~ Presenting the Slate for the 2017 Elections ~
1. Proposed Slate of Board of Directors for 2017-2019
Mia Cavaco, Development Manager, Miami-Dade College Foundation and Co-Founder, Grove Natural Dog Treats is an experienced professional in communications; public/community relations; business strategy and development; membership, marketing and client services; event planning; and non-profit organization management. Mia is a member of the Coconut Grove Chamber Board of Directors.
Liliana Dones, Owner, Creative Tools, has over 25 years’ experience in communications, graphic design, advertising, marketing, media planning and public relations strategy. Liliana has served on City of Miami’s Commission on Status of Women and Coconut Grove Village Council. She is a co-founder of Coconut Grove TreeWatch and South Bayshore Drive Beautification Committee. She was also a Consultant with Public Works- Reforest the Grove Project. She is the Immediate Past President of Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce and the incoming Marketing Chair.
Bob Fitzsimmons, of Rumberger, Kirk and Caldwell is an experienced trial lawyer specializing in complex civil litigation. currently serves on the board of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, was recently appointed to the board of the School of lntegrated Science and Humanity at FIU, and has previously served on the Coconut Grove Chamber Board and was First Vice President. Bob has also served as president of the Coconut Grove Civic Club and the Coconut Grove Park Homeowners Association.
Lilia Garcia, has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Visual Art, Arts Education, and Leadership Administration, Lilia García recently retired from Dade County Public Schools, where she served as Administrative Director for elective programs – arts, physical education, and other non-academic programs, plus nationally recognized talent/magnet programs. Presently, she serves as Chair of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and is the director/curator of the Gallery at CGAF. Lilia serves as Chair of the Membership Committee. She initiated and hosts the popular Women’s Monday Networker. Lilia has received various awards: “In the Company of Women” for her valuable contributions to the community; the Theodore R. Gibson Memorial Award; the Spectrum Award for Women, the Women of Impact Award; and the “Champion for Children Award”.
Peter Laird, founder, Laird Creative which provides professional, high quality marketing and creative services for businesses of all types and sizes. Peter is a talented and versatile copywriter widely regarded by clients as a creative problem-solver and a trusted marketing partner. Laird, a long-time board member of the Coconut Grove Chamber, is a recent Past President.
Jihad Rashid, President, Collaborative Development Corporation and CEO, Kroma Galleries has committed his professional talents and expertise towards implementing “a shared vision for better quality of life for residents of South Florida. Rashid, an effective administrator, strategically manages and coordinates private/public sector resources to accomplish community revitalization goals. Jihad is affiliated with Coconut Grove Village West Homeowner’s and Tenants Association, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Coconut Grove Village Council, South Florida Community Development Coalition, Miami-Dade County Black Affairs Advisory Board, Miami Dade County Community Action Agency. Jihad is a board member of the Coconut Grove Chamber, serving as Chair of the Outreach Committee.
Monty Trainer, President, Coconut Grove Arts & Historical Association, Inc. and Incoming Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce President, has one of the most recognizable names in Miami. Monty has served as a community leader and civic activists for over 30 years. From establishing one of Miami’s most visited restaurants – appropriately named for the neighborhood visionary – to his active participation in almost every community organization, Trainer has in many ways become a symbol of The Grove. Trainer has been honored as one of Miami-Dade’s Top Executives by the South Florida Business Journal and for his many years of service to the community by The Theodore Roosevelt Gibson Memorial Fund. He is chair of the New World School of the Arts, and also serves on the Foundation Board and serves on advisory committee for MDC Culinary Institute, and also serves on the executive board of the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce, the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District (BID) and is a long-term member of the Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Council.
Wendy Zane, Director of Business Development, The Mutiny Hotel. She is the Coconut Grove Chamber’s Networker Committee Chair as well as Co-Chair for the 2017 Golden Coconut Awards Committee.
2. Proposed Slate of Officers for 2017-2018
President: Monty Trainer
Vice President: Ed Prelaz
Secretary: Katrina Boler
Treasurer: Mia Cavaco
Officer-at-Large: Lilia Garcia
~ The Other Half ~
Our Bylaws require that board terms are staggered creating the need for elections each calendar year.
In order to keep the balance of staggered terms, when vacancies occur during the year, appointments are made.
We take this opportunity to introduce the rest of the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors:
Katrina Boler, Park Manager at The Barnacle Historic State Park since 2003, has been part of the Grove’s well-loved Mad Hatter Arts Festival Committee since its 2005 inception and has memberships in numerous organizations including Sunshine State Papillon Club, The Barnacle Society, and The Villagers. She currently is Secretary and has served on the Board of Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce since 2014.
Curtis Crider is an innovative, results-oriented and dedicated business professional with over 24 years of progressive Hotel Management and Food & Beverage experience. Since 2007, Curtis has managed Sonesta Coconut Grove. He has served on Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce Board for several years. He is completing his term as Vice President.
Kevin Farrey, of Farrey’s Lighting and Bath, a Grove family business that dates to 1924, which today continues its ancestral tradition of success, with its fourth generation leading the $30 million international brand. Kevin has also served for ten years as a member of Vistage Florida (formally known as TEC), executive round table group.
John Gale, a Financial Professional with AXA Advisors’ South Florida Branch, is committed to helping clients reach financial goals. John combines his personal service and leadership skills with AXA Advisors’ size and strength to provide a cornerstone of service and strategy. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Finance at the University of Miami. John is also quite involved in the community as an active member of the Rotary Club of Coconut Grove and active volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Miami.
Kathy Hildy is a proud & purposeful Coconut Grove resident for 20 years as well as a Real Estate Professional with Keller Williams. Kathy has more than 20 years of management experience in restaurant operations, P&L analysis, and designing and implementing action plans.
Maria Montesino, Vice President and Relationship Manager at Grove Bank & Trust, is a goal-driven bank management professional with a proven track record of achievement in the Retail Banking industry for over 25 years, Maria has been with Coconut Grove Bank since January 1993.
Ed Prelaz is a Senior Real Estate Manager with Cushman & Wakefield, a leading global real estate service. He is very active in various community associations and is Past President for the Miami-Dade chapter of BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association) and has held various positions at Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce for approximately nine years and most recently served as Treasurer.
Camila Sharp, Director of Business Development at Prosthodontic Dentistry of South Florida, is a member of the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce. She is the spokes-person for Dr. Sharp Oral Care, the first dentist developed natural oral care on the market. Along with her professional career, Camila always had a passion for holistic nutrition, animals and the environment. Camila is chair of the Chamber’s Sustainability and Resilience Committee.
Gordon White, Director Business Growth at SapientNitro, currently leads the New Business team and is responsible for driving and fostering both organic growth and new client relationships for SapientNitro’s South region and its surrounding areas.
~ Advisory Council ~
Sue McConnell spent her career in the legal field as a legal assistant and paralegal and now owns Gift Baskets by Sue McConnell. She has been a member of the Chamber for nine years and during that time has served Secretary, Vice-President and Interim President. Sue is the President of the Village of Center Grove, BID board member, Co-chair of Crimewatch, King Mango Strut board member, Director of The Grove First and One Grove Alliance, and member of The Barnacle Society and Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove.
Jackie Sayet has been Brand Director of Genuine Hospitality Group since 2009. Genuine Hospitality Group includes Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink in the Design District and Harry’s Pizza in the Grove. She is a past board member