Gables Woman’s Club holds retreat at Intercontinental Hotel Doral

Gables Woman's Club holds retreat at Intercontinental Hotel Doral

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A recent Coral Gables Woman’s board retreat hosted by the Intercontinental Hotel Doral, like most board retreats, served as way to coordinate plans, budget and share exciting opportunities for the coming club year.

This one was no different as CGWC, a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, not only owns and operates a free children’s dental clinic attached to the clubhouse, but also raises funds and supports numerous local, state and international charitable programs.

Club president Arely Ruiz is a master at board retreats and coordinated a great day with the help of the hotel’s general manager, Randal Pasut, and his wonderful staff who provided breakfast and a large meeting rooms for the day that kicked off with a meditation session lead by Aileen Castellano, who volunteered her time that morning.

As an inspirational speaker and executive coach with more than 17 years of experience as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Mediator, Aileen’s session offered a great way to begin the work for the day.

The Intercontinental Doral was such a hit with the 20 women attending. In fact, there are talks about making this an annual affair as so much work was accomplished in a very short time, thanks to the resources made available by the hotel. The hotel offers such a convenient, serene place for conferences, special events, weddings and parties with a beautiful rooms, amenities, an inviting outdoor pool area, ballrooms, amazing food, and even free parking which is the exception in South Florida.

Among the many enjoying the day were CGWC past presidents Barbara Lapsley, Mireya Kilmon, Mayra Dominguez and Linda Hartwell; some new members of the board including Nathalia Bogani and Denise Valluerca; officers Yvonne Llauro, Dr. Iris Torres, Jessenia Francisco Nancy Desmangles and this writer.

In another recent event, the Flavors of Miami dinner took place on Thursday, July 25, to benefit the American Liver Foundation. This annual affair brought some of South Florida’s best chefs together at the JW Marriott at Turnberry for an amazing evening that began with a long cocktail hour during which the chefs provided samplings of the special appetizers while guests had a chance to bid on countless silent auction items. At dinner, no two table menus were alike as each chef created his or her own.

Among the chefs creating an amazing dinner for a table of guests was celebrity Food Network Star Chef finalist Chef Chris Valdes.

While many of us are planning for the fall, there are a few annual events whose dates have changed. The Junior Orange Bowl Parade now will be held on Dec. 15, not the Sunday after Thanksgiving. That’s good news for all of us UF vs FSU alumni, since their big rivalry game always is Thanksgiving weekend.

Another change is one for the Coral Gables Woman’s Club Halloween party which will now be the weekend before Halloween, Oct. 26. This always is a fabulous party, so look for news on both of these events soon.

Finally, a note to all Rotarians, the South Miami Rotary recently moved its meetings, The club now has its lunch meetings at the South Miami Elks Lodge, 6304 SW 78 Ave., on the first, second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Visiting Rotarians always are welcome. Of course, the Rotary Club of Coral Gables meets Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables at noon and visiting Rotarians are always welcomed as well.

Until next time, keep making each day count.

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A graduate of the University of Florida with a major in Spanish, Burns has an extensive background in advertising, marketing and reciprocal trade, travel as well as non profit consulting and management. Active in many non profits, she received numerous awards across the community. Among her list of current responsibilities, Burns co-chairs two annual student recognition breakfasts for the Coral Gables Friends of Education; helps coordinate charity partners for the Westin Colonnade's Annual Give Kids the World Breakfast; serves on the board of directors of Doral Business Council; is Parliamentarian and serves on the board of the GFWC Coral Gables Woman’s Club; serves the board of the Rotary Club of Coral Gables and is Publicity Chair; and is a member of the Jr. Orange Bowl Committee. Gloria is also an active member of the Music Ministry at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, where she sings in the choir. She can be reached at


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