History Fort Lauderdale Honors History Makers

History Fort Lauderdale Honors History Makers

Ft. Lauderdale mayor Dean Trantalis issues a proclamation while Commissioner Steve Glassman and honorees Kelly Shanley and Melissa Milroy and Mark Trouba (representing The Galleria mall) look on.

By Rachel Galvin

On January 31, History Fort Lauderdale held a special event at the Galleria Fort Lauderdale to honor history makers Kelly Shanley and the Galleria Fort Lauderdale, which was represented by Senior Marketing Manager Melissa Milroy and General Manager Mark Trouba. 

Shanley is well-known for being the president and CEO of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts for the last 25 years, a position he has taken on with gusto, transforming the center into being the world-renowned place it is today. Under his leadership, the center has expanded through his $60 million Encore campaign. This allowed for the addition of new education and hospitality spaces, including the Huizenga Pavillion and the Rose Miniaci Arts Education Center. It led to an increase in attendance of more than 110,000 and $14 million yearly. He also utilized a $30 million capital campaign to transform the Parker Playhouse. The Rose Miniaci Performing Arts Center and campus of Nova Southeastern University also have blossomed under his leadership.

The Galleria Fort Lauderdale began as the Sunrise Center back in 1954 with 58 stores at a time when Fort Lauderdale became a mecca for youth culture, who took over the beaches during Spring Break. Having a mall not far away certainly made sense. At the time, it was an open air mall, which would become enclosed in 1977 during renovation by Leonard Farber. Over time, it became a beacon of luxury shopping. In 2003, it had another renovation to transform the facade into something that industrialist Henry Flagler might have built, reflecting a traditional architecture that was more welcoming, as well as a lighter and brighter interior. This included modern upgrades to everything from facilities to seating. 

Today, the mall boasts more than 100 stores, including Dillards and Macys as anchors, as well as popular restaurants such as Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurant, Seasons 52, P.F. Chang’s, The Capital Grille and Blue Martini.

More than just a place to shop and eat, The Galleria has become a real destination, and it also has become a real staple in the community, not only for what it offers, but for what it gives back. It has contributed more than $1.5 million to organizations such as History Fort Lauderdale, Art and Culture Center/Hollywood, Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center, Kids in Distress, Leadership Broward Foundation, ArtServe, HANDY, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and Henderson Behavioral Health, among others. In addition to offering donations, it has also donated space to many causes and been home to great events, including Men of Style, which gives back to 12 local charities, History of Fort Lauderdale’s PRIDE month recognition exhibits, World AIDS Day events, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Eat Your Heart Out, which benefits the Heart Gallery of Broward County, and others. 

Milroy said that giving back is mutually beneficial for everyone involved. “The tenants recognize the importance of the events as they bring customers into the mall and stores. The nonprofits just show up and we do everything for them. We make it as turnkey as possible.”

Milroy has helped to spearhead many of the endeavors to give back to the community since her start at The Galleria in 1994. She is also involved in many charity organizations herself, including being on the board of the Heart Gallery of Broward County, the Transportation Management Association Board, the CVB Marketing Advisory Committee and the Henderson Behavioral Health Planning Committee, among others. In addition, she is the immediate past chair of the Fort Lauderdale Chamber Board and has worked with the Beach Redevelopment Advisory Board in the past. Milroy is a graduate of Leadership Fort Lauderdale, Class V, and is a past curriculum chair for them as well.

Milroy has been acknowledged through the years for her hard work. Not only was she awarded Hero of the Month for the Chamber, she was also the recipient of the Carolyn M. Michaels Leadership Fort Lauderdale Award, as well as the “Try Hearts” Award by the Heart Gallery of Broward County. Now, she is honored to be a representative of The Galleria mall at the History Fort Lauderdale History Makers event.

Through her more than 30 years at The Galleria, she has seen a lot of history. Not only has the mall transformed during her tenure, but the community around it has blossomed as well.

But some things always stay the same. When asked what brings her back year after year to work at The Galleria, Milroy said, “The people,” adding, “What is really special about working at The Galleria is that so many of our team members have been here so long. From maintenance people to housekeeping, we have many long-standing employees. We really are a family here. It makes it a great place to come to work. You can’t say that with a lot of places.”

Industry veteran Mark Trouba first began working with shopping centers back in 1975. Since then, he has seen all aspects of the business, working his way up to management. He started working for The Galleria back in 1991 as their Operations Director when he received his CSM, eventually being promoted to his current position as General Manager in 2006. He also obtained his SCSM certification in 2002 and Certified Retail Executive designation in 2015.

Trouba works hard to ensure that the mall operates as efficiently and effectively as possible, handling everything from construction to security. He implements his overall vision for how the mall should look by providing strategic direction when it comes to leasing. He offers a helping hand as needed to promote the mall, working with sponsors to help make the mall the best it can be.

Trouba’s goal is to be an inspiration to his employees and tenants. His leadership has paved the way for the success The Galleria has today. He views The Galleria as a small city, but also as the heartbeat of the local community “with great tenants and great customer service.”

“I want to create a safe, clean environment in the mall,” he said.

Trouba knows all about service. Not only is he involved in the ways the mall gives back to the community, but he also is active in the local community himself. He is a member of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and the International Council of Shopping Centers. 

You may have also seen Trouba as the Grand Marshal of the local St. Patrick’s Day parade a few years ago, or at many of the events held at the mall, such as the Eat Your Heart Out event. During this year’s event, he was recognized for his efforts.

This gentle giant has a big heart and loves giving back, for which he has been acknowledged, and now he is honored to be representing The Galleria mall at this History Fort Lauderdale event.

The History Makers event began with some mingling while listening to the music of Angeline Fontaine. People could grab a drink and choose something from the buffet before sitting down to a presentation emceed by Fay Albernas. Teen singer Kai Bui from the Florida Children’s Theater wowed the crowd with his powerful song to kick things off. Many local dignitaries spoke, including former mayor Lamar Fisher. Ft. Lauderdale mayor Dean Trantalis and Ft. Lauderdale commissioner Steven Glassman presented proclamations for the honorees. President of the History of Ft. Lauderdale Board of Trustees Patrick Scott and Executive Director Patricia Zeiler also spoke about the honorees, as did Robert Lochrie, who has been involved with the performing arts center and the historical society. In addition, a video was shown with people singing the praises of Shanley, Milroy and Trouba while talking about the impact the mall has also made through the years.

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