Miami-Dade County Business Briefs - Dec. 2005
Executive vice president and general counsel Eugene Dauchert has been appointed interim president and CEO of clinical outsourcing firm Sterling Healthcare after CEO Dr. Stephen Dresnick requested a leave of absence.
HIALEAH -- Arca Knitting will lay off 115 workers at its Hialeah factory. The manufacturer says the move results from competition from overseas suppliers.
KEY WEST -- Mayor Jimmy Weekley lost his bid for a fourth term in a stunning upset to real estate agent Morgan McPherson by 24 votes. McPherson, 36, has never held office.
MIAMI -- Home builder Lennar (NYSE-LEN) will replace Gillette Co. on the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index. The index is one of the key measures of Wall Street performance. Gillette is being acquired by Procter & Gamble.
Spain-based Bodaclick, an online wedding portal, plans to open an office in Miami to target the North American and Latin American markets. The company plans to hire 10 full-time employees over the next three years.
Miami ranks first among large cities in the nation for the percentage of poor African-American residents who live in concentrated pockets of poverty. According to a recent study by the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institute, more than 67% of the city's African-Americans who live below the poverty level reside within one of 23 "high poverty" clusters.
Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and City Manager Joe Arriola, largely credited with steering the city from the brink of bankruptcy and improving government solvency, are weathering criticism of how the city is spending $255 million in bond money approved by voters in 2001. An internal audit has raised questions about contracts, inadequate cost controls and possible conflicts of interest involving lobbyists.
Miami-based Spanish Broadcasting System (Nasdaq-SBSA), which owns 20 radio stations in major cities around the U.S., has made its first step into television with the $37.5-million purchase of Miami's WDLP-Channel 22.
Facundo L. Bacardi has been elected chairman of the board of Bermuda-based spirits giant Bacardi. The 38-year-old great-great-grandson of the company's founder, Bacardi replaces Ruben Rodriguez. Bacardi's U.S. operation is based in Miami.
MIAMI-DADE -- Despite a 14% decline in cruise passenger traffic this year -- its first drop in more than 10 years -- the Port of Miami remains the nation's biggest cruise port, according to the International Council of Cruise Lines.
Florida International University has been awarded a $286,000 grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development to open the Small and Medium Enterprises Center of Excellence, a program to train business executives in Central America and the Dominican Republic.
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation President and former Miami Herald publisher Alberto Ibarguen has been named to the board of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo.
Former Miami-Dade Aviation Director Angela Gittens has been elected to the board of Forest Hills, N.Y.-based JetBlue Airways.
NORTH MIAMI -- Miami-Beach based Mount Sinai Medical Center has submitted an application with the state to build a 269-bed, non-profit hospital in North Miami Beach. The proposed site is adjacent to the north campus of Florida International University, which is pushing to open a medical school.