2019 GRAND MARSHAL:
As CEO of Community Health of South Florida (CHI), Colonel (Ret.) Brodes H. Hartley Jr. is dedicated to offering topnotch multispecialty healthcare and behavioral services in 45 locations throughout South Miami-Dade and the Florida Keys. Integrating education and disease prevention, the organization’s primary care services include family and internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, surgery, podiatry, optometry, dental, pharmacy, laboratory and radiology. The behavioral health services
include crisis intervention, crisis stabilization, psychosocial rehab, aftercare, substance abuse treatment and referral, case management, therapeutic foster care, and youth intervention. The organization also provides AIDS education, testing and counseling. CHI is the first federally qualified health center in Florida to be designated a teaching health center that offers residency programs in Family Medicine, OB/GYN and Psychiatry. Through affiliations with FIU, Florida A&M, University of Miami, NOVA Southeastern, SABA Medical School and other educational institutions, students gain hands-on experience in a variety of healthcare disciplines.
“Our goal is to deliver safe, compassionate, accessible and culturally competent quality health services to the people of South Florida,” Hartley vows. “Our physicians are board certified or board eligible. Our facilities are accredited by the Joint Commission, so they go through the same accreditation process as any hospital.”
Hartley received his BA degree from Florida A&M University. As president of the Student Government Association at FAMU, he led students to initiate the Tallahassee Bus Boycott in 1956. After graduation, Hartley was commissioned through the ROTC program as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps. He received a Master’s of Hospital Administration degree from Baylor University in 1968 and was later recognized with an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from FAMU.
Hartley served 26 years in the Army Medical Services Corps, including assignment as Executive Officer at 93rd Evacuation Hospital, Republic Vietnam; U.S. Army Hospitals in Camp Zama, Japan; Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, and Nuremberg Army Hospital, West Germany. Decorated with the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star, among others, Hartley retired from the Army in 1983.
Over the years, Hartley has received countless honors and awards for his dedicated community service. Hartley and his late wife, Jacquelyn, were married 55 years with two children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
2019 Parade Ambassadors:
With over 25 years of progressive leadership experience in child welfare and behavioral health services, President/CEO Michael C. Williams brings to Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe Inc. a developed and proven track record in creating culturally competent service systems that meet the needs of the children and their families they serve. Throughout his career, Williams’ management approach has created environments that embrace creativity, encourage smart work, maximize productivity, and create efficiencies in highly complex environments.
Before joining Our Kids, Michael served as the Deputy Commissioner of Operations for Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families where he established himself as an innovator by leading systems change efforts to better meet consumer needs while simultaneously obtaining full community participation. During his tenure, he successfully implemented a new Child Protection Practice Model that included implementing a Differential Response System in the agency’s investigation practices. Utilizing technical assistance from Georgetown University, Williams also designed a reform strategy for the state’s Juvenile Justice Services. As the principal Investigator of a 3-year grant, Williams created and implemented a comprehensive statewide racial justice strategy to reduce racial and ethnic disproportionality and disparities in child welfare practices and oversaw a one-year planning process to create a Comprehensive and Integrated Behavioral plan presented to the CT state legislature and Governor.
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Williams is a graduate of Northeast Louisiana University of Monroe, University of Connecticut School of Social Work, Trinity College of Vermont, and the University of Connecticut’s School of Business’ Executive Program in Managed Care.
Initially serving as Director of Community Services for Hartford Community Mental Health Services, Michael provided supervision, direction, and leadership to the community support programs for people with psychiatric disabilities. He was also responsible for developing and managing an annual program budget that included 4 programs for residential support, homeless outreach, case management and family support. For the following 10 years, he managed Hartford Behavioral Health’s 38-member staff agency as its Chief Executive Officer. Williams achieved a balance operational budget each year of his leadership by establishing an annual revenue generation strategy that involved individual donor cultivation, partnerships with local and national foundations, and maximized productivity reimbursements. Additionally, he successfully negotiated and settled multiple collective bargaining contracts.
In 2003, Williams joined Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families as a Regional Administrator and member of the Commissioner’s Executive Team and Transition Task Force where he successfully restructured the agency and its personnel selection and assignment process.
An ordained clergy, Michael has always been a very engaged member of his community. He was appointed to Connecticut’s Commission on Health Equity, where he served as a board member of the Bloomfield Board of Education and Black Administrators of Child Welfare. Williams was a participant in the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute of the Leadership Academy of Deans and Directors, a member of the Mayor’s Cabinet for Young Children, and participated in many other community activities in the greater Hartford area.
Mr. Williams has three children and four grandchildren.
In 1983, John Wesley Ragin began work as a Longshoreman for ILA1416 during which time, he attended college at the University of the District of Columbia. For the last 15 years, Ragin has worked as an Assistant Supervisor, and for the past 9 years, served on the union’s Board of Trustees. In 2013, as an Ambassador for the Longshoremen, he was chosen to represent ILA1416 in Haiti where he was in charge of purchasing items for the trip and ensuring delivery to the needy. The union was able to provide new clothes, bikes, and toys to the poorest neighborhoods in Haiti.
Since 2006, Ragin has been active in the A. Philip Randolph Institution (APRI), serving on the national level as the Chief Sergeant-At-Arms for the past 10 years. In that role he has personally worked with Rev. Al Sharpton, Danny Glover, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Dick Gregory, Bayard Rustin, Norman Hill, and numerous Senators who inspired him to establish his non-profit organization Help Every Living Person (HELP) that feeds the hungry in Miami every 2nd Sunday of the month. HELP also supplies clothes, school supplies, toys, personal hygiene products, etc. to the needy.
During the Christmas season, Ragin joins a group of affluent philanthropists to create a major holiday fundraiser that benefits 25 impoverished families of 5 in Miami and Broward counties. The 2018 event also garnered unwrapped toys and raised enough funds to provide hot meals on Christmas Eve and additionally support HELP’s community efforts.
In an effort to reduce violence and promote a gun-free society, Ragin serves as Vice-President for the “Do Not Take My Life...Let Me Live” organization that seeks to increase community awareness through education. Currently, the organization is diligently working with South Florida Mayors to deliver its message of peace and love and to encourage young people to be proud, strong, productive individuals.
Ragin credits his father’s example for his own love of people, God, and family. His mantra is “The greatest deed in life is to give to others before giving to yourself.”