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P u b l i s h e d i n c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h T h e M i a m i B e a c h C h a m b e r o f C o m m e r c e ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– S u p p o r t i n g L o c a l B u s i n e s s e s s i n c e 1 9 5 8

JULY 14, 2011

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Visitor and Convention Authority at Work: Projecting Miami Beach around the World BY ELSIE HOWARD

Chairman of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority The Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA) is delighted with the success of so many of the events and projects we funded this past year—events and projects built on prior years’ successes, as we plan and dream for future projects. Tourism numbers are up and we all reap the benefits of the revenue infusion that tourism brings. Our MBVCA believes that tourism, hospitality and the global reach of the Miami Beach brand help to support and sustain our local economy. And we know that residents and visitors share the delights of the special events supported and recruited by the MBVCA. This past season we funded more events than ever before—with funds that accrue from a portion of the bed tax, not residents’ tax dollars. And we constantly review our progress. The MBVCA grant program was again fine-tuned. The weekly email newsletter was upgraded. But most important, this past month I am proud to announce that the MBVCA has launched several new projects we hope will better tell the Miami Beach story around the world. On June 4th, at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce dinner, in front of the sold-out audience of over 900 guests, Chamber President, Jerry Libbin announced that the MBVCA would launch the Miami Beach visual memoir project, through an RFP, soliciting the stories of residents and visitors, to memorialize the history of Miami through first-hand accounts. Formal bids are

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Crowds Hail Miami Beach Chamber’s INcard 2nd Anniversary

Valerie Rasken, Aaron Perry, Chairman Jason Loeb, Commissioners Deede Weithorn, Michael Gongora and Jerry Libbin, who is President & CEO of the Miami Beach Chamber. (See more photos inside) –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––



easting on everything from tuna tartar to samples of wedding cake, more than 900 people packed Jungle Island’s Treetop ballroom to see the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce’s INcard business stimulus program brought to life by more than 100 retailers who joined in for the free “Taste of the

INcard” 2nd Anniversary celebration. “I can’t imagine my life without the INcard,” exclaimed City Commissioner Deede from the stage, as she read from Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower’s proclamation, which declared that day, June 29 “Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce INcard Day.” –––––––––––––––––––––––––– See

INcard, page 4

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Letter from the Chair BY JASON LOEB

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber

As relentless storms barraged our Northern neighbors this past Winter, I felt blessed to be within the country’s pocket of paradise amongst Miami’s sunny skies and aqua waters. However, I’m not convinced that this year’s weather anomalies end with the recent Summer Solstice. Indeed we live in paradise, but sometimes with the tropical breezes come tropical storms. Atlantic hurricane season is fully underway and Benjamin Franklin’s poignant reasoning comes to mind: “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.” This is not meant to be a doom and gloom message, but a reminder, if you haven’t already, to create and finalize your emergency plans. This goes for not only you and your family, but also your hard earned business. Here are core elements to help you get started: Address all stakeholders - have a plan focused on your employees, have a separate plan for your clients and have a plan for your community. • Team up - select your emergency team of key individuals who will lead communications efforts, as well as ensure operations are up and running as soon as possible. • Act early - don’t wait until the first storm warning to train your staff, gather your supplies and put your processes in place. Get as much done as you can now, so you can later focus on calmly addressing last-minute needs and reiterating your plan of action. Back-up - storms are perhaps among the most unpredictable forces that can foil even the best laid plans... have a back-up option for every point of your plan. Communicate - communication is needed to ensure everyone knows their

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LETTER, page 4

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July 14 - 27, 2011

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GREGORY COOK Greg Cook, the General Manager of the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach has contributed to the continued success of the hotel during his rein. Prior to re-joining the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach in 2009, Greg held rank as Vice President of Hotels for Key International bringing his expertise to this historical property. Greg has lived in South Florida for over 25 years. He serves as an Executive Board Member on the Greater Miami and Beach’s Hotel Association; he is a Certified Executive Coach, Board Member for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, and past Board Member of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Greg is also deeply involved with numerous charity organizations which include being a Member of the Planning Board for the Miami Dolphins Fishing Tournament that supports their children’s charity partners, he was also a past Steering Committee Member for the Children’s Miracle Network Torch Relay that takes place annually. The Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach has been the host hotel for the Miami Segment of the Children’s Miracle Network Torch Relay and will be again this year 2011. Greg’s many success stories include overseeing a $220M renovation and addition to the Historic Eden Roc as Vice President of Hotels for Key International. Greg also was an integral part in securing partnerships with Seth Greenberg, hospitality impresario and Paul Dasilva, accomplished chef; which resulted in the addition of their new farm-to-table steakhouse 1500° as well as fasten the relationship between ELLE Magazine and Renaissance corporate teams leading to the creation of newly opened ELLE Spa. Prior to Key International and Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach Greg was the General Manager at Marriott South Beach where he oversaw the renovation and redevelopment as well as led the brand in Revpar Growth. In Greg’s 25 years in South Florida he has worked in some of the most pristine properties such as Marriott’s Harbor Beach Resort, Boca Raton Resort and Club, and former Fort Lauderdale Marina Marriott. “Everyone has a story about the Eden Roc. It’s multi generational and it’s very important to me that I hold the integrity of the brand and the history that is the Eden

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Roc.” says Cook. “With the resort’s more than 50 years of notoriety, it is my responsibility to drive both the Eden Roc and Renaissance Hotel brands, and continue to align and execute their positioning.” Built in 1955 by legendary neo-baroque architect Morris Lapidus, the Eden Roc embodies a special moment in time in Miami. Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and Jayne Mansfield were among the stars to make Eden Roc their playground during Miami Beach’s heyday in the 1950s and 60s. And when Nat King Cole famously performed “Unforgettable” at the Eden Roc’s Cafe Pompeii, the hotel’s reputation as a place of magic was forever sealed. More than fifty years later, following a $220 million renovation, Marriott’s Renaissance Hotels & Resorts is an architectural masterpiece and an A-list resort. Located on one of the most pristine stretches of Miami Beach, Eden Roc now features a total of 631 Guest Rooms with the new 21-story, 283-room tower, four infinityedged pools, farm-to-table steakhouse restaurant 1500°, Aquatica Bar, and ELLE Spa. Upscale travelers have already chosen Eden Roc’s timeless glamour over more trend-oriented South Beach hotels. Greg Cook has been happily married to Pamela Cook, born in Coral Gables, for 17 years. They have two daughters Caitlin, 14, and Tiffany, 13. Cook’s past time includes boating, fishing, diving, anything that gets the family out on the Ocean, which includes trips to Bimini and the Keys.

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required to be delivered to the MBVCA by this August and the winner of the contract will be announced by the end of the summer. We expect the visual memoirs project to be launched this fall, 2011 and we encourage everyone to take part in the project. The winner of the RFP will also establish a library. Expect the announcement of the project launch in late August. Then YOU can share your Miami Beach memories and stories in perpetuity. Our only requirement: Share the real stories! (Stay tuned…..) In June the MBVCA signed a contract with global communications powerhouse Hill & Knowlton/ Samcor. H & K will support the MBVCA’s grant process, event recruitment and the international brand awareness of Miami Beach with consumer, travel trade, business and corporate communications programs, through strategic media outreach to consumer and travel trades. Their goal –and ours— is to bring even more visibility and even more sustainable citywide events to our unique city, ramping up its glorious image and creating excitement around all it has to offer. Hill & Knowlton, Inc. is a leading international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational and global clients. The firm is headquartered in New York, with 80 offices in 44 countries, as well as an extensive associate network. The agency is part of WPP, one of the world’s largest communications services groups. Cori Zywotow Rice, president of H&K’s Miami office, is a long time Miami resident, with deep and strong ties to the community. H & K’s 2011-2012 strategic plan will be reviewed before the end of summer. Electronic communication, social media and “apps” are the way to communicate information today. The MBVCA is drafting an outline of a dream ‘app’ platform that will be used to develop specific apps over the next few years At a community meeting last spring, the MBVCA launched this mission — exploring, defining and outlining a list of “apps’ that should improve communications in Miami Beach . By summer’s end the

MBVCA will launch the RFP specific to this effort. And we hope that the “apps” will be available by 2012. The MBVCA also supports the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Tourism Task Force on Tourism which spent a great deal of time this past year successfully dealing with some of the many issues that impact the east end of Lincoln Road. The job is not finished, though and we expect to ramp up again in the fall. Please take a look at the year’s end report for the Lincoln Road Task Force on Tourism that is on our website if you are interested in that effort. You can always learn what we are doing on behalf of Miami Beach on our website and you can sign up for our weekly news blast. Annually, for the past twelve years, the MBVCA has published its “Program of Work”, an analysis of the prior fiscal year (that we post on our website as well). This year’s report will be posted in September, prior to the end of our fiscal year on October 1. A really personal note: It is a personal pleasure to work with the dedicated members of our Board: Steve Adkins, Jacque Hertz, Jeff Lehman, Keith Menin and Micky Steinberg. I want to especially thank Debbie Castillo for her service. Debbie has been an engaged and productive member of the Board for many years until her recent departure this past June. We will miss her wise advice and her enthusiasm. I am honored to thank the incomparable Harold Rosen who serves as our (volunteer) attorney. Harold hardly misses a meeting and he is always there to answer our legal questions with a smile and with great patience. Our executive director, Grisette Roque Marcos is amazing. Eileen de la Cuesta is too. We have welcomed Marian to our staff this past year to support Grisette and Eileen because we are so very busy. AS a team, we are truly all dedicated to enhancing tourism in Miami Beach – and to ensuring that our residents enjoy all that tourism brings to our community. We live here too. And we know how lucky we are. Thanks for listening.


company updates. There are several great resources to help you flesh out the details, including Ready America (, DisasterAssistance ( and Citizen Corps ( Please also feel free to contact us at the Chamber to provide further guidance in protecting your business. I hope our plans remain unused this summer, but am assured that no matter what, we’ll always soon after be able to resume business as usual in paradise.

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role before the storm, but also to provide critical updates in its aftermath. Remember, many of your traditional forms of communication, particularly cell phone and internet service, may be interrupted, so be sure you have information available via multiple mediums. Provide every employee the full information for your emergency team and update channels and distribute a main point of contact to your clients prior should they need to reach you in between

At your service, Jason Loeb


July 14 - 27, 2011

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In the proclamation, Mayor Bower lauded the program for flourishing, and, in just two years, growing to the extent that it has now distributed 350,000 cards and includes 300 participating vendors. The program, which is administered by the Chamber, offers the free cards to both residents and tourists, entitling them to discounts and special deals at participating restaurants, hotels, spas, retailers, and other businesses. Among those celebrating the program’s success was Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Chairman Jason Loeb, who served as the program’s host, and called upon speakers Jerry Libbin, Chamber President and CEO, former Chamber Chairman Aaron Perry, and representatives of City National Bank, the program’s main sponsor, along with others. Loeb, with the help of a drum fanfare, also presided over scores of giveaways from the participating vendors, which ranged from hotel stays and steak dinners to angel healings, and everything in between. “City National Bank was founded 65 years ago in Miami Beach, so we know firsthand the kind of quality service, fun and unique establishments you can find in Miami Beach”, stated Jorge Gonzalez, President and CEO of City National Bank. “Thanks to the INcard, you can experience the many businesses that offer special values and discounts, which is why City National Bank is proud to be an INcard sponsor,” said Dustin Symes, first vice president at City National Bank, the major program sponsor. Symes was also “raffled off,” in that a lunch with him at Capitol Grille served as the kickoff for the giveaway portion of the program. “This is wonderful to see. I’m thrilled to look about the room and see how this program has succeeded through the efforts of so many,” said former Chamber Chairman Aaron Perry, who is credited for leading the Chamber’s efforts in the execution of the business stimulus program, which began as an initiative of Mayor Bower’s 2009 Blue Ribbon Task Force on Tourism, in sponsorship with the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (VCA). But, although Perry got to cut the first slice of the anniversary cake, he also lauded many others for the part they played in helping to initiate the program. “VCA Chair Elsie Howard and VCA Executive Director Grisette Roque Marcos played critical roles. We could not have made it without them,” he said. In addition, Perry lauded Mayor Bower, Miami Beach City Manager Jorge Gonzalez, “Mr. Miami Beach” Michael Aller, THE GMCVB, Chamber Executive Board Member Stephanie Ruiz, and he also gave a special acknowledgement to Chamber Marketing Director Valerie Rasken “whose

hard work and commitment to the program pays dividends every day.” At the event, the participants clearly enjoyed themselves, wandering from table to table, chatting with retailers, signing up for promotions, entering raffles, and feasting on samples from numerous restaurants, cafes, bakeries and more. Jungle Island provided pasta stations, and some of the food items included sushi, tuna salad and hummus, grilled chicken, and even samples of wedding cake. Offering deals and special promotions were participating businesses, including Equinox Fitness Clubs and Spas, the Miami Herald, CBS Outdoor, Comcast, Plum TV, Welcome & Bienvenidos Magazine, were also on hand. The event also drew arts organizations including the Arts at St. Johns, the New World Symphony, and the Miami Beach Design Preservation League. Also taking advantage of the opportunity to showcase their work were non-profit organizations including Ability Explosion, a weeklong event held in October to raise awareness of the achievements of the disabled and the need for community wide accessibility. Local retailers, like Marilyn Walker, the owner of Walker’s Beautiful Baskets and Things,” was effusive in her praise for the INcard program. “You couldn’t buy this type of exposure, and you get it as a free perk for being a member of the Chamber,” she said. She credited the exposure from the INcard with helping her business raise its profile. “Whenever people go to the Internet looking for baskets from here, I’m the first one they find,” she said. Alfred Fayo, of Norkie’s Rotisserie & Grill, a new Peruvian eatery on Washington Avenue was also effusive in his praise, saying the program is providing him with an influx of customers, which so critical to a business just starting up. “I’m doing a lot of business, I have more customers coming in, and more people are enjoying my good food,” he said. Jose Colon, the manager of the Best Buy on Miami Beach, said he was also impressed by the turnout, and that his store is considering joining the INcard promotion. “We just joined the Chamber three weeks ago, so we have to consider it, but so far, we are very impressed with the energy we feel here,” added Colon, whose store donated a $75 gift certificate as one of the event’s giveaways. Participating businesses belong to the chamber. There's no added cost for a business anywhere to join or benefit. The program's website features all businesses involved, from museums to restaurants to law offices, making special offers to cardholders. Details can be found at

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The youngest child of Jose and Ana Peñaranda; two Costa Rican natives that have over 50 years of experience in South Beach’s prestigious hospitality industry, Susana Maria Peñaranda is a Miami Beach native, having attended Feinberg Fisher Elementary School, Nautilus Middle School and Miami Beach Senior High School. As a Hi-Tide, her favorite courses included Social Studies, Photography and Portuguese. By her sophomore year, she aspired to learn more about local government and the important role it plays in the community. It was then that she interned for “Mr. Miami Beach” himself, Michael Aller, Tourism and Convention Director and Chief of Protocol. Within the same summer, Susana continued photography as a hobby and in 2004, she was named Miami Beach High’s most prominent photographer; winning multiple first place ribbons for her work displayed in the MiamiDade County Youth Fair & Expo. She was also named Secretary of the Brazilian club for the 2004-2005 school year where she presented a speech to Ambassador Luiz Augusto de Araujo Castro, General Consul to Brazil in Portuguese. Throughout her high school career, Susie eventually completed over 300 community service volunteer hours. Having been brought up in such a diverse community, Susana’s passion for learning foreign relations continued throughout her college years. She began taking Italian classes at Miami-Dade College, where she earned her Associate in Arts Degree. By 2007, Susana yearned for a more promising experience and took the opportunity to study Italian in Venice, Italy at Istituto Venezia, where she was awarded an intermediate certificate in the Italian language. In Spring 2010, Susana graduated from Florida International University’s School of International and Public Affairs with a B.A. in International Relations, a minor in Political Science, and awarded with a Certificate in European Studies. By September, Susana did the unthinkable; packed her bags, and set for Montevideo, Uruguay where she interned for the Polish - Uruguayan Chamber of Commerce.


Through out her stay, she met prominent European Union officials and attended multiple summits. Despite the fact that she was now residing in a foreign nation, Susana still exemplified a genuine Miami Beach native by creating real estate ties between Punta del Este, the “French Riviera of South America” and Miami as the International Business Developer for Carlos Siccardi Architectural Group. In January 2011, Susana returned to Miami and began interning for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. In April, Susana was not only offered a position as the new receptionist, but she also became the liaison for the Board of Governors, Pillar Board of Trustees, and the Women’s Business Council. Susana’s plans for the future include adding more stamps to her passport. Alongside traveling, Susana also aspires to further her education by earning both a Masters and Doctoral Degree. Nevertheless, her dream job is to work for the United Nations.

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As a proponent of the arts as economic development, I am proud of what Miami Beach has accomplished through its enthusiastic support of the arts as an economic generator. The phenomenal success of Art Basel Miami Beach since its first show in 2002 is a prime example. Art Basel Miami Beach is an exclusive selection of more than 250 leading art galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa exhibiting 20thand 21st-century artworks by more than 2,000 artists. More than 40,000 attendees arrive each year from around the world. This show single-handedly took what was once one of the deadest tourism weekends of the year and turned it into one of the

busiest by posting some of the year’s highest hotel occupancy rates. For Miami Beach and the region, this has translated into lots of revenue. The statistics are staggering: $500 million of sorely needed, yearly, pre-season economic activity for South Florida. You can then imagine my shock and dismay at reading a June 10 article in The Miami Herald characterizing Miami Beach’s efforts in working with the Basel management team — five years of management collaboration trips to Art Basel — as “junkets.” That could not be further from the truth. No public funds are being used for the purpose of sending elected officials and city staff or their spouses to Switzerland. The travel money comes from revenues generated by art events. Our city wisely uses these funds to promote Art Basel Miami Beach including paying for modest travel expenses. If the funds were not spent

City Manager Jorge Gonzalez, Commissioner Deede Weithorn, Mayor Matti Herrera Bauer, and Dr. Guy Morin, President of the Government of the City of Basel at the signing ceremony for the Sister City agreement between Miami Beach and Basel, Switzerland. Signing took place at the historic Basel city hall.


on sending our leadership, those funds would be spent on promotion that would be arguably much less effective in establishing Miami Beach’s presence at Basel, Switzerland. In the last few days, the Art Basel management group signed a purchase agreement to take a majority stake in the management company that produces ART HK–Hong Kong International Art Fair. This year’s trip is especially propitious because of Art Basel’s new association with ART–HK. This new association will be an enormous help to Miami Beach in introducing our brand to the Asian art markets. Art Basel’s contract concludes with the 2011 show this December. A renewal has not been signed. Preliminary discussions are under way among the Greater Miami Visitors & Convention Bureau, Miami Beach and the Art Basel management for the show’s continuation. I know that there is virtually nothing more important to the continMayor Matti Herrera Bauer and Dr. Guy Morin, President of the Government of the City of Basel sign the sister cities ued success of Miami Beach than the continagreement between Miami Beach and Basel, Switzerland. This was signed in the Basel city hall. ued success of Art Basel Miami Beach.

The article points to five years of expenditures totaling $86,424.59 by Miami Beach administration and elected officials when traveling back and forth to Basel. When averaged over five years, this comes to $17,284.92 a year, not a lot of money when considering the diminishing buying power of the dollar in relation to the Swiss franc. During that time, Art Basel has conservatively generated more than $2 billion (yes, that’s with a B) in economic activity from the 200,000-plus show attendees. That amounts to a return of $23,141 for every dollar spent. After delivering a spectacular return on investment against a strong European currency, I wish other things we could do as a city could generate that kind of a success. Even Wall Street has taken notice of our success. While many other cities have had their bond ratings lowered, Standard & Poor’s has blessed our city by increasing our bond rating and saving Miami Beach residents millions of dollars over the long-term.

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Jeep showcases 2011 product line to media at Biltmore Hotel BY RON BEASLEY

Automotive Editor Jeep, celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, recently showcased its 2011 product lineup for the South Florida automotive press at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and previewed its top of the line luxury model for 2012. On display in a secluded hotel courtyard were the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, the iconic Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Compass and the all-new 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT, the top of the line luxury SUV making its first public appearance. Jeep product marketing manager Jim Morrison told the auto press gathering that a Renaissance is underway at Jeep, and rising sales reflect the improvement in the product. “Jeep has an entirely new product line from what it was just two years ago,” Morrison said. “And it shows in our sales, both nationally and here in Miami. Jeep sales are up 44 percent nationally over a year ago through May. Auto industry overall sales are up 14 percent, so Jeep sales are

Jeep product marketing manager Jim Morrison discusses finer points of 2012 Grand Cherokee SRT. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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doing three times better than the auto industry. And we’re doing even better in Miami; Jeep sales in the Miami market are up 77 percent over a year ago.” Morrison said the Jeep surge was led by sales of the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, with sales up almost 400 percent in Miami over a year ago. Morrison noted that the entire Jeep vehicle lineup has been significantly enhanced for 2011 to celebrate Jeep’s 70th anniversary and that distinctive 70th Anniversary Edition models have been created. Morrison also unveiled the all-new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT for the Miami automotive press members, the first time the luxury model has ever been seen by the public. “This is the most technologically advanced, fastest Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT that we’ve ever made,” Morrison said. “It has a 465 hp engine and makes 465 pounds-feet of torque, clocks 0-60 in 4.8 seconds and it will tow up to 5,000 pounds.” Morrison added that the new Jeep product line is only a hint of things to come.

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La Ley Sports promotes youth sports in S. Florida


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When John H. Ruiz traveled he had to miss his son’s baseball games. That bothered him because watching his son, Johnny, play was very important. So he started La Ley Sports, an avenue for other parents and families who can’t attend a game to watch their children play. Ruiz already had a media production company that he had put together to broadcast his law program that runs nightly. “He figured now I’m going to get into broadcasting Little League and high school games, and bring youth sports to the Internet, TV sets or smart phones,” said Henry Vilar, La Ley’s director of sports marketing and stadium operations. There’s even a La Ley Sports application that you can download for free onto your iPad, iPhone or Android. The concept took off and in just a year La Ley Sports is in the midst of an expansion by taking over the Homestead Sports Complex and hosting major youth baseball tournaments this summer. La Ley Sports also purchased the Hardball Training Center in the Falls, renamed it the La Ley Sports Training Center and brought in former UM great Mike Tosar to run the operation. “We are coming up on our one year anniversary in August,” Vilar said. “The main focus is youth sport, from 8 to 18.” La Ley wants to make it easier for athletes to be discovered so they created <>, a database of sports minded students that includes athletic profiles and school information as well as community service commitments. Vilar said this is so high schools, college recruiters and pro scouts in a variety of sports have a central place where they can see an athlete’s sports history.

In addition to the database, La Ley Sports provides coverage of all sports. La Ley Sports broadcast as many games in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties as it can. “We have more events than we can handle,” he said. “We cover lacrosse, baseball and football just to name a few. For all the girls that cheerlead, those are also covered. We broadcast more than 4,000 games across the world.” Currently, baseball is the core of La Ley Sports. “That’s how we got started,” Vilar said. “We just took over the Homestead Sports Complex.” They refurbished the fields, making them ready for summer tournaments that began in June leading to World vs. States International Baseball Classic during the week of July 22, under the guidance of Ruiz, La Ley president; Vilar, and tournament director Enrique (Kiki) Fernandez. “Teams from all over the world as well as the United States, from 8 to 18 years are going to try to qualify and win the tournament,” Vilar said. “Once those three qualifying weeks are over, a tournament team is going to be selected from each state.” Players from all over the world will try to qualify to participate in the Youth World Baseball Classic, July 22-28, at the La Ley Sports Complex. La Ley also is offering summer camps in girls softball and boys baseball for ages 10 to 18. The campers can be dropped off at the Homestead complex or they can be taken to the indoor baseball facility at the Falls to be bused to Homestead. Campers will be taught by experienced softball and baseball coaches, and there will be surprise guest speakers including former Major League Baseball players. For more information about La Ley Sports, go online to <>.

July 14 - 27, 2011


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July 12 - 25, 2011

Mount Sinai Medical Center Chief of Cardiology, Gervasio Lamas, M.D. appointed Chairman of Medicine Dr. Gervasio Lamas, chief of the Columbia his M.D. with honors (AOA) from New York University Division of Cardiology at Mount University. He completed his Internship and Sinai Medical Center, will now also serve as Residency at the Brigham and Women’s Mount Sinai’s Chairman of Medicine. Dr. Hospital of Harvard Medical School, where he Lamas has been part of the Mount Sinai fam- later served as Assistant Professor of Medicine. ily for nearly 20 years and is actively He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Diseases involved with the instituas well as a Fellow of the tion’s teaching program American College of and research initiatives Cardiology, the American making him a natural Heart Association, and the choice for overseeing the European Society of institution’s department Cardiology. Dr. Lamas of medicine. was also recently appointThe department of ed Professor of Clinical medicine at Mount Sinai is Medicine at New York’s committed to providing Columbia University our community with College of Physicians and access to a high quality, Surgeons, further solidifycomprehensive range of ing the partnership medical services. In addibetween the two institution, the department of tions that joined forces in medicine has been 2009 to form the Mount involved in teaching and Sinai Heart Institute. Dr. research for more than 50 Lamas has authored over years. 300 scientific publications In his new role, Dr. Gervasio Lamas, M.D. and maintains an active Lamas will collaborate –––––––––––––––––––– clinical practice at the with fellow physicians throughout Mount Sinai on furthering clini- Mount Sinai offices in Miami Beach, Hialeah cal, academic, and research initiatives. “I and Key Biscayne. am proud to lead such a high-quality medical About Mount Sinai Medical Center staff that always seeks to provide the best Founded in 1949, Mount Sinai Medical care and the best service,” said Lamas. Mount Sinai’s Department of Medicine has Center is the largest independent, private, excelled throughout the years. Mount Sinai not-for-profit teaching hospital in South has completed groundbreaking research in Florida. One of only six statutory teaching memory disorders, cardiology, oncology, pul- hospitals in the state, Mount Sinai is the hosmonary medicine and gastroenterology. And, pital of choice for those who seek the level of Mount Sinai’s focus on critical care medicine expertise and care that only a teaching hoshas resulted in the advanced emergency care pital can offer. The medical center’s comprovided through the Harvey Chaplin Family mitment to quality has garnered prestigious recognition, including designation in 2010 Stroke and Chest Pain Center. Dr. Lamas received his B.A. in Biochemical as one of America’s Top Hospitals for by Sciences cum laude from Harvard College and U.S.News & World Report.

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Toyota previews the Prius v hybrid in Charlotte, NC Ron Beasley LET’S TALK CARS I recently returned from Charlotte, NC, where I attended the press preview for Toyota’s new Prius v hybrid vehicle, set to hit the nation’s showrooms in September. I came away impressed not only with the new vehicle, but with the overall achievements of the Prius since its introduction 14 years ago. According to Prius product marketing planner Erica Gartsbeyn, Prius has become the No. 1 selling hybrid in the world with more than one million sold in the U.S. and two million more globally. She added that since Prius came on the U.S. market, it has saved about 880 million gallons of gas, about $2 billion in fuel costs and kept approximately 12 million tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere. “According to the Carnegie Endowment, if all vehicles on the road today averaged the same 50 mpg that the Prius does, it

would reduce U.S. oil consumption by about 2.4 billion barrels per year,” Gartsbeyn said. “Think of it another way — if everyone drove a Prius, we could reduce our use of imported oil by 70 percent.” That said, the first new member of the Prius family is the Prius v, a midsize vehicle that Toyota calls “a perfect fit for young families who value space, comfort, fuel efficiency and technology.” The Prius v shares the same Hybrid Synergy Drive System as the current generation Prius Liftback, but has been designed to deliver the comfort, convenience and flexibility that Toyota thinks young American buyers want. To achieve that goal, Prius v engineers focused on two key areas — aerodynamics and weight reduction — to help boost the Prius v’s fuel economy and performance. The end result is a vehicle that resembles a small SUV, one that is larger than its Liftback predecessor and with 58 percent more cargo space. There’s a 60/40-split rear seat that slides and reclines for passenger comfort and maximize cargo space at 34.3 cubic feet. Aerodynamic design measures optimized the Prius v’s shape and resulted in an excellent 0.29 coefficient of drag (or Cd). Prius v has the same four drive modes —

New Toyota Prius v is more aerodynamic and larger than its Liftback sibling. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

normal, Eco, Power and EV — as the current Prius, and produces 66 percent fewer smog-forming emissions than the average new vehicle. The larger vehicle causes fuel efficiency to drop a bit at 44 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway and 42 mpg combined. As for the interior, designers incorporated efficient weight-saving materials in the new Prius, including the optional Panoramic roof made of a lightweight resin that is 40 percent lighter than conventional

glass roofs of similar size. Prius v seats are trimmed in SofTex, a unique material that looks like leather, but weighs about half as much and has more durability. Pricing on the 2012 Prius v Hybrid has not been announced. Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email to <>.

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July 14 - 27, 2011


ECOMB: One-Stop Shop Recycling Drop-Off Station For Electronic Waste, Batteries, Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs and all other recyclables. WHAT: ECOMB HAS JUST MADE IT A LOT EASIER FOR EVERYONE TO RECYCLE! The Environmental Coalition of Miami & the Beaches, ECOMB, in partnership with the City of Miami Beach, eTronic eWaste (, EcoBatt ( and Smart At Bulbs ( is pleased to announce the opening of Miami-Dade County’s first One-Stop Shop Recycling Drop-Off Station for all types of electronic waste, batteries and compact fluorescent light bulbs at its new Miami Beach Center for the Environment. The Center also accepts all other types of Single Stream Recyclables - glass, plastic, metal, paper, cardboard, magazines, junk mail, phone books, etc - for those businesses and residents that do not have a recycling program, thanks to an agreement established between the City of Miami Beach and our local waste haulers: Choice Recycling, General Hauling, Waste Management and WSI. With ECOMB in the “hood”, it’s now easy to be part of the green movement. All you have to do is call ECOMB’s office or stop by to visit us. WHY: Because the average American throws out seven and a half pounds of trash each day! And it all end up at the landfills, where it just sits, compacted, buried, taking up space ... forever. Recycling is important because it helps keep our resources plentiful, not only for us but for our future generations: our children, grandchildren, and so on... WHERE: Miami Beach Center for the Environment 210 Second Street and Collins Court (alley between Washington & Collins Ave.) Miami Beach, Fl 33139 TIME: • GENERAL RECYCLABLES = SINGLE STREAM (glass, plastic, metal, paper, etc): 24 HOURS A DAY • ELECTRONICS, BATTERIES, CFLs: from 10 am to 5 pm, but call first to make arrangements. ABOUT ECOMB: ECOMB, a 501 (c) (3) founded in 1994, is dedicated to the promotion of environmental sustainability and the preservation of our community’s ecology. • ECOMB’s Executive Director Luiz Rodrigues • Phone: 305-534-3825 · • ECOMB’s Board of Trustees President Jeffrey Forster · Educating People. Engaging our Community. Effecting Environmental Change.

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Cooking with Fish Scales BY MARTIN MENDIOLA Mendiola@USGourmet.US

While at the fish market over the 4th of July weekend, a relatively young couple standing in the background attentively listened to the conversation I was having with Roberto our fishmonger. They knew we had just decided on a couple of red snappers in the 2 to 3 pound range with very clear eyes and reddish gills that clearly showed they had been out of the water for just a few hours. The couple was perplexed when I told Roberto to gut them and leave the scales. After a moment, they could no longer help it and graciously while almost apologetic asked “Why are you keeping the scales? Isn’t removing the scales part of cleaning the fish? You are not going to eat them, are you?” While we all laughed, Roberto just looked at me and said “Maybe you should answer this one”. “I have never heard of a single dish that calls for fish scales, even though they serve many functions” I said. “For example, according to several studies published in the Research Journal of Chemistry, fish scales are one of the better alternatives when used as a biosorbent to regulate the copper levels in water. Excessive levels of copper have

adverse health effects on the human body” Nevertheless, the most important function of scales is to protect the fish from external injuries, recognizing that not all fish have scales. They vary from one evolutionary line of fish to another. The type of scales a fish has, as well as whether a species has scales at all, can often be tied to the lifestyle of the species. There are different types of scales and are categorized into five main types, Placoi, Cosmoid, Ganoid, Cycloid and Ctenoid, which only those interested in Squamatology, the study of scales, know about. We are not going around looking, but have never even heard of someone who cares. “The reason for our keeping the scales” we went on to say “is because of how we are going to cook them. On the 4th of July everyone is doing something on the grill, mostly making hotdogs and hamburgers, but for a change of pace we like to grill fish”. Usually when thinking about grilling fish, you think of the thick steaks or tender fillets, instead, we like to butterfly, split or kite them with the scales on. It is called butterflying or kiting because of their appearance, while splitting is what you are actually doing, even though it is kept in one piece. When this procedure is done properly, most of the bones

are removed. As the fish cooks on either the open flame or on aluminum foil if you want to keep it cleaner, the scales burn off and remain attached to the skin. Once again, as originally intended, the scales protect the flesh. With little seasoning, nothing more than

some good extra virgin olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper, the fish will keep its natural flavor. When cooked properly, you will be able to remove the meat with a plastic spatula or even a spoon, since it will slide off the skin and scales which are left behind. We have seen different versions where grilling chefs have added all kinds of herbs and aromatics, garlic, onions, cilantro, lemon or lime, parsley and even BBQ sauce. Sometimes after the fish is cooked, different sauces are added that could be as simple as olive oil with roasted garlic or complicated enough to include clams and shrimp. Basically the fish can be made to match your mood and taste, but to this date I have yet to see anyone enjoying the scales.

July 14 - 27, 2011


Sustainable Business Council welcomes guest speaker Leisha John Date: Thursday, July 28, 2011 Location: Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Conference Room 1920 Medirian Avenue, 3rd Floor, Miami Beach, FL 33139 The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Sustainable Business Council Chair, Brian Scheinblum, President of Cambean Hospitality, cordially invites you to attend the next council meeting on Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at 8:30 AM in the Conference Room of the Chamber located at 1920 Meridian Avenue, 3rd Floor, Miami Beach, FL 33139. Members and guests will enjoy a continental breakfast courtesy of Cambean Hospitality and a special presentation by Leisha John, which will include topics such as: • Why are businesses committing to environmental sustainability? • Why is carbon footprint measurement critical? • What strategies can benefit your company? • How can you boost your personal credibility to be effective in the ‘green’ space? Leisha is a CPA and a LEED AP with over 25 years’ experience at Ernst & Young, a “Big Four” accounting firm and one of the world’s largest professional services firms. She is the Director of Environmental Sustainability, responsible for ‘greening’ EY’s 180 offices across the US, Canada, Central and South America. Earlier this year, Leisha was named as a “Top Woman in Sustainability” by the, an online magazine for professional women interested in excelling in their careers and growing their businesses. At Ernst & Young, her focus is on measuring and reducing the firm’s carbon foot-

Leisha John ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

print, applying best practices in sustainability to green EY’s business processes and infrastructure, and engaging employees in adopting more eco-friendly behaviors at work and home. She is most proud of the work she’s done with EY’s Real Estate and Facilities professionals to implement a holistic strategy that incorporates LEED, energy efficiency, extensive hoteling and green power.

For more information please contact Anaely Delgado, Sustainable Business Council liaison at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, by calling 305.674.1300 or via email at

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4G Branding Guru Celebrates 10 year Anniversary in Business

Michelle Wolfe’s 4G’s – Gimmicks, Gifts, Giveaways and Great Service ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

When you think of 4G, technology and gadgets may come to mind. But branded merchandise specialist Michelle Wolfe of Aventura wants you to remember her 4G’s: Gimmicks, Gifts, Giveaways and Great service. This summer, the 4G Branding Guru is celebrating her 10th year in business as a branded merchandise specialist. “I love to think about other people’s businesses and come up with an innovative product for them to giveaway or a great message to print on an item,” says Wolfe of Halo Branded Solutions. While you may be dreaming of Caribbean getaways, she’s dreaming up your company’s next slogan to put on a tote bag, a T-shirt, a sticky note pad, or even a USB drive. “One right message that catches people’s attention on a product, will result in more business exposure,” she adds. In fact, a survey taken by the Advertising Specialty Institute shows of those surveyed, 84% could say they vividly remember the advertiser in a promotional item. The survey also shows that 62% of recipients of a promotional item did business with the advertiser after receiving it. That’s where the 4G Guru comes in. Finding the latest gimmicks, gifts and giveaways is Wolfe’s calling. You’ll find that evident when you step into her Aventura showroom, which is filled with thousands of promotional products. Here you’ll find everything from nail files, to paperweights, to bedazzled tank tops, engraved wine bottles, and even branded pizza boxes. Ironically, Wolfe’s career wasn’t always so creative. A former paralegal, who managed her husband Richard’s legal practice; she left the legal world to raise her three children. After a stint as band manager for several musical groups, you could say Wolfe’s personality led her to her 4G Guru

calling. After creating catchy and personalized slogans for anniversary, birthday and engagement parties, Wolfe got her first corporate sunscreen order from an Investment Firm saying “Protect your investment as you would your skin”. The rest as they say is history. While building a business, Wolfe also focused on giving back to the community. She’s a Pillar member of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Mt. Sinai Medical Center Young Founder’s Club, active with the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation, and a member of BNI Miami Beach, a networking group whose motto is “giver’s gain”. Wolfe’s company has undergone a lot of changes in 10 years, such as a name change from Picture This Promos to now Halo Branded Solutions. Wolfe serves clients across South Florida and all over the U.S. “I’m more than just a promotional items person,” concludes Wolfe about her business. “I’m thinking about slogans all of the time to make sure my client’s branding is memorable, like hand sanitizer labeled My Clients Go to Court with Clean Hands.” Her clients love her so much that Wolfe can boast a 95% client return rate. Wolfe’s love of branding and products mean she’s always on the hunt for the next best product, like the collapsible water bottle, eco-friendly laminated totes or double walled insulated drink ware. Recently back from one of the largest branded merchandise tradeshows in the country, Wolfe is excited and ready to share even more ideas as she begins her second decade of business. For more information about Michelle Wolfe’s Halo Branded Solutions, log onto, e-mail her at or call 305-9334055.

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Equinox Summer Hawaiian Party

Marketing and Special Events Coordinator Alicia Lee and Group Fitness Manager Philip Gray. ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Equinox staff members and guests enjoyed the party. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

A DJ spinning tunes kept the party lively ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Equinox South Beach held a Summer Hawaiian Party for member and their guests on June 26, featuring organic pizza, cocktails, giveaways and more. (Photos by Charlotte Libov)

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The Adventures of Bibi & Friends launches funding campaign SAME DAY DELIVERY AVAILABLE Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll help you find the perfect arrangement or gift.

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Brigitte Andrade, the creator and founder of the comic book series, The Adventures of Bibi & Friends is l a u n c h i n g, a new â&#x20AC;&#x153;comic book meets realityâ&#x20AC;? web series on YouTube in September 2011, along with Adam Scull from The new web series, an extension of The Adventures of Bibi & Friends, will initially start with a 30-day fundraising campaign on, a unique all-or-nothing funding method (where projects must be fully-funded in 30 days or no money changes hands) has a p p r o v e d BibiandFriends.TV for a fundraising project. Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world, â&#x20AC;&#x153;where tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.â&#x20AC;? On July 14, will start its 30-day fundraising campaign on, in New York City, where The Adventures of Bibi & Friends are creating the new Miami / New York fall edi-

tion and filming segments for the new web series! and will jointly promote BibiandFriends.TV and illicit pledges. August 14th is the deadline to reach its funding goal. Please visit www.kick or www.Bibiandfriends.TV to help reach Bibi reach her goal! Brigitte Andrade at Contact 786.222.7834 for more information.



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2nd INcard Anniversary at Jungle Island

A Fish Called Avalonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tuna tartar Jason Loeb, Chairman and Dustin Symes, City National Bank

INcard Banner at Jungle Island

Miami Culinary Tours Jerry Libbin, President & CEO with Javier Sardinas and Chris Hevia

Displaying 35 year old Parrot at Jungle Island

Ability Explosion

INCard Birthday Cake

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July 14 - 27, 2011

2nd INcard Anniversary at Jungle Island

Jungle Island staff with snake Trazer at the Fontainbleau

Aibe d-signs

Jason Loeb, Chairman and Aaron Perry


Left: Jungle Island representative, with Ceci Velasco, COO of the Miami Beach Chamber, and guest

Guests of the INcard Anniversary

July 14 - 27, 2011


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2nd INcard Anniversary at Jungle Island

Interested guests look at INcard Vendors table

South Florida Boxing


Dustin Symes, Ceci Velasco, Raquel Libbin and Commissioner Deede Weithorn

Left: Worldwide Transportation

Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center


Food Samples from West Avenue CafĂŠ

Jungle Island booth attracting the entire family

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Would You Like Your Children to Pay for College Without Needing Financial Aid? What Financial goal should I have with paying for my children’s college? When planning to pay for college for your children, I encourage you to establish clear goals. First, you need to determine if you want to have your child’s education be paid with or without the need for financial aid. If you do not want your child or yourself to be burdened with a loan to have to pay back, then set the goal of having enough money saved before they enter college so that the college is paid.

Yes. If you can afford it and feel motivated to do so, you can match your childs earnings dollar for dollar. My son, Steven, did pizza delivery for 4 hours on Firday, Saturday and Sunday for a total of 12 hours a weekend. Back in 1995 – 1996 he earned $10 an hour which was $120 a weekend or $480 a month. I matched it $1 for $1. Our goal college was the University of Florida, and in 1996 the 4 year cost was $32,000. When he graduated from high school, we had $32,000 in the savings account. $16,000 he earned and $16,000 I matched. No financial aid was needed.

Who should pay for my children’s college? As parents we feel motivated or obligated to take on the full responsibility of paying for our children’s college education. The second goal is to establish a clear understanding with your child that if they want a college education they should invest in it by saving for it with earnings from a job. If they invest in their education, your child will value it more.

Does a Matching Savings Plan have other benefits? The matching savings plan may create a new dimension in the relationship you have with your child. You become partners in achieving a long term goal. Your child should be motivated to in essence to earn twice as much as their pay check. Your child may begin to ask you how to red the account statement and how to invest the savings. Their buying habits may be influenced by their employment. Those $150 sneakers may mean 20 hours of their work so maybe they are not so motivated to buy them because it is not worth 20 hours of their life to have them after all. They may start to look for value in what they buy. They may even appreciate you a lot more for working for a living and paying the bills.

What is an attainable financial goal? Harvard cost $52,000 a year for the 2009 – 2010 academic year. Saving $208,000 based on current costs is not attainable for most people. The University of Florida cost $16,690 a year for the 2009 – 2010 academic year. Saving $66,760 based on current costs is more attainable. Florida International University total matriculation and fees are $4,580.38 a year for the 2009 – 2010 academic year. Saving $19,215.20 is even more affordable. I suggest that you set your goal on a specific college and save enough to cover the actual cost when your child enters as a freshman. Your child should consider a job on campus during the school year and summer jobs during the college years. I have a 401k plan at work; can I seet up a matching savings plan with my child?

Rick Tonkinson is a Certified Tonkinson Financial, Inc Financial Planner (CFP™) who works 2398 Speople Dixie in Hwy, with working your area since 1991. The family business, Rick Miami, FL 33133 Tonkinson & Associates, Inc is located Phone: 866-323-8326 at 100 Almeria Ave, Suite 310, Coral (305)Telephone 858-1627 # 305Gables, Fax: FL 33134. 447-6617. Securities offered throughthrough SecuritiesSecurities America, Inc., memSecurities offered America, ber FINRA/SIPC, Tonkinson, Margarita Tonkinson, Inc., member Rick FINRA/SIPC, Rick Tonkinson, Steven Tonkinson, Registered Advisory Representatives. Registered Representatives. servicesAdvisory offered services offered throughAmerica SecuritiesAdvisors, America Advisors, Inc., through Securities Inc., Rick Rick Tonkinson, Margarita Tonkinson, Steven Tonkinson, Tonkinson, Investment Advisor Representatives. Rick Investment Advisor Representatives. Tonkinson Financial Tonkinson & Associates, Inc. and the Securities and the Securities America companies America companies are not affiliated.are not affiliated.

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Graspa Group takes over management of SOYKA Restaurant Mark Soyka stays as owner but Graziano Sbroggio’s Graspa Group team runs the operations Soyka restaurant, located in the 55th Street Station off of Biscayne Boulevard, has been a staple on Biscayne Boulevard’s food scene since 1999 under the ownership and management of king restaurateur Mark Soyka. But as of June 2011, he has passed the baton of the day-to-day operations to his long-time business partner Graziano Sbroggio. “Soyka restaurant is a very successful restaurant. Mark’s decision to partner with us was much more about bringing our experts in to take Soyka to its full potential,” explains


Graziano Sbroggio, President of Graspa Group. “The main changes will occur behind the scenes, how we manage the staff, kitchen operations and purchasing.” Alberto Marcato, Graspa Group’s Corporate Executive Chef who oversees the kitchen operations in all of Graspa’s venues Maitardi in the Design District, Van Dyke, TiramesU, Spris and Segafredo on Lincoln Road - has already implemented more cost effective procedures. Alberto shares: “I am applying Graspa’s motto to leverage our purchasing power as a group while increasing quality so the customer is happy that the food is good and the price is affordable”. The menu at Soyka will remain mostly the same keeping the American comfort food concept, however, some light changes will trickle in throughout the next couple of months including new daily specials to test the customers’ preferences and higher quality ingredients. Customers will also notice suggestion cards, which Graspa Group uses at all of its locations, especially when the menu is being updated. “This is a great opportunity for loyal customers and people who have not been to Soyka in a while to share with us their thoughts,” suggests Graziano. Also, the newly refurbished Garden Room, adjoining the intimate patio corridor dining area, has been expanded, redecorated by Mark Soyka and will hold private parties and special events for up to 75 seated guests or 125 standing, cocktail format. Additional novelties will be announced as they are secured but will include happy hour drink specials, a bar menu with smaller portions and music-related events staying within the theme of the recently added Soyka Live Jazz Nights held every Friday and Saturday from 9pm to midnight and hosted by music lover Mark Soyka.

Mark Soyka and Graziano Sbroggio

Mark Soyka, Ceci Velasco, Silvia Graziano Sbroggio, Pietro Riccobono and guest –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

ABOUT SOYKA RESTAURANT: Soyka Restaurant, 5556 NE 4th Court, 55th Street Station, Miami, FL 33137 tel: 305-759-3117 fax: 305-759-4115

Open Sunday through Thursday 11am to 11pm, Fridays and Saturdays 11am to midnight. Soyka restaurant is on facebook:

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July 14 - 27, 2011







Page 40


July 14 - 27, 2011

Miami Beach News 7.14.2011  

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