Frank Nero, the ousted CEO of the Beacon Council, did not attend Thursday’s annual awards luncheon, but he was touted as a good leader for the organization and for Miami-Dade County.
Beacon Chairman Joseph Pallot and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez both praised Nero in their remarks before the $250-a-plate fundraiser aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked at PortMiami.
Gimenez touted the Beacon Council’s mission of bringing jobs and new companies to the county, then added: “I want to thank the man who led the effort for so many years: Frank Nero.” Pallot, a corporate lawyer and volunteer chairman of the tax-funded organization, also praised the Beacon Council’s achievements and said Nero’s talents and dedication to the organization were some of reasons “we are where we are today.”
Pallot added: “He is moving on, and we wish him the very best. And we are moving on, too.”
The warm words came after two weeks of drama over Nero’s 17-year tenure, with Gimenez privately wanting changes at the organization and Pallot presiding over negotiations that ended with Nero’s resignation Friday.
The interim CEO, Robin Reiter, did not deliver extended remarks Thursday aboard the Celebrity Constellation, and she has said she does not want the job permanently.
The program was dedicated to handing out awards to businesses picked by former chairs of the Beacon Council, which receives about $4 million a year from Miami-Dade and about $2 million from companies paying dues and buying tickets to events like Thursday’s luncheon.