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The SFLHCC highlights Jose “Pepe” Diaz’s role in Miami as he launches “Project GREEN Light” for VETERANS

November is a month to remember with “Project GREEN Light” honoring veterans and the annual SFLHCC’s Sunshine Awards

November is turning out to be a more special month than expected for several reasons in Miami-Dade County this year. From the annual Sunshine Awards hosted by the SFLHCC to “Project GREEN Light” from November 7 to the 13th by Chairman Diaz.  These are just some of the reasons why November 2022 is a month to remember forever in Miami.

SFLHCC Sunshine Awards 2022

The grand luncheon was another spectacular and successful event at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables by the SFLHCC where over 450 people attended. It was a beautiful experience, the cocktail hour was held in an open terrace where the Miami weather fully cooperated with no humidity and a delicious breeze. It was another great opportunity for small businesses and entrepreneurs to network made possible by the SFLHCC.

Dr. Marlow of Cano Health was given a Lifetime Achievement Award and companies that have given back to the community like Mario Murgado of Brickell Motors were given a Sunshine Award. The Sunshine Awards is a yearly event celebrating entrepreneurs and businesses making a difference.

It was during the ceremony that Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz was acknowledged and appreciated for all he has done for Miami-Dade County in the last 20 plus years. 

Chairman Diaz on “Project GREEN Light

During his time as Commissioner, Jose “Pepe” Diaz has taken the lead in ensuring Miami-Dade officials, workers, and most important that veterans get the recognition they deserve, nationally and internationally. Chairman Diaz being a Marine himself has always taken care of veterans and made them a top priority during his years of service.

This month he sponsored several pieces of legislation to improve their access to more healthcare services as well as more opportunities for employment.  Most notable is “Project GREEN Light” which means that every county building will be lit up in GREEN from November 7 to the 13th to show support for our veterans. November 11 being Veterans Day was the perfect time to launch “Project GREEN Light”.

Jose “Pepe” Diaz was first elected as a commissioner in September 2002 and was elected to a fifth term in 2018. In 2020, he was unanimously elected to serve as Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners. This will be his last year as an elected official in the county.

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PEOPLE and Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

When asked about the accomplishments he is the most proud of, the commissioner started by thanking the people he has worked with who have made everything he has accomplished possible. He stressed that there is no “I” in team and that all of it was possible due to their unified teamwork.

Commissioner “Pepe” Diaz added that it brings great peace to him, knowing that he and his team have been there for people in disasters and the worst of times. From helping out Haiti’s earthquake-stricken survivors, and Guatemala’s volcano explosion catastrophe to helping out proactively in Katrina, where they organized 27 tractor-trailers filled with ration, including two big box trucks and four cargo vans, the commissioner has done it all.

When asked if he would continue his humanitarian work after leaving the county commission, he said that he cannot not help it; he will always be there for his people. One of the biggest charitable organizations that he has also been involved with is Live Like Bella, a childhood cancer foundation.

He told us it was an honor to dedicate May 13 as Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.   Showing our law enforcement officials respect and unending support has been a top priority throughout the years for him and so it was through a resolution sponsored by him that he has made it a yearly holiday for all the employees of Miami-Dade county.

Diaz also mentioned that he is immensely proud of breaking ground on the Wall of Heroes Monument. He said this was a way to honor every military member of Miami-Dade County who sacrificed their lives to ensure our safety from World War II to the present. We can expect that Wall to be up before the year comes to a close.

Chairman Diaz on BIG Sports here to stay

Chairman Diaz has been a catalyst in bringing international sporting events to the county. It is due to his persistent efforts that the FIFA World Cup is coming to Miami in 2026. Besides that, he has also been the main driving force behind making it possible for Miami to host Formula 1 racing, as well as Inter Miami CF.

Wrapping it up, Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz said that he felt mixed emotions about the whole journey. He is looking forward to a new start, but as excited as he is, he also feels that it's a very bittersweet moment. He went on to say that these two decades have been very rewarding and a lot of work, but he is honored to have had a chance to make a difference. He hopes that every November when the county lights up for Project Green Light he will be remembered for acknowledging our veterans.

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