“Don’t sit in your office.” That’s advice the new Brazil ambassador is following since his arrival at the Miami consulate.
Looking every inch a diplomat, Joao Mendes Pereira introduced himself at a reception in Broken Sound. “I feel very at home in Miami,” where he’s consul general, he said.
Oxford Group CEO Carlo Barbieri and his wife Luciana hosted the evening with community leaders who have a Brazil connection or want to.
Pereira told them he plans to establish an outpost in Pompano Beach in the next two months. A permanent office will help 100,00 Brazilians living in Orlando so they wouldn’t have to travel so far, he said. “We want to work for people where they are,” he said. “There are 400,000 Brazilians living in Florida.”
Like the Barbieris, many guests are longtime Boca Raton residents. They included Dr. Carlos Barroso, director of marketing and communications for Saint Andrews School.
Also among them was Enterprise Florida manager Carlos Guerra and former legislator and Boca councilman Bill Hager. A large contingent from Florida Atlantic University included local liaison, Constance Scott.
Scott was on city council when city government started Boca’s first Brazilian Beat eight years ago. She brought former Mayor Susan Whelchel to meet the former ambassador in Miami. That sealed the arrangements for the annual event held here every the fall.
“We had 7,000 people that first year,” Scott told Boca Voice. “This year we had 20,000,” to celebrate Brazil Independence Day.
Here are excerpts from Pereira’s bio:
- A career diplomat for 28 years
- His last post was head of protocol to the ministry of external relations
- Served at Brazilian Mission to European Union and Brazilian Embassy in Lisbon
- Born in Brasilia
- Graduated in international relations at University of Brasilia
- Married with two sons
By Marci Shatzman