless Initiative Partnership.

The 2013 point in count results also showed that the total number of sheltered and unsheltered persons experiencing homelessness in the county decreased by 12 percent, from 3,183 to 2,810, and the number of unsheltered persons decreased by 35 percent, from 1,268 to 829, based on HUD’s biennial Point-in-Time count and survey as compared to the same count done in January 2011-12.

“November is National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Month and we want to start now to bring attention to the cause,” Wright said.

The efforts are part of Broward County’s A Way Home – Florida’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.



Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief Announces Small Business Assistance Program
DATE: October 25, 2013

Broward County, Fla. – In an effort to encourage entrepreneurship and create new job opportunities, Broward County Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief announced the launch of the Assist & Achieve “150 in 1 Year” Small Business Subsidized Program, made possible through AvanzeCorp, Inc.

The initiative aims to equip 150 entrepreneurs in one year with resources during their start-up phase and mentoring through the course of their first 5 years in business. The program includes Incorporation Services, Business and Marketing Planning, Credit Repair Assistance, Bookkeeping Assistance, Logo Design, Stationary Design, Printed Material, Website Design, Social Media and Marketing Launches in various channels funded by AvanzeCorp, Inc.

AvanzeCorp, Inc. is located in Miramar and is owned by Miramar residents Yesenia Otero (CEO) and Jose Bido, Vice President.

These services will be rendered in both English and Spanish and are being offered to for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations alike.

On November 19, Vice Mayor Sharief will be next in line to serve as Broward County Mayor. “I applaud AvanzeCorp for offering this generous program to people with big dreams who will need guidance and mentoring to see their business through. Programs like these are rare. My goal is to continue to support initiatives that promote economic advancement and growth of the small business community in Broward County,” said Vice Mayor Sharief.

Yesenia Otero, CEO of AvanzeCorp, Inc, said “this program is about streaming business theories into real world practice. Not only will it provide entrepreneurs with privately subsidized resources, planning and marketing but the support of a program that will roll-up its sleeves and walk the entrepreneurial journey alongside each venture. We are excited to see these stories in the making and have front-row seats to the economic and labor opportunities it will create for our communities.”

For more information call AvanzeCorp, Inc at 888-848-7771 or email info@avanzecorp.com to register. The 150 seats available will be allotted on a first come, first serve basis.



Port Everglades Moves Forward with Expansion Plans
DATE:October 25, 2013


BROWARD COUNTY, FLA - Broward County Commissioners joined federal and state lawmakers today to laud the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of H.R. 3080, The Water Resources Reform & Development Act (WRRDA). This legislation will authorize Broward County to pre-fund the preliminary activities necessary to widen and deepen Port Everglades with federal reimbursement, pending Congressional authorization, at a later date. The dredging and widening of Port Everglades channels will provide accommodations for bigger cargo and passenger ships, in particular the giant vessels that will be able to pass through the newly expanded Panama Canal in 2015.

“What we’re looking at today is 2,197 acres of pure Port power. The push is on in Broward County. Our delegation, business representatives, and lobbyists drove home the message that we need to move this project forward to create jobs and prepare Port Everglades for the future. It was a collaborative effort focusing on what’s best for Broward County, the region and South Florida and together we got the job done,” said Commissioner Chip LaMarca, who met with lawmakers during the 2013 Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce Washington DC Summit to focus on port issues earlier this month.

“We are on an epic journey. It has been an Olympic effort, but we can finally see the finish line,” noted Broward Commissioner Tim Ryan at a news conference today. “This is not just important to us, but to the whole country. That’s why the House of Representatives approved it. You have Broward County’s commitment to keep this project going.”

"This has been a long time coming. The Broward County Commission is committed to Port Everglades and we will successfully complete this project with the continued dedication and bi-partisan support that has made this possible," noted Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief.

“Since time is always of the essence, all levels of government and the private sector made sure the Congressional clock did not run out for this vitally important port economic project. I could not be more proud of our efforts,” said Commissioner Sue Gunzburger.

Congresswomen Lois Frankel, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Ted Deutch, Alcee Hastings, Mario Diaz Balart and Frederica Wilson were among the nation’s lawmakers pushing for passage of the amended WRRDA bill.

“This was a bi-partisan effort. We are in a race for the 2015 Panama Canal business and we need to be ready. We want the jobs to go forward in South Florida. Not only does this legislation support the Port, it also provides for four Everglades restoration projects as well,” said Congresswoman Frankel.

“Dredging needs to maximize job creation. When people work, they shop, buy cars, invest and pay taxes. Investing in this Port allows jobs, jobs, jobs,” said Congresswoman Frederica Wilson.

The Port Everglades expansion is expected to create a total of more than 7,000 direct jobs and more than 135,000 jobs around the state of Florida.

Caption: (Left to Right:) Broward Commissioners Sue Gunzburger, Tim Ryan, Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Commissioner Chip LaMarca. (In back:) Port Everglades CEO Steve Cernak, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance CEO Bob Swindell



Breeders Permits Now Required in Broward County
DATE: 10-8-2013

Broward County, Fla. - People who breed dogs or cats will now have to acquire a permit from Broward County Animal Care and Adoption. Under the new amended county ordinance, breeders would be allowed one litter from each adult animal per year.

The breeder permit would be required for anyone who sells, studs or breeds dogs or cats. The permit would be valid for one year and renewed annually.

“This is a start towards being a better no kill county. You have people who say they’re responsible breeders, but we have so many dogs who are pure breds in the shelter, they have to be coming from somewhere,” said Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, who brought the issue forward for Commission approval.

The permit sets several regulations. Among them, breeders would be required to keep records on the birth of each litter, keep veterinary records of rabies vaccinations and inoculations and provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of new owners acquiring a pet. Breeders would also be required to carry an Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for Intrastate Sales of a dog or cat. Other regulations set the terms for inspection, enforcement and required methods for identifying the animal and medical records that may apply.

“My dogs are rescue dogs, one has congestive heart failure our other dog may follow. One of the reasons is, they came from breeders, who overbred them and inner bred them,” said Commissioner Stacy Ritter.

“I spoke to the community about this and everyone came to the table and helped craft this ordinance. We worked to make this fair to both sides and to me that is true democracy. We humanely kill more than 5,000 dogs a year in Broward County and a large number are purebreds,” said Vice Mayor Sharief.

“I am very supportive of this. It’s time and it is something that we need to do,” said Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness.

The new ordinance pertains to commercial and hobby breeders. Revenue from licensing fees will fund animal sterilization programs in Broward County. The overall goal of the amended ordinance is to reduce the pet population in county animal shelters and provide regulations for commercial and hobby breeders to ensure a safe, healthy environment for pets and their owners.



Medicaid Settlement Results in $11 million Savings for Broward County

DATE: September 20, 2013

Broward County, Fla - Broward County Commissioners are expected to approve a Medicaid settlement agreement from the Broward Health Hospital District in the amount of $495,697. The item on Tuesday's agenda brings to a close complex litigation over a controversial change in Medicaid billings for Florida counties.

It began last year with the passage of legislation that required counties to pay disputed or unpaid Medicaid bills or face withholding of state revenues for the costs. The backlogs of disputed bills related to inpatient hospitalization and nursing home stays.

In August of last year, the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) billed Broward County nearly $38 million for disputed Medicaid claims from 2001 through 2012. Broward joined other counties in litigation challenging the new law.

The amount of Medicaid payments changed time and time again as Broward County demanded to see invoices and evidence that the amount was accurate.

When presented with a certified invoice for $15.5 million, the Broward Commission directed the county attorney to initiate legal proceedings before the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings to contest the AHCA certified amount.

Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief testified at those hearings on behalf of Broward County. "We have successfully disputed millions of dollars in erroneous bills generated by an admittedly broken system," said Sharief at the April hearing.

Broward County prevailed, agreeing to a settlement amount of $4 million. The final savings to taxpayers, inclusive of the hospital districts, totaled $11.5 million.

Broward County's efforts were recognized by the Florida Association of Counties (FAC), who presented Vice Mayor Sharief with the Presidential Advocacy Award in June. "It is public servants like Vice Mayor Sharief that ensure our local communities have the authority to respond to the demands of their citizens," said FAC Executive Director Chris Holley, "Vice Mayor Sharief's support in our efforts to create an equitable and fair solution to Medicaid cost share was essential in getting rid of the cumbersome and erroneous billing system that has been in place for years." 



WPLG Local 10 News Retraction




Bob Norman Slanders Broward Vice Mayor

DATE: October 7, 2014
Broward Bugle
By Andrew Miller

Local muckraking reporter Bob Norman, in his distinctive, oft-used style of here-say and distortion, has been once again been accused of falsifying information to fit a narrative.

In an attack against Broward Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, Norman’s news story, which aired in September, ran video of a federal raid on a business, which was assumed to be Sharief’s. Sharief runs a home healthcare company, South Florida Pediatric Homecare (SFPH). The story insinuated that Sharief was overbilling Medicaid for more than half a million dollars. Threatening lawsuit on Local 10, Norman’s platform for his slanderous news reports, the station had no choice but to back off the claims and issue a retraction and on-air apology.

Last Thursday, Local 10, released this statement:

Last month we reported South Florida Pediatric Homecare, or SFPH, had settled a Medicaid billing dispute with Florida’s Agency For Health Care Administration. We want to make clear that neither SFPH nor its owner, Broward Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief, has been investigated for or charged with fraud, a crime or any other wrongdoing, and that we did not intend to create the impression they had been. The file video used in our story was of an FBI raid on a different facility, did not involve Ms. Sharief or SFPH, and was not intended to refer to them. As we reported in our story, SFPH settled its billing dispute with the state and as part of the settlement neither Ms. Sharief nor her company admitted any wrongdoing or error. We regret any misimpression our story may have caused.

Local 10 has removed the original, contested story from their website.

Unfortunately the story is not a one-time innocent flub; this is not the first time Norman, a veteran yellow journalist, has been caught in a cleverly packaged lie.

In 2007, Former Sun Sentinel writer and current owner of Broward Beat, a local conservative website, Buddy Nevins, sued Norman for defamation and invasion of privacy. Nevins claimed that a story cooked up by Norman was rife with lies and ruined the local reporter’s career.

In January of 2012, Norman again broke privacy rights, was caught trespassing on a private community in Parkland, not open to the public. When residents called law enforcement and Norman was confronted by Broward Deputies, his demeanor was described as cocky.

This time Broward Vice Mayor Sharief held Norman accountable for his lies. It leads you to ask though, how many stories have been falsified by Bob Norman?
How can we believe anything Bob Norman says?



Broward County Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief Elected Florida Association of Counties' 2nd Vice President
Sharief will now serve on FAC executive committee and likely ascend to become FAC President in 2016
DATE: July 1, 2013

Broward County Vice Mayor Barbara Sharief was elected to serve as 2nd Vice President of the Florida Association of Counties (FAC). Vice Mayor Sharief was officially installed on Friday, along with members of the FAC Executive Committee and FAC Board of Directors.

“I am both honored and very humbled to receive the nomination for 2nd Vice President of FAC. I am so appreciative of the confidence and faith that my colleges have in me. I will continue to represent the best interest of all Florida's counties to the best of my ability,” said Vice Mayor Sharief.

Vice Mayor Sharief was recently awarded the FAC Presidential Advocacy Award for her work during the 2013 Florida Legislative session and received the FAC Advanced County Commissioner designation after completing a series of advanced leadership seminars.

“Vice Mayor Sharief is committed to her constituents and the importance of keeping services local,” said FAC Executive Director Chris Holley, “Her perseverance in standing up for home rule – the idea that government closest to the people governs best - will ensure that our members are well represented.”

In addition to Vice Mayor Sharief, Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge was reinstalled as FAC President, Escambia County Commissioner Grover Robinson became President-Elect, Nassau County Commissioner Barry Holloway was installed as 1st Vice President and Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith was reinstalled as Immediate Past President.

The Association is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of one county commissioner from each state senate district (40); five executive officers; six county commissioners appointed at-large with no more than three of the six from counties with population of 75,000 or more; and the past presidents of the FAC.

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Political advertisement paid for and approved by Barbara Sharief, Democrat for Broward County Commission, District 8.


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