As I approach the completion of my first year as chairman, I felt that I should reflect on the past years’ accomplishments of our Chamber. It truly is an honor to serve this great organization and our community as a whole. I am surrounded daily by the greatest people including our talented board of governors (62 strong and growing) as well as the pillar board who truly lead by example, our dedicated and passionate “never say die” Chamber staff, our fun and focused members who devote the time to make our Chamber and community a better place, our city staff and elected officials who have devoted their time and energy to make sure that the future of our great city is bright and our local residents and community activists who stay committed to improving our city every day.
After 92 years, our chamber continues to stay true to its mission to improve the quality of life for our entire community. Through our Chairman’s Circle, board members and major sponsors, the Chamber continues to thrive, taking care not only of our growing membership, but continuing to fund our Miami Beach Chamber Education Foundation. Our education foundation provides annual funding to the International Baccalaureate Program at Beach High and the other Miami Beach public schools, grants scholarships to graduating high school seniors as well as supporting various other needs that arise in the community. In addi- tion, this year our Chamber was successful in winning 1st place (a $30,000 prize) in the Aetna Voices of Health contest. The entire $30,000 was donated to the School Nurse Initiative for the schools without healthcare and through our Chamber leadership, matching funds were solicited, a grant was received by the South Florida Health Foundation thanks to Dr. Steven Marcus and as a result, all of the Miami Beach feeder pattern elementary schools now have a full time healthcare team serviced by The Children’s Trust under the direction of Dr. Peter Gorski.I am proud to follow in the footsteps of our past leadership who paved the way to ensure the success of our chamber and had the vision and understanding of our Chamber’s role of setting the example of creating strong partnerships and giving back to our great community to help develop and provide opportunities for our future leaders.
I am very excited with the progress the City has made in selecting Tishman ACE and moving the process forward towards having a newly renovated convention center and a convention center hotel. The plans are magnificent and include a beautiful park that will replace our massive concrete P lot. The future of our great city is dependent upon getting our convention center district up and running. This world class convention center will attract the best conventions from all over the world populating our hotels, restaurants and stores bringing tremendous economic impact to our city, better amenities for our residents and lower real estate taxes as a result. I applaud our community leaders, elected officials, our new City Manager and his staff for moving this process forward and maintaining absolute transparency throughout.
All in all our community continues to thrive and the future is bright. Our chamber is growing, expanding it services and functioning at a level well beyond any other. I encourage everyone to come to a chamber event, get involved and experience the power of membership.
At your service, AAL