It is with profound sadness that the Miami-Dade Beacon Council announces that Michael A. Finney, our President and CEO, passed away unexpectedly on April 3, 2022. Michael suffered a fatal heart attack at his home in Coconut Grove. He was 65 years old.
An incredible human being – thoughtful, humble, passionately committed to his family and to his community – Michael was a visionary leader and bridge-builder that championed collaboration and inspired action. He was a brilliant, observant convener, part of what made him one of the country’s leading economic development professionals. Joining the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the county’s official economic development organization as President and Chief Executive Officer in 2017, Michael led the public-private partnership during a time of unprecedented growth and transformation for both Beacon and the community itself. A servant leader that inspired many, he championed Miami as the diverse global innovation hub he knew it to be, while simultaneously working to create opportunities that were inclusive, equitable and accessible to the most disadvantaged in our community. He consistently collaborated with key stakeholders including Miami-Dade County and other local governments, CareerSource South Florida, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Miami-Dade Coalition of Chambers, and key private sector leaders, building effective coalitions that will be part of this community’s success and Michael’s personal legacy.
“Michael Finney was an eternal optimist. He spent his career helping communities grow, strengthening their economies, and creating pathways to prosperity for residents believing at his core that everyone deserved the chance to succeed,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Life is precious, and I am grateful for having had the good fortune to work closely with him as Mayor. I will especially cherish the memory of our week together in Israel, and the legacy of unwavering dedication he leaves behind.”
In the five years of his tenure, Michael led the organization to break multiple records, most recently in 2021 with 32 companies committing to almost 14,000 new direct and indirect jobs, which translates into almost $1 billion in annual economic impact for Miami-Dade residents and businesses. In addition to our core work of attracting and retaining companies and investment, Michael led the organization to develop new, locally focused initiatives that support our most underserved communities and small businesses including Miami Community Ventures and Small Business Xcelerator, as well as the reimagining of One Community One Goal resulting in the launch of Opportunity Miami.
Recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Miami Branch, Michael also served on other boards including Baptist Health South Florida, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. A thoughtful mentor and genuinely good person, we know that we are a better community, a better organization, and better people because of Mike.
“We are shocked and profoundly saddened by Mike Finney’s sudden passing. Mike was an inspiring, brilliant, and humble leader whose commitment to this community was unmatched,” said George Bermudez, 2021-2022 Chair for The Beacon Council and Senior Vice President, Miami Business Banking Market Executive for Bank of America. “The entire Beacon Council family – our board of directors, investors, and team – appreciate how lucky we were to have Mike at the helm and are devastated by his loss. He was devoted to his family, and our hearts go out to his wife Gina, his sons, grandchildren, and extended family.”
Prior to joining The Beacon Council, Michael served Michigan Governor Rick Snyder as Senior Advisor for Economic Growth and President & CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Under his leadership the MEDC moved to the forefront of U.S. economic development organizations, with innovative new initiatives including Pure Michigan Business Connect, Community Ventures, and the revitalized “Pure Michigan” tourism campaign.
Our hearts go out to his wife Gina Finney, his sons Michael Jr., Marcus, and Austin, his grandchildren, and the rest of his large, beautiful family in Michigan and beyond. Arrangements are still being made, and we will share additional information as it becomes available.
Any communication or condolences for the Finney family can be sent to the Miami-Dade Beacon Council offices at 80 SW 8th St, Suite 2400, Miami, FL 33130.
About the Miami-Dade Beacon Council
The Miami-Dade Beacon Council is the county’s official economic development partnership. Attracting and retaining companies that create high-value jobs and invest in our community, The Beacon Council is committed to driving long-term economic prosperity and inclusive growth for Miami-Dade County, its businesses and residents. We achieve this by marketing MiamiDade as a world-class business destination; growing local companies and fostering entrepreneurs; and shaping Miami-Dade’s economic future. Established in 1985, The Beacon Council has attracted more than 120,000 new jobs and $7 Billion of new investment to MiamiDade County. For more information, visit beaconcouncil.com.
Miami-Dade Beacon Council