Miami Visionaries Awards civic leadership finalists

Civic leadership visionary: An individual who is working to improve South Florida through volunteer civic activity.


▪ Tony Argiz, past chairman of the United Way, Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce and Orange Bowl Committee.

▪ Tere Blanca, civic activist and former chairwoman of the Beacon Council.

▪ David Lawrence Jr., founding chairman of The Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade.

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Here’s what their nominators wrote about these finalists.

Even as he has helped establish MBAF as one of the top 40 accounting firms in the U.S., Tony Argiz has repeatedly taken on leadership roles in civic organizations as he gives back to the community. That has included chairing the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Miami-Dade (both the board and the annual campaign), the Orange Bowl Committee, the Archbishop’s Charity and Development Drive, FIU’s Council of 100 and the Miami Dade College Foundation. In addition, he has served on many civic boards in non-leadership roles. His philanthropic generosity has earned him many recognitions.

As founder and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, Tere Blanca has built South Florida’s largest independent full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm on a strong foundation of volunteerism, with every team member actively involved in impactful organizations including City Year Miami, Habitat for Humanity, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research, Autism Speaks and Project Smiles. As a prominent local business leader, generous philanthropist and familiar face at almost every community event, Tere advocates harnessing the power of Miami CEOs to encourage, cultivate and facilitate volunteerism among their employees while setting an example for the community to step up do their part to support a greater good. Her civic leadership has earned her many awards and accolades, most recently including: the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Power Leader of the Year; City Year’s Philanthropic Leader of the Year Award; and the Hispanic Chamber’s Hispanic Leadership Award.

Since “retiring” in 1999, David Lawrence Jr., former publisher of the Miami Herald, has worked tirelessly for improving early childhood education to give Florida’s youngest residents the best opportunity for success in life. He has served on numerous state and local boards, was founding chairman of The Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade, and played a key role in statewide passage of a constitutional amendment to create a free, voluntary prekindergarten program for all 4-year-olds in the state. He now serves as the chairman of The Children’s Movement of Florida.