Miami Chamber honors Sandler for service to trade community
The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce on Thursday honored Gilbert Lee Sandler, founding member of Miami-based customs and international trade law firm Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg, with its first-ever Ponce de Leon Pioneering Spirit Award.
In celebration of the 500th anniversary of de Leon’s arrival in Florida, the Chamber created the award to recognize members who have followed in his footsteps by blazing trails in international business and creating economic growth in the region.
"Lee Sandler is a true pioneer who has built bridges and broken down barriers through his vision and leadership,” Liane Ventura, chamber senior vice president for international business development and leadership programs, said in a statement. “He was one of the founding members of the Chamber’s international efforts and through his work, tenacity and community service he has ensured that Florida remains at the forefront of international trade.”
The Miami Dade County Commission proclaimed Nov. 29, 2012, "Gilbert Lee Sandler Day."
A native of South Florida, Sandler earned a law degree at Dartmouth and went to work at the Department of Justice in Washington. ST&R, formed 35 years ago, helps businesses around the country and overseas compliance with customs and trade laws. The law firm and its related consulting firm Sandler & Travis Trade Advisory Services employes more than 600 people in 14 cities in the United States, Latin America, Asia and Europe.
Sandler has headed the GMCC’s International Business Committee for more than 10 years and has led the International Cargo Network since creating it in 1987. He has also served as chair of 10 Customs/Trade Finance Symposiums of the Americas and the World Trade Center Miami. Beyond the Miami area, he served two terms on the Customs Operations Advisory Committee to U.S. Customs, where he helped design the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism. He was appointed by five presidents to advise the government on international trade negotiations.
Sandler has served on the board of the American Association of Exporters and Importers and as chair of the Judicial Conference of the Court of International Trade.
He chairs the International Business Committee of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and serves as general counsel to the Florida Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association. He has also led the Florida Bar International Law Section and the Florida International Trade and Investment Council.
“I am grateful to the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce for this honor and humbled by the references to Ponce de Leon’s pioneering spirit,” Sandler said. “I think the history books are wrong to report that Ponce de Leon never found the Fountain of Youth. The Florida international business community reinvents itself all the time, staying current, productive and vital to world commerce. It is the youthful vitality of this ever-evolving community that makes South Florida such a wonderful place to live and work.”
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