The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the County’s official public-private economic development partnership, has announced today a new Interim President and CEO following the unexpected passing of President and CEO Michael A. Finney on Sunday, April 3, 2022. The Beacon Council has appointed William D. Talbert III as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer until a new leader is identified by the search committee. Talbert was confirmed today by the Beacon Council’s Executive Committee.
Mr. Talbert stepped down as president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) in August 2021, when tourism industry veteran David Whitaker was appointed the organization’s new leader. As part of his transition, Talbert remains in a consulting role with the GMCVB until October of this year. Given the Bureau’s relationship with Beacon—they are sister organizations supporting economic development efforts and the destination marketing for Greater Miami for over 35 years—the GMCVB has agreed to honor Mr. Talbert’s existing contract while he takes on the role of Interim President and CEO for The Beacon Council.
“The appointment of Bill Talbert as interim president and CEO seems fitting after Mike’s sudden, unexpected passing,” says George Bermudez, 2021-2022 chair for the Miami-Dade Beacon Council and senior vice president and Miami business banking market executive for Bank of America. “Bill has over 30 years of experience working for this community. He understands what an organization like ours needs in a time like this, and we have no doubt that he will help us continue the incredible momentum the economic development team has been driving successfully for Miami-Dade.”
“The role the Beacon Council has and must continue to play in shaping the narrative and reputation of Miami remains vitally important—perhaps now more than ever,” says David Whitaker, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. We have enjoyed great synergy and collaboration with the Beacon Council team, and we are committed to ensuring as smooth a transition as possible especially in the important months to come. This is no time to lose any momentum.”
“I am not here to replace my friend Mike; no one will ever be able to replace him,” Talbert says. “We plan to continue to lead what he successfully established—a strong team at The Beacon Council with a proven track record for success. I know what it takes to promote the Greater Miami brand worldwide and will make sure that, along with our private and public sector leaders and community partners, we continue to collaborate effectively and support The Beacon Council’s efforts to elevate Miami on the global business stage.”
The Search Committee is a diverse group of community leaders representative of Miami-Dade’s business community. The nationwide search for a new President and CEO can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months, from the selection of an executive search firm to the appointment of a new President and CEO.
The 2022 President and CEO Search Committee members are:
- Yolanda Cash Jackson, Becker; Search Committee Chair and FY 21-22 Chair-Elect, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
- George Bermudez, Bank of America; FY 21-22 Chair, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
- Xavier Gonzalez, Cyxtera Technologies; FY 21-22 Secretary, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
- Gary Goldfarb, Interport Logistics; Immediate Past Chair, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
- Jaret Davis, Greenberg Traurig; FY 16-17 Past Chair, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
- Donna Abood, Avison Young; FY 14-15 Past Chair, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
- Sheldon Anderson, Grove Bank & Trust; FY 13-14 Past Chair, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
- Alexandra Villoch, Baptist Health South Florida; FY 09-10 Past Chair, Miami-Dade Beacon Council
“This committee plays a vital role in the search for the high-caliber, experienced economic development professional we need to lead this organization,” says Yolanda Cash Jackson, search committee chair, FY21-22 chair-elect for The Beacon Council, and shareholder at Becker. “We are looking for a visionary leader who champions collaboration, understands how to drive long-term, inclusive prosperity, and is committed to this community. Miami is a top business market globally, at the forefront of innovation and diverse talent. We want to make sure this person not only embraces all our strengths but understands how to continue to propel us forward.”