Letter from the Chairwoman

Miami Beach Chairwoman Robin Jacobs

Last month, we announced our weekly virtual chat with Mayor Dan Gelber that occurs every Tuesday at 9 am and lasts about 15 to 20 min. We’ve already held four sessions, and they have been a huge success, with thousands viewing us on Facebook! With so much occurring in our City on a daily basis it’s good to check in with our Mayor as he updates on everything that is happening in our community at the start of the week.  We’ve discussed the latest in Covid 19, Biscayne Bay developments and sustaining art programs in Miami Beach. You can view this event via the Chamber’s Facebook page or contact the Chamber to receive the zoom meeting information. I want to thank our Mayor and City Manager Jimmy Morales, as well as Elizabeth Wheaton, who were guest stars of one event, for being so accessible and gracious with their time.


The staff while working remotely has consistently produced outstanding webinars for its council meetings. I want to highlight the meetings we had this month:


  • Women’s Business Council (Chaired by DeAnne Connolly Graham) hosted the Everglades Foundation and helped us learn more about this vital institution.


  • We hosted H3 Qigong, which focused on the healing nature of this remarkable Chinese practice with a certified instructor.
  • We partnered with multiple chambers on a Chamber virtual networking event around growing your business during these changing times featuring a Forbes Magazine contributor.


  • The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Co-Chairs Eva Dias & Andre’ Williams, Law Council Co-Chairs, Linsey Lovell & Morgan Geller, as well as the Women’s Business Council Chair, DeAnne Connolly Graham & Vice Chair Tori Greene hosted an informative discussion with  Natalie Norfus, who was the Chief Diversity Officer and General Counsel for Burger King.


  • The Pillar Board (Chaired by Seth Feuer) ended the previous month with a strategic networking event featuring Arathi Ramappa and Marina Elliot which was a great networking opportunity. They are currently working on finalizing some action points from our Goals conference that we are excited to announce.


I’m also thrilled to say that the Chamber has received over 70 applications for our Badass Women of the Year Awards! We have extended the deadline to September 30 and looking for nominees that are in construction/trades, military/first responders, science/tech and sports. The point of the program is to honor exceptional women in industries that are traditionally dominated by males and that are making a difference in their field. I’d like to thank our committee DeAnne Connolly Graham, Mirielle Enlow, Isabel Fernandez and Tori Greene for their efforts and for being badass women themselves.


Like we previously mentioned, the Chamber is organizing a cook book, which is almost complete. We have close to 40 fabulous recipes that range in cuisine with a few cocktails mixed in as well. The idea behind the book is simple – we reached out to top Chefs who were willing to send in their favorite recipes, which we are compiling into a fabulous book. Anyone who makes a $50 donation or more to the Chamber’s Education Foundation will receive the book. The Education Foundation will be donating 100% of the proceeds from this project to the Miami-Dade County School Board for the purchase of gift cards at Publix to be distributed to the families in need. This is an existing program called Project Upstart and it is administered under Superintendent, Alberto Carvalho’s office. We will also urge the Chefs to share the information about the project with their own followers and ask them to consider making a $50 donation to help feed the kids in our community. As a thank you to the Chefs that participate, the Chamber will make a donation of $10,000 in the name of the Chef who has helped us collect the greatest number of donations and an additional $5,000 in the name of the Chef that comes in second.


As we gear up for a new season and for the holidays, I’d like to acknowledge some organizations and individuals that have contributed so much to our community during the pandemic. In the Miami Beach area, Commissioner David Richardson and South Florida Seniors in Action have organized food banks though out this crisis in South Beach and North Beach. Additionally, Commissioner Meiner hosted a food giveaway with the help of Unity Groves and USDA Groves. Both food banks have helped feed hundreds of families. Finally, the Hungry Post, a restaurant recommendation platform that highlights food news and happenings in Miami, has launched #FeedTheChain, an online grassroots program aimed at keeping South Florida’s restaurant and food industry afloat amid a global pandemic. Through #FeedTheChain, The Hungry Post purchases $10 meals from restaurants to help them stay operational, keep their staff on payroll and simultaneously feed families in need. The Hungry Post has distributed more than 1,200 meals to healthcare workers, and women and children suffering from homelessness.


Please visit www.miamibeachchamber.com and click on our “Virtual Events” link to see all the amazing programming we have going on in September as well as other useful information regarding our Badass Women event.  We will continue to stay relevant and serve the community at large. I’d like to end by congratulating board member Jeevan Tillit and his wife Ana Lucia Tillit for having their first baby! If you have any questions or comments, please email info@miamibeachchamber.com.


Stay Safe,

Robin Jacobs


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