Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame ceremony celebrates a different kind of green.

Each year, the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame (EHOF) induction ceremony and luncheon, the College of Business Administration’s largest alumni event of the year, makes a glittering mark. On May 8, 2008, 450 guests—including many alumni and former inductees—celebrated the tradition for the ninth time.

Malcolm Butters (MBA ’83), president and co-founder of Butters Construction & Development, Inc., was inducted in the founder category; and Ignacio Urbieta Jr. (MBA ’85), co-owner and CEO, Urbieta Oil Company, was named the inductee in the builder category. In addition, Sergio Pino, chairman and president, Century Partners Group, received the 2008 South Florida Entrepreneur of the Year award. A well-known South Florida entrepreneur, Pino has established thirteen successful companies bearing the Century name.

The focus underlying the ceremony wasn’t only on the green representing monetary success, but also on how entrepreneurship and a concern for the environment can go hand in hand.

Executive Dean Joyce Elam commented on this relationship, noting that, “The 2008 inductees into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame demonstrate how entrepreneurship can be combined with a concern for environmental issues. Butters now designs all buildings to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification standards, so that they will be ‘green’ ones that benefit their occupants and have minimal effect on the environment, and Urbieta’s firm was the first E85 ethanol provider in South Florida.”

For Monique Catoggio (EMBA ’03), director of advancement and alumni relations, the office that organizes this event, the annual gathering brings excitement, with this year’s enlivened by two alumni from the 1980s, who prompted her to reflect on what makes the EHOF ceremony so special.

Two alumni bring the idea of sun and heat to the event.

“Our first inductee into the EHOF, Bob Bell (BBA ’81), founder of Banana Boat Suncare and chairman and CEO of Sea & Ski Corporation, joined us and promoted his best-selling book From Lifeguard to Sun King: The Man Behind the Banana Boat Success Story, published in April, 2008,” she said. “In addition, alumnus Mike Baiamonte (BBA ’86), Voice of the Miami Heat, energized the audience like never before. Their presence reminded me how very special our alumni are and how they have not only transformed their lives via their talents and businesses, but also how they have helped to build the strong community that we are today.”

Erica Courtney (EMBA ’07), president of Biodiversity & Company and winner of the 2007 New Venture Challenge, also attended and provided an update of her venture’s progress over the past year.

A panel of judges that includes past inductees as well as event sponsors and business leaders in the community selects the inductees. The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, WorldCity, NBC 6, and Telemundo 51 were among the media sponsors. Financial sponsors included SunTrust Bank, Miami; Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLP; and Adorno & Yoss. The ceremony took place at Jungle Island on Watson Island, Miami, Florida.

View video tribute to Malcolm Butters.[flv:http://business.fiu.edu/newsletters/BusinessNetworks/2008/07/videos/butters.flv 500 334]

View video tribute to Ignacio Urbieta.[flv:http://business.fiu.edu/newsletters/BusinessNetworks/2008/07/videos/urbieta.flv 500 334]

View video update about Erica Courtney‘s (EMBA ’07) firm-Biodiversity & Company-and its accomplishments since she won the New Venture Challenge in 2007.[flv:http://business.fiu.edu/newsletters/BusinessNetworks/2008/07/videos/courtney.flv 500 334]

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