Julie Grimes is Managing Partner of the Hilton Bentley Hotel in Miami, FL, overseeing the hotel’s strategic direction and operation.
Ms. Grimes is an innovative, active and well-respected community leader in the City of Miami. In 2007, she co-founded the Hospitality Institute in Overtown, connecting Miami inner city residents with opportunities in the local hospitality industry. Since this time, over 2,500 inner city residents have received hospitality training through the Institute, with over 800 connecting directly to jobs. Through her leadership, Miami Dade College became a primary player, hosting the Institute and providing infrastructure needed for sustainability and growth.
After the devastating hurricanes in Haiti in 2008, Manuel Diaz, Mayor of the City of Miami, appointed Ms. Grimes as Chairperson, Operation Hope for Haiti, to spearhead a group of community leaders in providing a sustained response through a partnership with World Vision. Under her leadership, Operation Hope for Haiti raised over one million dollars in support of World Vision’s relief efforts and holistic interventions. Beyond the funds raised, Ms. Grimes’ efforts led to the development of a community center in Haiti’s Central Plateau rural area offering programs aimed at improving education, income and community capacity for self-reliance.
In 2008, Ms. Grimes co-founded the Center of Service Excellence at Miami Dade College, which is aimed at fuelling the engine for improving customer service in South Florida. Since that time, over 4,000 people and a growing list of companies have received this targeted customer service training.
Recognizing the great difficulties facing at risk students in Miami’s inner city, Ms. Grimes connected with Big Brothers & Big Sisters to implement their School to Work mentoring program in the Doubletree Grand and Hilton Bentley Hotels. Through Miami Dade College and Take Stock in Children, Ms. Grimes established a college scholarship fund to further support these students. She also serves as an ambassador for the program, encouraging other Miami hotels to become workplace mentors for students in need.
Ms. Grimes chairs the Miami Dade College Foundation Board, and serves on the Boards of the Miami Downtown Development Agency, Camillus House, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association. In 2010 she was awarded the James W. McLamore Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award by the Miami Dade Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and in 2013 she was awarded the Red Cross Spectrum Award.
A native of Canada, Ms. Grimes began her career with Public Works Canada where she spent twelve years in senior positions. She left for the private sector in 1993 to head up marketing operations for a large property development company in Quebec. Ms. Grimes received a degree in Business Administration from Algonquin College. She moved to Miami in 1995 to launch the Doubletree Grand Hotel and became a US Citizen in 2004.