Monthly Archives: January 2016

‘Managing Bubbie’ author Russel Lazega hosts Kelley Shanley, Broward Center CEO

Russel Lazega, author of the award-winning family memoir “Managing Bubbie” (a term of endearment for a Jewish grandmother) hosted a rave review Aventura Marketing Council, World-Class Chamber of Commerce, Chairman’s Roundtable luncheon featuring Kelley Shanley, CEO of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, now celebrating 25 years of spectacular seasons.

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Russel Lazega, Author, “Managing Bubbie”; Kelley Shanley, Broward Center for the Performing Arts; Cliff Schulman, Weiss Serota Helfman

AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss Serota Helfman, past Chair Bob Hollander of Brown & Brown Insurance and Lazega, founder of the law firm Florida Advocates and author of over a dozen books, welcomed a talented cast of business and community leaders gathered at Christine Lee’s at Gulfstream Park.

The meeting’s first act starred Lazega, who put on a great show while reading excerpts from “Managing Bubbie”- bringing his beloved but “impossible” grandmother Lea Lezega’s spirited, stubborn character to life via a hilarious dramatic interpretation (complete with Yiddish accent).

“Managing Bubbie” vividly recounts the incredible story of how Lazega’s Bubbie escaped from Nazi clutches when she was a young mother protecting three young children; and her confounded Miami Beach family trying to manage her 40 years later. Featured at the 2015 Miami Book Fair Readers’ Favorite Booth, “Managing Bubbie” has already won seven esteemed literary awards including the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Award and 2015 Writer’s Digest Book Award.

“Managing Bubbie was like working a puppet with a thousand strings and sometimes I wonder which of us was tugging them,” Lazega said.

Taking center stage, Shanley explained, “The Broward Center, one of the top 10 busiest theaters of its size in the country, has had a significant impact on building community through the arts, presenting more than 700 events to more than 700,000 visitors annually. We’ve also touched the lives of nearly three million students through our school partnerships.

“Today, the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center (managed by the Broward Center) is also considered an outside resource classroom for schools including the city’s charter school (ACES) located next door. The educational programs introducing students to the arts are tied to classroom curriculum so we’re using art as a means to reinforce and enhance academic achievement.”

Shanley went on to speak about the Broward Center’s multi-million renovations focusing on modernization and enhancing the audience experience with amenities including a Club Level, full bar, food and beverage venues and valet parking. The Rose Miniaci Arts Education Center and JM Family Studio Theater are also now facilitating additional space for educational programs, classes, performances and workshops for students of all ages learning to express themselves through the arts.

“We’re proud to say that as we turn 25, the Broward Center is bigger, better, and more vibrant than ever,” Shanley said. “We hope you’ll join us for our most exciting season yet!”

Before the meeting’s final curtain call, everyone was invited to join in applauding the Broward Center’s 2015-2016 all-star line-up including: Tony Bennett, Kathy Griffin, Josh Groban, Miami City Ballet, Florida Grand Opera, The Book of Mormon and Slow Burn Theatre critically acclaimed off-Broadway productions (also coming to AACC).

For more information about the all-star 2015-1016 lineup at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, visit and

To laugh, cry and commiserate with the trials and tribulations of Managing Bubbie, order your copy today at

By Bari Auerbach

‘Patriotism Today in America’ hosted by Memorial Healthcare System

“Patriotism in America” was the theme of the Aventura Marketing Council’s, World-Class Chamber of Commerce, November breakfast meeting featuring Major General Michael Calhoun, the Adjutant General for the Florida ESGR (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve). Memorial Healthcare System hosted the salute to military heroes at Turnberry Isle Miami.

AMC Chair Cliff Schulman, Weiss Serota Helfman; Major General Michael Calhoun, Florida Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve; Doug Zaren, Memorial Hospital South

AMC Chair Cliff Schulman, Weiss Serota Helfman; Major General Michael Calhoun, Florida Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve; Doug Zaren, Memorial Hospital South

AMC Chair Cliff Schulman of Weiss Serota Helfman joined by Memorial Regional South Administrator Doug Zaren, a retired Naval officer and AMC Board member, welcomed service members, veterans and their family members as well as hundreds of AMC business and community leaders.

During the meeting, everyone was inspired to support the mission of ESGR – “Working tirelessly to make sure returning heroes have the ability to earn a living – giving them their livelihoods and lives back after they’ve defended ours.” Employers can register on the website and pledge to give preferential hiring to returning National Guard and Reserve veterans.

The community was also invited to join in the Feb. 28, 2016 Tour de Broward benefitting Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital at Miramar Regional Park. Events offered for adults, kids, physically challenged athletes and wounded warriors will include 100k & 50k rides, a 5k timed run and 3k walk. To register, visit

Highlighting how the six-hospital Memorial Healthcare System is winning the battle to save lives, Zaren said, “Memorial Regional is now ‘quaternary’ - meaning we’re where other hospitals send their patients for very complex care. We’ve performed 20 pediatric heart transplants; we’re now doing adult heart transplants; and we have our Certificate of Need prepared for kidney transplants. Memorial West is emerging as our oncology hospital, facilitating donor-matched allogeneic bone marrow transplants.

“The Memorial Regional South Rehab Institute has opened a 16-bed brain injury unit; and we’re preparing to open up 15 beds for rehabbing oncology patients. We have become so sophisticated  that we’re going to be teaching and training rehab doctors. We’ve also embarked on an academic training program for graduate medical education and will have 166 residents.”

Following the Presentation of Colors by Krop Sr. High’s JROTC under the direction of Capt. Jacklyn Gallaher; and the Pledge of Allegiance led by North Miami Beach Sr. High’s JROTC under the direction of Sgt. Peter Serrano, AMC members saluted the illustrious military career of Gen. Calhoun. He previously served as the Assistant Adjutant General-Army and Director of the Joint Staff for the Florida National Guard.

“When you get the call that you’re going to deploy, you usually think, ‘I have to tell my boss’ and wonder if you’ll have a job when you get back. Fortunately for me, my employers were understanding and patriotic - offering me flexibility with leave so that I could attain military training with their support. My experience as a military leader also contributed to the betterment of my civilian job.

“There are numerous incentives to hiring motivated, disciplined military members with skill sets who understand ‘hard work and sacrifice.’ Military health benefits can also possibly reduce costs to employers. The future of our success is maintaining the communication and trust we’ve developed working to support our service members and your communities.”

Peter Caspari, ESGR Florida Director of Employer Outreach, added, “Guards and Reservists are smart and very punctual. If you have an open position, please let us know. We need your help.”

For more information, visit and

By: Bari Auerbach

9th annual Wounded Warriors “Soldier Ride” at Residence Inn by Marriott Aventura

Heartwarming and inspirational.   Probably the best two words to describe the morning of January 7th when the Aventura community gathered to bid farewell to wounded U. S. soldiers as they left the Residence Inn for their annual cycle event, known as the “Soldier Ride”.  This ride is a physical health and wellness program of the Wounded Warriors, which envisions a generation of wounded veterans well-adjusted in body, receiving the care they need to maximize rehabilitation and live active and healthy lives, helping the warriors achieve independence.


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The soldiers spent two nights at the beautiful Residence Inn in anticipation of their long journey to Key West.  This event is of high recognition and all roads along their South Florida route are closed, and police departments throughout South Florida accompany them throughout their journey.

Aventura, known as the “City of Excellence” can also be called the “City with a Heart”, as City and County leaders, Aventura police, businesspeople, students and residents showed up at 7 a.m. to meet and cheer on the men and women who have given so much to assure the freedoms we enjoy.  Each year, the Residence Inn partners the Aventura Marketing Council/World-Class Chamber of Commerce, to invite the community to participate in this very special event.

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Aventura Mayor Enid Weisman held the audience captive with her beautiful words of inspiration for our warriors.  Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman spoke of the sacrifices made by our military and appreciation for their service to our nation.   Miguel Hoyer, General Manager of the Residence Inn, gave a simple, but powerful, “Thank You” to our veterans and his appreciation to the community for their support.

Students from ACES, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Sr. High were there, bringing home-made cookies for the riders.  Aventura Marketing Council members brought water, gum and candy as well.  Uniformed JROTC cadets from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, under the direction of Capt. Jacklyn Gallagher, lined up in a reverent military salute, waiting for the warriors to depart.

The Aventura Police were there in full force with police cars and motorcycles to escort the Wounded Warriors to their next destination.   It was a morning of powerful emotions that would make us think twice about what some of us consider “problems”.     The smiles on the faces of our Wounded Warriors throughout the morning brought to mind the quote....”Heroes don’t wear capes....they wear dog tags”.

For more information on the Residence Inn by Marriott, visit; 

Aventura Hospital and Medical Center sponsors ‘Salute to Law Enforcement’

Heroic law enforcement officers who risk their lives serving and protecting the community were recently honored during “A Salute to Law Enforcement” Aventura Marketing Council, World-Class Chamber of Commerce, breakfast meeting sponsored by Aventura Hospital and Medical Center at Turnberry Isle Miami.


AMC past Chair Bob Hollander of Brown & Brown Insurance, joined by Aventura Hospital Chief Financial Officer Alisa Bert, welcomed hundreds of business and community leaders including elected officials, police chiefs and law enforcement officers representing: the City of Aventura, Bal Harbour Village, Biscayne Park Village, city of Dania Beach, Town of Golden Beach, City of Hollywood, Indian Creek Village, City of Miami Gardens, Miami-Dade County Intracoastal District, Miami Shores Village, City of North Miami, City of North Miami Beach, City of Sunny Isles Beach, and the Town of Surfside.

The momentous event commenced with an inspirational rendition of the National Anthem sung by 15 year-old Cameron Wheeler, one of the AMC’s former Young Stars from their Aventura Mall YOUNG STARS SHOWCASE presented by Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Perfectly in tune with the auspicious occasion, Cameron Wheeler proceeded to sing tribute songs including Hero, Wind Beneath My Wings and I Believe I Can Fly while Aventura Hospital CFO Alisa Bert and colleagues helped recognize local law enforcement officers and their K-9s on behalf of AHMC’s entire administration and staff.

Sharing exciting Aventura Hospital initiatives, Bert said, “We’d like to extend special thanks to law enforcement for playing an integral role in the success of Aventura Hospital’s Trauma Program, which has already treated over 700 trauma patients and received a level two provisional trauma designation from the Department of Health.

The hospital is also continuing to introduce great technological advances in cardiac care. “Our TAVR Program (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement) now makes valve replacement possible for patients who may not be candidates for open heart surgery,” Bert said. “We’re also planning to double the size of our Emergency Room, serving at least 70,000 patients annually. The $15 million expansion project will be breaking ground in January, 2016.”

Recognizing residency programs are in short supply nationwide, the hospital has also established a Graduate Medical Education Program welcoming healthcare’s future problem solvers. “We already have internal medicine and general surgery residents; recently received approval on an application for an Anesthesia Program; and plan to add several more programs in specific areas over the next several years based on community needs,” Bert said. She also invited everyone to learn more about Aventura Hospital’s ongoing lecture series focusing on various health topics including those of special interest to women.

Before the “Salute to Law Enforcement” concluded, Sunny Isles Beach Police Chief Fred Maas helped heighten appreciation for the best in blue while speaking about the alarming rash of tragic police killings recently in the news. He noted, “Criticism, negativity and scrutiny is resulting in officers questioning their career choices and young people becoming reluctant to enter the law enforcement profession. But we know that adversity results in greater resolve. We will weather this and be stronger. To everyone who supports law enforcement in good times and critical times we say, ‘Thank you!’

For more information about Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, visit

By Bari Auerbach