EDITOR’s NOTE: Times Caribbean Online is delighted to publish the following article about two Dominica-born, US residents who have been recognized for their excellence as business executives in the United States. The article was written by US-based attorney and author, Gabriel Christian.
On March 1, 2018 Savoy Magazine issued its 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America. In an amazing first, two of the selected Business Executives were born on the Caribbean island of Dominica Once I was alerted of that momentous selection by my high school friend Lynton Scotland I decided to interview both honorees on April 2, 2018.
Erwin Raphael – General Manager Genesis North America (www.genesis.com)
Erwin was born in Roseau Dominica to Thomas and Martha Raphael from Bellevue Chopin. Erwin and his family left Dominica in the late 1960s for St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. He is one of seven siblings and is the younger brother is Sam Raphael, the owner of the well-regarded Jungle Bay eco-tourism resort on Dominica.
Erwin attended the University of Maryland and majored in Chemistry. He took a break, served in the US Army, and then completed his studies at The Ohio State University where he graduated with degrees in chemistry and mathematics. He later pursued advanced studies at Ohio State and graduated with a master’s degree in economics. Erwin started his career at the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency then worked at International Truck, Toyota and later on at Chrysler where he became the General Manager of the largest auto glass plant in the United States. In 2003 Erwin was recognized as Black Engineer of the Year USA. In 2010 Erwin left Chrysler and moved to Hyundai as Director of Quality Engineering. He was later appointed as the Western United States Regional Manager. In 2017 he was appointed as the first General Manager North America of the new Genesis luxury brand. https://www.genesis.com/us/en/genesis.html). He is married to Dr. Tracy Lynn Davis of Ohio and has two children.
Lynton Scotland – Chief Procurement Officer W.L. Gore. (https://www.gore.com)
Lynton was born in St. Joseph, Dominica to Crecy and Charmain Scotland. He is one of seven siblings. Lynton attended the Dominica Grammar School until fourth form and then migrated to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands with his family. Lynton attended the University of Dayton and graduated with a degree in Chemical engineering. He later earned a Masters Degree in Statistics from Rutgers University and an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. Lynton started his career in the automotive industry at Ernie Green Industries then went on to work for Hercules Incorporated. Lynton was later appointed to the position of Sales & Marketing Director of Hercules Sanyo Incorporated, a joint venture between Hercules and the Japanese firm Sanyo Chemicals. He left Hercules and joined NRG Energy, the largest independent electric power producer in the United States, as Vice President Operational Excellence. Lynton later worked at DuPont Chemical Company and recently joined W.L. Gore, the manufacturer of the well-known Gore-Tex © weatherproof fabric and producer of stents for cardiac surgery procedures, in the position of Chief Procurement Officer. Lynton is married to Colette (Bruney) Scotland from Laplaine.
Lynton’s and Erwin’s families are very close with their parents being friends since their early years in Dominica. Both families migrated to St. Croix and with seven children in each family in the same age groups. In Erwin’s words, “I would sit on the Scotland’s porch eating mangoes and drinking jelly coconuts while discussing our grand ideas and career plans. We are as close to each other as any family can be without being blood relatives. Erwin and Lynton credit their parents and communities in Dominica and St. Croix for their success. When asked what propelled them to success, both men were unanimous in pointing to their strong and disciplined parents who were hard working, strivers for excellence, integrity driven and who placed a premium on the importance of education. Both Erwin and Lynton were also both engaged in youth organizations and leadership at Sunny Isle Baptist Church and in high school. They are dedicated to giving back to community and working to make real the equality of opportunity dream of US Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther, Jr., who they paid tribute to during their interview.
Lynton and Erwin are members of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) (https://www.elcinfo.com/) which comprises many of the top corporate black executives in the world. The ELC is the preeminent member organization for the development of global black leaders.
Congratulations to Erwin and Lynton. You have made us proud as Dominicans and as role models for young people in Dominica and around the world.
Listen to Erwin Raphael introduce the new Genesis – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA3xd2q5IXc
Gabriel J. Christian, Esq. is co-founder with Dr. Irving W. Andre of Pont Casse Press(www.pontcassepress.com)