BB&T hosts Phillip Speake, FL Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve and City of Aventura Planning Director Joanne Carr

By Bari Auerbach….

BB&T team back row (l-r) JC Rivera, Mary Robbins, Ariel Sanchez-Alfonso, Gus Phillips, Gonzalo de-la-Cruz, Maxine Hanchard-Foote; front row (l-r) Alicyn Muñoz, Ursula Reitter, Jazmina Calero, Nareesha Mohammed

BB&T, which is consistently recognized nationally for its service excellence, recently hosted an Aventura Marketing Council Business Development Committee meeting featuring Phillip Speake, Chair of Florida Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.

Speake’s message focused on reaching out to businesses to help unemployed Guard and Reserve veterans find jobs when they return home from tours of duty. City of Aventura planning director Joanne Carr was also invited to speak about progressive municipal initiatives including the opening of the new Aventura Arts & Cultural Center; reconstruction of the city’s public library branch; creation of a “green local government”; and enhanced public safety as statistics show there have been fewer collisions since red light cameras were installed at five corners chosen by the Aventura Police Department.

On behalf of BB&T Aventura branch leaders including Maxine Hanchard-Foote and J.C. Rivera, Business Development Committee Chair Peter L. Fishel, CPA welcomed AMC members gathered at BB&T on 192nd Street and Biscayne Boulevard.

In keeping with the Aventura motto, “City of Excellence,” thanks to the comments and feedback of BB&T clients, the bank has received Excellence Awards in 20 of 20 national categories and five regional in a survey conducted by Greenwich Associates, a leading global financial services research and consulting firm. BB&T’s sweep of the 2009 Middle Market and Small Business Banking categories represents the most excellence citations in the award’s history.

Building on a tradition of excellence in community banking that stretches back to 1872, BB&T continues to offer clients a complete range of financial services including banking, lending, insurance, trust, and wealth management solutions. Turning to the topic of employment solutions for Guard and Reserve veterans, Speake emphasized, “The 38,000 Guard and Reserve members of Florida need your help. They’re coming back from war zones and 30 to 40 percent don’t have jobs.

“Business leaders can now visit our website and register their company to be a supporter, pledging to give preferential hiring to returning National Guard and Reserve veterans. Our website also allows service members to register and provide their resumes. I’m convinced with the energy and cooperation I’ve seen around the state, we’re going to succeed with this jobs program – setting an example for the rest of the country.”

To spread the word and achieve the goal of getting at least 10,000 employers to register, Speake noted he has been addressing many different civic groups as well as the Florida League of Cities. He also encouraged business and community leaders to register on the website and then attempt to get ten other companies to do so as well.

“We need your help,” Speake reiterated. “Men and women of the Guard and Reserve deserve everything we can do for them because they’re loyal, dedicated and doing a tremendous job.”

For more information, contact BB&T, 19235 Biscayne Boulevard, 305-695-3313,;;

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