NATIONAL NEWS

WASHINGTON, DC (May 18, 2021)—The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO), a nonprofit organization founded in 1971 dedicated to advancing minorities in the transportation industry with 34 chapters in the U.S. and Canada, celebrated transportation’s shining starts at its 2020 COMTO Industry Awards Virtual Program on Friday, May 14, 2021. These awards were given to individuals, chapters and organizations for outstanding work completed in 2019. The awards program, usually held at the COMTO National Meeting and Training Conference, was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 1985, the COMTO Industry Awards have recognized individuals, organizations and COMTO Chapters, who have made outstanding contributions to the transportation industry—honorees come from all sectors and modes of the industry.

2020 COMTO Industry Awards Recipients
Emerging Leader of the Year: Tiffany Spraggins-Payne, Director, Department of Transportation, Mid-Atlantic Region Small Business Resource Center

The Emerging Leader Award is given to an individual who has been involved in the transportation industry for fewer than 5 years. This award is presented to an individual who, throughout their affiliation with COMTO, has demonstrated extraordinary competence in a chosen transportation-related field by developing and improving their leadership skills and possesses a strong commitment to the transportation field and community.

Gerald Anderson Service Award: Kenneth Jones, General Superintendent, Bus Maintenance, Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works

The Gerald Anderson Service Award was established to recognize a COMTO member who has demonstrated commitment to the philosophy that the success of one is contingent upon the success of all. This is award is COMTO’s way of recognizing good service and the value of teamwork within the transportation industry and is given to ensure growth and development within the industry and community.

Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Firm of the Year: Able Business Services in Miami, FL

The HUB Firm of the Year award was introduced in 2003 to recognize HUBs that have demonstrated a strong commitment to the field of transportation and extraordinary competence in a chosen transportation-related field.

Reverend Jerry Moore President’s Leadership Award: Whitney Morgan, DBE Liaison Officer, Kansas City Area Transit Authority

The Reverend Jerry Moore President’s Leadership Award was established in 2011 to recognize a COMTO Chapter President who has demonstrated exemplary leadership within COMTO, whose involvement has made a significant impact in their local chapter and has demonstrated solid leadership on the national level.

Thomas G. Neusom Founders’ Leadership Award: Roosevelt Bradley, President, Maven Strategies

The Thomas G. Neusom Founders’ Leadership Award is the highest honor bestowed by COMTO. It honors public and private transportation executives and policymakers responsible for the direction and operation of their agency or organization and who, through their affiliation with COMTO, have made outstanding contributions towards the growth and development of people of color within the transportation industry and have given continued and outstanding service and leadership to the organization.

Harold B. Williams Game Changer Award: COMTO Miami

The Harold B. Williams Game Changer award is presented to a resurging COMTO chapter that has demonstrated their ability to revitalize their membership through new and improved programs and activities.

Best Community Engagement Award: COMTO New York

The Best COMTO Community Engagement award is presented to an active COMTO chapter that has successfully demonstrated excellence in the planning and implementation of community activities or events that enhance COMTO’s image.

Best Membership Recruitment & Retention Award: COMTO Miami

The Best Membership Recruitment & Retention award is presented to an active COMTO chapter that has successfully demonstrated excellence in recruiting and retaining members.

Chapter of the Year Award: COMTO Miami

The Chapter of the Year award is the highest honor bestowed upon a chapter for its outstanding service, activities, and enhancement of COMTO’s image.

“Even in the midst of challenging times, COMTO remains committed to honoring one of our key values of celebrating excellence within transportation and the communities we serve,” said Tara McDaniel, COMTO Interim President and CEO.

The awards program also includes a special President & CEO Award for Excellence given to outstanding individuals who have gone above and beyond to advance the organization.

President & CEO Award for Excellence: Council of Presidents Representatives: Beverly Greene, Executive Director, External Affairs, Marketing and Communications, Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit); Michelle Hiett, Principal Consultant, Hatch LTK; and Ruben Landa, Senior Communications Manager, WSP USA.

President & CEO Award for Excellence: Brad Mims, Deputy Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration; Former President & CEO, COMTO National

“I could not let my term as Interim President & CEO pass without honoring our Council of Presidents Representatives and Former President & CEO Brad Mims whose hard work and dedication to the organization in 2019 ultimately helped COMTO be resilient and steadfast as we faced challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020,” said McDaniel.

LOCAL NEWS

COMTO Miami Wins the Best Membership Recruitment & Retention!

COMTO Miami Chapter won the “Best Membership Recruitment & Retention Award” for successfully demonstrating excellence in recruiting and retaining members. The award was presented at the COMTO Industry Awards Virtual Program on Friday, May 14, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. The chapter doubled its membership for the second consecutive year.

The Best Membership Recruitment / Retention Activities award is presented to an active COMTO chapter that has successfully demonstrated excellence in recruiting and retraining members. This award recognizes both creativity in strategic program development and a commitment to enhance a broad and diverse membership. The recipient of this award has successfully demonstrated excellent in innovative recruitment activities to recruit new members outside the traditional public transportation industry, into modes that include airports, highways, maritime, ports, railroad, and student transportation, which has resulted in increased membership.

COMTO Miami Wins the Chapter of the Year!

The Miami Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) won three of the four national chapter awards presented at the COMTO Industry Awards Virtual Program on Friday, May 14, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. The Chapter was recognized as the “Chapter of the Year” which is the highest honor bestowed upon a chapter for its outstanding service, activities and enhancement of COMTO’s image.

To receive this award, a chapter must be in good standing, and demonstrate its alignment with COMTO’s mission through programs and that foster membership growth and retention, professional development, and community outreach. The recipient of this award has demonstrated an overall excellence and effectiveness in COMTO activities, both nationally and locally. The Miami Chapter substantially changed its engagement strategies and programs, doubled its membership and increased its appeal to potential members.

COMTO Miami Wins the Game Changer Award!

 

The COMTO Miami Chapter was recognized for its revitalization of membership and improved programs and activities and received the “Harold B. Williams Game Changer Award” for the second consecutive year. The award was presented at the COMTO Industry Awards Virtual Program on Friday, May 14, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. 

The Harold B. Williams “Game Changer” award is presented to a resurging COMTO chapter that has demonstrated their ability revitalize their membership through new and improved programs and activities. This award recognizes a chapter whose membership has substantially increased after a three (3) or more year period of dormancy. The recipient of this award has distinguished itself as a chapter on the move with a renewed commitment to COMTO’s vision and goals.

COMTO Miami Members Honored at the COMTO National Industry Awards

Three Miami Chapter members: Roosevelt Bradley, Kenneth H. Jones, Sr. and William Berry, President of Able Business Services, Inc. were all recognized for their outstanding work and service to the transportation industry by the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) at the COMTO Industry Awards. The Awards were presented on Friday, May 14, 2021.

Roosevelt Bradley Receives COMTO’s Highest Honor

Roosevelt Bradley, President of Maven Strategies and United Brake & Clutch was the recipient of the Thomas G. Neusom Founders’ Leadership Award which is the highest honor bestowed by COMTO.

The Thomas G. Neusom Founders’ Leadership Award honors public and private transportation executives and policymakers responsible for the direction and operation of their agency or organization and who, through their affiliation with COMTO, have made outstanding contributions towards the growth and development of people of color within the transportation industry and have given continued and outstanding service and leadership to the organization.

This award is reserved for a COMTO member who demonstrates, in his or her everyday life, the same spirit of achievement as COMTO’s founders.

Mr. Bradley provides consulting services, including business development, transportation planning and government relations services, in connection with the planning and capital structuring of development projects within the State of Florida and throughout the United States. He is a visionary, results-oriented executive; lobbyist; and consultant with 40 years of transportation related experience. He has senior executive level experience in various aspects of transportation including: planning; project development; construction; implementation; operations; management; and governmental affairs. As President/CEO of the United Brake & Clutch, he is the only African-American owned manufacturing company.

COMTO Miami Salutes the former Chapter President and former National Board Chair, Mr. Roosevelt Bradley for his accomplishments.

Kenneth H. Jones, Sr. Wins the COMTO Gerald Anderson Service Award

Kenneth H. Jones, Sr., General Superintendent of DTPW Bus Maintenance received the Gerald Anderson Service Award for his excellent service and value of teamwork within the transportation industry.

The Gerald Anderson “Service Award” was established to recognize a COMTO member who has demonstrated commitment to the philosophy that the success of one is contingent upon the success of all.

This is award is COMTO’s way of recognizing good service and the value of teamwork within the transportation industry, and is given to ensure growth and development within the industry and community.

The first Gerald Anderson Service Award was presented to COMTO’s founding members for the perseverance and belief that there is a viable role for minorities within the industry.

Mr. Jones is a seasoned transportation professional with over 49 years of vehicle maintenance management and administration, planning, forecasting, resources management, and senior leadership experience in the private sector and mass transit environment. He has over thirty-five (35) years with the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW), over twenty-one (21) years as a senior manager in DTPW’s Bus Operations and Maintenance divisions. He was promoted in 2019 to General Superintendent of Bus Maintenance.

Mr. Jones has been a COMTO member since 1996 and has consistently demonstrated a commitment to COMTO and its programs. He has served as the Vice President of the Miami Chapter from 2000 – 2002 and 2008 – 2012. He has also served as President from 2010 – 2017.

COMTO Miami Salutes the former Chapter President and current Board Member At-Large, Mr. Kenneth H. Jones, Sr. for his accomplishments.

Able Business Services Wins the COMTO HUB Firm of the Year Award

William Berry, President of Able Business Services William Berry, President of Able Business Services received the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) Firm of The Year Award. This award recognizes HUBs that have demonstrated a strong commitment to the field of transportation and extraordinary competence in a chosen transportation-related field.

The HUB (Historically Underutilized Businesses) Firm of the Year award was introduced in 2003 to recognize HUBs that have demonstrated a strong commitment to the field of transportation and extraordinary competence in a chosen transportation-related field. The recipient of this award is a HUB nominated by a local COMTO chapter, and is actively engaged in, and strongly supports, COMTO’s mission.

William Berry, is the owner of Able Business Services, Inc. and has used his education and more than 31 plus years in the field of vocational rehabilitation to train and hire special needs persons to include disable US veterans for employment. His Veteran Employment Training program includes a combination of classroom and on-the-job training for up to six weeks. The company consists of a truly “diverse workforce,” with gender and racial diversity across all levels. The company presently employs nearly 600 individuals, from underserved communities of which a vast amount is African American, Cuban American, and Haitian American.

Able Business Services, is a multifaceted commercial cleaning business specializing in commercial and industrial cleaning. Since 2000, he has worked with various industries, including public transit, offices, medical facilities, fitness centers, auto dealerships, schools, and more.

Mr. Berry has been involved in the transportation industry for five years.  He first became involved in transportation when awarded a contract for the detail cleaning of the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) bus fleet. His company is responsible for the cleaning at all bus divisions.

COMTO Miami Salutes the HUB Member, Mr. William Berry for his accomplishments.

Attracting Millennials into Transportation Careers Webinar

The Miami Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) held its second “Attracting Millennials into Transportation Careers” Webinar on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 6:00 PM. Former MDC Commissioner and Board Chair Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler, the Chapter’s first Ex-Officio served as the Moderator. The Panelists were: State Representative Felicia Simone Robinson, District 102, Charles W. George, Sr. Chairman Emeritus of the Florida Memorial University, Board of Trustees and founder of COMTO Miami Chapter, Jimmy Morales, Chief Operations Officer of Miami-Dade County, and Juan J. Flores Jr., Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.

As a part of the Chapter’s 35th Anniversary Celebration, the Chapter decided to host a four-part series on how to attract Millennials into the transportation industry. The Transportation industry is faced with an impending shortage of experienced employees as most of the baby boomer generation is retiring.  The first discussion focused on describing the characteristics of the different generations and outlined Millennial behaviors. This session focused on what Millennials want in a job, various tactics that employers can use to attract and recruit Millennials, a description of Millennial friendly benefits and innovation / technology and how they impact Millennials. An engaging Question & Answer period followed the Panel discussion.

The Webinar was coordinated and hosted by Melissa Rolle-Scott, Board Member At-Large. Other COMTO Member participants included the Chapter President, Valerie Williams, 2nd Vice President, Greg Robinson and Treasurer, Sandra Stanley.

The Chapter hopes that through the discussions, it will introduce and attract Millennials to consider transportation as a viable career. The next Webinar will be held in the fall. Stay tuned!

COMTO Miami Host a Virtual Mock Interview Workshop

On Saturday, May 22, 2021, the Miami Chapter held a Virtual Mock Interview Workshop from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. The Workshop began with a presentation highlighting interviewing tips, resume preparation, common interview questions, proper grooming and proper attire. Judith Deutsch, Manager of DTPW Human Resources and Jennifer Walker, Chief of DTPW Human Resources served as Presenters and Facilitators of the Questions & Answers for the Workshop. There were three concurrent panels and panel members included:

Panel A:

Kenneth Jones

Greg Robinson

Sandra Washington-Harris

Panel B:

Felipe Hermida

Wade Jones

Jason Miles

Panel C:

Eliza Achinah

Schneider St. Preux

Larry Walker

Participants were given six questions and were also assessed on their communication skills. At the end of the interviews, participants were provided general feedback on the interview sessions. Individual and specific comments were provided at the end of their interview session by the panelists.

The workshop was coordinated by the chapter’s Education & Scholarship Committee under the leadership of Dale McMillan. Committee members included: Sandra Stanley, Melissa Rolle-Scott, Maurice Dixon and Walter Watson.

COMTO Miami Tours the Lotus House

A group of COMTO Miami Chapter members (Derrick Gordon, Kenneth Jones, Valerie Williams, Frank Brown and Aretha Joseph) visited the Lotus House Women’s Shelter in Miami, Florida for a tour on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. Founded by the Sundari Foundation, the Lotus House has dedicated 10 years to improving the lives of homeless women, youth and children and not only provides them with shelter, but also acts as an advocate to raise awareness about their circumstances and needs. Chapter members witnessed the employees working together to plan an entire day of fun-filled activities for the women and children at the shelter. Members also watched the children decorate small pots and create their own miniature herb gardens. Volunteers from the Lotus House served lunch to the shelter guests. 

The tour was conducted by Victoria Varela, Assistant Director of Community Outreach and Margo Hannah. The Lotus House is located at 217 NW 15th Street, Miami, FL 33136.

Lotus House is making an enormous impact in Miami and COMTO Miami Chapter had the privilege to play a small part in their efforts. “We are proud to work shoulder-to-shoulder with individuals who have such passion and desire to serve” said Miami Chapter President Valerie Williams. 

The Lotus House truly provides a sanctuary for the minds, hearts and bodies of women and children in the Miami community who are in need. It is clear the Lotus House is achieving its vision of building a bigger and brighter future for women and children. Visiting Lotus House and meeting the many different women and children at the shelter was an incredible experience, said Assistant Director Derrick Gordon of Department Transportation and Public Work, a long-time member of COMTO Miami Chapter.

Lotus House Women’s Shelter provides shelter and wrap-around support services to women, youth and children experiencing homelessness. Not just a temporary shelter, Lotus House is a place where the minds, bodies and spirits of women and youth in need are nurtured and supported to empower them to improve the quality of their lives on every level, achieve greater self-sufficiency, and build a better way of life for themselves and their children as they transition to permanent homes off the streets. Lotus House is operated by the Sundari Foundation, Inc., a non-denominational, non-profit, 501c3 public charity dedicated to serving women and children in need. For information on how you can help the Lotus House, contribute to its endowment, or become involved as a volunteer, please visit www.lotushouse.org

Celebrating COMTO Miami’s Women Entrepreneurs

During the month of March, the Miami Chapter celebrated Women’s History Month by paying tribute to the Women Entrepreneurs of the chapter. Below is a list of the women and their businesses which were featured on the chapter’s social media platforms:  

Owner Cindy D. Labranche – Roots – https://rootsest2020.com

Owner Dana Wilson – Crafty Queen – https://bit.ly/3wcnoic

Owner Ronyal Jones – La’Royalty Custom Events & Designs –https://bit.ly/2PwxCcG

Owner Dazette S Royes -Unique Diamondladies Boutique – uniquediamondladiesboutique.com

Owner Elizabeth Harrell – Purple Passion Notary – https://lnkd.in/eKebrEQ

Owners Queen & Elizabeth Thompson – Queen Brown Radio Talk –https://lnkd.in/e52vyPC

Owner Tamika Henderson – Fantastic Dreams Travel by Rachelle LLC – https://www.fantasticdreamstravelbyrachelle.com

Owner Sara Albury  – SA Design Group https://bit.ly/3rNtQc6

Owner Dina Krukosi –  DK Small Business Solutions, LLC  https://www.dksmallbusinesssolutions.com/

Women’s History Month is a celebration of the vital role of women in American history and gives COMTO a chance to reflect on the trailblazing women who lead the way for change and create opportunities for future generations. COMTO Miami salutes these and all other Women Owned Businesses.

35th Anniversary Kick-Off

In celebration of their 35th Anniversary, COMTO Miami held its Kick-Off event on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 6:00 pm, via Zoom. The event recognized the chapter’s Founder and the first Executive Committee (L to R: Eugene Morrison –Treasurer, Karen Forshee – Secretary, Charles George – President, Carmen Hamm Davis – Vice President & Sylvester Johnson – Parliamentarian) for their vision and dedication in establishing the chapter. The family of the late Carmen Hamm Davis, the chapter’s first Vice President, was presented with an award post-humus for Carmen’s relentless efforts.

Members of the Executive Committee shared the story of their beginning, the challenges faced and their accomplishments. Former Presidents (Walter Johnson, Eugene Morrison, Frank T. Martin, Roosevelt Bradley, Melissa Rolle-Scott, Seraphin Bernard, and Kenneth H. Jones) were also on hand and saluted for their historic accomplishments in Miami-Dade as the “First Blacks” in several capacities. The Past-Presidents also went down memory lane sharing their experiences both professionally and challenging the current membership to keep pressing forward.

Among COMTO Miami’s past presidents is a rich history in Miami-Dade transportation and entrepreneurship.

Charles W. George, Sr. was the first black:

  • Director of Human Resources Administration, Metro-Dade Transportation Administration

  • Assistant Director, Metro-Dade Transportation Administration

 

Walter Johnson was the first black:

  • President of the Miami-Dade Transit Supervisors Association

  • President of the Government Supervisors Association of Florida

 

Eugene Morrison was one of three of the first Black Bus Operators:

  • Train Operator

  • Rail Supervisor in Miami-Dade County

  • Charter official of the Transport Workers Union, AFL-CIO 291 and served as President

 

Frank T. Martin, was the first black:

  • Executive Director and CEO of the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority

  • Served on the Board of Governors of Florida’s State University System (SUS) and was also inducted into the APTA Hall of Fame in September 2016, a special honor reserved for individuals who have long and distinguished careers who have made extraordinary contributions to public transportation.  

 

Roosevelt Bradley was the first black:

  • Director for Miami-Dade Transit.

  • And is the only Black-owned manufacturer of bus and truck parts in the country.

Most of the chapter’s past presidents are / were President / CEOs of their own business, leaders of a non-profit or other organizations.

Charles W. George, Sr., the chapter’s founding President (who was the first black Director of Human Resources at the MDTA) and Former County Commissioner Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler, who served as the chapter’s first Ex-Officio (who was also the first Black Chairperson of the Miami-Dade County Commission) led a discussion on “Attracting Millennials into Transportation Careers”. This is a four-part series with the next session in in the Spring. Stay tuned for the discussion!

Veronica Griffin (1st VP), Greg Robinson (2nd VP) and Melissa Rolle-Scott (Board Member At-Large) served as the hosts for the event.

 

COMTO & Transportation Trivia Night

On Thursday, February 11th the Chapter held its first COMTO & Transportation Trivia Night. In celebration of Black History, the chapter continued to recognize both local and historic leaders through Trivia. The goal was to both challenge and enrich the participants knowledge of the many contributions that Blacks made to the field of transportation. Using a Trivia bank of one hundred questions, each round had a specific topic. The four topics were: 

                   1. COMTO National History

                   2. COMTO Miami History

                                                                          3. Blacks in Transportation

                                                                          4. Miami Chapter Honorees 

Black History themed prizes were awarded to the top three scorers. The event was hosted by Celiece Waiters and Melissa Rolle-Scott. 

2021 COMTO Miami Black History Celebration

In celebration of Black History month, the chapter held three main events while paying special tribute each week to Black leaders who have made a difference, both past and present. The 2021 Black History Theme was “The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity.” This year for Black History month COMTO Miami paid homage to: 

  • • Our local leaders who have inspired us to pursue our dreams – showing our knowledge of them thru a friendly Trivia Night competition 

  • • The many renown Black artists by creating Black culture inspired art at our Sip N Paint 

  • • And our Founder and the first Executive Committee of the COMTO Miami family by sharing the story of our beginning, the challenges faced and their accomplishments. 

During the first week, the chapter recognized the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners for Making History with Most-Ever Black Commissioners on Board. COMTO Miami Chapter saluted, the five Black members of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners (BCC) and recognized the historic significance of having the highest number of Black commissioners ever seated at the same time on the BCC. For the first time since its founding in 1836, Miami-Dade County is represented by five Black County Commissioners: 

  • • Vice Chairman and District 1 Commissioner Oliver Gilbert III 

  • • District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime 

  • • District 3 Commissioner Keon Hardemon 

  • • District 8 Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins 

  • • District 9 Commissioner Kionne McGhee 

During the second week the chapter recognized Derrick Gordon, Assistant Director of Bus Services at the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation. Mr. Gordon started as a Bus Operator and is currently the highest-ranking Black at DTPW. He is responsible for the daily to operation of Bus Services and a total operating budget of approximately $140 million. The overseeing of DTPW’s Bus Operations and Bus Maintenance divisions, consists of more than 96 fixed routes of which 30 are contracted out, a bus fleet of 761 of which more than 73% are Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, and over 2,300 employees. 

Mr. Gordon is the “First”: 

  • • Bus Operator to become the Assistant Director at DTPW 

    • • First black male in DTPW to manage a major construction project valued at roughly $369 Million (3 divisions and 6 different vendors) 

    • • First DTPW Manager to take the department through 5 different bus engine types: Diesel Clean Diesel, Hybrid, (Diesel/Electric), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and soon Full Electric (June 2021). 

    Mr. Gordon has been an active COMTO member since 1995 and has served on the executive board in various capacities over the years. He attributes his mentors, joining COMTO and networking to his success. Mr. Gordon is well known for his wittiness and infectious laugh, but most of all, for his ability to bring people together for the benefit of the Department of Transportation and Public Works and the transit industry alike. 

Virtual Version of Paint N Sip

Participants were provided all the materials to paint a Black-History themed portrait. They enjoyed a few hours of art therapy while networking with other members. An ambiance of music along with the drink of choice set the mood for a relaxing and stress-free environment. At the end of the event, portraits were judged, and the prizes were awarded to the top three: Veronica Griffin, Melissa Rolle-Scott & T-Erica Pugh. COMTO Miami News – Black History Month 

The last two weeks a collage of Black leaders which included Barack Obama (44th POTUS), Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom-X, Mary Eliza Mahoney (1st Black Nurse), Dr. Carter G. Woodson (Father of Black History Month) and our national Founders, Rev. Jerry Moor and Harold B. Williams. 

COMTO Gives Back

On January 22, 2021, members of COMTO Miami, led by the Chapter’s President Valerie Williams continued its Community Outreach Programs, and response to COVID-19, visited the Camillus House. COMTO Miami members collected gently used clothing and accessories from January 11th to January 21st for its Declutter and Donate Clothing Drive. Volunteers came together on Saturday, January 22nd to sort and make ready multiple boxes of clothing, enough to completely fill a minivan. The clothing and accessories were delivered to the Camillus House (Homeless Shelter) located at 1603 NW 7 Avenue, Miami, Florida 33136.
The Camillus House has been providing many life-altering services for over 60 years by providing hope, through their Direct Care Ministry. The oldest and probably the most well-known of services at Camillus House. Hospitality Services focuses on providing immediate care such as overnight shelter, showers, clothing exchange, mail, and telephone usage. Hospitality serves as the essential entry point into the full continuum of care offered by Camillus House.

The Camillus House

COMTO Miami continued its Community Outreach Programs, through its Declutter and Donate Clothing Drive in response to COVID-19. Members of COMTO Miami collected gently used clothing and accessories from April 12 – May 15, 2021. On Saturday, May 15, 2021, volunteers worked collaboratively to sort and bag the clothing. Led by the Chapter’s President Valerie Williams and Event Coordinator, Dana Wilson a van packed to capacity with the clothing donation was delivered to the Camillus House (Homeless Shelter) located at 1603 NW 7 Avenue, Miami, Florida 33136.
The Camillus House has been providing many life-altering services for over 60 years by providing hope, through their Direct Care Ministry. The Direct Care Ministry at the Camillus House is the oldest and probably the most well-known of services. Hospitality Services focuses on providing immediate care such as overnight shelter, showers, clothing exchange, mail, and telephone usage. Hospitality serves as the essential entry point into the full continuum of care offered by Camillus House.

COMTO Miami’s Toy Drive

COMTO Miami Chapter collected hundreds of toys for the children at the Lotus House Women’s Shelter. In response to COVID-19, the Chapter wanted to bring some cheer to those in our community. Led by COMTO Members, Aretha Joseph and Frank Brown, toy collection boxes were distributed throughout the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation & Public Works facilities. Unwrapped toys were collected from December 9 to December 20, 2020.  On Monday, December 21st the toys were sanitized and loaded on a truck for delivery to the Lotus House, located at 217 NW 15th Street, Miami, FL 33136.  Derrick Gordon, Assistant Director of Bus Services and COMTO Special Advisor accompanied the group for the delivery.
Lotus House is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless women, youth and children. Lotus House provides sanctuary, support, education, tools and resources that empower them to improve the quality of their lives on every level, achieve greater self -sufficiency, and build safe, secure lives.

COMTO Miami’s Declutter & Donate Clothing Drive

As a part of its Community Outreach Programs, and in response to COVID-19, COMTO Miami wanted to assist the men and women in our community. COMTO Miami members collected gently used clothing and accessories from November 9th to December 9th for its Declutter and Donate Clothing Drive. Volunteers came together on Saturday, December 11th to sort and make ready multiple boxes of clothing, enough to completely fill a minivan. The Camillus House (Homeless Shelter) located at 1603 NW 7 Avenue, Miami, Florida 33136 was the selected recipient of the clothing.
The Camillus House is celebrating 60 years of hope, offering Direct Care Ministry. Hospitality Services focuses on providing immediate care such as overnight shelter, showers, clothing exchange, mail, and telephone usage. Hospitality serves as the essential entry point into the full continuum of care offered by Camillus House. In addition, Substance Abuse Treatment; Vocational Training; Transitional and Emergency Housing; Camillus House offers a picture ID, which assist in re-establishing identity by obtaining birth certificates, social security card and other forms of identification.
The security team lead by Miss Queen herself, made sure that our donation was handled with the utmost care and processed promptly.  During the visit Members, met resident/ volunteer Jacob whose life was turned completely around through the efforts of Camillus house. Jacob gave Chapter Volunteers a tour of the facility which included the Shower and Clothing Exchange program. The Miami Chapter President, Mrs. Valerie Williams assured the Camillus House staff that this would not be our last visit or contribution.

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The Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) was created to provide a forum for minority professionals in the transportation industry. COMTO’s membership includes individuals, groups, transportation agencies, private sector corporations, non-profit organizations, and Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs).

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