The fourth year proved to be the best yet as seven organizations networked together at the Hard Rock Café –Miami recently, with each one bringing their best singer to compete in the “Hard Rock Café Talent Show-Down!”
With a “Christmas in September” theme, sales manager Gonzalo del Rio, organized the most delicious holiday dinner, complete with a glittering Christmas tree, in their private party room, while the delicious hors d’oeuvres were being passed around by the energetic and enthusiastic team members from the Hard Rock Café. “It’s always an honor to host this event,” said del Rio, “and each year, the party is bigger and better and the singers are more talented!”
Blue Bell Ice Cream was there once again with Brendon Pilkenton and Leo Gomez serving up their famous flavors to an appreciative crowd as Stuart Whalan, owner/chef of Avant-Garde Cakes & Sweets provided tantalizing baked sweets for everyone.
Henry Menendez from HNO Productions provided all the sound and the disc jockey for the evening’s program while CPA Craig Rogoff from Melnick Lilienfeld & Castonguay served as the official tabulator and photographer Juan Saco Miranoff captured the images throughout this exciting evening. Standing in for del Rio the night of the event was operations manager Gideon Horowitz, who joined the ever-popular Emcee George Neary from the Gr. Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) onstage to welcome everyone.
Over 300 businesspeople, members of the Aventura Marketing Council, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater North Miami Beach Chamber, Miami Beach Chamber, Miami-Dade Chamber, Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber and the South Florida Hispanic Chamber, came to network, cheer on their group’s singer, and help support the Breast Cancer Foundation represented by Sandy Mueller.
And cheer they did as Emcee George Neary, Vice President of Cultural Tourism, GMCVB, introduced the panel of celebrity judges including Aventura Comm.
Billy Joel, Scott Shiller, EVP of the Adrienne Arsht Center; Richard Rey, founding member of the rock band, O.V.R.H.O.L.; Karen Brown, distinguished hospitality veteran and co-emcee for the Miami Beach Gay Pride; Latoya Williams, Community Relations Dir. for the Orange Bowl Committee; Pati Vargas, co-ordinator for the popular Viernes Culturales and Yona Lunger, songwriter and producer. A very special guest was 16 year-old Nick Merico, winner of the talent show-down in 2010, who has since gone on to recording fame…and has over 7 million hits on Youtube!
The singers were all great…performing with great stage presence and vocals: Tasha Guida, representing the Miami Beach Chamber, sang “If I Ain’t Got You,” Josue Santiago, representing the Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber, sang a salsa mix, “Valio La Pena/Quimbara”; Alyssa Swan, representing the Miami-Dade Chamber, belted out “The Power of Love”; Mica Tenenbaum, representing the Gr. North Miami Beach Chamber, sang “I Want You”; Valerie Vargas, representing the GMCVB, sang “Fever,” which won her the Runner-up award; Luz Weinberg, an Aventura Commissioner representing the South Florida Hispanic Chamber, sang “Proud Mary,”; and Cameron Wheeler, representing the Aventura Marketing Council, won First Place with her version of “I Am Telling You.”
All the singers received wonderful prizes, and the Runner-up and Winner received additional gifts. The organization that brought in the winning singer was given $500 for their favorite charity. The evening was memorable, new friendships were made, old friendships were renewed and after congratulations and thanks went out to everyone, the question was asked, “When is next year’s Hard Rock Café Talent Show-Down?”
For more information on Hard Rock Café Miami, call 305-377-3110 or visit www.hardrock.com Aventura Marketing Council coordinates “jumbo networker” for 4th Annual Hard Rock Café Talent Show-Down Oct. 31 – Nov. 13, 2012