Miami-Dade Beacon Council Announces New President & CEO

30+ Year Economic Development Professional Selected to Lead Mission to Grow Jobs & Investment in Miami-Dade County.


Susan Greene, Chief Marketing Officer, 954.683.1017 or

Maria Camacho  305.345.7793



Miami, FL – The Miami-Dade Beacon Council announces economic development veteran Michael A. Finney to be the organization’s new President & CEO effective June 1st.

Finney, who has dedicated his 30+ year career to job creation and economic development, becomes the organization’s fifth president in its 32-year history as Miami-Dade County’s official economic development organization.

Jaret L. Davis, Co-Managing Shareholder of Greenberg Traurig’s Miami office and volunteer Chair of the public-private organization led the 11- member Search Committee made up of a diverse group of cross-sector business and community leaders.

“We are thrilled to have such an experienced, well-respected, nationally recognized leader in economic development as our new President & CEO,” Davis said. “Our committee conducted an exhaustive, inclusive and comprehensive local and national search to identify the right leader to propel the Miami Dade Beacon Council to the next level.”

“Mike excels in all three prongs of our Market-Grow-Shape strategy: he is experienced in marketing major cities and states to the world; he has helped grow and scale-up local companies; and he has created programs to ensure all communities have the opportunity to share in economic prosperity.

Finney served as President & CEO of local and state economic development organizations including Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Ann Arbor SPARK, and the Greater Rochester Enterprise, public-private organizations similar in scope and mission to the Miami-Dade Beacon Council.

In addition to serving as the chief economic development executive for the state of Michigan, he was the Senior Advisor for Economic Growth for Michigan Governor Rick Snyder. Michigan is considered a leader in deploying innovative initiatives; for example, Pure Michigan Business Connect, a business development assistance initiative, facilitated more than $3.5 billion in contracts for local companies; Community Ventures connected 4,500 structurally unemployed persons (those unemployed due to shifts in the economy unrelated to business cycles) to employment opportunities.

As President & CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, he had significant successes in developing an innovation ecosystem that helped grow local companies and attract new businesses such as Google Ad Words and Barracuda Networks from California and Aernnova Engineering from Spain – major coups in burnishing Ann Arbor’s brand in technology. Finney also served as CEO for Greater Rochester (New York) Enterprise. Finney started his career in the private sector including thirteen years with Thomson Saginaw Ball Screw Company, a manufacturer of power transmission products for aerospace, defense and related industries.

The Search Committee has been working since November with the assistance of Korn Ferry International, a nationally recognized executive search firm with proficiency in economic development placements. In total, the group reviewed more than 200 resumes from the local community and around the country, and conducted face-to-face meetings with more than a dozen candidates.

Mayor Carlos Gimenez who chairs the Council’s One Community One Goal Initiative with two private sector leaders said, “I am happy to welcome Michael Finney to our community as the new President and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council. I am confident that he will build upon the strong foundation for business growth and economic diversification we have created for Miami-Dade’s continued trajectory as one of the world’s great global communities. In fact, just this week, Miami was recognized by fDI Magazine as one of the top ten Major American Cities of the Future for 2017. “

Interim President & CEO Sheldon T. Anderson said: “the committee was impressed with the quality and quantity of applicants. The strong level of interest in the position allowed us to not only find the best, most qualified candidate, but also to learn more about cutting-edge ideas regarding economic development. It’s clear that Miami is considered one of the most attractive communities for economic growth on the global stage.”

Finney said: “there is a sense of optimism and enthusiasm for Miami that was palpable from my meetings with the committee members and community leaders. I am enthusiastic about stepping into one of the most well-respected economic development organizations in the country. My immediate priority will be listening, learning, and doing what it takes to get to know the community and its diverse set of stakeholders.”

Davis added: “one of Miami’s great strengths is our openness and willingness to accept new people into our community. This is especially true for people like Mike Finney who brings significant expertise into the market and has a sincere willingness to listen and learn about our community. Mike is likeable, approachable and personable. His commitment to inclusion, and his track record of innovation and economic growth are a perfect match for Miami.”

Davis continued: “Mike will build upon the solid foundation of excellent staff and a strong cadre of community leaders who believe in his vision for this community. I am confident that Mike will be well-received and welcomed. He will take his time to get to know the community. The committee was impressed with his previous successes establishing a vision and leading people to make it happen. “

Anderson will continue to lead the organization through the transition.

Members of the Search Committee include:

Donna Abood, Avison Young; Miami-Dade Beacon Council Past Chair and Board Member;
Sheldon Anderson, Miami-Dade Beacon Council Past Chair, Interim President & CEO and Board Member;
Jaret Davis, Greenberg Traurig; Miami-Dade Beacon Council Chair;
Ernie Diaz, TD Bank, Miami-Dade Beacon Council Immediate Past Chair;
Pandwe Gibson, EcoTech Visions, past client of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council;
Matt Haggman, Knight Foundation; Past One Community One Goal Co-Chair and Miami-Dade Beacon Council Board Member;
Nelson Lazo, Doctors Hospital; Miami-Dade Beacon Council Chair-elect and past One Community One Goal Co-Chair;
Sidney Levin, FPL (retired), Miami-Dade Beacon Council Co-Founder;
Maya Tzur, BankUnited, Miami-Dade Beacon Council New Leaders Taskforce Chair;
Alex Villoch, Miami Herald; Miami-Dade Beacon Council Past Chair and Board Member;
Dawn White, American Airlines; Miami-Dade Beacon Council Secretary & Board Member.