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Chamber To Honor Trophy King's Service

Hiram Quiñones, better known as Mr. Trophy, will receive an award at the Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce's upcoming awards banquet.


October 10, 2004
Copyright © 2004 THE MIAMI HERALD. All rights reserved. 

People sometimes forget his real name. But when they need a plaque or a ribbon or decorations, they need only refer to him by his nickname.

Thank you, Mr. Trophy.

His real name is Hiram Quiñones and he co-owns Mr. Trophy in downtown North Miami. It's a moniker that sticks even at the civic level -- Quiñones takes part in many community organizations.

For Quiñones' involvement in the community, Mr. Trophy will be named Small Business of the Year by the Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce at its annual dinner Wednesday at the Miami Shores Country Club.

''It's an honor. I get to work with the community and that keeps me happy,'' Quiñones said. ``It's my desire to make the presentations look good, and I know they're going to keep it for years and probably show their grandchildren.''

The chamber will also honor North Miami Beach's Costco Wholesale Club and its membership director Lisa Scheinert, as the Large Business of the Year.

It will also award Gerald Writt, the manager of Publix on Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast 128th Street, for his longtime community service.

Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Rudy Crew will deliver the keynote address. The organization will also install its new executive board.

Quiñones, a former entertainer who helped choreograph routines for Madonna and MC Hammer 15 years ago at the Fort Lauderdale Winter Music Conference, will certainly be familiar to many at the dinner.

He and his partner Frank Santiago bought Mr. Trophy in 1996 and have since become well-known in North Miami for their community activism.

Among the organizations on which Quiñones has served: the North Miami's Community Relations Board, Central North Miami Homeowners Association and North Dade Regional Chamber of Commerce.

A few years ago, Quiñones was a strong advocate of building a controversial Home Depot on Biscayne Boulevard -- he even held a pro-Home Depot rally at his store, 843 NE 125th St.

''He's everywhere and helps everyone,'' said Penny Valentine, the executive director of the Greater North Miami Chamber of Commerce. ``He's a good community person.''

Over the past week, it has been business as usual at Mr. Trophy, with orders from companies like the Marriott Hotel, Baptist Hospital and the University of Miami.

Oh, and an award for a certain small business of the year.

''Yes, tragically,'' he said laughing, noting that he never displays his awards.

'I send them to my mom in Puerto Rico because I don't want people to say, `Oh yeah, he made his own award.' ''

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