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Black Tie International:
 Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce
4th Annual Holiday Party

Dr. Larry R. Handfield

Dr. Larry R. Handfield


Saturday, December 5 at the Hyatt Regency
Downtown Miami



Miami - The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce will host its
4th Annual Holiday Gala, “Progress: The New Currency,
on Saturday
December 5, 2009
at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Miami.

A cocktail reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. with dinner and an award ceremony
 ollowing at 7:30 p.m. The Gala has become “the event” of the holiday season,
honoring the accomplishments of
 professionals and businesses in the South
community. The “progressive” theme for the night is a tribute to the
Chamber’s continuous efforts to move forward in this time of economic

The high-profile social event is expected to draw over 700 of South Florida’s
savviest and most successful business

Among the festivities, the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce will honor three of South Florida’s most well-respected business and philanthropic leaders
 throughout the night. Receiving the
 H.T. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary contributions of community leadership and philanthropic
endeavors is famed attorney and community activist, Dr. Larry R. Handfield.
The Distinguished Service Award will be awarded to the president of the
Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Bill Talbert, who has
demonstrated community leadership, sparked inspiration and spearheaded a successful international effort to drive unprecedented economic development in Miami’s hospitality and travel industry. Finally, the Citizen of the Year Award
will be presented to
former Dade Community Foundation president, Ruth Shack, whose selflessness, foresight and guidance has contributed immeasurably to the quality of life in our community.

Keeping Gala attendees grooving will be the Leesa Richards band, a nine-piece
top 40 musical ensemble, led by popular chanteuse, Leesa Richards.

“This is the event of the year for the minority business community. We will
celebrate the many accomplishments we had in 2009 and look forward to new partnerships for 2010. The Chamber invites all
business, civic and community
leaders, elected officials and budding entrepreneurs to join us and celebrate the Chamber’s successes, especially our progressive efforts and activities on behalf
of small,  minority and women-owned businesses,” stated President and CEO of
the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, Bill Diggs.

The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce Holiday Gala has earned a well
deserved reputation as one of the most anticipated corporate and social events of the holiday season, featuring stellar
entertainment, fine food and a diverse mix of
South Florida
’s corporate leaders. Attendees can expect to enjoy an elegant and fun evening of networking, dining and dancing.

Please join us for an unforgettable evening, a celebration of true excellence and extraordinary entertainment. Businesses may purchase corporate tables for
$1,500, while individuals may
purchase tickets for $150 each. For tickets and
more information please contact Beverly James at 305-751-8648 or visit

This year’s top corporate sponsors include Macy’s, Carnival Cruise Lines
and FP&L.

About the Honorees

A Bethune-Cookman University alumnus, Dr. Larry R. Handfield has the
distinction of being the namesake of their music building and new athletic training center, as well as being appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the
historically black college. After his undergraduate education at Bethune-Cookman, Handfield attended the Howard University School of Law where he received  a
degree of Juris Doctor. Handfield, a Miami native, currently practices law as the
head of The Handfield Law Firm and is proud to be the Chairman of the Police
Oversight  Board for the City of
 Miami whose responsibility is investigating police misconduct. In addition, Dr. Handfield serves as the Chairman of the Board of the James E. Scott Community Association (JESCA), an organization famous for providing
services that respond to the changing needs of underserved communities, as well as improving their quality of life.

As President and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau
(GMCVB) for the past 10 years, and as Chief Operating Officer for the prior nine
years, Bill Talbert has distinguished

himself as a highly respected visitor industry and community leader. Talbert’s
19 years of experience at the GMCVB includes major accomplishments such as
assisting with the passage of the Food and
Beverage tax to fund GMCVB’s
advertising budget, negotiating inter-local  government funding agreements and
preparing four successful Super Bowl bids and three Pow Wow bids.

In addition, Talbert has been professionally affiliated with several organizations
such as Camillus House, the Hands of Miami Advisory Board, the Orange Bowl
Committee, the South Florida
Super Bowl Host Committee, the Florida International University School of Hospitality Management Executive Advisory Board, and the
Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association, among others.

Since becoming the President of Dade Community Foundation, Ruth Shack has spearheaded a campaign to encourage philanthropy and charitable giving by
developing a permanent endowment to meet

Great Miami’s emerging charitable needs. Among her many accomplishments,
Shack has served as a member of several organizations including the Board of
the Coalition of Community Foundations for
Youth, the Board of Funders
Concerned About AIDS and the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network.
Further, Shack has served as Vice Chair of the Council on Foundations, chair of
Management Committee, chair of the Communications Network and the chair
of  the Alliance for Human Services. Adding to her impressive resume, Shack
was elected to her first term as
Metro-Dade County Commissioner in 1976,
re-elected to another four-year term  in 1978 and to a third term in 1982.

About Leesa Richards

Leesa Richards is an accomplished songwriter that has worked with some of the music industry’s largest artists. When not headlining her high-energy, Top 40 band, The Leesa Richards Band, Leesa is traveling the world performing as an accomplished background vocalist for artists such as Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias and John Secada. The Gala’s attendees will be delighted by the sounds of “oldies but goodies” and “newbies but greats!”


About Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce

The Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1974 and leads the way
towards long-term business prosperity by providing advocacy, networking,
resources and training to men and women in South Florida.

The Chamber’s mission is to provide a world of business opportunities, bring the
business community together to exchange goods and services and to promote
interaction and mutually beneficial communication for all
businesses involved.
To learn more about the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and membership opportunities please call 305.751.8648 or visit



To list an upcoming event please contact


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