QUAKE SURVIVOR FRANCOIS GUILLAUME JR. MAKING A DIFFERENCE
MIAMI (May 4, 2011) – It takes an indomitable spirit and a strong sense of purpose to survive a catastrophic earthquake and rebound with renewed fervor, strength and determination.
Haitian businessman François Guillaume Jr. is one of the many survivors of the January 2010 earthquake which devastated Haiti. His story is one of inspiration and dedication which is why Marketplace Excellence has named him “Notable West Indian.”
Armed with a sense of purpose, Guillaume strongly advocates the reconstruction of Haiti accompanied by a holistic development plan which will improve the lives of Haitians.
Executive Director of the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, which promotes and protects Haitian-American business interests, as well as investment in Haiti, Guillaume narrowly survived the quake after leaving Hotel Montana minutes before it collapsed. Guillaume left with a friend to pick up medicine for a bothersome headache. Unfortunately, a third colleague who had checked in with him did not make it.
The Miami-based Guillaume also is co-founder of the Haitian Diaspora Federation (HDF) which strives to galvanize the entire Haitian Diaspora towards the sustainable socio-economic development of Haiti.
Recognizing the need to build and use investment and business development opportunities to not only rebuild, but also to elevate the country’s economic independence and development, Guillaume volubly calls for greater integration of Haiti with the rest of the Caribbean.
He asserts Haiti needs to seek out alternative forms of trade, while broadening provisions for the free movement of Haitians, especially as it relates to visa requirements for some countries.
Guillaume, who travels often to Haiti, is a firm believer in the promotion of the CARICOM Single Market and in a recent interview with the Trinidad Guardian advocates for changes that will see Haiti benefitting from greater cooperation among countries, ultimately resulting in greater economic development for all. Also, he contends a more systematic and sustained engagement of Haitian businessmen will result in greater regional economic integration with increased benefits for Haitian nationals.
Guillaume is also owner of the consulting firm GuiLac, a company that specializes in business/economic development and financial consulting services. He has served as an economic development consultant to the council of Florida Governor Bush’s Haiti Advisory Group, and was nominated in February 2010 to serve on the board of the Florida Black Business Support Corporation (FBBSC). FBBSC is a state-wide black business investment corporation, which provides several services to Black-owned businesses in the State of Florida.