Letter from the Chairman

Wayne Pathman

I wanted to acknowledge the hard work of our council chairs and highlight a few of their recent efforts planning educational (and fun!) events and meetings.  A few weeks ago,  the Chamber’s Women’s Business Council, which is Chaired by DeAnne Connolly Graham, organized a successful networker in Coconut Grove that was attended by over 200 women and organized by several chambers. DeAnne’s leadership and expertise in connecting people is remarkable.  Her council has had several successful workshops over the past few months with engaging topics and speakers.


Led by Ceci Velasco, the Tourism Council has had informative meetings back-to-back that have been well attended even in the “slower” summer months. They  showcased 1111 Alton Road featuring a presentation from the Lincoln Road BID and, recently, had a meeting at the Botanical Gardens with an update from the Rhythm Foundation and the North Beach Bandshell. Ceci, with the aide of Monica Don, continues to curate informational programming for her council while showcasing Miami Beach’s finest venues.


Additionally, I wanted to recognize the work of our new Construction Council, chaired by Mark Gemignani, which will be completing its first year as a council this fall. The council has really built up momentum starting from the first meeting and they have a packed room each month. From presentations on virtual reality to digital construction documentation and how to navigate the permitting process, the meetings have been extremely educational. Recently, they had a summer social that was held at the Cardozo Hotel and Bice Cucina, which dozens of people attended and guests heard from the property’s architect Aldo Ducci about the recent remodel.

On September 12, the Chamber’s Real Estate Council will be hosting its 23rd annual Real Estate Luncheon, which will be conversation moderated by Susan Askew with leading real estate professionals about how Miami Beach can diversify its economy. We will discuss what we can do better to secure our future (like attracting millennials, families and people who will work here) as well as how we can attract more diverse businesses. We hope this conversation addresses challenges and opportunities we face as we strive for a live-work-play community. I want to thank the event’s title sponsor Atlantic Broadband and the planning committee, which includes Mirielle Enlow, Neil Hammack, Juan Carlos Ramirez, Susan Askew and Nick D Annunzio.

We are also excited to announce that on September 20, the Chamber will be hosting its Fall Pillar Breakfast, which includes a presentation from FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Field George Piro. Mr. Piro has held a variety of investigative, operational, and management positions within the FBI. He entered on duty in May 1999 and was first assigned as a special agent in the Phoenix Field Office, investigating international terrorism. In 2003, Mr. Piro was promoted to the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters, where he served as the team leader and interrogator responsible for the interrogation of Saddam Hussein. He spent seven months leading the interrogations of Hussein and other key figures within the former Iraqi regime. This event, sponsored by City National Bank, will be held at the Cadillac Hotel and is free for pillar members and will include a presentation from City National Bank about their cyber security efforts.


These are just a few of the Chamber’s councils and for a full list of activities and programming, please visit www.miamibeachchamber.com and click on the Chamber events section. If you are a Chamber member, we encourage you to get involved with the council and you can even request to present at one. If you would like more information on the Chamber or would like to join a council, please contact us at 305-674-1300.


Wayne Pathman



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