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Thursday October 20th, 2011

With 51 members and guests in attendance, the October SAMA luncheon was an unqualified hit!

As has become the tradition, the South Florida Automobile Dealers Association was host for the event at Joe's Stone Crabs with, of course, stone crabs the choice entree of most in attendance. (Steaks and salmon also were available.)

Rick Baker, the association president, was there to give a brief preview of the upcoming South Florida International Auto Show in Miami Beach.

Media day is coming up October 28, and members are reminded to get their credential requests in by going to and clicking on “Press Access” at the top of the page.

Rick said that the Ford Boss Mustang as the show’s show car, and the giveaway car to some lucky person will be the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic. The featured vehicle in Memory Lane will be a Pebble Beach-quality 1950 Rolls-Royce Drophead coupe.

He also pointed out that a recent survey of 7,500 car buyers across America showed that the Miami Beach show rated second in the country when it came to the influence of auto shows on buyers when it comes to making their purchasing decisions. Only the Detroit show rated higher out of 18.

John Kiskinis noted that although the first press conference isn’t scheduled until 10 a.m. with Ford, the pressroom (on the second floor) will open at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and danish available. So John encourages all to arrive early.

As usual, the association will pick up the fee for parking on media day for SAMA members. This is a much-appreciated gesture on the association’s part. Those attending should visit the show office on the first floor.

The annual SAMA luncheon, sponsored by GM this year, will be at noon and include presentation of our show awards (Ron Beasley’s judging committee will do its work the day before) and the Terry Jackson Award to a member for service to SAMA and contributions to the South Floridan automotive community.

The annual awards presentations by Sobre Ruedas will be in the afternoon. The next night will be the annual InFocus Magazine awards.

Vice President Bill Adam noted that volunteers would be appreciated for the annual Rides-N-Smiles event at Homestead-Miami Speedway, this year on Nov. 26, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. As many as 150 patients from Baptist Children’s and Miami Children’s Hospital could attend this year.

Treasurer Marcello Serrato reported a balance of $4,800 in the treasury.

Finally, the main item of business was the nomination of officers.

Secretary Jaime Florez conducted the process that began with the nomination of Marcello for treasurer. He was unopposed.

The position of secretary drew three nominations -- Teresa Bravo, Tony Lesesne, and Giorgio Cerboncini, though Giorgio later asked that his name be withdrawn.

Two candidates were nominated for vice president. They were incumbent Bill Adam and Juan Robbin.

For president, Jaime Florez, who has served as vice president, secretary, and treasurer in the years since SAMA was founded in March 2007, was nominated for president and will be unopposed in November’s election.

According to SAMA’s by-laws, the officers will assume their duties on January 1.

It is a fine slate of nominees, and we want to thank all of them for agreeing to serve.

Again, SAMA wants to give its appreciation to Rick Baker and Cliff Ray and the crew at the auto dealers association -- Debra Koebel and Marissa Osborn -- and John Kisknis and Melissa Nobles of Kiskinis Communications for their work with the show and making things easier for us in the media.

Details on November’s luncheon, which will include the election of officers, will be in an upcoming email, so keep watching!

See you at the auto show!

Luis González, Ron Beasley, Bill Adam, Marcelo Serrato, Paul Borden


Giorgio Gerboncino, Tony Serrato, Gigi Delgado


Marlen Bedoya, Philippe Daix


Arturo Duran, CJ McCann

Dr. Ray Mummery, Juan Robbin

Ray Mummery, Juan Robbin, Al Vasquez

Pepe Delfino, Germán Botero


Debra Koebel and Marissa Osborn


CJ McCann,  Woodie Lesesne and Tony Lesesne


Paul Borden , Gaby Delfino


Juan Robbin, Dr. Ray Mummery,  Rich Babl, Melissa Nobles,  Ron Beasley


Rick Baker, John Kiskinis


Javier Mota , Diego Cichero


Thelma Urbina , María Ravani


Luis Fernandez, Daniel Romagnoli


Bill Adam, Dick Kelley, Woodie Lesesne

Odette Jiménez, Johnny Tapanes, Joe Castello

Phillippe Daix, Steven Marks, Ariel Linares

Giorgio Gerboncini, Pepe Delfino

Rick Baker, South Florida Dealers Association's President