Monthly Archives: September 2013

Dennis Rodman promotes All-Star Basketball Camp at Gallery Art reception

When two powerhouse organizations, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Aventura Marketing Council , joined forces for an evening networking reception hosted by Ken Hendel, owner of Gallery Art in Aventura, it’s only natural to expect another ‘powerhouse’ to be there!

Dennis Rodman Aventura Florida

Alan Lips, Gerson, Preston, Robinson & Company / Chairman of the Board, Miami Beach Chamber; Jonathan Hirsch, All-Star Basketball Camp; Guest; Dennis Rodman, NBA alumni; Ken Hendel, Gallery Art; Floyd Raglin, Floyd Sports Marketing

Dennis Rodman, NBA alumni, character extraordinaire, and most recently featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, joined the reception to talk about the upcoming Warren Henry All-Star Basketball Camp Aug. 12 – 15 at the Michael-Ann Russell JCC. For the fourth consecutive year, boys and girls ages 8 – 17 will enjoy learning some cool basketball moves from stars such as Rodman, Eddie Jones, Norris Cole, James Jones, Tim Hardaway, Keyon Dooling, Kenny Anderson, Mark Strickland and Mario Chalmers, with some surprise basketball stars showing up during the week. The youngsters learn about ball handling, triple threat, rebounding, court spacing, passing and how important it is to work as a team, while also learning about positive attitudes, staying in school and saying no to drugs and alcohol. “I just love working with kids and seeing their confidence grow as they learn new basketball moves,” said Rodman. Warren Henry, owner of Warren Henry Automotive, has been the title sponsor of this camp since its inception, and said, “This camp provides South Florida youngsters with a great opportunity to grow and learn, and we’re so pleased to be able to provide camp scholarships to children from our local charities.”

Almost 100 guests were enjoying an array of delicious hors d’oeuvres amidst beautifully- framed originals, oils, acrylics, limited edition prints, glass and bronzes by today’s most esteemed and collectible artists, when Rodman walked in and started talking with the guests. We couldn’t tell if the guests were more thrilled to take photos with Rodman or view the artwork of Andy Warhol, Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, Peter Max and Leroy Neiman displayed throughout the 8,000 sq. ft. showroom!

CPA Alan Lips, partner in Gerson, Preston, Robinson & Company, maintains a leadership role in both organizations as the current Chairman of the Board of the Miami Beach Chamber and a member of the Executive Committee of the Aventura Marketing Council. “It was nice to see so many great people getting to know each other from two incredibly functional and effective business networking organizations.”

Ken Hendel added, “The camaraderie between the two organizations was outstanding...exemplifying first-class members from my two favorite organizations! The evening was delightful and entertaining and Gallery Art was extremely proud to be host site, something we love to do for many different groups and events.”

For more information on Gallery Art:; Miami Beach Chamber:; Aventura Marketing Council:; All-Star Basketball Camp, call 305.978.9433 or 305.761.8220.

Photography by Al Ricketts

Gallery of Amazing Things hosts ‘absolutely amazing’ VIP Reception

When Aventura Marketing Council Chairman’s Roundtable members attended an exclusive VIP reception at the Gallery of Amazing Things, “Absolutely amazing!” was the prevalent quote evoked by stunning works of art exhibited at the Dania Beach gallery now being heralded as South Florida’s most unique event venue.

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Gregg Whittecar, owner of The Gallery of Amazing Things presents Mary Hughes, Atlantic Broadband with door prize of Royal Doulton British Bulldog

AMC business and community leaders appreciated the opportunity to network and socialize while being mesmerized by the Gallery of Amazing Thing’s collection of “impossibly perfect,” artifacts ranging from porcelain figures and monumental crystals from South America - to 50 million year old fossils and a magnificent chandelier comprised of over 300 ethereal fairies. Items for sale and on display for guests to discover include masterpieces from Lladró, Waterford Crystal, Royal Doulton, Eostone and rare World War II binoculars.

Featuring 19,000 square feet of usable space, reception capacity for 500, banquet capacity for 250 and ample parking, the Gallery of Amazing Things is ideal for private functions such as corporate meetings, charity galas, weddings and Bar or Bat Mitzvahs. Events that have already received rave reviews include a Luxe Magazine appreciation party, a South Florida Events industry showcase and a special signing event with Rosa Lladró. Upcoming festivities include an open house Design Fair weekend, a Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce after- hours mixer and intimate Board of Directors dinner.

AMC members were impressed to learn how gallery owners Arron Rimpley and Gregg Whittecar, renowned for bringing exceptional art creations to the world, spearheaded the amazing transformation of the former Graves Museum of Archeology and Natural History into the new Gallery of Amazing Things. When the visionary success story was covered in the South Florida Business Journal, they explained, “When we found the museum, our vision was to create an art gallery, but as we were remodeling, all the possibilities of what it could be as an event space were revealed.”

A choice of “galleries” are available for unforgettable smaller gatherings or palatial celebrations – and in between courses and cocktails, guests can marvel at all the amazing sights to see: the craftsmanship of British ceramics and Spanish High Porcelain; Eostone natural stone murals containing 50 million year- old fossils collected from a private quarry in Wyoming; restored World War II naval binoculars on polished wood or stainless steel stands; Lladró, and Royal Doulton prized collectable sculptures; plus innovative pieces from the new Waterford Interiors home décor portfolio featuring sleek console tables, dramatic floor mirrors, bespoke chandeliers and lighting designed for glamorous living.
While many AMC members had read about the Gallery of Amazing Things in high-end decor and luxury magazines, actually seeing it firsthand was such an awe-inspiring experience, colleagues, Facebook friends and family members were inundated with e-mails, texts and tweets like these: “You have to see this place! It’s beyond amazing! Simply ‘impossibly perfect’ for any special event!”

The Gallery of Amazing Things is located at 481 South Federal Highway in Dania Beach. For more information or to arrange a private tour, phone: 954-654-7738 or visit

Written by Bari Auerbach

Photography by Joe Tohoski and Dylan Beese

Strategies for ‘Multicultural Marketing’ hosted by FirstService Residential

“How to target, segment, and execute a marketing strategy in the evolving multicultural marketplace” was the timely topic of the Aventura Marketing Council’s June breakfast meeting hosted by FirstService Residential, the leader in property management services, in cooperation with Indigo Events - a full production “marketing through events” company.

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Gary Pyott, FirstService Residential; Salomon Levy, Discovery Networks; Julie Magaldi, FirstService Residential; Karen Udler, Alma DDB/McDonald’s; Tim O’Keefe, FirstService Residential; Yael Dornbusch, Zumba Fitness; Gladys Mezrahi, Indigo Events; Roberto Oliva, O Americas Group; Rob Rabin, FirstService Residential

AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss, Serota, Helfman joined by FirstService Regional President Tim O’Keefe and Gladys Mezrahi, President of Indigo Events, helped welcome hundreds of business and community leaders gathered at Turnberry Isle Miami. The meeting’s special guests included internationally-acclaimed marketing experts: Roberto Oliva, CEO of O Americas Group; Yael Dornbusch, Zumba Fitness Global Marketing Director; Salomon Levy, Channel Director for Discovery Networks Latin America/U.S. Hispanic; and Karen Udler, Strategic Insights for Alma DDB/McDonald’s Hispanic Outreach.

Sharing innovative strategies for expanding markets and increasing sales, Oliva emphasized, “Do your homework regarding your target market.” He provided examples such as being aware that a message in one language may have a totally different interpretation in another; and how understanding family demographics and psychographics can help create more effective international advertising and marketing campaigns that “fit the culture.”

Dornbusch highlighted global connectivity initiatives. “Utilizing social media forums, surveys and ethnic market research can provide insights into cultural values so you can maximize product positioning and message relevance.” Levy and Udler reiterated the importance of knowing what motivates multi-cultural consumers and which media they’re actively tuning into. “Targeted, relevant and unique business building communication ideas can “bond consumers with brands.”

Close to home in Aventura, O’Keefe explained, FirstService Residential manages 35 properties, maintains pristine municipal landscaping and routinely sponsors city events including Founders Day and Arbor Day. The largest manager of residential communities in North America, FirstService Residential oversees more than 6,000 properties and more than 1.5 million residential units across 19 U.S. states and three provinces in Canada. Their success strategies are based on innovative technology, specialized product expertise and industry-leading training. These ensure the highest quality service, help associations operate more efficiently and protect property values while enhancing the lifestyles of residents living in the communities FirstService Residential serves.

AMC members taking advantage of great multicultural business building opportunities at the breakfast meeting especially appreciated Gladys Mezrahi’s concept to expand the scope of networking services offered by Indigo Events. Beyond creating flawlessly executed social, corporate and fundraising functions, Indigo’s “Business Connections” is an exclusive international networking series for business owners, decision-makers, and professionals across Latin America.

For more information, visit;;;;;

Written by Bari Auerbach

Photography by Andrew Goldstein

The Crimson by mckafka Development Group hosts ‘Construction Boom’ update

Vision, style and desire shared the spotlight when mckafka Development Group, now launching The Crimson: Residences on Biscayne Bay, “Miami’s hottest new waterfront condominiums,” hosted an Aventura Marketing Council Chairman’s Roundtable luncheon. The event featured a “construction boom” update presented by Peter Zalewski, founder of Condo Vultures - the market intelligence company providing assistance in evaluating the state of residential and real estate markets in the tri-county South Florida region.

mckafka development group

Jaqui Levy Hara and Stephan Gietl, mckafka Development Group; Peter Zalewski, Condo Vultures and Fernando Levy Hara, mckafka Development Group

AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss, Serota, Helfman helped welcome business and community leaders gathered at Christine Lee’s at Gulfstream Park along with mckafka partners Stephan Gietl and Fernando Levy Hara, who serves as AMC Vice Chair; architect Stephane L'Écuyer of IDEA, (International Design, Engineering and Architecture); and team members from Baker / CVR Real Estate, helping to fulfill The Crimson promise to“Ignite Your Life!”

Hara and Gietl explained that in 2009, they co-founded Aventura-based mckafka Development Group, and in less than two years, the visionary firm bought more than 400 condominium units in South Florida and sold them to international investors. Today, mckafka has various projects in phases of planning or under construction including The Crimson – their first development high-style project during South Florida’s booming new condo construction cycle.

Ideally located in Miami’s most desirable midtown Edgewater district right next to Biscayne Bay, near shops, restaurants, cafes and clubs, Crimson’s unique 90 units are already 20 percent reserved. Spacious one, two and three-bedroom condos with large terraces or balconies will have spectacular water views and “Class A” amenities including a panoramic boardwalk, cybercafé, and the private, exclusive C Club featuring a promenade sundeck, tropical pool and hot tub.

Providing insight into record sales anticipated for The Crimson and many other new developments on the rise, Zalewski, named “Market Advisor of the Year” by the Miami Association of Realtors, noted, “South Florida is in the early stages of the region's latest construction boom. Developers are proposing at least 138 condo towers with more than 18,500 units for the tri-county region of coastal Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach. Fueled by investors primarily from overseas, about 2,450 new condo units remain unsold from a supply of nearly 49,000 units created since 2003 in South Florida’s largest coastal markets.”

According to Zalewski, winners in the new construction cycle share successful strategies such as building waterfront communities; marketing “niche-oriented” products that are either investor-grade or extremely luxurious; collaborating with superior property management companies; and keeping prices competitive despite escalating land costs. He went on to point out that condo development is also being driven by former homeowners seeking to downsize and rent from both foreign and domestic investors.

Reiterating really good news about South Florida real estate, Hara and Gietl left AMC members with winning mckafka words of wisdom: “We’re very optimistic about the future. This is still the land of opportunity and the strongest economy in the world!”

The Crimson sales center is located at 1444 Biscayne Boulevard. For more information, phone: 305-377-3337 or visit

Written by Bari Auerbach

Photography by Andrew Goldstein