Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce Celebrates 4th Annual Holiday Gala with Honorees Dr. Larry R. Handfield, Bill Talbert and Ruth Shack 12/5/09

THE MIAMI-DADE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CELEBRATES ITS 4th ANNUAL HOLIDAY GALA
“Progress: The New Currency”

The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce will host its 4th Annual Holiday Gala, “Progress: The New Currency,” on Saturday December 5, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Miami.
A cocktail reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. with dinner and an award ceremony following at 7:30 p.m. The Gala has become “the event” of the holiday season, honoring the accomplishments of professionals and businesses in the South Florida community. The “progressive” theme for the night is a tribute to the Chamber’s continuous efforts to move forward in this time of economic uncertainty. The high-profile social event is expected to draw over 700 of South Florida’s savviest and most successful business.

Among the festivities, the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce will honor three of South Florida’s most well-respected business and philanthropic leaders throughout the night. Receiving the H.T. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary contributions of community leadership and philanthropic endeavors is famed attorney and community activist, Dr. Larry R. Handfield. The Distinguished Service Award will be awarded to the president of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Bill Talbert, who has demonstrated community leadership, sparked inspiration and spearheaded a successful international effort to drive unprecedented economic development in Miami’s hospitality and travel industry. Finally, the Citizen of the Year Award will be presented to former Dade Community Foundation president, Ruth Shack, whose selflessness, foresight and guidance has contributed immeasurably to the quality of life in our community.

Keeping Gala attendees grooving will be the Leesa Richards band, a nine-piece top 40 musical ensemble, led by popular chanteuse, Leesa Richards.

“This is the event of the year for the minority business community. We will celebrate the many accomplishments we had in 2009 and look forward to new partnerships for 2010. The Chamber invites all business, civic and community leaders, elected officials and budding entrepreneurs to join us and celebrate the Chamber’s successes, especially our progressive efforts and activities on behalf of small, minority and women-owned businesses,” stated President and CEO of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, Bill Diggs.

The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce Holiday Gala has earned a well deserved reputation as one of the most anticipated corporate and social events of the holiday season, featuring stellar entertainment, fine food and a diverse mix of South Florida’s corporate leaders. Attendees can expect to enjoy an elegant and fun evening of networking, dining and dancing.

Please join us for an unforgettable evening, a celebration of true excellence and extraordinary entertainment. Businesses may purchase corporate tables for $1,500, while individuals may purchase tickets for $150 each. For tickets and more information please contact Beverly James at 305-751-8648 or visit www.m-dcc.org. For media inquiries, contact Circle of One Marketing at
305.576.3790.

This year’s top corporate sponsors include Macy’s, Carnival Cruise Lines and FP&L.

WHAT: The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce will soon host its 4th Annual Holiday Gala, themed to illustrate the spirit of forward thinking, “Progress: The New Currency.” The “progressive” theme for the night is a tribute to the Chamber’s continuous efforts to move forward in this time of economic uncertainty. This high-profile social event is expected to draw over 700 of South Florida’s most successful business minds in the Black community.

WHO: The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce will honor three of South Florida’s most well-respected business and philanthropic leaders throughout the night. Receiving the H.T. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary contributions of community leadership and philanthropic endeavors is famed attorney and community activist, Dr. Larry R. Handfield. The Distinguished Service Award will be awarded to the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Bill Talbert, who has demonstrated community leadership, sparked inspiration and spearheaded a successful international effort to drive unprecedented economic development in Miami’s hospitality and travel industry. Finally, the Citizen of the Year Award will be presented to former Dade Community Foundation President Ruth Shack, whose selflessness, foresight and guidance has contributed immeasurably to the quality of life in our community. The event will also feature a performance by the Leesa Richards Band, a nine-piece top 40 musical ensemble.

WHEN: Saturday, December 5, 2009
Registration: 6:00PM
Pre-Gala Reception: 6:00PM to 8:00PM
Dinner and Gala Celebration: 8:00PM

WHERE: The Hyatt Regency – Downtown Miami
400 SE 2nd Ave.
Miami, FL 33131

COST: Corporate Tables – $1,500 (10 seats); Individuals – $150

CONTACT: For more information and to register for the event, contact Lisa Cameron-Smith at 305-751-8648 or lcameronsmith@m-dcc.org. General information is
also available at www.m-dcc.org.

About the Honorees
A Bethune-Cookman University alumnus, Dr. Larry R. Handfield has the distinction of being the namesake of their music building and new athletic training center, as well as being appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the historically black college. After his undergraduate education at Bethune-Cookman, Handfield attended the Howard University School of Law where he received a degree of Juris Doctor. Handfield, a Miami native, currently practices law as the head of The Handfield Law Firm and is proud to be the Chairman of the Police Oversight Board for the City of Miami whose responsibility is investigating police misconduct. In addition, Dr. Handfield serves as the Chairman of the Board of the James E. Scott Community Association (JESCA), an organization famous for providing services that respond to the changing needs of underserved communities, as well as improving their quality of life.

As President and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) for the past 10 years, and as Chief Operating Officer for the prior nine years, Bill Talbert has distinguished himself as a highly respected visitor industry and community leader. Talbert’s 19 years of experience at the GMCVB includes major accomplishments such as assisting with the passage of the Food and Beverage tax to fund GMCVB’s advertising budget, negotiating inter-local government funding agreements and preparing four successful Super Bowl bids and three Pow Wow bids.
In addition, Talbert has been professionally affiliated with several organizations such as Camillus House, the Hands of Miami Advisory Board, the Orange Bowl Committee, the South Florida Super Bowl Host Committee, the Florida International University School of Hospitality Management Executive Advisory Board, and the Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association, among others.

Since becoming the President of Dade Community Foundation, Ruth Shack has spearheaded a campaign to encourage philanthropy and charitable giving by developing a permanent endowment to meet Great Miami’s emerging charitable needs. Among her many accomplishments, Shack has served as a member of several organizations including the Board of the Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth, the Board of Funders Concerned About AIDS and the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network. Further, Shack has served as Vice Chair of the Council on Foundations, chair of its Management Committee, chair of the Communications Network and the chair of the Alliance for Human Services. Adding to her impressive resume, Shack was elected to her first term as Metro-Dade County Commissioner in 1976, re-elected to another four-year term in 1978 and to a third term in 1982.

About Leesa Richards
Leesa Richards is an accomplished songwriter that has worked with some of the music industry’s largest artists. When not headlining her high-energy, Top 40 band, The Leesa Richards Band, Leesa is traveling the world performing as an accomplished background vocalist for artists such as Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias and John Secada. The Gala’s attendees will be delighted by the sounds of “oldies but goodies” and “newbies but greats!”

About Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce
The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1974 and leads the way towards long-term business prosperity by providing advocacy, networking, resources and training to men and women in South Florida.
The Chamber’s mission is to provide a world of business opportunities, bring the business community together to exchange goods and services and to promote interaction and mutually beneficial communication for all businesses involved. To learn more about the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and membership opportunities please call 305.751.8648 or visit www.m-dcc.org.

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