Chamber South honors volunteers

ChamberSOUTH, in partnership with Baptist Health South Florida, held the Fifth Annual ChamberSOUTH Excellence Awards. ChamberSOUTH in conjunction with its Gavel Club, Small Business Committee and Not for Profit Committee, organized a luncheon honoring outstanding individuals and organizations within the community who are championing excellence in business and volunteerism.

Chamber_South-008The event was held at The Coral Gables Country Club, 997 N Greenway Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Guests were greeted by the ChamberSOUTH team and partook in a welcoming champagne reception and VIP host area.

Guests were entertained by the charismatic master of ceremonies, Phil Ferro, Chief Meteorologist WSVN7. They also received an inspirational presentation by Keynote Speaker Andrew P. Yap, President and CEO of LEASA Industries Co., Inc. Presenting the Volunteer Recognition Awards was ChamberSOUTH’s own John Edward Smith, Publisher of SOMI Magazine.

Congratulations to the Volunteer Recognition honorees!

1. Mayor Cindy Lerner, Village of Pinecrest, Recognized Kim Foster

2. Col. Brodes Hartley, Community Health of South Florida, Inc., Recognized Abraham Levy

3. Freddie Ambrose, Think of You Services, Recognized Carmen Layne Powers

4. Miami Dolphins Special Teams Volunteer Program Recognized Jeff Zelkowitz and Melvin Robinson

5. Tropical Audubon Society Recognized Elizabeth Smith

6. First National Bank of South Miami Recognized Barry Givner

7. Kendall Regional Medical Center Recognized Violette Durand

8. Niki Spitzer, Niki’s Place at Salon Trio, Recognized Jennifer Diego

9. Baptist Health South Florida Recognized Louise Sisson

10. Fellowship House Recognized Karina Dougery Congratulations to the Business Recognition winners!

• Start Up Business Award: 5801 Productions

• Green Business Award: Minuteman Press – The Falls

• High Growth Award (Small Business): ActionCOACH Team Sage

• High Growth Award (Large Business): GameTime

• Not for Profit Award: Chapman Partnership

• Minority Business Award: Victoria &Associates Career Services

• Business Champion: Frames USA & Art Gallery

Dr. John Gentile, chiropractic physician and community leader, said of the event, “As Chairman of the Chamber- SOUTH Gavel Club, made up of Past-Chairmen and women [of ChamberSOUTH], it is indeed an honor for us to recognize business and volunteer leaders serving Miami-Dade County so admirably.” Ricardo Forbes, Corporate Vice President & Chief Diversity Officer of presenting sponsor Baptist Health South Florida, adds “As a Past –Chair of Chamber- SOUTH and current member of the Gavel Club, it was truly an honor to be able to participate in an event that demonstrates the value of chamber membership. This awards luncheon provided the opportunity to honor volunteerism and to recognize the performance of member organizations. It was an exquisite event.”

ChamberSOUTH Not for Profit Committee Chair Mindy Herris, Community Relations Manager for the University of Miami, said, “The [Fifth Annual ChamberSOUTH Excellence Awards ceremony] is a really nice touch. Especially for the volunteers who don’t usually see their name in lights!”

ChamberSOUTH Ambassador Adam Brand, Owner of Frames USA and Art Gallery, said, “Having an award ceremony to recognize small business is a platform to show the community your hard work; Winning the Business Champion Award showed me 20 years of effort paid off!”

“The event was absolutely classy, tasteful and simply beautiful! Everything was just perfect. The reception, program, Phil, John Edward, Andrew, the timing, the gorgeous flower arrangements, the food, the orderly fashion the event was conducted…and everything was just nicely done. Congrats on a job well done,” commented ChamberSOUTH Chairwoman Claudia Cancio, Senior Vice President and Regional Branch Manager of First National Bank of South Miami.

About ChamberSOUTH: ChamberSOUTH is the chamber of commerce for greater south Miami-Dade County. ChamberSOUTH was created in 1931 as a voice for local business and is committed to improving the economic vitality of the community. ChamberSOUTH strives to improve the lives of the citizens in their service area by enhancing their economic welfare. They provide their members with the opportunities essential to business growth such as networking events, information updates, and discounted services. Chamber- SOUTH is

The Small Business Champion! To learn more visit us at

About ChamberSOUTH Excellence Awards: A luncheon ceremony that recognizes businesses that excel in overall business achievement, corporate citizenship, customer service, and workplace environment, and honor volunteers who selflessly devote their time to help others.

To learn more visit us at or view the event on

About Presenting Sponsor Baptist Health South Florida:

“With more than a million patient visits every year, Baptist Health South Florida receives rave reviews from the people they serve. In fact, patients and their families from around the world travel to Miami for their medical expertise. They are proud of their team: 15,000 employees and 2,200 physicians in virtually all specialties — many with national and international reputations. All of this and more makes them South Florida’s world-class healthcare organization.” Visit

Additional Sponsors: Credomatic of Florida (; First National Bank of South Miami (; Fellowship House (

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