Deering Estate Foundation Honors 2022 Champion Partners

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Marking the beginning of the new year, the Deering Estate Foundation honored its 2022 Champion Partners of the Year at its annual meeting on January 25, 2023. A group of awardees were recognized for their accomplishments, and were accompanied by dedicated community leaders, collaborating partners, and Estate volunteers and staff who joined the meeting. 

In presenting the 2022 Champion Partner Awards, Deering Estate Foundation President Liede Devaldivielso, Executive Director Nina Zanella, and Deering Estate Director Jennifer Tisthammer, emphasized the importance of cooperative efforts and community engagement in preserving and enhancing the Deering Estate and fulfilling its mission.

Celebrating and receiving their awards were:

Kiddos Magazine – 2022 Champion Corporate Partner of the Year
Kiddos Magazine is a Florida based, kids focused magazine, whose mission is to help strengthen the bonds between parents and their children by providing value-based content and activities. Kiddos Magazine is the number one source for all things kids related in South Florida.  Kiddos has what parents and families need to know! From family fun, tips on education, to health and wellness!  Founded in 2013, Kiddos Magazine was born with a focus and mission to help strengthen the bonds between parents and children.

In 2022, Kiddos Magazine worked with the Deering Estate Foundation to coordinate and rework the Kidz Zone and what a rework it was.  Last year’s Kidz Zone was amazing with music, a variety of vendors and activities, and even an Easter Egg hunt.  The Deering Estate Foundation is fortunate indeed to be working with Kiddos Magazine and its publisher, Veronica Lepere, for the upcoming 17th Annual Deering Seafood Festival on the Bay on March 26, 2023.  

Rosalba Calvo – 2022 Champion Programming Partner of the Year
Rosalba Calvo played a major role on the holiday décor design team for the past five years. She brought her talents to the Deering Estate as part of a cohort of nationally recognized interior designers led and invited by Designer-in-Residence Alfredo Brito in 2018. Rosalba volunteers her time and resources to bring the historic houses to life for the holidays with her elegant and feminine designs. Her dressing of Mrs. Deering’s suite is always guest favorite and is frequently featured in the Estate’s holiday marketing and has been selected by several media outlets to showcase the holiday exhibition at Deering Estate. This year, to celebrate the centennial, Rosalba extended her generosity by also offering the Deering Estate additional one-of-kind fine European furnishings to enhance the historic holiday décor to transport guests back in time to the holidays in the time of Charles and Marion Deering.  The Deering Estate is so grateful to have Rosalba’s creative spirit as part of our most celebrated annual showcase and look forward to working with her each year.

University of Florida Envision Heritage Digital Documentation Lab 
2022 Champion Restoration and Preservation Partner of the Year
The Deering Estate is thrilled to partner with the University of Florida’s (UF) Envision Heritage Digital Documentation Lab on Resilient Deering – a resilience study that incorporates 3D scanning, community surveys, a public symposium and concept designs for adaptation strategies at the Deering Estate with larger implications for South Florida coastal sites and communities. Dr. Sujin Kim and Dr. Cleary Larkin are leading the UF team in utilizing terrestrial LiDAR (laser scanning) and other digital technologies to document the Stone House – both exterior and interior- including the collection, Boat Basin and surrounding landscape. Recently, Resilient Deering was included in the program for the annual conference of the Florida Association of Museums. Dr. Sujin Kim presented his work with Deering Estate Registrar Martha Betancourt to an audience of museum professionals from around the state. This project will provide additional detailed records of our cherished historic structures, collections of art and artifacts and surrounding natural areas. These scans will not only help in our stewardship of the museums and collections, but also engage the community on how we are working to adapt to the future impacts of coastal hazards on the Deering Estate, Miami-Dade parks, and other coastal heritage sites. 

AcadeMir Charter School Preparatory – 2022 Champion Educational Partner of the Year
AcadeMir Charter School Preparatory is more than deserving to be recognized as the champion education partner with the Deering Estate. The community of teachers, students, and parents have been our biggest advocates of the hands-on learning experiences that the N.E.S.T.T. program provides. They allow us to try new programs so we can continue to grow. They have also allowed us to pilot our mobile education unit to the fullest where we are engaging with their entire K-8 student body. With their continuous support and championing of our hands on educational experiences, they have made connections for us with other schools so that even more students are experiencing our educational programs.  We are excited to present them with this award.

Miami’s Community Newspapers – 2022 Champion Marketing and Media Partner of the Year
The 2022 Marketing and Media Partner award is presented to Miami’s Community Newspapers for their efforts in promoting the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Stone House. In spring 2022, Deering Estate collaborated with Miami’s Community Newspapers on the Stone House Centennial commemorative issue, a special edition of Miami’s Community Newspapers. The 52-page printed & digital guide highlights the unique features of the Stone House, and how it is recognized today as a beacon of South Florida’s history and a testament to resilient architecture and traditions. 20,000 copies of the issue were printed and distributed in the community, with a digital reach of 495,000. 

Chef Christopher Bulgarin – 2022 Community Partner of the Year
Delicious Catering Services was founded in 2004 by Chef Christopher A. Bulgarin.  Chris and his Delicious Catering team provide exceptional personal service with a creative and tantalizing palette that only comes from generations of professional cooks in the kitchen. Chef Chris works closely with the Deering Estate Foundation and has catered countless foundation and 100 Ladies of Deering events and participates in both Mistletoe & Martinis and the annual Deering Seafood Festival on the Bay.  Chris shares his time and talent to help foundation staff and volunteers, Courtney Reeder, and Suzanne Calleja, to plan and execute the newest fundraising events – Chef’s Table on the Bay.  Not only did Chris help navigate the logistics of such an event, but he also provided both front and back of house and was the presenting Chef for Chef’s Table on the Bay – A Night in Tuscany.  

Jenny Agress – 2022 Community Champion of the Year
Jenny is a versatile writer, journalist, and creative professional with over 10 years of diversified experience delivering dynamic works of content to a broad range of clients spanning the sectors of travel, lifestyle, gastronomy, business, and social impact. She regularly creates content for companies of all industries and sizes and has written 1000+ articles for publications like Business Insider, Forbes, Fodor’s, Indulge (The Miami Herald), Time Out, and Thrillist.  Jenny has been involved with the Deering Estate Foundation for quite some time now.  Through her endless contacts and continued donation of time, talent, and treasure, she’s brought high profile chefs to the annual Seafood Festival Chef Demo area, worked in this area alongside the 100 Ladies of Deering, written articles and press releases about foundation events such as the annual Seafood Festival on the Bay and Mistletoe & Martinis. Although Jenny recently relocated, she still volunteers and contributes her expertise, albeit long distance.  Jenny, we all love your engaging smile, beguiling wit, love of people, and never-ending hope for a better world.

Nancy Michelson, Barbara Bass, Lori Haas – 2022 Volunteers of the Year
Nancy Michelson, Barbara Bass, and Lori Haas (members of the 100 Ladies of Deering and known as the Tres Amigas) began work on a Museum Guide nearly six years ago.  They have changed course several times before rewriting the plot line (pun intended) of their story to create a Coffee Table Book telling the Charles Deering and Deering Estate story through photos (both historic and current) and other perspectives!  Their dogged determination, countless hours, meetings, Zooms, endless hours of searching, securing, and crediting photos, quotes, and accounts, edits, re-edits, pouring over proofs, and basically learning how to produce a book has closed a chapter if you will.  The coffee table book, Legacy, is now finished and at the printer and pre-sales will begin shortly.   So, now the next chapter begins. Legacy came to life because of each of you.  Gracias, Tres Amigas.  

Dan Gill – 2022 Volunteer of the Year
Dan Gill is a name synonymous with the Deering Seafood Festival and a beloved friend to so many of us here at the Deering Estate Foundation and on the logistics and festival set up/take down teams.  Dan has been a staple at the Deering Seafood Festival for as long as anyone can remember – installing rebar with Gerry Morale, cleaning and placing signage and banners with Dave McDonald and John Pettit, fixing anything and everything, moving anything and everything, and then putting it all away.  Never a complaint, always quick with a laugh or smile, and always humbly there to roll up his sleeves, wipe off his brow, and do whatever is asked of him.  Dan you are the consummate volunteer, and we are beyond grateful for all of your time and talent over these many years.

Rose Roberts – 2022 Volunteer of the Year
Rose Roberts began her career at the county in 2012 working at Fruit & Spice Park and then transferring to the Deering Estate in 2015, where she became a Landscape Technician and helped to maintain our beautiful gardens and areas for our public to enjoy nature. After retiring, Rose returned to the Deering Estate as volunteer, often putting in 10 to 12 hours per week to continue her care and passion for this property. Her stewardship of the Deering Estate’s landscape can be seen in the beautiful plants she lovingly tends to on a regular basis. For this year’s special Centennial celebration and holiday décor display, she helped to plant hundreds of new plantings, including festive poinsettia around the Estate. Rose is always open and willing to lend a helping hand for the Deering Estate and Deering Estate Foundation events. She has been a tremendous source of support with Mistletoe & Martinis and the annual Seafood Festival, and always goes the extra mile to help with a smile on her face.

About the Deering Estate

Deering Estate is a 21st Century house museum, cultural and ecological field station, and a national landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places, owned by the State of Florida, and managed by Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department. Deering Estate is designated as one of seven Miami-Dade County “Heritage Parks” which have a vital role in our community’s history, environment and in providing recreational and cultural experiences. 

About the Deering Estate Foundation
For those who treasure the Deering Estate, who advocate for its preservation and wish to invest in its future, the Deering Estate Foundation provides opportunities for individuals and corporations alike to partake in membership, signature events, and one-of-a-kind experiences, all in service of providing vital funding and support to the Deering Estate. Through these efforts, the foundation fulfills its mission to uphold the legacy of Charles Deering’s cherished 1920s-era property, to provide funding for the cultural, educational and recreational experiences it offers, as well as its significant scientific and archaeological endeavors.