Despite the masks, there was no hiding that the 10th Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame was special. Highlights of the masquerade soirée included honoring Joyce J. Elam, executive dean of the business school, as the South Florida Entrepreneur of the Year, and the recognition of prior alumni inductees and those previously named South Florida Entrepreneur of the Year.
The gala drew approximately 400 guests, among them outgoing FIU President Modesto Maidique, incoming FIU President Mark Rosenberg and many of the earlier honorees.
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Irma Becerra-Fernandez, the newly appointed director of the Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center, recognized winners of the 2009 Entrepreneur Challenge Business Plan Competition: Miami’s Finest Aquarium Services, LLC and Science Boomers. The Pino Center and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation sponsored the competition.
“We received very positive feedback about the evening, which also included a silent auction,” said Michelle Joubert, assistant director, advancement and alumni relations. “The Hall of Fame gathering is our major alumni event of the year and our alumni, other supporters, honorees and future entrepreneurs made our 10th anniversary successful from both a social and fundraising perspective.”
The event took place at the Fontainebleau Hotel Miami Beach on May 16, 2009, and it was made possible thanks to the generous support of SunTrust; Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLP; Antigal Winery & Estates, Florida Event Decor; Gold Coast Beverage Distributors; Hoodiny Entertainment; Infinium Spirits; The Miami Herald; el Nuevo Herald; Park ‘N Fly; Royal Caribbean International; Unique Impressions; and Vitas.