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Consul General Warren Newfield Says Florida is Key to Grenada’s Economy Growth

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Mayor Philip Levine, City Commissioner Joy Malakoff, Grenada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell and newly appointed Consul General Warren E. Newfield at the opening ceremony of the first Consulate in the City of Miami Beach. Photo: Florida National News.
by Mellissa Thomas
MIAMI, FLORIDA USA – The Caribbean island nation of Grenada, known as the “Isle of Spice” or “Spice Island,” is in a quagmire: According to Caribbean360, a consistent two percent of its population migrate to other nations, and World Bank estimates it is among the top five nations to “export its college educated citizens.” Furthermore, despite being the world’s second greatest source for nutmeg, Hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Emily (2005) caused almost $45 million dollars in losses—including the nutmeg crop, which, according to Kingston University London graduate Lyndon Mukasa, takes approximately ten years to grow to the point of full production. The U.S. Census shows a contrast: Grenadian-Americans’ median income passes $51,000 per year, and wire transfers from expatriates (U.S. and elsewhere) back to Grenada comprise one-third of the island’s GDP. But while that looks promising, such remittances are primarily consumer-based for family and friends and emergency expenses, so the overall economy only sees a slight benefit. According to Grenada’s official government website, only forty percent of its nearly 110,000 people are in the labor force. Mukasa also noted that the nation’s nutmeg crop is now only twenty percent of what it was before Hurricane Ivan struck in 2004, and the country had a thirty percent unemployment rate as of 2013. However, Ambassador at Large and Consul General H.E. Warren Newfield is working to change the picture for the better.

Miami Beach’s First Ever Consulate

Consul General Newfield opened the doors to his new Consulate General to Grenada in Miami Beach June 1, 2015. “Florida is the gateway to the Caribbean and can facilitate getting export opportunities for Grenadian companies,” he explained to FNN News about his location choice. “Miami is the business center—headquarters for South Florida, all other consulates are based in Miami, and Miami Beach is a great place to meet people.”
That last point is essential to him because he is pursuing investors ready to do business in the Isle of Spice.
Consul General Newfield (right) and Grenadian cultural attache Margaret Lessey at the launch of the Grenada Consulate on Miami Beach. Photo: Florida National News.

Grenada Ambassador at Large and Consul General Newfield (right) and Grenadian cultural attache Margaret Lessey at the launch of the Grenada Consulate on Miami Beach, Florida.

The Consul General relayed that his consulate’s jurisdiction “covers all of Florida, not just Miami.” He said he will visit other parts of Florida as needed. The consulate’s services include Grenada passport preparation, emergency travel document assistance, affidavit preparation, tourism information, trade and investment opportunity consultation, permits and certificates, visas for travel to Grenada, and document verification.
He also stated that Margaret Lessey will serve as the consulate’s cultural attache (above) and plans to appoint two deputy consuls: one who is responsible for consular services, and the other for business promotion—encouraging investors to choose Grenada as a business destination. He recently met with some Florida congressional members in Washington, D.C. to also spur their interest in the island nation and his work with the diaspora, including Congressman Alan Grayson (below) and Congresswoman Corrine Brown’s Senior Congressional Aide Stephanie Anim-Yankah (second below).
Grenada's Ambassador at Large and Consul General Warren E. Newfield (right) was invited to Washington, D.C. by US Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida (left) to discuss U.S. and Grenada relations at the U.S. Capitol June 11, 2015. Photo: J. Willie David III/Florida National News.

Grenada Ambassador at Large and Consul General Warren E. Newfield (right) was invited to Washington, D.C. by US Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida (left) to discuss U.S. and Grenada relations at the U.S. Capitol June 11, 2015. Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.

Consul General Warren Newfield (left) and Willie David, Diplomatic Consultant on Foreign Relations, talk with Stephanie Anim-Yankah, Congressional Aide to Congresswoman Corrine Brown about investment opportunities in Grenada in Washington, D.C. on June 11, 2015. Photo: J Willie David III/Florida National News.

Grenada Ambassador at Large and Consul General Warren Newfield (left) and Willie David, Diplomatic Consultant on Foreign Relations, talk with Stephanie Anim-Yankah, Congressional Aide to Congresswoman Corrine Brown about investment opportunities in Grenada in Washington, D.C. on June 11, 2015. Photo: Willie David/Florida National News.

Newfield + Grenada

Consul General Newfield, who amassed entrepreneurial success internationally, primarily in the mining industry, wanted to make an impact. He sold his last company in Africa in 2012 and “wanted more than to just build another business.” He met the Grenadian Prime Minister and said the PM’s goals resonated with him. “I felt bringing business to Grenada would change people’s lives,” he said.
He has a three-target focus for getting investors in involved with Grenada: agriculture, tourism, and education. The tourism and services industry make up over seventy-six percent of Grenada’s GDP, according to its government website, and Newfield sees continued potential for investors.
“Businesspeople look for an investor-friendly environment,” he mentioned in his list of benefits for doing business in Grenada. “There is government support…lack of interference for doing business, and investors have access to an educated workforce.” He remarked that there is “tremendous opportunity” for entrepreneurs in the restaurant and hotel industries, especially since the Grenadian government is “working hard on tourism,” and there are now daily American Airlines flights to Grenada from Miami International Airport.
He found taking entrepreneurs to the island, usually two or three at a time, and showing them the opportunities that exist is the most effective way to get them to invest. One such group has already set up a duty-free venture, and two others are interested in setting up hotels. He is currently speaking with Chambers of Commerce in Florida to generate more interest.
Consul General Newfield is also currently in search of scholarships to provide Grenada’s highest performing grade school students an opportunity for college education in the U.S. He is already in talks with some of Miami’s most renowned universities.

Momentous Motive

Consul General Newfield is passionate about his mission to be instrumental in strengthening Grenada’s economy. “I thought my business interests can help impact the nation,” he said. “It’s important to help.”
So far, his cause has been well-received in the U.S. He said his meeting in D.C. was warm and receptive, and involved exploring what can be achieved.
“I’m passionate about employment and education. [That] increases the standard of living and quality of life for everyone…The support and warmth I have received is much appreciated.”
_______________________________________
Consul General Warren Newfield
Consulate General of Grenada in Miami
400 Arthur Godfrey Rd, Suite 506
Miami Beach Florida, 33140, USA
www.grenadaconsulatemiami.com
grenadaconsulatemiami@gmail.com
O: (305) 570-2716
F: (305) 397-2441
9:30 am to 3:30pm – Monday-Thursday
Event photos of Consul General Warren Newfield at the Consulate General to Grenada Opening Ceremony in Miami Beach
Consul General Warren Newfield (left) and Grenada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell (center) at the opening ceremony of the Consulate General to Grenada in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Florida National News.

Consul General Warren Newfield (left) and Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell (center) at the opening ceremony of the Consulate General to Grenada in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Florida National News.

Mayor of Miami Beach Philip Levine (left), City Commissioner Joy Malakoff (2nd left) and Grenada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell at the opening ceremony of the Consulate General to Grenada in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Florida National News.

Mayor of Miami Beach Philip Levine (left), City Commissioner Joy Malakoff (2nd left) and Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell at the opening ceremony of the Consulate General to Grenada in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Florida National News.

John Munro, president of Grenadian-American Educational & Cultural Organization of Central Florida (left) and Grenada's Prime Minister Keith Mitchell at the opening ceremony of the Consulate General to Grenada in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Florida National News.

John Munro, president of Grenadian-American Educational & Cultural Organization of Central Florida (left) and Grenada’s Prime Minister Keith Mitchell at the opening ceremony of the Consulate General to Grenada in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo: Florida National News.

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Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness Coming March 2023

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WINTER PARK, Fla. (Florida National News) – Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness, inspired by the children’s TV host and icon, comes to Orlando in March 2023. This week-long series of events was announced today at the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation in Winter Park.

“Fred McFeely Rogers devoted his entire life to reminding us of some of the most important ideas of what it means to be human among humans: love, respect and kindness,” explained Buena Vista Events & Management President & CEO Rich Bradley. “Many of us find that nearly 20 years after Fred’s passing, it is important to focus on his teachings once again, perhaps now more than ever. This is a week to re-engage with his massive body of work with some folks, and to introduce his teachings to others.”

Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness begins March 20, 2023, the date which would have been Fred’s 95th birthday, and concludes on Saturday, March 26 with the Red Sweater Soiree, a community dinner to recognize ten ordinary members of the community who inspire and exemplify the affinity that Fred Rogers had for showing kindness to our “Neighbors”.

Mister Rogers Week of Kindness coming March 20-26, 2023. Photo Credit: Mike Brodsky (Florida National News)

Activities planned for the week will include early childhood education activities and faculty training, as well as events open to the public.

“The events will be offered free or at low cost,” continued Bradley. “This week-long celebration is not a series of fundraisers, but rather about once again remembering and sharing some of the great work that Fred Rogers created, not only in early childhood education, but in reminding us that we are all part of one big ‘neighborhood’. Fred taught us the importance of accepting our Neighbors just the way they are and engaging in kindness with our interactions. I can’t think of another period in my lifetime where we needed to reflect on those messages again more than today.”

“There are three ways to ultimate success,” Fred Rogers was once quoted as saying. “The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind. Imagine what our neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”

Many of the activities of Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness will be attended by members of the cast and crew of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 – 1975, and again from 1979 – 2001. David Newell, known as “Mr. McFeely,” the “Speedy Delivery” man, appeared at today’s media conference via video, and looks forward to visiting Central Florida next March.

David Newell, “Mr. McFeely.” Photo Credit: Mike Brodsky (Florida National News)

Mister Rogers’ Week of Kindness is supported by the McFeely-Rogers Foundation, the Fred Rogers Institute, and Fred Rogers Productions. Details regarding the specific activities and venues will be released over the next few weeks.

For more information on the events, visit https://www.BuenaVistaEvents.com or https://www.MisterRogersWeekofKindness.com.

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A Quick Primer on the Team Solving Orange County’s Affordable Housing Crisis

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Orange County’s Housing for All Task Force held its introductory meeting on April 12, 2019 at the Board of County Commissioner Chambers. Photo: Orange County Government.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Orange County faces a growing affordable housing crisis, and Mayor Jerry Demings has taken notice–and action. Shortly after his inauguration, he formed Housing For All, an affordable housing task force to face the challenge head-on.

The Housing For All task force doesn’t meet monthly like the County Commission–in fact, their next meeting won’t be until October 4, 2019–but they do work when they’re not meeting. The task force is made up of three subcommittees, Design and Infrastructure Subcommittee, Accessibility and Opportunity Subcommittee and Innovation and Sustainability Subcommittee. These three subcommittees meet twice a month to come up with ideas and plans to fix the affordable housing problem.

Each subcommittee has a specific focus on ways to help solve the problem of affordable housing. The Design and Infrastructure Subcommittee is focused on the design of new affordable housing projects, the renovation of current affordable housing that might need fixing and land development for affordable housing units. The Accessibility and Opportunity Subcommittee is focused on making sure affordable housing is accessible to the major economic zones of the city, develop partnerships with groups and focus on outreach in the county. The Innovation and Sustainability Subcommittee is focused on finding ways to increase the supply of affordable housing and how to preserve affordable housing.

At their next meeting in October these subcommittees will update the county on what they have accomplished and what they plan to do in the future. For information from previous Housing for All Task Force meetings or the meeting schedule, visit the Orange County Government website.

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Leyton Blackwell is a photojournalist and Florida National News contributor. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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Opening Biopic ‘Te Ata’ Sets High Bar for 2016 Orlando Film Festival

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ORLANDO: Chickasaw Nation Biopic 'Te Ata' Sets Stage for Orlando Film Festival.

ORLANDO (FNN NEWS) – Orlando Film Festival kicked off at Cobb Theaters in Downtown Orlando Wednesday night. The red carpet came alive with excited filmmakers and actors ready to showcase their projects to the Orlando community and, in some cases, to the world at large, including Nathan Frankowski, director of this year’s opening feature Te Ata.

About Te Ata

Frankowski’s biopic feature chronicles the true story of Chickasaw actress and storyteller Mary Frances Thompson, whose love of stories and the Chickasaw Nation fueled her to share the Chickasaw culture with new audiences in the early 1900s, a time when the United States was still growing as a nation and clashed with Native American peoples in the process.

Viewers are immediately swept into the saga from the film’s opening scene with a voice-over folk tale told by Mary Thompson’s father, T.B. Thompson (played by Gil Birmingham). Ironically, though his storytelling places the seed of inspiration in her, it slowly becomes a source of friction between them as she ages.

What makes the film engrossing is the sprawling backdrop upon which Thompson’s journey takes place. While young Te Ata (which means “The Morning”) flourishes with each solo performance and eventually sets her sights on Broadway, the Chickasaw Nation is fighting to secure the funding due them from the U.S. government in the face of ethnocentrism and religious bigotry–to the point that the government passed a law forbidding the sale of traditional Native American textiles and creations, which caused further financial struggle for the Chickasaw Nation. Viewers even experience the Thompsons’ fish-out-of-water feeling as the Chickasaw people’s territory, Tishomingo, shrinks significantly to become part of the newborn state of Oklahoma.

The political tensions are counterbalanced with Te Ata’s experience. Te Ata does her first performances among family, but chooses to leave home for the first time in her life to attend the Oklahoma College for Women (known today as University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma), despite her father’s wishes for her to find a job at home. Viewers immediately empathize with Te Ata’s awkward experience upon her arrival at the predominantly Caucasian-attended College, but cheer her on when that one connection is made, because all it ever takes is one.

Te Ata’s jumping off point occurs when she meets drama teacher Frances Dinsmore Davis, who encourages her to join her class and to share the Chickasaw stories for her senior presentation instead of the usual Shakespeare recitation. From there, Te Ata’s career blossoms from one serendipitous connection to another, taking her performances across the country. She eventually makes it to New York City, hustling to find her place on Broadway, and finds love in the process while performing privately for Eleanor Roosevelt, whose husband was then Governor of New York. The heroine’s journey continues with well-placed highs and lows, keeping the viewer visually and emotionally engaged.

Te Ata is touchingly channeled through lead actress Q’orianka Kilcher who, like Te Ata, has stage experience, and brought it to bear in the role. Kilcher’s magnetic singing, with the help of the film’s sweeping score and indigenous songs, imprints the true Te Ata’s passion for her people onto the viewer’s heart.

Frankowski, who worked closely with the Chickasaw Nation in creating the film, honors Te Ata’s memory and legacy in a cohesive, sweeping tale that will edify audiences everywhere.

 

 

Florida National News Editor Mellissa Thomas is an author and journalist, as well as a decorated U.S. Navy veteran with degrees in Entertainment Business and Film. She also helps business owners, CEOs, executives, and speakers double their income and clinch the credibility they deserve by walking them step by step through the process of developing, completing, marketing, and publishing their first book.

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