Executive Dean’s contributions are crystal clear.

The traditional 10th anniversary gift is tin; the modern, aluminum.

From left to right: philanthropy award winner Irela Bague, entrepreneur award winner Patricia Thorp, AXA Advisors sponsor Luis Chiappy, Coral Gables Chamber Chair Carolina Rendeiro, public service non-profit award winner Virginia Jacko, Coral Gables Chamber President Mark A. Trowbridge, corporate award winner Penny Shaffer, and international business award winner Joyce J. Elam. Photo courtesy of Alberto Romeu Studio.

However, with her tenth anniversary as executive dean of the College of Business Administration approaching, Joyce J. Elam received an exquisite crystal vase on April 4, 2008, as one of the five winners at the AXA Advisors 2008 Businesswomen of the Year Awards.

Though not an anniversary gift per se, the timing made the recognition—from the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce—even more special.

“I was honored to be selected for this award from among so many outstanding women,” said Elam, who also is James L. Knight Professor of Management Information Systems and vice provost of FIU Online.

Now in its fifth year under the sponsorship of AXA Advisors, the Businesswomen of the Year Awards recognize women who live or work in Miami-Dade County, who are members of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, who demonstrate excellence in their business or profession and a commitment to serving as role models for other women.

Elam won in the international business category, sponsored by Regions Bank. The other categories were entrepreneur, corporate, philanthropy, and public service/non-profit. Wanda Trouba, Regions Bank vice chair, business and economic affairs division, presented the award and read the citation.

Elam’s achievements show range of her commitment to quality.

The citation noted that Elam is “a recognized expert in the strategic uses of information technology, management of the IT function, and uses of IT in individual and group decision making and learning . . . has published extensively in academic journals, has had experience in executive development programs and consulting, and is a frequent speaker on management information systems topics as well as on women in leadership topics at national and international meetings.”

Two-time Emmy Award winner Laurie Jennings, anchor and reporter on WPLG–Local 10, emceed the event, which fifteen finalists and approximately 200 supporters attended.

“The competition was arduous, but our dean clearly emerged as the most deserving winner, and we are extremely proud of her and the impact her leadership has had and will continue to have on our community,” said Irma Becerra-Fernández (PhD ’94), Knight Ridder Research Professor, Department of Decision Sciences and Information Systems. Sharon Lassar, director, School of Accounting, noted, “It was good to see that the community recognizes her leadership in developing world class international business programs at the university. We are proud and fortunate to have such an innovative leader.”

Terry Witherell, associate vice president, University and Community Relations, Florida International University cited Elam’s “outstanding work toward bringing the status of our international programs to the highest level. Due to her perseverance and vision, we are now credible players in this arena. This renown serves to float our institutional balloon ever higher toward a goal of perceived excellence for our university.”

She shared the enthusiasm of the two faculty members concerning Elam’s leadership.

“Whether she realizes it or not her day-to-day leadership has a profound influence on many of us . . . her village of admirers,” Witherell said.

Miriam Lopez, chief executive officer, TransAtlantic Bank; Julio Ramirez, executive vice president of global operations, Burger King Corporation; and Toni Randolph, Randolph Family Foundation, were the judges.

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