February  Luncheon - Coral Gables Country Club - Miami . February 27, 2014
Sponsored by 2014 Toyota Highlander

 By: Paul Borden, photos & videos by: Pepe Delfino


SAMAís February luncheon drew a record turnout of 55 members and guests to the Coral Gables Country Club Feb. 27. The sponsor Toyota, which not only preview highlights of the all-new Highlander but also gave those attending the opportunity for a brief ride-and-drive, including a spin in the hybrid version of the U.S-built crossover.

Brian Frometa, who gave the presentation for Toyota, noted the Highlander is moving into its third generation after debuting in the U.S. in 2001. Built in the U.S., it is slated for export to Australia, New Zealand, and Eastern European countries.

Click on the accompanying link for his entire presentation as well as one by Danny Veliz, who spoke briefly on Toyota concepts in the pipeline.

Also representing Toyota at the event were Christie Caliendo, Sheba Munn, Bob Duffin, Dawn Gise, and Perry Houck. Mike Forsyth of Vossen Wheels was a special guest of Toyota.

We want to thank and Toyota for sponsoring a very engaging and successful event!

During the business session, President Bill Adam noted that in addition to the large turnout, everyone in attendance showed up on time -- perhaps a SAMA first!

Itís something we want to emphasize in the future. By keeping on schedule, members were able to return to their offices shortly after 1 p.m.

Among announcements, Treasurer and Membership Chairman Marcello Serrato said all the associationís tax obligations for 2013 have been taken care of and reminded members that dues are due. (For a copy of the dues schedule, check the SAMA website at www.samaonline.org.

Marcello also said we have added one new member, Elizabeth Williams of Rolls-Royce North America, and he introduced Elba Navarro of Bein Sports, who was attending her first luncheon as a new member after joining last month.

John Kiskinis announced that the annual Fort Lauderdale Auto Show will be March 20-23 at the Broward County Convention Center and will feature the 2015 Hyundai Genesis as the show car.

Among other vehicles confirmed for the show, which benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of Broward County, are the new Ford F150 truck and Mustang, Kia K900 sedan and Acura TLX prototype.

Secretary Pepe Delfino thanked those members who have contributed to the SAMA website with links to their reviews, which help drive traffic to your own companyís website.

Bill Adam said the date has not been confirmed yet, but Rides-and-Smiles likely once again will be the Saturday between Ford Championship Weekend (Nov. 14-16) at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Thanksgiving weekend.

Finally, Vice President Paul Borden reminded members that the date for Topless in Miami will be June 12 at the Ritz Carlton Resort on Key Biscayne.

Watch your email for information on our next luncheon, which is scheduled for March 27.



Click on pictures to enlarge