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Miami-Dade Mayor Levine Cava announces new Economic Development and Innovation leadership



MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – Today, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced that Francesca de Quesada Covey will join her economic development team as Chief Economic Development and Innovation Officer. In this role, de Quesada Covey will lead efforts to accelerate innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment in Miami-Dade to drive continued growth and build a “future ready” economy where all residents can succeed and thrive.

Francesca de Quesada Covey has served the County as Tech Innovation advisor to the Mayor since September 2021, a position funded through the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. In that role she helped develop the Miami-Dade Innovation Authority, an independent public-private nonprofit created with seed funding from the Knight Foundation, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, and Miami-Dade County to find innovative private-sector solutions to some of our community’s pressing challenges. She was also Chief Investment Officer at TheVentureCity, an early stage investment firm based in Miami. In this role, she oversaw the investment strategy for pre-seed and seed investments and supported the growth of their 108 portfolio companies.

“Miami-Dade’s economy is ranked one of the most-recovered in the nation and continues to grow with new investments, business relocations, and workers in search of opportunities – particularly in tech,” said Mayor Levine Cava. “It’s more critical than ever that our government works hand-in-hand with the private sector to scale innovative solutions and invest in strong talent pipelines and workforce development, to ensure all our residents can succeed in the new economy. With robust experience across the public and private sectors and driving innovation within government, Francesca is the perfect person to lead our FutureReady economic development strategy as we work to make Miami-Dade the best place in the country to live and work.”

“Miami-Dade’s economy is one of the strongest in the nation, made up of world-class corporations, small businesses employing nearly 60% of our residents, and a burgeoning tech ecosystem. To cement our future growth and to ensure Miami-Dade’s status as an innovation hub, we need to provide more resources for entrepreneurs, increase opportunities for local talent, and modernize and streamline the County’s economic development functions to better serve the people building and scaling businesses,” said de Quesada Covey. “I am thrilled to bring my experience from both the federal government, and fast moving private and public companies, to lead the economic innovation and development team – helping drive forward Mayor Levine Cava’s efforts to grow and ensure a more inclusive, diverse, thriving economy for all.”

Francesca is a seasoned business development technology executive and investor with over 15 years of experience developing public-private partnerships and advising technology firms, elected officials, and government agencies. de Quesada Covey worked at Meta where she led and grew Business Development and partnerships teams focused on internationalization and growth. In her tenure she worked on connectivity, payments, and small and medium-size business efforts, culminating with a cross-company strategy role in the CEO and COO’s office. Before joining Meta, she served as Deputy Counselor of Strategic Engagement in the Office of Public Engagement under President Obama.

de Quesada Covey holds degrees from Columbia University (B.A., political science and French) and Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, France (M.A., finance). She is the daughter of Cuban immigrants, and along with her husband and two daughters she proudly calls Miami-Dade home.

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South Florida News

The Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust announces its May 2024 Full Trust meeting



MIAMI-DADE ( May 24, 2024 )– On Wednesday, May 29, 2024, the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust (CITT) will hold its May 2024 Full Trust meeting.

The meeting will be held at 5 p.m. in the Miami-Dade County Commission Chambers on the second floor of the Stephen P. Clark Government Center at 111 N.W. First St., Miami, Florida, 33132.

The meeting will be broadcast live on Miami-Dade Television and via webcast at

Members of the public are welcome to participate by providing a comment on any of the items to be discussed at the Full Trust meeting. A copy of the meeting agenda will be published on the CITT website at least a day prior to the meeting.

Public comments can be provided by:
• Attending the meeting in person and delivering a comment there, or by
• Sending an email to no later than noon on Wednesday, May 29, 2024. The email will be read into the record during the meeting.

Each member of the public providing a comment will have two minutes to speak. Emails read into the record shall not exceed two minutes. Those who provide a public comment must also provide his/her name, address, and the CITT agenda item number(s) being addressed.

Anyone wishing to obtain more information regarding the meeting can call 305-375-1357. For information about the CITT and the People’s Transportation Plan, the public is encouraged to visit the CITT’s website, or call 305-375-1357.

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South Florida News

Miami-Dade County launches largest film incentive program in Florida



MIAMI-DADE ( May 06, 2024 ) – The Miami-Dade County Office of Film and Entertainment has launched the largest film incentive in Florida to attract major motion pictures and television series. The film incentive, known as the High Impact Film Fund Program (HIFFP), will provide up to $50 million over the next 5 years to bring productions back to Miami-Dade County through a cash rebate of up to 20% for qualifying domestic and international productions filming locally. The HIFFP was sponsored by Miami-Dade County Commissioner René Garcia and unanimously approved by the Board of County Commissioners.

The Film Office underscores the significant economic contribution of the local film industry, generating job opportunities and showcasing our region on a global scale. Highlighting Miami-Dade County in films and TV series not only enhances our visibility but also boosts tourism and attracts investments.

The Film Office conducted an extensive year-long outreach, engaging with producers, directors, studio executives, and other industry stakeholders, including those already involved in our county’s film scene and those considering future ventures. Feedback analysis revealed the absence of competitive entertainment economic development programs has hindered major TV and film productions from choosing Miami-Dade County as their filming destination.

“The High Impact Film Fund Program is a testament to our commitment to nurturing both the artistic and economic growth of our community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “This initiative aligns with our vision of making Miami-Dade a thriving hub for creative industries, and we look forward to the positive impact it will have on our county. Not only will this program create jobs, but it will support the many local businesses that are the backbone of our economy in Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade County Commissioner René Garcia is thrilled over the tremendous support he has received from his colleagues on the Board of County Commission, industry stakeholders, and residents alike. “Our unmatched crews, talent, infrastructure, and locations have made Miami-Dade the perfect place to shoot movies and television series. This program will help create and sustain thousands of small businesses and good paying jobs for our residents and while bringing billions in much needed new investment to our county. I am especially excited about the possibility of growing this program with the promise of retaining our talented workforce and youth, and the economic growth a robust program can bring to our community. It will also strengthen our global competitiveness and deliver significant, long-term value to our economic future,” said Commissioner René Garcia.

“Film incentive programs support economic development by creating jobs, stimulating local spending, attracting investment, promoting tourism, and enhancing the county’s overall appeal. The main concern I always hear from producers to artists to crew personnel is the lack of a real incentive. The program will begin to position Miami-Dade as a global destination for major film and television production,, stated Miami-Dade Film Commissioner, Marco Giron.

Miami-Dade County was recently selected as a top 10 destination and named as one of the best places to live and work as a movie maker in 2024 by MovieMaker Magazine. The Film Office also won numerous awards including the National Association of Counties (NACo) Best in Category for its Movie and TV Map Tour, and also won NACo awards for the Magic City Music Tour and the One-Stop-Shop Film Permitting Center. Also this year, the Film Office was selected among 200 film commissions around the world as a finalist for Film Commission Initiative of the Year by Makers & Shakers.

Miami-Dade County is proudly featured in some of the most iconic TV series, such as Miami Vice, Burn Notice, CSI: Miami, Dexter, Ballers, Glades, Magic City and Keeping up with The Kardashians to name a few. Major movies set in Miami include the Bad Boys franchise, There’s Something About Mary, Pain and Gain, Iron Man 3, and the recent HBO remake of Father of the Bride starring hometown superstars Gloria Estefan and Andy Garcia.

The Miami-Dade County Office of Film & Entertainment is part of The Office of Innovation and Economic Development (OIED) which catalyzes a FutureReady Miami-Dade — where investing in equity, resilience, and innovation cements our position as a global economic hub.

For more information about the High Impact Film Fund Program (HIFFP) and how to apply, please visit or contact The Miami-Dade County Office of Film & Entertainment at 305-375-3288.

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South Florida News

Derrick Hayes, the founder and CEO of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, joined forces with DJ Khaled and Jay “Jeezy” Jenkins for a day of golf in Miami



Miami, FL – This week, Derrick Hayes, the founder and CEO of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, joined forces with DJ Khaled and Jay “Jeezy” Jenkins for a day of golf in Miami, FL. The trio came together to support Jeezy’s philanthropic endeavors and enjoy a day of friendly competition on the golf course in celebration of the money raised at the 3rd annual Sno Ball Gala fundraiser.

Derrick Hayes had previously attended the Sno Ball Gala, created and hosted by his friend, Mr. Jenkins, in October. During the event, he placed a generous donation to the foundation. The Sno Ball Gala is a charitable event that raises funds for Jeezy’s Street Dreamz Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Street Dreamz Foundation is dedicated to empowering at-risk youth and fostering their leadership skills through various programs. The foundation’s mission is to encourage independence, respect for others, and motivate each child to reach their ultimate potential in their area of interest.

Derrick Hayes, known for his successful business ventures, is no stranger to supporting causes that make a positive impact on the community. He continues to demonstrate his commitment to philanthropy and empowering the next generation.


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