Beacon Council selects new co-chairs for its One Community One Goal plan


Penny Shaffer PhD, market president of Florida Blue, and Maria C. Alonso, senior vice president/market manager of Enterprise Business and Community Engagement for Bank of America, have been selected as the new co-chairs representing the private sector for the Miami-Dade Beacon Council’s One Community One Goal (OCOG) initiative for 2016-18.

“OCOG has accomplished a great deal in the past few years, with substantial target-industry growth that adds high-paying jobs to our world-class community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, who has served as OCOG co-chair since 2010, representing the public sector. “I look forward to working with Penny and Maria to continue to work on initiatives that improve our local economy and overall quality of life for all Miamians.”

The new co-chairs succeed Nelson Lazo, CEO of Baptist Health South Florida’s Doctors Hospital, who currently is serving as Miami-Dade Beacon Council chair-elect, and Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation Miami program director. They served as co-chairs from 2014 to 2016.
“We are fortunate to have two well-known and highly respected community leaders step into the role as private sector co-chairs of OCOG during this phase of the program’s existence,” said Jaret L. Davis, Miami-Dade Beacon Council chair and Greenberg Traurig Miami co-managing shareholder. “Their leadership experience will help guide the community-wide strategic plan for sustainable economic development into the future.”

OCOG’s mission is to rally the community around a unified vision to create a better quality of life for Miami-Dade residents. This is being accomplished through the implementation of the OCOG strategic plan to create a business environment that promotes significant, higher-skilled and higher-paying job creation in target industries. The plan also aligns businesses with educational institutions to create a trained workforce for the jobs of tomorrow.

The new co-chairs have plans for greater collaboration with a continued focus on innovation and adaptation to changes in the economy.

“Miami’s business ecosystem and community continues to grow and change, and our priorities will reflect these trends,” Shaffer said.

“During the next two years, Penny and I will be working closely with our community to create an enhanced strategic plan for One Community One Goal,” Alonso said.

Towards that end, OCOG is launching new access events that will allow greater participation. The first event set for Feb. 14 at the Miami-Dade Beacon Council will focus on education and paid internships.

For more information about the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, visit

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