[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
8855: Executive director of Haitian American Foundation fired by board (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <email@example.com>
Executive director of Haitian American Foundation fired by board
By Madeline Baró Diaz
August 7, 2001
MIAMI · Haitian activist Leonie Hermantin has been fired from her
high-profile position as executive director of the Haitian American
Hermantin says the official reason she was given was that she did not
communicate effectively with the board. Hermantin said the board cited,
among other things, her failure to inform them about a visit from Gov. Jeb
Bush. Although she disputes that, she also says she was not warned before
the board voted to fire her.
"This thing took me completely by surprise," she said. "I had no opportunity
to even present my case."
The board of the foundation, a Miami-Dade County Haitian community
organization, made the decision last week.
Some in the Haitian-American community think internal politics -- not
Hermantin's job performance -- were responsible for the decision. At least
one Hermantin supporter described it as a "coup d'etat."
Haitian American Foundation founder and board president Ringo Cayard, who is
handling executive director duties in the interim, referred phone calls to
board chairman Jules LaBossiere. LaBossiere said Monday afternoon he would
not be able to comment until later in the week.
Hermantin is well known for her work as an advocate and has been widely
quoted in the media on a variety of issues affecting the Haitian-American
community, from immigration to politics.
Many people credit her with a turning the Haitian-American Foundation
around, helping it out of financial straits and increasing its visibility.
She joined the group four years ago and was executive director for the past
"She does have a positive image in the community," said Jean-Robert
Lafortune, president of the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition. "She took
HAFI from a very critical situation and she was about to make that agency
become a well respected and strong agency in the community. I think she was
committed to seeing the agency succeed."
Lafortune said the foundation is one of the top agencies serving the needs
of the Haitian-American community.
Hermantin said she will continue her work on behalf of Haitian-Americans.
"I am very committed to this community," she said.
Madeline Baró Diaz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305-810-5007.
Copyright © 2001, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp