By: Dale King Contributing Writer
The Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated its 65th annual gala by re-electing the chairwoman of the board, welcoming seven new board members and honoring the retiring CEO of Boca Raton Regional Hospital and his executive colleagues.
More than 250 professionals gathered for an elegant black tie affair at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in late October, a celebration that began with a cocktail hour and ended with a night of dancing.
The Chamber celebrated Ethel Isaacs Williams by electing her to a second term as chairwoman of the Board of Directors.
Senior vice president of development and public affairs at Kaufman Lynn Construction, Williams spoke about Boca Raton and Palm Beach County’s thriving business economy and the beneficial work the Boca Chamber has done in the past year.
The event also included an award presentation to Jerry Fedele, president and CEO of BRRH, and his leadership team. Fedele will retire next August after completing 10 years at the helm.
The hospital boss and colleagues were honored with the coveted M.J. “Mike” Arts Award of Excellence, named for the immediate past president and CEO of the Boca Chamber. The award carries considerable value and has been handed out sparingly in the past to leaders who have made a profound impact on the economic prosperity, quality of life and overall success of Boca Raton.
Chamber President and CEO Troy McLellan noted that Fedele has not only served the hospital, but offered his leadership skills to the Chamber as chairman of its Board of Directors during 2016.
“Jerry has made his mark not only on the Chamber, but on an institution, that is deeply embedded in the fabric of our community,” said McLellan. “When Jerry took over at BRRH in 2008, the hospital was in the midst of a major downsizing and financial crisis. Nine years later, the hospital has never been stronger, having added world-class facilities and recognized financial success.”
“According to Jerry, ‘When we succeed, we succeed as a team.’ Jerry and his executive staff have fully embraced the Boca Regional motto of ‘One Team, One Mission.’”
During the event, McLellan recapped a few major highlights from the past year and offered his thoughts on Williams serving a second term. “Last year, we talked about moving forward with bold leadership, and under Ethel’s governance, we did just that. We couldn’t be more excited to have her serve a second term – giving us the opportunity to be even bolder.”
With Ethel remaining in her position, Michael Kaufman, president and CEO of Kaufman Lynn, will roll off the Executive Committee. Jim Dunn from JM Lexus will join the panel as treasurer.
“This year, we are welcoming seven members to the Boca Chamber’s Board of Directors,” said McLellan. “These men and women – combined with our existing 20 board members – represent the best and brightest in our community. It is their combined knowledge and experience that enables us to strengthen our mission – to promote and sustain economic prosperity in Boca Raton and South Palm Beach County.”
New board members who began their terms Nov. 1 include Chris Chase, SunTrust; Ian Cotner, AT&T; Kevin Fernandez, Palm Beach State College; Patty Maczko, Comerica Bank; Mark Mileusnic, NCCI; Michael Myers, CTCA and Mohamed Abdalla, Habitat for Humanity, who will represent the Chamber’s Young Professionals Under 40 (PULSE) group.