Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
NETHERLANDS IN MIAMI:
Netherlands will open a full consulate in Miami in 2001, says Alexander Van Schelle,
consul general of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Houston and in charge of Florida.
Now, he said, an honorary consul handles activities here part-time. But "Florida
is so important to our country that our government has decided to have a more
active presence in Miami." The consulate will have a consul general and employ
up to eight and, he said, will play an important role in economic development
of the Netherlands Antilles, which includes CuraŠao, St. Martin, Bonaire and Aruba
off the coast of Venezuela. "These states with their own governments decided
they needed a more active presence in Florida that could further possibilities
for a two-way trading partnership."
To promote partnerships and alliances between Miami-Dade County and the Caribbean,
the board of the county-run Trade Mission Center for the Americas approved a "Caribbean
Trade Initiative" to boost the county's economy while improving trade and
cultural relations. It calls for identifying and qualifying the county's small
or minority-owned businesses new to the market or to exporting that have the potential
of trading with the Caribbean. The program will offer four workshops on training,
education networking and matchmaking. The first will be in late March. Details:
ISRAEL TRIP: Enterprise Florida is recruiting companies
to join a trade and investment mission to Israel March 16-22. Trade relations
with Israel were boosted a year ago with a high-level mission headed by Gov. Jeb
Bush. "It is a next step in furthering long-term relations between Florida
and Israel," said Manny Mencia, Enterprise Florida senior vice president
for international business development. "Historically, Americans have found
a good market in Israel for their products." Delegates can show products
at the Florida Pavilion at "Made in USA Trade Show" and meet one-on-one
with business representatives with matching interests. Details (850) 922-8892.
NOMINATIONS SOUGHT: The Women's Business Network of
the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for "outstanding
businesswoman of the year." Nominations are due Feb. 9. Forms are available
at the chamber's office at 50 Aragon Ave. The winner will be announced March 15
at a breakfast in the Biltmore Hotel. Details: (305) 445-5811.
In ceremonies last week, Miami-Dade Water & Sewer presented the county with a
check for $9,438,915 and Corrections & Rehabilitation Food Service $878,952, both
representing the departments' respective savings over the previous 31 months in
the case of Water & Sewer and the fiscal year in the case of Corrections. Corrections
Commander Debra McCarthy said "we just continued to watch our budget and
spending" to account for the funds. The overall idea is to make both county
operations competitive with the private sector. Recognition bonus pay checks totaling
more than $2.3 million go to water department employees and about $219,000 to
corrections foods' workers, representing 25% of the savings.
WATER SOURCES: Among sources for savings at Water
& Sewer, says Frank Calderon, department information officer, were work schedule
changes, opening a safety & training center at the South Dade Water Treatment
Plant to other departments and private customers, tougher contract compliance,
reducing to one the number of backup generators needed to maintain electric pumps
and making some square valves in-house for $9.35 instead of purchasing them for
ORANGE CEO: The Orange Bowl Committee named Keith
Tribble CEO. Mr. Tribble, now in his eighth year with the Orange Bowl, had been
executive director for the committee.
TV CITATION: The
board of the Suncoast chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
gave Carolyn Cefalo its governor's award for "substantial contributions to
the field of television in South Florida," an award an academy spokesman
said is given only to people "otherwise not eligible for an Emmy." Ms.
Cefalo is a faculty member with the University of Miami School of Communication
and serves on the Archdiocese Communication Commission and the Miami-Dade County
Film & Television Board.
STEP FORWARD: The Commission on Accreditation of Allied
Health Education Programs gave a physician assistant program at Miami-Dade Community
College official accreditation. M-DCC officials said the program, now in only
its second year, is the first physician assistant course at a community college
in Florida to earn the honor. "This," said Kathie Sigler, M-DCC medical
center campus president, "is a tremendous step forward for our new program."
HEALTH UPDATE: The
Miami-Dade County Health Department's Office of Public Health Information, Legislative
& Community Affairs announced a move to 8175 NW 12th St. Details: (786) 845-0200
or (305) 377-6751 after hours, weekends and holidays.
Miami-Dade Public Library System seeks volunteers for 15-minute segments of a
30-hour read-a-thon Jan. 23-24 at the cultural plaza in front of the Main Library,
101 W Flagler St. The event kicks off the system's year-long 30th anniversary
celebration. Details: Lainey Brooks, (305) 375-5017.
NEW SALES CENTER: The
Ocean Club at Key Biscayne is tearing down its sales center to make room for its
11th residential tower, Lake Villa One. The new sales center will be above the
Ocean Club's tennis club.
PRIVATE POST: Global Private Bank of American Express
Bank promoted Sergio J. Masvidal to managing director. President and CEO W. Richard
Holmes said Mr. Masvidal will direct the group's operations worldwide from his
Miami office. Mr. Holmes had been serving as both president of American Express
Bank and managing director of the private banking group since June. Mr. Masvidal
began his banking career with Continental Illinois and was with Irving Trust International
Bank before joining American Express in 1987 as Miami branch manager. He is a
trustee for the Southwest Social Services and the Cuban American National Council.
HOME POST: The Children's Home Society has named Emilio
Alonso-Mendoza corporate chief development officer after he joined the society
Nov. 1. For the Home Society the former national executive director for the National
Parkinson Foundation in Miami will be based at offices in both Orlando and Miami,
said CEO and President David Bundy. He said at his new post "Emilio will
advance philanthropy statewide. We're confident his innovative approach will increase
annual and endowment revenue from donors, corporations and foundations."
A grand opening is being held from 6-9 p.m. Dec. 30 for the Jakmel Gallery & Cultural
Center, 2301 Biscayne Blvd., a new Haitian art gallery and center. Festivities
include displays and sales of fine art from international artists, live music,
poetry readings, crafts, jewelry, clothing. Details: (305) 576-0121.
ODEBRECHT OK'D: County commissioners Tuesday approved
a settlement of $465,0000 with Odebrecht of Florida over a project at Miami International
Airport. The funds have to do with a late change in the project caused when the
county aviation deparment added an automated people mover to a design after a
contract for the job with Odebrecht was awarded in 1997.