Miami Chamber Hires Fort Lauderdale Executive As Cfo
By Leslie Kraft
Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce officials have hired Jeff Bridges for their new position of chief financial officer as part of an executive restructuring program.
Mr. Bridges, currently vice president of finance and operations for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, is expected to start his new job Nov. 15, said Isilio Arriaga, Greater Miami Chamber president and chief executive officer.
"Jeff is highly qualified and was recruited and selected from a list of 75 candidates prepared by our search firm AT Kearney, which undertook the project on a pro bono basis," said Mr. Arriaga, who was hired in September by the chamber. "We are in the process of making some interesting changes at the chamber, which include everything from executive restructuring to the strategic plan and the goals conference."
The CFO hiring replaces the post of executive vice president, which was vacated several months ago, Mr. Arriaga said, and fulfills promises to the African-American community that it would be more involved in high-level positions within the chamber. Mr. Bridges is African-American.
"We will now hire from within for the positions of chief operating officer and chief development officer," Mr. Arriaga added. "The chamber will not add further to its 35-member staff."
Mr. Bridges, who has an accounting degree, will have oversight of the chamber’s accounting systems and administrative functions, along with human resources, facilities management and information technology. He could not be reached Tuesday and a recording on his office voice mail indicated that he was out of town.
The Greater Miami chamber recently launched a campaign to raise $500,000 to upgrade its facilities and information technology systems. The program could also involve the chamber’s move from 1601 Biscayne Blvd., according to Allen Harper, chairman-elect.
Mr. Bridges would supervise that process, said Mr. Arriaga. He will also interface with the chamber’s new auditors.
"We have sent out a request for proposal and expect to select a firm by the end of October," he added.
At the chamber’s Nov. 5 Board of Governors meeting, Mr. Arriaga said, the group will solidify its new strategic plan to take it into its second century of service.
Peter Roulhac, chamber chairman and vice president and director of community development at Wachovia National Bank, is co-chairing the chamber’s strategic plan committee with Mark Rosenberg, provost of Florida International University.
The plan will be developed around four areas, Mr. Rosenberg has said: Membership services, economic development, advocacy and finance.