Transformation: The 2018 Outlook Persons of the Year
By Rev. R.B. Holmes Jr
President and Publisher
Each year, the Capital Outlook has identified extraordinary persons and organizations in the community who have distinguished themselves in leadership, service, and community engagement. We are very pleased to present another exceptional group of individuals and organizations who are undeniably worthy of this year’s recognition:
Person of the Year: Sheriff Walt McNeil
Walter A. McNeil was elected Sheriff of Leon County in November 2016. In his distinguished 35-year career as a public servant, Sheriff McNeil has led the fight against crime in Tallahassee. The recent decrease in Tallahassee’s crime rate is the result of strong community partnerships, outstanding police work and the city’s commitment to safe neighborhoods. Sheriff McNeil’s success is based upon his leadership in developing community policing efforts and collaboration with law enforcement partners.
Sheriff McNeil has been a good neighbor – giving his time and talents to organizations that make a difference in our lives. He has chaired the Heart Walk for the county chapter of the American Heart Association, been an honorary co-chair of Leon’s March of Dimes Walk America campaign, and served on the boards of the local Boys and Girls Town, Chamber of Commerce and Refuge House. The Sheriff and his family are active members of New Mount Zion AME Church.
Church of the Year: Temple of Israel, Jack Romberg, Rabbi
Temple of Israel, has been under the leadership of Rabbi Jack Romberg since 2001 and has been quite active in local, state and political affairs. The recent mass shooting at Tallahassee’s Hot Yoga Studio and the aftermath of the senseless killing at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, sent shock waves through Tallahassee. The congregation of Temple of Israel provided incredible spiritual calm in calling for unity in this community and beyond. The resulting community rally held Sunday, Nov. 11, in Cascades Park marked the beginning of “Hope, Healing, and Harmony.” Rabbi Romberg has been on the editorial board of the Tallahassee Democrat and still contributes columns to the paper. He is a co-founder of Tallahassee Interfaith Clergy and currently a member of “The God Squad,” a panel of Tallahassee clergy addressing faith and political issues under the umbrella of “The Village Square.” At a time when our nation is deeply divided and polarized, The Capital Outlook salutes Temple of Israel and Rabbi Romberg, as they earnestly strive to bind us together.
Youth of the Year Imani Lewis
Imani is the daughter of Attorney Jerry Lewis and Berinice Mercer Lewis. She is a senior at Leon High School where she participated in the Creative Writing Club. Imani also participates in track and weightlifting and volunteers at Tallahassee Memorial Health Care Pediatric Unit. She co-chaired the Flynt Michigan Water Project delivering over 40,000 bottles of water to distressed communities. Imani is a lifelong member of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, where she has been fully engaged in mission and children and youth outreach. She is a member of the Pearls of Perfection of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Imani exemplifies the true meaning of inner and outer beauty and is a most worthy recipient of the Outlook’s 2018 Youth of the Year.
Millennial of the Year: Krystina Gavin
Ms. Gavin is the vivacious daughter of Ms. Beverly Gavin and the late Ronald Gavin. She is employed as an accounting analyst at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A graduate of Godby High School, Ms. Gavin is currently a junior at FAMU majoring in Early Childhood Education. As a lifelong member of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Ms. Gavin has emerged as a committed ministry leader, with a special passion for training and mentoring young people. Her leadership as advisor for the Youth Liturgical Dancers has generated an explosion of spiritual energy, stewardship and church growth. Ms. Krystina Gavin has truly given of her time, talents, and treasures for the spread of the Gospel and is a commendable recipient of this year’s Millennial of the Year recognition.
Business of the Year: Hinson Realty, LLC
Terence Hinson is the son of Prince and Ann Hinson. He has been involved in real estate personally, since 1983. His real estate company started in 1988. “When it’s all God, it’s all good” stated Mr. Hinson. My greatest satisfaction is seeing a client refer other business to him. “Knowing that we’ve done something well means everything.” Mr. Hinson attended Bud Rogers Real Estate School.
Family of the Year: Commissioner Curtis Richardson and Mrs. (Judge Nina) Richardson and daughters Carina and Aida
The Richardson Family is synonymous with Tallahassee. As a family unit, they exemplify the American dream. Curtis, the City Commissioner; Nina, the honorable judge; daughters Carina, in the US Naval Academy; and Student Aida.
Living in Tallahassee’s southside, they walk with kings but keep the common touch. Tallahassee is so fortunate to have such a dynamic family that prays and stays together while serving their community and improving the quality of life for everyone.
Civil Rights Advocate of the Year:
Rev. Stanley Sims
Reverend Stanley Sims is focused and determined to help save taxpayers money while keeping ex-offenders off the streets. He started a program called Hardship Employment for Low-Income People, putting ex-offenders to work, washing and detailing city vehicles. A former felon, Rev. Sims believes there are hundreds of former felons in the area who could use a hand in finding work and keep them from making choices that would put them back in jail. The Capital Outlook salutes Rev. Sims for his determination and tenacity in working to prevent crime, one felon at a time.
Pastor of the Year: Rev. Darrick McGhee, Bible Based Church
Darrick D. McGhee, Sr. (affectionately known as Pastor D) is a graduate of Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, where he also received the Lord Jesus Christ into his life. On September 26, 1996, Pastor D began his Christian walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. He was licensed and ordained under Pastor Stanley L. Walker, Sr. Pastor D completed his religious courses at FAMU, along with receiving his ministerial certification from the Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church Ministerial Training Program. Pastor D has a strong passion for today’s youth and young adults. He was named one of 2008’s Most Loved Youth Pastors by Gospel Today Magazine (September/October 2008 issue). Currently, Pastor D, Elect Lady Tikia and their two children reside in Tallahassee, Florida, where he is the Pastor of Bible Based Church. The Outlook salutes this young pastor who is doing great and wonderful work for the building of the kingdom of God.
Organization of the Year: The Apalachee Center Jay A. Reeve, PhD, President/CEO
As President and CEO of Apalachee Center, Dr. Jay Reeve has been tasked with providing strategic leadership for the whole company, directly supervising Apalachee’s Senior Management Team, and carrying out the broad direction set by their Board. At a time when mental health has become a number one priority in communities across America, The Apalachee Center, under Dr. Reeve’s leadership, is working intentionally and strategically developing and securing funding for new business ventures, whether through legislative or private means. I try to spend as much time as I can visiting Apalachee’s acute inpatient psychiatric units, talking to clients and staff, since that’s really why I got into this field in the first place. The Outlook commends The Apalachee Center, its Board, and its outstanding Director, Dr. Jay A. Reeve, for the innovative and timely initiatives they are advancing that will articulate the need for the availability for comprehensive mental health care in North Florida and beyond.
Special recognition will be held at the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, Sunday, January 27, 2019, at 11:00 AM.