Urban League of Broward County helps local entrepreneur with umbrella company

A South Florida entrepreneur redesigned the umbrella to keep people from getting wet when the umbrella is folded up.

Keel Russell’s company is called Simply Umbree.

“We make umbrellas that are stylish, smart apparel that change colors when it gets wet,” Russell said.

One of the 31-year-old’s clients is the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

As interesting as his umbrellas are, Russell’s story sells itself. His family struggled financially when he was younger, and after 12 years in the Army, he knew entrepreneurship was the best way to help his family.

“My first company was lingerie for curvaceous women. I wanted to bridge the gap the gap between Victoria’s Secret and Lane Bryant,” Russell said.

Russell didn’t quite have enough capital to launch that dream, so he ventured into the umbrella business, landing Walmart as a client during the 2015 Urban League National Conference in Fort Lauderdale.

“People love the excitement about it. It’s really unique. It’s different,” Russell said.

Russell needed money to make the umbrellas, which led him to Bryan Cunningham and the Urban League of Broward County, which granted him a $250,000 line of credit.

“Just his story and what he went through, and his deal with Walmart and his perseverance, it really won the committee,” Cunningham said.

Russell said words will never be able to express how grateful he is for the Urban League’s help.

“It’s organizations like this that open up doors to disenfranchised companies like myself,” Russell said.      

 

 

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Law enforcement community pledges to implement new gun violence prevention program

Law enforcement agencies in Miami-Dade recently pledged to give a new model designed to reduce gun violence a try. They will be working with People Acting for Community Together, a network of faith-based groups and academics. 

During a gathering they called The Nehemiah Action Assembly, Rev. Ana Jackson, of Sellers Memorial United Methodist Church, said that in Miami-Dade a small group is responsible for the gun violence that is hurting the community.

PACT aims to target the group responsible with preventive programs. Miami-Dade County leaders will consider three programs: Group Violence Intervention, Cure Violence, and the Office of Neighborhood Safety

PACT claims that when the multipronged approach was implemented in Richmond, California, there was a 60 percent drop in homicide rates over five years.

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez, Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes, the State Attorney’s Office and the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office will be part of a new committee that will meet with PACT to develop an implementation plan. Their next meeting will be on June 5th.

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{“url”:”https://twitter.com/PACTMiami/status/846103500547346432″,”author_name”:”PACT Miami”,”author_url”:”https://twitter.com/PACTMiami”,”html”:”&#lt;blockquote class=\”twitter-tweet\”&#gt;&#lt;p lang=\”en\” dir=\”ltr\”&#gt;1500+ residents will gather to work together to make &#lt;a href=\”https://twitter.com/hashtag/MiamiDade?src=hash\”&#gt;#MiamiDade&#lt;/a&#gt; a better place for all.Thanks &#lt;a href=\”https://twitter.com/MayorGimenez\”&#gt;@MayorGimenez&#lt;/a&#gt; for joining us on 3/27.&#lt;/p&#gt;— PACT Miami (@PACTMiami) &#lt;a href=\”https://twitter.com/PACTMiami/status/846103500547346432\”&#gt;March 26, 2017&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/blockquote&#gt;\n&#lt;script async src=\”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\” charset=\”utf-8\”&#gt;&#lt;/script&#gt;”,”width”:550,”height”:null,”type”:”rich”,”cache_age”:”3153600000″,”provider_name”:”Twitter”,”provider_url”:”https://twitter.com”,”version”:”1.0″}

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