Miami-Dade County

Two Beacon Council VPs out

Two top executives are out at Miami-Dade’s economic-development agency.

The Beacon Council, which relies on local taxes for the bulk of its $5 million budget, recently parted ways with Julio Piti, a vice president and head of membership services for 13 years, and Ana Acle-Menendez, vice president of marketing. Larry Williams, president of the Beacon Council, said he didn’t want to discuss personnel issues. “We wish them both well, and appreciate their contributions and hard work,” he said of Piti and Acle-Menendez.

Piti could not be reached for an interview; Acle-Menendez, a former Miami Herald reporter who joined the Beacon Council in 2010, declined to comment. Two sources familiar with the discussions said Piti and Acle-Menendez were dismissed by Williams.

Williams said he did not expect any further cuts to the group’s 28-member staff, and told board members in an email Monday that the two positions would be filled with new hires.

“Current staff will manage their responsibilities while we conduct the search to find new members of our team who will continue to advance our mission,” Williams wrote.

The shake-up comes as the Beacon Council is facing a projected slowdown in county funding, and is working with a firm that specializes in fund-raising for economic-development groups.

Miami-Dade sends a portion of its business-license fees to the Beacon Council, but those funds are forecast to be down about 10 percent this year, according to budget estimates. Williams, who joined the organization in August 2013, confirmed that he brought in a consulting firm out of Ohio, Resource Development Group, to “help us think about sustainability, long-term sustainability.”