Gables Chamber honors 2012 Diamond Award winners

Pictured (l-r) are Anthony Di Donato, Coral Gables Country Club; Raquel Hickey, City National Bank; Salvatore Catania, Cibo Wine Bar; Karen Pascual, City National Bank; Dustin J. Symes, City National Bank; John O’Rourke III, Montica Jewelry; Jerry Santeiro, Guardianship Program of Dade County; Marisol Martinez and Eglee Nunez, STARS School for Autism; Bernadette Morris, Sonshine Communications; chair Darla Thompson, Cherry Bekaert & Holland; Jose Carreras, ProMD Practice Management; Patrick Quigley, Seraphic Fire and Firebird Chamber Orchestra; Cindy Birdsill, City of Coral Gables, and Nelson Penalver, Logistical Outsourcing Inc.

The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce honored excellence in business at the 2012 Diamond Awards presented by Montica Jewelry at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables on Thursday, Nov. 1.

CBS4’s Lissette Gonzalez served as emcee at the annual awards luncheon.

Each year, the chamber’s Diamond Awards shine the spotlight of recognition upon outstanding Coral Gables businesses. It is the chamber’s signature awards program, each year honoring excellence in business achievement, corporate citizenship, customer service and workplace environment.

The prestigious Diamond Awards honored businesses in seven different categories this year. The winners, by category are:

• Hearts on Fire Award (Large Business), City National Bank;

• Princess of Hearts Award (Small/Medium Business), ProMD Practice Management;

• Diamond in the Rough Award (Emerging Business), STARS School for Autism;

• Outstanding Non-Profit Award, Seraphic Fire and Firebird Chamber Orchestra;

• Minority-Owned Business Award, Sonshine Communications;

• Outstanding Restaurant Award, Cibo Wine Bar, and

• Ideal Workplace Award, Guardianship Program of Dade County.

“Each business that was chosen for these prestigious awards stand out as brilliant examples of the Coral Gables business community,” said John O’Rourke III, owner of Montica Jewelry and title sponsor.

“We are proud of all of the finalists and congratulate the winners for outshining the competition,” he added.

“It was an absolute honor to have received this honor from such a prestigious organization like the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.I am grateful and humbled by it dearly,” said Bernadette Morris, president and CEO of Sonshine Communications and winner of the Minority-Owned Business Award.

“I am very honored to accept this award on behalf of our staff, dedicated board of directors and mostly on behalf of the clients we serve,” said Jerry Santeiro, executive director of the Guardianship Program of Dade County and winner of the Princess of Hearts Award. “Quality in the workplace is generated by the people that work with us and have the difficult task of caring for a very vulnerable population.

“I thank the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce for recognizing the great work that the Guardianship Program does in Miami-Dade County,” he added.

The 2012 Diamond Awards are presented by Montica Jewelry and sponsored by the City of Coral Gables, Envision Possibilities, City National Bank, Logistical Outsourcing and U.S. Century Bank. In-kind support is provided by Belle Fleur, Frameworks, Hyatt Regency Coral Gables and Photo Offset. The media sponsor for this event is South Florida Business Journal.

For more information on the chamber, visit online at or follow on Facebook at www.facebook/coralgableschamber

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