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Posted: Monday, June 17, 2013 9:22 AM


Every year, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual planning conference at the historic Biltmore Hotel. This two-day event brings together leaders of the Chamber and business community to plan for the upcoming year. Our Conference opens with the sixth annual George E. Merrick Award of Excellence, presented in partnership with The Allen Morris Company.

The George E. Merrick Award was established to recognize and celebrate a visionary leader who has made a significant contribution and set standards for the cultural celebration, promotion, beautification, preservation and economic growth of the City of Coral Gables. The award was named after the City and Chamber Founder, George Edward Merrick, who is also credited with the establishment of our Legacy Award winner, The Biltmore Hotel.

The Distinguished Honorees for this prestigious award are:

• Luis G. Chiappy, AXA Advisors
• Claudine Claus, Home Financing Center
• Robert J. Fewell, Robert J. Fewell Company
• Donald D. Slesnick II, Law Offices of Slesnick & Casey LLP and Former Mayor
• Dorothy H. Thomson, John M. Thomson, P.A. and Former Mayor

Friday’s Goals Conference schedule revolves around the theme – Think BIG!, challenging participants to apply the 5 I’s: IMPACT, INNOVATION, INFORMATION, INVOLVEMENT and INSPIRATION in their business relationships.

This high-impact conference will open with INNOVATION at our Good Morning Coral Gables breakfast featuring Florida Blue CEO Patrick Geraghty. Members will be provided with an INFORMATIVE session by the Miami-Dade Beacon Council entitled, The Art of Deal – which is designed to give members an insider’s look into the process of economic development. As the day progresses, there will be an INSPIRING luncheon with philanthropist and advocate Marc Buoniconti of The Buoniconti Fund, followed by a capstone presentation from Beau Ferrari of Univision Networks. Later in the day, the Chamber will continue with breakout sessions premiering two new working groups: a Health Care Task Force and Technology Task Force. Dale Carnegie Training’s Robert Kelly will make an IMPACT with a presentation on What Drives Employee Engagement! The day will wrap with a networking reception presented by Becker & Poliakoff.

For more information on the George E. Merrick Award dinner and Goals Conference or to purchase a table or tickets, please call 305-446-1657 or visit

1200 Anastasia Ave Coral Gables, FL, 33134    google map | yahoo map

• Location: Miami, The Biltmore Hotel

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