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o you love to cook? Are you obsessed with the latest reality TV cooking show? Are you a Top Chef?

Then this is your opportunity to cook like a pro alongside accomplished Chef Matt McCormick from Seasons 52. Learn how to recreate the flavorful, healthful fare of Seasons 52 during our Trustee Invitational and Interactive Luncheon on Friday, August 26th at The Biltmore. This event is sponsored by BlueCross Blue-

Shield of Florida and Bay Plumbing Company. Chef McCormick, who holds a degree in hospitality management from Johnson& Wales University, has been working in the Matt McCormick, Executive Chef Partner, Seasons 52 kitchen professionally for more than 16 years. He will show you how to prepare a delicious three-course meal in the Seasons 52 tradition of featuring

seasonally inspired ingredients, showcasing their flavors through natural cooking techniques. This makes each dish not only fully satisfying, but also less than 475 calories. For this exclusive event, our Trustees are able to invite other members and prospective Chamber members as guests, so they can experience first-hand the benefits of becoming a Trustee member. It is also an excellent time to take advantage of our summer membership promotion. Sponsorships and tables of eight are available. Contact Erica Dominguez for details at 305-446-1657.



oing Green may seem to be the latest trend, but it has great benefits to the environment and to business owners, as well. Applying green practices to the workplace creates a healthy environment for employees, reduces unnecessary waste and recognizes the role that businesses play in leading the way for social change. On Friday, August 5th, 2011 the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce will host its 2nd Annual Eco Expo and Green Means

IN THIS ISSUE • Chairman’s Remarks

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• President’s Perspective

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• Trustee Talk

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• Are You Hurricane Proof

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• Membership Highlights

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• Calendar of Events

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• Sponsor Recognition

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Green Awards. This event is sponsored by Empire Office, Steelcase,, Waste Management and Zyscovich Architects. The Eco Expo will provide the opportunity for eco-conscious businesses and consumers to convene in a single venue to showcase the impact that the green movement is having on every aspect of our economy and society, from energy and transportation to education, health and travel, among many others. The Chamber will showcase 30 plus tabletops, businesses that are advancing a sustainable and eco-friendly corporate environment. Learn how you can adopt these practices and reduce your business’, your family’s and your own carbon footprint. The table-top showcase spaces are as follows: $250 for members and $350 for nonmembers. The cost to attend is $45 for Chamber, AIA Miami and USGBC Members with RSVP by Friday, July 29th. The cost is $55 for Chamber, AIA Miami and USGBC members with RSVP after Friday, July 29th and $65 for future Chamber

Members. The Green Means Green Awards will be presented during the luncheon event. These awards recognize the most innovative and impactful, environmentally friendly practices by a company or individual. The award categories are: • Green Building: outstanding LEED certified project, new construction or restoration located in Coral Gables • Green Giant: leading organization in sustainability efforts & best green practices (for profit or non- profit). • Green Sprout: a student or group who has created “green” initiatives within their school or community • Green Hospitality: recognition of a hospitality- focused entity that has been an innovator in sustainability • Green Visionary: a true leader in our community who has invested in green practices and been a pioneer in the field of sustainability For sponsorship and table-top opportunities, please contact Morgan Huling at 305446-1657. | CHAMBER CONNECTION |MAY / JUNE 2011

OUR CHAMBER CHAIRMAN’S THANK YOU John O’Rourke III Montica Jewelry CGCC Chairman


ongratulations to Chair-Elect Drew Kern, Chamber President Mark Trowbridge, Senior Events Manager Erica Dominguez and Events Coordinator Morgan Huling for producing an incredible Goals Conference this year. As usual, Dennis Doucette and his Team at The Biltmore Hotel outdid themselves. Many thanks to all of our gracious sponsors, whose financial support enabled nearly 400 attendees to actively participate in a firstclass event. The Goals Conference once again solidified the fact that our Chamber is the Voice of the Business Community. I remain inspired by our members continued dedication, working cohesively towards the betterment of our community. This past year, there have been those that have risen to the top when most needed, having helped to ensure that your Chamber remains exceptionally relevant. With this in mind, I would like to thank our Division Vice Chairs and their Team Members who have worked so hard over the past year. These individuals have not been afraid to step up; they have taken the lead and most notably “Have Made a Difference”. Travel and Tourism remain key components with which to fuel our City’s economic engine. We remain committed to leading the efforts in the promotion of The City of Coral Gables as a premier destination spot for dining, shopping, history, arts and culture. Many thanks to Mike Wurster of The Westin Colonnade. He has been at the helm of our efforts, having led the Travel and Tourism committee for the past two years. Your Chamber serves as a resource to our elected officials and City departments. We are The Advocate for our businesses on a variety of issues that affect their success. I would like to thank Hugo Arza of Hugo Arza and Associates for his commitment to our Business and Government Affairs Committee. He put together our bi-annual candidate forum, our fly-ins to Washington, 2

DC and Tallahassee and our successful legislative round-up. Thad Adams of The Allen Morris Company has dedicated countless hours to our great Chamber over the years. He has been there for us when leadership and guidance were needed on positioning Coral Gables as a business friendly community. Thad spearheaded the creation of our Permitting Assistance Program and has helped to ensure that this is indeed “The City” to live, work and play. Wayne Eldred, The General Manager of Tarpon Bend Raw Bar and Grill has admirably led our efforts within our Retail Recovery Division. He exemplifies our Chamber’s willingness to be inclusive and lend a helping hand. Our newly created Retail Membership has grown nicely under his leadership to its current level of 21 members, with Restaurant Membership now at an incredible 60 members. I am extremely proud of our Board of Directors and their dedication to our Chamber, our membership, and the business community at large. I have enjoyed my interaction with each and every one of them; appreciating their counsel, assistance and personal support.

2010-2011 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chairman: John O’Rourke III (Montica Jewelry) Chairman-Elect: Drew Kern (Essingler-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors) Vice Chairman-Business & Economic Dev. Brian Barakat (Barakat Law P.A.) Vice Chairman-Gov’t & Legislative Affairs: Mark Meranda (Turner Construction) Vice Chair-Community Affairs: Nikki Deas (Vine Communications) Vice Chairman-Member Affairs: Frank Fernandez (U.S. Century Bank) Vice Chair-International Affairs: Carolina Rendeiro (Right Space Management) Vice Chair-Special Events: Anabella Smith (Zyscovich Architects) Treasurer: Gabe Castrillon (Hyatt Regency Coral Gables) Trustee Council Chair: Linda Knudsen (Baptist Health South Florida) Parliamentarian: John Knowles (Photo Offset) Past Chair: Sarah Nesbitt Artecona (University of Miami) Chairman’s Appointee: Raquel Hickey (Coconut Grove Bank) President & CEO: Mark A. Trowbridge

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Elected - term expires 2011 Thad Adams (Allen Morris Company) Dennis Doucette (Biltmore Hotel) Gloria Bracciano (Gulliver Schools) Martha de la Peña Rojas (BlueCross BlueShield of Florida) Emilio Vazquez (Coconut Grove Bank) Elected - term expires 2012 Manny Alvarez (International Finance Bank) George Feliciano (Bay Plumbing Co.) Marco Ibarra (Eliptek Technology Group) Maria Llorca (Village of Merrick Park) Marti Mang (TotalBank)

Your Chamber’s Staff contends with more than 100 events, as well as actively manages 20 committees throughout the year. They work extremely hard; have figured out how to do more with less and most importantly – They Care. I am grateful for all of the assistance and support they have provided to me over the years. Please take the time to say “Thank You” the next time you see one of them. The biggest perk of serving as your Chairman, having had the opportunity to learn from our President - Mark Trowbridge. Over the years, Mark has become a close and trusted friend to me and my family. He is a giver of time and talents and we are all blessed to have him as Our Leader. In the end, thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your Chairman. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with all of you throughout the year and I am anticipating another great Chamber year under the leadership of incoming Chairman, Drew Kern.

Elected - term expires 2013 Perry Adair (Becker & Poliakoff) Ramon Ferrer (Florida Power & Light) Nelson Lazo (Doctors Hospital) Deirdre Nero (Nero Immigration Law) Naida Torres (AM Insurance Group) Chairman Appointees - term expires 2011 Wayne Eldred (Tarpon Bend) Sandra Gonzalez-Levy (Florida International University) Edward Holden (Mercantil Commercebank, N.A.) Laura Russo (Laura L. Russo, Esq. LLC) Barbara Schumann (Touche Beauty)

EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS Business Improvement District: Brad Rosenblatt (Rene Ruiz) City of Coral Gables: Cynthia Birdsill (Economic Sustainability Department City of Coral Gables: Vice Mayor William H. Kerdyk, Jr. Coral Gables Community Foundation: Andria Hanley VISION Coral Gables: Marc Berenfeld (Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, LLP)


Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 305.446.1657

PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE - BEST OF THE ROAD Mark A. Trowbridge, President & CEO Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce


hen most of us think of Coral Gables, we think of the treelined streets, the Mediterranean architecture, the iconic locales like Books & Books, the historic grandeur of The Biltmore Hotel and everything else in between. In truth, we know our Coral Gables to be among the most beautiful cities in our country (maybe even the world) and we are hoping that our friends at Rand McNally do, as well. Recently, a husband and wife team visited us on a cross-country quest to determine the Most Beautiful City in America. A competition of sorts, we were one of six cities identified by on-line voters as among the most beautiful in the US. Now, considering that several of the other cities are in remote places like Idaho and Tennessee, we believed we had an immediate competitive advantage. Sure, three of the cities were on the water – but that was basically their only asset. We have it all – waterfront homes and winding canals, intrinsic beauty (think Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden), fashion (think Rene Ruiz), cuisine (think Ortanique), gorgeous architecture, and of course, a thriving business community that is perfectly balanced among these beautiful treasures. Coral Gables IS the City Beautiful, after all. This is not mere happenstance. A planned community created in the vision of George Merrick, Coral Gables was his masterpiece. He had a singular hand in founding the City, the Chamber of Commerce, gave the land to create the University of Miami, started both the Women’s Club and the Garden Club (he needed hobbies for his wife and mother), and hired the best of the best to build his City from the first cornerstone to the last capstone.

It is hard to imagine a City being more indebted to one soul than our Coral Gables…but we are. In fact, our Chamber partners each year with the Allen Morris Company to present an award in Merrick’s name, to honor his legacy and to fete a local leader who has walked in his footsteps. This year, we honored Commissioner Chip Withers for his service to the community for over twenty years. It is true, by the way, that we have to “share” the City Beautiful moniker with Orlando (Orlando??), but one of the best parts of being beautiful is also being nice. That we do quite well – as well! Our visiting team experienced the very best of Coral Gables and her intrinsic beauty while they were here. They blogged, they Tweeted, they Facebooked – all in an effort to chronicle their time here. From a formal welcome at historic City Hall by our Mayor and leaders to delicious meals, retail therapy, water sports, personal pampering, garden strolls, panoramic views and gorgeous sunsets ordered up by the Chamber of Commerce itself, it was a visit for the ages! We set the bar high. Oh, did I mention we like to win, too? Rand McNally put this competition together several months back to well…put themselves back on the proverbial map. Seems that most folks look for directions on-line these days and well, maps have fallen a bit on hard times and needed some attention. So, they partnered with USA Today (another industry that has seen better days) and created a competition to find the Most Beautiful Small Town in the USA. The winning city will be announced on July 22nd and will receive plenty of publicity for their victory. Something that only helps all who live, work and play here! To that we say…if you are truly searching for the Most Beautiful City in the United States…look no further, friends. You found it! Welcome to Coral Gables.


ALBERTO ROMEU | ALBERTO ROMEU PHOTOGRAPHY Left: Mark A. Trowbridge, Chamber President & CEO; W. Allen Morris, The Allen Morris Company; John O’Rourke III, Chamber Chairman. Middle: Wayne “Chip” Withers Jr., recipient of the 4th Annual George E. Merrick Award of Excellence 2011.

Right: Barbara S. Stein, distinguished honoree; Wayne “Chip” Withers Jr., award recipient; Robert J. Fewell, distinguished honoree; Ron W. Robison, distinguished honoree; George M. Corrigan, Jr., distinguished honoree and Drew Kern, Chamber Chairman-Elect. | CHAMBER CONNECTION | JULY / AUGUST 2011



Linda Knudsen, Baptist Health South Florida and Trustee Council Chair

Trustee members are the lifeblood of our Chamber. They are senior executives in businesses and organizations throughout Coral Gables who work tirelessly –– and intelligently –– to support our community’s civic, educational and economic well-being. What gives them an edge are the connections they make with like-minded executives and other community leaders by virtue of being a Trustee member. By taking advantage of the program’s exclusive networking events (held twice per month), they have the opportunity to form alliances that lead to lasting relationships. Simply put,

they function at a higher level. But it’s not all just meet and greet! Whatever hot button issues –– regulatory reform, transportation, workforce development –– are being pushed locally, you can be sure our Chamber Trustees are the ones spearheading the changes needed to accelerate growth and sustain a thriving business climate. They’re the decision makers you need to know. So, if you’re not already a Trustee member, please consider elevating your membership to the next level. You’ll be amazed at the doors it will open! For details on Trustee benefits and application process, please email or Suzanne Ludwig at the Chamber at

2011 GOALS CONFERENCE - June 24th, 2011

ALBERTO ROMEU | ALBERTO ROMEU PHOTOGRAPHY Left: Coach Jim Larranaga, University of Miami Basketball, giving the keynote speach at the Good Morning Coral Gables Breakfast. Middle: John O’Rourke, Chamber Chairman introduced Drew Kern, Chamber Chairman-Elect to address the Good Morning Coral Gables crowd. Right: Carlos Migoya, CEO of Jackson Health Systems speaks about the future of Jackson at the Goals Conference luncheon.

Top Left: The “Why Coral Gables?” Panel - Thad Adams, Carmen Millie Gomez, Erin D. Knight, Darla M. Thompson, and Kerem Kayser. Top Right: Goals Conference attendees. Bottom Left: John O’Rourke III, Chamber Chairman; Drew Kern, Chamber Chairman-Elect; Marco Ibarra, Eliptek; Vincent de Croock, Hyatt Regency. Bottom Right: Dixie McDaniel de Andrade, Andrade Ventures Inc.; Linda Knudsen, Baptist Health South Florida; Carolina Rendeiro, Right Space Management; Mercedes LaRue, FIU School of Business. ALBERTO ROMEU | ALBERTO ROMEU PHOTOGRAPHY


GOLF CLASSIC - June 10th, 2011

PHOTOS BY ADRIANA SERNA | CORAL GABLES CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Left: Ahmed Alvarez, Zyscovich Architects; Mark A. Trowbridge, Chamber President & CEO; John Herrera, John Herrera, P.A.; John O’Rourke III, Chamber Chairman. Right: Tournament winners - the TotalBank Team, including our own Marti Mang!

HOW BUSINESSES CAN PREPARE FOR STORM SEASON DAN ODESS East Coast Public Adjusters, Inc. Reprint from the Miami Herald

For South Florida businesses, now is the time to prepare for the hurricane season. It’s vital for every business owner or professional to have a disaster plan in place that includes knowing how to assess damage, understanding how to properly file an insurance claim, and making the required repairs needed to get back to work as quickly as possible. Doing any one of these things wrong can vastly diminish the value of your claim, causing your business to receive far less than what will be needed to recover. Here are nine recommendations, based on more than two decades of stormtested experience in helping clients resolve their claims. • Make copies of key documents, including your property and casualty (P&C) and business interruption policies. Store those documents in two waterproof bags — one at the business and another at an off-site location. • Print copies of your tax returns for the past four years, along with recent monthly P&L statements. You will need these documents to file a business interruption claim, and a hard copy is essential if your computers are down or the power is out.

• Keep an updated account of your inventory, and print that out as well. Be sure to include all your office supplies, such as computers, desks, chairs and paper, since you can recover those losses. • If you rent space, put a copy of your lease in a safe place along with the other documents. Some lease agreements require you to have business personal property (BPB) coverage in order to recover those losses. • Take photos or a video of your entire workspace, including your inventory and office supplies. This is a fast and easy form of backup documentation that can be very helpful when filing a claim. • Collect emergency contact information for all employees and agents, and print out at least two copies. • Work with your managers to prepare a contingency plan for a storm, fire, flood or other emergency. Can you keep your business going if you can’t get back into your building? Who will be in charge of getting the network back up? Who will try to contact your major clients? Who will handle the insurance claim? Assigning responsibilities in advance can help you stay focused in the chaotic period after a hurricane. • If you own the property, hire a licensed inspector or contractor to examine the roof, interior and other structural components in advance of a storm. You don’t want the insurer to deny a claim by saying your building had pre-exist-

ing damage. • Finally, prepare a list of preferred contractors you can call on if repairs are necessary. Don’t wait for the insurance company to find someone — engage a trusted contractor who will provide a fair evaluation of damages. Even if you are a tenant, you may need a contractor to clean up and repair your interior space. Remember that when you file a claim the adjuster your insurance company sends to estimate the damage works for your insurance company. Conversely, a public adjuster works for you to make sure everything is done properly to ensure full, fair compensation to cover your loss. If in doubt, contact a public adjuster, a licensed professional who will help minimize missteps, guide you through and help accelerate the claim process, and maximize your outcome. Daniel Odess, GC, PA, is president of East Coast Public Adjusters, Inc., Miami, which assists clients throughout the United States and in international locations. | CHAMBER CONNECTION | JULY / AUGUST 2011



JULY 27 SOCIAL MEDIA WORKSHOP - 8:00 AM Workshop #6 - Risk Management 2000 Ponce de Leon Blvd.

WIND DOWN WEDNESDAY - 5:30 PM Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse


AUG. 5

SOCIAL MEDIA WORKSHOP - 8:00 AM Workshop #5 - Twitter Marketing 2000 Ponce de Leon Blvd.

ECO EXPO & GREEN MEANS GREEN AWARDS - 11 AM Hyatt Regency Coral Gables

AUG. 26

JULY 21 GOOD MORNING CORAL GABLES - 7:30 AM Travel and Tourism Fandango Sponsored by Miami Magazine The Biltmore Hotel



SPONSORSHIP/INVESTOR HALL OF FAME September 2010 through June 2011

AIA Miami Albion Staffing Solutions, Inc. AM Insurance Services

$5,000 AND ABOVE

$2,500 - $4,999

Azucar Cuban Cuisine & Cigars Carroll Web Development LLC Casa 27 Cinco Cantina & Tequila Bar Corevents CREC/Continental Real Estate Companies Dade County Federal Credit Union Dr. G’s WeightLoss & Wellness Dream Academy for Women Executive Staffing, Inc.

AXA Advisors, LLC Baptist Health South Florida The Biltmore Hotel Brown-Forman Beverages Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, L.L.P. Hyatt Regency Coral Gables International Finance Bank Mercantil Commercebank, N.A. Montica Jewelry University of Miami

The Allen Morris Company AT&T Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. BlueCross BlueShield of Florida East Coast Public Adjusters, Inc. Esslinger Wooten Maxwell Realtors Florida Power & Light Gulliver Schools Home Financing Center, Inc. Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, P.A.

Port of Miami The Miami Herald Touché Beauty LLC Turner Construction Company U.S. Century Bank

Fred Astaire Dance Studio G & G Landscaping, Inc. Jasal Int’l. Realty JW Marriott Hotel Miami Korum Services La Cofradia Lauren Struck, Psychotherapist Law Offices of Slesnick & Casey, LLP Law Offices of Steven A. Edelstien Miami Jewish Health Systems MorningStar Renewal Center Platinum Business Center Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Realty Executives Miami Risk Reduction Group, Inc. Second Chance Credit LLC Southern Travel International, Inc. Stonegate Bank Strock & Tanner Mortgage Sushi Thai... Party in Style Victory Rejuvenation Center Women’s Fund of Miami Dade * BOLD denotes new Trustee member


VISION INVESTORS Baptist Health South Florida Bay Plumbing Company Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. The Biltmore Hotel Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, L.L.P. Coconut Grove Bank Coral Gables Trust Company Eliptek Technology Group Express Travel (in-kind) Gulliver Schools Hotel St. Michel (in-kind) Hyatt Regency Coral Gables International Finance Bank Mercedes Benz of Coral Gables Montica Jewelry

Photo Offset Right Space Management Sabadell United Bank, N.A. Sharff, Wittmer, Kurtz & Jackson Transatlantic Bank The University of Miami Victoria & Associates Career Services Waste Management The Westin Colonnade Coral Gables Hotel Williamson Cadillac - HUMMER | CHAMBER CONNECTION | JULY / AUGUST 2011


JULY / AUGUST 2011 Monday





Chamber Office Closed


6 9:00 AM Cultural Affairs Meeting 12:15 PM RE-Connect 5:30PM Wind Down Wednesday

8:00 AM International Affairs Meeting



13 8:00 AM Social Media Workshop #5 8:00 AM Go Green Committee Meeting




11:30 AM Women’s Business Network Luncheon




27 8:00 AM Social Media Workshop #6 11:45 AM Trustee Luncheon



















8:00 AM Business & Education Committee Meeting

4 8:00 AM Ambassador Meeting 9:00 AM WBN Steering Committee Meeting








9:00 AM Chamber 101


8:00 AM Business and Government Affairs Meeting


8:00 AM Social Media Workshop #6

3:00 PM Restaurant Town Hall

8:30 AM The Trow Knows... CEOs featuring Sheldon Anderson, Northern Trust 11:00 AM Eco Expo


7:30 AM Good Morning Coral Gables 9:00 AM 20/30 Group Meeting

11:30 AM Women’s Business Network Luncheon



8:00 AM Business and Government Affairs Meeting

8:00 AM M-Team Committee Meeting

8:00 AM Social Media Workshop #7 9:00 AM Cultural Affairs Meeting

6:00 PM Cultural Affairs Film Festival


7 8:00 AM Ambassador Meeting 9:00 AM WBN Steering Committee Meeting

3 8:00 AM Go Green Meeting 12:15 PM RE-Connect 5:30PM Wind Down Wednesday

8:00 AM International Affairs Meeting



7:30 AM Good Morning Coral Gables 9:00 AM 20/30 Group Meeting



Saturday / Sunday




11:30 AM Trustee Invitational & Interactive Luncheon


1 5:30 PM Chairman’s Reception | CHAMBER CONNECTION | JULY / AUGUST 2011



Good Morning Coral Gables


George E. Merrick Award of Excellence




Chamber eCommunique - July/August 2011  

Chamber eCommunique - July/August 2011