News Article | February 22, 2017
MIAMI & DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (“Southern Glazer’s”) — the largest North American wine and spirits distribution company — today announced that it is celebrating its 16th consecutive year as the host of the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF®). The festival benefits the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at Florida International University (FIU) and to date, has raised more than $24 million for the School. As the host, alongside FIU, Southern Glazer’s is the exclusive provider of wine and spirits for the star-studded, five-day gourmet gathering designed to encourage people to eat, drink, and educate themselves about great food, wine and spirits. “While the Festival is best known for being one of the top food and wine events in the U.S., it has been a non-profit from day one and has served as an outstanding philanthropic outlet to increase awareness and raise millions of dollars for FIU’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Southern Wine & Spirits Beverage Management Center,” said Wayne Chaplin, CEO of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. “We believe the Festival is the perfect vehicle to help us reinforce our Company’s commitment to hospitality education and develop future leaders in our industry.” Over 1,000 FIU students volunteer each year to help produce the festival, giving them a unique hands-on industry experience participating alongside event management professionals, world-renowned chefs, winemakers, spirits producers, and restauranteurs. Between SOBEWFF® and its sister the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival, more than $33 million has been raised to benefit the respective charities of each festival. “As part of our commitment to giving back to our communities, we are also once again working with the Miami Rescue Mission to rescue food from some of our signature evening events at this year’s festival,” said Lee Brian Schrager, SVP of Communications & Corporate Social Responsibility for Southern Glazer’s, and Founder and Director of SOBEWFF® and its sister festival in New York City. “Last year, these rescue efforts helped provide approximately 5,000 meals for formerly-homeless residents of the shelter and currently-homeless guests invited in off the street every day for sustenance.” The festival features over 90 events for every taste and budget including vibrant entertainment experiences, walk-around tastings, wine seminars, and intimate dinners. It also features the Wine Spectator Trade Day, an invitation-only event for Southern Glazer’s customers offering insiders the opportunity to learn about new trends and products in the beverage industry. For tickets and a full list of events visit sobewff.org or call 877-762-3933. Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits is North America’s largest wine and spirits distributor, and the preeminent data insights company for alcoholic beverages. The Company has operations in 44 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, Canada, and the Caribbean, and employs more than 20,000 team members. Southern Glazer’s urges all retail customers and adult consumers to market, sell, serve, and enjoy its products responsibly. For more information visit www.southernglazers.com. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @sgwinespirits and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SouthernGlazers.
News Article | November 21, 2016
As the main sponsor of the 2016 Florida International University (FIU) Department of Architecture “Walk on Water” event, held annually on the FIU campus, support from CGI Windows & Doors allowed the 2016 program to expand into a statewide event for the first time. The event was held on November 10, 2016. “This is our third year sponsoring the FIU “Walk on Water” event, and we’ve seen interest and participation grow year to year,” said Steven E. Dawson, vice president and general manager of CGI Windows & Doors. “The value of a strong, successful program like this is that it allows students to both design and build their project, giving them hands-on, real-world, invaluable experience. We were thrilled to assist in expanding the program this year to reach more architecture students across the state of Florida.” Thanks to the CGI sponsorship, five teams from two schools – Palm Beach State College and the University of Florida – entered the contest. Sponsor funding assisted the schools with both their materials and their travel expenses. “Walk on Water” is an amazing event: FIU students in the Materials & Methods of Construction Class taught by FIU Architecture Professor Jaime Canaves were issued a challenge by their teacher: Successfully construct shoes that will allow the student to walk across a campus lake – with minimum water contact. Entrants can compete individually, or as a team. The event, a favorite campus tradition, is about more than just making the grade in Canaves’ class; the first place winner of each of the two races received a $1,000 cash prize, thanks to CGI’s sponsorship. The event is in its 27th year. “CGI has always felt strongly about supporting the architecture community, from students through professionals, across the state,” continued Dawson. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with FIU and developing this program into something with a national scale.” ABOUT CGI: CGI was established in 1992 and has consistently built a reputation based on designing and manufacturing quality impact-resistant products that meet or exceed the stringent Miami-Dade County impact standards. The Company has over 250 employees at its manufacturing plant in Miami, Florida. Today the Company continues to lead as an innovator in product craftsmanship, strength and style, and its brands are highly recognized and respected by the architectural community. CGI product lines include the Estate Collection, Sentinel by CGI, Estate Entrances, Commercial Series, and Targa by CGI. CGI Windows and Doors is a wholly owned subsidiary of PGT, Inc. (NASDAQ: PGTI). For additional information, visit cgiwindows.com. ABOUT THE FIU DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE: The FIU Department of Architecture trains students in the profession of architecture to become thoughtful practitioners, critical thinkers, and broad visionaries with the skills and knowledge to enhance their communities and the built environment around them. The Department has a world-class faculty engaged in architectural practice and research on issues of design, sustainability, history/theory/criticism, sea-level rise, digital fabrication, and a whole host of interdisciplinary areas that advance knowledge in South Florida and across the globe. For more information, go to architecture.fiu.edu.
News Article | February 21, 2017
MIAMI, Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- NuPark, the leading provider of smart parking management solutions, announced today the integration of its parking management solution with RideFlag's Carpool on Demand app at Florida International University (FIU) campus. By combining carpooling with...
News Article | March 3, 2017
Until recently, Florida International's hiring of Butch Davis was the biggest news on campus. However, that all changed when officials announced they'd chosen FieldTurf to install a new turf system at the Golden Panthers' Ocean Bank Field this summer. The university's new playing surface will be home to FIU's football program and the NASL's Miami FC. FIU and Miami FC opted for FieldTurf’s Revolution 360 system along with FieldTurf's patented VersaTile underlayment – the same combination as the New England Patriots and Revolution chose for Gillette Stadium. Made from recycled turf and thermoelastomer, VersaTile, the ultimate shock underlayment solution, offers the dual benefit of shock absorption and drainage. With impact attenuation properties designed to mirror the leading underpads, VersaTile has proven Gmax reduction of up to 30%. VersaTile never gets in the way of the water flow, offering maximum horizontal drainage with a free draining surface area of 82% (compared to only 35% in competitive products). The VersaTile design allows for proper expansion and superior engineered supports on the bottom of tile delivers long-term stability and load bearing capacity 75 PSI to handle the heaviest vehicles. Named after the concept of completeness, the Revolution 360 fiber features optimal durability, resilience and feel. Quickly becoming the most popular surface in North America, Florida International University will join an impressive list of current users, of which features CenturyLink Field, home of the Seahawks & Sounders, Gillette Stadium, home of the Patriots & Revolution, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Falcons and United, Portland Timbers, Princeton University, Toledo University, University of Texas at El Paso and over 200 High School and community fields. Independent testing by both Labosport and Penn State University rated Revolution 360 as the premier turf system on the market. In fact, Revolution 360 is still the first and only fiber in the industry to score an 83 on Labosport's Fiber Performance Index, the first true measurement of fiber quality. And the only one to receive a perfect 10 - 10 “good”, NO “hair-splitting”, NO “fractured”, NO “complete splitting” after Penn State University's Sports Surface Research Center’s aggressive 150,000 cycle Lisport Wear Testing.
News Article | October 29, 2016
Florida International University, today announces the 2017 Charles E. Perry Young Alumni Visionary Torch Award recipient to be Manny Angelo Varas the President and CEO of MV Construction & Development Group, who is a distinguished alumni of FIU holding a Bachelors & Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) with Honors. Upon completing graduate studies at FIU, Manny Varas continued to Harvard Graduate school of design where he is also an Alumnus. “This prestigious award represents FIU’s finest – they are our torchbearer – Varas is a leader who imparts knowledge and serves as a source of inspiration for all of us.” Mark Rosenberg – President FIU - In recognition of this honor FIU shall host the 16th annual Torch Awards Gala on Saturday, April 1, 2017 at the JW Marriott Marquis. (Torchawards.fiu.edu) Varas, 36, who is married to Dr. Brianna Varas, (a pediatrician at Sunset Pediatrics) has a nearly one year old boy and is a well-known South Florida business leader whose accolades include being named Miami Herald’s Business Monday 20 under 40 in 2014 as well as being ranked one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurs in the Nation and having run one of the fastest growing Hispanic businesses in the country. Varas is an alumni of Harvard University Graduate School of Design, he also holds a Master’s in Business Administration MBA, is a state licensed General Contractor, Roofing Contractor, Real Estate Broker, as well as a LEED Accredited Professional by the U.S. Green Building Council. Based in Miami, MV Construction Group is a full-service construction and development company that offers a broad range of luxury construction services. MV Group custom home division currently has under-construction several luxury waterfront homes throughout south Florida including a 20 million dollar Bayfront mansion in Bay-point, 2 multi-million dollar homes on Hibiscus Island, 2 homes on Venetian Isles, and several estates in Pinecrest. MV Group is also building a 22,000 SF building in Miami’s design district as well as many of South Florida’s most iconic and well- known developments, totaling nearly 1,000,000 square feet of construction and $500 million in real estate value.
News Article | February 16, 2017
MIAMI, Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- With nearly 682,000 workers, Miami's Creative Class is the 11th largest in the nation, according to a new analysis of Miami's creative workforce, by Florida International University and the Creative Class Group, "Building Miami's Creative Econ...
News Article | February 15, 2017
Opiate abuse is a significant risk factor for HIV infection, and in combination they can have a devastating effect on the brain. Scientists at FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) are studying new therapies that can short-circuit HIV infection and mitigate the damaging effects that opiate addiction has on the central nervous system. The ambitious $3.5 million five-year study, funded by the National Institutes for Health is now underway and will be completed b7 2021. Researchers hope the work will lead to lead to a multi-purpose platform for drugs targeting a variety of other difficult to treat diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. The Institute of Neuro-Immune Pharmacology at HWCOM, led by Chair and Associate Dean of the Department of Immunology Madhavan Nair, is teaming up with Kamel Khalili, chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Temple University, and the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center at Temple University's Lewis Katz School on a new study that will combine Khalil's gene editing strategy using nanotechnology with Nair's work to help opiate users with HIV. Despite significant advances in anti-retroviral therapy (ART), which is used to treat HIV patients, ART is unable to penetrate the blood brain barrier (BBB) after systemic administration. In addition, the elimination of HIV from the central nervous system and peripheral reservoirs remains challenging due to the HIV genome's ability to integrate itself into the host genome. But advances in nanotechnology have expanded the possibilities for novel drug delivery systems that can cross the BBB to recognize and eradicate HIV in the brain. Nair and other scientists from the Institute of Neuro-Immune Pharmacology at HWCOM have combined nanotechnology with magneto electro nanoparticles (MENPs) as externally field triggered/controlled drug carriers that offer the unique capability of low energy and dissipation free on-demand drug release across the BBB. Nair's MENP drug-based delivery system is now the basis for the partnership with Khalili, who developed the Cas9/gRNA system; a genetic engineering tool that has shown great promise in finding and destroying copies of HIV that have burrowed into the host's genome. The partnership will use Cas9/gRNA to eliminate entire integrated copies of the HIV genome from the host chromosome with the MENP drug-based delivery system. "This is the first time that we are sending medicine to the brain that will eliminate latent HIV as well as deliver a morphine antagonist (methylnaltrexone) across the BBB in a non-invasive manner to protect neurons from morphine induced neurodegenerative effects," Nair says. MENP is non-invasive and fast-acting, and this newly created multi-disciplinary approach will also introduce unprecedented 3-D diagnostic views and allow clearance of the nanoparticles from the brain to the periphery by reverse external magnetic force once the cargo has been delivered.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Opiate abuse is a significant risk factor for HIV infection, and in combination they can have a devastating effect on the brain. Scientists at FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) are studying new therapies that can short-circuit HIV infection and mitigate the damaging effects that opiate addiction has on the central nervous system. The ambitious $3.5 million five-year study, funded by the National Institutes for Health is now underway and will be completed b7 2021. Researchers hope the work will lead to lead to a multi-purpose platform for drugs targeting a variety of other difficult to treat diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. The Institute of Neuro-Immune Pharmacology at HWCOM, led by Chair and Associate Dean of the Department of Immunology Madhavan Nair, is teaming up with Kamel Khalili, chair of the Department of Neuroscience at Temple University, and the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Center at Temple University's Lewis Katz School on a new study that will combine Khalil's gene editing strategy using nanotechnology with Nair's work to help opiate users with HIV. Despite significant advances in anti-retroviral therapy (ART), which is used to treat HIV patients, ART is unable to penetrate the blood brain barrier (BBB) after systemic administration. In addition, the elimination of HIV from the central nervous system and peripheral reservoirs remains challenging due to the HIV genome's ability to integrate itself into the host genome. But advances in nanotechnology have expanded the possibilities for novel drug delivery systems that can cross the BBB to recognize and eradicate HIV in the brain. Nair and other scientists from the Institute of Neuro-Immune Pharmacology at HWCOM have combined nanotechnology with magneto electro nanoparticles (MENPs) as externally field triggered/controlled drug carriers that offer the unique capability of low energy and dissipation free on-demand drug release across the BBB. Nair's MENP drug-based delivery system is now the basis for the partnership with Khalili, who developed the Cas9/gRNA system; a genetic engineering tool that has shown great promise in finding and destroying copies of HIV that have burrowed into the host's genome. The partnership will use Cas9/gRNA to eliminate entire integrated copies of the HIV genome from the host chromosome with the MENP drug-based delivery system. "This is the first time that we are sending medicine to the brain that will eliminate latent HIV as well as deliver a morphine antagonist (methylnaltrexone) across the BBB in a non-invasive manner to protect neurons from morphine induced neurodegenerative effects," Nair says. MENP is non-invasive and fast-acting, and this newly created multi-disciplinary approach will also introduce unprecedented 3D diagnostic views and allow clearance of the nanoparticles from the brain to the periphery by reverse external magnetic force once the cargo has been delivered.
News Article | January 3, 2016
Miami is a city of many traits. Historically recognized for the sun, beach and tourists of South Beach, it has now become much more than that. With one of the most diverse populations in the country, Miami is the strategic capital of the Americas, binding Brazil and Spanish-speaking Latin America (LatAm) to the U.S. market. Miami is now the second most entrepreneurial city in the U.S., with the highest startup density in the country at 247.6 startups per 100,000 people, according to the Kauffman Index. Its privileged proximity to both New York and Silicon Valley will allow this emerging ecosystem to consolidate its position as an entrepreneurial hub with the arrival of accelerators and VC funds. Rather than trying to be the next Silicon Valley, Miami is following the lead of emerging tech hubs like Austin and Boulder, and is focusing on its strengths. Miami and tech have been having an on-again, off-again relationship since the 1990s, when it hosted some of the top media and financial firms from South America. One of the most iconic companies of that era was Patagon.com, a Miami transplant from Argentina that sold 85 percent to Santander for $585 million. It also served as a springboard to some of the pioneers in the Miami tech scene today, such as Juan Pablo Cappello, Constancio Larguia, Silvina Moschini and Peter Kellner, co-founder of Endeavor. A lot has changed since those days. A new Miami tech scene came about seven years ago when “some of today’s most relevant players started forming and getting together,” as The Miami Herald’s Nancy Dhalberg put it. Florida International University hosted its first Americas Venture Capital Conference (2010), Susan Amat co-founded The Launch Pad at University of Miami (2008) and soon after she started Venture Hive, Miami’s most iconic incubator. But is was in 2012 when, inspired by Dave McClure’s Geeks on a Plane stop in the city, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation decided Miami had a great shot at becoming a startup capital. Since then, the foundation started accelerating and funding different local initiatives, bringing new players to the scene and becoming instrumental in Endeavor, Venture for America, LaunchCode, Emerge, IME, The Idea Center, The LAB and 500 Startups, among others, landing in the city. The most recent grantee is PowerMoves, an initiative to raise the number of venture-backed founders of color and minorities. This particular organization well-represents the foundation’s spirit. In the words of Matt Haggman, program director at the Knight Foundation, “Diversity is our differentiator; unlock talent and amplify capital.” Matt has become the city’s superman, getting involved in most activities within the current communities; he could easily run for mayor any day. Through his work, the foundation has committed more than $20 million in funding across 165 entrepreneurship initiatives in the Miami area during the last three years. Just as FIU’s VC conference stopped, Manny Medina started cooking his annual eMerge Americas conference, where folks such as Jim McKelvey, co-founder of Square, have inspired thousands of people. It was around that time when Miami’s reputation as the capital of South America got back into play as a differentiator and people started to believe a startup culture could be created by developing the community. Entrepreneurs Demian Bellumio and Ola Ahlvarsson have also found a way to connect tech with art, another one of Miami traits. For three years now they have been producing SIME — the European conference — in the city around Art Basel Week, merging art, technology and media. The opportunity has not only become obvious for entrepreneurs, but is also increasingly notorious for big companies that still make Miami their LatAm headquarters. Several companies are landing every week as Miami regains the title as a regional hub, and also as one of the most important platforms to serve the growing Hispanic power in the U.S. Companies such as Google, Twitter, Facebook, Uber, Lyft and Vice have moved to Miami, along with new investors hungry for this opportunity. “Miami is the perfect place to start or grow your business, specially if you are interested in an international venture,” said Laura González-Estéfani, Director of Partnerships & Mobile LatAm for Facebook based in Miami. González-Estéfani recognizes Miami as a hub for the Americas and Europe because the tech community is hungry for making new things happen. “There is talent, there is support from the institutions and private initiatives that are focused on boosting innovation, and there is an incremental interest from VCs and business angels for innovative projects.” There are currently 139 startups and companies on the Inc. 5000 list that are based in the Miami metro area, doing everything from media to tourism to health tech. Another great incentive for firms coming to the city has to do with Miami’s tax advantages where there are no local or state income taxes, and Florida’s corporate tax is 5.5 percent, one of the nation’s lowest. As made famous by Steve Jobs, the dots can usually be connected looking backwards, and Miami is no exception. The last few years have kept the local ecosystem busy with the starting of many initiatives. Angel investors got organized and created groups educating an increasing the number of local investors in tech, co-working spaces popped up in every district — such as the recently opened Building.co by the succesful .CO crew — and coding schools started taking over the city. Universities are now teaching entrepreneurship, VC funds are coming from outside the city and soon we’ll see accelerators arrive as Miami’s number of startups soars — up 46 percent — accounting for 1,600 companies (according to the Kauffman Foundation). AGP Miami, the largest local angel group, is proof of how rapid change is happening in the city; it has quadrupled the number of its members, up to 80 investors, in the past two years. The group has invested in 14 firms, for a total of $2.8 million, and is actively looking to increase that number with both companies from Miami and those attracted to the city. “Miami does not have a capital problem: We need family offices to trust new funds to leverage the power of Miami as a gateway. That is a tremendous opportunity,” said Nicolas Berardi, AGP Miami’s managing director. One of the newcomers is European accelerator Startupbootcamp. Looking to benefit from Miami’s top positioning as a healthcare and talent hub will bring 10 companies a year to Miami for the next three years, and support them with its six-month acceleration program. Christian Seale, Startupbootcamp Miami founder and managing director, believes Miami can become a global center for healthcare innovation. “Miami is the second largest healthcare hub in the U.S., with 8 hospitals, over 33,000 beds, three globally recognized research universities and a legacy of successful healthcare companies,” said Seale. Many of these dots — not to say all — have a strong debt to the Knight Foundation’s efforts. But bigger questions now arise on how to make this a sustainable ecosystem. Knight is still very much needed, but hopefully current players will get together in a joint effort to connect the dots and build a stronger and bigger community. As the city consolidates its place as one of the hottest entrepreneurial spots in the country, Miami has become a strategic market for one of the most valuable startups in the world, Magic Leap, and others, such as CareCloud, Open English and more. Altogether, these Miami royals have so far raised more than $763 million in venture capital, attracting talent and gaining attention from international investors. In less than two years, LaunchCode, the non-profit organization from St. Louis, Missouri that received $1.2 million funding from Knight in 2014 for its first expansion city, has teamed up with more than 120 companies to hire through The Idea Center tech apprentices who don’t necessarily have a traditional degree. As for Magic Leap, the virtual reality startup that raised $542 million in venture capital from Google and Qualcomm, among other tech giants, has chosen to relocate its headquarters to the Design Center of The Americas (DCOTA) in Dania Beach, Florida. “Magic Leap’s move to DCOTA is an investment in the future, ensuring that we have the very best creative environment and resources to support our rapidly growing team,” said Russell Burke, Chief Financial Officer at Magic Leap, in a press release. “It’s also a pretty big statement about where we think we will be in the months and years ahead.” Another example of Miami’s thriving startup ecosystem is Andres Moreno and Wilmer Sarmiento’s Open English. The company raised $120.25 million in venture capital, and took advantage of Miami’s strategic position to launch an online English-learning business that serves more than 400,000 students in Latin America and the Spanish-speaking community within the U.S. While Miami’s royals provide proof of success and business opportunities for startups and investors in South Florida, venture capital remains a weak link in the ecosystem. In 2014, the Miami metro area attracted $656.83 million of the $867.6 million in 36 venture capital deals that took place in Florida. These figures pale in comparison to venture capital investments drawn by the states of California, with $26,840.6 million (San Francisco accounted for $10,948 million) or New York, with $4,510.9 million, with 1,631 and 422 deals, respectively (according to data from CB Insights). Yes, it is still early, and there’s more to come. A lot of it is going to come from attracting talent from outside Miami, and, honestly, it doesn’t seem to be a hard task. Miami is a great launching pad if you are interested in selling to LatAm or tapping into the U.S. market, with a privileged positioning to cater to U.S. Hispanics. The quality of life is great, it’s strategically close to Europe, LatAm, New York and San Francisco, the infrastructure is starting to be in place and the ecosystem is growing fast. Institutional venture capital funds have yet to look at Miami with better eyes — but honestly, who would have expected for them to arrive before the opportunities? This is already changing. 500 Startups has done a program in Miami, investing up to $250,000 in eight companies, and Scout Ventures established an office in Miami and made two investments. Prominent angel investors Patrick McKenna and Mark Kingdon have moved to the area, and local funds are starting to emerge, such as Z9 actively looking for companies. The landing of Startupbootcamp’s accelerator is also encouraging, and will certainly pave the way for more accelerators to come. Whoever has tried surfing at any point in their lives know something very well: There is, indeed, a right time to catch a good wave. It is certainly not at its peak; rather, it takes a bit of paddling and vision to catch the best waves and enjoy the ride.
News Article | February 17, 2017
US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference on February 16, 2017, at the White House in Washington, DC (AFP Photo/Nicholas Kamm ) Washington (AFP) - President Donald Trump announced Thursday he has nominated Alexander Acosta to be the US secretary of labor, the first Hispanic American chosen for his cabinet. Acosta is a former federal prosecutor in Florida and now the dean of the law school at Florida International University (FIU). He has also served on the National Labor Relations Board and led the Justice Department's civil rights division. Acosta was tapped one day after Trump's first nominee for the post, Andrew Puzder, withdrew under pressure over his business record and other past controversies in his personal life. "I think he'll be a tremendous secretary of labor," Trump said of Acosta at a White House news conference. "He has had a tremendous career." A Harvard Law graduate, Acosta clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, before working as a corporate attorney in Washington where he specialized in labor issues. Acosta served as federal prosecutor in Florida for nearly a decade, departing in 2009 after prosecuting high-profile cases involving former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the Liberian torturer known as Chuckie Taylor and Colombian drug cartel members. Trump had faced criticism for not nominating any member of the Latino or Hispanic community to his inner circle, despite the nation's Hispanic population topping 17 percent. Cabinet members require confirmation by the US Senate. Puzder, a fast-food executive who faced intense criticism for his labor policies including opposition to minimum-wage increases, withdrew after it became clear he did not have sufficient votes. By nominating Acosta, considered a more mainstream pick than Puzder, Trump was seen as seeking to ease some of the turmoil that has gripped his White House in his first month in office. He has already been confirmed three times by the Senate for various posts, suggesting he should have a smoother ride than the previous nominee. In March 2011, as the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks neared, Acosta testified before a Senate judiciary panel about protecting the civil rights of American Muslims. "These efforts following 9/11 were important. They set a tone," he told Congress. "They reminded those who might be tempted to take out their anger on an entire community that such actions were wrong."