Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ NAF Academies Win Big in Washington, DC

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                     CONTACT:   Daisy Gonzalez-Diego

Wednesday, August 8, 2018                                                                                             305-995-2060

Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ NAF Academies Win Big
in Washington, DC

Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) brought home the gold in awards and scholarships at the NAF Next conference, a professional development experience that ignites innovation and spreads effective practices across the NAF network through unique learning and networking opportunities. This all-encompassing conference held in Washington, DC on July 9-11 was attended by over 60 M-DCPS administrators and teachers and post-secondary and industry business partners who support the NAF Academies.

At the conference, NAF announced that M-DCPS will pilot a local initiative, NAFTrack Miami to support the NAFTrack Certified Hiring Initiative created to provide special consideration to local job applicants.  Wendy Kallergis, President & CEO Greater Miami & the Beaches Hotel Association (GM&BHA) said, “this is a win/win for business partners and students alike developing college and career ready students and keeping the talent local.”

Following are highlights of M-DCPS’ accomplishments at NAF Next:

  • Hialeah Gardens Senior High School was awarded the prestigious JD Hoye Presidential Award which recognizes the first high school in the NAF Network to have all five of its NAF themed academies receive the highest designation of “Distinguished.”  A former Janet Linton Award Honoree, Principal Algaze’s leadership led to all NAF Academies performing at the highest level of delivering high-quality educational experiences for its students.
  • Four new Miami academies were added to the list of Distinguished academies continuing M-DCPS’ distinction of having the most Distinguished career academies of any school district. Sixteen of the 68 nationally recognized high-quality academies demonstrating performance at the highest level in preparing students for college and careers are in M-DCPS. Additionally, 14 academies were recognized as Model programs.


NAF Academies / add one

  • Wendy Kallergis, President & CEO, GMBHA & Treasurer of the Academy of Hospitality and Tourism (AOHT) Board was recognized as an Advisory Board Champion for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in ensuring that youth are prepared for college, careers, and active civic participation.
  • Nashara Frazier, 1996, Alumna, Miramar High School and Secretary of the Miami AOHT Advisory Board and North American Area Manager, Expedia was awarded a coveted NAF Alumni Honoree Award. This award recognizes NAF alumni who have achieved success in college and career that can be attributed to their academy experiences.

Additionally, Miami’s teachers, administrators, district staff, and industry leaders presented at Academy-themed learning seminars.

NAF is a national network of education, business and community leaders, who work together to ensure high school students are future ready for college and career. M-DCPS has exemplified strategic commitment to and investment in NAF academies and student enrollment goals, strong demonstration of the NAF model and outstanding leadership capacity within the network.

NAF began when business leader Sandy Weill saw an opportunity to connect young people to the increasing needs of the financial workforce. From this grew an educational model that celebrates 36 years of success in ensuring students benefit from high-quality educational opportunities linked to growing and emerging industries.

M-DCPS’ Division of Academics, Department of Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides students with high quality, relevant, career technical education, giving students the skills and knowledge, they need to succeed in college and careers and for life.  For additional information, please contact CTE at 305-693-3030 or go to:

For the most up-to-date information, please download the Dadeschools mobile app to your iPhone or Android device.  Follow us on Twitter @mdcps and @miamisup and on Facebook at MiamiSchools and AlbertoCarvalho.





GMBHA & Partners Present: A Conversation with JD Hoye, President, NAF

Members of our GMBHA Board of Directors and Hospitality industry partners engaged in a very interesting conversation with JD Hoye, President of NAF. She and her team are committed to preparing high school students for college and meaningful careers across the country. She has worked at both the grassroots and the highest levels of government to reform how young people are engaged in learning and how they are positioned to pursue their academic interests and career goals.

We would like to thank our partners at Miami-Dade County Public Schools, GMCVB, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Marriott for joining us and a special thanks to Ingrid Chavez, General Manager, Miami Airport Marriott.

Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach and HCP Media Unveil Acqualina Magazine, 2018, Vol. 2, Luxury Lifestyle Magazine!

          Acqualina Logo       HCP Media Logo


Sunny Isles Beach, FL – July 12, 2018 – Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, in partnership with HCP Media, a custom publishing and media company, announces the launch of Acqualina Magazine 2018, Vol. 2, the latest edition of the resort’s own luxury lifestyle publication. This semi-annual, high-end, glossy in-room magazine showcases the best of Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach, The Mansions at Acqualina and The Estates at Acqualina — set to open in 2020.

Previous issues of Acqualina Magazine have garnered a number of notable editorial and design awards, including recognition from The Florida Magazine Association and Graphic Design USA. Acqualina Magazine 2018, Vol. 2, is sure to be another successful iteration, highlighting the latest trends in fashion, design, lifestyle and leisure with a central focus on Acqualina’s Five Star, Five Diamond offerings and amenities.

“We are proud to once again present our guests and residents, as well as enthusiasts of the Acqualina brand with this beautiful magazine,” says Alexandra Wensley, Vice President of Communications for Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach and The Estates at Acqualina. “The latest stellar installment of Acqualina Magazine boasts insightful articles and stunning imagery, and — after our recent groundbreaking ceremony for The Estates at Acqualina— it also provides exquisite details on our newest offerings.”

From alluring accessories and high fashion to curated experiences and ultra-luxe shopping destinations, Acqualina Magazine features the best South Florida has to offer while highlighting the superlative luxury and comfort at Acqualina Resort & Spa, The Mansions and The Estates.

“Creating this beautiful magazine on behalf of Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach is an honor for HCP Media,” says Marisa Beazel, President and Publisher of HCP Media. “It is a wonderful opportunity to bring Acqualina’s superior offerings to life within the pages of Acqualina Magazine and to be a part of the brand’s growing portfolio.”

For more information on this publication and for an opportunity to be a part of the next edition, please contact Lisa Magnus at 305-376-5257.

About HCP Media

As communication experts, HCP Media, a division of McClatchy, creates innovative, market- leading, cross-platform solutions that stay ahead of consumers’ evolving media habits. A custom publishing and promotion company, HCP offers a wide variety of engaging print publications, developing and producing over 100 custom publications for hotels, airlines and other clients. The company’s reach extends beyond the travel niche and into the global luxury market, including

en-suite cruise line publications and luxury lifestyle magazines. Additional custom products include multilingual destination guides, in-room hotel books, in-flight magazines, travel videos and websites, as well as accompanying sales, marketing and promotional programs. The company also produces commemorative coffee-table books, healthcare publications, program guides and other customized publications.

Beyond the written word, HCP’s top-tier marketing and branding products include custom event marketing, strategic social media and blog content, marketing publications, and materials for national and global companies targeting affluent, sophisticated consumers. Together, these turnkey, top-quality print and digital marketing solutions reach more than 80 million active travelers annually and 5 million unique monthly visitors on its combined websites. In addition, HCP’s work has been recognized with more than 308 prestigious awards for editorial, photography and design.

About Acqualina Resort & Spa

Acqualina Resort & Spa is a place where the charm of a Mediterranean villa meets elegance on the beach. A seaside luxury haven located on 4.5 beachfront acres in pristine Sunny Isles Beach, Acqualina Resort & Spa features 98 impeccably appointed guest rooms and suites and 188 residences with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, world-class dining including Il Mulino New York, three oceanfront swimming pools, spacious meeting rooms and an innovative marine biology-based children’s program. A variety of lavish interior and exterior venues provide an ideal background for opulent weddings and memorable events. Acqualina Spa by ESPA, the first ESPA-branded spa in the United States, provides guests with an exquisite 20,000-square-foot, two-story tranquil sanctuary of excellence and relaxation. A family owned and operated property, Acqualina is a recipient of the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Awards for both the hotel and spa and the AAA Five Diamond Award.


Media Contact: Ingrid Martinez HCP Media

305-376-2021 –

GMBHA Board of Director Bill Talbert featured on SFBJ Ultimate CEO Insights!

William D. “Bill” Talbert III
President & CEO, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
Age: 72
Birthplace: Neptune Beach
Residence: Miami

In the last 18 months, Bill Talbert and his team at the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau have endured a host of “headwinds” that might have created serious challenges for other travel spots.

The Miami Beach Convention Center closed for a six-month “blackout” period during its $600 million renovation and expansion. Travel from Brazil, among Miami’s largest feeder markets, fell 26 percent. The Zika virus scared off travelers, and Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the region.

Nonetheless, under Talbert’s leadership, greater Miami last year welcomed a record 15.9 million overnight visitors who generated an economic impact of $26 billion and employed about 144,800 people in tourism jobs countywide, the bureau reported.

“We probably have never had that many headwinds in one year,” Talbert says. “With that said, we still were able to grow the business by working together.

How do you keep your team innovative and creative? We treat every day as the first day. We imbue that in our people by example. We empower the staff, and I’m not a micromanager. When I go to conventions now, I have a little tag that says “First Time Attendee.” Technically I’m not, but … many people get what that message is.

What’s your greatest strength and weakness? My greatest strength is empowering my team, and my greatest weakness is overextending myself.

Why would I want to work for you? I empower the team to reach new levels. If I micromanage, I don’t need you.

What’s been your greatest professional accomplishment? Being involved in creating Miami as a luxury brand.

What has been your greatest professional challenge? Hurricane Andrew. I was COO in 1992 during Andrew, and Merrett Stierheim was CEO. That was early in our careers. We’ve had a series of challenges over time – the Gulf oil spill, the African-American tourism boycott, 9/11 – but the first one we can remember was Andrew. We had to show that we were open for business, even with all of the pictures. That was our first challenge.

When did you know you wanted to be a tourism development executive? All of my previous jobs were training me to do this job. Whether it was at community groups, government, facilities, then as part of a public agency, then Women’s International Tennis. That marriage of public and private positions really was a training ground. When I came here, I said this is where I was destined to be.

What do you like most about this community? Diversity. The businesses within our industry have become more diverse. We have record international tourism. We’re developing businesses and capacity in our historic and multicultural neighborhoods. There are people in hospitality who live in every ZIP code in this community. We say: “Tourism is everybody’s business.”

What would you fix in our community? Workforce housing. We have all of these luxury hotels and luxury everything, but if I could get workforce housing done, that would be nice. To the city of Miami’s credit, in its recent bond issue, voters approved a package of resiliency and workforce housing. Our industry has more upward mobility than any other. You can rise very quickly, and these are careers that are non-exportable.

Amid all your challenges, what centers you? Staying electronically connected at all times keeps me centered. I’m most comfortable connected. I’m least comfortable disconnected.


Click here to read full article!