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MARCH | APRIL 2013 January| February 2014


Chamber Hosts First-Ever New Year’s Bites & Boom Networker on January 9th!

et your business cookin’ in 2014 at our Taste of the New Year networker and celebration! On Thursday, January 9th at 5:30pm, our Chamber will host its first-ever New Year’s Bites & Boom Networker at the historic Biltmore Hotel. Members and guests will gather on the veranda overlooking their iconic swimming pool that once played host to stars like Esther Williams and Johnny Weissmuller. Attendees will dive head-first into an evening filled with delicious delicacies provided by more than twenty of the Gables’ finest restaurants, including many of our newest locales. These bites will be complimented by bottomless libations courtesy of Bacardi USA. Other notable activities include DJ Mayner mixing the turntables, an interactive photo booth, resolution tree, raffles and much...much more! This “Taste of Twenty-Fourteen” will kick-off a celebrated year of engaging events and incredible networking opportunities hosted by the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.

Cost: $25 Members, $35 Guests and a VIP Package of 5 for $100. Sponsored by Cherry Bekaert, LLP; Bacardi USA; City National Bank; Credomatic Merchant Services. Participating Restaurants (to date): Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza Bellmont Spanish Restaurant Bread + Butter Counter Cao Chocolates Catering by Lovables Cibo Wine Bar Coral Gables High School Culinary Program Doctors Hospital The Dome Restaurant Bar & Lounge L.A. Sweets La Taberna Giralda Pardo’s Peruvian Cuisine Peterbrooke Chocolatier Pincho Factory Seasons 52 Swine Southern Table & Bar Tarpon Bend Raw Bar & Grill

Realtor Showcase Expo Returns January 24th!


or the past six years, the Business & Education Committee of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Miami Association of Realtors to host a high-impact seminar focused on what it takes to “Sell the City Beautiful”. Known for our charm and class,

IN THIS ISSUE Thoughts from the Chair President’s Perspective Trustee Talk Guest Member Article Membership Highlights Calendar of Events Sponsor Recognition

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Coral Gables is also home to outstanding schools (both public and private), world-renowned restaurants, sophisticated shopping, limitless amenities and everything one could ever dream of in Merrick’s vision of a planned community.

a coveted community in which to live, work, learn and play will be on full display.


On Friday, January 24, 2014, the Chamber will host this event from 10:30am - 1:00pm at the Miami Association of Realtor’s Coral Gables office at 245 Alcazar Avenue. This seminar will consist of a series of presentations, including our local public and private schools, representatives from the arts, culture, restaurant and retail community that call the Gables home, as well as City officials, including department heads of Building and Zoning, Code Enforcement and more.

Sponsored by: FirstBank Florida Cost: $25 Chamber & MAR Members; $35 Guests

Everything you ever wanted to know about what makes Coral Gables such | CHAMBER CONNECTION | January - February 2014

THOUGHTS FROM THE CHAIR Perry Adair, CGCC Chairman, Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.


Dear Fellow Chamber Members:

his really is the most wonderful time of the year! On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, happy holidays and best wishes for a very healthy and prosperous New Year! One of the things that makes the holiday season so great is that many of us do things a little differently just because it is the holidays. From decorations and holiday specials to treating one another with more kindness, there is change in the air. It makes one wonder whether making it standard practice to do things a little differently all year long might not be a good thing for us and our businesses. Perhaps a resolution worth considering.


Something we are doing differently at the Chamber is saying good-bye to our traditional end of the year Holiday Party- and saying hello to our inaugual, beginning of the year, New Year’s Bites & Boom Event, January 9th, 2014 at The Biltmore. Instead of celebrating the end of a year, we are going to celebrate the beginning of the New Year. We look forward to you joining us for the inaugural edition of this new tradition.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman: Perry Adair (Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.) Chair-Elect: Linda Knudsen, (Baptist Health South Florida) Vice Chairman-Business & Economic Dev: Barbara K. Norland (The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade) Vice Chairman-Gov’t & Legislative Affairs: Patrick O’Connell (Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors) Vice Chairman-Community Affairs: Amy Donner (Miami’s Community Newspapers) Vice Chairman-Member Affairs: Marianne Sioli (Filer Insurance, Inc.) Vice Chairman-International Affairs: Carolina Rendeiro (RightSpace2Meet) Vice Chairman-Special Events: Yesenia Moreno (Albion Staffing Solutions, Inc.) Treasurer: Wayne Eldred (Tarpon Bend Raw Bar & Grill) Parliamentarian: Martha de la Pena Rojas (Florida Blue) Trustee Council Chair: John Allen (Home Financing Center, Inc.) Past Chair: Darla Thompson (Cherry Bekaert LLP) Chairman’s Appointee: Laura Russo (Laura L. Russo, Esq.) President & CEO: Mark A. Trowbridge

Along with my colleagues on the Executive Committee, in the next few weeks, I will be re-examining our Chamber priorities for the year, and maybe shuffling them a bit – more on that later. In the near term, we are planning our Tallahassee Fly-In for February 10-12, 2014. One of our goals for the year was doubling the size of our delegation. So please consider taking part. So those are my thoughts (in addition to visions of sugar plums dancing in my head) as we close out 2013. Best regards,

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Elected-term expires 2014 Thad Adams (Allen Morris Company) Brian Barakat (Barakat Law, P.A.) Frank Fernandez (US Century Bank) Anabella Smith (Zyscovich Architects) Nelson Penalver (Logistical Outsourcing, Inc.)

Business Development Opportunities

Elected-term expires 2015 Nikki Deas (Vine Communications) Rosemary Guilfoyle (Planning Consultants Group) John Knowles (Photo Offset, Inc.) Marti Mang (TotalBank) Zachary Sulkes (Bacardi USA)


Elected-term expires 2016 George Feliciano Jr. (Bay Plumbing Company) Ramon Ferrer (Florida Power & Light) Raquel Hickey (City National Bank) Karen Pascual (U.S. Century Bank) Nicole Waters (Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables)

The Coral Gables Chamber has many high profile events that offer outstanding promotional value to your business. Get involved in the community and sponsor one of our upcoming events. For more information, contact Erica Dominguez at

ADVERTISING What happens if you do not advertise your business? Absolutely! Make your business stand out and take full advantage of your Chamber membership. There are sponsorship opportunities, newsletter advertising, City Beautiful magazine, website advertising and much more available to you to help promote your business. Rates are available on the front page of our website, www. For more information, contact Morgan at or you can contact Joshua Jones at Reeder 2 | CHAMBER CONNECTION | January - February 2014

Appointees-term expires 8/31/2014 Sarah Nesbitt Artecona (University of Miami) Matthias Kammerer (The Biltmore Hotel) Rene Negron (AXA Advisors, LLC.) Martha Pantin (American Airlines) Al Peraza (Mercantil Commercebank) EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS Business Improvement District Abe Ng, Sushi Maki City of Coral Gables Commissioner Frank C. Quesada City of Coral Gables Cynthia Birdsill (Economic Sustainability Department) Coral Gables Community Foundation Andria Hanley Miami-Dade Beacon Council Nelson Lazo

PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE: Portraits of a Nation Mark A. Trowbridge, President & CEO Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce


his past month, I attended a luncheon hosted by the Prologue Society, a longtime collaboration between Northern Trust, Books & Books and Miami Today. Each month, this group hosts a prominent historian who has written a new work or novel. Our luncheon featured Robert Wilson, whose most recent subject is Mathew Brady, the Civil War photographer of note and man who captured many images of President Lincoln during his career that endure today.

and the Civil War is because of his photographs – these searing, often visceral, images that have endured for more than 150 years. Yes, Brady may not have been there for all of them and yes, his desire to be as much a part of history versus documenting it is, well, a very modern trait. But, Mathew Brady’s work has stood the test of time and is an incredibly important part of our nation’s history, capturing a time of great civil unrest, intense change and transformation. For this, we should be eternally grateful for his talent and the treasure he left behind.

Up until the luncheon, I had always admired Brady’s photographs and considered it among the most important and influential works of its time. Much of what we know about the Civil War and its battles was interpreted by a small, core group of war photographers, of which Brady was surely a pioneer. Yet, many of these images that are burned into our collective memory are not exclusively his…or they were done by his studio and staff, not him directly. Interesting, but not uncommon at the time. In fact, Brady was a highly accomplished photographer long before the war, having had a studio on Broadway in New York City dating back to the 1840’s. He was highly regarded for his portrait and daguerreotype work, use of the latest technology and well, ability to be at the right place at the right time. This theory may not actually apply to the Battle of Bull Run in 1861 when he, along with thousands of fellow “spectators”, had gathered to picnic along the Potomac for the battle. In short order, they had to retreat in great haste as the Union Army was beaten back the rebels on the battlefield. Brady survived, as did his equipment, but most of the pictures taken that day did not and thus, there is little photographic record of this battle. His work at historic Gettysburg, even though he arrived late on the scene, remains among the most admired today, as does much of his work photographing generals on the field of battle, usually surrounded by their fellow soldiers (and often Brady himself inserted into the picture “photo bomb” style). His picture of Robert E. Lee the Sunday morning after the unconditional surrender of the South is haunting. Not only is it the day Lincoln died by an assassin’s bullet, but Lee is in street clothes and dress shoes for the first time in many years. He is worn, looking many years older, with the haggard look of resignation leaping off the picture in a palpable fashion. Plus, the elements of the large, wooden door behind him make it seem as if he is hung on the cross, a martyr for a defeated people. In truth, Brady ended up squandering his fortune and died penniless. He and his wife never had any children and thus, there are no direct descendants of Matthew Brady today. And while my admiration of him is only somewhat tarnished by the revelations in Wilson’s new book, “Mathew Brady: Portraits of a Nation”, I still believe that much of my passion for Lincoln | CHAMBER CONNECTION | January - February 2014


TRUSTEE TALK John Allen, Trustee Council Chair, Home Financing Center,


reetings, Fellow Trustee Members!

Our November Trustee Reception was at one of our favorite locations (and stores), fellow Trustees John & Marachi O’Rourke’s Montica Jewelry. Taking place shortly before The Diamond Awards, which is sponsored by Montica Jewelry, many of the Diamond Award nominees were present and Trustee members had a chance to chat with some of the impressive companies whose special features make them stand out of the pack and gained them a spot on the much coveted list of finalists. Combined with everyone’s favorite libations and delicious food, this dazzling evening was topped off by amazing raffles from Montica, all of which would be a fine addition to anyone’s holiday stockings!

Health, would be hard to beat, our November luncheon certainly ranked right up there with the best of them. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the assasination of John F. Kennedy, over 90 Chamber members had the treat of hearing first-hand as author Layte Bowden spoke publicly for one of the first times about what really went on behind the scenes of the JFK administration, from the White House to Dallas, from Jackie to Florida Senator “Gorgeous George” Smathers…if you missed it, you’ll just have to purchase her newly released book, “Under the Radar During Camelot – My Front Row Seat to History”, filled with anecdotes never before published!

Our December 10th Trustee Reception, sponsored by our Chairman Perry Adair’s firm, Becker & Poliakoff, gave our Trustees the opportunity to meet the new President of The Beacon Council, Larry Williams. As the Chamber has always enjoyed a close working relationship with the Council, it was a terrific forum for our Trustee members to meet Larry, hear his thoughts and spend some relaxed one-on-one time with him…not to mention that the panoramic Although such recent Trustee Luncheons view from Becker & Poliakoff ’s 10th floor featuring The Miami Heat and Carlos Mi- balcony is a perfect backdrop for mingling. goya, President and C.E.O. of Jackson

After we regroup from the holiday season, make sure to mark your calendar for the next two Trustee events – the Trustee Reception, which will be hosted by Gables Ponce on the January 12th, and the Trustee Luncheon on January 30th. Last but certainly not least, a tremendous thank you to the amazing Trustee Diplomats for their unceasing efforts to ensure our Trustee members capitalize the most from their Chamber membership. We are continully reaching out to all our Trustee members, so don’t be surprised if you get a call or e-mail from us to see how we can enhance your Chamber experience…and finally, lots of special appreciation to the Chamber staff, whose behindthe-scenes efforts make it all happen! On behalf of the Trustee Council, enjoy the holiday season and we look forward to seeing you at the next Chamber Trustee event!




Chamber Chairman Perry Adair poses with Larry Williams, President & CEO of The Beacon Council and Mark A. Trowbridge, President & CEO of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.

Patrick O’Connell, Vice President of Esslinger-WootenMaxwell Realtors and P.J. Mitchell, Attorney with Mitchell & West, LLP enjoy the December 10th Trustee Reception at Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.

Larry Williams, CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council pictured with Adrian Aizenstat from Wells Fargo.

Sheldon Anderson, Chairman of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council chats with RightSpace2Meet Owner & Board Member, Carolina Rendeiro.

4 | CHAMBER CONNECTION | January - February 2014

Special to the “Chamber Connection” Reed Horth, Cultural Affairs Committee Chair Robin Rile Fine Art

Greetings fellow Chamber Members,


ccording to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) new estimates, 3.2 percent -- or $504 billion -- of the 2011 GDP (Gross Domestic Product) was directly attributable to Arts and Culture. In comparison, BEA’s estimated value of the U.S. travel and tourism industry in 2011 was only 2.8 percent of GDP. “Art and culture is a significant part of the U.S. economy. Not just its contributions of ideas and creativity to the innovation economy, but also as an important part of the labor force and our country’s GDP” said NEA Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa. Michael Spring, Miami-Dade County Department director of Cultural Affairs says, “I would estimate more than $2 billion of economic activity (is) attributable to the arts and cultural events (in Miami-Dade county).” More than simply an economic driver, Art is one of the most powerful influences on our mental well-being. Our own Gables Chamber Board member George Feliciano intimated a story to me about having found a piece of artwork during the annual An Evening on Aragon several years ago. While he admits he did not know much about the science of art, he knew what moved him. This painting rapt his attention and he could not allow it to go to another home. To this day he says he loves it. The Arts are very singular in this way. They move us. They provide us a singular joy. Whether it is in paintings or sculpture, dance or literature, film or stage, the Arts are a pivotal force which binds communities and gives rise to places where people want to live.

This is what we have here in Coral Gables. This community boasts some of the most vibrant cultural venues, learning establishments, artists and galleries in all of Miami-Dade county. We have world-class live shows at the Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre and the Maurice Gusman Concert Hall. We have fantastic international exhibitions of art at the Coral Gables Museum and the Lowe Art Museum at University of Miami. We have world-renowned galleries such as Cernuda Arte, ArtRAGEeous in The Village of Merrick Park, Jorge Sori, Tresart, H. Benitez and others. We can also boast of having arguably the finest bookstore I have been to, in Books and Books and the list goes on. In short, we have all of the robust features which communities rally around and participate in. So, how can you participate? Do you buy art? Do you go to plays? Do you attend poetry readings or lectures? What inspires you? The Chamber’s annual An Evening on Aragon event is coming up on Wednesday, January 22nd and will take place from 5:30pm - 8:00pm. The event consists of a whimsical stroll through the epicenter of arts and culture in our City Beautiful, including stops at iconic venues along Aragon Avenue. This is the same event that George fell in love with his painting all those years ago. Who knows, perhaps you will do the same? This event successfully combines networking with like-minded peers, with a cultural aspect or venue you may not already have known about, delicious delacacies and of course, vino. Perhaps you see a film at the Coral Gables Arts Cinema which inspires you, possibly a photograph that you fall in love with at the Coral Gables Museum or literature at the Dante Alighieri Society, as we experienced last year. Art inspires. Allow yourself to be inspired and, in turn, inspire those around you. This is how societies are built and how we can ignite a flame in our younger generations to do the same. Cost: $20 Chamber Members│$30 Guests

Snapshots of An Evening on Aragon - 2013 | CHAMBER CONNECTION | January - February 2014



January 22nd AN EVENING ON ARAGON - 6:00 PM


Join us for a whimsical stroll through the epicenter of arts & culture in Coral Gables, including stops at iconic venues along Aragon Avenue! Partner: Arts & Business Council Miami Cost: $20 Chamber & ABC Members │ $30 Guests

The Biltmore Hotel | 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables Celebrating our BIG resolutions and a taste of the New Year! The Chamber will be hosting its first-ever New Year’s Bites & Boom event. Let’s get business booming in 2014! All we ask that you bring a business resolution with you! Sponsors: Cherry Bekaert, LLP, Bacardi USA, City National Bank & Credomatic Merchant Services Cost: $25 Chamber Members │ $35 Guests

January 24th REALTOR SHOWCASE - 10:30 AM Miami Association of Realtors Office 245 Alcazar Avenue, Coral Gables Discover all things Coral Gables! Hear from our Public and Private Schools, City Leaders, department heads in the Office of Development Services & Economic Sustainability, as well as information on the amenities that make Coral Gables the one-and-only City Beautiful! Sponsors: FirstBank Florida Partner: Miami Association of Realtors Cost: $25 Chamber & MAR Members │ $35 Guests

January 16th

GOOD MORNING CORAL GABLES – 7:30 AM The Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables Cost: $25 Chamber Members by 1/10 │ $35 Chamber Members after 1/10 │ $40 Guests


January 30th

RightSpace2Meet | 100 Miracle Mile, Suite 200, Coral Gables Topic:: The ABC’s of Re-Financing Moderator: Althea Harris, Small Business Administration

NEW MEMBER RECEPTION – 5:30 PM AmTrust Bank, 2701 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Coral Gables Sponsor: AmTrust Bank Complimentary to all new Chamber Members.

Panelists: Eddy Del Rio, Paragon Financial Group, Fabiana Estrada, Acción USA and Miguel Hernandez, Genesis Financial Associates Sponsor: Mercantil Commercebank, N.A.



Through December 2013

$5,000 AND ABOVE

New Members 11/1/2013 - 12/27/2013

GloRec Lombardi Aguilar Group Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors Envy Pilates SUSHISAMBA Coral Gables Accountemps: Robert Half International Frames USA + Art Gallery DEX Imaging Tommy’s Moving & Storage Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. Polenta Italian Gourmet Castellon & Company, PL Bread + Butter Counter Alpha-1 Foundation Mission of the Heart Miami Inferno Ceballos, Ceballos, Bestulich & Padron, CPA J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

The Allen Morris Company AXA Advisors, LLC Bacardi Baptist Health South Florida Brown-Forman Beverages Cherry Bekaert LLP City of Coral Gables City National Bank Credomatic Merchant Services Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors Doctors Hospital Florida Blue Florida Power & Light

Home Financing Center, Inc. Mercantil Commercebank, N.A. Miami Herald Miami’s Community Newspapers Logistical Outsourcing, Inc. Photo Offset, Inc. RightSpace2Meet Sabadell United Bank South Florida Business Journal TotalBank University of Miami U.S. Century Bank

*BOLD denotes Trustee Member

6 | CHAMBER CONNECTION |January - February 2014

$2,500 - $4,999 AT&T Bay Plumbing Company Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. Comcast Business Coral Gables Hospital Gulliver Schools Intermedia Touch, Inc. Mercedes-Benz Coral Gables Montica Jewelry South Motors United Way of Miami-Dade


January │February 2014 Monday




31 New Year’s Eve Chamber Closes @ Noon


8:00 AM Chairman’s Ambassadors Meeting 8:00 AM Global Affairs Committee Meeting

14 5:30 PM Trustee Reception @ Gables Ponce

20 Martin Luther King Day Chamber Closed

8:00 AM SEE Green Committee Meeting


11:30 AM Women’s Business Network Luncheon @ Hyatt Regency Coral Gables




4 8:00 AM Global Affairs Committee Meeting


8:00 AM Business & Gov’t Affairs 8:00 AM Committee Meeting M-Team Committee Meeting 9:00 AM Cultural Affairs Committee Meeting 9:00 AM 12:00 PM Tech Task Force Meeting RE-Connect Luncheon @Anacapri on Ponce 5:30 PM 5:30 PM New Year’s Bites & Boom Wind Down Wednesday @ The Biltmore Hotel @Sushi Maki









9:00 AM 20/30 Group Committee Meeting

10:30 AM Realtor Showcase & Expo @ Miami Association of Realtors Office

8:00 AM Business & Education Committee Meeting

6:00 PM An Evening on Aragon


12:00 PM RE-Connect Luncheon @ Anacapri on Pone


12 9:00 AM Cultural Affairs Committee Meeting

11:30 AM Chow Down With the Chair @Talavera Cocina Mexicana


9:00 AM Health Care Task Force Meeting




7:30 AM Good Morning Coral Gables @ The Biltmore Hotel

8:30 AM IMPACT: A Seminar Series for Small Business @ RightSpace2Meet


9:00 AM Women’s Business Network Committee Meeting


8:00 AM Small Business Committee Meeting

5:30 PM Wind Down Wednesday @ Montica Jewelry

5:30 PM Trustee Reception @ Bacardi USA

3 8:30 AM Trow Knows...CEOs @ Right Space 2 Meet

11:30 AM Trustee Luncheon @ Coral Gables Country Club


Saturday / Sunday


New Year’s Day Chamber Closed












5:30 PM New Member Reception @ AmTrust Bank

8:00 AM Chairman’s Ambassador Meeting


9:00 AM Womens Business Network Committee Meeting

8:30 AM Trow Knows..CEOs @ RightSpace2Meet


8:00 AM M-Team Committee Meeting 9:00 AM Tech Task Force Meeting

9:00 AM Chamber 101 @ Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce

Tallahassee Fly-In

17 President’s Day Chamber Closed

8:00 AM SEE Green Committee Meeting


11:30 AM Women’s Business Network Luncheon @ Hyatt Regency Coral Gables








8:00 AM Small Business Committee Meeting

7:30 AM Good Morning Coral Gables @ The Biltmore Hotel

9:00 AM Health Care Task Force Meeting

9:00 AM 20/30 Group Committee Meeting

26 11:30 AM Trustee Luncheon @ Coral Gables Country Club


8:00 AM Business & Education Committee Meeting | CHAMBER CONNECTION | January - February 2014










Trustee Diplomats

BURGERLISCIOUS... Third Bite’s the Charm

8 | CHAMBER CONNECTION | January - February 2014

Chamber Connection - January : February  
Chamber Connection - January : February