February is the month we all observe Black History. All day, every day is when it is! Truth be told, we live among greatness and Nouchelle Hastings’ life is proof.
That name should sound familiar because Hastings is well known in Orlando for her community leadership and philanthropy, especially in the area of faith, child-youth development and the arts. After living in the Orlando area for more than 23 years, Hastings, in 2017, joined her husband in Davie (South Florida) where he went to manage a plating project for a governmental agency.
Although she moved and took a position with an engineering firm, her community work continued. Overseeing Business Development & Marketing for The Falcon Group’s Miami Office Southeast Region, she has been recognized for her work and honored with the company’s Humanitarian of the Year at its annual meeting in January. Hastings has also received Humanitarian and Change Agents awards over the past three years from the Town of Davie and Proclamations and Letters of Recognition from the Broward County Board of Commission, along with the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz for her historical role in bringing jazz, music and mentoring to the Town of Davie.
“Being a humanitarian is helping people who are suffering and saving lives any time any place in the world. And so humanitarian work requires being responsible, conscious of the circumstances of other people’s lives, and helping them on the basis of need, without discrimination,” she said recently.
Reflecting, Hastings admitted that she was reluctant to relocate when she did because she was afraid there would be nothing for her to do in South Florida. If you know anything about Hastings, you know she is a go-getter and full of creative ideas to help others.
In Orlando, you could always catch Hastings, a graduate of Berkeley College-New York, around town, helping to put together special events that mostly benefited young people. She worked with Darrell Butler as co-founder of the Greater Orlando CARES Mentoring Movement (an affiliate of the National CARES Mentoring Movement founded by Susan Taylor, Editor Emeritus of Essence Magazine, organizing Music and Mentoring through the GO CARES for children (in urban communities and Pine Hills), who had no extracurricular Arts activities due to school budget cuts. Their Jazz in the Hills fundraising event was one-of-kind and it showcased local talent who brought to life legendary singers and performers like Della Reese (played by Ms. B, local radio personality) along with Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald (played by Alicia Mott and Sissy Peoples, local singers who were directed by Jami Thomas in the “Just Jazz” presentation). Awards were given to some folk who, over the years, contributed to music education and mentoring programs for young people: Martel and Diana (Lady D) Taylor, Yvonne Loggins Coleman, Apostle VW Jones and Mark NeJame.
In addition, Hastings served as Chair for Guardian Care Rehabilitation Center Family Council, where her involvement and advocacy for aging people gained her a Proclamation and Black History Heritage and Legacy Award. Also to her credit: She’s served as President, Orange Technical College Foundation and Outreach Director and key organizer, He Got Up with retired NFL Hall of Famers (www.hegotup.org).
In Davie, Hastings, an ordained church Elder, on a larger scale working her passion, formed the Davie Jazz Society, the outreach sector of the Davie Jazz Festival. When needed, she serves as a volunteer chaplain for a local hospital and often performs weddings. She also serves on the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts Onyx Women board and the Miami Children’s Museum event committee. Through her position at Falcon, she recently co-founded the Women Empowering Women in Development organization. Hastings’ dual role allows her to work closely with executive staff and upper management at the company’s corporate office and work closely with property mangers, homeowner association officers, contractors and vendors – out in the community.
Her care for helping others started long before arriving in Orlando. However, it was in Orlando that the Hastings became both Beacon and Eagle Award recipients. That work earned them a Power Couple of the Year – part of an event produced by Author Pamela Reaves in the Baltimore/District of Columbia Metro area.
Today as a part of their family business, the couple formed Omega CARES and the Oatmeal Project, which serves the homeless through structured and strategic outreach. “We go out at sunrise and we bring instant oatmeal packets, sealed forks and hot water canisters; we are there to help the less fortunate embrace the day with their first hot meal and a smile.
“We believe that a life serving others is a life well-lived.”
For more information about Nouchelle Hastings, connect with her on LinkedIn.
(Pictured below: Nouchelle Hastings. Courtesy of Nouchelle Hastings/Girl What Do You Bring to the Table)
-Trish Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org