The Ellis Island Medal of Honor

Derek Dewan has a rich ethnic heritage. The son of Lebanese immigrants, Derek Dewan has built a successful career as an entrepreneur and was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1999.

The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is an award sponsored by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO). NECO, established in 1986, focuses on preserving the diversity of American culture and promoting tolerance, respect, and understanding. One of the hallmarks of NECO’s efforts is in the preservation of the Ellis Island Monument, which stands as an icon of the American dream. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is awarded to United States citizens who have distinguished themselves as members of their own ethnic groups. Nominees are selected based on their actions and achievements in serving their communities and the nation as a whole. The medal has been awarded to governmental and business leaders, Nobel Prize winners, and everyday citizens who excel as members of their community.


Derek Dewan: The Jacksonville Public Library System

Derek Dewan earned his degree in accounting from South Florida University. Since then, he assumed the role of president at AccuStaff and led the company in a $22 million initial public offering launch. Derek Dewan complements his professional background by holding charitable and educational advisory positions with organizations such as the Executive Board of the Cox School of Business and the Jacksonville Public Library system.

Spanning 300,000 square feet, the Jacksonville Public Library system comprises a main library as well as 20 regional and neighborhood branches. The network of libraries operates under the motto, “Start Here. Go Anywhere!,” representing the system’s vast collection of books, electronic offerings, and specialty services such as adult literacy programs. The organization also serves the disabled community with its extensive Talking Books/Special Needs Library, featuring access to books on cassette, closed-captioned and described movies, and large-print and braille reading materials, among other services.

The Jacksonville Public Library system stands on a foundation of educational opportunities and investment in the Jacksonville community. In short, the library brings together people through a variety of materials that motivate, satisfy, and instruct.