LEAP to Host Style Yourself Confident at Dragonfly Thrift Boutique

In honor of Self Improvement Month, the LEAP organization invites women of all ages to get style tips from fashion pro Bianca Gabay

The Style Yourself Confident event takes place at Dragonfly Thrift Boutique on September 2, 2019 from 11am-6pm. Professional fashion stylist and influencer, Bianca Gabay, will join guests as she offers wardrobe styling hacks and helps style personalized outfits that empower and build confidence. Guests will also have the opportunity to win beauty-related raffle prizes as they enjoy a day of shopping and champagne.

LEAP is one of the only nonprofit agencies in Florida dedicated to helping women transitioning from prison to have access to rehabilitation programming. Services include entrepreneurship, employability skills, and trauma-informed substance abuse classes.

“When someone leaves prison, they have nothing but the clothes on their back. When a LEAP graduate leaves prison, LEAP provides her with the essentials — a warm welcome outside the prison gate, transportation, clothing, toiletries, a cell phone, and employment and housing resources. We empower women to put prison in the past,” said Mahlia Lindquist, Executive Director at LEAP.

2019 marks the 10-year anniversary for LEAP. In honor of this milestone, a series of thematic events are programmed to generate awareness and conversation around the plight of formerly incarcerated women, while increasing interest and support for this one-of-a-kind prison re-entry program.

“I’m delighted to share space with this incredible organization, and offer women unique, fashionable looks at affordable prices,” said Bianca Gabay. “Dressing yourself is a form of self-care, and it can have a transformative impact on you and those around you.”

The Dragonfly Thrift Boutique is a LEAP initiative that offers employment opportunities to LEAP graduates and, therefore, providing them with their first source of post-prison income. All the proceeds from the boutique sales support LEAP’s mission in helping these women transcend their past and get back on their feet through housing, education, and employment.

More information about LEAP can be found at https://leapforladies.org/.

Who: LEAP Organization & Dragonfly Thrift Boutique

What: Elevate Your Image

When: September 2, 2019, 11 AM – 6 PM

Where: Dragonfly Thrift Boutique, 3141 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135

RSVP: https://style-yourself-confident-tickets.eventbrite.com

Instagram This:

Style Yourself Confident with @biancagabay on September 2 @dragonflythrift. See u there. #Bossupyourlook #WomenEmpoweringWomen #LEAPMiami

About LEAP

Based in Miami, Florida, LEAP empowers incarcerated women to transcend their past and successfully re-enter society by providing transformational education, entrepreneurial training, and mentorship. Founded in 2008, the organization serves as a model, voice and advocate for the the power of rehabilitation over retribution.



Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce Announces New Sustainability & Resiliency Task Force

Working in close collaboration with the City of Miami Beach, the task force sets to tackle one of the biggest issues facing the community 

Miami Beach, FL. – Miami Beach’s preeminent business organization, the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, has long advocated for integrating environmental stewardship into business. With the launch of the 12-member Sustainability & Resiliency Task Force, the Chamber steps up its commitment demonstrating that a healthy environment and strong economy go hand in hand. Led by Chairman Reinaldo Borges, a visionary architect and widely recognized resilience expert, and Vice Chairman Wayne Pathman, a land-use attorney specializing in sea-level rise mitigation and urban resiliency, the council kicked off the new year with its inaugural meeting on January 14.

“For every dollar we invest in resiliency, we get six dollars back,” said Borges who was also appointed to the City of Miami’s Sea Level Rise Committee. “Through the Chamber’s business leadership network, influence, and advocacy, we are poised to make a big impact in influencing the narrative and motivating the collective into action. Now more than ever, we need to come together to preserve this magnificent, yet fragile, barrier island.”

The council will be devoted to the relationship between sustainability and commerce and will focus on continued dialog between city government, Miami Beach residents, academic professionals, neighborhood associations and local business. A key pillar for the council is education and innovation. It will work to facilitate conversations and learning on risk analysis, economic considerations, insurance risks, new technologies, and infrastructure innovations. The council will also collaborate with the City of Miami Beach in the development of policy recommendations. Lastly, it will craft communication campaigns that keep the public informed and equipped to help maintain a strong and healthy city.

In South Florida, water levels are rising especially quick, projected to be between 6-10 inches more in 2030 than 1992[i]. According to a National Wildlife Federation report[ii], Miami could lose up to $3.5 trillion in assets due to sea level rise by 2070; more than any other city in the country. Rising waters means more extreme flooding which impacts quality of life, drinking water, public infrastructure and, potentially, real estate values. Since South Florida relies almost exclusively on real estate taxes to fund public infrastructure, these values impact the community.

“We are delighted to get to work, and have an important role to play in building a platform whereby innovation and collaboration are fostered and incentivized,” said Pathman who serves as the co-chair of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber is dedicated to this critical issue and excited to develop solutions that can be implemented in our community and beyond.”

For more information visit http://www.miamibeachchamber.com/.


The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1921 to promote the economic well-being of Miami Beach’s citizens, to improve the quality of life for the entire community, and to communicate the view of the business community on major issues of public policy.

[i] Southeast Florida Climate Compact. “Unified Sea Level Rise Projection.” October 2015. Web. 15 January 2018. <http://www.southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2015-Compact-Unified-Sea-Level-Rise-Projection.pdf >

[ii] National Wildlife Federation. “Changing Tides.” 2016. Web. 27 December 2018. <https://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Global-Warming/Reports/Changing-Tides_FINAL_LOW-RES-081516.ashx>

An Exhibit that Will Awaken Your Inner Child

Saludarte Foundation Presents Beloved Venezuelan Author and Award-Winning Illustrator Menena Cottin

Miami, FL (February 26, 2018) The prolific Menena Cottin has already touched the lives of many through her vivid and compelling narratives for children and adults alike. Her books, which have garnered international attention and praise, have received critical acclaim from The New York Times Book Review, Premios ALAS-BID, School Library Journal’s Best Books for Children and Bologna’s New Horizons Award, to name a few.  Now, the creative genius that is Menena, springs to life in the bilingual (English and Spanish) Seeking the Essence, a multisensory and playful exhibition showcasing the author’s fictional characters and philosophical book themes.

Books like the award-winning “The Black Book of Colors,” which has been translated into 19 languages, engages exhibition participants via a thought-provoking journey around what it means to “see colors” when you’re blind.  An actual tunnel will be constructed to transmit the visceral feelings of colors.  The immersive exhibition, which was first shown in Caracas’ Sala TAC to immense media attention and public success, will be on display at IdeoBox Art Space in Wynwood from April 26 to June 23, 2018.

Presented by non-profit Saludarte Foundation, which creates Pan American and international artistic and cultural programs for socioeconomically challenged audiences, Menena, her books, and exhibition perfectly demonstrate the organization’s core mission of educating and uplifting audiences through art and culture.  Foundation Founder and Chairman Tanya Capriles de Brillembourg says the exhibition, “promises to be an experience of solidarity, learning, culture, but above all, one of curiosity for all who come to see it.” Brillembourg and her team are hosting special presentations for local schools and organizations throughout the exhibition’s 8-week run, for groups like The United Way, The Wow Center Miami and the Learning Experience

On the heels of a busy and highly rewarding 2017, which included author presentations at the International Book Fair of Bogotá (the largest book fair in the hemisphere) as well as the Miami Book Fair, Menena is delighted for her exhibition’s Miami premiere.  Working in close collaboration with Curator Pedro Quintero, the duo will showcase 18 books through conceptual and experiential art transforming the Ideobox Art Space completely.

“The purpose of this exhibit is to make complex concepts simple. We invite participants to think and question, but within the context of simple texts and minimalist aesthetics,” explains the jovial Menena. Her uplifting spirit infectious.  Menena currently resides in Miami, but travels extensively to her native Venezuela where there is a major humanitarian crisis. Menena and her books are revered there, and she is constant with her efforts to support this community that has given her so much.

All are welcome to come and experience Seeking the Essence. Guided tours for groups of 5 or more can be arranged by calling 305-573-4618. Ideobox Gallery is located at 2417 N. Miami Avenue. Gallery hours are from 9am-5pm, M-F.  A public opening reception, with artist talk, guided tour, food and refreshments, is programmed for April 26, 6-9p.m. Special thanks to Fundacion Bancredito, DML Production and Bodega Otazu for their generous contributions in making this possible.

An instagram account, showing the build out of Seeking the Essence along with special sneak peeks of the exhibit and one-on-ones with the artist, will launch on March 1, 2018 @SaludarteFoundation. For more information about Seeking the Essence visit http://www.saludarte.org/.

About Saludarte Foundation

Saludarte Foundation was created in 2003 by Tanya Capriles of Brillembourg with the purpose to connect the Arts and Health for the benefit of children and youth from socio-economic disadvantaged groups. The main objective of Saludarte is to design and implement extensive educational, cultural and social development programs that facilitate inclusive artistic processes, promote positive social change, and integration for people with diverse abilities.

About Menena Cottin

Author, illustrator and designer of more than 30 children’s books published in Venezuela, México, Colombia, Brazil, Perú, Guatemala, Spain, Italy, France, Portugal. She has also published adult storytelling that includes stories, novels, and the autobiographical book “Close the Eyes We’re Going to See” (Dahbar 2013), which also produced the audio-book version (And Then Story Designers, 2016). In the digital media, Menena Cottin, together with her son Alfredo, is the creator of “And Then Story Designers”, an editorial that has produced five digital books, authored by Cottin, including Double Double, winner of Special Mention at the Fair Of the Children’s Book of Bologna 2014. Menena Cottin lives in Miami with her husband. They have two children, two daughters-in-law and five grandchildren.


Zuke Music Wins $10,000 Grand Prize in Babson College’s WIN Lab Miami Pitch Competition

Representatives from Knight Foundation and Akerman LLP judged the grand prize pitch session

Miami, FL — Babson College’s Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® celebrated its inaugural cohort’s completion of the eight-month Miami program on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, with over 250 guests at The Jewel Box at the National YoungArts Foundation headquarters. The WIN Lab® expanded into Miami in 2016 with the support of The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and corporate sponsors including Akerman LLP.

WIN Lab Miami’s Director Carolina Pina led the evening’s progression stating, “We are determined to impact the existing growth gap in the city; Miami ranks No. 2 in entrepreneurial activity but No. 38 in growth. By having more scalable businesses run and led by women, we’re hoping investors will be more willing to invest in them so we can also contribute to narrowing the funding gap.”

Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation Miami Program Director, added, “We’re trying to build a community that’s unlike any other. Innovation is built on a diversity of ideas and people.”

Haggman was one of three representatives judging WIN Lab Miami’s grand prize pitch session. For the pitch, three cohort companies who exceptionally leveraged the venture accelerator’s resources were given five minutes each to share their business vision in hopes of winning the grand prize. Haggman was joined by corporate sponsors including Carol Faber, Akerman LLP Partner on the judging panel.

Arielle Cohen’s Zuke Music—a digital networking platform for music industry professionals—took home the evening’s top honor of $10,000. Kelly Pierce’s PIERCE Plan—a NCAA standards tracking software program—landed second place and $5,000. Jessica Do’s Palmpress Coffee—a personal craft coffee maker for hot coffee and cold brew—earned third place and $2,500.

WIN Lab Miami’s finale event brought together a diverse sect of industries, including local media and digital influencers alongside program coaches and supporters, as well as representatives from the New World Symphony and Babson College. WIN Lab’s marketing took a forward-thinking approach to reflect the brand’s DNA: prominent female blogger Pineapple Citizen hosted an Instagram takeover while FIU student vloggers recorded the celebration and interviewed the WINners. The evening illustrated WIN Lab’s ability to facilitate both financial and strategic opportunities for its 22 graduating participants.

The accelerator is currently accepting applications for its second cohort, which remain open until May 12, 2017. WIN LAB Miami applications can be found atwww.thewinlab.org/apply.

During its eight-month engagement, the inaugural WINners raised nearly $2 million in funding. Their accolades and accomplishments include the following:

  • Una Pizca won WIN Lab Miami’s inaugural Demo pitch competition and the Fan Favorite Award, taking home $5,000 worth of legal services.
  • Stow Simple, Palmpress and Cargo42 won Babson’s Regional Rocket Pitch.
  • Apollonix pitched in the SUP-X Startup Showcase and won second place and $15,000 while AlphaTechBlocksk and Zulubots participated at the SUP-X AlphaLab Gear Competition where AlphaTechBlocks won ‘Fan Favorite’.
  • PIERCE Plan took home $11,000 after winning 1st place ($10,000) and People’s Choice Award ($1,000) at the University of Miami Business Plan Competition.
  • Mundo Lanugo won Wells Fargo’s “Hispanicize” Perfect Pitch Competition taking home $5,000.
  • Apollonix, Spacewolff and UX Gofer were selected to participate in the eMerge Startup Showcase in June.
  • Six WIN Lab companies were semifinalists at the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge; four were finalists.

About the Babson College Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab®

Created by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College, the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® provides women entrepreneurs with an inspiring community and a rigorous, experiential process that catalyzes innovative thinking and enables them to successfully launch or transform businesses. Now in its fourth year, WIN Lab has been designated as one of the top two specialty programs for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE); earned BostInno’s designation as one of Boston’s “50 on Fire” innovators and visionaries; and was honored by the prestigious Rosoff Awards for diversity.

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top​-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes  and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action®​ ​as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.