I just learned today about the passing of Richard Miami. He was a veritable icon in Napa. No one could plan an event or concert better than he. He created the OGIM (Oh My Gosh It’s Monday) concert series at Chandon, which were great shows featuring local artists that, if you had $10 and a penchant for fun, were where you wanted to be on a hot Monday night in Napa.
He ran his events like a dictator, earning him the well-deserved and, by him, very-much embraced moniker of “Dick Florida.” And if you had the pleasure, like me, of ever working those events, you knew he earned that name well.
He was a master of planning and hospitality. He was kind, hilarious, and, ultimately, the consummate Napa Valley hospitality guru. And in a small valley filled to the brim with people trying to be just that, he was a god amongst mortals.
I worked many of his concerts and events at Chandon and even worked for him while he managed the Salon there, which he helped to create. Through it all, he was a man to be admired, loved, and, when he switched to his “Dick Florida” persona, slightly feared.
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Richard Miami was, and is, a true Napa Valley icon, and is in no small way responsible for its reputation of superior hospitality. He set a standard for it, many years ago, maintained that standard without waver throughout his career, and never once wavered from it, all while being approachable, friendly and, when necessary, the perfect Dick Florida.
Richard Miami, Dick Florida, you will be sorely missed. And this valley, this industry, and, indeed this crazy Napa Valley economy, owes more to you than it, they, and, ultimately, we, will ever know.