1st Annual Haitian Millennium Development Gala Was a Huge Success
February 1, 2018 | 5h16 PM ET
HOLLYWOOD, FL -- (Le Floridien) - January 27, 2018 - Brothers Investment Group International, a private community development corporation comprised of two hundred Haitian members of the First Haitian Millionaires Club, hosted its 1st Haitian Millennium Development Gala on Saturday, January 27, 2018, at The Temple Sinai in Hollywood, Florida.
Brothers Investment Group International aims to bring together a variety of investors, development specialists, business owners, professional traders, management experts and financial analysts in Haitian-American communities. A long-range goal of this organization is to identify business and investment opportunities, as well as leverage key connections to match resources and opportunities to its members' specific objectives.
Nearly 550 patrons gathered at the temple from 6 in the evening until 1:30 in the morning. The primary purpose was to listen to the many guest speakers while enjoying appetizers, cocktails, exquisite food, and live entertainment by well-known artists. A number of dignitaries and investors were in the attendance at the gala and the event enjoyed significant media attention as reporters from local, national, and community media outlets were present.
The atmosphere from the start was festive, charming, and entertaining. As guests arrived, they were greeted at the backyard of the temple with friendly smiles and a warm welcome, and they also received an access wristband and their table number assignment. As they entered, they were welcomed with a fine glass of wine, Haitian Amuse-bouches, and music spun by local DJ NickyMix. This was a perfect moment for guests to chat amongst themselves until they were invited to enter the well-adorned main room.
This economic and sociocultural event was an opportunity for the head of Brothers Investment Group International to showcase growing investment opportunities in Haiti throughout various sectors. It also was an opportunity to bring to the podium a host of innovative project leaders to fully persuade the attendees about the many resources available for the development of Haiti and the great opportunities to do business in the country.
With the goal of rebuilding the country and freeing its people from financial slavery, the black-tie event was very significant in terms of the efforts the head of this economical group put together toward some valuable projects to help Haiti, as a nation, get 'back on track.'
Around 8:45pm, the Event announcer, who was also the Gala Public Relations Director, Dr. Flore Lindor Latortue, welcomed the attendees in the ballroom. She reminded them that innovation, entertainment and great food and music was the centerpiece of the gala. She also acknowledged a number of prominent guests, particularly members of a large delegation coming from Haiti and other key figures from regions outside Florida.
Singers Patrick Lacroix and Rachel Louissaint performed the Haitian and American anthems. Lacroix followed with Claudine Charles to perform the Black National Anthem 'Lift every voice'. All the performers received a thunderous ovation. Dr. Charles Scott II was then called to deliver the Invocation and Benediction.
As a big welcome, via short videos projected on two big screens, six important members of Brothers Investment Group International addressed the audience by pointing out the importance of this economic movement and stressing the need for Haitians to join forces in order to help lift the motherland and its wonderful residents out of poverty. They wished success for the movement and all agreed that Haiti is a valuable and rich country and it is the job of its citizens to change its destiny for the better.
"Aid from the international [community] never develops a country," said one of the members. "No one is coming to help us. It is our responsibility to work together to change the course of our lives for the better as nation."
"We need to get together and we are the ones to go back to Haiti and invest," voiced Edy Dusrosier, the lead recruiter of the group. "Nobody will help us. Yes, we have a lot of challenges in front of us, but the future is for Haiti, the future is for us and we will succeed." A large part of the audience stood up to give him a thunderous ovation.
Among the many guest speakers were Ambassador Jose Matto, HUBB UCS Executive Director & Managing Partner at HUBB UCS; Mack Bass, C.E.O. of Burgerim, an international fast casual franchise with a wonderful new concept; Jerry Gilman, C.E.O. of Innova Eco Building System; Carmel André Belliard, Haiti's Minister for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development; Emmanuel Frantz Michaud of Fondasyon Oseanik; Pierre R. Glezil, C.E.O. of Brothers Capital Bank & Trust; Anson Jean-Pierre, Brothers Investment Group International President; and Stephanie Auguste, the acting Minister of Haitians Living Abroad.
Ambassador Matto talked about Innovation, Agro Industry, and Economic Development. Via a video, he explained and showed how Haiti can benefit from an organic agricultural production project, something Spain had experimented 25 years ago in an arid coastal zone of its southeast region habited by Armenian immigrants - known today as an agriculture innovation and revolution.
Pointing out that rainfall in Spain, which is often inadequate, tends to be concentrated in two generally brief periods during the year, Ambassador Matto said a similar project is possible in Haiti. Haitians in the agricultural sector can develop more farms to feed the entire population but also export to other countries in order to generate much-needed revenue. Even though the project can take a long time, Matto believes it's possible in Haiti and he has no doubt about that.
"Haiti can make an agriculture revolution if the project is well implemented with government commitment and social engagement," Matto said.
Guest speaker Mack Bass, C.E.O. of Burgerim, shared the new concept of his burger company. He explained how fast Burgerim has grown in less than five years after its launch. It has become a market leader with many franchises in the U.S. and other countries. He said he is ready to open franchises in Haiti and to hungry Haitian entrepreneurs.
Haiti's Minister for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, André Belliard, saluted the group's initiative and their interest in investing in the agriculture sector. He said that his minister has received document details about three valuable projects. "We are ready to listen to the investors. Haiti imports about 50 percent for its population's needs, the country produces 40 percent, and the other 10 percent comes from humanitarian aid. We say NO to the agriculture aid."
Throughout the evening, more performers entertained the gathering. Bemol Telfort's smooth jazz band, consisting of 7 members, graced the 550 plus attendees with two sets of performances during the gala. As a versatile band, the musicians were able to change the mood of an audience from one song to another. The band performance was loudly applauded after each set. The performance of the man singer is particularly unforgettable for many members of the audience. The main singer who is capable to sing in English was vocally on point with each of his performances.
Singer Patrick Lacroix also graced the well-dressed crowd with two of the best hit songs from the legendary Nat King Cole (Mona Lisa - Love). Legendary ballroom dancer Michel François Jacques and his partner, Mei Sho, offered two wonderful sets of dance routines.
A video featured "The Green City Marine Conservation Center" presented by Emmanuel Frantz Michaud and was very instructive. The audience learned that Haiti's ocean is unexploited. Haiti's seas are blessed with many species, such as dolphins, sharks, and turtles. Via the foundation "Haiti Ocean Project," which is been active in Haiti for a decade now, Michaud dreams of building an Aquarium Museum where tourists from other countries can come to explore Haiti's ocean's most beloved creatures.
He also talked about a project called "Leomi," meaning from Leogane City to Jeremie City, with the intention to establish a sanctuary along the entire coastline to protect all marine mammals, sharks, rays, and sea turtles. According to the guest speaker, all these species are of very high potential value to Haiti's tourism sector. He said the government already backed up the sanctuary project with part of it already in place from Petite-Rivière de Nippes to Abricot.
Michaud added, "Prohibiting the harvest, possession, and trade of marine mammals, sharks, rays and sea turtles in Haiti will contribute to the successful development of economically and ecologically sustainable tourism and future prosperity of Haiti and its people."
Guest speaker Jerry Gilman, C.E.O. of Innova Eco Building System, was there to talk about a development project on the Arcadins Coast named "Green City sur la Côte des Arcadins". Via a video presentation, attendees were captivated by the beautiful samples of houses, some 3 bedroom, 2 baths with a garage as well as 2 bedroom, 1 bath homes with no garage.
A video "Turn on the Lights in Haiti" was also projected. This is a kind of renewable energy project which could solve the electricity crisis using smart solar energy and allow Haiti to do business internationally.
"We are about to do a revolution," said speaker Pierre R. Glezil, C.E.O of Brothers Capital Bank & Trust, who announced that in 45 days, the Group, which has already obtained the necessary licenses to launch its own commercial bank, will be officially operational. Inviting the attendees to join forces with the group, he noted that Brothers Capital Bank and Trust will be active in all areas of a traditional commercial bank, but will be particularly in full service of Haitian interests.
The new bank, he said, sits on three strong principals: Action - Renovation - Dignity. Glezil believes that Brothers Capital Bank & Trust will definitely help restore the dignity of the Haitian people.
Brothers Investment Group International President Anson Jean-Pierre is highly confident about the various projects. "We cannot change Haiti by thinking others are going to do it for us," he said. "We are responsible for the development of our own country. The time to rely on assistantship and humanitarian aid has passed. Do not count on them to do anything. That must stop. A movement has just started. It is time for visionary men and women in the he private sector to play their part through a structural and sustainable development of the country. The Haitian government needs to play its role of regulator with the proceeds of taxes and royalties to be converted into activities that create wealth and dignity."
Stéphanie Auguste, Minister of Haitians living abroad, in her address, expressed the same sentiment as her colleague André Belliard. Mrs. Auguste said she feels honored to be part of the event. She is more proud when she sees all these Haitians joining forces to find a positive way to help the motherland move forward. She reminds us that President Jovenel Moïse and Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant are actually building necessary infrastructures to better welcome more vital projects around the country. "I promise all my support up to my capability as a Minister of the Diaspora and I know the government will for sure embrace this type of initiative."
As a closing statement, Edy Dusrosier, the lead recruiter of the group, went in the same direction as the other member-guest speakers who previously addressed the audience.
"Yes, we need other nation's collaboration, but it is up to us to change our destiny. Haitian Millenium Projects is a way for Haitians to taking care themselves and the motherland. Haiti belongs to Haitians, not to them," Durosier stated, before later adding, "Everybody wants to do business with Brothers Investment Group, because we are not fake, we are real."
After thanking the attendees for their presence, the event announcer Dr. Flore Lindor Latortue invited Dr. Charles Scott II up for the closing prayer. Soon after, renowned Haitian DJ NickyMix dropped the music. In a few seconds, the dance-floor was filled with partygoers. The event lasted until 1:30 in the morning.
If the well-organized gala went smoothly from start to finish, unfortunately little 'faux-pas' need to be noted. One example was that the brand new Lexus vehicle prize the organizers announced to be raffled off during the event did not happen. Also, some notable 'guests-announced', such as former United States First Lady Michelle Obama and Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant were nowhere to be found at this event.
Haiti has long endured endless promises of better times, but she has continued to languish under the hand of corruption, greed, and false hope, both internally and from abroad. The Brothers Investment Group International now sets the stage for a new attitude, a new hope, a new way forward for our homeland, our families, our Haiti.
We need to all step forward and dedicate ourselves to being part of the solution rather than mere bystanders. For too long Haiti and its beautiful residents and diaspora around the world have stood on the sidelines waiting for things to improve. We stand at the precipice of a new opportunity to take control of the future of our beloved homeland.
Brothers Investment Group International has lit the flame. Will we let it extinguish or fan it into a full, glorious fire that shines all around the world and declares 'Haiti is here!'?