Board Member Profile: Brickell treasure Blanche Back

Blanche Back’s path to Miami is a familiar one: Havana native, New Yorker and now, Miami is home. With more than three decades here, she’s practically a Miami native. Since making Brickell Biscayne Condo her home in 1987, she’s been a Brickell neighborhood advocate and has served on the BHA Board since soon after its founding in 1990. She has seen the neighborhood’s evolution while taking an active role in the community.

Blanche originally came to the United States after marrying in 1955. She enjoyed life in Rhinebeck—now the Hamptons—in New York State, and was involved in community matters there through the Junior League, the Parent Teacher Association and the Rhinebeck Library Board. She also ran her husband’s firm, J.B. Back & Company, until they sold it off to another firm.

Blanche then attended Dutchess Community College where she obtained her Laboratory Technologist degree. That led to an eight-year stint at Northern Dutchess Hospital where she was certified to work in levels of the lab. She had close contact with the physicians and their work, “I even assisted the pathologist with autopsy lab procedures.”

After 28 years in New York, Blanche was drawn to Miami in 1983 to help and be close to her mother who lived in the nearby Roads neighborhood.

It was one of the first issues of BHA News that inspired her to become involved with BHA.

“When I saw the BHA News I thought it would be great to attend the meetings and keep informed on the issues of the area I had chosen to live in,” Blanche said. Over the years since then, she has been the BHA representative for Brickell Biscayne serving on the BHA Board of Directors as representative or alternate. She’s been a staunch advocate on neighborhood issues for BHA, gently and persistently reminding officials of problems unresolved and promises not kept.

Blanche is aptly suited to the Board role for BHA. As a licensed Community Association Manager with experience managing several condominiums, she understands the issues of condo living from the inside-out. She got into property management work simply to help out at Brickell Biscayne when the full-time manager was overwhelmed. A few hours a day lending a hand led to yet another career as she was offered a position at the Carriage House. Soon enough, she obtained her CAM license and replaced that building’s in-house manager where she remained for eight years.

Blanche next worked as a roving manager for another property management company, overseeing four of its properties, one in West Kendall and three in the Aventura/North Miami Beach area. Demanding and hectic work, she welcomed retirement last year. However, her management years continue to come in handy for Brickell Biscayne Condo.

“I think my management knowledge has been a great contribution to the present manager who had never managed an association before and is now in his ninth year here,” she said.

Her Brickell Biscayne board days are also over, she has completely retired from that role and is happy to remains the association’s rep to BHA. Recently she completed leading the BHA 2014 nominating effort, tapped by the President to serve as Nominating Chair.

Blanche is extremely positive about the changes in Brickell since she first arrived. “I bought when the area was in big trouble and no construction was going on,” she said. “I have witnessed the rising of a huge metropolis all around me.”

As the mother of two grown children and four grandchildren, Blanche enjoys the simple things good movies, good books and daily exercise. And of course, eating out at a good restaurant from time to time. Although her busy career days are now behind her, advocacy for her beloved Brickell area is something she’ll never give up.

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