Aventura Marketing Council/Chamber of Commerce…. a look back and looking forward


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Over 50 years ago, Don Soffer drew a sketch on a cocktail napkin…it was his vision of what Aventura could be. Soffer came to South Florida with an extraordinary vision—to purchase 785 acres of submerged, undeveloped swampland facing the Intracoastal Waterway and turn it into a dynamic retail and residential destination location. From that sketch, he began building Aventura, and just look at it today. Turnberry’s projects include the fabulous JW Marriott Turnberry Resort Spa with their new Conference Center and splendid Tidal Cove Waterpark; the upscale Aventura Mall, one of the best places to shop in Miami featuring 50 eateries and restaurant; LEVEL THREE, a top-caliber event site adjacent to the Aventura Mall; the experiential Arts Aventura Mall program showcasing 20 museum-quality pieces; and many luxury residential communities and shopping centers. Other developers throughout the nation and world soon discovered this 3.2 square mile “piece of heaven”, and today, Aventura is a top destination for business, residents, shoppers and travelers.

By now, you’ve probably heard of the Aventura Marketing Council/Chamber of Commerce (AMC)…. after all, they’ve been around for over 30 years serving the business community.

In fact, they were here before the City of Aventura was incorporated in 1996. In those days, this was unincorporated Miami-Dade County, and the AMC worked closely with the Joint Council of Aventura, the major residential organization, to create a self-taxing district that would handle everything from security, transportation, zoning and signage to beautification and infrastructure. The late Len Brenner, longtime President of the Joint Council of Aventura, and the AMC were very happy to turn everything over in 1996 to the newly-incorporated city and their new City Manager, Eric Soroka.

If you’re a member of the AMC, you understand the quality and quantity of programs and services as well as the important connections they offer their members. The City of Aventura encourages all new businesses to join the AMC and recognizes it as the City’s only Chamber of Commerce. Under the leadership of Mayor Enid Weisman and Commissioners Denise Landman, Dr. Linda Marks; Gladys Mezrahi, Marc Narotsky, Bob Shelley and Howard Weinberg, and City Manager Ron Wasson, the AMC works closely with the City on many major events.

Four to six complimentary meetings and events each month provide members with outstanding networking, business connections, great guest speakers and ample corporate exposure opportunities. Perhaps there is no Chamber of Commerce more dedicated to “giving back” than the AMC. To date, they have created events and donated over $1.5 million to a variety of charities and non-profits. Coming up on Tuesday, March 31st from 8am – 12 noon is a food drive for the Student Food Pantry and blood drive with OneBlood at Florida Int. University, Biscayne Bay Campus with Miami Dolphins Kendrick Norton. The AMC just celebrated the silver anniversary of their signature event, the INTERIORS BY STEVEN G / 10th annual Aventura Mall YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE presented by Mount Sinai Medical Center and AT&T. Be sure to watch the videos on the website of this incredible event benefiting the AMC Education Foundation, www.yssaventura.org, that features some of South Florida’s amazing young singers ages 11 – 19. Over the holidays, the AMC received over 400 new toys, games and books from New York’s Jay Joel through one of his favorite charities, American Giving Project /Toys of Hope, and thanks to event sponsor Aventura Mall, over 100 volunteers came to the beautiful LEVEL THREE adjacent to the mall to sort and wrap the toys before being delivered to low-income communities and military families throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

Their monthly Breakfast Meetings attract over 150 members and local elected officials, and their monthly evening networking receptions offer members a relaxed social atmosphere to meet new clients and refresh existing business relationships. They created a SpeedBiz program over 13 years ago, and now almost every Chamber holds a similar program…and that’s fine with them, because they know it will help the business community as a whole.

The AMC’s Chairman’s Roundtable brings together senior decision-makers from over 100 South Florida companies, and the Professional Women’s Council meets quarterly to encourage women in business to network and support each other. Their award-winning Education Committee works with thirteen Dade Partner schools, including Aventura’s highly-recognized Aventura City of Excellence K – 8 Center and the brand-new Don Soffer Aventura High School which opened this past September. Over the summer, they organize six chambers and not-for-profit business organizations for a JUMBO BUSINESS EXPO. At the last EXPO held at Margaritaville, there were 114 exhibitors and over 500 visitors. And there’s so much more…check out their website at www.aventuramarketingcouncil.com to see the top-caliber meetings and events members enjoy year-round.

And who is driving and supporting all these incredible events and meetings? The Aventura Marketing Council/Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, led by Chairman Gary Pyott, Association 1st, who followed Cliff Schulman who served as Chairman for 13 years.

Executive Committee Members include Anthony Damato, Toyota of North Miami; Chris Ferreira, FPL; Bob Hollander, Brown & Brown Insurance; Marina Jaudenes, Northern Trust; Andrew Lewis, Eisinger Brown Lewis Frankel & Chaiet; Fara Sax, Community Newspapers; Cliff Schulman, Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske; Stephanie Trump, Acqualina Resort & Spa; and Charlene Welker, Mount Sinai Medical Center. Other Board Members are: Cesar Arguelles, Vi at Aventura; Nikki Bernstein, Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino; Lee Chaykin, Aventura Hospital & Medical Center; Jarrod Glandt, Grant Cardone Enterprises; Sheril Henney, LEVEL THREE; Ben Launerts, Reef Parking; Maia Mediavilla, Atlantic Broadband; Mark Racicot, North Shore Medical Center; Alina Sanchez, Amerant Bank; Michael Stern, SternBloom Media; Mark White, HealthGAINS; Ron Wasson, City of Aventura; and Doug Zaren, Memorial Healthcare System. Serving as President for the past 30 years has been Elaine Adler; Vice President of Operations is Isabella Leventhal and handling Membership is Zoe Masterson. Volunteers include Marge Rosenblatt and Victoria Escapil with student interns Sofia Korn and Mia Biton.

For more information, call 305.932.5334 or aventuramarketingcouncil.com

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