Miami-Dade Beacon Council Names New EVP of 
Strategic Partnerships and Funding Development

Senior executive with deep expertise across various business sectors will 
lead long-term partner development strategy for the organization

MIAMI, FL (July 9, 2024) – The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the County’s official public-private economic development partnership, names Dr. Paula Hopkins for the newly created role of Executive Vice President, Strategic Partnerships and Funding Development. The former PepsiCo executive brings more than 30 years of experience in leadership, sales, strategy and operations to the Miami-Dade Beacon Council.

Dr. Hopkins will champion The Beacon Council’s partner engagement strategy in support of its mission to develop a more sustainable, inclusive and competitive economy for Greater Miami. This is a new role for the organization, where she is responsible for driving long-term growth and leveraging The Beacon Council’s strengths to further position Miami-Dade as a top-tier business destination. Julio Piti, VP of Engagement and Development, will work with Dr. Hopkins to support these efforts.

Most recently, Dr. Hopkins launched her own investment and consulting firm, Second and Sixth, specializing in reinvigorating businesses, developing and preparing top talent for executive leadership and supporting organizations with new strategic initiatives. As an innovative leader with experience in commercial strategy, supply chain operations and non-profit board participation, she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to The Beacon Council.

“Dr. Hopkins is a world-class business leader, and her proven business acumen and collaborative approach to building sustainable and competitive teams make her the right leader for The Beacon Council of the future,” said Rodrick Miller, President and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council. “She brings enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to our work, and we’re confident she will help us engage even more effectively with our community’s business leaders.”

“Joining The Beacon Council in positioning Greater Miami as an exceptional place to conduct business is a privilege,” said Dr. Paula Hopkins, EVP of Strategic Partnerships and Funding Development. “Our work affects millions of residents and requires thoughtful, inclusive leadership with the expertise to grow The Beacon Council’s impact on our flourishing community. As a long-time Miami resident and advocate, I am thrilled to join the Miami-Dade Beacon Council in building a more inclusive, competitive and sustainable economy for our residents and businesses.”

Dr. Hopkins earned a Doctorate of Business Administration from Rollins Crummer Graduate School. She also holds a Master of Business Administration from the Crummer Graduate School at Rollins College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Rollins College. Additionally, she has completed her Lean Six Sigma-Green Belt from Purdue University and is a certified LifeBound Executive Coach.

She is an active and engaged member of the community, contributing to several non-profit organizations. Her roles include serving as the Vice President of the Board of Directors for GlobalMindED, a non-profit dedicated to closing the equity gap by cultivating a diverse and skilled talent pipeline. Additionally, she is a Member of the Board of Directors for Warrick Dunn Charities and The Urban League of Louisiana, and she supports the Women of Color Empowerment Institute. She also actively participates in the YWCA of South Florida’s Economic Justice Council’s Cohort II. Furthermore, she was a distinguished 2020 Miami Super Bowl Host Committee member.

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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 a more sustainable, inclusive, and competitive economy for Greater Miami. We achieve this by growing the local economy, championing Miami’s business brand, supporting talent and workforce development, and shaping Greater Miami’s economic future. Established in 1985, The Beacon Council has attracted more than 120,000 new jobs and $8 Billion of new investment to Miami-Dade County. For more information, visit