Why a pastor is Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year

Leave it to honoree Pastor Bill Mitchell to sum up Boca Chamber’s 2020 Business Awards that went virtual. “Each day we receive the best of you. You make Boca Raton a better place to live, work, play and raise a family.”

Named Business Leader of the Year, Mitchell melded a commercial real estate career with his post as a pastor with influence. The third-generation Boca Ratonian was honored for founding BocaLead, a blueprint for how to conduct business with a conscience. And for his international leadership mentoring. “I’m a cheerleader for this town and a cheerleader for businesses,” he said.

“In the last 17 years, he took on a new calling, pastor of Boca Raton Community Church,” said Sal Saldana. The Town Center of Boca Raton general manager and 2019 honoree introduced Mitchell.

Ahnich Khalid of Maggiano’s Little Italy was chosen the 2020 Small Business Leader of the Year. “Hospitality is in his blood,” said 2019 recipient, Roxana Scaffidi, owner/CEO of Florida Accounting & Advisers. “He’s there for you whenever you need him. He sets an example of what a true small business leader should emulate.”

“Our passion is to make everyone feel special,” Khalid.

“It’s incredibly challenging for small businesses in our local economy,” noted sponsor Michael Marshall of the Gunster Law Firm.

A growing pharmaceutical company for women’s healthcare, TherapeuticsMD is the 2020 Business of the Year. The firm now has FDA approved drugs and more than 400 employees.

Mitchell from a trip addressing BocaLead

“Boca has been absolutely stunning every step of the way,” said CEO/co-founder Robert Finizio. “We were a startup. Then we went public in 2012 to do clinical trials. We had the ability to get everything we needed right here in Boca.” They successfully recruited middle management from the northeast, he added.

Connor Lynch, 2019 recipient for the family business Plastridge Insurance, introduced him. “We have similar missions,” said Dawn Quaranta, a vice president for sponsor Joe DiMaggio Children Hospital in Wellington.

“Congratulations winners and a well-deserving group. We proudly call Boca Raton home,” said Todd Hale, Global CIO for Office Depot, the presenting sponsor. “It’s most important to be put people first,” he added, showing a video of the company’s community service. Hale gave a shout-out to Alex Price and the Depot Difference team.

“Even though we’re in a bit of a time of crisis, look at what you are all doing,” said Chamber president/CEO Troy McLellan. “This year, under the successful leadership of chairman Michael Daszkal, this board faced a challenge like no other in the Chamber’s 68-year history,” McLellan said. He announced Daszkal “will remain our chairman for another year and continue his steady leadership.”

New members joining the board start their term Nov. 1 including:

  • Ed Boylan, Boynton Beach Mall
  • Daniel Cane, Modernizing Medicine
  • Robert G. Finizio, TherapeuticsMD
  • Scott Gunnell, JM&A Group
  • Jennifer M. Jolly, Boca Grove Golf and Tennis Club
  • Ethan Shapiro, Saint Andrew’s School
  • Jordan Sherwood, ESPN West Palm Beach
  • Ron Wichowski, Boca Raton Marriott

By Marci Shatzman


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