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Celebrating a decade of the George E. Merrick Awards of Excellence®

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


On Thursday, August 24th the 10th George E. Merrick Awards of Excellence was awarded to Dona M. Spain with the City of Coral Gables.  This recognition took place during an elegant evening at the iconic Biltmore Hotel .


Upon receiving the award, Dona Spain shared: “This is such an honor and an absolute shock. Being involved with historic preservation over the last 20 years with the City has been an absolute dream job.”


Additionally, the Chamber and City National Bank honored three outstanding leaders with the fourth annual Merrick-in-the-Making Awards. These awards are bestowed upon individuals who are at an earlier stage of their career, embodying a younger George Merrick.


The Honorees were:

Innovator | Philippe Houdard | Pipeline Workspaces

Entrepreneur | Vicki Rueda | Victoria & Associates Career Services

Community Builder | Drew Kern | EWM Realty International


The Chamber also honored an organization founded by Merrick who has also committed themselves to social action. This year, the Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ was recognized with the Merrick Legacy Award, tracing its roots to the times of Merrick.


When asked why he chose to create and sponsor the George E. Merrick Awards of Excellence, Chairman and CEO of The Allen Morris Company, W. Allen Morris said “To honor people that make Coral Gables the greatest place to live.”

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