The 14th Annual Pillars Conference took place on August 10 through August 13 at the Pillars Hotel & Club in Fort Lauderdale, a venue owned by former Broward College Foundation Board Member Michael Landry. As a long-time supporter of Broward College, Michael lends his hotel to host the Pillars Conference each year and welcomes students, alumni, and community leaders to strengthen their sense of global purpose, total well-being, and individual resilience.

Michael Landry was on the Broward College Foundation (BCF) Board the year that Dr. Lulrick Balzora, Dean of the SBSHS pathway, held the first Pillars Conference. Both Nancy R. Botero (Chief Campaign Officer at Broward College and former Executive Director of BCF) and Dr. Balzora had approached Michael about hosting the event, and Michael graciously accepted the honor. As a result, Michael had the opportunity to meet many of Broward College’s top-performing students over the years, and several of them either did an internship at the hotel or received job offers to work at the hotel. What started out as a small, unique opportunity for our students, the Pillars Conference has grown into a model event that engages our alumni, donors, community, and business leaders in a manner that creates a valuable experience for all involved.

The theme of this year’s conference was “Maximize the Power of Now,” and through the various sessions that took place, attendees learned how to make the most of the present, the only moment which holds true power, while maximizing opportunities and minimizing excuses. The conference is a collaborative effort between the Broward College SBSHS Professional Enhancement Program and other Broward College partners, including Broward College Alumni & Friends. Steven Goo, formerly a Vice President with Boeing Aerospace, and members of the Padrino family, whose successful Cuban restaurants are well known across South Florida, were the guest speakers at the event.

We are delighted that Broward College graduate and Broward College Foundation Board Member Reginald Andre was recognized with the 2023 Pillars Alumni Community Service Award. Additionally, Broward College graduate Bonnie Flory received the Faculty Pillar of the Community Award. Former Board of Trustee Mario Cartaya was also honored at the conference with the Pillar of the Community Award and Mario Padrino received the Pillar of the Community Service Award.

Nancy shares, “We are grateful to Michael and Barbara Landry for their years of support as hosts for the Pillars Conference. Just before the conference, Barbara’s mother, Jean Trebbi, passed away. On behalf of our college and foundation leadership, I extend sincere condolences to Michael and Barbara Landry. Jean’s memory will live on through the endowed scholarship the family created in Jean’s honor many years ago.”

To make a gift in honor of Jean Trebbi, click here.

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