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Black PR Wire Power Profiler on Beatrice Louissaint CEO, Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council

Beatrice Louissaint CEO, Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council

Beatrice Louissaint immigrated to Miami from Haiti at age 5, equipped with 6 words of English and a strong family heritage. In 1970, her father founded Miami's first Haitian church, which put a young Ms. Louissaint at the crosscurrent of the Haitian Diaspora's development "" political, economic and cultural.

In 1984, she was the youngest person hired by Dade County Public School's Project HOPE, and was a founding member of its Drug Prevention Program staff for youth. Later, as a staff member of the Haitian American Association, she helped Haitian immigrants transition from farm work to trades in an increasingly diverse economy. Soon after, she founded the Haitian American Women's Coalition and spearheaded the region's first Haitian Conference in English focusing on issues of acculturation. In 1990, she launched the first organized effort to build a Haitian community center. Then, in 1992, she founded and produced Miami's first Haitian TV show in English on WLRN.

In the early 1990's, Ms. Louissaint became the first Executive Director of the Black Business Association. She increased the organization's revenue from $30,000 to $300,000 and debuted initiatives such as the International Trade Assistance. The program took black businesses on trade missions to Brazil, Mexico, Haiti and Ghana and resulted in $1.7 million in new sales in its first year.

In 2000, Ms. Louissaint took leadership as President and CEO of the Southern Florida Minority Supplier Development Council (SFMSDC) whose membership includes 60% of the Fortune 500 and 3,500 corporate members nationwide. Under her watch, the SFMSDC has linked minority firms to $5 billion in corporate procurement sales and its annual Business Expo is the largest minority trade event in the Southeast.

Ms. Louissaint earned a bachelor's degree from Barry University and is currently completing an MBA at the Wayne Huizenga School of Business at Nova Southeastern University. She has received numerous recognitions for her work including "Business Woman of the Year Award" finalist (South Florida Business Journal, 2003) and serves on numerous community boards.