Jamaican-owned companies win awards at South Florida’s MED conference

MIAMI – Three Jamaica-owned companies in South Florida were recognized by the United States Department of Commerce Minority Business Enterprise Center, at the annual MEDWeek – Minority Enterprise Development – Business Conference, last Friday (Oct. 9) at Jungle Island in Miami.

The three companies were among Florida’s top ten performing minority businesses and innovators, and included Patty King, Incorporated, McBayne’s Construction & Renovation, Incorporated and LEASA Industries Company, Incorporated.

Patty King was awarded the Minority Exporter of the Year 2009. The company was started in 1998 as a small restaurant and bakery in North Miami. The four partners, Gary Chin, Colin Chang, Warren Chung and Gary Tie-Shue saw the potential for growth as the business drew customers from across South Florida. The company has a staff employ of 50 persons.

The company experienced tremendous growth over the years becoming one of the largest USDA approved processing facility in Florida and the largest manufacturer of Jamaican patties in the Southeastern USA. With markets spanning the Caribbean and the Americas, Patty King is currently expanding its product line.

Patty King was also honored in 2002 by the US Department of Commerce as Minority Manufacturer of that year.

McBayne Construction and Renovation, Incorporated received the Strategic Growth Initiative Award 2009 as the National Minority Construction firm. Owner, Trevor McBayne said that his company provides a range of new construction, renovation and underground utility services to residential, commercial, industrial and institutional projects with a staff complement of 50 persons.

A visionary, he credits his company’s growth to personal commitment, work ethics, honesty and integrity, customer service and his sense of achieving excellence in the industry.
Last year in May, McBayne received the annual Jamaica Milestone Award by the Jamaica USA Chamber of Commerce (JAUSACC).

LEASA Industries Company was awarded the 2009 Minority Manufacturer of the Year. A family-run enterprise, the company was established in 1977 and has since grown to be one of the leading food manufactures in the Southern USA and the Caribbean.

The company is involved in food manufacturing and is the largest grower of bean and alfalfa sprouts and largest manufacturer of tofu in the Southern USA as well as fresh vegetable processing and distribution. LEASA products are distributed through major retail supermarket chains across
the United States and the Caribbean.

According to President Andrew Yap, the company’s vision is focused on providing customers with the naturally focused products and services while giving employment opportunities to socially and economically challenged individuals in the Liberty City area of Miami Dade.

Over the years, LEASA Industries has been the recipient of several USA regional and national awards for outstanding contribution to economic and community development.

MEDWeek Coordinator, Ms. Marie Gill has lauded the awardees whom she said “continue to beat the odds and remain energizers of the global economy, even as we are faced with some of the most challenging set of economic circumstances.”

As the Jamaican population continues to grow, Ms. Gill pointed out that it has become easier to identify those with small business enterprises. Their individual stories of growth, success, commitment and contribution to the local economy have placed them in a winning advantage, she added.

Reminding them that new opportunities do exist for expansion, Ms. Gill encouraged minority businesses to stay focused on growth and expansion of their individual companies reminding them to take advantage of the opportunities as they arose, as this was critical for the economic recovery process.

The annual one week Business Conference which ended on Friday, October 9, gave more than 300 owners of small and minority owned business, an opportunity to share information on business financing, contractual procurement, and training, to enhance business skills.

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