African Americans have made great contributions to the city of Kissimmee, our nation, and to the world. Tuesday, in honor of Black History Month, Kissimmee’s Public Affairs Officer Melissa Zayas-Moreno and its commissioners honored a handful of African-American community leaders.
“Today we celebrate the work African-American leaders have accomplished. We’re a very diverse community, making it a unique place to live, work and play,” Mayor Jose Alvarez said. “We know contributions are made throughout the year as a part of one community. We live in a city where history and progress collide. Kissimmee i s blessed to have one of the most diverse commissions it’s ever seen. To honor such contributions contributions made by our African-American community that is making our city a better place to live.”
Here’s the impactful community leaders who the city of Kissimmee honored Tuesday:
Anna Pinellas moved to Kissimmee in June of 1981 from Washington, D.C. and began working at Martin Marietta. She later moved onto Kissimmee where she worked to secure Osceola community development block grants (CDBG) and to establish Martin Luther King Day as a holiday in the cities of Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Osceola County and the School District. She has served on multiple boards, including the Osceola Council on Aging, Head Start Board of Directors, and 4C Board of Directors, to name a few.
Dr. Ann Tyler:
Dr. Ann Tyler has lived in Kissimmee since August 1991 and has always been interested in the community. She has served as an appointed member of various Osceola County committees and has been part of organizations such as Osceola County Education Associations-Retired and is a lifetime member of the local NAACP branch.
Roxanne Harvey, missionary and pastor of Real Love International Ministries, established to “help people discover and develop skills that will enable individuals to move from poverty to independent living, from helplessness to hopefulness.” She also established computer training programs for low-income residents that include job placement assistance.
Pastor Sterling Blake:
Pastor Sterling Blake, who’s gone from farm worker to entrepreneur led by the Lord, his company Sterling Silver Scape and Sod has been in existence for 312 years and employs 29 workers.
Eddie Fullwood was born and raised in Kissimmee and is the co-founder of No Limit, Inc. He began his career in 2002 by maintaining neighborhood landscape plants and lawns throughout Kissimmee. In 2003, his business was incorporated under the name of No Limit Lawn Care, Inc. and expanded into all segments of the landscape industry. In 2012, he started his business, No Limit Handyman Services, Inc. that currently employs over 40 people.
Marielle Pierrot, Social worker and community organizer, and founder of Founder of I Am Woman Proverbs 31 Ministiry;
Marielle Pierrot is a native New Yorker who moved to South Florida in 2003 and then to Central Florida in 2006. She is the third of seven siblings and a mother of two children. Despite Marielle being hearing impaired, she successfully pursued her career as a social worker and community organizer with more than 20 years of experience in the social services industry. She worked with at risk homeless youth, pregnant youths, foster children, and homeless families and has served in the Florida Coalition for the Homeless, Broward Coalition for the Homeless, United Way Independent Living Program and FEMA.
Arkeisha was born in Miami Florida. In May 2001, she had her second son, Kareem Angel Green, but tragically, at the age of only five, his life was cut short due to a drowning accident. Arkeisha’s passion for helping others assisted her in getting through the tremendous loss by becoming an advocate for swimming safety through the Team Memorial Foundation. She has donated countless swimming lesson vouchers to various community parks to help reduce the number of child drownings locally. She often speaks to organizations about water safety and helps raise funds for school supplies for local students in need.
Osceola Arts coordinated the work of five local artists, who’s paintings will be displayed on the walls as Kissimmee City Hall through the end of the month. The Liberty High School choir sang the national anthem and provided other musical entertainment.