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A Celebration of Black Men in Excellence 2022

As Black professionals ascended the stairs to the rooftop of the historic Red Rooster in Overtown, connectivity and celebration awaited. Every February, the Black Professionals Network recognizes ten Black men that exhibit the principles of excellence in their careers and community, reflecting the mission and aim of the organization.

Honorees reflected on their journey, imparting wisdom gained along the way. Honoree Stanley Leconte, seasoned financial advisor to corporate executives and professional NFL athletes, shares his advice to his younger self.

“I would say never quit, never allow yourself to live with the regret of not pursuing what’s in your heart. Let your failures be the life lessons and your success’s be your stepping stones. In the end surround yourself with like minded trailblazers and pass on the strengths of journey and knowledge to the next person.”

Another honoree who has made an impact in the financial services industry, Chad Musgrove, has structured more than a billion in loans for the New York and Miami teams as Associate Director of Lument.

When it comes to success in the legal industry, honoree Victor Demesmin Jr., Esq. dominates the South Florida personal injury scene at the young age of 33 as managing partner at Demesmin and Dover Law firm. Victor credits his family as the foundation for his success, paying it forward with the opportunities he provides to his rapidly growing team.

Also crucial to Miami’s legal landscape, honoree Rodney W. Jacobs serves the community as the Assistant Community Director of the City of Miami Civilian Investigative Panel. Rodney’s dynamic breadth of legal savvy guides his investigations of police officers involved in misconduct , strengthening representation in the commmunity.

Another leader in social justice, honoree and former State Senator Dwight Bullard uses his familial platform rooted in activism as Sr. Political Advisor for Florida Rising to highlight political awareness and education to marginalized communities.

When it comes to impacting the youth, honoree Dr. Jaffus Hardwick has an award winning streak in the realm of higher education as University President of South Florida’s only HBCU, Florida Memorial University.

Trailblazer in media Jawan Strader’s work as an Emmy nominated journalist makes him one of South Florida’s most recognizable figures as co-anchor of NBC 6 news. Jawan elevates Black voices as host of Voices with Jawan Strader, a community affairs show dedicated to the Black community and the disenfranchised.

Music business veteran turned tech advocate and investor Ted Lucas’s influence in the music industry spans 25 years. As founder of legendary independent music label Slip-N-Slide Records, Ted has sold 30 million records signing and developing artists Trick Daddy, Trina, Rick Ross, Plies, and Jagged Edge.

Honoree Orlando Arnold’s track record of success ranges from the world of pharmaceutical sales, to the world of sports as a MLB and NFL agent. Between negotiating multi-million dollar contracts and helping clients succeed post sports, Orlando’s savvy has made an impact in the lives of many.

In the continued spirit of excellence, the highly Shades of Melanin takes place Saturday, February 26th at Ampersand Studios.

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