SPONSOR SPOTLIGHTS

SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: Florencia Tabeni/Marriott

Florencia Tabeni is the COO of MDM Hotel Group, home to the JW Marriott Marquis and JW Marriott Miami, which hosted our authors and inaugural Next Page Celebration Dinner in 2023. The Argentine-born mom of one has been living in the Magic City for 23 years.

What compelled Marriott to partner with Miami Book Fair – in other words, how does our work support your community-building and charitable goals? …

Sponsor Spotlight: Jolly Time Pop Corn

We sat down with the folks at Jolly Time Pop Corn – one of the most popular stops at Street Fair, yum! – to talk about the company’s presence at and support of Miami Book Fair.

What compelled Jolly Time to partner with Miami Book Fair – in other words, how does our work support your community-building and charitable goals?
We were thrilled to partner with Miami Book Fair! …

Sponsor Spotlight: David Jobin/Our Fund Foundation

Originally from Cleveland, David Jobin, CEO and president of The Our Fund Foundation, was living in Washington, D.C., when he and his husband, Angel Burgos, decided to pull up stakes and settle in South Florida 10 years ago. In 2022 the foundation sponsored An Evening With Harvey Fierstein; last year it supported a session featuring John Freeman speaking with Andrew Holleran and Kyle Dillon Hertz, …

Sponsor Spotlight: Maria Alonso & Natalie Grillo/Northeastern University Miami

Lifelong Miamian Maria Alonso is the CEO and regional dean of Northeastern University Miami. Natalie Grillo, born and raised in the Magic City, is a graduate student at the school’s Khoury College of Computer Science, where she’s pursuing a master’s degree in the Align program.

What compelled Northeastern to support Miami Book Fair?
MA: I think first and foremost we saw Book Fair as a way to support Miami Dade College, …

Sponsor Spotlight: Neil Goldberg/Dream Studios

Neil Goldberg, founder and artistic director of Dream Studios, is a prolific, award-winning theatrical content creator and producer who founded Cirque Productions and Cirque Dreams – both now live under the Cirque du Soleil umbrella – and he also currently serves as president and CEO of Variety Arts Management and Dream Studios. We recently sat down with him to talk about his charming children’s book, …

Sponsor Spotlight: Francinelee Hand

Francinelee Hand was raised in Miami Beach and as an adult relocated to New York City, where she met and married her husband, David. Thirty years later they came to Miami and today they split their time between South Florida and Colorado, where their daughter and grandchildren live. A longtime patron of the arts – she’s a committed supporter of not just Miami Book Fair, …

Sponsor Spotlight: Debby Bussel/Shepard Broad Foundation

Debby Bussel is the president of the Shepard Broad Foundation and the principal of Bussel Philanthropy Associates. She grew up in Miami and has deep ties to the community, where she lives with her husband, Steve Goldin, and their 16-year-old daughter, Lily.
Your foundation supports a lot of critical causes, but budgets are finite and no single organization can fund all of the work that it would like to – why have you chosen to support Miami Book Fair? …

Sponsor Spotlight: April Myerscough/Florida Humanities

April Myerscough is a grants coordinator at Florida Humanities, which most recently supported both Miami Book Fair’s NEA Big Read programming and the November festival. The native Floridian – who is an avid reader, natch – recently spoke with us about sharing Florida’s stories, a Great British Bake Off-style mystery, and an aardvark named Arthur.

Like any funder, you’re tasked with making strategic decisions about where your support will go. …

Sponsor Spotlight: William Johnson/PEN America

William Johnson is the director of PEN Across America, an initiative that provides resources to PEN America communities nationwide so they can carry forward the organization’s mission of defending and celebrating free expression. PEN Across America is a sponsor of the Miami Book Fair-produced Little Haiti Book Festival, which takes place annually in May.

Tell me a little about PEN America. …

Sponsor Spotlight: South Motors

Jonathan Chariff is the CEO of South Motors, which has been supporting Miami Book Fair since 2011! He recently sat down with us to share his thoughts on the country’s largest and most beloved celebration of books and literature.

Why does South Motors support Miami Book Fair?
Reading opens our minds and hearts to new possibilities, and Miami Book Fair does a fantastic job engaging our community – especially our children. …

Sponsor Spotlight: Hannah Matheson & Four Way Books

Hannah Matheson is the senior editor at Four Way Books, an indie, New York-based publishing house celebrating its 30th year that’s focused on releasing 18-20 poetry, short story collection and novella titles each year. (Poet and longtime Friend of the Fair Michael Anna De Armas is on its board.) Originally from Texas, Matheson – who started out at Four Way as an intern – recently sat down with us to talk about, …

Sponsor Spotlight: Dionne Polite & AARP

Dionne Polite is director of state operations for AARP’s Florida team, which she joined after spending six years in the organization’s New York office. A Broward County resident, she recently welcomed grandchild Josea – her first! – in December.

AARP first became involved with Miami Book Fair in 2020 – what compelled you to come back as an even bigger supporter in 2022? …

Sponsor Spotlight: Rudy Fernandez, University of Miami

Rudy Fernandez is the executive vice president for external affairs and strategic initiatives and chief of staff at the University of Miami. He and his wife, Jennifer – they met when both were working at UM; she’s since moved on to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital – have four children, twin teenage daughters and two young sons.

Are you a Miami native?
No, …

Sponsor Spotlight: Madeline Barrios, Jackson Health System

Madeline Barrios has been with Jackson Health System for 15 years, where she currently serves in the communications and outreach department as the associate director for community outreach and special events. She was raised and educated in Miami – as was her husband – and is a proud mom to two teenage boys.

Jackson supports a lot of organizations in Miami – how did Book Fair get on that list? …

Sponsor Spotlight: Sandy Nusbaum

Sandy Nusbaum and his wife, Ellen, have made Miami their home for 50 years and are longtime supporters of Miami Book Fair and other stakeholder institutions, including HistoryMiami Museum, Actors’ Playhouse, and the University of Miami athletics department.

How did you come to be involved with Miami Book Fair?
Initially through a neighbor, who worked at Miami Dade College. …

Sponsor Spotlight: David Whitaker, GMCVB

David Whitaker was named president & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau last July, a full circle moment for the GMCVB lead, who left the agency in 2007 after 17 years to boost tourism in Toronto and then Chicago before making his way back to the Magic City.

When did you first learn about Miami Book Fair?
I started at GMCVB in 1990, …

Sponsor Spotlight: Julie Katz, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital

Julie Katz is a lifelong Miami resident who came back home after college and founded Everybody Wins! South Florida – now known as Read to a Child – a children’s literacy and mentoring organization. She currently works in community relations and corporate responsibility at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.

How does the hospital’s commitment to literacy mirror our own?
Nicklaus has long recognized that literacy is really important to a child’s growth and development, …

Sponsor Spotlight: Dale Webb, Chapman Foundation

A Georgia native, Dale Webb relocated to Miami as a teenager. Through the Chapman Foundation, she and her family – who can claim several generations of newspaper owners and publishers – are longtime MBF supporters with a focus on children’s and youth programs.

How did the Chapman Foundation come to be a Miami Book Fair supporter – what about our work at the time most resonated with you and the foundation? …

Sponsor Spotlight: Annie Garcia, T-Mobile

T-Mobile has a stated commitment to building stronger, more equitable communities, and to supporting youth – how does your support of Miami Book Fair align with those goals?
At T-Mobile, we believe that access to education is access to opportunity. In addition to providing free (Wi-Fi) hot spots to eligible K-12 students through our Project 10Million, we want to be a part of initiatives that align with these beliefs. …

Sponsor Spotlight: Marya Meyer, The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade

Marya Meyer grew up in Wisconsin, spent 10 years in Spain after college, and now calls Miami home. The interim director of The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade – whose mission is to address the most pressing issues affecting women and girls in our community – sat down with us to talk about serendipity, women writers, and the critical importance of visionary conversations. …

Sponsor Spotlight: Green Family Foundation

Kimberly Green was born and raised in Miami, and through the Green Family Foundation has been a longtime and significant supporter of Miami Book Fair, as well as other vital cultural institutions in the Magic City.

How did the Green Family Foundation come to be a Miami Book Fair supporter?
How my family originally got involved came from the fact that we attended Book Fair; …

Sponsor Spotlight: Brian C. Perlin

Native Virginian Brian C. Perlin came to Miami to earn his undergraduate and law degrees at UM, and decided to stay put. He established his namesake firm 36 years ago in Coral Gables, where he lives with his wife, Wendy.

How did you initially come to be a Miami Book Fair supporter?
I was hanging around Books & Books, met Mitchell Kaplan, …

Sponsor Spotlight: Pérez Family Foundation

Belissa Alvarez, director of The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation, was born in Puerto Rico to Dominican parents and grew up in New York. She’s lived in Miami for 16 years, where she’s dedicated to uplifting the collective community through strategic philanthropic efforts.

The Foundation supports Miami Book Fair’s Emerging Writer Fellowships through its CreARTE initiative, which launched in 2019 – tell me about that decision. …