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Written by on March 21, 2002

BRICKELL PRESIDENT: The Brickell Area Association elected Brian S. Gale president. Mr. Gale is managing director of brokerage services for Taylor & Mathis, a real estate development, management and brokerage firm. He replaces Wayne Stringer, president of Foram Management & Leasing, a building management group. Details: (305) 577-0222.

SPIRITO HOTEL: Estoril Inc. is negotiating with three management companies to run the hotel component for Espirito Santo Plaza, rising in the 1300 block of Brickell Avenue, said Gregory Rumpel, senior vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle, which manages the property. He said a decision on what the owner-manager structure will be should be worked out in the next week or two. "It really is a moving target," Mr. Rumpel said. "There are a number of pieces we’re trying to put in place." The hotel operator will likely be a high-end, though not necessarily luxury, chain.

CHAMBER OFFICERS: The Central America US Chamber of Commerce elected Gabriel E. Pascual with Iberica International Corp. president. Other officers for the chamber include Thomas Spang of Dresdner Bank Lateinamerika, Camilo Castellon with Americatel and Deborah Hernandez of Promerica; vice presidents; Manuel Sicre with Amtrade Bank, treasurer, and Colin Veater with Bank of America, secretary.

CARIBBEAN DIRECTORY: The Minority Exporters & Importers Association announced creation of a Caribbean export and import directory. Small companies can be listed for free. The directory will be available to the international community doing business in the Caribbean, a market that bought more than $10 billion in US products last year, according to the association. Details (305) 386-3396.

ABOOD POST: The real estate services firm Abood & Associates Inc. named Mia Stierheim a commercial associate. Ms. Stierheim had held a retail leasing position in the Tampa Bay area. She is the daughter of Merrett Stierheim, the former county manager and convention bureau chief who is now overseeing Miami-Dade Public Schools as acting superintendent.

STATEWIDE POST: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida named Cyrus M. Jollivette group vice president of public affairs, a newly created position. Mr. Jollivette, to be based in Jacksonville, had run a consulting practice representing private sector clients in Washington, DC, and over the past 24 years held a number of senior executive positions, including leading public affairs, government relations and foundation and corporate relations at the University of Miami. He has also served as managing editor of The Miami Times and producer-moderator for Perspective for the then-NBC affiliate WSVN-TV in Miami Beach. He has twice served on the campaign cabinet for United Way of Miami-Dade County and is a life member of Miami’s Orange Bowl Committee.

STATE COMMENDATION: The Miami-based law firm Markowitz Davis Ringel & Trusty was awarded the 2002 Law Firm Commendation from the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court. The award, said publicists, "is presented to a law firm that has demonstrated a significant contribution in the delivery of legal services to individuals or groups on a pro bono basis."

FED-EX UPDATE: Despite earlier predictions that FedEx would break ground on a $50 million, 189,000-square-foot mini-hub this spring after two years of tweaking its plans, the company is now expecting to start construction of the sorting facility this summer. "The developer has the specifications and is in the process of drawing up schematics," said Pam Roberson, spokeswoman for the Memphis-based company. "The goal is to begin construction by the summer, but we can’t get specific on the date. We’re aiming for summer – hopefully we’ll have it started before the end of the year."

COLOMBIAN SEMINAR: The University of Miami North-South Center is holding its second annual conference on Colombia, "Colombia’s Ambiguous War in Global & Regional Context: Insurgency, Transnational Crime & Terror," March 25-26 in the Airport Hilton, 5101 Blue Lagoon Drive. The seminar, organizers said, will address questions posed by military strategists, policy-makers, scholars and journalists among other relevant topics. Ambler Moss, center director, said participants would include US and Colombian government and military officials, including Anne Patterson, US ambassador to Colombia, and Gen. Fernando Tapias, commander-in-chief of the Colombian Armed Forces. Details: (305) 284-8974.

ARTS POST UPDATE: Negotiations are under way with Michael Hardy, director of the Kentucky Center for the Arts, the man chosen to head Miami’s performing arts center. Mr. Hardy is in town this week to bargain, with Juan Loumiet, chair of the trust’s management committee, as principal negotiator. His team includes trust Chair Parker Thomson; Assistant County Manager Alina Hudak, who sat on the search committee, and Ron Esserman, vice chair of the Performing Arts Center Foundation board. James Herron, vice president of the trust board and an attorney with Steel Hector & Davis, will handle legal work in the bargaining process.

BIG SMALL PENALTIES: Miami-Dade County will enforce stricter penalties for construction contractors doing business with the county that do not make prompt payments to member businesses of the Community Small Business Enterprise Program after commissioners approved March 12 a new measure spearheaded by Commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler. The ordinance calls for a penalty of $75 daily for each day payment is not made to a program contractor after the customary 30 days allowed to pay an invoice. The penalty funds will be paid to the Minority Business Development Trust.

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