Jamaican-owned business wins Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Minority Award

MIAMI – The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce honored the winners of the Top 100 Minority Business Awards on Friday, March 12 at Jungle Island.

The awards luncheon highlights and celebrates South Florida’s minority business community and our region’s rich diversity and spirit of entrepreneurship. Jamaican-owned Leasa Industries wins Outstanding Minority Business for a large company.

A total of eight companies received awards in the following categories:

Outstanding Minority Business of the Year (Large) — LEASA Industries Co., Inc. was a bankrupt bean sprouts company when it was purchased in 1977. Persistence and new product development helped transform LEASA into one of the largest growers, manufacturers, processors and packers of healthy food products across the Southeastern United States.

George Yap, Founder LEASA Industries Co., Inc.
Photo credit: Gort Productions

Business Corporate Champion — Turner Construction Company is recognized as an industry leader in providing quality service in diverse markets. Turner was the first major construction company to establish a full-time equal opportunity department within its organization structure; and has awarded more than one billion dollars worth of contracts to minority and women owned businesses for the past four years.
Best Business Turnaround — Imagery Creative has demonstrated an ability to turn last year’s economic slump into success. Through smart thinking, creative work and loyalty, the company has won sizable accounts, hired new employees and completed the purchase, construction and move into a brand new custom designed office.

Community Involvement — Mercantil Commercebank has maintained a tradition of serving the community through monetary donations, entrepreneurial programs, educational service, housing initiatives and relief programs. The bank encourages employees to actively get involved.

Emerging Business of the Year — Gourmé Mist was launched two years ago and is one of the fastest growing brands of olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the U.S. and the first green product of its kind. The company has exceeded its 2009 goal of reaching 5,000 retailers and is expected to almost triple projected sales for 2011.

Marketing Strategy of the Year — Super Restoration Service Co. has become one of the nation’s premier emergency service providers with a growth rate of 30 percent. Hailed as community educators and disasters experts, the company is recognized for its efforts in identifying a unique community and business need and translating that into a successful business model.

Outstanding CEO of the Year — Christine Barney of rbb Public Relations is passionate about strategy, results measurement and a concept called the “employee-driven workplace,” a philosophy which lead her to physically and conceptually restructure the company in 18 months. Under her leadership, rbb is the only Florida firm to win every major public relations industry award.

Outstanding Minority Business of the Year (Small) — Link Construction Group, Inc. has grown to become a leader in the South Florida construction marketplace. In 2008, Link completed the first LEED certified retail building in South Florida, achieving the highest ranking LEED gold certification.

The 2010 Top 100 Minority Business Awards recipients (pictured l-r): Rene Vargas, Jr., Super Restoration Service Co.; Tere Banach, Mercantil Commercebank; Miguel Cerra, Link Construction Group, Inc. ; Marie Fernandez-Leon, Imagery Creative; Christine Barney, rbb Public Relations; Andrew Yap, LEASA Industries Co., Inc.; Jaclyn Melendez, Gourmé Mist; Jay Fraser, Turner Construction Company; and George Yap, LEASA Industries Co., Inc.
Photo credit: Gort Productions

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