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The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber Of Commerce (MDGLCC) will honor corporate and individual supporters of the Miami-Dade LGBT community at its 14th Annual Gala and Awards Celebration, “The Sapphire Gala,” on Saturday, June 13 at 6 p.m., at the newly opened 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach at 2341 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. The honorees were selected for their long-term commitment to fostering diversity, as well as for their efforts in contributing to the overall quality of life in South Florida. This year’s gala will once again be presented by Wells Fargo.

“Our annual gala is all about networking with leaders in the community. Our five hundred guests just get to have a lot of fun in the process,” said Steve Adkins, MDGLCC president. “We are also extremely enthused to host this year’s Gala at the newly opened 1 Hotel and Homes South Beach. We are very excited to be the first LGBT organization to hold an event of this magnitude at this stunning new venue.”

The 2015 Honorees:

“Business of the Year”SappireGala_copy1
DECOBIKE, LLC

This award is presented annually to organizations whose mission statement adheres to the highest standards in their outreach to the LGBT and allied community. Nominees must have been a Chamber member for at least two years, be active in the LGBT community and have non-discrimination (sexual orientation/gender identity) language incorporated into their human resource policies.

DECOBIKE is an award-winning developer of bicycle sharing programs and equipment designed to move cities, universities and corporate campuses quicker and more efficiently than ever before. DECOBIKE LLC operates the Citi Bike programs’ sharing and rental system in Miami. The Citi Bike program is intended to provide locals and visitors with an additional transportation option for getting around the city. The solar-powered bike sharing system consists of a fleet of specially designed, sturdy, very durable bikes that are locked into a network of docking stations sited at regular intervals around Miami Beach, Miami, Surfside and Bay Harbor.

 

AT&T “Business Person of the Year”
Cindy BrownSappireGala_copy2

This award is given annually to individuals who embrace diversity in all forms and demonstrate excellent management and leadership skills. Nominees must have been a Chamber member for at least two years and be active in the LGBT community. This award can recognize outstanding work for the year awarded, or for a body of work over a longer period of time.

Brown is a native Floridian and a Miamian since the age of two. Before her recent move to Equality Florida as South Florida Development Director, she was Executive Director of the Miami Beach Botanical Garden since July 2012. Brown is also an extremely hardworking community activist, serving on the LGBT Business Enhancement Committee for the City of Miami Beach and the Board of Directors for the World OutGames Miami 2017. Previously, she was Executive Director for the LGBT Visitor Center and the Executive Director for Miami Beach Gay Pride.

 

Regions Bank “Non-Profit Organization of the Year”
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County

This award is given annually to organizations which embody the highest standards of diversity and inclusion of the LGBT and allied communities in their mission statement. Awardees must have been a Chamber member for at least two years and be visibly active in the LGBT Community.SappireGala_copy3 This award can recognize outstanding work for the year awarded, or for a body of work over a longer period of time.

The Arsht Center embraces excellence, celebrates differences, renews the spirit and engages diverse communities through the power of the performing arts. As a focal point of Greater Miami-Dade’s diverse cultural life, the Arsht Center enlightens, educates and entertains our community through transformational arts and cultural experiences. Its mission is to create meaningful community-building experiences for the citizens of Miami-Dade County and South Florida through active learning and live theatrical experiences.

 

Morgan Stanley “Bob Balsam Civic Achievement Award”
Miami Beach Mayor Philip LevineSappireGala_copy4

As a tribute to his life and legacy, MDGLCC is proud to name its new “Civic Achievement Award” for Bob Balsam and present the inaugural award to Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

Mayor Levine is a staunch advocate for LGBT rights and inclusion, both for Miami Beach residents and businesses. Since being elected mayor in 2013, he has made countless appearances at LGBT events and fundraisers and on behalf of LGBT organizations.

As an integral member of the Miami Beach community for more than 30 years, Levine has established a number of successful Miami Beach-based businesses, creating hundreds of job opportunities for local and area residents while contributing to the city’s tax-revenue base.

Following a tradition set last year, the MDGLCC Gala Committee selects a different color of the rainbow flag for the gala’s theme and elevates the status of that color by interpreting it in its gem stone complement. The 2015 “sapphire” theme signifies wisdom, truth, faithfulness, and mental strength. The MDGLCC encourages guests to wear a splash of sapphire to this year’s event.

All tickets to “The Sapphire Gala” are VIP again this year. Tickets are $2,000 for tables of 10 or $200 for individual tickets and include reserved seating, grand buffet dinner, an open bar featuring Bacardi Brands’ GREY GOOSE® vodka among others, a VIP gift bag, complimentary parking and participation in the grand raffle. Reservations are available online at www.gaybizgala.com, or by calling (305) 673-4440.

“The Sapphire Gala” is the MDGLCC’s principal fundraiser of the year which helps sustain operations and expand the ever-increasing demand for member programming. For more information, visit gaybizgala.com.