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First Edition

April 2013

CHAMBER NEWSLETTER Building Strong Community Partnerships

The Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce Of Florida, (HACCOF) was established as a catalyst for change. Our Mission:   To   serve   as   a   resource   for   its   members,   partners  and  businesses,  dedicated  to  serving  their  needs   and   the   economic   development   of   the   broader   Haitian-­‐ American  community.      

HACCOF is   the   leading   organization   to   bring   businesses   together  and  acts  as  an  advocate  for  Haitian  and  Haitian-­‐ American   enterprises.   We   are   the   premier   voice   for   the   business   community   to   the   public,   the   media   and   government  entities.   HACCOF   mobilizes   concerned   entrepreneurs   across   Florida,  the  U.S.  and  Haiti  when  important  legislation  and   regulations   are   planned   or   debated   that   may   potentially   affect  the  broader  Haitian  business  community.   HACCOF   promotes   partnerships   and   alliances   within   communities   throughout   Florida   and   Haiti   to   build   healthy   business  climates,  foster  investment  opportunities,  create   employment   growth,   and   encourage   public   and   private   sector  collaboration.  

IN THIS ISSUE: • HACCOF News • Chairman’s Welcome Message • Legal Corner: - Who let the dogs out? … - Immigration Considerations… • Member Spotlight • HR: EEOC Releases detailed… • Welcome New Members • What you missed… • Upcoming Events • Become a Member • Thank you sponsors

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Chamber Information: 1510 NE 162nd Street North Miami Beach, FL 33162 Phone: (305) 733-9066 E-mail: Website:

April 2013

A Message from our Chamber Chairman… Welcome to the first edition of the Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida (HACCOF) newsletter! Our newsletter will be distributed periodically to inform chamber members of useful and informative happenings, key accomplishments, business opportunities and upcoming events. Last year was an amazing year for HACCOF, our partners, members and our business community as a whole. In 2012, the Chamber conducted trade missions, helped organize an introductory trip to Haiti with the Thai Trade Center, organized the Women in Production trade show, worked alongside businesses interested in the economic growth of Haiti, and created many new partnerships. This year our goal continues to be the economic growth and development of our members and Haiti. Helping you connect and engage with other members creates strong community and business partnerships that we have the pleasure to be a part of. In 2013 we want to execute trade missions to Thailand and Taiwan, collaborate with key partners in South Florida and Haiti, support our members’ success by continuing to provide opportunities to network, engage and make business connections. Remember that the way to gain connections and exposure is to come out and participate in our monthly “Meet & Greet” networking events. We have a business after hours event every month to facilitate making connections with members like you. If you’re not a member, I personally invite you to join and become a vibrant part of our chamber. Thank you for your continued support and for being a part of our chamber community. Sincerely,

Pierre A. Saliba, Chairman

Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida is happy to announce its new partnership with Florida National University. We have joined forces to provide training, certificates, and Associates & Bachelors degree opportunities to our chamber members and family. For information about these great new chamber member benefits please contact us.

For more  information  about  the  programs  available  at  Florida   National  University  please  call  305-­‐821-­‐3333  or  visit   About  Florida  National  University  (FNU)  Florida  National  College   is  regionally  accredited  by  the  Southern  Association  of  Colleges   and  Schools  Commission  on  Collage  (SACS/COC),  and  has  been   providing  quality  higher  education  since  1982.   2

April 2013

Officers, Board members, Founder & Executive Staff OFFICERS Pierre A. Saliba Chairman Jeff Lozama 1st Vice-Chair Munir Mourra, PHD. 2nd Vice-Chair Raoul Siclait Treasurer Régine Cambronne Secretary BOARD MEMBERS Commissioner Ronald A. Brisé Charles Fombrun Henri-Claude Müller-Poitevien Michaël Vorbe Patrick Martin Carl-Henry Salvant FOUNDER Philippe R. Armand, MBA EXECUTIVE OFFICE Paola Pierre, MBA, HRM Executive Director

LEGAL By: Richard T. Champagne, Esq. Champagne Law Group, P.A. Managing Partner


Who let the dogs out? Justice Antonin Scalia said in Florida v. Jardines that law enforcement officials may not let the dogs out to sniff homeowners’ homes to detect the presence of narcotics inside the homes… Over the last two decades, much of the privacy rights afforded by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution have been eroded. Indeed, the constitutional safeguards guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment have been eviscerated in the aftermath of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 as a clarion call for a much more robust police presence and police involvement in our everyday life had been reverberated in our communities. Many felt that such an unprecedented dominant police involvement in our lives was imperative and necessary for crime prevention, effective prosecution of the war on drugs, and counter terrorism. JOIN THE CHAMBER TODAY! But advocates for individual freedom and liberties have always See the back of this expressed great skepticism and concerns newsletter to fill out about the scope of the power granted to membership form law enforcement officials to detect, OR prevent, and combat crimes. But this did not deter police departments across the Visit our website at nation to even continue asking for more to power and latitude to do their law download our enforcement work at the expense of membership form individual liberties and freedoms guaranteed by the United States OR Constitution. E-mail us at Lately, there has a new trend for whereby sophisticated technological more information equipments such as thermal imaging devices, infrared military-grade cameras, and GPS devices are used by police to Continued on Page 12 3

April 2013

By: Patricia Elizee, Esq. Elizee Hernandez Law Firm Managing Partner


Immigration Considerations for Business Owners


Business owners must be mindful of immigration considerations when hiring employees to work in their businesses. First off, it is illegal for any business owner to hire an individual who does not have work authorization in the United States. It is the business owner’s burden to verify that the employee is able to legally work in the US. However, please note that it is illegal to discriminate against workauthorized individuals in hiring, discharge, recruitment or referral for a fee based on immigration status. The United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) agency recently published a new version of Form I-9. All employers must complete Form I-9 to document verification of the identity and employment authorization for each new hire. Employers must complete this form for both citizen and non-citizen employees. The form can be found at There is no filing fee. The employee will fill out the first section of the form and provide their contact information, social security number, and provide their immigration status. To be authorized to work in the United States the employee must either be a US Citizen, a Lawful Permanent Resident, or an Alien authorized to work. Immigrants who are paroles, asylees, or refugees will most likely have work authorization. Immigrants in pending immigration proceedings or have a pending immigration application will also most likely have work authorization. Those with Temporary Protective Status (TPS) will also most lastly have work authorization. Immigrants with work authorization are issued Employment Authorization Cards by USCIS. The employee must present proof that he has work authorization. The employer must physically examine any documents presented and determine if it reasonably appears to be genuine. The employer should make copies of the proof of work authorization and complete the second part of Form I-9 with the evidence provided by the employee. The form is not mailed to USCIS but should be kept by the employer in the employee’s file to be presented to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, or any other federal agency upon request. Once the employment relationship has ended, the employer must keep the Form I-9 on file for at least one year after the last day of employment or three years after the date of hire, whichever is later. Some Acceptable Documents to Prove Work Authorization: -

US passport Permanent Resident Card Alien Registration Receipt Card Foreign Passport that contains a temporary I-551 stamp Employment Authorization Document Foreign Passport and I-94 card with an endorsement of the alien’s nonimmigrant status.

Patricia Elizee is a Partner at Elizee Hernandez Law Firm. She can be reached at 305-371-8846 or 4

April 2013

Meet the

“Haitian Culinary Alliance” A delicious culinary addition to our community! The Haitian  Culinary  Alliance  officially  opened  in  January  of  2013  in  the  state  of  Florida,  founded   by  Stephane  Berrouet  Durand,  Davidson  Destinoble,  Neïma  Bélancourt,  Georges  Laguerre  and   Alain  Lemaire.    The  alliance  currently  has  board  members  in  Haiti,  New  York,  California  with  their   main  base  here  in  Florida.     The  Haitian  Culinary  Alliance's  mission  is  to  forge  a  strong  and  united  network  of  food  service,   culinary  and  hospitality  individuals  of  Haitian  descent  while  providing  networking  and  educational   resources  to  its  affiliates.     Their  goal  is  to  become  the  voice  for  the  cook  or  hospitality  individual;  giving  them  the  necessary   resources  (exposure,  training,  mentorship,  guidance  etc.,).     “We  believe  that  gastronomy  and  hospitality  are  keys  to  attracting     others  to  know  and  appreciate  our  culture.”  –  Haitian  Culinary  Alliance  

Interested in  the  art  of  culinary?  The  Haitian  Culinary  Alliance  is  currently  accepting  new   members.  Anyone,  interested  is  welcome  to  join,  as  long  as  you  share  the  same  passion  for   food  and  education.    

For more  information  or  to  become  a   member  of  this  dynamic  new  organization:    

E-­‐mail:   Phone:  305-­‐814-­‐2431   Event  website:   Follow  on  Twitter:  @hca_usa  


April 2013


April 2013

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Objectives… Past accomplishments… Goals... Our Objectives:   q q q q q q q

Promoting business  &  economic  development  interest  of  our  members.   Promoting  and  facilitating  business,  professional  and  social  relations  and   cooperation  among  our  members.   Forming  alliances  with  members,  business  and  civic  leaders,  other  chambers,  associations,  agencies,  government   officials  and  foreign  dignitaries  to  accomplish  its  goals.     Promoting  educational  seminars  and  conferences  for  the  improvement  of  our  members  and  the  betterment  of  our   community.     Hosting  educational,  local  and  international  trade  forums.   Organize  and  facilitate  networking  programs.   Engaging  in  dialogue,  cooperation  and  understanding  within  Haitian  communities.  

In keeping  with  our  objectives,  HACCOF  serves  as  the  advocate  for  the  Haitian-­‐American  community  as  well  as  a   resource  for  consumers  and  businesses  dedicated  to  serving  the  needs  of  our  members  and  the  economic   development  of  our  community.     Some  of  our  past  accomplishments  include:   q q q q q q q q

Trade Mission  to  Thailand  with  the  Thai  Trade  Center   Organizing  the  first  introductory  trip  to  Haiti  with  the  Thai  Trade  Center   Served  as  a  conduit  of  various  firms  interested  in  doing  business  with  Haiti  or  the  Haitian-­‐American  Community  in   South  Florida.   Partnership  with  Miami  Dade  College,  Carry  P  Meek  Foundation  and  Wells  Fargo  –  Mentoring  Program   Seminar  for  business  on  federal  and  state  law  regarding  employees  and  independent  contractors  by  Littler  and   Mendelson   nd Successfully  organized  the  2  largest  Women  in  Production  trade  show  2012   Citizenship  drive  at  the  Notre  dame  D’Haiti   Led  the  first  Taiwan  Business  Delegation  to  Haiti.  

With  a  keen  focus  on  our  objectives  and  a  passionate  collaboration  from  our  members  and  our  community  we  will   accomplish  the  following  goals  &  much  more!   q q q q

First Haiti/Haitian-­‐American  Trade  Mission  to  Thailand   Continue  to  Establish  Collaborative  agreement  with  other  Key  Partners  in  South  Florida  and  Haiti   Promote  networking  sessions  with  members  and  various  local  businesses.   First  Haiti/Haitian  American  Trade  Mission  to  Taiwan.  


April 2013

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April 2013

Member Spotlight SFLHCC Annual Black History Month Event February 13, 2013 The “Outstanding Community Leader Award” is presented to African Americans who have made significant contributions to our community and who have excelled in their respective careers. Among the 2013 Honorees: Régine Cambronne, HACCOF Board Secretary

Consulate General of Haiti in Miami Event March 24, 2013 The "Beacon of Hope and Achievement Award" is presented to women to honor their creativity and professionalism in humanitarian & community activities. Among the 2013 Honorees: Paola Pierre, Executive Director, HACCOF

Koze-Fanm "From Creation to Celebration" Event March 28th, 2013 The “Women of Courage Award” is presented to women who are determined to do their part in making positive changes towards the development of their community. Among the 2013 Honorees: Paola Pierre, Executive Director, HACCOF


April 2013

January 31, 2013


EEOC Releases Detailed Enforcement Statistics – Claims Remain at Historic Levels The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it received 99,412 private sector workplace discrimination charges during fiscal year (FY) 2012 – October 1, 2011 to September 30, 2012. While the number of charges is down slightly from the record number filed in previous fiscal year, FY 2012 marked the fifth consecutive year that neared the 100,000charge level. The EEOC also released details regarding the types of charges filed. For the second consecutive year retaliation is the most frequently filed charge (37,836), followed by race (33,512) and sex discrimination (30,356).1 Of particular interest to employers, the Commission released a new table analyzing the type of discriminatory actions alleged. Under Title VII, the top six most frequently challenged practices were discharge/constructive discharge, harassment/intimidation, terms and condition of employment, discipline, promotion, and wages. Even though the number of charges dipped, the EEOC obtained a historic amount of

ADVERTISE IN OUR HACCOF QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER Share your business events and important news with all our chamber members, friends and community leaders. For advertising opportunities contact us at: ******

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- Oleta Partners, LLC - MOCA Café North Miami - Haitian Culinary Alliance

- Estime & Irvin Associates - Global Solutions Agency, LLC/Koze Fanm


Welcome 2013 New Chamber Members: The Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida would like to welcome the 2013 new members. We are happy to have you join our group of great members and leaders.

- Alix Desulme - Allstar HR Consulting - Ameriprise Financial Services Inc. - Gang Alternative Inc. - Jean Pierre


- Champagne Law Group, P.A. - MC Virtual Professionals - RCA Media Group - Renaud Pierre-Charles

- Aude Sicard - Carol Keys, Attorney at Law - Elizee Hernandez Law Firm P.A. - Stacy Silvera

April 2013

March 8, 2013 @ Moca Cafe & Lounge

Did you miss our last “Meet & Greet”?

A Special “Thank You” to our March sponsor: 11

April 2013

Continued from Page 3 invade the most sensitive and intimate areas in our personal liberties and freedoms while escaping judicial scrutiny at state court level. But the United States Supreme Court has repeatedly drawn a line in the sand every time law enforcement officials place the sanctity of citizens’ private homes at risk of being trampled and compromised in their exercise of their aggressive law enforcement tactics designed to prevent crime. Interestingly, Justice Antonin Scalia has been the most vociferous protector of homeowners’ rights to be secured in their homes, papers, and effects from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement officials except if armed with a validly executed search warrant or if an exception to the search warrant requirements exists. As we are breathlessly anticipating the Supreme Court decisions in the Defense of Marriage Act case (DOMA), same-sex marriage case, and the other cases dealing with gay rights, the United Supreme Court made news last Tuesday in a surprise ruling in a Florida case, Florida v. Jardines, holding that police need a warrant to use a drug-sniffing dog to conduct a search around the exterior area of a home. Even more interestingly, Justice Clarence Thomas concurred in the 5-4 decision, joining the liberal wing of the Court. Justice Scalia had raised the eyebrows of many conservatives when he took a similar approach in Kyllo v. United States, holding that it violates the United States Constitution whenever police conduct a warrantless search using a device or instrument for purposes of detecting the most intimate details transpiring inside of the dwelling house when such intimate details could not have been detected by the naked eyes or by means of tools or instruments readily available to the general public. Consistent with this line of thinking, he recently ruled in United States v. Jones that police need a warrant to install GPS devices on a car. The Jardines decision is breath of fresh air for advocates of Fourth Amendment rights who felt for a long time that the Court has lost its footing in its role of being the protector of individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the United States Constitution. In essence, Justice Scalia reaffirms that a citizen’s home is his castle and the rights to be free from government intrusion is inviolably sacred and sacrosanct.

Submit An Article Become a guest author for HACCOF HACCOF encourages all members to submit articles from their field of expertise for our quarterly newsletter. We are committed to being an information resource for our members and welcome all article suggestions. Please send all submissions to Management will review all articles before publishing. 12

April 2013



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Support these charities while benefiting the Environment.

For more  information  please  contact:   Mister  Recycleman   Phone:  (305)  235-­‐8686   Fax:  (206)  984-­‐4139   E-­‐mail:   E-­‐mail:  

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April 2013

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EEOC Releases Detailed Enforcement Statistics – Claims Remain at Historic Levels of money from private employers through its administrative process – $365.4 million. On the litigation/investigation side of the EEOC's efforts, the story is more mixed. In FY 2012, the EEOC filed 155 lawsuits, collecting $44.2 million. Both numbers were down significantly from FY 2011 (300 lawsuits, collecting$91 million). The EEOC may have made up for the low number of lawsuits with a continued emphasis on systemic pattern investigations. In FY 2012, the EEOC completed 240 systemic investigations, which in part resulted in 46 settlements or conciliation agreements. These settlements, achieved without litigation, secured $36.2 million. What to Do with These Numbers No employer has unlimited resources to devote to anti-discrimination compliance (and even California only requires "reasonable" efforts to prevent!). The EEOC's statistics are an excellent roadmap for employers that want to focus their efforts on the most significant risks. For example, many employers provide sexual harassment training for managers. This practice is prudent given that harassment charges represent 20% of the total charges, the affirmative defenses available to those who conduct such training, and how explosive the issue can become. However, the number charges involving retaliation, race discrimination, and termination each outpaced the number of sexual harassment charges (indeed all harassment charge) in FY 2012. Employers would be well advised to ensure that their training and other compliance efforts pay as much attention to the issues causing the greatest number claims of harassment. 1 Sex discrimination includes allegations of sexual harassment and pregnancy.

David Goldman, Managing Shareholder of the Littler Learning Group, is in the San Francisco office. If you would like further information, please contact your Littler attorney at 1.888.Littler,, or Mr. Goldman at © 2013 Littler Mendelson, P.C. All Rights Reserved. LITTLER® and ASAP® are registered trademarks of Littler Mendelson, P.C.


May is:

Haitian Heritage Month 5/1/13 Haitian Heritage Cultural Month Opening Reception 5/7/13 Haitian Heritage Cultural Month Presentation 5/11/13 Taste of Haiti 5/16/13 Haitian Heritage Month, Reception 5/18/13 Haitian History Bee 5/26/13 Haitian Mother’s Day 5/30/13 Haitian Heritage Cultural Month Closing Reception

For more information on the Haitian Heritage Month events, please visit our website:

April 2013

Upcoming Events: Haitian Lawyers Association Annual Scholarship Gala Saturday, April 13th, 2013 at 7:00 pm J.W. Marriott 1109 Brickell Ave Miami, FL 33131 Haitian American Nurses Association 29th Annual Scholarship Fundraising & Awards Gala Saturday, April 20th, 2013 From 7:00 pm – 2:00 am J.W. Marriott 1109 Brickell Ave Miami, FL 33131

Reception Hosted by: HaitianAmerican Chamber of Commerce of Florida & Consulate General of Canada

Strength in Unity

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 From 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Doubletree by Hilton Grand Hotel Biscayne Bay 1717 N. Bayshore Drive Miami, FL 33132

May is Haitian Heritage Month Please visit our website (Events Page) for a list of events, celebrations, receptions and presentations.

Haitian Heritage Month 15

April 2013

JOIN THE CHAMBER TODAY! Please send your completed application and membership dues to: Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida 1510 NE 162nd Street North Miami Beach, FL 33162

Membership Levels: Corporate: $750.00

Preferred: $450.00

Regular: $200.00

* New Members please add a first year, one-time $50.00 administrative fee. 16

Professional: $100.00

April 2013

A special Thank You to our sponsors and supporters:



April 2013

Interested in   sponsoring  a   Networking  Event?   Gain  exposure  by  introducing   yourself  &  your  business  to  our   friends  &  members     at  one  of  our  monthly     “Meet  &  Greet”  events.  

Contact us  at:     For  more  information  on   this  and  other  great   chamber  events,   partnerships  and   Collaborations.  

Haitian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida 1510 NE 162nd Street North Miami Beach, FL 33162

Recipient Address 1 Address 2 City, State, Zip Code

Phone: (305) 733-9066 - E-mail: - Website:

HACCOF Newsletter - 1st Qtr  
HACCOF Newsletter - 1st Qtr