State Sen. Roxanne Persaud on Sunday honored five community figures at a fundraising reception at Trelawni Restaurant on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn.
Guyanese-born Persaud, who represents the 19th Senatorial District in Brooklyn, formerly held by John Sampson, whose father is also Guyanese-born, presented State proclamations to St. Kitts-Nevis native Edmund Sadio, a realtor in Brooklyn; Gerald Dawes, the Jamaican-born director in the Business Ethics and Compliance Department (BEC) at Con Edison Company of New York; and Panamanian American Kira N. Brereton, an attorney with Dechert LLP, an international law firm with 26 offices located throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
The others were: Patricia Jordon-Langford, president of The Guyana Tri-State Alliance, Inc.; and Jamaican Leithland Rickie Tulloch, senior director, New York City Health and Hospital (Office of Facilities Development) and chair of the Brooklyn-based Visionary Political Action Committee (VPAC).
Persaud is being challenged in the Sept. 13 Democratic Primary by Haitian Mercedes Narcisse. Persaud said she hope to raise $100,000 before Primary Day.
“I’m feeling fine being honored by Sen. Persaud,” said Sadio, owner of Century 21 Realty on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, in a Caribbean Life interview. “I knew her before she became a senator. She’s a person I work well with. I’m in full support of her senatorial bid.”
In post-event interviews, Tulloch said it is “always good to be honored with such distinguished honorees;” Brereton said she felt “extremely honored and privileged to be honored;” Dawnes said it was an “absolute honor;” and Jordon-Longford said she felt “really good” for the award, “especially coming from Sen. Persaud whom I’ve known for a number of years.”
Sadio, current chairman of the Brooklyn-based Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CACCI), said he began his career on Nevis as a sales person with Western General Insurance from 1966 to 1969, selling health and life insurance.
He then moved to Combermere Primary School, where he taught from 1969 to 1972.
Sadio, who was always interested in traveling, said he then pushed himself into the Airline and Travel Industry, working with Evelyn’s Travel Agency (LIAT), as a sales representative, from 1972 to 1975.
In migrating to the U.S. in 1975, he worked at Foremost Jewelry Store and Blue Mountain Travel Agency from 1975 to 1992. Concurrently, he enrolled at the Staten Island Community College to pursue his career in sales management.
On graduation in 1979, Sadio was recruited by Tri-Star Real Estate and became a sales associate from 1992 to 1996. In 1996, he said he was approached by the owner of Century 21 Home Town Realty and offered the position as general manager until 1998.
In 1998, Sadio and two partners realized their dream and bought a Century 21 franchise, Century 21 Achievers Realty. In 2000, with partner David H Hanniford, they opened a mortgage company, Bold Step Inc. which ceased operations 2013.
There are currently over 50 sales associates at Century 21 Achievers Realty, under Sadio’s ownership.
At Con Edison, Dawes is responsible for promoting ethics standards and guiding compliance with applicable laws.
Previously, he served as a director in Con Edison’s Construction department, where he managed all aspects of the company’s relationship with the New York City and New York State Department of Transportation.
Dawes also managed the Construction Contracts Administration, Computer Applications, and Technical Review departments. He previously held the position of Con Edison executive on-loan with the American Gas Association (AGA), where he worked with the operations and engineering staff of the AGA on many federal and regional natural gas related initiatives.
Dawes also held various positions of increasing responsibility, including general manager of the Queens Gas Operations department – where he was responsible for directing the operation and maintenance of the company’s natural gas distribution system in the borough of Queens.
Throughout his professional career, Dawes said he has been recognized for his outstanding company and community work. For example, he has been the recipient of Con Edison’s highest honor — the “Living Our Values” (LOV) award.
He has also received the Con Edison/YMCA (Young Men Christian Association) “Black Achiever of the Year” award.
Dawes is an active member of the New York chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE – NYMAC), where he previously served as president and currently serves a member of the executive board.
Brereton focuses her practice on asset-backed securitization transactions. She said she advises on structured credit facilities, and public and private securities offerings.
She said she has represented asset originators, lenders, placement agents, underwriters and issuers on transactions involving automobile leases and loans, equipment leases and loans, peer-to-peer / marketplace loans, PACE Bonds, pharmaceutical royalties, structured settlements, tax liens and trade receivables.
Brereton said her true passion, however, lies in her active pro bono practice in which she advises domestic and international not-for-profit organizations, such as Goodwill Industries International, the Rondout Valley Growers Association and the West Indian American Day Carnival Association.
Born and raised in Brooklyn to Panamanian immigrants, Brereton is a clinical neuropsychology graduate of McGill University in Canada, with a University of Miami law degree and a Florida International University Masters in Public Health.
In 2015, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams appointed Jordon-Langford as ambassador of Brooklyn in recognition of the many contributions she has made to society. The Guyana Tri-State Alliance, Inc. which she heads, celebrates 25 years this year.
Jordon-Langford said she is committed to the promotion of unity for her country, and responds to any emergencies that affect Guyana or Guyanese at home or abroad.
She said she is passionate about the preservation of Guyana’s culture and the celebration of Guyana’s milestones, “with a strong commitment to promote Guyana in every positive way.”
“Guyanese who have kept our flag flying through their commitment, successes and philanthropic dedication to Guyana are encouraged and recognized with the Golden Arrowhead Award of Achievement and Distinction at the commemoration of our Independence each year,” Jordon-Langford said. “The Guyana Tri-State Alliance, (GTSA) is dedicated to the empowerment of all Guyanese wherever possible.
“Each project is approached with enthusiasm and dedication, whether it is a sick adult or child facing extraordinary circumstances, or listening and trying to solve the many needs of her fellow Guyanese living in the USA or in Guyana,” she added.
For the past 15 years, Jordon-Langford said she has guided 14 Guyanese young men and women on full scholarship, through the University of the Southern Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago, towards a degree conferred by Andrews University in the U.S.
Tulloch’s story is one of the American dream. It is the story of a man who was lifted up through hard work, public education and the support of his “great Brooklyn community.
Tulloch said his is the story of a community advocate, who has dedicated his life to giving back to the diverse Brooklyn neighborhoods that welcomed him and his family with open arms in 1976, when they arrived in Flatbush from Jamaica in search of a better life.
Today, Tulloch said he is the proud father of four adult children, and was former deputy chief financial officer of Harlem Hospital Center.
He said he continues to “nurture a deep understanding of the issues that matter to community residents” and to be a strong advocate for the “concerns of our working and middle class families, senior citizens, youth, immigrants and local community groups.”
Tulloch said he has come a long way since his journey began in the halls of Erasmus Hall High School, when he arrived in Brooklyn as a teenager. He later attend Brooklyn College where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and a Master of Arts degree in Economics.
Persaud described the fundraiser as “a success,” adding: “These are people who put their money where their mouth is.”
“Running a campaign requires a lot of money,” she told Caribbean Life.
James Connolly, the Cayman Islands-born chairman of the Roxanne Persaud Re-election Campaign, said: “As an immigrant, especially when immigrants are under attack, we have to come together to support immigrants.”