Joyce J. Elam is well known as the executive dean of the College of Business Administration at Florida International University (FIU) and as vice provost of FIU Online.
Dany Garcia, founder and CEO of a Miami-based investment firm, is also well known at FIU and within the college. She serves on the FIU Foundation Board of Directors, and she recently made a generous donation to the college to help start the Student Managed Investment Fund and to fund the group’s advisor, Helen Simon, director, Capital Markets Lab.
This past holiday season, at the invitation of Garcia, Elam took on yet another role: as Santa’s helper. She gathered toys to bring the cheer of the season to participants in the Beacon Experience, a foundation Garcia launched to help at-risk children by providing educational programs and assistance.
“She sent me an email saying that the foundation was looking for individuals to buy gifts for the children,” Elam said. “In the past, the college has participated in toy drives for the holidays and this was a meaningful project for us to take on.”
College’s leadership team contributes to the immediate goal and lays foundation for expanded relationship.
The Beacon Experience ensured that the recipients got exactly what they wanted by providing Elam each child’s name and his or her gift request.
To be able to collect the number of toys on the lengthy list, Elam appealed to the college’s administrators, who responded with tremendous generosity. Some donated toys and many donated money, which Elam used to purchase additional presents. The cash and toy contributions totaled about $1,000. Elam also delivered the gifts to the foundation, where staff members wrapped them and ultimately handed them out to the excited group.
According to Annabelle Rojas (MBA ’98, BBA ’87), assistant dean, Department of Advancement, Alumni, and Corporate Relations, the collaboration with Garcia and her foundation embodies the college’s commitment to expand relationships with entities in the business community for mutual benefit.
“Dany Garcia’s generosity and expertise already have been an invaluable resource for the business school,” Rojas said. “We will continue to find ways to reciprocate to support her important work as she continues to do the same for us.”
For more information about the array of programs the Beacon Experience offers, visit http://www.beaconexperience.org/.