News Article | May 12, 2017
Join Sweet Jalane’s, Dipsa Snacks and StartUP FIU Food to show your support for Lotus House and honor your mom this Mother’s Day by buying a cake. This Mother's Day, Sweet Jalane's, a Miami-based small delectable dessert business is celebrating Miami moms in need of a helping hand by giving them an amazing Mother's Day. In Miami, there are thousands of homeless mothers and children who spend their Mother's Day in a shelter. To assist in the programming and service needs of these families, Sweet Jalane's will bake and sell 100 cakes in 10 days to bring awareness to moms and children with no place to call home this Mother's Day. We have partnered with Lotus House, a housing shelter in Miami committed to ending child and family homelessness in our country. Lotus House advocates for the human rights and dignity of every child and every family to be safe and have a place they can call home. Order your cake now by visiting http://www.sweetjalanes100cakes.com. About Sweet Jalane’s Every cake we create is a unique experience — both for us and the people they celebrate. At Sweet Jalane’s, a Miami-based small business, we don’t just bake cakes. We create them. We pour our hearts into them. We whip them into sheer perfection. Using ingredients like farm-fresh butter and cream and perfectly ripe fruit from local farm, we blend flavors perfectly to create tastes and textures that will put a smile on your face every bite you take. Everything served by Sweet Jalane’s is made fresh daily on the premises using the finest ingredients, including fresh butter and cream from quality local producers, pure whole vanilla beans, quality chocolate, and fresh seasonal produce from the market.
News Article | May 10, 2017
"We are pleased to join forces with major research institutions and cutting-edge molecular diagnostics companies such as Biocept to conduct a large-scale trial evaluating the use of liquid biopsy to detect and monitor key lung cancer biomarkers," said Steven Young, ALCMI's president & COO. Bonnie Addario, lung cancer survivor and the founder of both the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and ALCMI, added, "The collaborative research across these academic and community institutions will be transformative and will certainly benefit lung cancer patients." The large prospective clinical trial, entitled " Evaluation of Liquid Biopsies in Localized and Advanced Lung Cancer Patients," will enroll 400 patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Patients will have 4-6 blood samples drawn over the 12-month study duration period, for a cumulative total of 1,600 to 2,400 liquid biopsy data points. Blood samples will be shipped directly to Biocept's CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratory for detection of key biomarkers including EGFR, BRAF, KRAS, ALK fusions, ROS1 fusions and PD-L1 expression. Facilitated by ALCMI and its global consortium of 25-member cancer institutions, the study's primary objective is to further validate the concordance of liquid biopsy to solid tissue biopsies at de novo presentation across the multicenter ALCMI research organization. This concordance will validate the use of a liquid biopsy sample when biopsy tissue is exhausted or difficult to obtain for biomarker stratification. The clinical trial will also seek to validate the utility of monitoring key biomarkers in lung cancer patients with a liquid biopsy, enumerating CTC counts, and quantifying ctDNA mutations, with the intent to: Due to different goals for the different histologies and stages of lung cancer, the trial plans to distinguish between advanced NSCLC patients with squamous cell and non-squamous cell carcinoma, and plans to evaluate the clinical utility of liquid biopsy in additional patients with early-stage NSCLC (stages I-III) as well as small cell lung cancer (SCLC). Collected data from this study will be centralized in a first-of-its-kind, large-scale database that will include uniform and complete patient demographic, pathology and clinical information. Principal investigators for the study are Erin M. Bertino, MD, Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine of Wexner Medical Center at The Ohio State University, and Luis E. Raez, MD, Memorial Cancer Institute/Memorial Health Care System, Florida International University (FIU). "We have targeted several highly important objectives for this trial that could have a profound impact on the treatment of patients with lung cancer," said Dr. Raez. "Validating the concordance of liquid biopsy and tissue biopsy across the dozens of ALCMI member institutions could open new opportunities for using this approach when tissue biopsy material is exhausted or difficult to obtain." Dr. Bertino added, "Specifically, a better understanding of the role of serial blood based molecular markers in making treatment decisions for lung cancer patients is critical, and may also lead to the development of novel targeted therapies." Michael W. Nall, Biocept's President and CEO, said, "The results of this large-scale study with renowned oncology centers could further validate the extremely high sensitivity and specificity that we have demonstrated with our Target Selector™ platform in past studies. We are excited to work with ALCMI on this groundbreaking clinical trial." The Addario Lung Cancer Medical Institute (ALCMI, voiced as "Alchemy"), founded in 2008 as a 501c(3) non-profit organization by lung cancer survivor Bonnie J Addario, is a patient-centric, international research consortium driving research otherwise not possible. Working in tandem with its "partner" foundation, the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation, ALCMI powers collaborative initiatives in genetic (molecular) testing, therapeutic discoveries, targeted treatments and early detection. ALCMI overcomes barriers to collaboration via a world-class team of investigators from 25 member institutions in the USA, UK, and Europe, supported by dedicated, centralized research infrastructures such as standardized biorepositories and data systems. ALCMI directly facilitates research by combining scientific expertise found at leading academic institutions with patient access through its network of community cancer centers – accelerating novel research advancements to lung cancer patients. By providing access to critical masses of patient stakeholders, academic, community and industry researchers, ALCMI is making progress towards its goal of transforming lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023. Biocept, Inc. is a molecular diagnostics company with commercialized assays for lung, breast, gastric, colorectal and prostate cancers, and melanoma. The Company uses its proprietary liquid biopsy technology to provide physicians with clinically actionable information for treating and monitoring patients diagnosed with cancer. The Company's patented Target Selector™ liquid biopsy technology platform captures and analyzes tumor-associated molecular markers in both circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and in circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). With thousands of tests performed, the platform has demonstrated the ability to identify cancer mutations and alterations to inform physicians about a patient's disease and therapeutic options. For additional information, please visit www.biocept.com. This release contains forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations or beliefs, as well as a number of assumptions about future events. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements and the assumptions upon which they are based are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations and assumptions will prove to have been correct. Forward-looking statements are generally identifiable by the use of words like "may," "will," "should," "could," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "intend," or "project" or the negative of these words or other variations on these words or comparable terminology. To the extent that statements in this release are not strictly historical, including without limitation statements as to our ability to improve the outcomes of cancer patients, the success of the Evaluation of Liquid Biopsies in Localized and Advanced Lung Cancer Patients clinical trial and its ability to meet its objectives, our ability to further validate our liquid biopsy technology and our ability to increase the clinical adoption of our testing services, such statements are forward-looking, and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, as these statements are subject to numerous risk factors as set forth in our Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings. The effects of such risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this release. We do not plan to update any such forward-looking statements and expressly disclaim any duty to update the information contained in this press release except as required by law. Readers are advised to review our filings with the SEC, which can be accessed over the Internet at the SEC's website located at www.sec.gov. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/the-addario-lung-cancer-medical-institute-and-biocept-announce-collaboration-and-initiation-of-landmark-alcmi-009-liquid-biopsy-clinical-trial-in-lung-cancer-300454992.html
News Article | May 25, 2017
"The new analytical development will increase the number of molecules that can be examined six-fold, giving scientists a more detailed look into the chemical changes crude oil undergoes in a spill," said Paolo Benigni, Ph.D. candidate in FIU's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and lead author of the study. "This work opens the door to answering complex chemical questions about how molecules change in the environment." The new tool could change how oil spills are cleaned up in the future since officials will have more and better information. According to the researchers, officials would be able to predict toxicity of spilled oil, how far it might travel and how long it would likely stay in the environment. "By dissecting crude oil composition down to their molecular level, we can better understand how it interacts with the environment, leading to better oil spill remediation strategies and more efficient environmental policies," said chemist Francisco Fernandez-Lima, director of the project. Traditional analytical technologies have mainly restricted scientists to information related to the mass of crude oils. The new tool combines techniques, allowing scientists to simultaneously examine crude oil molecules by mass, size and shape without the need of lengthy sample preparation and separation steps. One of the techniques — trapped ion mobility spectrometry (TIMS) — was developed by Fernandez-Lima in collaboration with Bruker Daltonics Inc. Fernandez-Lima has been pioneering the use of the coupled technique for a variety of environmental and biomedical applications since 2010. By combining techniques, the researchers have developed a new analytical tool that can be used for more than just oil spills. Scientists can use it to study other contaminants in diverse water and land environments. With oil accounting for a large percentage of the world's energy consumption, accidents with drilling, production and transportation are always a possibility. Improved remediation techniques are always the goal. Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, the researchers' findings were recently published in Environmental Science & Technology. Preliminary findings related to this study were published in Analytical Chemistry and Journal of Visualized Experiments. FIU launched the Center for Aquatic Chemistry and the Environment in 2016 in an effort to better detect contaminants, understand their effects on the environment, predict future contamination and design remediation strategies. Funded by a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology program, the center is part of FIU's Institute of Water and Environment dedicated to addressing global water and environmental issues. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/scientists-develop-new-tool-to-assess-oil-spills-300463960.html
News Article | May 23, 2017
Paul DeMontpellier has never been to Europe. That will change this fall after he and a group of classmates won a free round-trip plane ticket to Spain thanks to Air Europa, a Spanish-based airliner with U.S. offices in Miami and New York. DeMontpellier, a graduate student in FIU’s Global Strategic Communications’ creative track, took part in a course during the Spring 2017 semester where students from two of Professor Grizelle De Los Reyes’ classes combined their skills and knowledge to craft a full-fledged communications campaign for Air Europa. After completing a summer internship at an ad agency and graduating with a master’s degree, DeMontpellier plans to use the ticket for a two-week trip to Spain, exploring some of the country’s major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona and perhaps visiting some family members who live in neighboring France. “It’s really exciting,” DeMontpellier says. “Having the incentive of the trip to Spain really pushed us and the other groups to put it on the line, to put pressure on us to really push our execution and ideas further and to come together.” The project provided a unique opportunity for students to create strategies, tactics and creative ideas to a real client and helped FIU show its willingness to work with corporations and employers with connections to South Florida. And for Air Europa, which has had offices in Miami for the last three years, it gave the company a chance to build vital relationships within the community. “One of Air Europa’s objectives in this exciting phase of establishing a strong presence in this market, is integrating our brand to local institutions,” says Jorge Alberto Fuentes, Air Europa’s vice president of sales and marketing. “The collaboration with FIU is of vital importance to our interests and business objectives.” After learning about Air Europa’s desire to work collaboratively with FIU, De Los Reyes connected undergraduate students from her Integrated Communications Campaigns (MMC 4410) course and graduate students from her Creative Strategy (ADV 6805) into five groups for the project. Each student held a specific role that would mimic the actual positions at a real ad agency tasked with creating communications campaigns for clients, including an account planner, media director, art director and a copywriter. “Any time you can simulate what it would be like in an actual agency as close as possible where you have every element of a team that would create something like this, it is really beneficial,” DeMontpellier says. One of the main objectives: to connect with a new target audience, particularly millennials, in a memorable and relevant way. “I like to be very real and work with students to find immediate applications that are going to work in the real world,” De Los Reyes says of her teaching approach. “It’s the best way to teach.” Over the course of the 16-week semester, the group had a briefing with a representative from Air Europa to learn about their objectives; did secondary research to learn more about the Air Europa brand and trends in the airline industry; developed, designed and conducted surveys, focus groups and interviews to gather consumer insight; and, finally, putting together a creative strategy based on their findings. At the end of the semester, each group pitched their ideas to a panel of judges that included a representative from Air Europa, industry professionals and FIU faculty – including Executive Director of Career and Talent Development Fernando Figueredo and Department of Communication Chair Maria Elena Villar. The panel chose the winning group that evening, whose members would receive that free trip to Spain. In the end, it was DeMontpellier and his teammates that emerged as the winning group. Their campaign included a proposal for a clever marketing strategy that spanned across multiple platforms, combining Air Europa’s benefits and offerings with its Spanish heritage. The strategy featured colorful wordplay, mixing Spanish words with airline terminology to create new terms such as “Skyesta” (a combination of sky and siesta) and “Tapasphere” (tapas and atmosphere) to play up the airline’s Spanish culture. “What we really wanted was that when people thought ‘I want to travel to Spain,’ the first thing they thought of was Air Europa,” says DeMontpellier, who was the group’s copywriter. The quality of the presentations and the ideas that came from the students impressed the panel of judges and it is not inconceivable to see Air Europa perhaps use some of the ideas presented in a real campaign. “The effort put forth by each student team was not only commendable, but has the potential of being developed and woven into our corporate plans and ideas,” Fuentes says. “We look forward to more of these collaborations and strengthening the ties between our two institutions.”
News Article | May 1, 2017
But throughout the year, FIU researchers go into the far corners of the planet to study and protect frogs in their natural environments and commercially managed areas. With more than more than 30 percent of species at risk of extinction, they are trying to predict how frogs will respond to disturbances and find new ways to help them survive. In honor of the world's largest day of amphibian education and conservation, biologist Maureen Donnelly offers insight on why frogs are important and in need of saving. The herpetologist has studied amphibians and reptiles in Central and South America for decades. 1. They play an important role in the food chain. Throughout their lifecycles, frogs have an important place in the food chain as both predators and prey. As tadpoles, they eat algae, helping regulate blooms and reducing the chances of algal contamination. Frogs are an important source of food for a variety of animals, including birds, fish, monkeys and snakes. The disappearance of frogs can disturb an intricate food web with cascading effects felt throughout an entire ecosystem. 2. They are an indicator species. Frogs need suitable land and freshwater habitats in order to survive. They also have highly permeable skin that can easily absorb bacteria, chemicals and other toxins. These traits make them susceptible to changes in the environment and great indicators of their environment's health. 3. They keep insect populations at bay. Did we mention frogs eat insects? These include pesky bugs most people don't want to deal with, as well as adult mosquitoes and their larvae that can transmit diseases including Dengue fever, Malaria, West Nile fever and Zika. Frogs have served as experimental animals throughout the history of science. They are used to understand biological phenomena in a variety of other animals, including how birds, mammals and reptiles reproduce, grow and develop. In the 1920s, the African clawed frog was used to determine if a woman is pregnant. After being injected with urine, if the frog produced eggs within 24 hours, the woman was pregnant. For Donnelly, frogs have afforded her a lifetime of discovery and opportunities to learn. Epibatidine, a painkiller 200 times more potent than morphine, is made by some poison dart frogs. Unfortunately, people can't safely ingest it because it's so toxic. But because frog toxins are so diverse, they are being researched for their potential as therapeutic drugs. Frogs have existed for nearly 300 million years, but they are threatened by disease, pollution, habitat loss, invasive species and climate change. Their populations have declined dramatically since the 1950s, and it is believed more than 120 species have already become extinct since 1980s. For Donnelly, a world without frogs—and its cascading effects on people, animals and the environment—is one she does not want to know. "Conservation must be a global team effort," she said. "We are the stewards of the planet and are responsible for all living creatures," she said. We should never have to justify why biodiversity matters." Explore further: Seven new species of night frogs from India including four miniature forms
News Article | April 27, 2017
Joe Bay is one of Florida Bay's main sources of freshwater. Closing it was key in helping the American crocodile recover from extinction. But the long-untouched Joe Bay, along with nearby Snag Bay, is now open to visitors on kayaks, canoes or paddle boards. The park's first designated catch-and-release area, it also welcomes fishermen in search of snook, tarpon and more. Scientists in FIU's Southeast Environmental Research Center (SERC) are studying the effects of the decades-long closure and recreational fishing on Joe Bay's fish and recreational fisheries. "We haven't had anything in South Florida closed off to human contact for this long," said David Stormer, a post-doctoral research associate in SERC. "It's rare outside of an experimental setting to have the elements we have here at our disposal. Being able to evaluate Joe Bay in itself, and how does a fish community respond to being separated from humanity, is a really unique opportunity." Led by Jennifer Rehage, an environmental studies professor in FIU's Department of Earth and Environment, the research team is using a combination of techniques, including net hauls, snorkeling and baited remote underwater video (BRUV) surveys, to examine the size, species and number of fish in Joe Bay and nearby Little Madeira Bay and Long Sound. The three areas have different access regulations, allowing the scientists to evaluate water conditions and the effects of the closure. With eight BRUVs outfitted with GoPro HD cameras already deployed, the scientists have generated more than 320 hours of film, catching common jack, snook, sharks, tarpon, trout and the non-native cichlid on camera. Delving deeper into Joe Bay, the scientists are also surveying local anglers, fishing guides and visitors on their fishing catches and experiences. Miami native Bobby Gibson is one of them. He has been fishing in the Everglades for nearly 25 years. For Gibson, filling out the survey was a way for him to express his love for the Everglades and the need for science to inform management of an invaluable natural resource. "It's exciting to be at the forefront of a management strategy that hasn't been tried before in the Everglades. We want to contribute information as to whether it's working well or not," Rehage said. "I hope this project gets the word out on the value of citizen science. If everyone who visits the area reports information on their catches and experiences, we'll have invaluable data to help us accomplish that." Visitors to Joe Bay can fill out paper surveys at Trout Creek or Mooring Pilings, take the survey online, or download the Joe Bay Angler Survey app on their Android or iPhone. The study is funded by the Everglades National Park and is expected to take three years to complete. It is being conducted with researchers from the Snook and Gamefish Foundation, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Audubon Florida. The research project was recently profiled by Florida Sportsman and Hatch.
News Article | April 28, 2017
Acosta, 48, joined FIU in 2009. Before coming to FIU, he served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. Under Acosta's stewardship, FIU Law has raised its national profile dramatically and earned a reputation for excellence and student success. The college ranks among the top 50 nationally for job placement, according to U.S. News and World Report. "Serving as dean of the FIU College of Law has been an honor and privilege, and I am deeply grateful to have shared in our students' journeys over the years," Acosta said. "Students, alumni, faculty and staff have become an extension of my family, and I will miss working with them. FIU will always remain dear to me, and I look forward to watching it continue to unlock its limitless potential." A native of Miami and first-generation university graduate and lawyer, Acosta earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his law degree from Harvard Law School. After serving as law clerk to Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., then a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Acosta practiced law at the firm of Kirkland & Ellis and taught law at the George Mason School of Law. Acosta has previously served in three presidentially-appointed, senate-confirmed positions. He was a member of the National Labor Relations Board, where he participated in or authored more than 125 opinions. He went on to be the first Hispanic to hold the rank of Assistant Attorney General before becoming U.S. Attorney in 2005. He is the first Hispanic confirmed for a position in President Donald Trump's cabinet. In the coming days FIU Provost Kenneth G. Furton will name an acting dean of the FIU College of Law. The university will conduct a national search for Acosta's successor. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/fiu-law-dean-acosta-confirmed-as-us-labor-secretary-300448077.html
News Article | May 4, 2017
In April, JE Dunn Construction began work transforming Turner Field, former home of the Atlanta Braves baseball team, into an NCAA Division 1 football stadium for Georgia State University. The project’s commencement came roughly five months after the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia approved the sale of the property from the Georgia State University Foundation to GSU. According to the university, the venue will “essentially remain the same in size” and will initially include 23,000 seats, with a planned future phase adding another 10,000 seats. The repurposing will mark the third life of the facility, which was originally constructed as the 85,000-seat Centennial Olympic Stadium for the 1996 Olympic Games. JE Dunn will have roughly four months to complete the project, which includes construction of a new seating bowl, installation of artificial turf and new athletic sports lighting. The project also included demolition of the former Major League Baseball stadium’s bullpen, dugouts and portions of the ballpark’s lower level seating. Contractors also plan to construct new locker rooms and a new broadcast booth. The architect of record is Heery International. Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based construction manager Moss & Associates recently donated $10 million to Florida International University and its School of Engineering and Computing. Presented at the school’s April 5th Torch Awards Gala by FIU graduate Chad Moss, executive vice president, the donation marks the largest gift to the university by an alumnus, according to the school. Additionally, the donation—funded by the contractor’s charitable foundation—creates the School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability. According to FIU, the donation will create three endowments to help students access higher education, with the school using earnings from the Moss Endowed Chair in Construction Management to recruit a director for the school. Additionally, the contractor’s gift will create scholarships named for FIU grads now working at Moss & Associates: the Sasha Seco Women in Construction Scholarship and the Kevin Love Fostering Success Scholarship. “In many ways the donation was a gift honoring our employees that went to that school, and it heightened the prominence of the School of Construction, Infrastructure and Sustainability,” Moss says. He estimates that roughly 10% of the contractor’s professional workforce are FIU graduates. FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg recognized the contractor’s gift by stating: “This generous and history-making donation will help us educate a new generation of construction professionals who will have an impact on our community and beyond.”
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 | 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.