ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – On Friday, the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida (AACCCF) officially opened nominations for their 2022 Eagle Awards.
2022 Eagle Awards Gala is presented by the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida (AACCCF) and Walt Disney World Resort. We could not be more excited to resume the Chamber’s crowing event in person this spring. Stay tuned for the official date and details.
The Eagle Awards are AACCCF’s crowning celebration for Central Florida’s most dynamic businesses and individual and serves as a time to recognize and honor those members who positively impacts our community and driving the growth and development of our vibrant and diverse business landscape.
Serving Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties, the African American Chamber of Commerce Central Florida serves as the principal leader and preeminent organization advocating for the advancement of Black and minority-owned businesses in Central Florida.
The award categories are:
This award recognizes and honors an African American business that has made notable, long-term contributions to economic development, its industry and community. Individuals are chosen based on their contributions or success in business. The focus of the award is on financial performance and future objectives, the competitive advantage of the business, and examples of specific strategies that have driven business growth.
Enterprise Business Award
This category recognizes a Black-owned business that has been in business three to five fiscal years and has demonstrated a trajectory of growth.
MLK Humanitarian Award
The MLK Humanitarian Award is presented in memory of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to commemorate his belief that progress is achieved through cooperation, compassion, and understanding. It is given to an individual who demonstrates leadership within the community.
Emerging Business Award
This category recognizes a Black-owned business or entrepreneur that has been in business for one to three fiscal years and has demonstrated substantial growth. It takes into consideration the overall performance of the business over the last three years, what the entrepreneur believes makes them different, and their vision for the future of the business.
Small Business Advocate Award
This category recognizes an individual or business that has fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of small business opportunities for minority business owners. The award will go to an individual or organization that has been an outstanding spokesperson and advocate for small businesses gaining contracts, supplier diversity opportunities and assisting with policies that help make a difference for the African American small business community.
Corporate Recognition Award
This category recognizes an organization that demonstrates the highest commitment to business and social responsibility. The ideal corporation has been instrumental in growing African American small businesses by providing sound professional advice, performing duties beyond normal practices, and positively influencing businesses on a mentorship or contractual basis.
Nominations can be submitted through the event’s official website: https://www.blackcommerce.org/eagle-awards/nominations/
To learn more about the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida (AACCCF), please visit: www.blackcommerce.org/
Florida House Democratic Leader-Designate Fentrice Driskell Announces Leadership Team
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida House Democratic Leader-Designate Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) today announced the appointment of the following Democratic Representatives to serve on the House Democratic Caucus leadership team for the 2022-24 legislative term:
- Leader Pro Tempore: Representative Dotie Joseph (D-Miami);
- Policy Chair: Representative Kelly Skidmore (D-Boca Raton);
- Floor Leader: Representative Michael “Mike” Gottlieb (D-Davie); and
- Whip: Representative Christine Hunschofsky (D-Parkland).
“The House Democratic Caucus is made up of some of the strongest, most fierce champions of the people in the entire state,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “It is an honor and great pleasure to work with these individuals in this new capacity, and all of them are prepared to lead the Caucus in the face of the challenges that lie ahead of us.”
As Leader Pro Tempore, Representative Joseph will assist the Democratic Leader in carrying out designated responsibilities and perform such Leadership responsibilities as are assigned, including stepping in for the Leader as needed.
“I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Representative Joseph for over 20 years. From the time we were at Georgetown Law to now, she has always been a consistent champion for justice. The issues she advocates for on behalf of all Floridians makes Representative Joseph an invaluable asset in defending Floridians against extremist Republican policies,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “I look forward to Representative Joseph’s leadership as a key member of my team over the next two years.”
In her role as the Caucus Policy Chair, Representative Skidmore will be responsible for ensuring the Caucus continues to champion legislation that positively impacts all Floridians, and will lead discussions about bills before the House at Caucus meetings.
“As the previous Policy Chair for the Caucus, I know what is needed to do this job. Appointing Representative Skidmore as Policy Chair was an easy choice,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “She stood out as a prime member in understanding policy during the last legislative term. Representative Skidmore also brings with her a wealth of experience as both a former House and Senate staffer and House member. Applying her unique skillset to this new role will benefit the Caucus and all Floridians.”
In his role as Floor Leader, Representative Gottlieb will be responsible in interpreting the House Rules, ensuring the Caucus adheres to the agreed upon rules, and working with his Republican counterpart in advocating for fair amounts of time be allotted to the Caucus in debating different pieces of legislation.
“Two things I greatly appreciate about Representative Gottlieb are his refreshing candor and strong fortitude,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “As the minority party in the Legislature, we’re aware of the challenges that lie ahead of us. What we need right now is someone who is unwavering under extreme pressure to help guide our Caucus during difficult moments. Representative Gottlieb is perfectly suited for this role.”
As Whip, Representative Hunschofsky will be responsible for keeping all Democratic Caucus members apprised of Caucus policy on any bills or issues before the House.
“Representative Hunschofsky has an amazing ability to get things done,” said Leader-Designate Driskell. “Not only does Representative Hunschofsky possess a wealth of knowledge due to her experience as the former mayor of Parkland, Florida, she is also a champion of many initiatives close to Floridians’ hearts, such as expanding access to quality mental health care. I know Representative Hunschofsky’s knowledge and ability will help prepare our Caucus for the challenges of the next two year.”
The Florida House Democratic Caucus will convene during Organizational Session taking place Nov. 21-22, 2022 in advance of the 2023 Legislative Session scheduled to begin on March 7, 2023.
VIDEO: State Rep. Dianne Hart elected chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – State Representative Dianne Hart (D-Tampa), incoming Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, talks briefly with Florida National News on the importance of the Florida Blue Florida Classic at Camping World Stadium in Orlando Saturday. The Florida Classic is an annual college football rivalry game between Bethune–Cookman University and Florida A&M University.
Hart’s Twitter Statement:
Hart’s statement: “I’m honored to have been elected as the Chair of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus.” “I’m grateful to my colleagues for their support and for trusting me to move this important caucus forward.”
During the 2021 and 2022 Legislative Sessions, Rep. Hart served on the following House committees, including Democratic Ranking Member of the Infrastructure and Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee, Judiciary Committee, Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight, Ways & Means Committee, Criminal Justice & Public Safety Subcommittee, State Legislative Redistricting Subcommittee and Select Subcommittee on Authorized Gaming Activity.
Hart was first elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2018. She is also the CEO of the East Tampa Business and Civic Association.
Former State Rep. Bruce Antone Ready To Rejoin Florida House
ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Former Florida State Representative Bruce Antone served 12 years (six terms) in the Florida House of Representatives and defeated incumbent Democratic Rep. Travaris McCurdy during the August primary election to represent Orange County in the newly draw District 41 House seat.
Antone was among eleven candidates seeking election to county, state and Congressional seats participating in a candidate forum hosted by CFABJ, NAACP and the Florida Voters League, Wednesday, October 19, 2022.
Green Party nominee Robin Denise Harris is the only potential road block in Antone’s return to Tallahassee and faces off with him in the November general election. The District 41 House seat has an overwhelmingly Democratic voter base.
During his time in the Florida House, Antone was elected by his colleagues to serve as the Chairman of the 29-member Florida Legislative Black Caucus.
The general election is Tuesday, November 8, 2022.