On February 1, 2024, Jamaica-born lawyer, Marlon Hill, received the inaugural 2024 Hank Raattama Community Championship Award, which was previously known as the Philanthropy Miami Community Champion Award and was renamed to commemorate the late Hank Raattama, a founding member of Philanthropy Miami. Hill was presented with the award at the organization’s 2024 Donor Next Door Celebration at the Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College. The award is given to recognize community leaders who demonstrate their strong dedication to the Greater Miami area through their work and who inspire future generations to engage in philanthropic actions.
Hill’s response after receiving the award
Hill posted his response to the award presentation on social media, writing, “Fantastic Friday: On this dawn of Black History Month, I am grateful for God’s grace and favor for bestowing on me the inaugural Philanthropy Miami Hank Raattama Community Award in the name of one of my professional mentors who displayed an extraordinary example for civic engagement, innovation, and community impact. My deepest thanks to his family, Kristina Raattama and Kemi Edwards (Raattama), for extending this gift to me on his birthday (February 1st).” He added an inspiring message to the community as well, posting, “My message: We need to treat our community in the same way of the West African/Caribbean tradition of Osue – Sol- San San – Sou Sou Njangi- Partner – where we don’t take out more out of the pot than you put in until it’s your turn/draw to get the full benefit of the full pot and also be intentional with the purpose for what you may take out of the pot.”
Born in Kingston
Marlon Hill was born in Kingston, Jamaica, moved to the United States when he was 14 years old, and was raised in South Miami Heights. He is a first-generation American lawyer and partner with the law firm of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman in the Coral Gables office. With over 28 years of experience in corporate, intellectual property, and government transactions law, he serves numerous entrepreneurs, artists, media talent, corporations, nonprofits, sovereign governments, and related agencies regarding tourism, hospitality, and media/entertainment interests.
Roles and representation
Hill has counseled and advised on community initiatives and worked on intellectual property rights and business strategies. He is on the board of GraceKennedy Foods USA LLC and the KLE Group Ltd. He has served as regional legal counsel for the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association and has been the director of The Miami Foundation and the Miami Book Fair International. His board memberships include the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Miami Parking Authority, the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation, and the BME Community, a network of Black leaders who focus on framing and elevating the assets and aspirations of Black people globally. He is also an active member of the Orange Bowl Committee.
Beyond the practice of law
In addition to his legal practice, Hill acts as an MC/DJ host for special events in South Florida and the local bar association. He ran for the District 9 seat on the Miami Dade County Commission in 2019, and for over two decades, has been a civic commentator on the weekly radio program, “The People’s Politics.” He has also worked as an opinion/editorial writer for the Miami Herald and Sun-Sentinel newspapers on issues of civic interest, legal concerns, and social/cultural impact. He has been widely recognized for his local activism, supporting issues such as civic engagement, voter education, breast cancer awareness, and youth mentorship. As a past president of the Caribbean Bar Association and trustee of the Miami Foundation, Hill has served as an avid advocate for issues impacting communities of color.
Awards and honors
The Daily Business Review described Hill as an “outstanding member of the emerging generation of South Florida business and professional leaders.” In 2016, he received the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Bill Colson Leadership Award, and in 2012, was the recipient of the M. Athalie Range Foundation, Bridge Builder Award. He received the inaugural Miami Foundation Ruth Shack Community Leadership Award in 2010.