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Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler
Mr. Speaker, I, Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson, from the 24th district of the great state of Florida, seek recognition. I rise today to recognize Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler, a courageous community leader, dedicated public servant, sagacious mentor, inspiring educator and loving mother, in honor of Women’s History Month.
Dr. Carey-Shuler has been a powerful force for positive change in South Florida for decades. She is a trailblazer who has paved the way for many successful professionals, entrepreneurs, and businesses. Her efforts have improved the quality of life for thousands of South Floridians.
Dr. Carey-Shuler’s life is founded on a spirit of generosity. Her unselfish character is only overshadowed by her loving spirit and acceptance of others. She considers her ability to empower and inspire others as her greatest accomplishment. Regarding her passion for helping young people she says, “I want to exude my passion so that they will have the same passion to give back and help other young people.”
Dr. Carey-Shuler was first appointed to the Miami Dade County Board of Commissioners in December of 1979. She made a major impact through her progressive policies and legislative decisions. She initiated the groundbreaking legislation to create Affirmative Action and set-aside programs in Miami-Dade County which are credited with creating more jobs and opportunities for minorities and women than any other legislation in the county’s history. She also created the 15 miles per hour school zone in Dade County and was later adopted by the rest of the State of Florida. She made history in 2002 when she was selected as the first African American woman to serve as chairperson of the Miami Dade County Commission. It was during this time period that she was lauded by the Miami Herald and several major publications and organizations as being the most effective, powerful and influential woman in Miami-Dade County. After moving to Palm Beach County in 2007, she continued her passion for public service by serving on the Palm Beach State College Foundation. Currently, she serves on five other foundations and many other organizations in Palm Beach County.
Dr. Carey-Shuler has never shied away from an opportunity to help others and promote equality without regard to the popularity of her decisions. In 1990, she was one of the hosts of an event where the late South African President Nelson Mandela delivered a speech upon his release after being unjustly imprisoned for 27 years. The event was locally controversial but Dr. Carey-Shuler was among a small group of elected officials who publicly supported President Mandela’s importance to the international campaign for human rights. Her courage and vision earned the respect and admiration of her constituents and was a large part of the reason she was re-elected several times. In 2006, she resigned from politics due to the illness, and subsequent death, of her beloved husband and mother.
Since retiring from elected office in 2006, Dr. Carey-Shuler has managed successfully the family business, Shuler’s Memorial Chapel, Inc in Palm Beach County. Furthermore, she has continued her passion to mentor and assist financially young people who are trying to improve their life through post-secondary education. She currently supports six (6) college students.
Dr. Carey-Shuler has an impressive educational resume of her own. Her deeply-rooted regard for education is reflected in her own pursuits: Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Florida A M University, Master of Science in Communications from Ohio State University, a Specialist Degree in Guidance from the University of Miami, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Florida. Her passion for education also led her to pursue a career with Miami Dade County Public Schools. During her tenure, she was well-regarded as an administrator. She was also credited with inspiring and advancing the careers of dozens of educators as an Assistant Superintendent of Miami Dade County Public Schools.
For her years of tireless and selfless service, Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler has been honored by over 800 organizations, such as the Urban League, the NAACP, the Martin Luther King Peace Foundation, Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami Dade College, Neighbors and Neighbors Association (NANA), Early Childhood Association, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc, and Carfour Supportive Housing, an entity that named a building in her honor (Barbara Carey-Shuler Manor), a $30 million apartment complex for low-income individuals, homeless families, and veterans.
Mr. Speaker, in observance of Women’s History Month, I urge my colleagues and all Americans to please join me in recognizing a great woman, a great public servant, a great business person, a great mother, and a great American, Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler for her indelible contribution to our community and our nation.
Mr. Speaker, these remarks will be entered into the Official Congressional Record. They will then be permanently placed in the Library of Congress.
Tony A. Austin
Director of Operations, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Tony Austin, a licensed funeral director and embalmer, oversees a staff of eight full-time employees, several part-time employees and specialty contractors.
Mr. Austin supervises all business decisions affecting the family-owned funeral and cremation organization, which has had a presence in Delray Beach since 1985. The second location in Mangonia Park opened in 2007. He works in strategic partnership with Dr. Barbara Carey-Shuler, wife of the late business founder James Lamar Shuler.
Mr. Austin sees growth potential in both markets where the chapels have strong name recognition and community ties. In Delray Beach, he sees a number of opportunities to reach audiences that would appreciate more convenient arrangement services via the web or over the phone. Shuler’s Memorial Chapel also plans to hold more community outreach to explain the advantages of pre-planned/pre-need arrangements, which allows family members to plan and finance their services in advance.
Barbara Shuler brought Mr. Austin out of retirement to head operations due in large part to his extensive experience and professional relationship with Lamar Shuler. The men worked together as part of the Florida Morticians Association. Austin had retired in October 2009 from Stewart Enterprises’ Caballero Rivero Woodlawn Funeral Home and Cemeteries in Miami, where he had worked since 1988. His last position was managing the Woodlawn Chapel in Hialeah.
Sam Austin Jr.
Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
Sam Austin Jr. 63, of Royal Palm Beach was born and raised in a small town named Monticello in northern Florida. Sam is an Army veteran after dedicating six faithful years of service to our country. Over the years he has received an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration from Jones College, and an Associate of Science degree Funeral Services from Lynn University. Mr. Austin has been married to his wife Rosa for 29 years and they have one daughter, Rosemary. Sam is known in our community from both his 24 years working Winn Dixie Stores Inc as head of the meat department and the 17 years as a funeral director then general manager for Royal Palm Funeral Home. Sam still is a licensed funeral director and is now working for Shuler s Memorial Chapel. He is a dedicated member of Peaceful Zion Baptist Church where he serves as a Deacon and class leader. His favorite bible verse is Hebrew13:2. “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers; for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Mr. Austin has served on many community boards and political campaigns here in Palm Beach County. His hobbies are fishing, gardening, traveling, cooking, listening to smooth jazz, ceramics and reading. His favorite writers are E. Lynn Harris and James Patterson. Sam always says “If you stay happy you will be healthy and God will make a way for you always.”