90th Annual Dinner Gala and Silent Auction

With an atmosphere of elegance and artistic flair, The Miami Beach Chamber’s 90th Gala continued to weave the thread of “Celebrating Success” by stemming from its prestigious Honorees: STEVEN D. SONENREICH, President & CEO, Mount Sinai Medical Center Citizen of the Year Award; GARY R. GERSON, Founding Partner, Gerson, Preston, Robinson and Co., PA, City National Bank Hi-Tides Outstanding Achievement Award; DR. ROSANN SIDENER, Principal, Miami Beach Senior High School, Distinguished Service Award; JOSE ABREU, Director of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Excellence in Tourism Award; and TONY GOLDMAN, Chairman, The Goldman Properties Company, Lifetime Achievement Award. These pillars of the community represent the City’s success in cultivating a strong environment that has expanded beyond tourism to now include a world-class medical facility and increased artistic and cultural initiatives.

Incorporating a multitude of cultural elements as a backdrop to the awards celebration, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce orchestrated a number of exciting and alluring artistic jewels not only to entertain the guests, but also to highlight the caliber of arts and culture in Miami Beach through carefully selected and choreographed works of art in many forms, ranging from the invitation design and the awards creation, to visual arts, music and dance.

Gala invitees received a commemorative print representing the 90th Annual Dinner Gala and its theme, “Celebrating Success.” This limited series of prints was designed by celebrated local artist Mark T. Smith, from the original 48” x 48” work of art- a gift to the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds of the sale of the painting will be used to fund the Chamber’s Miami Beach Education Foundation, a 501c3 dedicated to bringing together the strengths and resources of the community to support the needs of public education in Miami Beach by way of financing scholarships, school programming and most notably the International Baccalaureate program.

The FIU Jazz Ensemble welcomed attendees to the red carpet and set the tone for the evening, with an upbeat and sophisticated style facilitated by Brian Schriner, the Chamber’s Arts and Culture Council Chair and Dean of the FIU College of Architecture and the Arts.

During the awards ceremony, the honorees received a hand-crafted art piece designed by students from FIU College of Architecture and the Arts, one of the newest institutions to move to Miami Beach. Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History Jacek J. Kolasiƒski worked closely with the students and alumni to create these personalized originals.

Commemorating the success of Miami Beach High School, representatives from the Marching Band regaled attendees into the main dining room. America’s Orchestral Academy was the center piece of the evening with an exclusive performance by the New World Symphony, accompanied by a creative performance art video production using art from the Bass Museum, the Wolfsonian and from the Art in Public Places of Miami Beach. Each visual masterpiece served as a reminder of the importance of art and culture in our community, and also acknowledged our five honorees’ lifetime of civic contributions. A select group of musicians from the Symphony created an indelible memory of the evening, playing a customized classical musical selection for the Gala, Mozart’s Serenata Notturna, or “evening serenade”- a perfect tribute to the guests and honorees! Arts and Culture Council member and Assistant Vice President of New World Symphony Development Stacey Glassman Mizener was actively involved in not only the Symphony’s performance, but also in all of the evening’s artistic elements.

What is a Gala without dancing? Guests were riveted by a sizzling performance by the Miami Contemporary Dance Company. We are grateful for the wonderful collaboration with this premier dance company and its Founding Artistic Director, Ray Sullivan.

Not only did Gala-goers have the opportunity to watch some of the finest dancers in Miami Beach, but the musical vibes also readied guests to dance the night away in the post-dinner lounge sponsored by City National Bank. The signature portion of the event provided a time to socialize with Cuban cigar rollers, specialty desserts and dancing with a DJ live instrumental combination.

With arts and cultural elements shining in the background, the biggest and brightest spotlights were on the five exceptional honorees. Their outstanding contributions to the community deserve the gratitude of the Chamber and congratulations on their well-deserved awards.

The 2012 Gala celebrated ninety years of success of the Chamber of Commerce as well as the five individuals who have created success within both their own lives and our community.

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