Barry University’s 2009 Distinguished Alumni Awards

A Night to Recognize Leaders in the Community and in the Kitchen

Sister Linda Bevilacqua and Alberto Carvalho

Barry University honored four alumni at its Third Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood. More than 200 guests were in attendance, including members of the Barry University Board of Trustees and Board of Directors, sponsors and donors, all of whom came to commemorate this year’s awards recipients Alberto M. Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools; Dr. Bradley W. Bakotic, Founder of Bako Podiatric Pathology Laboratory; Helen Aguirre Ferre, Opinion Editor for Diario Las Americas; and Helen J. Rohan, CEO of Aventura Hospital.

The award ceremony featured an interactive chef competition where five South Florida chefs competed for the Barry University Distinguished Chef Award. Each guest had the opportunity to taste each of the dishes created by the chefs and then score them based on creativity, presentation, and taste. This year’s Distinguished Chef Award went to Chef David Hackett, Executive Chef for Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa.

The award program-meets-culinary competition kicked off with a cocktail reception from which guests were escorted into the grand ballroom where the “cooking” theme décor prevailed. A stainless steel colander filled with flowers and garden veggies was the focal point at each table. The award program doubled as a take-home recipe book with special recipes submitted by Barry Alumni. Lined against the walls on both ends of the room were the massive trusses that framed the five chef cooking stations, and in the center of it all, a stage with two giant screens.

Distinguished Alumni Recipients (Dr. Bradley Bakotic, Heather Rohan, Alberto Carvalho, and Helen Aguirre Ferre)

Guests lined up at each of the competing chef stations excited to taste the tantalizing dishes they had prepared. Competing for the Distinguished Chef Award was Andrew Platt of Catering Coordinators, David Hackett of Westin Diplomat Hotel and Spa, Morgan Nims of Chef In The Box, Pablo Guarella of Miami’s Chophouse, and Susan and Soco Rojas of Sisters in Pink Catering and Chef Services. Winning Chef David Hackett presented a simple, yet provoking braised Kobe Beef short rib and asparagus ceviche.

Once appetites were satisfied, guests were seated and award program began. Emotions were high as the introduction video, portraying the recipients’ impressive efforts and successes, played on the giant screens. On hand to present the awards was Barry University President, Sister Linda Bevilacqua. “I am proud of the all the achievements made by the alumni whom have earned the right to be acknowledged tonight for the leadership they have demonstrated in their communities and in their professions,” said Sister Bevilacqua.

William Heffernan, Ann Paton

This year, the Distinguished Alumni Awards were given to Dr. Bradley Bakotic for Distinguished Alumni in Heathcare, Alberto Carvalho for Distinguished Alumni in Education, Heather Rohan for Distinguished Alumni in Business, and Helen Aguirre Ferre for Distinguished Alumni in Communication.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards is the highest honor given to alumni by Barry University through the Alumni Association. The award honors Barry Alumni who are locally, nationally and in some cases internationally recognized for their paramount contributions to their professions and communities, as well as demonstrating a commitment to Barry University and its mission.