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Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce and The Allen Morris Company recognizes George E. Merrick Award of Excellence® winner and young visionaries.

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For over a decade, the George E. Merrick Awards of Excellence® has recognized the outstanding achievements of an individual who has excelled at perpetuating the vision of the City of Coral Gables and Chamber Founder, George E. Merrick. Presented annually by the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with The Allen Morris Company, the Merrick Award is the community’s highest honor.

When asked why they choose to create and sponsor the George E. Merrick Awards of Excellence, Chairman and CEO of The Allen Morris Company, W. Allen Morris shared, “We wish to honor the people that make Coral Gables the greatest place to live.” Adding, “George Merrick’s story is one of constant change and improvement, always envisioning the next ‘big thing’ that would make Coral Gables even better. The George E. Merrick Awards recognize the people who are helping to create that constant solution to bring Coral Gables into an even better future.”

This year was no different. On the evening of Thursday, August 23rd, Chamber members and community leaders celebrated the achievements of five honorees and watched as the 11th annual George E. Merrick Award of Excellence was bestowed upon John P. Fullerton of The Fullerton Group.

Upon receiving this recognition, John P. Fullerton said “What I love most in life is where we live right now and where I have lived for 51 years, Coral Gables. During this time spent in Coral Gables I have learned a lot, the most important being getting involved in the community. With that, I would like to thank Mr. Morris, who is my idol for getting things done and getting involved in this community.”

Among this year’s list of Distinguished Honorees were:

John R. Allen, Coral Gables Museum

James C. Cason, former Mayor, City of Coral Gables – Government & Ambassador of the United States, Retired

Cheli Cerra, Mass Mutual Miami

Venny Torre,  Torre Companies

In addition, the Chamber and City National Bank honored three outstanding leaders who embody a young Merrick with the fifth annual Merrick-in-the-Making Awards:

Outstanding Community Builder, Evan Benn, Miami Indulge Magazine

Outstanding Entrepreneur, Meghan Goicouria, Granny NANNIES Miami

Outstanding Philanthropist, Bradley L. Barreto, Coral Gables Title + Escrow, LLC.

This year, Coral Gables Preparatory Academy, formerly known as Coral Gables Elementary, was honored with the Merrick Legacy Award. The school was founded by George Merrick in 1923 because Merrick believed that “beautiful things inspire higher ideals in the minds of children.” Coral Gables Preparatory Academy has achieved the top level of academic success by receiving an “A” rating from the Florida Department of Education for the past seven years.

All honorees were recognized at the George E. Merrick Awards of Excellence Dinner on the eve of our 2018 Annual Conference, sponsored by University of Miami Health System – UHealth.

About the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce: The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce represents more than 1,600 members and is the second largest business association in Miami-Dade County. For more than 93 years, our mission has been to foster and enhance the economic interests of the Coral Gables community, while advancing the quality of life of our members, partners, neighbors and visitors. For more information on our Chamber, please visit, find us on Facebook at www.facebook/coralgableschamber or follow us on Twitter or Instagram @GablesChamber.

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