Home Honoree BPN Miami’s 2023 Black Men In Excellence

BPN Miami’s 2023 Black Men In Excellence

BPN Miami’s 2023 Black Men In Excellence

February’s highly anticipated Black Men in Excellence mixer honors ten Black men who exemplify high standards of integrity and professional excellence. Leaders and champions of the community, the esteemed honorees embody the mission and values of the Black Professionals Network. Join us in celebrating their accomplishments this Thursday, February 16th at the Tuck Room at 6 pm in North Miami. You won’t want to miss an evening of Black excellence and networking with professionals of all fields and experience levels.

Jason T. Smith

Jason T. Smith is the Director of Equity and Engagement in the Office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. Jason successfully lead the Mayor’s Thrive305 initiative which was the largest community engagement effort in Miami-Dade County’s government history. Jason’s work has created opportunities for local and small businesses to thrive, driving the future for a more equitable ecosystem. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Howard University; an MBA from Florida International University; and a law degree from the Shepard Broad College of Law at Nova Southeastern University where he graduated magna cum laude.

Question 1: What does it mean to you to be selected as a Black Man in Excellence?

This award is an acknowledgment of the transformational community improvement we have dedicated ourselves to in the office of Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

Question 2: What motivates you to be a Black Man in Excellence?

I am motivated by my father and my son. I stand at the intersection of generational change in the Black community and I want to ensure that the gains that were made by the Civil Rights generation and preserved and expanded for the younger generation which has not yet reached voting age.

Corey G. Patterson

CPA Corey G. Patterson uses his savvy in the tax realm to help minority business owners save and maximize economic opportunities through financial literacy. Corey specializes in business valuation, litigation support, fraud examination, and tax and advisory services to businesses and non-profit organizations. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a licensed Real Estate Professional, and a Credit Repair Professional.

Question 1: What does it mean to you to be selected as a Black Man in Excellence?

To be selected as a Black Man in Excellence means the world to me because I strive to align myself with groups and organizations that help change the narrative on what it means to be a black man. This award lets me know that I am on the right track.

Question 2: What advice would you give your younger self?

The advice that I will give my younger self is to start to be an avid reader right away. Books can help you prepare for life and the unknown better than any classroom teacher.

Eric A. Williams

CEO, tech inventor, and cybersecurity thought leader Eric A. Williams leverages his dynamic breadth of experience in a variety of avenues. As CEO of Black Wallstreet Holdings, Inc., Eric works to build a digital economy that will be inclusive and holistic in addressing the needs of the economically vulnerable and underserved. Outside of this role. Eric uses his vast knowledge to make an impact in the tech startup space, creating opportunities for the community.

Question 1: What does it mean to you to be selected as a Black Man in Excellence?:

Having the next generations and current generation of black men in America see continuous examples of individual excellence and achievements, in business as well as technology, is very important for changing the narrative of how the world views us and how we view ourselves. It is an honor to receive and celebrate this award as me playing my part, as a role model, to serve as the example that others within our affinity group can excel in spaces such as technology and entrepreneurship where we are, like in many other areas in our society, underrepresented.

Question 2: Why is it important to you to have an impact in the community?:

It takes a village and our individual contributions to educate, mentor, coach and uplift each other is collectively the backbone of building strong and striving black communities. It is not about the glamour or patting ourselves on the back, it is really about the impact on the people we are helping, in hopes that they will do the same for others and as a result, we will be more successful as a group, which is critical for our advancement now and in the future.

Dr. Inaki Bent

Dr. Inaki Bent executes his medical expertise as the Lead Attending Physician at the Jackson Health System. Dr. Inaki Bent is a member of the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad-South Florida Chapter, Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, the James W. Bridges Medical Society, and the American Osteopathic Association.  His passion and expertise was recognized in 2015 when he was awarded “Top Healthcare Professional of South Florida” by Legacy Magazine.

Question 1: What does it mean to you to be selected as a Black Man in Excellence?

I’m especially humbled to receive this honor just a couple of weeks after losing my hero and a true Black Man of Excellence, Mr. Jacques Bent. It reinforces that my community recognizes the example and values set forth by such an amazing father.

Question 2: What motivates you to be a black man of excellence?

Medicine is my ministry and I’ve dedicated my career to serving the underserved in an effort to improve outcomes and address health disparities.

Ashley Toussaint

Community leader Ashley Toussaint works to create a better future for Miami as an Assistant Principal for KIPP Miami Public Schools and as the Vice Chair of the Little Haiti Revitalization Trust. The trust aims to distribute funding to support affordable housing to address rent hikes driving longtime residents away, invest in small businesses and boost job creation.

Question 1: What does it mean to you to be selected as a Black Man in Excellence?

I’m deeply honored to be selected for this award. I have great respect for BPN and the community that it continues to cultivate. It is important to have spaces like this, especially at a time when the positive black males are rarely celebrated. Furthermore, I’m excited to be part of such a powerful cohort of other black men, who are making a difference in my city.

Questions 2: Why is it important to you to have an impact in the community?

I am deeply rooted and committed to my Miami. I want the black community in Miami to be healthy, educated, informed and organized, in order to have a seat at the table; as Miami is the city of the future. As the city grows and advances, so should opportunities and the quality of life for black Miamians.

Thomas Eugene

Seasoned sports professional Thomas Eugene serves as the Senior Director of DEI & Multicultural Affairs with the Florida Panthers. Thomas’s strong record of success in sales with the Dolphins carries over to his role at the Panthers, where he creates opportunities and pathways for typically underrepresented populations in the sport. Thomas celebrates his Haitian roots, serving as a board member of Sant La, Haitian Neighborhood Center in Miami.

Question 1: What does it mean to you to be selected as a Black Man in Excellence?

It’s truly an honor to be recognized by Black Professional Network as part of your Black Men of Excellence 2023. This recognition exemplifies our work in the South Florida community as it relates to mentoring and exercising authentic leadership in our careers.

Question 2: What motivates you to be a black man of excellence?

I’m motivated by the opportunity of being a mentor to others and by leveling the playing field for underrepresented communities

My most significant source of motivation comes from people around me who inspire me to be great by showcasing the best version of myself. One of my most important sources of inspiration comes from my parents and my brother, Wes Eugene. For most of my professional career, I’ve been inspired by my former colleagues Jason Jenkins, Nat Moore, and Erix Knowles.

Marlon A. Hill, Esq.

Marlon A. Hill is an of counsel partner with the law firm of Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP and is an experienced corporate, intellectual property, and government transactions lawyer of over 25 years. Marlon has been featured in the Daily Business Review as one of the “outstanding members of the emerging generation of South Florida business and professional leaders.” His long list of community commitments and accolades have won him numerous awards, such as the Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. Bar Association Community Champion Award and the Bill Colson Leadership award from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

Question 1: What does it mean to you to be selected as a black man of excellence?

“To receive honor from my Black professional peers is an extraordinary affirmation of personal and professional journey. We are descendants of a proud history which demands excellence of us each and every day and in all endeavors. Being Black is a blessing.”

Question 2: Why is it important to you to have an impact in the community?

It is important to recognize that when these our passions and talents intersect we can magnify impact in our Black community and the community at large on a myriad of issues. It is incumbent upon us to be intentional in how we elevate each other and the community where live and play.

Mario Bailey

Mario Bailey makes an impact in the realm of legislation as a Senior Government Affairs Advisor with over ten years of experience supporting municipal governments, businesses, and education clients in executing strategy.  His past efforts has resulted in over $115 million in state appropriations for clients and 7 new policy changes in Florida including the White-Miskell Act. Mario’s success lead him to be chosen as a 2017 Miami BMe Community Genius Leader and was recognized as one of South Florida’s Most Powerful and Influential Black Leaders for 2017 by Legacy Magazine.

Question 1: What does it mean to you to be selected as a Black Man in Excellence?

Being a black man of excellence is the a recognition of the friendships, partnerships and community that have poured into me over the years. It’s truly an honor to be recognized by peers and to join a distinguished group of men who are positively impacting the communities where they live, work, and play. My father was my first example of a black man of excellence, and my number one goal in life has been to make him and my late mother proud. This award is a reminder that I’m on the path of creating impact that will outlive me.

Question 2: Why is it important to you to have an impact in the community?

Communities are the way that people connect and find their sense of belonging – whether that’s at school, debate club, athletics or church. And communities are the foundations of society. We are all connected – like the line in a gospel song that says, “I need you to survive!” That concept is simple yet so profound. The benefits and freedoms I enjoy today are the result of past sacrifices and accomplishments of those before me. And I want to build that for the communities of the future. A collective commitment to the community is the only way we will survive and thrive.

Travis Mack

Travis Mack has served as the Chairman & CEO of the Saalex Corporation for over 25 years, a federal aerospace and defense contractor generating over $100 million in annual revenues and employing over 800 people nationwide serving the Army, Navy, Air Force, NASA, and Municipal governments. He is the Founder and Fund Manager for the Greenwood Self Storage Fund, a $25 million-dollar commercial real estate Private Equity fund. Travis’s success motivated him to develop “The Mack Foundation”, a philanthropic non-profit organization that provides support, scholarships and educational opportunities to kids and families from underserved communities.

Question 1: What does it mean to you to be selected as a Black Man in Excellence?

It is an honor to be selected and also the recognition amongst your peer group that your efforts within the community have been recognized! It is important to me to continue to educate and support our youth in ways that will help them set, achieve and maintain their goals in education as well as obtain successful careers in order to gain financial freedom. The privilege of being selected amongst this prestige group of men reinforces my commitment to encouraging other professionals in our communities to expand their networks, continue to develop individually and spiritually, and to reach and exceed their earning potential.

Question 2: What advice would you give your younger self?

Start sooner; Try not to be so impatient, you must enjoy the journey.

Arthur H. Sorey, III

Arthur H. Sorey, III serves as the City Manager of North Miami Beach and has been lauded for his innovative and strategic leadership style. In his current role, he oversees 10 departments, 460 employees, and a $100 million budget to execute the City’s mission. Prior to joining North Miami Beach, Sorey worked at the neighboring City of North Miami where he has held progressive leadership roles during the past two decades. In North Miami, his vast knowledge in government operations led him to serve in roles ranging from Deputy City Manager to Executive Director of the North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (NMCRA).


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