Beacon Council announces 8th annual award winners

The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s official economic development organization, has announced the winners of the Eighth Annual Beacon Awards. This year’s awards will be presented on Wednesday, Apr. 7, at Jungle Island. The most prestigious honor of the evening, the Jay Malina Award, will be presented to Brian E. Keeley, president and CEO of Baptist Health South Florida.

The awards program recognizes businesses and organizations for their significant contributions to the local economy in the areas of job creation, business expansion, corporate citizenship and leadership in their respective industries. “The Beacon Awards are a reminder that our diverse local economy is vibrant and that each recipient’s contribution to our business community has elevated Miami- Dade’s profile as a world-class destination,” said Alexandra Villoch, chair of the Beacon Council. “The recognition given today is the Beacon Council’s way of celebrating and thanking Miami-Dade’s most prominent individuals, businesses and organizations for their commitment to our community.”

The Judges’ Committee, which included the chair, chair-elect, and past chairs of the Beacon Council, selected all of the 14 awards being presented during the Apr. 7 ceremony. The awards ceremony is part of the Beacon Council’s “Local Business Local Jobs” outreach program, which focuses on local business retention and expansion by assessing and addressing the needs of local businesses, and recognizing their contribution to the creation of new jobs in the community. The other main components of the program include business surveys and a business visitation program.

“This year the Beacon Awards take on an added sense of importance precisely because our ‘Local Business Local Jobs’ program and this awards ceremony are an outgrowth of the ‘One Community One Goal initiative,’” said Frank R. Nero, president and CEO of the Beacon Council. “As we begin to rethink this initiative, the Beacon Awards are a good way to bring the Miami-Dade business community together in support our efforts to evaluate a new targeted industry study. It all comes down to one common goal, to strengthen and diversify the local industries which have the most potential to create new high-paying jobs.”

The Jay Malina Award is presented to the business executive who has contributed the most to the growth of his or her industry in Miami-Dade County. The award is named in honor of the late founder and co-chair of the One Community One Goal project, Jay Malina. Keeley is this year’s honoree in recognition of his leadership and notable contributions to the growth of the economy of Miami-Dade County. Baptist Health South Florida is the largest notfor- profit healthcare organization in the region. It includes Baptist Hospital, Baptist Children’s Hospital, South Miami Hospital, Doctors Hospital, Homestead Hospital, Mariners Hospital, Baptist Outpatient Services, Baptist Health Enterprises and the Baptist Health Foundation.

The Chairman’s Award, sponsored by BlueCross and BlueShield of Florida, honors a leader who has dedicated his or her life to making Miami a better place for all of its citizens and for having inspired the rest of the community to do the same. This year’s honoree is Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College (MDC).

He has been president of Miami Dade College since 1995 and his pace-setting work at Miami Dade College has been hailed as a model of innovation in higher education. MDC enrolls and graduates more minorities than any other institution in the United States, including the largest numbers of Hispanics and African- Americans.

The Education Award, sponsored by Bank of America, honors an organization that has made exceptional contributions to the educational system in Miami-Dade County through innovation, leadership and community involvement. This year’s award is given to City Year Miami, an organization made up of young-adult corps members that tutor, mentor and provide critically needed services to some of Miami-Dade County’s most underserved children and youth. Founded in 2008, City Year Miami supports the Miami-Dade Public School System in its efforts to help youth succeed in school and realize their potential.

The Judges’ Special Award is presented to a Miami-Dade company or individual that demonstrated a notable commitment to giving back to the community. This year’s honorees are The Beacon Council founding chairs: Sidney Levin, Merrett R. Stierheim and Theodore J. Hoepner.

Industry Awards include:

• Aviation: AAR CORP., sponsored by SunTrust Bank Inc.;

• Business Services: Performance Foodservice-Empire, sponsored by FPL;

• Fashion and Lifestyle: Mayda Cisneros Couture Collection, sponsored by Perry Ellis International;

• Film and Entertainment: Univision Communications Inc.;

• Financial Services: Sabadell United Bank, sponsored by Seitlin Insurance;

• Healthcare Services: VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, sponsored by Carlton Fields PA;

• Information Technology/ Telecommunications: Neoris;

• International Commerce: Taurus International MFG Inc.

• Life Sciences: Medtronic USA Inc., sponsored by AXAAdvisors LLC, and

• Visitor Industry: Norwegian Cruise Line, sponsored by Wachovia Bank NA.

Jungle Island is located at 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail on Watson Island along the MacArthur Causeway.

Local CBS4 News anchors Shannon Hori and Antonio Mora will emcee the award presentation. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with registration and networking, followed by the awards ceremony and dinner beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Corporate table sponsorships are $2,500 and are still available by calling 305-579- 1326. Individual tickets are $275. RSVP by logging on to the events page at < www.beaconcouncil.com/events > or calling 305-579-1382.

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