10 honored for outstanding community service

Awardees, back row from left, Democratic State Commiteewoman Melba Brown, Wayne Spence, Mark Lawrence, Assemblyman Nick Perry, Dr. Saka Armide Kazeem, Shaun D. Francois I, Democratic State Commiteeman Cory Provost. Seated, Mrs. Virginia Mampouya, Archbishop Audrey Ellington, Aileen E. McKinnon, Rev. Chermain Lashley, Sharon Haynes.
Photo by William Farrington

Brooklyn Assemblyman Nick Perry on Oct. 31 honored 10 community figures for their outstanding contribution, saying that the honor was “very deserving.”

Perry, who represents the 58th Assembly District in Brooklyn, said “the distinguished honorees” were “mostly responsible” for the gala standing-room-only Annual Awards ceremony at Tropical Paradise Ballroom on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn.

The honorees were: Mark Lawrence, owner, Tasty Delicious Bakery & Restaurant; the Rev. Chermain Lashley, Pastor, Kings Highway United Methodist Church; Chief, Mrs. Virginia Mampouya, founder of the League of Nigerian Women; and Archbishop Audrey Ellington, Holy Cross Zion Baptist Church.

The others were: Sharon A. Haynes, educator / teacher leader, P.S. 268; Shaun D. Francois, I, president, Local 372; Wayne Spence, president, NYS Public Employees Federation; Rabbi Steven Burg, director general, Aish HaTorah; Aileen E. McKinnon, community advocate; and Dr. Saka Armide Kazeem, chairman, ELK Medical Center.

Guyanese-born McKinnon is a community activist, residing in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

She has worked in the healthcare field for more than 40 years, and has received several awards of merit for outstanding services to patients and also for demonstrating excellent team spirit in working with others.

McKinnon is a member of God’s Battalion of Prayer church in Brooklyn, where she is actively participates in most ministerial programs.

Chief Virginia “Ginny” Mampouya was born to the ruling Illah family of Chief Mathias and Chief Mrs. Victoria Enwemaya, Illah Delta State Nigeria.

She possesses a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baruch College and a master’s degree in industrial relations from New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury.

Mampouya is the founder of the League of Nigeria Women in New York, a non-profit organization helping Nigerians in the Diaspora.

She is also a founding member and patron of Illah Development Organization (IDO), whose members provide food and medicine to the aging population of Illah town in Delta State Nigeria.

Dr. Kazeem is the founder and medical director of Elk Medical in Brooklyn, as well as an assistant attendant in the Department of Endocrinology at New York Methodist Hospital and the chief of endocrinology at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center.

As the founder of Elk Medical, he has dedicated his professional life to the comprehensive treatment of endocrine disorders and become a pillar of the Brooklyn medical community.

Dr. Kazeem has been practicing as an endocrinologist for the past 20 years with additional certification in nuclear thyroidology, fine needle aspiration biopsy and clinical bone densitometry.

Lawrence is a Jamaican-born restaurateur and philanthropist. He is the founder of Tasty Delicious West Indian Bakery & Restaurants, which he began with his brother, Lloyd Lawrence.

Mark opened his first restaurant in July 2006. He operates several Tasty Delicious Restaurants throughout Brooklyn, and a bakery that services a wide range of supermarkets throughout New York State, New Jersey, Boston and Connecticut.

Rabbi Burg is the director general at Aish HaTorah, a global Jewish outreach organization.

Aish HaTorah is a world leader in creative Jewish educational programs and leadership training.

Through these unique and cutting-edge activities, Aish HaTorah is at the forefront of nurturing Jewish identity and ensuring Jewish heritage.

Burg has close relationships with many elected officials. He has met with Presidents Obama and Bush multiple times on behalf of the Jewish community.

Rabbi Burg was part of one of the first Jewish delegations to meet Pope Francis soon after his appointment.

Known as a gifted orator, he has been asked to speak at many political functions and inaugurations. Rabbi Burg also enjoys a close and warm relationship with many organizations in the African American and Latino communities.

He was recently the guest speaker for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) at its annual gathering for Black History month.

From humble beginnings, and driven by an unquenchable passion to make what’s going wrong right and to not stand by while injustice runs rampant, Francois said he has risen to the enviable position as president of Local 372.

Born in Washington, D.C., Francois said he moved to New York City at age seven. He received his formal education from the New York City public education system; PS 203, MS 158, and Jamaica High School, where he graduated in 1986, then entered the workforce.

Francois was elected president of the Local 372 and vice president of DC 37.

The Right Rev. Audrey Elaine Ellington was born in London, England then migrated to Kingston, Jamaica in 1965.

Due to her ambition, and pursuit of a higher education, she left Jamaica in 1970 for the United States.

In Sept. 18, 1993, she opened God’s door in the name of Holy Cross Zion Baptist Church in Staten Island.

In 2010, Rev. Ellington was ordained as an archbishop of the church. In 2014, she had a new church home in Brooklyn.

Haynes was born in Jamaica and worked at Conde Nast, McGraw-Hill companies and at Essence magazine, among other places before beginning her teaching career in 2004 at P.S. 268 in East Flatbush.

She is a member of Community Board 17 and serves on several committees, such as commerce and youth.

Rev. Lashley accepted Christ at 11, fully embraced her ministry call in 1998; and, in 2004, received a Master of Divinity from Drew Theological Seminary. She is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree at New York Theological Seminary.

Jamaican-born Spence is a certified police fire arms instructor and instructor evaluator. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care; and sits on the first Baptist Church of Freeport Trustee Board.

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