JM Family Enterprises, Southeast Toyota Distributors and JM Lexus Announce Celebration for Black Achievers

October 2, 2023

Four local leaders to be honored at an October 26 ceremony at The Parker in Fort Lauderdale

JM Family Enterprises, Southeast Toyota Distributors and JM Lexus announce the return of the Black Achievers Awards, formerly known as African-American Achievers. The program was created 31 years ago by JM Family Enterprises founder, Jim Moran, to recognize inspiring individuals who give selflessly in order to make a significant difference in the lives of others. Having been initially paused due to COVID-19, the program has now been refreshed while staying true to its roots of celebrating unsung heroes.

The honorees include:

Arts & Culture

Traci Young-Byron – Miami-Dade County – Preeminent Dance Instructor. Young-Byron, born and raised in Liberty City, is a pillar of her community. She heads the Performance and Visual Arts Center at Miami Northwestern High School and is dance coach for the school’s Golden Girls Dance Line. She pushes her students to succeed, requiring a 3.5 grade point average to be a part of the team. Young-Byron has impacted thousands of underprivileged young women and men with her contributions to the community. Her passion for the arts shines through her role as Founder and CEO of the Young Contemporary Dance Theatre, with its mission to help enlighten and expand societal views through all areas of dance.

Business & Entrepreneurism

Ken Roland – Broward County – Entrepreneur. Lifeguard Lieutenant Ken Roland’s career was launched by a tragedy — a car accident that landed him in the hospital gripping to life. After a stressful 15-hour surgery, Lt. Roland recovered and vowed to help his community in a special way. Now CEO of Ken Roland International, LLC., Lt. Roland brings CPR training and swim instruction to children across the country. Since his accident, Lt. Roland formed Swim Central in Broward County; an organization that has provided swimming lessons free of charge to more than 670,000 school children. As a trailblazer in the industry, Lt. Roland is leveraging his remarkable background to pioneer an entirely new approach to safety courses, through the creation of his business model which is now operated by his son Jacob and grandsons Judah, Messiah and King Roland.

Community Service

Marleine Bastien – Miami-Dade County – Social Worker and Executive Director of Family Action Network Movement (FANM). Bastien was born in Haiti where she volunteered most of her young life. She came to Florida as an adult and days later began volunteering at the Haitian Refugee Center. Bastien has a master’s degree in Social Work from Florida International University and spent many years at Jackson Memorial Hospital as a medical social worker with children and families, where she became the premiere advocate for patients’ rights. She has championed the cause of women, children and Haitian families through her dedicated advocacy in the areas of immigration and human rights, HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and domestic violence. Through FANM, Bastien helps to provide an array of services such as immigration help, health access, housing, education and more.


Danni Washington – Broward County – Marine Biologist and TV Personality. Washington’s passion for education and for marine biology has given her a unique career path. She broke the mold of a traditional environmentalist, touted as the first Black-American to host an American science television series. At age 21, she co-founded the Big Blue & You, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to inspiring and educating youth about marine conservation through arts and media. Washington has a love for youth outreach and education demonstrated by her work as a naturalist at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center, where she has helped educate thousands of South Florida children about local marine ecosystems. She sets out to inspire and educate children so they, too, can use their unique set of gifts and follow their passion in life.

Each year, in recognition of the Achievers and their efforts to improve the quality of life in our community, JM Family and its subsidiaries Southeast Toyota Distributors and JM Lexus contributed $10,000 in each Achiever’s name to the South Florida charity(ies) of his or her choice.

The 2020 honorees were selected by an independent panel of community leaders, including former Achievers from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The selection committee reviewed more than 250 nominations received from throughout South Florida after an extensive public outreach campaign.

The Black Achievers ceremony will be held on Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. at The Parker. This event is open to the public and will feature live musical entertainment, catered refreshments and an awards presentation. As part of the evening’s festivities, one South Florida high school senior will be named the 2023 Jerome Edmund Gray Youth Achiever. This honor, which was named in memory of 1995 Black Achiever Jerome Edmund Gray, Esq., includes a four-year, need-based scholarship to Florida State University.

RSVP’s are now open. To RSVP, visit Interact with Black Achievers on Facebook and Instagram.

About JM Family Enterprises
JM Family Enterprises, Inc. was founded by automotive legend, Jim Moran in 1968. It is a privately held company with more than $20 billion in revenue and more than 5,000 associates. Rooted in automotive and united in its strong culture and core values, JM Family is in the business of helping other businesses succeed. As a long-term partner, it is invested in its companies, associates and its communities. Driven by exceptional performance, current subsidiaries are in the automotive, financial services, franchising and specialty distribution industries. Its family of companies includes: Southeast Toyota Distributors, JM&A Group, World Omni Financial Corp. (dba Southeast Toyota Finance), JM Lexus, Home Franchise Concepts®, Futura Title & Escrow and Rollease Acmeda. Interact with JM Family on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Media Contacts

Christie Caliendo

Director, Public Relations & Integrated Marketing