COUNTY WITH A MISSION: Miami-Dade commissioners Tuesday adopted the first mission statement ever for the county's operations: "Delivering excellent public services that address our community's needs and enhance our quality of life." They also adopted both guiding principles for how government is to function and strategic themes focused on matters such as environment, an improved transportation system and cooperation and coordination of governmental services. Said Corrine Brody, director of the county's Office of Performance Improvement, who spearheaded the visioning process, "We're going to continue full steam ahead." Next stop: A June 19 forum on the county's mission at the James L. Knight International Center. See today's profile.
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ZIP VISION: Commissioner Natacha Seijas pulled a key element out of the county's mission package Tuesday: she set aside the vision statement, which is to be the county's compact message for where it's headed. On the table was "Building a great community in which to live, work, learn and play." But Ms. Seijas is asking for a zippier message.
CHAMBER SALUTE: The Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of South Florida is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a "Grand Salute to Federal Service Employees of Puerto Rican heritage" at 7 p.m. June 8 in Radisson Mart Plaza Hotel, 711 NW 72nd Ave. For decades, across all branches of government, many thousands of Puerto Ricans Retired Vice Admiral Diego Hernandez of the US Navy is keynote speaker. Cost is $50. Details: puertoricanchamber.com.
STATE SEAT: Miami-Dade Community College President Eduardo J. Padrón was named to a new education reform task force formed by Florida Secretary of Education Jim Horne. Dubbed the Higher Education Funding Advisory Council, the 19-member task force is charged with investigating the demands for and funding of post-secondary education. Dr. Padrón was selected to serve as a voice for all of Florida's 28 community colleges, publicists said.
MARATHON MIAMI: Washington, DC-based H2O Entertainment Group Inc. announced it intends to hold a marathon in Miami in January 2004. The special events & sports entertainment company has starting seeking permits for the Miami Marathon from local governments, media contacts said. "We view Miami as special and unique market," said H2O President John Stanley, "that deserves its own first class, self-titled marathon." The move to stage a similar event here came after the company held a successful "Washington DC Marathon" in March.
UK MISSION: A trade mission to the United Kingdom has been moved to July 20-27 so that Florida Gov. Jeb Bush can participate. Organizers at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce announced there will be business development visits to Liverpool, London and Edinburgh. Representatives for about 25 firms in accounting, real estate, banking, legal and telecommunications are expected to sign up. Cost is $850; round-trip airfare $963. Details: (305) 446-4000.
LITTLE HAVANA BONDS: City of Miami Commissioner Joe Sanchez today (5/23) is scheduled to discuss projects in East Little Havana that would be funded through part of a $255 million bond program. About $110 million of those bonds would be issued in late July. Commissioners would get about $5 million for each district for quality of life improvements.
WATSON MANAGER: The Miami city commission is expected to discuss today (5/23) authorization for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau to start looking for a construction manager at-risk to oversee construction of the Watson Island Regional Aviation & Visitors Center. Commissioners last months approved the center's conceptual plans after making the bureau the facility's construction manager.
PROJECT HIRE: Miami city commissioners are also expected to talk today (5/23) about hiring David Plummer & Associates Inc. to conduct a project development and environmental study to realign the Metromover station near the Dupont Plaza in downtown Miami. The contract would be for two years with an option for an additional year. Costs would not exceed $446,400.
BI-CHAMBER UPDATE: The Association of Bi-National Chambers of Commerce in South Florida elected a new board. Lita Haeger with the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce was re-elected president. Claudio Riedi with the German-American Business Chamber is executive vice-president. Ty Javellana with the Asian-American Chamber of Commerce is treasurer while Sylvia Edwards of the Argentine-Florida Chamber, is secretary. The vice presidency will be shared by Jean-Michel Caffin with the South Africa-US Chamber; Jean-Claude Cantave with HACEPA-Haiti; Winchell Cheung of the Florida-China Chamber; Jaap Donath with the Netherlands-American Chamber; Francisco Gonzalez with the Venezuelan-American Chamber; Gustavo Lemos with the Ecuadorian-American Chamber of Commerce and Zdzislaw Wesolowski of the Polish-American Chamber of Commerce. ABICC, with 38 bi-national chambers as members, is a nonprofit that promotes international trade.
BURGER EXECUTIVE: Burger King Corp. named Paul Novak executive vice president, franchisee operations and chief development officer for North America reporting to John Dasburg, Burger King chairman, CEO and president. He replaces Kim Lopdrup who intends to pursue new opportunities. Mr. Novak joined Burger King in May 2001 as senior vice president and chief development officer. In his expanded role, Mr. Novak will oversee North American franchise and field operations and operations services and programs. His responsibilities as chief development officer remain unchanged.
LOCAL BURGER: Burger King is poised this summer to move 190 employees to new quarters for its restaurant support services at 9300 S Dadeland Blvd., and 450 to 5505 Blue Lagoon Drive. The company and its franchisees operate more than 11,435 restaurants in the US and 57 countries and territories around the world, with 92% of Burger King restaurants owned and operated by independent franchisees. The company, founded in Miami in 1954, report for fiscal year 2001 system-wide sales of $11.2 billion. Burger King Corp. is a part of Diageo, an international food and drinks company.
DEVRY POST: Devry University named Julio C. Torres, a native of Miami, president of its new campus in Miramar. Mr. Torres joined DeVry in 1999 after serving as vice president of Denver Technical College for 11 years. The Miramar campus he is to oversee for the Illinois-based school is expected to eventually serve up to 3,500 students. The school opened in November 2000 and now has an enrollment of 800.
DEMOCRATIC CHAIR: More than 300 Democrats elected Monday Ray Zeller chairman of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party executive committee. Mr. Zeller, a lifelong Democratic activist, was voted in by a 74-73 vote with Tom Pinder coming in second. The race drew statewide attention with representatives of the State of Florida Democratic Party overseeing the process.
CABINET SPACE: Jaiba Cabinets paid $660,000 for a 15,029-square-foot showroom and warehouse at 8125 W 20th Ave., Hialeah. Ivan Manuel Marzoa, a broker with ComReal Miami, represented Jaiba in the deal.
SMART DEAL: The Intelligent Office, or TIO, leased 6,000 square feet in the 4000 Ponce de Leon building in Coral Gables. William Holly, managing director of Insignia/ESG, represented the landlord, CMC Group, and Ron Froom of Diversified Investment Properties represented the tenant in the transaction.