Barron Channer loves Miami. The Caribbean immigrant, from Jamaica, sees the diversity of South Florida as its strength. Where he sees room for improvement is how the economic opportunity pie is divvied and how that affects the Black community.
Channer is the CEO of BACH Real Estate. His personal philosophy is that a healthy community deserves and needs the talent and care of its citizens to be put into action. He also believes fair access to opportunity is the only way a community can successfully thrive.
Barron has an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He also has a tech background and holds a Computer Engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He serves on the boards of the Miami Foundation; the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Baptist-South Miami Hospital; and The American Friends of Jamaica. He is chair-elect for the Beacon Council-Urban Initiatives Committee and co-chair of Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) Ambassadors for African American Art.
Channer said he likes to lend his expertise in tech and real estate where it is needed.
For instance Channer was one of the voices that pushed for a review of the results of a flawed 2013 disparity study conducted for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. The study found incorrectly that there were no disparities in subcontracting, noting that Black subcontractors were overused and reported inaccurate contract award amounts among other ills. Without the push by Black community leaders, Black firms may have been left out of the $1.2 billion General Obligation Bond for school renovations.
Under the new policy, the school boards will modify its selection criteria for architect, engineers and construction managers to ensure more diversity and inclusion; set up a prompt payment initiative to reimburse small businesses faster for contracting expenses; and use the district’s certified list of SMBE/WMBE vendors.
He said as the Black community has become more attractive to those who not traditionally live there, neighborhoods have to figure out how to balance outside interests with those of the Black community. The absence of investment in some neighborhoods holds the community back and it keeps the younger generation away. The younger generation want to live, work and play where they live, he says.
Like some of our other dreamers, Channer started to serve when he was much younger. Now he is very active in helping young, disadvantaged youth understand real estate. He said his desire to serve and his activism comes from his upbringing in a modest middle-class family. “In college I volunteered to assist those who weren’t exposed to technology,” said Channer.