Gold Medal winners, lifetime achiever Phillip Frost honored
To prolonged applause, three prominent individuals and four leading organizations won Gold Medal honors highlighting contributions to Greater Miami at Miami Today's 12th annual Gold Medal Awards dinner last week.
Philanthropist, physician and entrepreneur Dr. Phillip Frost accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Seven judges selected the seven Gold Medal Awards winners from among more than 40 victors in local and national awards competitions held last year. Miami Today and dinner sponsor Wachovia-Wells Fargo chose Dr. Frost for the Lifetime Achievement honor.
Two organizations tied in judges' balloting for the top organizational award.
One was Miami Dade College. Its president, Dr. Eduardo Padrón, accepted the Gold Medal along with member of the college's district board of trustees Marielena A. Villamil, president and chief executive officer of the Washington Economics Group.
The other Gold Medal for an organization went to WPBT Channel 2, cited particularly for its "Changing Seas" series. Accepting the award were President & CEO Rick Schneider, series producer Alexa Elliott, Vice President of Production Jack Kelly and associate producer Kandra Velez.
Presenting both awards on behalf of medals sponsor Morrison Brown Argiz & Farra was Managing Partner Tony Argiz.
The Gold Medal Award for an individual went to Mark A. Trowbridge, president and CEO of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, who offered guests a scoop: he had just signed a two-year extension of his contract with the chamber. Presenting the award was Manny Rodriguez, Miami-Dade regional director of medal sponsor Florida Power & Light Co.
The other Gold Medal Award winners were:
nMasTec Inc., which received the Silver Medal for an organization. CEO José R. Mas accepted the award from Denie Harris, marketing director for medal sponsor Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables and Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay. Mr. Mas drew applause not only for the award but also his announcement of a slim Miami Heat halftime lead in the playoff basketball game just down the street.
nRichard A. Berkowitz, managing director of Berkowitz Dick Pollack & Brant Certified Public Accountants & Consultants, received the Silver Medal for an individual. He accepted the award from Mark North, president and CEO of medal sponsor Espirito Santo Bank.
nIn a brothers act, the Bronze Medal for an organization went to Berkowitz Development Group, whose President Jeff Berkowitz accepted the award with company executives and sons Andrew and Michael Berkowitz just before brother Richard Berkowitz received his honors. The award was presented by Ramon Mas Canosa, executive managing director and president of award sponsor Frank Crystal & Company.
To laughter, Mr. Trowbridge in accepting his award claimed to be the third Berkowitz brother.
nElizabeth Nicoli-Suco, professor of mathematics at Miami Dade College's Wolfson campus, received the individual Bronze Medal, sponsored by Bacardi USA.
Ms. Nicoli-Suco's career shows the impact on the community of education at Miami Dade College. She began her career in mathematics as a student there, where district trustee Ms. Villamil had been one of her teachers and at least one dinner guest was later one of her mathematics pupils.
Dr. Frost received the Lifetime Achievement Award with wife Patricia at his side for his longtime local, national and international leadership in the pharmaceutical industry and the securities world, his medical career here and philanthropic contributions to the arts, sciences and culture.
The Lifetime Achievement award was presented by Kathryn Dinkin, regional president of the dinner sponsor, Wachovia-Wells Fargo.
The judges who selected the seven Gold Medal Awards judges were Maria Alonso, chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and senior vice president of Bank of America; Mario J. Artecona, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami; Wendy Kallergis, president and CEO of the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association; Jack Lowell, chair of the Beacon Council and vice president of Flagler Real Estate Services; Harve Mogul, president and CEO of the United Way of Miami-Dade County; William D. Talbert III, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau; and J. Antonio Villamil, dean of the School of Business at St. Thomas University and principal advisor to the Washington Economics Group.
The judges based their selections on:
The importance of achievements for which nominees had received awards in the past year and the stature of the recognizing organizations.
The long-term impact of the honorees' achievements on this community.
Miami Today 12 years ago established the Gold Medal Awards to honor The Best of the Best, choosing among those that already had received top honors from their peers in the prior year.
Trophies were presented after an invitation-only reception and dinner for 100 guests at the new JW Marriott Marquis hotel downtown. Past Gold Medal Award winners, the judges and leaders in business and education as well as an international delegation of consuls general attended to salute the honorees.
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