BID Members Energized by New Leadership at ‘Meet & Greet’

The local business and community leaders of Coconut Grove came out in force on June 28 for an exhilarating Meet & Greet with Mark Burns, the newly appointed Executive Director of the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District (BID). The spirited gathering, hosted at bartaco on 3112 Commodore Plaza, provided an opportunity for BID members to hear first-hand about the organization’s mission and future, while also having candid discussions with Burns about their needs, wants, and concerns in our flourishing downtown district.

Commissioner Damian Pardo, a pivotal figure as both District 2 Commissioner and Chairman of the BID Board of Directors, kicked off the event by introducing Burns, marking a significant opportunity for attendees to engage directly with him since his appointment in April 2024.


Reflecting on the evening, Burns commented, “It was an incredible night, and I deeply appreciate the presence of so many of our key BID members. Not only did my staff and I gain valuable insights into your organization’s contributions to the Grove, but it was also a fantastic opportunity to brainstorm together for a brighter future for the BID.”

Burns outlined the BID’s core mission, emphasizing its commitment to enhancing city services, fostering a clean and safe environment, spearheading impactful marketing campaigns, and organizing community-building events.

Drawing from his extensive experience with the City of Miami, where he spent nearly a decade building relationships across various city departments, Burns highlighted how these connections now benefit the BID’s efforts.

Recognizing the dedication of Sully Silva and her Block by Block team for their tireless work in maintaining Coconut Grove’s charm, Burns also acknowledged the invaluable contributions of his own staff members, including Marketing Director Kristell Hurtado, Events & Office Manager Venus Fernandez Lovely, and PR/communications expert Bill Kress of Kress Communications.

Burns wrapped up his remarks by thanking City of Miami District-2 Commissioner Damian Pardo and his staff, as well as Police Lt. Steve Castell, Commanding Officer of the City of Miami’s Investigative Intelligence Unit. Lt. Castell gave an enlightening presentation highlighting the mission of the City’s Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) that provides a 24/7 real time actionable information that serves to enhance the situational awareness while creating a “virtual arrival” scenario for officers responding to priority service calls. (More to come on this topic, soon!)

The event was made possible by the generous support of bartaco’s newly appointed Sales & Catering Manager Natalie Brink and her team, who provided a festive setting — and amazing appetizers — on the venue’s swanky second floor reception area.

Looking ahead, Burns unveiled an exciting calendar of upcoming events — from summer festivities like the Dogs Days of Summer to beloved traditions such as Halloween and the Christmas Tree Lighting—that promise to keep Coconut Grove bustling with activity.

About the Coconut Grove BID

Established on April 1, 2009, the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District is dedicated to nurturing a thriving business environment in Miami’s historic district. Led by Chairman Damian Pardo and a board of nine distinguished business leaders and property owners, the BID oversees capital projects, marketing initiatives, cleanliness patrols, and community events. It serves as a vital resource for local businesses by promoting their interests and contributing to the vibrancy of the community.

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