The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) will host its 13th annual Champions of Business Awards Luncheon, presented by City National Bank on January 9 at 6:00 PM at the W Hotel South Beach. The annual event recognizes pillars of the business community including a Chamber board member for their leadership.
This year’s distinguished honorees will be:
- Dr. Mark Rosenberg of Florida International University who will receive the Champion of Business Award
- Ceci Velasco of the Ocean Drive Association who will receive the James McDonnell Outstanding Board of Governor Award
- Patricio Fernandez from WeStream4U who will be honored with the Small Business of the Year Award
- Maia Mediavilla of Atlantic Broadband who will be awarded the Women in Business Award
“The Miami Beach Chamber has been honoring our community’s most distinguished business leaders for 13 years, and we’re honored top continue partnering to bring together such a remarkable event,” City National Bank Managing Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing, Communications and Community Relations Eddie Dominguez said. “The honorees are champions of their respective industries and outstanding community leaders. From education to hospitality, they make a difference in South Florida’s growth and are instrumental to Miami Beach’s economy.”
The Champions of Business Honorees Are:
The Champion of Business Award: The award is given to a successful business person who has been effective in changing the dynamic within an industry, developed groundbreaking ideas and business strategies and have used technology to advance a brand while maintaining philanthropic activities.
- Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Florida International University
Dr. Rosenberg is president of Florida International University. A public institution of higher education, FIU is the face of the country’s future in higher education demographics: it is a majority-minority institution that leads the country in the production of minority degrees in the sciences and engineering.
Dr. Rosenberg has served as the fifth president of FIU since August 2009. A political scientist specializing in Latin America, Dr. Rosenberg is the first FIU faculty member to ascend to the university’s presidency.
Under his leadership as president, FIU has increased enrollment to almost 56,000 students, improved graduation rates by nearly 13% and hired over 500 new faculty. As President, Dr. Rosenberg has provided leadership to grow the institution’s budget, improve student graduation and retention rates, expand internships for enrolled students, and coordinate FIU’s emergence as a leading producer of graduates in priority national and state areas focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The university has been named as a Carnegie “Highest Research” as well as an “Engaged” institution, and has developed path-breaking partnerships with the Miami Dade County Public Schools, JP Morgan Chase, Florida Power & Light and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Research expenditures have grown by nearly 30% to nearly $160 million, and over sixty new student advisers and counselors have been hired for a restructured and expanded student graduation initiative.
From 2005 to 2008, Dr. Rosenberg served as the Founding Chancellor for the Board of Governors of the State University System of Florida, which includes all of Florida’s public universities – over 325,000 students and an all-accounts budget of nearly $9 billion. As chancellor, Dr. Rosenberg led the system’s strategic development and financial planning and policy initiatives, working closely with Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Charlie Crist and the state legislature to secure support for SUS priorities. During this era, major new strides were made in research support for the system, over $1 billion was provided for new facility construction, and a new SUS strategic plan was developed and approved.
The James McDonnell Outstanding Board of Governor Award: Given annually to the outstanding Board of Governor for their years of dedication to the advancement and growth of the Chamber and Miami Beach.
- Ceci Velasco, Executive Director of the Ocean Drive Association
Since leaving the Chamber where she served as EVP and COO, Ceci has continued to provide leadership and service to the Chamber and its members. After having established the Tourism and Hospitality Council she went on to Chair the Council for the past 5 years. She has served on the Board of Governors and has been involved in every critical aspect of the industry including the referendum for the Convention Center penny tax, Ocean Drive 5 a.m., Convention Center Hotel referendum, PR and Branding Ad Hoc Committee, and advocating for the GO Bond passage. She has made herself available to Chamber members ongoing to assist in networking and enhancing their businesses. She participated at a National level with the American Chamber of Commerce Executives.
Ceci was recruited to be the Executive Director of the Ocean Drive Association in March of 2017. She is currently working to develop a Business Improvement District, which will fold the ODA into a broader Business Improvement District. As a former Bureau Chief at the Illinois Department of Transportation, she has brought a wealth of experience in government, business and community relations having taken the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program to the top national level. Notably she was instrumental in the establishment of the City of Doral and the Town of Cutler Bay then coming to Miami Beach to serve the City as the Asset Manager.
For Ocean Drive, her focus has been on initiatives to upgrade the experience. This has ranged from developing an off-duty and security program, a member Code of Conduct for a better tourist experience, a Secret Shopper program for continued compliance as well as providing training which certifies that all staff are trained in the terms of the Code of Conduct. Each of these initiatives have since been codified by the City.
She is a board member of the Miami Chapter of the Restaurant and Lodging Association and has participated on the Marketing Committee for the Greater Miami Visitor and Convention Bureau.
Locally she has served the City as a member of the Hispanic Affairs Council, is on the board of Power Access which recently produced the first South Beach Jazz Festival and was designated as a Woman Worth Knowing by the Miami Beach Commission for Women. She most recently received the Better Beach Citizen Award by the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.
The Small Business of the Year Award: Presented to a small and growing business for their outstanding achievements in management.
- Patricio Fernandez, CEO of WeStream4u
Born in Chile, Patricio brings more than 20-years of experience working as a broadcast engineer in many places around the world. Specialized in streaming, television production, and broadcast engineering; he leverages knowledge in streaming As a Service, integration, and broadcast technologies. Westream4u has come a long way from its humble beginnings in Miami Beach. He was driven by his passion for video production/content distribution that he researched and studied the industry.
He was honored when the Chilean Government asked him to broadcast, to the whole world, the rescue of the 33 Miners trapped underground during 2010. He designed the broadcast engineering and international distribution and content delivery. Patricio stated that his life changed that day as more than 1 billion people around the world watched the rescue live on T.V. Though the broadcast was created in the middle of the desert, all the necessary steps to transmit this event to the whole world were done.
Also, Mr. Fernández was in Charge until Dec. 2018 of all transmissions for CONMEBOL – FOX SPORTS in Perú. In 2018 Westream4u developed and implemented the design and creation for Direct T.V. Latin America of its local T.V. Channel in Peru, making all the purchase process of the Broadcast Equipment, integration and engineering development between Miami and Lima, following all the regulations and high standards of Direct TV- AT&T in technology process and due diligence compliance. On March 30th, 2019, Direct TV Perú made its first transmission, and Mr. Fernandez now is focused 100% of his attention to growing up with Westream4u, and make affordable the content delivery to any organization or company in South Florida Area
Meanwhile Westream4u was providing broadcasting services to several companies in the U.S. delivering content to organizations like churches, music events, launches, Roku channels, and making affordable the distribution of live contents over the internet.
“Westream4U” serves to integrate the entire user experience for clients who want to develop and broadcast any event worldwide or locally at an affordable cost,” said Fernandez. “Many organizations and business, have on social media the perfect platform to deliver and promote products and services, reaching thousands of potential viewers in a fraction of price than conventional advertising. That’s why today when someone says: Youtube is the future, is a big mistake. Youtube and social media are now, and anyone can access and create content…”
He is a member of the Chamber’s Board of Governors and creates livestream shows for the Chamber that included a Veterans Day Show and the Fundraiser for the victims of Dorian in The Bahamas.
The Woman in Business Award: Initiated in 2015, this award was started by the Women’s Business Council and recognizes an outstanding woman, who is a leader in the business community. Honorees are recognized for their continued growth, success and for being an inspiration in the Miami Beach community.
Maia Mediavilla, Director of Marketing, Atlantic Broadband Florida Region
Maia Mediavilla has 20+ years of experience in the cable telecommunications industry. In her current position as Director of Marketing for Atlantic Broadband, Maia oversees the regional marketing and residential sales teams. During her tenure with Atlantic Broadband she has been instrumental in introducing new products to the market, managing communication strategy as the company has expanded service northward into communities in Broward and Palm Beach County, and growing the residential sales team. Experienced in multicultural marketing, she rebranded and expanded Atlantic Broadband’s Spanish-language programming, managed the launch of additional foreign-language programming, and extended the company’s outreach to the LGBT community.
The daughter of a teacher who always stressed the importance of education as the pathway to success, Maia is passionate in her support of education in our community. Through her dedicated efforts Atlantic Broadband supports students and educators by sponsoring the Elayne Weisburd Excellence in Education Awards to local teachers along, provides a Technology scholarship to a graduating Miami Beach Senior High student, and promotes the fundraising efforts of the Miami Beach Education Foundation and The MBCC Links project.
Maia currently serves on the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Governors and Aventura Marketing Council/Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, was co-chair of the MBCC Education Council, and served as a past board member of Women in Telecommunications’ (WICT) South Florida chapter.