The Miami-Dade Beacon Council Announces Upcoming Transitions, Promotions and New Hires

Dyan Brasington retires as Executive Vice President of Economic Development; James Kohnstamm named successor

(Miami, FL) August 14, 2019 –  The Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the County’s official public-private economic development partnership, announced that Dyan Brasington has officially retired as the organization’s Executive Vice President of Economic Development. James Kohnstamm, formerly Senior Vice President of Economic Development, has been promoted to Executive Vice President and has already transitioned into his new position.

With more than 30 years of experience in economic development, Dyan brought a broad array of skills and depth of knowledge to The Miami-Dade Council including entrepreneurship, public policy advocacy, tech-led economic development and team building.

“During her time at the organization and throughout her entire career, Dyan has done a remarkable job of transforming the economic development model,” said Michael A. Finney, President & CEO, Miami-Dade Beacon Council. “Working in the same industry for so many years, I had known Dyan prior to coming to Miami-Dade and was happy to have the opportunity to work with her to drive investment in this community. We are extremely grateful for all her contributions to this organization and to Miami-Dade, which have positioned us for continued success. She is an incredible professional and individual, and she will be missed.”

James has been with the Miami-Dade Beacon Council for over thirteen years, serving as Senior Vice President since spring of 2016. He has worked with companies large and small, domestic and international, developing specific expertise in the Aviation industry where he has led efforts from expanding flight training capabilities to recruiting global aviation maintenance firms and working to establish an international air show in Miami. In his previous role, he managed over 70 projects which resulted in 6,200 new jobs, $1.5B in new investment, and 5.2M new square feet. Some of James’ successful projects include expansions or relocations for The Boeing Company, I Squared Capital, Starwood Capital, Cosentino, Deloitte, LAN Cargo, Ryder System, Bombardier, NBCUniversal/Telemundo, Univision, and UPS.

In his new role as Executive Vice President for Economic Development, James will lead a team of economic development professionals dedicated to continuing to grow Miami’s economy by supporting the expansion of local businesses and recruiting new innovative investments to Miami-Dade. He will focus on advancing key partnerships across the community and growing The Beacon Council’s forward-thinking, industry-leading economic development team.

The Miami-Dade Beacon Council understands that investing in and developing talent is essential to our success as an organization. Several internal promotions and new additions have also been part of the overall evolution of the team.

  • Christine Johnson, formerly Director of Innovation and Technology, has been promoted to Vice President, Innovation, Economic Development, where she will continue to lead recruitment, retention and expansion efforts for the technology and innovation sectors.
  • Dedicating himself to creating a climate that champions the promotion and growth of the Trade & Logistics industry in Miami-Dade County, Stanley Riguad, formerly Director, International Economic Development/Trade & Logistics has been promoted to Vice President, International Economic Development.
  • Samuel Blatt, former Economic Development Manager for the City of North Miami, joined The Beacon Council earlier this month as Economic Development Director. In his role as Director, Sam will focus on increasing quality jobs and investment throughout the County through business attraction, retention, and expansion efforts.
  • In the office of Budget & Administration, Marco Pharnord has been promoted from Senior Accountant to Director of Finance. With almost four years of close collaboration with the organization’s Chief Financial Officer and EVP, he has been a valuable partner and fully understands the nuances of the organization’s requirements. In his new role he will continue to partner with leadership across departments to ensure the fiscal integrity of the organization.

“We encourage talent development and seek to provide growth opportunities to our internal staff whenever possible, but we are lucky to live in a community with strong talent to draw from as well. We are happy to support the growth of all of these individuals and appreciate that we are a stronger organization and community for having them work to market, grow and shape Miami-Dade,” said Michael A. Finney, President & CEO, Miami-Dade Beacon Council.


About The Miami-Dade Beacon Council

Miami-Dade Beacon Council is the official economic development organization for Miami-Dade County. Its mission is to increase jobs and investment through marketing Miami as a world class business destination; helping grow local companies; and shaping Miami’s economic future.  Since 1985, the organization has assisted more than 1,000 businesses that have created nearly 70,000 direct jobs and added more than $4.7 billion in new capital investments. A professional staff and volunteer community leaders work to promote Miami as a world-class 21st century community at the forefront of a changing global economy. For more information: