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DEVELOPING BUSINESS ♦ BUILDING COMMUNITY Developing Business Building Community


2011 AXA ADVISORS Businesswomen of the Year Awards ADRIANA SERNA Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce


he Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce will honor excellence in business at the 2011 AXA Advisors Businesswomen of the Year Awards Luncheon on Friday, March 11th at 11:30 a.m. at the Coral Gables Country Club, 997 North Greenway Drive. The AXA Advisors Businesswomen of the Year Awards were created to recognize women, living or working in Miami-Dade County, who FINALISTS

demonstrate excellence in their businesses or professions, as well as serve as role models for other women. This year, the presentation will honor one woman in each of five categories: Entrepreneur, Corporate, Philanthropy, Public Service/ Non-Profit, and Retailer/Restaurateur. “We are very proud and honored to once again present and sponsor the Businesswomen of the Year Awards,” said Luis Chiappy, Regional Executive Vice President of AXA Advisors. The Chamber will also present Marge Hunt Hartnett FINALISTS

with the Margaret St. Germain Cornerstone Award in honor of the first woman chair of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce (1975-1976). During her tenure, Margaret St. Germain was remembered as a mentor by many and a member of the “Committee of 21,” which was instrumental in bringing multinational companies into the City of Coral Gables. The cost of the luncheon is $50 for Chamber Members who RSVP by Monday, March 7th and $60 for guests. VIP Tables


Corporate Category

Philanthropy Category

Carol Fenster, CEO and Founder Baby Abuelita Productions

Gilda Baldwin, CEO Westchester General Hospital

Gabrielle D’Alemberte, Partner Law Offices of Robert L. Parks

Joy Wallace, President A Joy Wallace Catering Production & Design

Marti Mang Senior Vice President of Corporate Lending TotalBank

Patricia San Pedro, President San Pedro Productions

Claudia Puig Senior Vice President East Coast Regional Manager Univision Radio

The title sponsor for the awards ceremony is AXA Advisors. Other award sponsors include Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, Touché Beauty, U.S. Century Bank, Earl M. Foster Associates and the South Florida Business Journal. For more information on the 2011 AXA Advisors Businesswomen of the Year Awards, please call Senior Events Manager, Erica Dominguez at 305-446-1657 or e-mail


Entrepreneur Category

Province “Boo” Park Zamek President and Founder Just Ask Boo

of 10 are available for $600.

Leslie Sternlieb, President Unabridged Editorial Services, Inc.


Public Service / Non-Profit Category

Retail / Restauranteur Category

Jodi Cross, Executive Director The Commonwealth Institute of South Florida

Michelle Bernstein, Chef Michy’s and Señora Martinez Restaurants

Lucy Morillo-Agnetti President and CEO Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation

Misha Kuryla-Gomez Owner Misha’s Cupcakes

Ana Maria Sosa Vice President of Operations Big Brothers Big Sisters

Noemi Grupenmager Founder and CEO UniK Wax


IN THIS ISSUE • Chairman’s Remarks

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• President’s Perspective Page 3 • Trustee Talk

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• 5K Tour of the Gables

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• Membership Highlights Page 6 • Calendar of Events

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• Sponsor Recognition

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ADRIANA SERNA Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce

The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce is supporting small business with the fourth annual March Madness Business Expo. The Expo will take place on Thursday, March 24th at 5:30 p.m. at the Coral Gables Country Club, 997 North Greenway

Drive. Guests can enjoy delicious food and drink as they peruse the exhibits presented by nearly 50 different local companies. Business leaders will also have the opportunity to establish high-value connections. This year’s exhibitors include AFLAC, Biltmore Hotel, Catering By Loveables, Coconut Grove Bank, Comobar, Compass Office Solutions, Imagery Creative, Intelligent Office, | CHAMBER CONNECTION | MARCH/APRIL 2011

Montica Jewelry among others. Guests are encouraged to join us and learn about the many business opportunities and services that are available in the Coral Gables business community. For more information about the March Madness Business Expo, please call Georgina Exposito at 305-446-1657 or email

OUR CHAMBER CHAIRMAN’S KEYS TO SUCCESS John O’Rourke III Montica Jewelry CGCC Chairman h u r s d a y, January 27th, 2011 was an historic day for our City Beautiful as the City Commission voted unanimously in support of a new vision that will greatly improve and enhance the heart of our downtown district, Miracle Mile. Our Chamber President, Mark Trowbridge, summed it up best when he so eloquently stated that this project is a “Game Changer” for our great City. Indeed it is and it could not have come sooner. As other similar municipalities have re-invested into their downtown districts, Mary Brickell Village and South Miami to name a few, Coral Gables has sat idle on the sidelines to address our challenges. A 5- 0 vote by the Commission in favor of moving forward with such a visionary plan for the pulse of our downtown district, Miracle Mile and surrounding area, is monumental. Your Chamber leadership has been an intricate part of this long process over the past several years, along with the Business Improvement District and other stakeholders. I was proud to witness the overwhelming support by our Chamber leadership, with so many attending in support of the resolution. No doubt this a step in the right direction and your Chamber continues to play a relevant role in the advancement and eventual realization of a new and exciting


streetscape for our retail district. Over the coming months, you will hear more about the proposed project as funding sources and details are ironed out by the City leadership and our elected officials. I encourage you to reach out to our Commissioners – as well as those running for office - and let them know that you are in full support of the streetscape project as an economic development catalyst. It is a win-win for our merchants, property owners and guests alike. I agree wholeheartedly with our City Manager, Pat Salerno, when he states that “This investment will increase property values for Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue and there will be more property tax revenue from commercial properties”. These funds, provided they are reinvested properly back into the district, virtually ensure that we remain a premier destination to live, work and play. This project is indeed the “Game Changer” of our time.

NOTICE TO GENERAL MEMBERSHIP Please be advised that the annual process of electing officers and directors for the Chamber is underway. The general membership has the opportunity to nominate members of the Chamber for Board membership. In order to be nominated, a member must submit his or her request signed by twenty-five (25) members in good standing to the Chamber office by 4 p.m. on April 1, 2011. Any submission from the membership will be added to the slate of Nominees determined by the Chamber’s Nominating Committee and Board of Directors. Chamber Board elections will be held in May 2011.

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) 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)

Ballots will be sent to each member in good standing.


Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce 305.446.1657

PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE - MARCH COMES ROARING IN! Mark A. Trowbridge, President & CEO Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce


t is a common belief that the month of March comes in roaring like a lion…and our Chamber is absolutely in tune with this description in terms of our activities and events this month. March is always filled with a little bit of Madness - and I don’t just mean what happens during NCAA tournament time on the basketball courts. Your Chamber is very busy this time of year, laser-beam focused on helping you grow your business and raise your profile. We want to make sure that you Get Noticed! This month, there are the usual activities that our Chamber does that will keep you engaged and active, including a keynote address to our local business community by John Esposito, CEO of Bacardi USA at the upcoming Good Morning Coral Gables breakfast on March 17th. Now, that is a St. Patrick’s Day surprise! Jane Wooldridge, Business Editor at the Miami Herald, will set the stage with opening remarks on how our business community is doing in this slowly recovering economy. Our annual AXA Advisors Businesswomen of the Year Awards will once again celebrate the best and brightest in our business community on Friday, March 11th. The six women we will honor represent the very spirit of entrepreneurialism, the pinnacle of philanthropy and the cornerstone of corporate loyalty. They understand the importance of mentoring other women, breaking through barriers and giving back in a meaningful way to our

community. March Madness will celebrate its fourth year of promoting small and medium businesses with the largest expo we have ever hosted. Staged at the Coral Gables Country Club on March 24th, this event allows our member to Get in the Game and connect with a whole new audience of clients and potential business partners. People do business with people they know…and that is how a Chamber of Commerce works at its very best. Our network of members is robust and rich with those business leaders with which you want to grow your business. There is common ground and a strong bond that is forged via the Chamber relationship and I love watching it evolve and prosper each day. Finally, with the elections for Coral Gables City Commission in April, we will host our bi-annual Candidate Forum. This event, to be hosted on March 29th at the University of Miami’s Cosford Cinema, will feature all 11 candidates running for both Commission seats and for Mayor. This is the most important election to the business community in a decade. Our involvement, while at arms length, must be significant and our voices must be heard. The business community contributes significantly to the tax base in Coral Gables, as well as to the quality of life our residents, employees and visitors all love so much. This election will be a game changer and the Chamber is helping draw up the play. There is much to feel good about, much to be proud of, and a tremendous amount of work to be done. Won’t you join us as March comes roaring in like a lion?

Women’s Business Luncheon - February 15th, 2011

Top Left (from left to right): Chairman Elect Drew Kern, Lani Valido, Pedro Rivera, Dr. Redmond Burke, Rosemary Guilfole, Mark A. Trowbridge, Barbara Noland. Top Right: Dr. Redmond Burke, Cardiac Surgeon, Miami Children’s Hospital. Bottom Left: Abby Vicencio, Vicencio Welath Money Group, our raffle winner. Bottom Right:Chair-Elect Drew Kern, EWM and Stacey Kern. | CHAMBER CONNECTION | MARCH/APRIL 2011




n keeping with our commitment to highlight Trustee members in each issue of our Chamber newsletter, this month we’re shining the spotlight on Logistical Outsourcing, Inc. A Chamber member since 2009, Logistical Outsourcing recently upgraded their membership to Linda Knudsen, Trustee level. In our recent interview, I asked Baptist Health Nelson Penalver, Vice President of Business South Florida Development, what motivated his company and to increase its Chamber involvement. Here’s Trustee Council what he had to say: Chair “We evaluated many Chamber organizations in Miami-Dade County, and decided that joining the Coral Gables Chamber was one of our best options. We looked at members, quality of service offerings, events, and many other aspects that would provide us with a professional forum and venue, to not only conduct business and establish relationships, but also to give back to the community. When we joined, we were impressed beyond our expectations! Ultimately,

we decided to become Trustee members and be part of this prestigious and dynamic group. We are certain this will be a rewarding and positive experience for our company. Our aim is to be an active participant and explore new ways to enhance our services to the business community in Coral Gables. We are excited Nelson Penalver and thankful for the opportunity to be part of VP of Business this wonderful group of professionals.” Development Logistical Outsourcing, Inc., is a minorityowned business. Since 2004 the company has been providing the South Florida area with advertising and marketing services, such as web and creative design, Internet and social media marketing as well as outdoor signage and trade show displays, promotional products and creative services. Tell me about your Trustee Chamber experience, and we’ll feature you and your company in a future issue. I can be reached at

GOOD MORNING CORAL GABLES - Thursday, February 24, 2011

ALBERTO ROMEU | ALBERTO ROMEU PHOTOGRAPHY Top Left: Brian Keeley, Chairman John O’Rourke, Phillis Oeters, Mark A. Trowbridge, Jose Romano Top Right: Marge Hunt Hartnett, 2011 Margaret St. Germain Cornerston Award Honoree Bottom Left: Mark A. Trowbridge celebrating our Chairman John O’Rourke’s birthday Bottom Right: Luis Miguel, Terri and Ruben Romeu, Nelson Penalver and Jorge Diaz



There will be running, walking and wheel chair groups to encourage participants of all fitness levels to join in. As an added incentive, Seasons 52 will prepare a mini-indulgence dessert for everyone that crosses the finish line. The first 1,000 participants will receive a commemorative Tech Shirt. The largest team with the most runners wins the Corporate Team Award.

Coral Gables Chamber


he Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce has announced that its 16th Annual Baptist Health Tour of the Gables 5K will take place on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 7:30 A.M. The event’s Title Sponsor, Baptist Health of South Florida, alongside our Host Sponsor, the City of Coral Gables, has once again come together to facilitate the 3.1 mile run / walk through the lovely and picturesque streets of the City Beautiful. Bunge, Yoss Attorneys at Law, Evensky & Katz Wealth Management and Seasons 52 are among the current corporate sponsors for this USATF and RCCA certified run. “For more than 15 years, the Chamber has organized this event with the objective of promoting health and fitness within the community, as well as encouraging cor-

To register for the run visit www.footworks. com and register online. The cost is $25 for pre-registration and $35 the day of the event for adults; $15 and $20 for runners under 18 years of age.

porate team participation,” said Mark A. Trowbridge, President of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. “Corporate teams encourage coworkers to work together and boost company morale, while providing invaluable promotion and exposure within the community.”

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Erica Dominguez, Senior Events Manager for the Coral Gables Chamber at 305446-1657, or via email at edominguez@


ticipate in a fun-filled overnight event designed to celebrate survivorship and raise money for research and programs of your American Cancer Society.


The Coral Gables Chamber 20 / 30 Group will be participating in the race under the team name “30something”. Help us cheer them on to the finish line!


he American Cancer Society is set to hold the 2011 Relay for Life of Coral Gables on April 16-17, 2011. The event will take place at George Merrick Park from 12:00 PM-6:00 AM. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight

events up to 18 - 24 hours in length. Relay For Life is the signature event that aims to gather the Coral Gables Community to fight cancer together. Relay Teams will fundraise throughout the year and par-

To sign up for a team visit www.relayforlife. org/cgfl and click “Sign Up,” then click “Start a Team” or “Join a Team” and complete the registration process by following the instructions on each page. For more information or to become a sponsor, please contact the American Cancer Society Community Representative Alyssa Meyer at Alyssa. or 305-779-2847.

SPONSORSHIP AND ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES What happens if you do not advertise your business? Nothing. Make your business stand out and take full advantage of your Chamber membership. There are sponsorship opportunities, newsletter advertising, website advertising and much more available to you to help promote your business. Rates are available on the front page of our website, | CHAMBER CONNECTION | MARCH/APRIL 2011



MAR. 11

WIND DOWN WEDNESDAY - 5:30 P.M. Tarpon Bend


MAR. 17

MAR. 4

GOOD MORNING CORAL GABLES - 7:30 A.M., Biltmore Hotel. Guest Speaker: John Esposito, President & CEO, Bacardi USA

THE TROW KNOWS... CEO’s - 8:30 A.M. Up Close and Personal Interview with PATRICK G. SALERNO, Coral Gables City Manager

MAR. 24

JUNE 23 & 24

MARCH MADNESS BUSINESS EXPO - 5:30 P.M., Coal Gables Country Club


MEMBERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST CHAMBER MEMBERS! 2000 Ponce Business Center Akerman Senterfitt Albion Staffing Solutions, Inc. Bolzano Handbags Central Beer Garden & Sushi Central Clear Channel Outdoor Creativas Group Elite Body Sculpting and Anti-aging of Coral Gables Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors Firestone Capital Management, Inc. Fontana GameTime Glass Ratner Advisory & Capital Group LLC Green Table Artisan Kitchen & Bistro H & R Block Hernandez, CPA & Co, Inc. Hewryk (4VOO Florida LLC) Ibiley Manufacturing IKF’s Wonderfund at Jackson Memorial Foundation iSure Insurance Brokers IT Support Miami JGB Bank John Casablancas Modeling Karent Sierra Aesthetic Dentistry Logistical Outsourcing, Inc. Lombardi Aguilar Group Murray Law Firm, P.A. My Bestfriend’s Closet Palme d’Or Panera Bread Pasha’s Peckar & Abramson Peterbrooke Chocolatier Sake Blue Asian Kitchen & Bar Shake-A-Leg Miami Skintique Special Olympics Miami Dade County Sunny South Design Studio TCBY There For Us, Inc. World Currency Trading

SPONSORSHIP/INVESTOR HALL OF FAME December 2010 through March 2011 $5,000 AND ABOVE

$2,500 - $4,999

Baptist Health South Florida Brown-Forman Beverages Cherry, Bekaert & Holland, L.L.P. Hyatt Regency Coral Gables Montica Jewelry The Biltmore Hotel University of Miami

AT&T BlueCross BlueShield of Florida East Coast Public Adjusters, Inc. Florida Power & Light Gulliver Schools Home Financing Center, Inc. International Finance Bank International Finance Bank Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, P.A. The Allen Morris Company

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

* BOLD denotes new Trustee member




TUES. 8:00 a.m. 1 International Affairs Committee Mtg.




8 5:30 p.m. Trustee Reception

8:00 a.m. 2 Go Green Committee 12:15 p.m. RE-Connect Luncheon 5:30 p.m. Wind Down Wednesday


FRI. 3

8:00 a.m. Chairman’s Ambassador Mtg. 9:00 a.m. WBN Steering Committee Mtg.



10 8:00 a.m. M-Team Committee Mtg.

17 ST. PATRICK’S DAY 7:30 a.m. Good Morning Coral Gables Breakfast 9:00 a.m. 20/30 Group Mtg.



11:45 a.m. 23 Trustee Luncheon


29 6:00 p.m. City of Coral Gables Candidate Forum


8:00 a.m. Business & Education Mtg. 5:30 p.m. March Madness



8:30 a.m. Trow Knows ... CEOs Featuring: Patrick G. Salerno

9:00 a.m. Cultural Affairs Mtg.




11 11:30 a.m. AXA ADVISORS Businesswomen of the Year Awards













8:00 a.m. Business & Government Affairs Committee Mtg.

8:00 a.m. Go Green Breakfast


APRIL 2011 4

8:00 a.m. 5 International Affairs Mtg.


5:30 p.m. 12 Trustee Reception

9:00 a.m. Cultural Affairs Mtg.


14 8:00 a.m. M-Team Committee Mtg.



21 7:30 a.m. Good Morning Coral Gables Breakfast 9:00 a.m. 20/30 Group mtg.






11:30 a.m. WBN Luncheon


8:00 a.m. 6 Go Green Committee Mtg. 12:15 p.m. RE-Connect Luncheon 5:30 p.m. Wind Down Wednesday


11:45 a.m. Trustee Luncheon

8:00 a.m. Chairman’s Ambassador Mtg. 9:00 a.m. WBN Committee Mtg.

8:00 a.m. Business & Education Mtg


8:00 a.m. Business & Government Affairs Mtg. | CHAMBER CONNECTION | MARCH/APRIL 2011




SPONSORSHIP RECOGNITION March Sponsors Wind Down Wednesday

Good Morning Coral Gables

CALENDAR OF EVENTS & MEETINGS March Madness Business Expo

AXA Advisors 2011 Business Women of the Year Award

Trustee Luncheon

April Sponsors Good Morning Coral Gables

Dan’s Video Creations 8 | CHAMBER CONNECTION | MARCH/APRIL 2011