Note: This blog's templates will be updated this afternoon to a responsive design bringing it in line with

At that time, we will also change to the Facebook commenting system. You will need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment.

« House bill a big down payment on the Everglades | Main | Cubancigar36? »

Two from Miami to sit with First Lady for Obama speech

Leonard Abess Jr., the Miami banker who gave $60 million to his tellers, bookkeepers and clerks, is getting a prized bonus of his own: tonight he'll get to watch President Barack Obama's speech to a joint session of Congress from First Lady Michelle Obama's box.


The White House says Obama earlier this month announced new restrictions on executive compensation, "designed to ensure fiscal responsibility," and that Abess "demonstrated this sort of responsibility last November when he decided to quietly share some $60 million of the proceeds he received from the sale of City National shares to Caja Madrid with current and former frontline bank employees."

Also sitting with the first lady, Geneva Lawson, a 51 year employee at City National Bank of Florida. Currently the safe-deposit custodian at the Miami Beach branch, Lawson has also worked as collection teller, payroll teller, savings teller, print shop clerk, and proof/bookkeeping clerk. She's one of the beneficiaries of Abess's generosity and plans to save and buy a new car with her bonus