I hope your new year is off to a great start. As this is my first President’s Report of 2022, I want to officially wish you all a happy new year, even if it’s already February!
Your Chamber has hit the ground running and our events and programs are in full swing. As a quick reminder, we want to make sure you have your calendar marked for our upcoming Sand In My Shoes Award presentation where we’ll be honoring David Lawrence Jr. David has long been one of our communities’ greatest champions, and we are thrilled to finally be able to celebrate him, in-person, on March 1.
As our first major event of the year, we held our Trustee Luncheon last week at Rusty Pelican, where we heard from PortMiami’s Interim Director Hydi Webb, and Ralph Cutie, Director and Chief Executive Officer of Miami-Dade’s Aviation Department, about how our Airport and Seaport are operating and performing. It was an informative discussion to a packed house (sold out event!), and we are happy to report that both ports are seeing great success and passenger numbers continue to increase.
We also recently held our two-part webinar series, Smart Cities, where we had speakers, including Madeline Pumariega, President of Miami-Dade College, address everything from how we can prepare our workforce for the influx of tech companies coming to Miami, to how we envision and build Miami’s infrastructure of tomorrow.
If you were unable to attend, there is a recording of both webinars available on our website and Youtube channel that I encourage you to watch.
We continue working closely with our local and state government officials to support the Greater Miami community. Earlier last month, we had our Tallahassee fly-in where we met with lawmakers to go over our legislative priorities at the forefront of this session. The Chamber is advocating for several pieces of important legislation this year. On our agenda are: 1) securing increases in Florida KidCare eligibility for our hard-working employees and their families (SB 1422/HB 1181); 2) supporting the many policies and funding that expand transit and allow for mobility options for South Florida residents; and 3) for the first time the Chamber will be seeking funding for our Deep Dive Miami program, which will help engage and orient newly arrived C-Suite leaders into Florida’s business, cultural & community life (HB 3739) keeping them rooted in Miami and growing job opportunities. There are many other bills, and we will be providing you with a much more detailed outline and recap in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout for that.
Speaking of addressing transportation issues, the Chamber was recently approached by CNN to comment on Miami-Dade’s signature bridge. Spurred by comments Elon Musk made about transportation solutions needing to focus on tunneling and double-decker roadways, we were happy to contribute to the discussion. While we know that building more roadways will never offer long-term solutions to a growing population’s gridlock, this near-term fix would be one that buys our area time to develop more in-depth transit solutions. You can read the article here. If interested in joining or learning more about our transportation committee and how you can help support finding solutions to these issues, click here.
Needless to say, we are definitely off to a great start of 2022 and there are a number of events and initiatives that we have planned for you all. For now, mark your calendars for our upcoming Trustee Soirée @ CH'I on February 16, as well as our upcoming Americas Linkage Mission to Israel taking place from March 25-31, where we will be joined by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava who will co-lead the mission as we travel to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to foster the development of business opportunities between our cities.
This is going to be a very exciting and productive year for our Chamber, and we are thrilled to have you all with us. I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events or even at our new offices once we are all moved in.
President & CEO
February Trustee Luncheon
If you missed our first Trustee Luncheon of the year, you missed out on an in-depth discussion about our seaport and airport. Over 200 members joined us to learn more about the growth we're seeing at both ports and how both entities are preparing for the increasing number of passengers.
Trustee Luncheon Title Sponsor and Award Gold Sponsor, Florida Power & Light; Presenting Sponsor EXP Global Inc.; Gold Sponsors Central Civil Construction, Kimley-Horn, and NV2A Group.
Smart Cities: A Two-Part Webinar Series
Part 1 of our webinar series focused on how we are preparing our workforce for the talent needs of the community. What does education need to do to have a workforce to meet all those needs? Do we have the talent available for all the companies coming into Miami?
What do we need to do for the next phase of growth?
Panelists including Madeline Pumariega, President of Miami-Dade College and Gustavo Trindade, Director of Babson College Miami, along with Rick Beasley, Executive Director at CareerSource South Florida and Antonio Delgado Fornaguera, Vice President of Innovation and Technology Partnerships at Miami Dade College discussed all this and more. The panel was moderated by Matt Haggman, Executive Vice President, Opportunity Miami at The Beacon Council.
The second part of our webinar series focused on Miami's Tech Infrastructure Plans Today and the Five Year Plan / Building Miami’s infrastructure of Tomorrow. To become a smart city in 5 years, what needs to be in place right now? How is the government working to streamline these technologies? How do you use technology to improve the efficiency of infrastructure – Smart Panelists including Madeline Pumariega, President of Miami-Dade College and Gustavo Trindade, Director of Babson College Miami, along with Rick Beasley, Executive Director at CareerSource South Florida and Antonio Delgado Fornaguera, Vice President of Innovation and Technology Partnerships at Miami Dade College discussed all this and more. The panel was moderated by Matt Haggman, Executive Vice President, Opportunity Miami at The Beacon Council. This panel was also moderated by Matt Haggman and included panelists Angel Garcia, Vice President of Enterprise and GEMS at Hotwire Communications, Avi Patwardhan, Managing Director –Smart Cities at Jacobs, along with Raimundo Rodulfo, P.E., Director of Information Technology / Chief Innovation Officer of City of Coral Gables, and Olivia Ramos, Founder and CEO of Deep Blocks.
Presenting Sponsor: Wells Fargo; Event Sponsors: Baptist Health, CareerSource South Florida, Florida International University, and Miami-Dade College.
2022 Greater Miami Chamber Legislative Champion Award
The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce is proud to honor Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera as the 2022 Chamber Legislative Champion for her work as the House sponsor for a bill titled Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience, which established a statewide program to address flooding and sea-level rise. The bill was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. The Chamber Legislative Champion Award is an annual honor recognizing one member of the Florida Legislature who has made a significant, positive impact on Miami’s business community.
Chamber Connection at Dukunoo Jamaican Kitchen
We had such a great time connecting with everyone at our Chamber Connection. A very special thank you to our member, Dukunoo Jamaican Kitchen, for hosting!