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The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) went to the beach this month for its first event at Ocean Drive restaurant, Il Giardino. The monthly networker featured an Age Management Discussion led by Dr. Lowell B. Barek of BarekMed on his expertise for adjusting hormone levels to optimize middle-aged and older metabolisms of men and women for peak health, energy and performance.

Il Giardino and Dr. Barek are both Pillar members of the Chamber, in conjunction with a+ strategies, a communications consultancy based in South Beach.

“We introduce our clients to the Chamber because we understand its value in the community and the power the Chamber has to bring engaged people together,” Chief Strategist Ailene Torres said. “This event was an ideal way to introduce the membership to the restaurant and Dr. Barek in a place where they chose to be.”

The May networking event at Il Giardino began with a complimentary welcome drink accompanied by unexpected food samples the restaurant graciously offered as small previews of the event menu. Members and nonmembers mingled as they settled into the garden environment readying for the presentation. Before long, they were introduced to Chef Rodrigo Galera, an Italian chef raised in Argentina, whose culinary style reflects his European roots and South American culture. Galera spoke briefly about what’s to be expected in the new menu coming to Il Giardino this summer.

Enid Rodriguez, Chamber Vice President of Special Events and Community Relations, introduced Dr. Barek mentioning his education at Tulane University School of Medicine, an internship at Georgetown University Hospital, a professorship at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and his senior staff position at Beth Israel Hospital also in New York City, before his foray into Age Management Medicine here in Florida and Connecticut.

Dr. Barek opened with an overview of the science involved and why adjusted hormone levels can have a positive effect on different aspects of health. He quickly moved on to a question-and-answer session where engaged attendees asked second-level questions about the efficacy and safety of his program.

The event ended as the sun dipped below the horizon but the fun was not over. The music turned on and many lingered engrossed in conversations over food and drink. Some were entertained by the musical performances of guitarist Luis Mejia and the flamenco dancing by Alma Tacon that immediately followed the question-and-answer session.

Many more events involving these new Chamber members are on the horizon, Torres said.

“Over the low season, there will be an art exhibit in the indoor space at Il Giardino featuring a local painter. We are planning to invite the community to come and see it first and look forward to the Chamber helping us get the word out once again.”

The next a+ strategies Chamber-related event will be a Coffee with the Chamber on June 22, hosted by Pillar member Andrix Café featuring a short demonstration regarding their proprietary dough-making process. Coming this fall, a+ strategies intend to have a panel discussion featuring Dr. Barek and other health and wellness professionals to pick up where this discussion left off about the pros and cons of various types of alternative approaches to medicine.

A+ strategies handles internal and external communications, media relations, branding, marketing and advertising plus events for their clientele, which are heavily in the food and beverage industry but also include arts and entertainment, health and wellness and nonprofits.

For more information on BarekMed, Il Giardino or a+ strategies, contact Ailene Torres at


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