Miami chamber seeks applicants for regionalism awards
By Tom Harlan
The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce wants to find greatness by May 6.
The chamber is accepting applications for the South Florida Good to Great Awards to recognize three South Florida businesses at a June 17 lunch.
The awards, based on Jim Collins' 2001 business book, "Good to Great," are to showcase the spirit of regionalism, said Barry Johnson, chamber executive vice president, by saluting South Florida businesses that have achieved greatness in their missions.
"Good to Great" highlighted 11 companies that had a corporate culture with hard-working employees who acted on solid business principles.
Three South Florida university programs, including FIU's College of Business Administration, used the book as a guide to develop local criteria for the award.
University officials are to join a panel of judges from the South Florida Regional Business Alliance, and Miami, Boca Raton and Ft. Lauderdale chambers.
"We had looked at creating an award program that reflected our service area - all of South Florida," Mr. Johnson said. "We wanted to be in partnership with some of the other chambers who do as GMCC does, and promote regionalism."
The chamber has moved to encourage regionalism this past year. Its annual goals conference, usually held in Miami-Dade County, is to be at The Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Broward County.
Holding the conference in Broward is a chamber effort to unify tri-county officials to support the Free Trade Area of the Americas, Scripps Florida and other regional goals, chamber Chairman Allen Harper said this month.
"We're the South Florida marketplace," he said.
The award luncheon, which is to kickoff this year's goals conference, is to include a speech by AutoNation executive Michael Maroone and a videotape presentation from US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.
Mr. Gutierrez was previously chairman of Kellogg, which was dubbed a great company in "Good to Great."
Three awards are to be presented to a small, mid-size and large business, Mr. Johnson said, that vary from one to more than 500 employees. The awards are open to public and private business based in South Florida.
"We thought this would be a terrific concept for us to salute the best of the best from our own region," Mr. Johnson said. "We encourage all South Florida businesses to become nominated for the award."