Trinidadian receives one of Broward’s highest honors
FT. LAUDERDALE – At a lavish 500-plate luncheon held in her honor at the Signature Grand Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 2nd 2007, Sandra Bernard-Bastien was presented with a Proclamation declaring May 3rd “Sandra Bernard-Bastien Day” throughout Broward County, the second largest county in the State of Florida after Miami-Dade.
Amongst the high-powered group of diners were members of the political, business and civil service hierarchy such as Brenda Snipes, Supervisor of Elections of Broward County; County Commissioners Lois Wexler and Suzanne Gunzburger; Jack Moss, District Administrator of the Florida Department of Children and Families, who received the Advocate of the Year Award; Cindy Arenberg-Selzer, President and CEO of Children’s Services Council of Broward County; and senior representatives from the South Hospital Management District.
Commissioner Susan Ginsberg and Sandra Bernard-Bastien receiving proclamation
In addition to the Proclamation, Commissioner Suzanne Gunzburger presented Bernard-Bastien with the 2-1-1 First Call for Help’s Spirit of 2-1-1 Award. This latter organization is Broward County’s social services hotline which provides 24-hour comprehensive Helpline and support services for individuals seeking crisis intervention assistance, information and referrals to health and human services. Steve Sampier, Director of Community Services for the Memorial Healthcare System, was also a recipient of the Spirit of 2-1-1 Award
Sandra Bernard-Bastien’s Proclamation, signed by Commissioner Joseph Eggleston, Mayor of Broward County cited several of her accomplishments during the ten years she has lived in Florida – her role as “a mentor to many of her colleagues in the human services arena”; “her commitment to education by championing financial literacy efforts”; her “inexorable commitment to combating hunger in Broward County …. which has shattered records for food collection”; her role as “the principal architect of the Broward Wealth Building Coalition and her tireless promotion of the Earned Income Tax Credit Campaign [which] has drawn down over $77 million for children and families; and her April 2007 co-chairing of the “successful Broward County Youth Summit” which attracted almost 700 delegates.
Of particular relevance to the Caribbean community, the Proclamation made specific reference to “Sandra Bernard-Bastien’s 2007 magnum opus, World Class Trinidad & Tobago: An Area of Abundance, a book co-authored with husband Elliot Bastien, [which] is a source of pride for Broward residents and Trinidadians throughout the world.”
In video vignettes presented at the luncheon, Cindy Arenberg-Selzer spoke of Sandra’s many qualities that have led to the award; Josie Baccalao, head of the largest Hispanic Social Service agency in Broward paid tribute to Sandra’s ability to pull disparate groups together to form strong and lasting partnerships and collaborations; Sheri Brown, Vice President of Grants and Initiatives of the Community Foundation of Broward mentioned Sandra’s willingness to help community groups at all times; and Evan Goldman, Cynthia Reynoso and Shannon Rhodes, members of Sandra’s staff, praised her for the way she enthusiastically weaved wide and broad ranging issues into one whole cohesive plan.
Sandra Bernard-Bastien is currently Director of Public Affairs and Organizational Development at the Children’s Services Council of Broward County with responsibility for Community and Government Affairs as well as Organizational Capacity Building, Organizational Development and Training for Child & Family Serving agencies.