Mayor Dale V.C. Holness was born in Hanover, Jamaica, W.I. and migrated to the United States at 17 years old. He graduated from Plantation High School and then attended Broward College, where he served on the Student Government as a Freshman Senator. He became a General Manager at McDonalds at 20 years old and bought his first house at 22 years old. He became a Realtor in 1983 and then started his own real estate company, All Broward Realty, in 1988. At the peak of the company’s operations, he had over 80 agents, a mortgage division and completed over 600 transactions per year. He still invests in real estate and All Broward Realty, is now being led by his daughter Richelle Dahlia Holness.
Named Legacy Magazine’s Public Official of the Year and by South Florida Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration 2017 Elected Official of the Year, his political record is well documented in his many years of public service as a Lauderhill City Commissioner & Vice-Mayor (2007, 2010) plus his terms from November 2010 – Present, serving as Broward County Mayor from 2019 – 2020. His district population is in excess of 200,000 people and covers over 8 municipalities.
Mayor Dale V.C. Holness’ efforts include but are not limited to:
• Chair of the Broward Black Elected Officials. Under his leadership he has devised the Broward Black Action Plan that focuses on Broward County’s black communities which include Economic Development/Black Business Growth, Employment, Criminal Justice, Education, Housing, Transportation and Health.
• Visionary & Architect for Florida International Trade & Cultural Expo (FITCE), an annual event held at the Greater Fort Lauderdale-Broward Convention Center, which in 2018, attracted over 3,100 attendees including: international businesses, local businesses, multi-cultural global trade representatives from over 50 countries, federal, state and local trade agencies, and government leaders from around the world. Several companies have relocated to Broward as a result of this annual event. He believes tat we should be selling more of our goods to the world and not let China dominate the market. We should be more competitive, especially to countries where we have strong immigrant populations living in the USA.
• Led the effort for a $20 million economic development package and community improvement programs for Central Broward District 9 and proposed and got adopted that the Broward County’s long-term strategic plan include the goal to make Broward County the international trade center to the world for the state of Florida. When he arrived at Broward County the percentage for CBE participation was at 10 ¼%. Because of his leadership, it has now reached 39%. This is in part because of a creation of a mentor/protégé program, breaking large contracts into small components, active recruitment of small, minority and women-owned businesses, and removing restrictions that limits participation of small, minority and women-owned businesses in contracting opportunities. Participation is at a higher level than ever before! Mayor Holness’ colleagues on the Commission have credited him for his leadership regarding the increase of small, minority and women-owned businesses in contracting opportunities with the County.
• Instrumental in passing the Broward County Surtax, a 30-year, one cent surtax for transportation. He also ensured that there is a 30% participation goal for certified County Business Enterprise (CBE) firms for all eligible projects funded by the surtax. This could potentially mean millions of dollars annually and billions of dollars over the 30-year duration of this innovative initiative for local contractors.
• Leading force and organizer behind the Lauderhill Mall Citizenship Drives, with nearly 5,000 citizenship applications processed.
• Sponsored the ordinance for the expansion of Broward County’s Adult Civil Citation Program.
• Sponsored the resolution for the expansion of Broward County’s current Living Wage Ordinance.
• Lead the efforts to build 120 new single-family homes in the Broward Municipality Services District.
• Sponsored an additional Homestead Exemption (from $25,000 to $50,000) for persons 65 and older allowing for low income senior property owners who qualify for the extra property tax reduction. This allows for lower property tax.
• As a Lauderhill Commissioner, Holness started the Lauderhill Chamber of Commerce, which currently has over 300 members and he also established The Lauderhill Business Incubator.
• Required $2.5 million to be allocated towards park improvements in District 9 allowing for residents to have clean recreation and public open spaces for their families.
• Sponsored Ban the Box ordinance, a law that refrains any person from being questioned about a prior criminal record or authorization for a background check until they are among a pool of potential finalists for a particular job within Broward County government.
• Co-chair of the United Negro College Fund annual fundraising luncheon.
• Prior trade missions include India, Nigeria, Colombia, Jamaica, Israel, St. Eustatius, Haiti, Dominican Republic
• Planned trade missions to Bangladesh, Panama, Ghana
• Key organizer in Andrew Gillum’s campaign for Governor of Florida. Historic win as the first African American for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Florida. Mayor Holness’ real estate office, All Broward Realty, was the 2nd campaign office for Andrew Gillum, located in Broward County.
• Signed $2.6 billion expansion for the Ft. Lauderdale International Airport, $3.2 billion Port Everglades Seaport expansion and $1,750,000 million for the Convention Center and Hotel expansion.
• Holds a monthly Economic and Job Creation meeting
Mayor Holness supports capitalizing on Broward County’s geographic uniqueness as the Gateway to the Americas and maximizing our assets in Port Everglades and the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. He is a strong advocate for small, minority and women-owned businesses, as well as improving economic development opportunities for all. His focus will always remain on improving the economy, getting people back to work, increasing opportunities for home ownership and helping those who are going through hard times.
He has been relentless, aggressive and strategic in his plan that economic prosperity must include all the people of Broward County. His mission statement and goal as Mayor is to: Make Broward County a better place for all who live here by empowering our community, strengthening our households and businesses, creating policies that afford access to opportunities and by unifying everyone across racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. We monitor and hold our government accountable. His 2050 Plan focuses on the theme: Broward 2050: One Community Moving Forward Together with Prosperity for All. The Plan focuses on: Economic/Employment, Housing and Homelessness, Education, Criminal Justice, Health, Environment and Transportation.
He is also active in many local and international civic organizations including but not limited to Broward County Children’s Services Board; Haitian American Leadership Organization, Member; HIV Planning Council; Broward League of Cities; Lauderhill Regional Chamber, Founding Member; Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization; Caribbean Democratic Club; Broward Housing Council, Member; Broward Democratic Black Caucus; and NAACP Life Member.
Awards include but not limited to: The Reverend Samuel Delevoe Award of Excellence, Small Business Advocate of the Year Award from US Department of Commerce – Minority Business Development Agency, Community Advocate Award from Harmony Development Center, Mosaic Group Vanguard Award for Leadership, Global Trade Chamber of Commerce’s Global Trade Ambassador of the Year, Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence (HOPE), Inc., “Answering the Call Award,” The PR Annual Shining Star Award from the PR Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Broward County, Community Service Award from the Rev. Samuel J. Delevoe Civic Association at the 2015 Black History Celebration, Legacy Magazine Public Official of the Year, T.J. Reddick Bar Association Community Service Award, Opportunities Industrial Center (OIC) of South Florida Champion of Change Award, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Zeta Rho Omega Chapter Men of Distinction, Excellence, and Leadership Award, Haitian American Democratic Club Ally Award, Community Service Award – Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce, and many more.