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From books to socks, CEOs discuss their corporate gift experiences

This week’s question to South Florida CEOs who are on the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: What is the best corporate gift you gave or received? Tell us about it.
Dec. 24, 2017

Books are the gift of choice in our office, and I do my best to share those titles that are meaningful both to me and to our work. Two years ago, my gift to everyone in our office was a copy of “Freedom Summer” by Bruce Watson. It’s a powerful history of the summer of 1964 in Mississippi — and many of the unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. For those of us trying to change the world, it’s a inspiring story of those who tried...and did.
Vance Aloupis , CEO, The Children’s Movement of Florida

Allied World Services has been an amazing corporate donor to Good Hope over the past few years. In addition to their benevolent donation, this corporate sponsor has provided our organization with volunteer support to implement our equine assisted activities for our veterans and children, youth and adults with disabilities.
Margaret “Peggy” Bass , executive director, Good Hope Equestrian Training Center

Carrfour was the recipient of Bank of America’s first Neighborhood Builder’s Award in 2004. This corporate award came at a critical time in Carrfour’s history. In addition to giving Carrfour a $200,000 operating grant, the award also came with intensive leadership training which was instrumental to me at a time when I was taking on more leadership responsibilities within the organization. The combination of a sizable unrestricted operating grant combined with meaningful leadership training set the framework for Carrfour’s substantial growth in the years following the award.
Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg , president, CEO, Carrfour Supportive Housing

A compliment and a referral is the greatest gift a client could give!
Michael Comras , president

The best corporate gift I ever gave was during my appearance on the CBS show “Undercover Boss.” I was able to give $250,000 ($50,000 on average) to four exemplary employees. It was a rewarding experience.
Jose R. Costa , CEO, For Eyes

Crazy socks! I got a pair for three months in a row.
Alejandro Fernandez, CEO, Gastro Health

We provided a four-night cruise to the Caribbean to the employee of the year in 2015.
Jerome Hutchinson Jr. ,managing partner, JHJ Marketing Group

While it’s still in the works, we are planning to name one of our rental housing developments after a board member who has been with the organization since its inception. We can’t provide too many details since it’s a work in progress, but we’re quite excited to be able to honor someone who has given so much to support our organization’s growth over the past 37 years.
Willie Logan, founder, CEO and president, Opa-locka Community Development Corp.

We gifted a Nespresso machine to an accounting firm right before tax season. We know what overnight projects look like, as well as critical deadlines. When you are feeling tired, a cup of Nespresso with a co-worker and some music can really help to reinvigorate and relax. The 15-minute recharge is sometimes all that is needed to achieve the goal.
Raymond Mobayed, owner, 4IT Inc.

The best corporate gifts that I have received are integral parts of my hurricane-preparedness kit! My trusty Heico battery-powered radio and flashlight (with Swiss army knife) served me well during Hurricane Irma when I experienced a 10-day power outage!
Julie Neitzel partner, WE Family Offices

I have been told that offering clients an experience at The Biltmore is among the best gifts anyone can give. For us, there is no doubt that repeat guests from our community are the best gifts we can receive.
Gene Prescott , president and CEO, Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables

Without a doubt, the best corporate gift I have ever received was a replica of the Copa America Centenario trophy. It was a gift from our partners to thank us for all the support we provided for this historic tournament last year. It is not only a memento of the greatest soccer competition in the history of soccer in the Americas, but it is also a reminder of how far can you go when you have a vision and a plan to build something unique.
Juan Carlos Rodriguez , president, Univision Deportes

We consider arts and culture to be part of the Related DNA, and so we like to give our employees memberships to PAMM and other cultural institutions around the city. Everyone enjoys the incredible art and, in a way, it allows them to see the direct fruits of their labor. I was fortunate enough to have received a bottle of Vega Sicilia Unico a few years ago. That one will definitely be hard to top!
Carlos Rosso , president, The Related Group’s Condominium division

Every year, someone at Sportailor celebrates a milestone, from a 25th anniversary to a 50th anniversary. We will celebrate with them in gifting them an engraved fine watch, gold pendant and more. We also enjoy gifting trips to those who truly deserve and need it.
Stan Rudman, , CMO and owner, Sportailor Inc.

For a recent milestone birthday, I received a very special limited-edition bottle of wine along with a decanter, set of glasses and specific instructions for how best to experience it, including how to open it, let it breathe and share with others. What I loved most was how thoughtful the gift was. The wine alone would have been incredibly generous, but even more so was how they wanted to make sure I got the most out of it. In fact, it was so meaningful that I am still waiting for the perfect time to enjoy it.
Kim Stone, general manager and EVP, AmericanAirlines Arena

We do not accept major corporate gifts, however, we love receiving baskets of food that we share with our employees.
Teri Williams, president, CEO and a director, OneUnited Bank

Hard to comment on what was best. In a sense, the best gifts are the ones that are most personal to or from an individual rather than a corporation.
Bernard Zyscovich, founder and CEO of Zyscovich Architects


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