The Board of Governors of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce voted to honor Stephanie Ruiz with the James McDonnell Outstanding Board of Governors Award. Stephanie’s commitment to the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce is truly deserving of this recognition. She brings to the table a distinguished record of professional experience, dedication, foresight and character; Stephanie has served the Chamber in numerous capacities, and her service has been truly invaluable.
Each year, the James McDonnell Outstanding Board of Governor award is presented by a vote of the board to a deserving member who embodies the dedication and service to the Chamber exhibited by the late James McDonnell. McDonnell served as the Chamber’s President from 1972 to 1974 and was an active member for more than 25 years. His decades of dedicated public service led to the creation of this award in 1993.
Past recipients of the award include Barton Goldberg, Leon Manne, Joy V.W. Malakoff, Stuart Blumberg, Michael Milberg, Anthony Noboa, Eric Jacobs, Michael Goldberg, Gerald K. Schwartz, Jeff Abbaticchio, Sandy Horwitz, Bob Steinfelder, Jim Boucher, Eva Barreto, Tim Nardi, Aaron Tandy, Alan Lips, Aletha Player and Jason Loeb. The major criteria include fulfillment of a leadership role in the Chamber and taking leadership initiative above and beyond the Board member commitment. In addition, the recipient shall have exerted a positive influence on the Chamber and the community. Finally, he or she must have served on the Board of Governors for at least five years and fulfilled all BOG responsibilities.
Stephanie most certainly meets and exceeds the qualifications outlined for this award. She has served on the Chamber’s Board of Governors since 2008, and on the Chamber’s Executive Board of Governors since 2009. Furthermore, Stephanie has taken on numerous leadership positions within the Chamber, including Gala Committee Co-Chair, INcard Committee Chair, Vice Chair of Communications and Co-Editor of the Miami Beach News. In addition to these leadership positions, she has served on the Gaming, 502 Resort Tax and Nominating Committees.
Stephanie has the experience and relationships necessary to flourish in the world of media, as well as more than two decades of first-hand practice here in the Greater Miami region. As the President of Media Department II Inc. – one of the oldest and most successful media buying and marketing companies in South Florida –for the past 25 years she has provided unparalleled leadership in developing media plans and events that drive results for her clients.
The Chamber benefits directly from Stephanie’s unmatched knowledge of the media industry. As Vice-Chair of Communications, she plays an active role in the strategic planning of the Chamber’s various products with marketing, communications and branding which has brought the Chamber national recognition; the Chamber is now ranked among the top 100 for Social Media.
Professionally, Stephanie’s insights into media relations and the market as a whole, as well as her professional business relationships, allow her to exceed her clients’ expectations. She is a trained media planner,
buyer and marketer of traditional and non-traditional media.
Stephanie joined Media Department II in 1986 after graduating from the University of Florida, where she majored in advertising and minored in marketing. Her drive and strong work ethic helped the agency to triple its billings and earned her a promotion to Vice President of the agency at a young age. In 1991, Stephanie and a partner bought the company, and, in 2006 she became sole proprietor of the firm. Stephanie’s specialized industry marketing experience – where she boasts long-term association with clients – includes thoroughbred racing, casinos, medical, retail and event marketing.
Over the years, Stephanie has been involved in various business and professional organizations such as AWRT (American Women in Radio & Television), NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) and Aventura Marketing Council. Remarkably, Stephanie finds the time to serve the community in various ways in addition to her many roles at the Chamber, serving as a Member of the Miami Beach Convention Center Advisory Board, the PTSA and the Educational Excellence School Advisory Council (EESAC), as well as a Board Member of the Sky Lakes- Highland Lakes Homeowners Association.
In addition to the success of Media Department II, Stephanie is also the cofounder of Reputation Protection Group, a web based company focused on online reputation management for businesses and individuals.