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6th Entrepreneur Summit to Feature Dozens of Successful Business Owners and Experts

Hollywood, FL — Returning for its sixth year, Hispanic Unity of Florida’s 2017 Entrepreneur Summit is a day-long learning and networking event showcasing the diverse array of businesses that contribute to South Florida’s economy.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday, October 5 at Nova Southeastern University in the Carl DeSantis Building from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Plenary Keynote session and breakfast start at 7:15 am, followed by workshops throughout the day and an exhibitor area. At 10:00 am are the American Dreamer Awards & Conversation with Keynote Speaker, Tony Argiz, Chairman and CEO, Morrison, Brown, Argiz, & Farra (MBAF), one of the top accounting firms in the nation.

Expected to draw more than 400 attendees, the Summit will provide emerging entrepreneurs and established business owners access to seasoned experts and educational resources to help them grow their business. Attendees will include a mix of business owners, entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, economic development specialists, representatives from government agencies, small business experts, procurement officers, educational institutions, media and corporate partners, and others interested in entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneur Summit is presented by Chase. Major sponsors include: JM Family Enterprises/Southeast Toyota Distributors, Nova Southeastern University, Wells Fargo, WSVN Channel 7 News, and Memorial Healthcare System. The event is produced by Hispanic Unity of Florida, Inc.

This year, the Kauffman Foundation named Miami/Fort Lauderdale #1 among the nation’s best places to start a small business, and a report by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council named Florida one of the best states to start a business. “Although South Florida is one of the most entrepreneurial regions in the country, local businesses still find themselves disconnected from information and support services that could help them grow,” said Teresa Boyd, Market Manager for Chase Business Banking. “Chase is thrilled to be the presenting sponsor of Hispanic Unity of Florida’s 2017 Entrepreneur Summit, connecting entrepreneurs and businesses to the tools and knowledge they need to grow their business.”

The keynote speaker is Tony Argiz, Chairman and CEO of MBAF in Coral Gables with offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach. The Breakfast and Plenary are sponsored by Wells Fargo and Memorial Healthcare System. The American Dreamer Awards & Conversation, sponsored by JM Family Enterprises/Southeast Toyota Distributors, will be moderated by renowned journalist Tom Hudson of WRLN. This year’s program features nine workshops, including two in Spanish.

The American Dreamers Awardees are individuals recognized for their steadfast success, business acumen and community service. The 2017 honorees include:

  • Alejandro Badia, MD, FACS, OrthoNow, founder

  • Karen Armando Cohen, Amaize Joint Ventures, founder

  • Justin Irizarry, OrthoNow, CFO and director of operations

  • Mario Murgado, Brickell Motors Group, founder

  • Jorge A. Plasencia, República, co-founder

  • Mary Spio, CEEK VR INC, CEO and president

  • Robert Taylor, Burdette Beckmann, Inc.

Learn more about the speakers, moderator and honoree biographies at

“Launching a new business or running a small business comes with many challenges,” said Josie Bacallao, Hispanic Unity of Florida President and CEO. “We are excited that we can bring together entrepreneurs and business professionals to collaborate, network, inspire and learn from each other. We have another exciting Summit this year, and a great lineup of speakers. The Entrepreneur Summit is the perfect opportunity to not only gain valuable information, but to make connections and develop your small business network with like-minded professionals.”

Pricing: Complimentary sponsored admission

Parking: Complimentary in the garage directly across from NSU’s Business School

For general information:

For sponsorship information: Josie Bacallao, HUF President and CEO, at 954-683-2028 or

The 2017 Entrepreneur Summit is made possible thanks to the support of Sponsors (as of Sept. 19, 2017): Chase; JM Family Enterprises, Inc. and Southeast Toyota Distributors, LLC; Nova Southeastern University; WSVN; Wells Fargo; Memorial Healthcare System; Cleveland Clinic Florida; Bank of the Ozarks; BankUnited; BB&T; Canon Solutions America; Comcast Business; Comerica Bank; Fifth Third Bank; Florida Community Bank; FPL; KPMG; MBAF Certified Public Accountants and Advisors; Paymaster; Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk; SunTrust Bank; TD Bank; Templeton & Co.; Tripp Scott.

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