Bacardi hosts Miami Council for International Visitors

Bacardi hosts Miami Council for International Visitors

Pictured at a recent meeting, Coral Gables Rotary vice president Steven Spann thanks guest speaker Javier Betancourt, deputy director of the Miami Downtown Development Authority

The headquarters of Bacardi Americas recently hosted the Miami Council for International Visitors’ board, members and honored guests during the visit to Miami of a U.S. Department of State sponsored project for Italy on Transparency in Government.

Aurelia Reinhardt, Bacardi’s vice president of Corporate Communications and Relations, was on hand to welcome Alessandro Cattaneo, the former mayor of Pavia; Mariachiara Fornasari, a lawyer from Bresica; Simona Molisso, councilmember of Naples City Council; Cristina Tajani, councilmember of Milan City Council, and Gerardo Ausillo, a journalist with Il Mattino.

Coral Gables Mayor James Cason, retired U.S. Ambassador, addressed the crowd and spoke of the many benefits of international exchanges while also noting that the city of Pavia is the newest Coral Gables Sister City. Pavia Mayor Cattaneo, who signed the Sister City agreement while in office, expressed his thanks to all for the warm welcome.

Yet more international visitors came all the way from South Africa to perform at North Miami Beach High School for an appreciative audience. The performers were orphans from the Malawi Amitofo Care Center whose lives were saved when they were rescued, given a home and educated by Buddists who also trained them in the martial arts. Choreographing dance-like moves with the martial arts and singing makes for a unique and very entertaining show enjoyed by all who attended.

Philip Wang, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Miami, opened his Cocoplum home for a celebratory party the evening after the show during which the group performed songs and were each awarded certificates of thanks.

Vacationing Coral Gables Rotary president Carlos Bolado turned over his duties for a week to vice president Steven Spann who conducted the July 31 meeting that featured Javier Betancourt as guest speaker. Betancourt, deputy director of the Miami Downtown Development Authority, gave the Rotarians a glimpse of the plans ahead for the Miami downtown area.

Of course, there were concerns and questions on the rising sea level and how that will be addressed as revitalization plans are cemented. Hopefully, we can find those answers in the future but it appears transportation plans are moving along well.

Speaking of downtown, one of its more beautiful sites is Trinity Episcopal Cathedral where the Boys Choir of Monaco recently performed. For their 40th anniversary, the choir representing the Principality of Monaco, formerly known as The Little Singers of

Monaco (Les Petits Chanteurs de Monaco), awed the audience with an amazing 30- minute show that was free to the public.

Under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, the Boys Choir of Monaco helps humanitarian associations throughout the world by donating their performances. The choir, directed by Pierre Debat, was founded in 1974 by Prince Rainier III. With 30 boys, between the ages of 8 and 18, the choir averages 40 concerts a year and has visited 40 countries.

While on crutches and in pain, Robert Beans, owner of Bay Plumbing, hosted an after-hours for Profit Inc. at Tarpon Bend on July 31. Robert currently is president of Profit Inc., one of Miami-Dade County’s oldest networking business organizations.

The group meets for lunch the first and third Thursday of every month at 94th Aero Squadron. Those looking to expand their business connections would do well to consider joining this group.

For more information visit

On July 21, the Little Lighthouse Foundation treated mare than 100 kids at the Miami Beach summer youth programs and Feinberg Fisher Middle School to a fun-filled day at the Miami Seaquarium. A park-wide scavenger hunt resulted in awarding the top three scoring teams with backpacks filled with school supplies for the new school year.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

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About the Author

Gloria Burns
A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel as well as non profit consulting and management. Active in many non profits, she received numerous awards across the community. Among her list of current responsibilities, Burns co-chairs two annual student recognition breakfasts for the Coral Gables Friends of Education; helps coordinate charity partners for the Westin Colonnade's Annual Give Kids the World Breakfast; serves on the board of directors of Doral Business Council; is Parliamentarian and serves on the board of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club; serves the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and is Publicity Chair; and is a member of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee. Gloria is also an active member of the Music Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, where she sings in the choir. She can be reached at

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