Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce announces 2023 Sand in My Shoes® Honoree

MIAMI (April 5, 2023) – The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce announced today that Alberto Ibargüen, President & CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and former publisher of the Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald, will be honored with 2023 Sand in My Shoes® Award presented by presenting sponsors Baptist Health, Carlton Fields and University of Miami. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, October 4, at Jungle Island from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.


The Chamber’s Sand in My Shoes® Award is one of this community’s most prestigious accolades. Established in 1981, the award is presented to outstanding community leaders who have made significant contributions to the region, demonstrating a deep love and commitment to Miami as the best possible place in which to live, work and play.  


As President & CEO of the Knight Foundation, Ibargüen has been a driving force behind the foundation’s mission to support and accelerate community transformation.  Alberto has focused the Knight Foundation on its donors' intent to maintain a healthy democracy through informed and engaged communities. The foundation has focused on the digital transformation of journalism and citizen engagement and has become a significant philanthropic funder of the arts, using arts and culture to bind people to their communities.  His leadership has been instrumental in empowering the Miami community through innovative projects and initiatives, such as the Knight Arts Challenge, a matching grant program that funds local artists and arts organizations, and the Knight Prototype Fund and Miami Innovation Fund which have provided crucial support to entrepreneurs in the area.


Alberto Ibargüen has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to promoting a thriving cultural and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Miami,” said Alfred Sanchez, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. “His leadership has been transformative.  His efforts have helped make Miami a more dynamic and culturally rich place to live, work, and visit, and we are thrilled to recognize his contributions with this prestigious award.”


“I am honored to receive the Sand in My Shoes® award and proud that the Miami business community embraces the Knight Foundation’s mission of supporting informed and engaged communities,” said Ibargüen.  “Miami is a young, vibrant and diverse city. It’s a privilege and our opportunity, every day, to make this hemispheric magnet the Miami of our dreams. I am proud to be part of that journey and excited to continue our work together.   


 He joins a remarkable list of some of Greater Miami’s most influential business and community leaders, including recent honorees Manuel “Manny” Medina, David Lawrence, Jr., Phyllis Shaffer and Antonio “Tony” Argiz, whose tireless efforts have enhanced our community through a combination of passion, performance, dedication, and devotion.


The 2023 Sand in My Shoes® Award Dinner will take place on October 4, 2023 at Jungle Island.  For additional information on the award and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jennifer Sanchez at or (305) 577-5472.



About the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce


The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce is the proud champion for the Greater Miami Business Community and a civic engine that fuels the advancement of The Magic City. Founded in 1907 as the Miami Board of Trade, today’s Chamber boasts representing more than 400,000-member company employees and is heralded for its legacy of leadership in economic development, and its unwavering commitment to improving the Miami-Dade community. For more information, please visit


# # #



Top Investors

Baptist Health South Florida
CareerSource South Florida
Carlton Fields
Florida Power & Light
TD Bank
University of Miami
Wells Fargo