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Tony Argiz, Chairman & CEO, MBAF, the 2019 recipient of the Sand in My Shoes Award

Congratulations to Tony Argiz, Chairman and CEO/MBAF, the 2019 recipient of the Sand in My Shoes Award, the Greater Miami Chamber's most prestigious accolade. Mr. Argiz is an outstanding community leader who has made significant contribution to the South Florida region, demonstrating a deep love and commitment to Miami as the best possible place to live, work and play.

The History

The Award takes its name for a live broadcast from Downtown Miami on Thursday, December 31, 1981. The late WTVJ Vice President and News Director, Ralph Renick delivered his famous editorial detailing the irresistible force of a phenomenon described as “Sand In Your Shoes”.

According to Renick, "The late Damon Runyon did it best in a letter he wrote to his friend, Bill, a movie producer in Hollywood" explaining why he would not return to California to write a movie script, but instead would remain here in South Florida. ...

"The truth of the matter is, Bill, we’ve got sand in our shoes. It’s pretty difficult to explain that to anyone who doesn’t know what it means. It means a land covered with sunlight…warm and soft. It means white and pink houses, with red and blue and green roofs. And purple bougainvillea and scarlet hibiscus -- roses, gardenias and gladioli. It means palm trees whispering mysteriously and tall melaleucas nodding their plumed heads to every breeze. It means big fat porpoises playing in Biscayne Bay and gaunt pelicans patrolling the sky at dusk, and folks fishing from bridges all day. Slim pale yachts and bustling motorboats, and hundreds of little sails fluttering like white butterflies over the water. Big, smug liners and the battered freighters. Friendly faces --and never too big a hurry. And the skyline of the city with twinkling lights embroidered against a velvety moon glow. It means Hialeah and stately avenues of giant palms and pink flamingo, black swan and wild duck. It means Lincoln Road and gaily dressed people on its sidewalks and going to see the pictures you make out there in Hollywood, Bill. Turquoise blue waters of the ocean lapping white beaches and always the sun shining down in kindly warmth. Always the sun, Bill. It means Bimini where the big game fish lurk and the nearby Keys where the ghosts of bearded old buccaneers still guard their buried treasure. It means laughter in the sunlight and romance under a big moon. Bill, sand in your shoes means…well, it means…sand in your shoes…that’s what it means.”


Tony Argiz, 2019

Brian E. Keeley, 201 8

Carlos A. Migoya, 2017

Patricia & Dr. Phillip Frost, 2016

Harve A. Mogul, 2015

Donna E. Shalala, 2014

Gloria & Emilio Estefan, 2013

Eduardo J. Padrón, 2012

Peter J. Dolara, 2011

Dr. Modesto A. Maidique, 2010

Adolfo Henriques, 2009

Sherwood M. “Woody” Weiser, 2008

Jayne & Leonard Abess, 2007

Jorge Pérez, 2006

Carlos J. Arboleya, Sr., 2005

William O. Cullom, 2004

Armando Codina, 2003

Sue & Leonard Miller, 2001

Edward T. Foote II, 2000

Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin, 1999

Robert H. Traurig, 1997

Jim Batten, 1995

Congressman Dante Fascell, 1994

Congressman William Lehman, 1993

M. Anthony Burns, 1991

Martin Fine, 1990

Ted Hoepner, Jr., 1989

R. Ray Goode, 1988& Leslie Pantin, Sr. (posthumously)

Dr. Luis Botifoll, 1987

Bill Colson, 1986

Hank Meyer, 1985

Charles I. Babcock, Jr., 1984

Alvah H. Chapman, Jr., 1983

Harry Hood Bassett, 1982

Lester Freeman, 1981

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