Written by Miami Today on July 15, 2004
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
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BURGER FLIPPERS: Miami-based Burger King on Tuesday named Greg Brenneman, 42, the chairman and CEO of TurnWorks Inc., as its new CEO, effective Aug. 1, its ninth chief executive in 15 years. He replaces Brad Blum, who left July 2. Burger King is battling to remain in second place behind McDonald’s in the burger wars, with Wendy’s closing in fast.
VISIT VENEZUELA: Santa Barbara Airlines, a privately held Venezuelan passenger air carrier, began scheduled twice-daily service from Miami International Airport to Caracas on July 8. The airline, which is authorized by the Venezuelan government to carry passengers, cargo and air mail internationally, also operates routes from Fort Lauderdale to Caracas and Maracaibo, Venezuela. Details: http://www.santabarbaraairlines.com.
LEASING A MINI-CITY: Taking over leasing Miami’s Wachovia Financial Center is Pamela Smith. The building, at 200 S Biscayne Blvd., has more than 1 million square feet of office space and is 92% occupied. Ms. Smith was at Abood Wood-Fay until joining Cushman & Wakefield, which leases the Wachovia Financial Center. Ms. Smith said she looks forward to her new market. "There is no other building like this in Florida," she said, describing the center as a mini-city that includes The Miami City Club and a fitness center. "It’s a place where powerbrokers meet other powerbrokers."
A DIFFERENT WASTE: Kathleen Woods-Richardson has been named director of Miami-Dade County’s Department of Solid Waste Management. She will end her job as director of the City of Miami’s Department of Solid Waste and begin her new role Aug. 6. Prior to joining the city, she served more than 22 years the county, including 14 with solid waste management. "I am delighted with the opportunity to return to the Miami-Dade County family and guide the department where I spent much of my professional career," she said in a statement. "I look forward to continuing to serve the residents of Miami-Dade County in this new capacity."
HEALTHY UPGRADE: A 37-year veteran of government, Olga Connor, was named acting deputy administrator of the Miami-Dade County Health Department effective this week. She replaces Nancy Humbert, who is new deputy secretary for health in the Florida Department of Health. Ms. Connor, who began her career in 1967 with what is now the Florida Department of Children and Families, joined the county health department in 1997 to handle public information and legislative affairs.
PARTNERS SPLIT: Aztec Leisure Inc., a commercial real estate advisory and brokerage company focused on hotel projects, has split apart. Mark Ellert says he bought out partner Ezra Katz, who heads the Aztec Group Inc. in Coconut Grove, and formed Interlink Asset Group of Florida Inc., based in Dania Beach. Mr. Ellert says the group will broaden its focus from the hospitality industry.
GOAL-ORIENTED CHAMBER: The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual goals conference July 16-17 at the Biltmore Hotel to discuss the 2004-05 fiscal year. This year’s conference will focus on the adoption of a new strategic plan, core values and mission statement. Leaders will present the new plan to the members, who will then develop action steps for execution. Special guests include artist and speaker Eric Wahl, who will make a leadership presentation, and The Capitol Steps, a comedy group composed of former congressional staffers. Details: www.coralgableschamber.org.
CITY IMPACT: City of Coral Gables officials is to gather from 3-5 p.m. Friday at The Biltmore Hotel to discuss international development in Coral Gables and the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce is hosting the business roundtable, which is free and open to the public. Panelists are: Jorge Arrizurieta, president, Florida FTAA, Inc.; David Brown, Coral Gables city manager; Alberto Delgado, Coral Gables public works director; Gus Fonte, president of the Coral Gables Business Improvement District; Gene Prescott, CEO of Seaway Hotel Corp.; Dennis Smith, director of the Coral Gables Building and Zoning Department; and, Cathy Swanson, Coral Gables development director. RSVP: (305) 446-1657.
CORAL GABLES ISSUES: A community forum is scheduled from 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Saturday, July 17, at the Biltmore Hotel’s Country Club Ballroom. State and local elected officials will update Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce members and members of the public on upcoming issues concerning the city. Confirmed participants include Gables Mayor Donald Slesnick, Vice Mayor Rafael Cabrera, County Commissioner Jimmy Morales, school board member Agustin Barrera and State Rep. Julio Robaina. The forum is free and open to the public. RSVP: (305) 446-1657.