Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Honors David Lawrence Jr. With Sand In My Shoes Award
The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce honored David Lawrence Jr., Founder and Board Chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida and retired publisher of The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald, with the 2022 Sand In My Shoes Award® presented by title sponsor Florida Blue and presenting sponsors Baptist Health and The University of Miami. The ceremony took place on March 1st at the JW Marriot Marquis Miami.
The Chamber’s Sand In My Shoes Award, considered among this community’s most prestigious accolades, was established in 1981 based on an editorial delivered by Ralph Renick, the late WTVJ vice president and news director. The award is presented to outstanding community leaders who have made significant contributions to the region; demonstrating a deep love and commitment to Miami as the best possible place in which to live, work and play.
“David’s contributions, commitment and dedication to making Miami-Dade County a national leader in early childhood education, healthcare, and literacy is what makes him a distinguished honoree for this award,” said Alfred Sanchez, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. “We are thrilled to be recognizing one of Miami’s most beloved community leaders whose hard work and unwavering commitment to early childhood will continue to make an impact in our South Florida community for generations.”
David retired in 1999 as publisher of The Miami Herald to work in the area of early childhood development and readiness. He chairs The Children’s Movement of Florida, aimed at making children the state’s top priority for investment. He has served on the Governor’s Children and Youth Cabinet and twice chaired the Florida Partnership for School Readiness. David was also instrumental in forming the Children’s Trust, an organization with dedicated funding that focuses on the broad and ongoing developmental needs of all children in our community. His herculean efforts to establish the special taxing district was so successful in meeting needs that it was permanently reauthorized by Miami-Dade votes by an unheard of 86% in 2008.
The Children’s Movement of Florida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan movement of Floridians insisting on a strong start for all Florida children. The organization advocates for high-quality early learning opportunities, access to children’s health care, and parent support programs in Florida.
The Chamber would like to take this opportunity to thank the following presenting sponsors whose support and commitment to Sand in My Shoes make this event possible. Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, has been providing health insurance to residents of Florida for more than 75 years. Driven by its mission of helping people and communities achieve better health, the company serves more than 5 million health care members across the state. Baptist Health is the largest healthcare organization in the region, with 11 hospitals, more than 23,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 100 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The University of Miami is a private research university and academic health system with a distinct geographic capacity to connect institutions, individuals, and ideas across the hemisphere and around the world.
Additional sponsors include Nicklaus Children’s Health System, Greenberg Traurig, Florida Power & Light, Dr. Kira and Neil Flanzraich, AvMed, Bank of America, CareerSource South Florida, Florida International University, John S. & James L. Kight Foundation, MBF Healthcare Partners, Media Counselors, The Miami Herald, Royal Caribbean Group, and St. Thomas University among many others.
David joins a remarkable list of some of Greater Miami’s most influential business and community leaders whose tireless efforts have enhanced our community through a combination of passion, performance, dedication, and devotion.