PhilanthropyMiami  and The Miami Foundation announced today that Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is the recipient of the 2017 Community Champion Award, and Rebecca Fishman Lipsey is the winner of the Ruth Shack Leadership Award.

Ibargüen and Lipsey will be honored at the 20th Donor Next Door Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 11, at Jungle Island, 1111 Parrot Jungle Trail, in Miami. The luncheon also celebrates the philanthropy of more than 30 individuals, families, foundations and corporations that donate time and money to support the work of nonprofits in South Florida.

As president and CEO of Knight Foundation, Ibargüen oversees a national foundation with $2.3 billion in assets and $140 million in annual grants. Knight invests in programs in journalism, technology, and the arts and in the success of 26 U.S. cities. Ibargüen’s leadership and vision have spurred entrepreneurship and social change in Miami-Dade County, shaking up the status quo to make way for startups, groundbreaking technology programs and community organizations energized with new ideas and solutions.

“As the president of Knight Foundation, Alberto adopted a different approach to philanthropy, investing in nonprofit programs and even businesses that sparked economic growth the region sorely needed,” said Hank Raattama, co-chair of PhilanthropyMiami and a partner at Akerman LLP. “Knight Foundation’s investment strategy turned Miami and even South Florida into one of the hottest places for startups in the country. Alberto’s vision has changed our community and the local economy for decades to come.”

The Community Champion Award was established in 2013 by PhilanthropyMiami, formerly LEAVE A LEGACY© of Miami-Dade, and celebrates an individual or organization that contributes to the well-being of the community through work and philanthropy. Ibargüen joins an impressive list of Community Champion Award honorees:

2016 – Deborah Hoffman, philanthropist and volunteer
2015 – Baptist Health South Florida
2014 – David Lawrence Jr., chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida
2013 – Dr. Eduardo Padrón, president of Miami Dade College

As the 2017 recipient of the Ruth Shack Leadership Award, Lipsey embodies the qualities for which Ruth Shack, president emeritus of The Miami Foundation, is known: leadership, ethics, dedication and service to Greater Miami.

Lipsey’s peers and admirers say Lipsey has been a catalyst, inspiring a new generation of leaders to step up and speak up. Lipsey launched Radical Partners, a social innovation accelerator that supports organizations addressing community needs, and fuels collaboration, growth and partnerships that lead to real change. Inspired by the many organizations and individuals she trains, Lipsey marshalled the community around transportation issues, creating Public Transit Day in Miami-Dade County to highlight the importance of public transportation.

“Much like Ruth Shack did around civil rights, Rebecca has sparked action for education, social entrepreneurship, transit solutions and other issues shaping Greater Miami’s future. In this our 50th anniversary year, we’re encouraging all Miamians to champion what matters to them, like Rebecca has done,” said Javier Alberto Soto, president and CEO of The Miami Foundation.

Lipsey joins a noted list of Ruth Shack Leadership Award winners:
2016 – Vance Aloupis – The Children’s Movement of Florida
2015 – Felecia Hatcher – Code Fever and Black Tech Week
2014 – Saif Ishoof – Florida International University
2013 – Amy Rosenberg – National YoungArts Foundation, Overtown Music Project founder
2012 ­- Daniel Diaz Leyva  – Diaz Leyva & Gil, LLC
2011 – Jaret L. Davis – Greenberg Traurig, P.A
2010 – Marlon Hill – Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel

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