Real Money

As a father, I have high hopes for my two daughters and the contributions they will make in the business and local community one day as adults. Everyday, I become more amazed with how quickly the younger generations grasp new knowledge and apply it to their everyday lives. Yet during this journey, it’s so important that we provide them our support and guidance. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, along with City National Bank and Communities in Schools, Inc., recently co-hosted an event that I think is incredibly valuable and worth highlighting: the Real Money Business Boot Camp.

Held at Jungle Island, 70 students from Miami Beach Senior High and North Western Senior High learned about the many financial decisions they will face upon graduation. Helping us were several local businesses covering a range of sectors includingFIU Career CenterState Farm InsuranceThe Continental GroupWarren Henry AutoBest BuyHiperfit and more, all of which set up educational stations. Each student was given a budget upon arrival. At each station, the students were presented with real life expenditures covering housing decisions, to car lease payments, to recreational options such as laptops from Best Buy and/or gym memberships. Representatives from each company gave the students detailed options on how they could allocate their money and the different ways they might be able to save in using their services. It was an eye opening experience for these young adults, as they experienced first-hand the day-to-day expenses that will soon be upon them. However, they each ultimately found a successful balance within their budgets. Following, their hard work was some play, as Jungle Island hosted a bird show for theattendees and gave them an hour to tour the park.

I think we can all remember our first time out on our own… Slowly, but surely we forged our adult lives, but I wish I was able to experience a program such as this back then. Mentorship is so important at every age, but informing these kids now will certainly mold them into savvy adults, both personally and professionally. I really look forward to watching them grow and succeed.

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce

.


Networking for the New Year

2011 was a momentous year for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. We successfully installed many new initiatives and experienced incredible growth in both membership and monies raised to support our visions. However, as fun as it is to reflect on past accomplishments, the New Year is about looking ahead. Now is the perfect time to craft your personal and professional plans that will take you and your business to an even greater level.

Once everything is in place internally, it’s time to start letting people know about your business externally. The power of connections are amazing – I attribute nearly all my new clients to relationship building. While many people understand theimportance of networking, a majority don’t do it very well, equating it to event attendance and handing out business cards to as many people as possible. While reach is certainly important, I can’t stress enough that success is in the quality of these relationship. First, look at your network and determine if you are getting anything out of it. If not, you need to determine whether it is the network itself or if it’s a matter of you and your own involvement. Sometimes the relationship simply isn’t a fit – and that’s ok, just gently sever your ties and find an organization that you can identify with. If it’s the latter, remember that any good relationship is reciprocal. It’s about instilling goodwill on behalf of your clients and enjoying the benefits of their goodwill in return. People like doing business with others that they like and trust. But you can’t find and determine who these valuable contacts are by simply handing out your business card with a one-liner about what you do. Active involvement with an organization allows you to really get to know the people within. Getting involved is easy – find an aspect that engages you. The Miami Beach Chamber has 13 councils covering a range of business sectors and niches from tourism, to global business, to emerging leadership, to arts & culture and beyond. Every one of these sub-committees presents a perfect opportunity to not only connect with fellow members, but develop a relationship and a better understanding of their respective strengths and goals, thereby putting you in a stronger position to effectively help one another. This is the spirit of our Chamber.

On behalf of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, we wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2012. I believe; however, that each of these joys are magnified with a strong support system and I look forward to working together.

At your service,

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.


The Chairman’s Circle

As with every organization, it’s the people that breathe life into the mission. However, maximizing its supporting initiatives always requires a little money (well actually, quite a bit of it). Here, at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, we’re continuing to come up with ideas to better our businesses and community – and funding is a crucial source in implementing them. Recently, a number of our members have not only dedicated their time and passion to the organization, but also significant monetary donations. One of my initial goals upon becoming Chairman was to establish a special recognition level for these individuals. A year later, I’m happy to announce the installment of the Chairman Circle.

The Chairman Circle aims to give added value back to members/companies that donate $10,000 or more to the Chamber. Our largest financial supporters receive invitations to four quarterly dinners to discuss important and relevant community topics and share key insights. This is also an opportune time to discuss their individual ideas and garner support as they try and grow their respective businesses.  My vision for this Circle is not only to generate business and growth for Miami Beach, but also enhance the Chamber’s position on a national scale. The Chairman Circle membership also includes Chamber website advertising.

These individual donations are substantially more than we’ve ever received before and are critical to helping us carry out our mission to provide the best infrastructure in which to live, work and enjoy. I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm with this elite group. If you are interested in learning more about or joining the Chairman’s Circle, please call Ceci Velasco at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce at (305) 674-1300.

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.


The Gift of Giving

Time to finalize your wish lists – the holidays are here. I always love this time of year, as it reminds me of all I have to be thankful for. But why reserve gratitude for the month of December? Wouldn’t it be great if everyone maintained the warm-and-fuzzy holiday spirit year-long?

Spirit is the backbone of everything. It’s what drives us to work, pursue our passions and connect with each other. People identify not with your product or services, but with the culture of the organization. Business comes with a lot of responsibilities, but any good company should also mind its social responsibility to the community in which it thrives. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce is certainly an organization with plenty of spirit, enabling us to see huge impacts in so many sectors. This year, I urge you to direct some of that powerful spirit to giving.

Even small acts given with sincerity and purpose can make a huge difference. Select a cause that is aligned with your organization’s mission, and therefore more likely close-to-heart for everyone within. Giving comes in all forms – discover the real needs to fulfilling your cause and get as creative as you want, whether it be monetary or time donations, partnerships, or sustainable programs. Most importantly, get your people involved. Allowing them to use their talents and skills for a greater cause can renew their passion for work and uplift the overall human spirit of your organization. As I mentioned above, ongoing and continued philanthropic support is so much more impacting than larger one-off moments.

I’ll close with a fond farewell to 2011, but also a spirited welcome to 2012. May it be filled with even greater achievements and fulfilling moments that we’re so proud to have experienced thus far, but may we also  reciprocate our good fortunes with our support of community causes.

A safe and wonderful holiday to all!

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.


Miami Beach Chamber: Arts + Culture

When conducting business, Miami Beach certainly gives us a lot to work with. We have incredible diversity, booming tourism and great minds, all anchored by our famous sun, fun and sand. But now it’s time for the Chamber to get cultured. I’m excited to report that we have added an arts & culture committee to promote and enhance our artistic offerings even further.

This new committee is a natural and important expansion in positioning Miami Beach as a truly well-rounded destination. For decades, the world’s most influential artists have sought out the city to serve as the backdrop in which to pursue their projects. The very development of Miami Beach is rooted in art with its unique Art Deco skyline.  We’re coming off our tenth year of Art Basel Miami Beach; the New World Symphony moved into a breathtaking new home; and our museums, dance companies, music groups and individual artists are capturing international attention.

The economic forces of these arts programs are huge and every business can benefit in some way. The Arts & Culture Committee will not only seek out new opportunities to bring in additional artistic programs, people and initiatives, but also to connect companies to the movement. Leading the group is the ultimate trifecta: Brian Schriner, Dean of the College of Architecture + The Arts at Florida International University; Judy Holm, founder of Aspirations public relations and marketing firm and master in promoting the arts; and Alan Randolph, Senior Vice President of City National Bank, who has experience banking the film, fashion and entertainment industries. Each of these arts advocates have already contributed so much the sector – and their combined passion and extensive contact lists promise to be an even greater

force in evolving our arts scene to an arts capital. I encourage my fellow Chamber members to join this budding committee in support of creating a beautiful and refined community of deep cultural and economic impact.

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce

.


New Pillar with a promising new vision

I couldn’t be happier with the leadership team we currently have in place here at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. So I’m continuing my theme of recognizing the outstanding people who have served this organization so incredibly as members and now as great leaders. Incoming Pillar Chair David Sacks is one of those individuals.

There couldn’t be a better fit than David to install programs of both greater breadth and depth to this top membership tier. In speaking with him, he’s passionate in continuing to bring in the best speakers in the best venues, and setting the best environment conducive to forging relationships that result in mutual transactions and growth. He’s also committed to providing added value.

Much can be learned from the Pillars membership as well. Comprised of owners and executives, fellow Pillars have the opportunity to capture seasoned advice from Miami Beach’s established leaders, as well as fresh perspective from its promising up-and-comers. Combined, this group is our most active and committed in challenging the Chamber to deliver upon its mission. Ultimately, business is social, so why not associate with the best and the brightest this City has to offer? Pillars gives you the exposure and initiatives needed to make this happen.

A great group of people requires an even more extraordinary leader. David is that person. I’m confident his personal success and Chamber tenure will enable him to lead in a way that retains our existing members, brings in new professionals and enhances the Pillars experience in a way that expands the revenue stream of Miami Beach and our respective businesses. Expect many exciting happenings come from David within the coming months. In the meantime, his vision is keep the Chamber booming, and make it the best chamber of commerce in Florida, if not the nation. Now that’s thinking big.

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce

.


Welcome to Miami, Beinvenido a Miami

With millions of visitors a year, I’d like to think of Miami Beach as a welcoming city. Helping us to connect even further with this very important market was the recent Grand Re-Opening of Visit Miami Beach visitor’s center now located in the Miami Beach Convention Center. What began as a collaboration,between the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, the City of Miami Beach, The Miami Beach Visitors and Convention Authority, the Miami Dade Tourist Development Council and the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, a facility to educate and serve our visitors has now expanded into a full-service concierge and retail outlet.   We are here to provide service to the attendees and visitors of the Miami Beach Convention Center and make sure they have a pleasurable experience.

Since 2002, the original Visitor’s Center has effectively served more than 50,000 people annually with multilingual information and amenities. However, I commend Bob Balsam, General Manager of the Convention Center, for his vision to expand the service to rival major cities San Diego, Chicago and Houston, all benchmarks for their own visitor centers. Our facility’s new home allows us to not only reach tourists, but also conventioneers, who no longer have to venture far from their business at the Convention Center to obtain information. In addition to a wealth of information and literature, guests receive personal insight and recommendations from Dona Zemo, Monique Beadut, Matthew Perl and Sarabeth Beitchman, who with a combined 30 years of experience make a seasoned team in making our visitors feel at home. Sunblock, aspirin and cold medicine, as well as a complete line of travel necessities, while the neighboring retail outlet carries souvenirs from our professional sports teams, books about Miami Beach, cards, posters, clothing and other sundry items. The Center is the sole distributor of the Miami Beach InCard, and “Go Miami” discount tourism programs that allow visitors to enjoy special pricing on the goods and services of more than 400 participating businesses. The implementation of user-friendly, interactive touch screen terminals providing additional information about tours, dining, attractions, hotels, cultural venues and activities are in the works.

The visitor’s center is located in Hall C of the Convention Center and is open 10a.m.-4p.m. daily, but will remain open late on select evenings, as well as offers satellite services in other center halls during conventions. The re-launch of this state-of-the-art facility is key in helping us communicate the incredible history, attractions and recreation our city has to offer. It aims to provide an enjoyable service to our visitors, helping them to make the most of their time in Miami Beach and hopefully confirming our city as their preferred vacation/business spot for years to come. As a businessman, I also recognize it as a prime opportunity for exposure. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to provide your information for distribution and get to know the incredible concierge team over there.

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.


Miami always reemerges stronger and with more promise. Let’s talk Real Estate.

Among the things I admire most about Miami Beach is its ability to rebound. Despite periodic times of hardship, the city always reemerges stronger and with more promise and opportunities than ever. Nothing exemplifies this better than our real estate market. Last September, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Real Estate Council hosted a forum designed to help realtors and other professionals uncover any opportunity within the industry’s relentless doom and gloom forecasts. What a difference a year makes, as now the focus is on how to capture and best serve a burgeoning market.

The Real Estate Council, under the leadership of Melissa Rubin, alongside the Miami Association of Realtors have been working diligently to pull telling statistics of the renewed international demand in South Florida real estate. This year’s annual event, titled “What You Need to Know” about foreign real estate investing, highlights key markets – most notably Venezuela, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia, France and Mexico –  and their role in setting the Miami real estate market on the rebound track. A well-rounded panel of experts represents every sector of the industry to address various issues and opportunities related to the trend.

In spirit of lifting the community, this event is open to the public. I encourage my fellow Chamber members, members of the

Miami Association of Realtors, local business people and entrepreneurs take advantage of this chance to gain insight from our industry’s best. In addition, I’d like to recognize our sponsors – The W South Beach hotel as our title sponsor and host of this event and Koniver Sterns as our presenting sponsor – for believing and supporting our mission.

The educational luncheon takes place Friday, September 16, 11:00am at the W South Beach hotel. Reserving a space is as easy as visiting www.miamibeachchamber.com. I look forward to hearing all our council’s good real estate news with you then.

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.


A bright new future for Miami-Dade County

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with our new Miami-Dade County Mayor, Carlos Gimenez when he sat down with several of the region’s prominent business leaders to discuss his vision for our local economy. I found that Mayor Gimenez was sincere in his focus to restore the citizens’ trust in county government. He laid out a clear and concise plan to balance the budget, but made it clear that success is contingent on forming true partnerships between the county and cities. He also stressed the importance of gaining the backing of the business community and the important sectors they represent.

I was honored that Mayor Gimenez agreed to make his first public speech at the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Pillar breakfast on July 29th held at the La Gorce Country Club, where he shared his vision with our Pillar membership and took questions from the large crowd in attendance. During his remarks he acknowledged the many strengths of Miami Beach, noting that the revitalization of our Convention Center alone will have an incredibly positive economic impact for the entire region. In an effort to capture our trust, he plans to allow the cities to oversee more of their own responsibilities and projects such as this. But he stressed that with this new found freedom comes the responsibility of constant scrutiny to confirm whether or not we are proceeding in the most effective manner to maximize the expected benefits of each undertaking.

As the Chairman of your Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, I know that true partnership with Mayor Gimenez means that the successes and setbacks of our city clearly affect the economic vitality of the entire County. It is also clear that successfully renovating and expanding our Convention Center must be our number one priority since it will have the greatest positive impact on our economy. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce membership represents the brightest and most distinguished business leaders. It’s your ideas, passion and support that transform our vision into realities and make Miami Beach the sought-out destination it is today. I ask for your trust and partnership as we continue to work on building our city, and also now our extended greater community in partnership with Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.


A Woman of many ventures.

For many years, the Women’s Business Council (WBC) has built upon the foundation of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce while developing prime and valuable opportunities for both the budding and established women leaders of our community. At the center of this dynamic group is DeAnne Connolly Graham, Director of Sales & Marketing for Welcome & Bienvenidos Magazine. DeAnne has been a long-time member of the WBC, and this year, her leadership as Chairwoman has yielded unprecedented results. In fact, the current council is projected to be one of the strongest, most engaging and productive yet. With DeAnne’s welcoming personality, exuberant energy and vision, it comes as no surprise that since becoming Chair, attendance at the council meetings are at an all-time high and members have also become more interactive than ever before. Within its four sub-committees: “Wine, Cheese & Expertise,” “Lunch With A View,” “Team Building,” and “Educational Workshop,” DeAnne and her fellow members have been working non-stop planning for upcoming activities and events. DeAnne has implemented additional activities aimed at enhancing quality-of-life, as well as encouraging economic growth and has presented multiple networking opportunities for Council members.

It is through these activities that our female membership is able to connect, become empowered and make an impact as strong businesswomen.

DeAnne, your hard work and dedication deserve to be recognized. You exemplify the passion and commitment we value here so much at the Chamber and we are so fortunate to have your incredible efforts on our behalf. Thank you!

At your service,

Jason Loeb, Sudsies

Chairman, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.