The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce relies on its councils to create engaging programming, provide direction on certain policy issues as well as inform its membership on important issues and industry trends. The councils are led by experts to guide the Chamber and I’d like to recognize each of them for their leadership. Below is a list of the Chamber’s councils and a few highlights of their achievements:
- Advocacy Council – Chaired by Matis Cohen, the mission of the Council is to monitor, inform and educate Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce’s membership on governmental issues that affect our businesses. This past November, during the election, the Chamber worked diligently on two campaign issues and were successful on both. The first initiative focused on increasing the floor area ratio (The FAR) in the town center in North Beach. This was an important first step in bringing about real change that has been needed in North Beach for decades, and it will now provide the impetus for the North Beach Master Plan to move forward. The other ballot initiative was the potential closing of alcohol sales on Ocean Drive at 2:00 a.m. at several establishments located between 5th and 15th This initiative was proposed to reduce crime, however, the chamber did its homework and discovered there was absolutely no correlation between closing the 5 or 6 targeted businesses at 2:00 a.m. and reducing crime.
- Emerging Leadership Council – Co-chaired by Kimberly Cohen and Linsey Lovell, the group helps in reaching out to new members and helps with strategic introductions between members. Recently, the launched their soiree series, which have been a hit with membership.
- Health and Wellness Council – Co-chaired by Dr. Michael Baum and Tom Bliss, the mission of the Health and Wellness Council is to facilitate communication between and among the members of the Health and Wellness community and the Miami Beach community at large. Recently, the council organized an engaging pillar breakfast regarding medical marijuana and a discussion at Soul Tavern about plant-based diets and living, which were well attended by chamber members.
- Law Council – Co-chaired by Morgan Ben David and Jason Blilie, the mission of the Law Council is to facilitate communication between and among the members of the legal community and the Miami Beach community at large. The council has had incredible speakers like Former Supreme Court Justice Gerald Kogan and has partnered with a few councils to create insightful programming.
- Millennial Action Council – Co-chaired by Sari Libbin and Jamie Maniscalco, the mission of the Millennial Action Council is to generate new perspectives, keen insights, and action-driven strategies from young professionals. The group just finished their first summit, which focused on bridging the gap between the City of Miami and Miami Beach on important matters like transportation and sea level rise.
- Professional Advisors Council – Co-chaired by Jennifer Todd and Andrew Schultz, the council serves as a resource for the professional community and hosts informative dinners with leaders within the community. Recently, they hosted a program at STK, which was highly attended.
- Real Estate Council – Co-chaired by Susan Askew and Seth Feuer, the group has held informative meetings about Lincoln Road’s development, the City’s Resiliency Plan, and flood insurance. Recently, they had over 200 people attend their City National Bank Better Beach awards dubbed the Academy Awards of Real Estate (see story on the front page for more information)
- Technology Council – Co-chaired by Sheila Duffy-Lehrman and Jansen Pennock, the council educates members about benefits of technology and trends. This month, they partnered with the tourism council to host a panel about the latest advancements in the hospitality industry called TECH talks.
- Tourism and Hospitality Council – Co-chaired by Craig Carter and Ceci Velasco, the group acts as a resource for its members regarding the latest and greatest in the industry. They recently hosted a luncheon on a Carnival cruise ship, which informed guests about the latest trends in health.
- Women’s Business Council – Co-chaired by Rona Rose Witek and DeAnne Connolly Graham, the council held its “Lunch with A View” with former FBI agent and Director of Community Security at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Brenda Moxley.
I want to thank all of the Chairs and Co-Chairs for their work to strengthen the Chamber of Commerce, which has a powerful impact on our community as well. If you are interested in joining a council or would like more information, contact the Chamber at 305-674-1300.