November 2010, Volume 14, Number 5

Power Players

Community’s Power Brokers Make Time to Serve on MDC Foundation Board

Dr. Penny Shaffer
MDC Foundation Board Chair Dr. Penny Shaffer is also chair-elect of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
Alexandra Villoch
MDC Foundation Board Member Alexandra Villoch is also chair of The Beacon Council.
María Alonso
MDC Foundation Board Member María Alonso will hand the chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce to Dr. Penny Shaffer, who chairs the MDC Foundation Board.

As chair of the MDC Foundation, Dr. Penny Shaffer has touched countless students’ lives by raising scholaship funds throughout the years. Now, as chair-elect of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce (GMCC), she is preparing to add a new role to her busy agenda.

Shaffer, who is the market president for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, will be taking over for María Alonso, who is also an MDC Foundation member.

Despite their demanding schedules, these two and many others on the MDC Foundation Board – such as Beacon Council Chair Alexandra Villoch – carve time into their packed agendas to give back generously to their community, and especially to the students at MDC.

Both Shaffer and Alonso are part of a historic time for the GMCC. Since its founding in 1907, only four women have held this position, in stark contrast to the three women who are now in place to lead the Chamber consecutively through 2013.

“I think when you look at what level you needed to be in a company in order to be a leader of an organization like the Chamber, maybe it’s spelling that women are finally breaking through to leadership levels in their companies,” Shaffer recently told Miami Today.

The GMCC is an association of businesses and professions representing more than 400,000 employees organized to create economic progress in Miami-Dade County. Its efforts are focused in five areas: Advocacy, Domestic Business Development, International Business Development, Leadership Programs and Marketing and Member Services.

“Penny is so invested in this community. As the market president for Blue Cross and Blue Shield, she represents the company in the community in so many ways,” said MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón. “She is tremendous because of her leadership skills, and the warmth and compassion with which she approaches business, her community work and her mission to help the students of Miami Dade College.”

— NM


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