Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame puts spotlight on innovators in FIU community.

Florida International University (FIU) alumni Carlos Duart (MST ’99, BACC ’94) and Mariano de Socarraz (BBA ’89) were the 2010 inductees to the College of Business Administration’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. The ceremony, whose theme was “Beyond Ideas: The Art of Entrepreneurship,” recognizes companies and individuals who embody excellence in entrepreneurship through their leadership and vision. Now in its 11th year, the event took place on May 20th at Jungle Island.

Carlos Duart, Joyce J. Elam and Mariano de Socarraz
From left to right: Carlos Duart, Joyce J. Elam and Mariano de Socarraz

Duart, president and chief executive officer of Metric Engineering, Inc., a leading provider of transportation engineering services, received the “Builder Award” for doubling his company’s workforce and boosting revenue by more than $60 million since he took the helm in 2007. De Soccaraz, founder and CEO of specialty pathology lab CorePlus, LLC, was recognized with the “Founder Award” for translating his idea into a successful company with $12 million in annual sales.

South Florida healthcare powerhouse Baptist Health South Florida was named “Entrepreneurial Company of the Year” with Brian Keeley, president and chief executive officer, accepting the award on behalf of the company.

Joyce J. Elam with event attendees
From left to right: Thinh Tran, Baptist Health chief quality officer; Ana Lopez-Blazquez, Baptist Health Enterprises chief executive officer, Brian Keeley, Joyce J. Elam and Javier Hernandez Lichtl, CEO, West Kendall Baptist Hospital

The college’s premier alumni event drew a crowd of more than 350. In her opening remarks, Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam hailed the “skill, passion and success” of local entrepreneurs. University President Mark Rosenberg described entrepreneurship as the “core of FIU’s mission to provide our students with the tools they need to compete in the global marketplace.”

Mark Rosenberg
Mark Rosenberg

Honorees include winners of business plan competition.

Recognition was also given to winners of The Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge, presented by the Eugenio Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center, which for the first time in 2010 featured a separate track exclusively for FIU students, faculty, alumni and staff. First place went to business students Irina Matyukhina, Erwin Tejos Jr., Fabianne Pompee and Keyla Castillo based on their blueprint for TruCycle, an organic waste, composting and consulting business. Online green-building resource Ecode, the brainchild of alumnus Jean Paul Ciaramella (BBA ’09) and business partner Daniel Naim, won second place. Finally, the business school’s director of advancement, alumni and corporate relations Monique Catoggio (EMBA ’03) and her mother Ellie Kane won third place with their plan for Coaches in Your Corner, an email-based professional coaching service.

Irma Becerra-Fernandez
Left to right: Irma Becerra-Fernandez (PhD ’94), director, Pino Center and Jane Wooldridge, business editor, The Miami Herald
Alumni group winners
Alumni group winners
Student team winners
Student team winners
Staff group winners

The event was presented by Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLP and supported by the welcome sponsors Vitas, Regions Bank and Jungle Island.

Tony Argiz
Tony Argiz (BBA ’74) of Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLP, the presenting sponsor of the event

Video: Carlos Duart, Metric Engineering, Builder Award

Video: Mariano de Socarraz, CorePlus, Founder Award

Video: Company of the Year, Baptist Health South Florida

Video: Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Awards Program

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