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2018 Q1 President’s Message

carolina-castillo-smThe first quarter of 2018 has come to an end and we have so much to be grateful for!

Last October we kicked off 2018 with our yearly President’s retreat where I sought to define what would become my tenure as President with a formula designed to drive, execute and epitomize our vision: Purpose + Membership + Revenue = Sustainability. This simple, yet strategically calculated path has propelled the WCC to triple in membership, increase revenue through sponsorships, forge noteworthy community partnerships and create value to its membership through new business opportunities and educational workshops. We still have many goals and objectives to accomplish, but we have taken off to a magnificent start!

As we celebrate our 34th anniversary, we are extremely proud of yet another accomplishment; the WCC now has a place to call home at our new offices located within BizNest at 2000 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite #600, Coral Gables, Florida. Through a community-driven alliance, BizNest enables the WCC to have a stable venue for meetings and events, as well as provide our membership with an environment that is not only aligned with our purpose, but supports our mission to foster the advancement of all women in our community.

As a “chamber of commerce” our purpose is to educate, support, EMPOWER and be a voice for all women. As a “brand”, our job is to continue growing, expanding and forging ahead by staying relevant and joining those conversations which are instrumental to the advancement of our members. To this end and in just this first quarter, we payed homage to our legacy by inviting the First Hispanic Democratic Female Florida Senator, and former WCC President (2001), Sen. Annette Taddeo, to swear in the new 2018 board of directors at our Annual Board Installation. We are joining Florida International University and the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum on a joint community women’s event, as we keep the conversation current in the #MeToo movement. We participated in a joint partnership with Creative Glue in hosting keynote speaker Grace Nelson, Senator Bill Nelson’s wife, as she spoke on the empowerment of women within our communities and on women’s leadership roles. We also partnered with the City of Doral Internal Services Department – Small Business Division, which along with the Miami-Dade Commission for Women, presented a powerful Joint Vendor Outreach event geared to educate and provide opportunities for women with the governmental and quasi-governmental vendor procurement process. Altogether, we have created wonderful joint events through new and enduring partnerships, including educational workshops which bring together professionals at the top of their fields, from nationally renowned parenting psychotherapists and family lawyers to esteemed University of Miami professors.

As your President, I am also extremely grateful and proud to carry forth and continue the vision of our founder, Ms. Thelma Gibson. Ms. Gibson, a treasure in our community, has done so much for all women in Miami-Dade County and this year, we are already working closer with her to propel the WCC to its full potential. With that in mind, we had the opportunity to have Sunshine Living, a community publication, do a feature story on our beloved Ms. Thelma Gibson’s life. The article will be coming out in the month of April. Stay tuned for that link. Thank you to Ms. Merline Barton, President and Co-Founder of the Thelma Gibson Health Initiative; Rosalinda O’Neill, Sunshine Living Publisher; Evelyn Lasso, Editor and Betty Alvarez, Photographer.

None of this could have become a reality if it wasn’t for the current board of directors – – women leaders, trailblazers and visionaries! I thank you for trusting my vision and jumping on board alongside me! I’m so proud of what together we have accomplished so far!

I end my message with a clear vision for our members and future members. An upward step toward empowering and advancing yourselves, one another, your businesses and your professions. As a chamber, we become enriched through the passionate contribution of your time, work, ingenuity and ideals. We will support you by providing a platform to convey and embolden your voice. Join our WCC and take advantage of our different committees, where you will serve our community and enrich your relationships through our network. This is your chamber, your voice. We are all leaders enhancing each other’s purpose. Cheers to our collaborative success!

Carolina Castillo

2018 President,
Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade County

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