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ROOTS RUN DEEP A New Generation Takes Hold

David Martin • Jessica Goldman Srebnick • Matthew Whitman Lazenby

Standing Firm

Hunton & Williams’ Miami Office Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Follow The Money

Showcasing Top Banks’ Executive Teams



Luxury WATERFRONT Residences

On-site Sales Gallery Open Daily 600 NE 31st Street, Miami, FL 33137  (where NE 31st Street meets Biscayne Bay) T: 305.521.1359





Obtain the property report required by federal law and read it before signing anything. No federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property.

Oral representations cannot be relied upon as correctly stating the representations of the Developer. For correct representations, reference should be made to the documents required by section 718.503, Florida Statutes, to be furnished by a Developer to a buyer or lessee. This offering is made only by the prospectus for the condominium and no statement should be relied upon if not made in the prospectus. This is not an offer to sell, or solicitation of offers to buy, the condominium units in states where such offer or solicitation cannot be made. Prices, plans and specifications are subject to change without notice. The Developer is PRH NE 31st Street LLC (“DEVELOPER”) which has a license to use the trademarked names and logos of The Related Group pursuant to a licensing agreement. The graphics and text reflected are the copyrighted property of Developer. The renderings illustrate and depict a lifestyle; however amenities and attractions are subject to change. While there are water views at the property, views may vary. The marina and restaurant are all subject to the Developer obtaining all necessary and appropriate permits, none of which have been obtained. Any restaurant is intended to be privately operated by a third party operator from a commercial space.




T 305.521.1304


Obtain the property report required by federal law and read it before signing anything. No federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. Oral representations cannot be relied upon as correctly stating the representations of the developer. For correct representations, make reference to this brochure and to the documents required by section 718.503, Florida statutes, to be furnished by a developer to a buyer or lessee.







This is not intended to be an offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to buy, condominium units to residents of CT, ID, NY, NJ and OR, unless registered or exemptions are available, or in any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law, and your eligibility for purchase will depend upon your state of residency. This offering is made only by the prospectus for the condominium and no statement should be relied upon if not made in the prospectus. The Developer (as is defined below) reserves the right to modify, revise, or withdraw any proposed unit finishes, designs, materials, plans, specifications, terms, conditions, statements, managing entities, fitness facilities, amenities, restaurants , or all of same, in its sole discretion and without prior notice. This Condominium is being developed by 9SMA, LLC (“Developer”). EQUINOX® is a registered trademark of Equinox Holdings, Inc. Soul Cycle is a registered trademark of Soul Cycle, LLC. The project graphics, renderings, photographs, and text herein are owned by the Developer unless otherwise noted or credited to another. © 2013, 9SMA, LLC with all rights reserved unless otherwise credited to another.


T 954.440.7811


Obtain the property report required by federal law and read it before signing anything. No federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property.


Oral representations cannot be relied upon as correctly stating the representations of the Developer. For correct representations, make reference to the documents required by section 718.503, Florida Statute, to be furnished by a developer to a buyer or lessee. This is not intended to be an offer to sell, or solicitation to buy, condominium units to residents of CT, ID, NJ, NY and OR, unless registered or exemptions are available, or in any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law, and your eligibility for purchase will depend upon your state of residency. This offering is made only by the prospectus for the condominium and no statement should be relied upon if not made in the prospectus. Prices, plans and specifications are subject to change without notice. The Related Group is not the project developer. Hyde Hollywood is being developed by 4111 SOUTH OCEAN DRIVE, LLC (“Developer�), which has a limited right to use the trademarked names and logos of The Related Group pursuant to a license and marketing agreement with The Related Group. Any and all statements, disclosures and/or representations shall be deemed made by Developer and not by The Related Group. The sketches, renderings, pictures, illustrations, and statements are proposed only, and the Developer reserves the right to modify, revise or withdraw any or all of same in its sole discretion. All prices are subject to change at any time and without notice, and do not include optional features or premiums for upgraded units.


ROOTS RUN DEEP A New Generation Takes Hold

David Martin • Jessica Goldman Srebnick • Matthew Whitman Lazenby

Standing Firm

Hunton & Williams’ Miami Office Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Follow The Money

Showcasing Top Banks’ Executive Teams




t was a phone call three years ago from a public relations contact that put the wheels in motion for the launch of EXECUTIVE South Florida magazine. She asked where she could highlight the owners of a company she was representing; they were two brothers who took the company their father started 40 years ago and built it into a $950 million organization with over 1000 employees, spanning 30 countries on four continents. The coverage she was able to secure just didn’t seem to relate to the true nature of the company and, more importantly, to the civic support, philanthropic involvement, and dynamic personalities of the owners. EXECUTIVE South Florida magazine not only features the leaders, dealmakers, entrepreneurs, and innovators who are the driving force behind some of the region’s most notable corporations, but also goes deeper and uncovers those individuals who will lead our community for many years to come. Our cover subjects this month—David Martin, Matthew Whitman Lazenby, and Jessica Goldman Srebnick—embody this sentiment, and we look forward to seeing all they will accomplish as they take hold of the region’s landscape. In wanting to break the mold for a traditional text-driven business magazine, we have devoted more space to photography. We believe that when profiling people, an image can tell as much of the story, if not sometimes more, than words. EXECUTIVE South Florida magazine is also planning an extensive calendar of events, conferences, seminars and panel discussions. We believe it is essential to provide our readers with the opportunity to connect and build relationships. We understand it is people who make business happen, and it is the goal of EXECUTIVE South Florida magazine to capture the stories, perspectives, experiences, and insights of these dynamic individuals. And, as for the two brothers I mentioned, they have continued to grow their family business, recording over $1.2 billion in sales in 2013.

Ron Mann 6


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APRIL 2014

FEATURES 32 Roots Run Deep By Richard Westlund A new generation takes hold of the region’s landscape.

40 The Long Term Play By David Lyons Miami Marlins’ off-the-field play to put more fans in stadium seats.

44 Built To Last By Millie Acebal Rousseau Fortune President Edgardo Defortuna’s success is built on the team he has assembled.



50 Standing Firm By Jeff Zbar The Miami office of Hunton & Williams celebrates 15 years of infusing some Hispanic flavor into the firm’s southern culture.

52 Building On The Edge By Jeff Zbar Developers Reid Boren and Taylor Collins’s beachfront condo in the East Edgewater district will draw those seeking the waterfront lifestyle.

62 Follow The Money A look at the executives behind 13 of the area’s top banks.



APRIL 2014

April 2014 Volume 1 Number 1 PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER Ron Mann EDITOR Sara Fiedelholtz


ART DIRECTOR Lourdes Guerra




DEPARTMENTS 15 INDUSTRY FACES The newsmakers, game changers, and innovators who are driving business in the region

27 BUSINESS OF POLITICS Where business and politics intersect


90 EXECUTIVE CLUB Capturing the area’s events, activities, and happenings

93 LIFE. STYLED. When the work is done, it is time to play


Who has the competitive advantage, and how did they get it

A view from the top


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS David Lyons Laura Meyers Milagros Rousseau Mike Seemuth Laura Stace Richard Westlund Jeff Zbar CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Beatriz Alvarez Gio Alma Jorge Parra Donna Victor Isaac Zapata OFFICE MANAGER Ludmila Leonova ©2014 Executive South Florida magazine is published 12 times per year by South Florida Executive LLC, 536 Biltmore Way, Second Floor, Coral Gables, FL 33134. All rights reserved. The entire content of EXECUTIVE South Florida may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher. EXECUTIVE South Florida accepts no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs, and assumes no liability for products and services advertised herein. EXECUTIVE South Florida reserves the right to edit, rewrite, or refuse material. To order a subscription, please call 305.735.2873. For more information, please contact: To distribute EXECUTIVE South Florida, please email:

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MAY 1-7



Photo by Isaac Zapata



These brothers are co-presidents of Heico, a leading aircraft parts maker with a 10-figure top line.

APRIL 2014





Photo by Isaac Zapata


aurans Mendelson was a young father working as an accountant in New York City during the 1960s when he and his wife Arlene and their two sons relocated to Miami, where some of her family members already resided and worked in real estate. After the couple and their kids settled into a comfy house in the then-unincorporated Pinecrest community of southeastern MiamiDade County, Mendelson—with a helping hand from his sons Eric and Victor—became a successful real estate investor and developer. “We were doing things other kids didn’t do. They were playing baseball and football,” said Victor Mendelson. “We had our own thing.” That included tagging along with their father on weekend trips to sales centers for residential developments, where they eventually began showing properties to prospective buyers. “He sort of set us free,” said Victor. “He never shut us down. He never said, ‘No, that’s a little embarrassing. You can’t do that.’ We’d show off. We’d say, ‘We’re going to redesign the model here.’ And lo and behold, the bed would move, or a lamp.” The confidence-building style of parenting would pay off. Eric and Victor eventually started to suggest locations for real estate projects to their father and to invest with him. When the brothers were college students in the 1980s, they started investing with their father in public companies and scouting targets. But rather than continuing to buy and sell pieces of companies, the family longed to buy an industrial company in South Florida that they could build over time, so they took over Hollywoodbased Heico in 1990. At the time, Heico was a small public company producing a handful of aircraft replacement parts and making limited progress toward developing new ones. Under the control of the Mendelsons over the last quarter century, Heico gradually improved its operating and financial performance, and its market value steadily increased. “When we took over Heico,” said Victor, “it had $25 million of annual revenue and a $25 million market capitalization.” That barely covers a dividend payment now. Annual revenue topped $1 billion last year for the first time, pushing annual net income to a record $102.4 million, and the total market value of Heico stock has risen to about $3.5 billion under the leadership of Laurans Mendelson, the chairman and chief executive officer, and his sons, who became co-presidents of the company in 2009. Since then, the stock price of Heico, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol HEI, has appreciated from the $35 range to almost $60. “We work very well together. There’s no ego involved,” Victor said of his collaborative

Eric Mendelson, 47 and Victor Mendelson, 45 are Co-Presidents of Heico. relationship with his older brother Eric, his only sibling. “We’re both very involved with all parts and all facets of the organization. And it’s run very much like a family business, like a partnership, and it takes its roots from the early days, when we all helped and pitched in.” Heico is an amalgamated enterprise with two sides: the flight support group, which makes aircraft replacement parts and accounts for about two-thirds of total revenue, and the electronic technologies group, which depends largely on sales to US and foreign military agencies. Business acquisitions have accounted for much of the growth at Heico, which has had uncommon success in picking companies with defendable market niches and dependable people. Since 1990, “We’ve acquired 48 businesses, and of the 48 businesses, we do not have a single company that has been a problem or a loser,” said Eric Mendelson. “Out of the box, two of them we had to struggle with, but we got them turned around.”

Eric oversees the commercial aviation side of the company and its production, overhaul and repair of jet engine parts and other aircraft components, while brother Victor manages a wide range of subsidiaries that command big shares of small markets for esoteric electronic products. For example, Heico claims to be the

leading manufacturer of laser range-finder

receivers in weapon systems that tell users the distance to a target. “We’re talking about 70 kilometers as far as we can go out, at least,” said Victor. The company also is a sales leader for underwater locator beacons in cockpit voice recorders and flight data recorders. “This is how they find the black box: It emits a sound through a transducer,” explained Victor. “They’re fairly low volume. That’s what we’re interested in doing ... We want touch labor, touch engineering, processes that are repeatable but not massively repeatable ... We want to go to where the intellectual challenge is.” E —Mike Seemuth




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Photo by Jorge Parra


im Stone, executive vice-president and general manager of the AmericanAirlines Arena and The Heat Group, maneuvers daily through a sea of testosterone, overseeing the Arena’s daily operations and retaining the on-fire Miami HEAT’s season ticket holders. But Stone, 46, takes working with super-star egos and personalities—players LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, President Pat Riley, HEAT owner Micky Arison, and major entertainers—in stride, while overseeing 75 full-time employees and 800 to 1,000 event staff. “It all starts with the culture here. Gender doesn’t matter. Ethnicity doesn’t matter. You’re only capped by your desire to learn,” said Stone. Securing the arena—while retaining and entertaining its clientele—are key components of Stone’s duties. The NBA Fan Loyalty Tracker survey, sent to all season ticket holders, recently ranked the arena as the nation’s number two with its “in-arena experience,” behind only Oklahoma City’s Chesapeake Energy Arena. “Our biggest competition is the at-home experience. It’s all about the experience of coming here,” said Stone. “It’s about the emotion of feeling that you’re a part of something bigger than yourself. We’ve shifted (marketing strategies) from being a season ticket holder to being part of a family.” Stone, recently revamped the arena’s food and beverage operations with rotating celebrity chef dinners for premium ticket holders, as well as new food venues, such as Rosa Mexicano and Biscayne Tavern. Stone’s experience as a five-foot-eightinch-tall athlete—who played basketball, volleyball, and ran track in high school and did intramural sports at the University of North Carolina—gives her confidence and fuels a competitive spirit. Despite the heady 2013 and 2012 NBA championships won by the HEAT, “sports are cyclical,” said Stone. “You come to work to work. It’s back to selling seats.” Tight-knit staff loyalty contributes to managerial success, said Eric Woolworth, president of The Heat Group’s business operations and Stone’s boss. “Kim is the best in the business and second place is not close,” said Woolworth. “She is the consummate professional, smart as a whip, always prepared and her staff will run through walls for her.” Stone is married to partner Karla JonesStone. The two have a three-year-old son and live in Miami Beach, a commute so close that Stone can sometimes ride her scooter downtown. Stone admitted she’s strongly aggressive. “I have a super-competitive side. Second place is the first loser, right?” E —Laura L. Meyers

Downtown Miami is your destination for business. The Miami Downtown Development Authority is here to assist individuals and businesses expanding or relocating to Downtown Miami and to provide information and connect you with relevant resources. (305) 579-6675





Photo by Jorge Parra


t isn’t clear if it’s his morning yoga or his strong interest in the spiritual teachings of Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now, that make Bernard Lackner, 59, calm and collected despite serving as CEO of the ultra-private Fisher Island Club. Fisher Island’s zip code, 33109, is recognized as the wealthiest in the United States where the average resident’s net worth is $57.2 million — and servicing guests who expect the best of everything could put anyone on edge. But according to Jack Loeb, president of Fisher Island’s Board of Directors, it wasn’t Lackner’s disposition but his experience that made him well suited for the job. “We felt his background and experience with an international clientele, along with his ability to put together a top-rated team, is what we felt the Island members deserved.” Lackner arrived on Fisher Island in 2012 after 20 years as the vice president and general manager of the Hotel Plaza Athenee in New York. His training in the hospitality industry also took place at George V in Paris, the Four Seasons Pierre Hotel in New York City, and the Four Seasons Hamburg, Germany. Actually, Lackner, got his start in hospitality when he was 10 years old and began working at his family’s inn in Hamburg, Germany. Lackner does feel at ease in his position, although he admitted there was a certain learning curve from being the general manager of a hotel to being a CEO of a private club. Loeb agreed that there was an adjustment period for Lackner. “Coming from the hotel world to the club world is a transition that would be difficult for anyone to make,” he said. “When you’re in the hotel industry you have guests who are there one night and leave. We have members who live here and are here on a regular basis. Each member feels ownership of the club. Each has different expectations and everyone wants his needs met. He (Lackner) has to balance dealing with our members and guests on a day-to-day basis.” Since the beginning, Fisher Island has always been the private playground for the ultra-wealthy. The Vanderbilt Mansion, which serves as the clubhouse, was built in the 1930s to serve as the winter retreat for William K. Vanderbilt II, great-grandson of Cornelius. The historic estate is a 200-acre island community that encompasses more than 700 villa-like condos and a handful of freestanding homes.

Photos Courtesy of Fisher Island Club

RIGHT: Fisher Island Beach Club

Over the past few years Fisher Island’s reputation has taken a bit of a hit. Lackner was brought in to revamp the operation as well as to bring the ongoing $60 million program for upgrades to the grounds and facilities to an end. “We felt we needed someone who could take us to a new level,” said Loeb. “It is hoped that the upgrades and improvements to the island will assist with increasing the island’s real estate values. The biggest change Loeb has seen since Lackner’s arrival is in operations. “He has upgraded our staff and management departments. He has brought in third-party training on a regular basis, and has been devoted to team building. He instills a spirit that the staff is here to serve the members.” “My priority was to get the right team. Once you have the right people, it begins to work as it should,” said Lackner. “The key is to offer service with consistency and continuity.” For his 40 direct reports, Lackner instituted a performance-driven managerial structure. However, he recognizes the importance of employee retention and each month has lunch with 35 employees. “Our business is somewhat seasonal and employee retention is key. It is important to recognize and value employees.”

ABOVE: Fisher Island Courtyard Villa - Jacuzzi LEFT: Fisher Island SPA

On Lackner’s desk sits a frame with the phrase, “Non-reactivity is a strength—not a weakness.” It is Lackner’s belief that in many situations it is better not to have an immediate emotionally driven response, but to step back. “Many times we immediately react to complicated situations with emotions, it is better to take a pause. With maturity comes an understanding that you can be credible without shooting from the hip. If you are reflective and contemplate, you can make decisions and evaluate different outcomes,” said Lackner. E APRIL 2014



MARIA DEL VALLE HERNANDEZ Executive Director ArtCenter / South Florida



Photo by Donna Victor


ow in its 30th year, ArtCenter/South Florida, under the direction of Maria Del Valle Hernandez, recently received a $120,000 Knights Arts Challenge grant to create new programs to lure global artists to South Beach’s Lincoln Road. Through the grant, Del Valle, 49, executive director of the nonprofit contemporary art center, is injecting new life into Miami’s visual arts community and creating new residency fellowships for artists. “We hope to retain local artistic talent and seek to attract new artists to Miami,” she said. Del Valle is establishing an international advisory committee to find emerging artists from multiple disciplines for one- and twomonth residency stays, as well as working artists who are seeking studio space.

Photos Courtesy of ArtCenter/South Florida

The Center opened in 1984 as a catalyst for reinvigorating the dilapidated Lincoln Road and revitalizing the area the center has been credited with into a thriving colony for artists. Today, the Center’s three galleries, built in the 1930s with fully updated interiors, front Lincoln Road. “We want to attract the local cultural crowd that stopped coming to South Beach for a cultural event by strengthening and expanding our programs to other disciplines,” Del Valle said. Del Valle’s artists, with nearly 40 current residencies, curate storefront exhibits at the local Walgreens and at Miami Beach city buildings and hotels. Partnerships and arts education programs with Books & Books, Miami Children’s Hospital, Celebrity Cruises, and Miami Beach Senior High are underway, helping the ArtCenter/South Florida create a deeper local imprint. “We want to make Miami a cultural destination beyond Art Basel and provide Lincoln Road with high quality culture,” she said. More than 100,000 visitors—driven by foot traffic, tourist promotions and local events—are projected this year. “We think it is important to remain on Lincoln Road and keep a strong presence, as we are the only cultural nonprofit left,” Del Valle said. This past October, Del Valle launched a free two-hour Wednesday night event “Impromptu: culture at your own pace” offering gallery performances by New World Symphony fellows. The Center’s Surreal Saturday Studio Crawl, showcasing art and cocktails, is well attended on the first Saturday of each month. Passionate and with a lively energy, Del Valle believes in artists as givers, not takers, and is known as an artists’ advocate.

ABOVE: Mallozzi, Moodswing Mad Glad Sad 2010 11” x 8.5” each BELOW: Pratorius, Hive 2013, 24” x 12” x 14”

“Artists are creative people. They are strong, temperamental and sensitive. They don’t think like the rest of us mortals,” she said. Artist Xabier Basterra, a center resident who founded an artist-run gallery in London, described Del Valle as “open to proposals from artists and very approachable. She hopes to attract talented contemporary artists in a more rigorous way.” Del Valle served as executive director and cultural advisor to the Consul General of Spain. She oversaw Madrid’s Center for the Creation of the Arts before returning to her Miami to oversee the Center in January 2012. Del Valle is “intelligent, driven, creative and open-minded,” said Center board member Kathy Kissik. “These (qualities) emulate the qualities necessary to be a successful artist. She has the big picture in mind and is not deterred by obstacles.” Del Valle holds a degree in law and a master’s in cultural management and is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. She also directed Madrid’s Abadia Theater and managed a Planet Event touring company throughout Latin America. Beyond Lincoln Road, Del Valle’s future goals include finding an additional building to attract sculptors and artists working with largescale mediums. “We are taking advantage of Art Basel. People from all over the world are now looking at us (Miami Beach) as a cultural destination.” E —Laura L. Meyers

APRIL 2014


Photo by Jorge Parra



Superintendent, Broward County Public Schools


roward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie, 52, heads up the county’s largest employer, the nation’s sixth largest school district, and is launching digital innovations that include Florida’s only partnership with, a national technology program. Besides dissecting frogs in the classroom, students will learn how to dissect and write computer code. is a $10 million nonprofit through the partnership with Microsoft and other tech giants. Ultimately, computer science will become a core course in district schools. The district, with a $3.2 billion annual budget, is “like a Fortune 500 company,” with 25,000 employees, 36 million square feet of space, 1,200 school buses and 30 million annual meals, said Runcie. The district is one of the nation’s most diverse, with students from 200 countries speaking 150 languages. “Diversity is a huge strength to build on,” he said.



The state’s only technical high school will open in August with 150 freshmen. The kids will take supervised online and face-to-face classes. Another Runcie tech initiative gave 3,200 fifth graders and teachers from 27 elementary schools laptops and access to online learning tools. The 6-foot 4-inch-tall Runcie, who some say resembles actor Eddie Murphy, has earned a strong endorsement from the school board, with an additional five-year $275,000-salaried contract, through October 2019. While annual per-pupil state allocations of about $7,000 are lower than seven years ago, Runcie’s internal efficiencies are helping to “maximize what we’re doing,” said Lauri Rich Levinson, Broward’s school board president. This year, the district will pay a $200,000 state penalty for not meeting class size caps at 21 students. Without internal restructuring masterminded by Runcie, the fine would have been $1.1 million.

An agreement spearheaded by Runcie to curb the “school house to jail house” pipeline set up new guidelines for handling campus nonviolent misdemeanor offenses. Of 685 students referred to a diversion program, only 25 were repeat offenders, said Runcie. Runcie began his Broward tenure in October 2011, hired largely to clean up the district’s bureaucracy and previous mismanagement. A former chief of staff to the Chicago Public Schools Board of Education, Runcie was recruited by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan when Duncan worked in Chicago. Runcie, the son of Jamaican immigrants, was the first in his family to attend college. He holds an economics degree from Harvard and a Masters in business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Runcie credits his success to “public education and great teachers who embraced me as a student,” said Runcie. E —Laura L. Meyers

We are Proud to Honor the 2014 Inductees Miami Dade College



Alumni Hall of


2014 INDUCTEES ARCHITECTURE JAVIER F ONT Architect and Principal Behar Font & Partners P.A.

ENGINEERING BRENDA J. W ESTHORP President Westhorp & Associates Inc.



FILM K EVIN S HARPLEY President and CEO Kijik Multimedia Inc.

LAW M ICH AEL M ATTIMORE Attorney Allen Norton & Blue P.A.

COMMUNICATIONS C RISTINA A LFARO Director of External Diverse Partnerships McDonald’s Corp.

FINANCIAL SERVICES LUIS A. C ASTELLANOS Managing Director Bank of America Merrill Lynch


CONSTRUCTION M ANNY G ARC ÍA -TUÑÓN President Lemartec Engineering & Construction Corp. CULINARY ARTS S TEVEN H. H AAS Owner City Hall the Restaurant DENTISTRY A URORA C ALVO -M ENENDEZ Dentist Aurora Dental Group PA EDUCATION A NA L. C ORDAL Principal Renaissance Elementary & Middle Charter School

FUNERAL SERVICES FERNANDO C ABALLERO Owner and President Ferdinand Funeral Homes LLC HEALTH CARE LOURDES RIVAS CEO Simply Healthcare Plans Inc. HOSPITALITY & TOURISM H ENRY A. DELG ADO General Manager Smith & Wollensky Restaurant JOURNALISM – BROADCAST E. R. B ERT M EDINA Vice President and General Manager WPLG–TV

MARKETING & ADVERTISING RO BERTO C APÓ Chief Marketing Officer El Dorado Furniture Corp. MEDICINE DR. DEISE G RANADO -V ILLAR Chief Medical Officer Miami Children’s Hospital NONPROFIT SECTOR N ANNETTE M. Z APATA Chief Operating Officer Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden NURSING LOURDES C AMPS Chief Nursing Officer Hialeah Hospital

PERFORMING ARTS – VISUAL C HARO O QUET Founding Executive Director and Curator Edge Zones Art Projects PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION JUAN M. K URYLA Director Designee PortMiami PUBLIC SAFETY – FIRE E RIC LAN G Fire Chief Village of Key Biscayne PUBLIC SAFETY – POLICE J.D. PATTERSON J R. Director Miami-Dade Police Department PUBLIC SERVICE A MBASSADOR S IMON F ERRO Attorney Gunster Law Firm SPORTS PLÁC IDO E. POLAN C O Second/Third Baseman St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins TECHNOLOGY DANIEL RODRI G UEZ Chief Technology Officer United Data Technologies Inc.

For more information on tickets or sponsorships, please contact us at 305-237-7287 or online at

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Photo by Donna Victor





Principal, Lombardi Properties

Photo by Isaac Zapata


avid Lombardi may appreciate a good taco, but he most definitely appreciates the artist Kenton Parker who created the realistic taco stand that sits in the middle of his real estate office located in Wynwood. Actually there is art everywhere in Lombardi’s office—on the walls, stacked against the wall in the conference room, and on the floor of his office. Lombardi is not only passionate about art but also in establishing Wynwood as Miami’s art district. Lombardi, 47, has been spearheading the change and development of Wynwood since 2000, when he saw the area’s potential and began purchasing dilapidated buildings, old industrial centers, and worn-out warehouses. “I struggled for two-and-half years to be able to begin to build and invest in the area. I wanted to build Wynwood Lofts but I couldn’t get a loan. But, Jess Longhorn, head of community development at Wachovia Bank (at the time) understood my vision and made the loan commitment,” he said. The allure of Wynwood for artists is a perfect example of how even the bleakest of places can be transformed.“Wynwood is a case study on how art can change a community,” said Lombardi. Lombardi developed his appreciation for real estate and acquiring properties while a student at Miami Beach Senior High. The father of a friend use to take him to look at buildings and talk about what he should look for in a property. When he was 20, he took the $40,000 he earned at his first job and bought his first building. “I loved the process,” he said. After a few years of owning a restaurant on 41st street, Lombardi became a real estate broker. His first year he took $35,000 of the $60,000 he earned in commission to buy another building; the next year he took $60,000 of his $100,000 in commission to buy yet another building. And in 1999, Lombardi went out on his own and established Lombardi Properties. Fast forward 14 years, and Lombardi is still as committed to Wynwood as ever. Continuing to work with some dedicated landlords like the late Tony Goldman and his daughter Jessica Goldman Srebnick, Lombardi worked to develop

the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID); the area’s businesses have agreed to tax themselves to be able to invest in street cleaning, corner garbage cans, security, and street lights. The Wynwood BID will work to give the businesses in the area a unified voice. For instance, it will work to get Miami-Dade County to increase the density for residential units in the area. But, regardless of how Wynwood grows and develops, Lombardi guarantees he won’t forget his commitment to supporting the area’s artists. “It is the responsibility of those who own the property to reserve space for the little guy,” he said. In Lombardi’s office there is already space reserved for artists, designers, or other creative types. As part of his storefront he has created a pop-up shop/space which he rents for $950 per month for up to six months. Currently an

artist who was dying to own a gallery is trying her luck in the space. Lombardi is so personally invested in the area that he is currently building a 3,000-square-foot loft on top of his Terminal Lofts building and will be selling his home on Allison Island and moving into the area full time. And although Lombardi has been committed to the area for the past 14 years and has four exceptional sites he will develop over the next 12 to 15 years, he believes Wynwood is still in its infancy. “I believe in three years you won’t be able to recognize Wynwood,” said Lombardi. E

David Lombardi in his office next to the taco stand sculpture created by artist Kenton Parker

APRIL 2014


Photo by Ada Stevens / Snap Happy Photos



OSCAR BRAYNON II The state senator for District 36 knows infrastructure is the key to a thriving business community.

APRIL 2014



or State Senator Oscar Braynon II, attracting business to his district is all about establishing the fundamentals. Braynon’s District 36 encompasses the majority of Northeast Miami-Dade County and parts of Southern Broward County. While slices of the district, including a portion of Miramar, are home to the offices of some large company’s, Braynon said he would like to see more corporations move to the area. “There are pockets that are great for development but have serious infrastructure problems,” said Braynon. Braynon went on, the goal is,

State Senator Oscar Braynon in his district office. “Putting infrastructure in place to encourage businesses to come. That’s thinking way long term, because once you put that in, it’s there forever. And now we’ve got another ten, twenty years of businesses flourishing in… District 36.” When it rains, he explained, trucks can’t get through and the roads have potholes costing companies time and money repairing 28


broken axles and flat tires. It’s a lot of leg work to get that infrastructure but “That’s the job of government.” By the time Braynon leaves office he would like someone to say, “We used to have this abandoned warehouse district in Opa-locka or in unincorporated Dade and now it’s flourishing, it’s our new industrial park.” Braynon previously was part of a multi-year, multi-jurisdictional effort improving main corridors, including Miami Gardens Drive. The work included replacing septic tanks with sewer lines and adding sprinklers to the median strip. Braynon and the City of Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert III, grew up close to each other.“We have a lot of the same views, a lot of the same passion for making Miami Gardens a wonderful place to live for all of its residents,” said Gilbert. One of Gilberts’ area of focus is to have places in the city where people can earn money and also spend money. Braynon echoed this sentiment and added, “We really want to encourage the development of restaurants and entertainment establishments You can’t go to the movies in my district.” The largest employer in the district, Braynon said, is Sun Life Stadium. Last legislative session he sponsored the stadium renovation bill. “Because that’s my largest employer, of course, I do things to make sure that they are able to employ more people,” he said. Unfortunately, the bill did not make it through the house. “I felt accomplished in that the thing that I was tasked to do—which was to get it passed through the body that I was elected to—I did… Of course I was disappointed that overall we didn’t pass it,” said Braynon. Now, he said, “Nothing’s happening at my largest employer… The more events I can have there the more people will have jobs,” he said. Negotiations continue. Interestingly, it was the stadium that triggered Braynon’s desire to pursue a career in politics.

When he was about 10 years old, he accompanied his parents to meetings about the impact the proposed Sun Life Stadium, as it is known today, would have on his neighborhood. The meetings didn’t much interest Braynon until talk of a planned highway exit cutting his front yard and his beloved Rolling Oaks Park piqued his interest. Once informed, Braynon made posters for picketing outside the county commission. When the stadium was approved, he vowed he would become a politician to protect his neighborhood. “We didn’t completely lose,” Braynon said. The Rolling Oaks Park remains and the stadium’s ownership created a trust to maintain a wall, as well as a park and walking path, that provided a separation between the community and the stadium, he said. “We made the stadium be more responsible.” Braynon has held various roles in the political field and was elected in July 2003 as a councilman for the newly incorporated City of Miami Gardens. Two years later, he was unanimously appointed vice mayor of Miami Gardens. From there, he served as the State Representative for District 103, and in 2011 was elected to his current position. Braynon said the reason he entered politics stands true today. “I would like to be remembered as somebody that made the place where he grew up better than when he got there,” he said. E — Laura Stace

Whether it be a better place to live, a better looking place, a better place to do business, or a better place to educate children, just better in general. Whatever I can do to make this little slice of Florida better.

— Oscar Braynon II

Photo by Ada Stevens / Snap Happy Photos


Photo by Isaac Zapata



President, CEO, and Chief Sushi Officer, Sushi Maki Abe Ng is on a roll to democratize sushi. Although Sushi Maki has five restaurants, the offering of its sushi at nontraditional venues such as the AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami International Airport, University of Miami and high schools throughout the area is giving Ng the competitive advantage. APRIL 2014


THE EDGE of our business – wholesale and catering. Then in 2008, when our restaurant sales plummeted 20 percent, we knew we weren’t going to have conventional growth from the restaurants. We began to look at what we could do to grow the business. I would like to say this type of growth was in our master plan, but really it was what grew out of the opportunities that developed. At the time, the only places that were growing were hospitals, universities, and airports, so we wanted to put sushi in these places. These were captive audiences and with sushi being portable, healthy, and customizable, it was the perfect match.

EXECUTIVE South Florida magazine: Why sushi?

Ng: Sushi Samba is very different. Our place is where people come to spend their own money; it isn’t about corporate accounts. People come here a couple of times a week. We are a neighborhood place. We try to focus on what we are doing, but it is my responsibility to keep an eye on the landscape and what other people are doing.

Abe Ng: My parents are immigrants to this country and opened Chinese restaurants in South Florida. I grew up in the business, but after seeing the hours and sacrifice I wasn’t sure if it is what I wanted to do. For three years, I had a job in the hospitality consulting group at Ernst & Young. But then I started to get the entrepreneurial itch. It is hard to believe, but 15 years ago there was an unmet need in Coral Gables. There weren’t many sushi bars. At the time we had a burrito restaurant concept that wasn’t going well, and we decided to get into the sushi business and established Sushi Maki. EXECUTIVE: How did you expand beyond restaurants? Ng: We had a lucky break when an executive chef from one of the area’s hotels came in and asked if we could supply sushi for its catered events. This allowed us to grow another aspect Sushi Boat with assorted Sashimi, Nigiri and Rolls.

For me, we rarely have the perfect amount of infrastructure for investment. EXECUTIVE: How have you incorporated technology into your organization? Ng: We opened a 10,000-square-foot commissary in Medley Florida in 2009. It is state-of-the-art with advanced equipment including sushi robots. We wanted to be able to make sushi that is fresh and consistent whether you are enjoying it at the airport or in a restaurant. We saw these robots in Japan making high quality sushi in high volume; so,

EXECUTIVE: Your Coral Gables flagship location has a competitor right across the street, how does that impact your business?

EXECUTIVE: What is the most difficult part about being an entrepreneur? Ng: It is a delicate balance between investment and infrastructure. Your goal is to be ahead of the curve. Sometimes you put too much into corporate overhead rather than into technology. Then other times it’s the reverse. It is hard to get the match right.

TOP: Sushi tacos and Lemon Drop roll. BOTTOM: Budda-cane roll. we brought 12 over. Now, we can do several thousand pieces of sushi per day with minimal effort helping to keep the sushi very affordable. EXECUTIVE: What do you see as your company’s weakness? Ng: The weakness in our company is that we are so entrepreneurial we will try any idea; and sometimes we aren’t as disciplined as we should be. EXECUTIVE: Where do you see opportunities for Sushi Maki to grow? Ng: Nobody has really built a national sushi brand, and we see that as an opportunity. E



Photos by Isaac Zapata


f Ng has his way, sushi will be as American as hot dogs and apple pie. He is on a mission to change the way people think about and eat sushi. “Sushi is becoming more and more mainstream. Think about it, it is customizable, affordable and portable,” said Ng. “At the end of the day the most important thing is we create great tasting sushi that is approachable.” It is easy to find Sushi Maki-branded sushi at Miami Heat games, the University of Miami, and high school cafeterias throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. And the fresh sushi offered at South Florida’s six Whole Foods Markets comes with a Sushi Maki label. With 16 food outlets, there is no doubt Ng is building a brand that goes far beyond a chain of sushi restaurants.


With a new administration and vibrant business community, EXECUTIVE South Florida will present an exclusive economic development report on the City of Miami Beach Learn about the City’s future plans and who to watch in 2014

Report will be inserted in the JUNE 2014 issue Limited sponsorship and advertising space available Please call 305.712.7978 for more information



A New Generation Is Reshaping South Florida With their focus on design, the arts, luxury, and sustainability, younger developers are changing the landscape in communities like Coconut Grove, Brickell, Doral, and Wynwood. By Richard Westlund | Photography by Gio Alma

LEFT TO RIGHT: Matthew Whitman Lazenby, President and CEO, Whitman Family Development; Jessica Goldman Srebnick, CEO, Goldman Properties; David Martin, President, Terra Group 32





Roots Run Deep Through the decades, Miami has constantly re-invented itself. In the 1950s, iconic hotels like the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc introduced Miami Beach to the world. Then came the great Cuban migration of the 1960s, followed by the first condominium wave of the 1970s and the construction of downtown’s office towers in the 1980s. Then came the emergence of South Beach as a glittering global destination, followed by the condo boom-bust-boom cycle in the 2000s. Today, Miami-Dade is once again carving out a new identity as a hub for technology and life science companies, building new cultural landmarks, and playing to its long-time strengths in financial services, tourism and retailing. In this time of change, a new generation of real estate/development leaders are making their own marks on the community. “The sons and daughters of company founders understand the disciplines of construction, design, finance and marketing,” said Lewis Goodkin, president, Goodkin Consulting, Miami. “They are creative, high-energy developers who are committed to truly creating a sense of place.” Here are profiles of three of these catalysts of change:


avid Martin believes that in today’s Bay, which will have 96 residences on the site residential real estate market, “less is of the former Grand Bay Hotel. “Unlike most more.” As president of Terra Group, new Miami-Dade condo projects, more than he’s focusing on open spaces, half the buyers are local residents who want to attractive residences, and sustainable live in a laid-back walk-everywhere neighborhood,” communities, rather than trying to maximize said Martin. When the project is delivered in project densities. “We want to create spaces March 2015, it will include a pet spa—one of that can be a sanctuary for someone’s soul, not Martin’s own original ideas. just a shelter from the elements,” he said. “As Terra Group is also planning the redevelopment a Miami native, it’s very rewarding to be able of the 5.5-acre Coconut Grove Bank site, and to shape our city’s future in that positive way.” invited four architectural firms to showcase their Growing up in Miami, Martin says his Cubanideas in a design competition. That project has born parents gave him a strong sense of values, not yet been unveiled, but Martin said and working at the family-owned Bernardo Garcia construction will begin in early 2015. funeral homes provided a sense of connection On Miami Beach, Terra Group’s showcase with people from all walks of life. “I learned that project is GLASS, an 18-story building with it’s important to live every day to the fullest and only ten units – an example of the less is more to think about the legacy you will leave when you pass away,” said Martin, 36, who has a young son and daughter with his wife Christina. In 2001, he co-founded Terra Group with his father Pedro Martin, who’s been his business partner for 13 years. “I appreciate the rare opportunity he gave me,” said Martin. “He allowed me to make mistakes and gave me the wings to fly. As partners, I do a lot of the day-to-day operational work, while he’s the executive decision maker. It’s been invaluable for me to have a father as a mentor—a huge part of success.” Through the years, David Rendering of Grove at Grand Bay, Coconut Grove has led the company’s operations, sales, and marketing initiatives. He also focuses on the acquisition of land, as well as construction and financing of new projects. “As a company we want to be community driven and design driven,” he said. Today, Terra Group has shifted its focus from downtown Miami high-rise residential towers to smaller-scale projects in Coconut Grove, Miami Beach, Doral and other suburban areas. One of Martin’s current projects is Grove at Grand



philosophy. Designed by Rene Gonzalez, the building’s exterior glass panels reflect “the sky, the streets and the people of the South of Fifth neighborhood,” said Martin. Terra Group has also acquired a hotel on Collins Avenue in North Miami Beach that it plans to reposition. On a larger scale, Terra Group is helping to transform the City of Doral by building 1,600 homes in six master-planned communities such as Doral Cay, Vintage, and Las Ramblas. Next

up is the 90-acre Doral Commons mixed-use project, which will have 312 single-family homes and a Publix-anchored retail center. The 3,000- to 4,000-square-foot homes will start in the $600,000s, with larger homes in the $1 million range. Martin added that the homes will feature more garage, storage, and closet space than the standard residence. With its clean, modern design—and plenty of glass—Doral Commons will break the mold of the city’s traditional Mediterranean-style architecture. “Many Venezuelans and Colombians love modern architecture,” said Martin. “We want to offer homes that cater to their tastes while giving them a sense of pride about living in Doral. We are also including parks and open spaces, because they are so important to healthy communities. I think that Doral has a great future, and we’re proud to bring a better offering to the table.” Other Terra Group residential projects are now underway in Palmetto Bay, Sunny Isles, Edgewater, and Southwest Ranches in Broward. Terra Group also has a small office and retail portfolio in Midtown, and owns a large parcel on 36th Street. However, Martin said there are no plans for immediate development. “We have a longer time perspective with emerging neighborhoods, and may create a retail village with a pedestrian plaza on that site,” he said. Reflecting on his career, Martin said one of his personal turning points as a developer came after Terra Group purchased the Freedom Tower in 2004. Martin felt it was important to step back and reconsider the plans for the Tower. “Freedom Tower is a civic anchor for our community,” he said. I’m proud that in 2008 we were able to donate this historic building to Miami Dade College.”

David Martin President, Terra Group

Matthew Whitman Lazenby President and CEO, Whitman Family Development


atthew Whitman Lazenby’s family has deep roots in South Florida real estate. His great-grandfather, William Whitman, Sr., a Chicago resident, first visited Miami Beach with his family in 1912. A decade later, Whitman had purchased retail space on Lincoln Road—the city’s high-end shopping district during the 1920s. Then in 1965, Lazenby’s grandfather, Stanley Whitman, opened Bal Harbour Shops as an exclusive open-air luxury retail center catering to Miami Beach tourists. At that time, there were nine hotels within a mile of the new center, and Bal Harbour Shops was an immediate success.

Growing up in South Florida, Lazenby spent time during the summer doing a minimumwage maintenance work and other odd jobs at Bal Harbour Shops, and also working in the law office of his father, Bob Lazenby. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English at the University of North Carolina, taught English for several years, and became a successful commercial leasing agent in New York. In 2003, Lazenby decided to join his grandfather and his uncle, Randall Whitman, in the family real estate business, and became a leasing agent at Bal Harbour Shops, and quickly assumed more responsibilities as operating partner.

Rendering of Brickell CityCentre on Brickell Avenue, Miami Now, Lazenby, 36, is stepping outside the family’s traditional “comfort zone” by partnering with Hong Kong-based Swire Properties to develop 600,000 square feet of retail space for Brickell CityCentre, a $1.05 billion, mixed-use development scheduled to open in 2015. “For the past 50 years, we have been focused on Bal Harbour Shops,” said Lazenby. “That dedication has paid off as we have continually attracted the world’s top retailers, while expanding our center. It’s been a real shift for us, but we believe that Brickell CityCentre is a natural way for us to expand on our success at Bal Harbour Shops in another area of MiamiDade that is clearly thriving.”

On the personal side, he married Kristin Arbuckle Lazenby in 2009, and they are now raising their son, William Whitman Lazenby. Lazenby earned a master’s degree in real estate at the University of Miami in 2012 and last year was named president and CEO of Whitman Family Development . Meanwhile, the International Council of Shopping Centers named Bal Harbour Shops the world’s top-producing shopping center in 2012, based on its annual sales per square foot. In addition, the Urban Land Institute presented an award for “sustainable retail” to the Whitman family for Bal Harbour Shops.

Today, Lazenby believes the family company has a once-in-a-lifetime moment to make its impact on the Brickell area. “When we surveyed and interviewed customers at Bal Harbor Shops several years ago, it was striking how many were staying at the Mandarin Oriental or other luxury hotels,” he said. “That indicated that Brickell has become a tourist destination, as well as an international hub for financial and business travelers.” That revelation led to a series of discussions with Swire Properties, the Hong Kong-based multinational that developed most of Brickell Key in the 1980s and 1990s and was rapidly moving ahead with the mixed-use Brickell CityCentre project. “While it would be hard to find two more dissimilar partners on the surface, inside we were very much alike,” said Lazenby. “Swire is a seventh generation company run like a giant family business, while we’re in our fourth generation. Both of us look at the future in terms of decades, not quarters, and we had a shared long-term vision for transforming Brickell.” While Lazenby’s family had never gotten into a joint venture before—and Swire had only done a few—the two companies quickly teamed up for the retail component which will include both luxury and premium brands that cater to the emerging Brickell demographics— young professionals, and visitors with disposable income coming to Miami from around the world. Despite the massive scale of Brickell CityCentre, the initial retail phase will be about 600,000 square feet—about the size of Bal Harbour Shops after a planned 250,000-square-foot addition is completed in 2016. “We aren’t trying to duplicate the Bal Harbour Shops experience, as that couldn’t be done,” said Lazenby. “Instead, Brickell will offer an a la carte mix of the best shopping experiences in any major urban city with its own appeal. But we do plan to spend a great deal of time curating our new center, just as we do for Bal Harbour Shops.” Lazenby said he’s having fun making plans for the new retail spaces. He’s also been traveling to luxury shopping centers around the world looking for fresh concepts and ideas to attract both tenants and their customers. “When Bal Harbour opened, every store was independently owned,” he said. “Now, the luxury stores are owned by a handful of companies that want to elevate their brand image while driving growth.” In the long term, Lazenby said his family’s most important contribution will be creating a new social hub for neighborhood residents as well as visitors. “Ten years from now, we think Brickell CityCentre will be the community anchor,” he said. “Our retail shops and restaurants will be an important part of the entire Brickell experience. APRIL 2014


Roots Run Deep


n the late 1980s, New Yorker Tony Goldman recognized the architectural potential of Miami Beach’s aging cluster of Art Deco properties. He began buying properties that could be redeveloped with modern interiors while retaining their distinctive historic appeal, and his efforts played a key role in creating the glamorous global destination of South Beach. Today, his daughter, Jessica Goldman Srebnick, is aiming to transform the “gritty” Wynwood neighborhood north of downtown Miami into a vibrant arts-oriented community with worldwide appeal to creative young professionals. “I think Wynwood has a tremendous opportunity to become a center for the creative class—a place where artists, architects, designers and photographers can collide on the streets and share ideas in a park or cafe,” said Goldman Srebnick, who was named CEO of the family company prior to her father’s death in September 2012. “I think Wynwood in the

“I had thought I would be on South Beach for just a couple of years and go back to New York, but I fell in love with Miami,” said Goldman Srebnick, who married criminal defense attorney Scott Srebnick, and is now a mom with three sons. She’s also busy as a mentor to University of Miami real estate development and urbanism graduate students, and active in Crew Miami, a professional group of women involved in commercial real estate. In 2009, she co-chaired the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Global Leadership Conference in Miami,

“My influence in Wynwood is all about the arts,” she said. “One of my ideas was for ‘Women on the Walls,’ which brought some of the world’s best women street artists to Wynwood.” Goldman Srebnick is also a leader in Wynwood’s real estate market, managing the construction and financial aspects while contributing her ideas to designing residential, retail, and office spaces. “Having concrete floors versus wood boards or exposed brick rather than traditional drywall can make a big difference in creating a sense of authenticity,” she said.

LEFT: Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, Wynwood, Miami TOP: Wynwood Walls, Miami next 10 years will be one of the nation’s most important neighborhoods for the public arts.” Born in New York in 1970, Goldman Srebnick started coming to Miami when she was 16 and her father started buying properties on the “new American Riviera.” She spent five years as an associate fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue in New York before joining the family real estate business in 1997. “One of the many lessons I learned from my dad is that there is a solution for everything, provided you look at it with optimism and hope,” she said. “When he looked at a dilapidated neighborhood, he saw what things could be, rather than what were there now. I try to follow that same philosophy.” Goldman Srebnick took charge of the company’s hospitality division, leading a staff of more than 250 people. Under her leadership, The Hotel of South Beach won a Condé Nast Traveler magazine award in 1999 as one of 31 Top New Hotels. 38


which drew more than 2,400 attendees. Recently, the Florida International University Center for Leadership named Goldman Srebnick one of “50 Prominent Women” who lead businesses in Florida. For the past seven years, Goldman Srebnick has paid increasingly more attention to Wynwood, a long-neglected industrial neighborhood south of the Miami Design District “I think we have a real estate ‘trifecta’ here with each area playing a distinctive role— design, science and the arts,” she said. One of Goldman Srebnick’s first accomplishments was orchestrating the design of Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, that opened in 2010. She also began playing a significant role in “Wynwood Walls,” a highly acclaimed street art museum, and produced a book on the project. In 2011, she was co-producer of the documentary series “Here Comes the Neighborhood,” which explored the transition of the Wynwood Arts District.

Goldman Properties recently opened Wynwood House, a mixed-use project on NE 26th Street that includes commercial space on the first floor, 1,500-square-feet office/studios on the second floor, and 1,000-square-foot live/work rental units on the third floor. “For creative professionals, the office and the living room often blend together, and we want to give them a well-built product with options,” she said. “Like my father told me, people don’t like to be put in a box.” As one of the largest landowners in Wynwood, Goldman Properties has two large development projects in the planning phase that will include residential, retail, and parking components. “With today’s technology, people can do business outdoors or indoors without going to an office. We’re striving to help meet that demand in Wynwood, by creating a community where you can live, work and play. I am really excited about the future of Wynwood.” E

Jessica Goldman Srebnick CEO, Goldman Properties

The Long Term Play After a third consecutive year as a National League East cellar dweller, the Miami Marlins plunged into the free agent market to upgrade their roster and put more wins on the board. But well before the new arrivals signed up, the front office made an off-the-field move to put more fans in the stadium’s seats. By David Lyons | Photography by Jorge Parra

Left to Right: Spencer Linden, Director of Season Ticket Services; Truscott Miller, Director of Suites; Ryan McCoy, VP of Sales and Service; Ryan Bertschman, Director of Sales 40


APRIL 2014


The Long Term Play


rom the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers, Marlins’ management hired sales and marketing veteran Ryan McCoy to help reverse the erosion of ticket sales. It’s revenue base diminished by three straight years of losing, bad public relations, the spectacular flop of the team’s 2012 free agent class, and festering resentment by critics of a $634 million stadium in Miami’s Little Havana, built largely at public expense. As a by-product of a 62—100 record for 2013, the Marlins placed 29th out of 30 Major League Baseball clubs in attendance. The team drew 1,586,322 patrons for a reported average of 19,585 per game at the two-yearold Marlins Park, capacity 36,742 seats.

Ryan McCoy, VP of Sales and Service McCoy, a youthful executive who spent his entire sales career in professional hockey, is a 2001 communications graduate of Loyola of New Orleans. He started his sales career with the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey club. He then moved east to South Florida and spent eight years in the service of the Panthers, Sunrise Sports and Entertainment, and the BB&T Center. 42


His approach for breathing life into the Marlins’ ticket sales: Focus on the amenities at the new stadium and reach out to businesses and consumers one face–to–face meeting at a time. It’s a process, he said, that involves “building very strong relationships with our customers—genuine relationships—where we have a true understanding of what they’re trying to accomplish.” “We are setting face–to–face appointments at a clip that hasn’t been done in a long time,” he added. “We’re seeing fans that didn’t do business with us last year.” McCoy and his staff of more than 40 have lots of sales points that flow from the stadium itself: state of the art meeting facilities that rival the ballroom settings of many downtown hotels; a 73-foot-tall kaleidoscopic sculpture that goes wild when a Miami player whacks a home run; a swimming pool and restaurant that are brand extensions of Miami Beach’s Clevelander hotel; and a retractable roof that shields fans from South Florida’s steamy summers. The new stadium was intended to serve as a difference maker for a ball club that previously was a tenant at Sun Life Stadium, home of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and a more appropriate venue for football and soccer. But in 2012, the first season in the new venue, the jewel quickly lost its glow. Ozzie Guillen, the outspoken, newly signed Venezuelan field manager, made an ill-advised remark about his affinity for Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, a widely reviled figure in the city’s Cuban exile community. Although owner Jeffrey Loria made good on his promise to open his bank account to sign better players, the crop of free agents was a collective bust. A mid-season housecleaning triggered widespread fan resentment, the team finished last in its division at 69–93, and Guillen was sent packing. The second year proved to be a “bridge” period. Year-overyear attendance declined by more than a half million fans, and a roster of largely young and inexperienced players delivered one of the season’s worst records in Major League Baseball, second only to the Houston Astros. “This year, the mantra for his staff,” McCoy said, “is to focus less on the player performance and more on what the sales group can do for would-be customers.”

“We’ve been talking to both defected fans from either our previous base at Sun Life Stadium and fans from the original year at Marlins Park,” he said. “Every sports organization faces its challenges. It’s the nature of our business. We focus on what we can control.” The levers at his disposal are considerable, raging from the entertainment platform offered by the stadium itself to an array of special marketing offerings for fans from diverse backgrounds. For a potentially deep Latin constituency, there are special nights for Colombians, Venezuelans, and Dominicans. For corporate clients, “businessperson specials” are in place for weekday matinee games. “Premium seat Marlins’ Park

Photos courtesy of Miami Marlins, L.P.

owners” are being offered a three-night excursion to San Diego to take in a Marlins road series against the Padres. Back home in Miami, the club offers fans close-ups to pregame batting practices, “chalk talks” with the general manager, postgame meet and greets, and “anything we can utilize to connect our fans more closely to the organization.” “We do a very good job of programming the ballpark on a daily basis,” McCoy said. “It’s one of the top places in South Florida for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs.” The strategy – leveraging the stadium as a platform to customize events for customers— “is probably a very smart idea,” said J.C. Bradbury, chair of the Department of Exercise Science and Sports Management at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. “When you don’t have a good team to sell and the Marlins are not all that hot—you definitely have to sell the venue,” he said. “It’s not just your typical go-to-a-meeting and go to the hotel bar. You get to be at the stadium… use the park for something other than what the park was built for.” Despite the team’s on-field woes, there are organizations that have consistently mixed business with baseball in good seasons and bad. Since 2005, lawyers from the Dade County Bar Association have trooped to the ballpark for

The Marlins celebrating Henderson Alvarez’s no-hitter in 2013 season finale.

continuing–education seminars on legal ethics, a dinner, and a game. Miami attorney David Rothman coordinates the annual event that typically draws between 75 and 100 people. It is a great way, he said, to combine camaraderie with a little education. “It was my idea. I love baseball,” he said. “I teach quite a bit and I thought we could marry the two.” Over the years, the group has heard from Florida Bar officials, judges, and justices, as well as Marlins president David Samson, a lawyer, who at one event explained how the arbitration system works from an owner’s perspective. The lawyers’ event is exemplary of what McCoy hopes to achieve – in multiples. “I think everybody wants to see a competitive game on the field, time in and time out,” said McCoy. But at the end of the day it’s the overall experience that counts, whether it’s for fans doing business with clients, fathers bonding with sons, or families of four taking in a Sunday matinee at the park. “If we can deliver a great experience and have them talk about it for weeks to come we’ve done our job.” E

Built Left to Right: Eduardo Imery, EVP, CFO; Ana Cristina Defortuna, EVP; Edgardo Defortuna, President and CEO; Sebastian Salvat, VP of Development; Andrea Greenberg, VP of Marketing; Ron Choron, VP of Construction

To Last

By Millie Acebal Rousseau | Photography by Jorge Parra

What does it take to thrive in real estate in the Magic City? For Fortune President Edgardo Defortuna, it’s all about people, especially the ones you surround yourself with.


dgardo Defortuna sits at his desk with a window to Brickell Avenue as his backdrop. It can double as moving art. The Argentine native is soft-spoken and polite. But don’t be fooled, he means business. Ask anyone who knows him— clients, partners, employees—and they’ll tell you he has amazing people skills. Defortuna landed in Miami from Córdoba, Argentina by chance. His sister graduated from medical school and wanted to come to Miami for her specialization. Their father agreed to it only if she was accompanied by her brother. Defortuna was supposed to stay in Miami for three months. “They’re still waiting for me to come back,” he said. “I fell in love with the lifestyle.” So much so, he decided to make selling the “lifestyle” his life’s work, and those superb people skills proved a great help. The Defortuna family founded Fortune International Realty in 1983. Defortuna got his start managing properties and taking care of rentals for friends back home. “Word spread around that I was doing good work with the foreigners.” Then came opportunity. The owner of a Brickell real estate company Defortuna worked with was ready to retire, and confident of Defortuna’s management abilities, offered to let him purchase the office with the profits he generated. “I convinced him to sell, and let me manage it.”



Renderings of the new Jade Signature in Sunny Isles He ran the operation, and paid it off in full with profits within four years. He later acquired another company in Coral Gables. Defortuna’s extensive relationships in Latin America gave him a strong understanding of the customer base developers wanted to target back then, and still do today. In the early 1990s, Defortuna started representing the developers in sales and marketing. Then, after years of selling other developers’ projects, he felt confident enough to start building his own, in addition to continuing to market and sell for other real estate players. Expansion meant growing a team. “Many of the people who are with me today started 10, 12, 15 years ago, and stayed with me.” Among them is Ron L. Choron, vice-president of construction, who’s been with Fortune 13 years, and was recruited to help launch the development arm of the company. “What’s impressive about the company is the intelligence of the personnel that are here. They’re very smart people,” said Choron. “Everyone is professional and mature and working for a common goal, and everyone stays out of everyone else’s business.” In fact, micromanaging is not part of Defortuna’s management style. “I’m a great listener; I speak a lot less than I listen,” he said. “After everybody gives their opinion, I do make the decision.” He

Married almost 20 years Ana and Edgardo Defortuna

The Fortune Team has been working together for almost 15 years. admits this collaborative approach often takes longer, but it’s “the way we do things.” If he seems confident in his people, it’s because he chooses those who complement, and supplement, his talents, he explained. The perfect complement is Ana Cristina, who pulls double duty as Fortune’s executive vice-president and Defortuna’s wife. The couple has been married nearly two decades, and early on, she helped with the business, traveling with her husband to South America, and helping to woo international brokers. They’d come to Miami, and she’d treat them like friends and also take them to the sales center. Eventually, Ana Cristina, who hails from Lima, Peru, and has a double major in international business administration and finance from Boston University, also played a role in the development portion of the company. She remains active in Fortune’s business today. “Their chemistry definitely has set a tone for the Fortune family, and the corporate culture that we have, which is what is so unique,” said Andrea Greenberg, vice president of marketing, who has worked for Defortuna since 2000. When speaking about Ana Cristina, Defortuna is more forthcoming. “I’m so blessed to have her, she has a great talent for design and taste, in addition to being an unbelievable

saleswoman,” he said. The duo is inseparable, but he admitted, it took four years to land that first date. “After one time we went out together, we never separated. Six months later we were engaged, and less than a year later, married.” Starting a family would take longer. “Our buildings were like our babies, the way we envisioned them, taking care of them, naming them, creating them,” said Ana Cristina. “That satisfied my motherly instinct.” Today, they are parents to three boys, ages 10, 8 and 6. Like her husband, she believes success takes teamwork. “We are surrounded by an amazing group of people.” One of those people is Fortune’s executive vice president of finance and CFO, Eduardo R. Imery, who came onboard 13 years ago as a senior analyst, and stayed because it’s a work environment that promotes “thinking outside the box.” “You present ideas openly and freely, and it’s not an office where doors are closed,” he explained. Imery refers to Defortuna as a visionary who empowers his people and treats them as part of his family. “He surrounds himself with people that he feels can achieve his vision.” Defortuna also retains people by promoting from within. Sebastian Salvat joined Fortune 12 years ago as a development project manager,

and within two years, took over as vice president of development, the same position he holds today. “We develop from within; we have key people here who have become great assets from the process of experience,” explained Defortuna, who also promotes a nontraditional work environment, sponsoring company trips and even hosting poker nights on Thursdays. The staff often socializes outside of work, just because they want to. “Edgardo has always promoted family in a very special way,” said Salvat. “We go on corporate trips, we get along very well, lunches every Friday, we go out for drinks on special occasions.” Collaboration requires chemistry. “Quality is as important as chemistry,” explained Defortuna. “You have to be very happy at work to make your work stand out and do your best.” When hiring, he added, a person may be capable, but not a great fit. A prospective employee has to have that spark to do well at Fortune. Defortuna has discovered he may have another hidden talent for bringing people together. The “Fortune family,” as everyone there calls it, has produced about nine marriages. “I lost count already,” joked Defortuna. “It wasn’t intended to be that way … it’s not encouraged, but it’s not discouraged.” Luckily, he added, it hasn’t been a problem, except APRIL 2014


Built To Last

maybe that one time when a company/family trip resulted in six pregnancies at the same time. “It has drawbacks; it depletes your workforce,” he said. But life at Fortune is not all fun and play. It can’t be when your company is managing high-stakes projects. Defortuna explains that he focuses on two to three projects at a time in order to pay attention to the details, from selecting architects and designers down to the actual materials that will be used. Details are also critical when partnering with other developers to handle sales and marketing for their projects. Some may see that as a conflict, since Fortune builds its own projects. Again, it comes down to relationships. “Edgardo is a friend; I trust him very much that he won’t do anything that is detrimental to us, like marketing another project over us,” said Jorge M. Pérez, owner and chairman, The Related Group. Fortune handles sales for Related projects. The two real estate powerhouses are also teaming up as co-developers for two projects in Broward – one is named Hyde Resort & Residences Hollywood Beach and another yet to be announced development in Fort Lauderdale. Relationships are important, but so is expertise. “They have a large sales organization that I didn’t want to replicate,” explained Pérez. “They know the Latin American market extremely well, and are well liked not only locally, but around South America,” he added. Daniel Zunker, president of Lynd Development Partners, based in San Antonio, also turned to Defortuna to handle sales and marketing for 48


ABOVE: Pool Deck Restaurant at 1 Hotel & Homes, South Beach RIGHT: Sebastian Salvat, VP of Development; Andrea Greenberg, VP of Marketing; Ron Choron, VP of Construction NINE at Mary Brickell Village, a residential co-development project between Lynd and Starwood Capital Group. ”We interviewed a number of sales teams in Miami, and settled on Fortune,” said Zunker. “It was not a difficult choice. They were the preeminent group. It was clear they were the right organization, and Edgardo was the right man.” Among the reasons, Zunker cited market expertise and Edgardo’s demeanor that exudes confidence without arrogance. While theoretically there may be a misalignment of interest, added Zunker, the opposite is true. “He makes you feel like your project is the only one in the world. We’ve been really happy with their performance.” NINE is already 50 percent under contract. Other projects Fortune has spearhead sales for include 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach (161 residences/406 hotel rooms), Midtown Miami (three mixed-use residential towers), Midblock (boutique condo with 173 units), and 2 Midtown, which representatives say Fortune completed sales of the units within five months. On the development side, Fortune is currently building Jade Signature in Sunny Isles Beach, featuring 192 units (from one + den to five bedroom units, and penthouses). Prices are from $1,950,000 to $26,000,000, with completion estimated for the end of 2016.

The cohesiveness, creative freedom, and empowerment of the executive team are the hallmark of the Fortune story. “We have grown together as a group, as a company … a lot of us have been with the organization over a decade and have been through growth and changes in the real estate industry,” said Greenberg. “In many ways, and through it all, Edgardo has allowed each of us to lead our departments and really do our thing.” His leadership has also allowed the company to flourish and expand into property management, financing, new development sales, and privately owned developments. When Greenberg started, there were about a dozen employees on the corporate level. Today, there are seven just in her department, and the company employs 91 people in addition to Fortune’s 1,000 real estate agents. At the end of the day, for Defortuna, it’s all about leading by example, not words. “He’s the most fair person I’ve met,” said Ana Cristina, who describes him as a gentleman who people respect. “He only speaks when he has something to say,” she explained. “He says very little; but when he says something, it’s going to be very important.” And, people listen. E

H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship Media Sponsor

Reception Sponsor

A Message from the Chairman


welcome you to join me in celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneur’s premier program, the 2014 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. The Huizenga Business School at Nova Southeastern University will host its 25th annual Entrepreneur Hall of Fame induction ceremony and welcome three new members. This year marks an important milestone. From the program’s inception in 1990, the Huizenga Business School has honoured an esteemed class of entrepreneurs, bringing together a remarkable array of knowledge, experience, and wisdom. These world class entrepreneurs exemplify the American dream by not only making an impact on the business community but also contributing to mankind, enriching the lives of many. This year, we are excited to be inducting another class of exceptional entrepreneurs. I’d like to congratulate our 2014 honorees: James Donnelly, Guy Harvey and Manuel Medina. In addition, I’d like thank each of our Hall of Fame members for allowing the Huizenga Business School and Nova Southeastern University to honour them and I look forward to many more years of growth and success. On behalf of Nova Southeastern University’s Board of Trustees and the Huizenga Business School’s Board of Governors, congratulations to our 2014 inductees and my sincere thanks to all Hall of Fame members for their support. Cordially,

Paul M. Sallarulo Chairman, Nexera Medical, Inc. Chairman, Board of Governors, Huizenga Business School Board Trustee, Nova Southeastern University

Unparalleled Unparalleled Property Property Services Services

Congratulations James Donnelly

2014 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Inductee The Nova Southeastern H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship

On behalf of the entire Castle Group team we would like to congratulate James on this very special achievement. Your unwavering commitment to the South Florida community is an inspiration to us all. -Rob Donnelly and Craig Vaughan

800-337-5850 | 12270 SW 3rd Street, Suite 200 Plantation, Florida 33325

A Message from the Dean Dear Friends, It is my privilege to host the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship’s 25th Annual Entrepreneur Hall of Fame program. This year we honour three exceptional entrepreneurs who have shaped local and international business communities. Nova Southeastern University’s Huizenga Business School established the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame program in 1990, selecting world renowned entrepreneurs each year to be inducted into this prestigious class. The award recognizes the entrepreneurs’ drive, innovation, and passion. Appreciating their achievements as outstanding entrepreneurs as well as acknowledging their willingness to contribute time, effort, and financial resources to enhance the quality of life in the communities in which they live. We are pleased to partner with EXECUTIVE South Florida magazine to pay homage to all the entrepreneurs inducted into the Huizenga Business School’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame since 1990. I have the great pleasure of hosting the program’s 25th Anniversary and I congratulate our 2014 honorees: James Donnelly, Guy Harvey and Manuel Medina. Their stories will inspire you and give you an appreciation of what it means to be an entrepreneur. I’d also like to take this opportunity to give thanks to all of our Hall of Fame members for making our world a better place and more thanks to them for joining this select group of Hall of Fame entrepreneurs. I thank BankUnited for being our VIP reception sponsor this year. I look forward to officially welcoming our newest members with BankUnited, and greatly appreciate their support of the Huizenga Business School’s programs. Once again, congratulations to our 2014 honorees and I look forward to having you join us at our 25th Annual Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. Sincerely,

Dr. J. Preston Jones Dean H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business & Entrepreneurship Nova Southeastern University


Founder and Chief Executive Officer Castle Group


ames Donnelly has more than 25 years of experience serving community associations. He is the founder of the property services firm, Castle Group. Donnelly is also a licensed general contractor and licensed community association manager. One of the most successful property services firms in the community association industry, the Castle Group provides a broad spectrum of offerings for condominium and homeowners associations. Donnelly has been a member of the Young Presidents Organization since 1998 and is a past Chair of the Florida Chapter, past Chair of the Southern US Region, and a member of the International Regional Chairs Council. He was recognized as a finalist for the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 Florida Award for demonstrating excellence and extraordinary success in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to his business and community. In 2011, Donnelly was also recognized in the South Florida Business Journal as one of Broward County’s Ultimate CEOs. Donnelly was born in Ottawa, Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Carleton University, and Chartered Accountant designation from the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. He worked for Arthur Andersen before co-founding one of Canada’s fastest growing investment companies. He moved to Florida in 1996. In 2010, Donnelly with his wife established CastleCares, the philanthropic arm of the Castle Group. CastleCares mission is to serve children and families in need throughout the state of Florida.

We congratulate the 2014 inductees and best wishes to

Entrepreneur Hall of Fame on its 25th Anniversary.

James Donnelly Founder and Chief Executive Officer – Castle Group Guy Harvey, Ph.D Artist, Conservationist, Entrepreneur – Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation Manny Medina Founder and Managing Partner – Medina Capital

George Feldenkreis Chairman and CEO and 2012 Hall of Famer

GUY HARVEY, Ph.D. Scientist, Conservationist, Artist


uy Harvey, Ph.D. is an artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist, and explorer. Harvey has traveled the world to gain more knowledge of the behavior and activities of marine wildlife.

He became an avid scuba diver and skilled under water photographer. His personal observations made during these diving expeditions have enabled Harvey to capture incredible detail in his paintings. He became a signature member of the Society of Animal Artists in 1999. In 2011, Harvey was honored as the recipient of the Artists for Conservation’s Simon Combes Conservation Award. He was chosen for a lifetime of extraordinary support of conservation through artistic excellence. As an ardent conservationist, in 1998, Harvey was voted the IGFA’s first Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and inducted into the IGFA Hall of Fame in 2009. In 2010, he received the Vasco Nunez de Balboa Grand Cross, the highest honor the country of Panama bestows on a non-Panamanian; he was honored for his work to preserve and publicize Panama’s marine resources. In 1999, Harvey collaborated with Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Oceanographic Center to establish the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI). Its mission is to provide the scientific information necessary to understand, conserve and effectively manage the world’s marine fishes and their ecosystems. Harvey was born in Lippspringe, Germany. He earned high honors in Marine Biology at Aberdeen University in Scotland. He continued his formal training at the University of West Indies, where he obtained a Doctorate in Fisheries Management. In 2008, Harvey started the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding leading scientists as they develop new strategies for sensible fisheries management and educators, who will create novel instructional programs to stimulate future scientists and new stewards of the marine environment.

MANUEL D. MEDINA Founder and Managing Partner Medina Capital


anuel D. Medina is the Founding and Managing Partner of Medina Capital, a private equity firmed focused on the IT infrastructure and cyber security markets. Medina is also the Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Technology Foundation of the Americas, a non-profit organization focused on advancing the technology ecosystem in Miami. Prior to founding Medina Capital and the Technology Foundation of the Americas, Medina was the Founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO of Terremark Worldwide, Inc., a publicly traded company. He founded Terremark in 1990 and successfully led the company from its beginnings in real estate development to its emergence as a global leader in the IT infrastructure sector until April 2011 when Terremark was acquired by Verizon Communications, Inc. Under his leadership, Terremark distinguished itself as the leading global provider of managed IT infrastructure services for Fortune 500 enterprises and federal government agencies. At Terremark, Medina brought his vision to deliver a comprehensive set of IT infrastructure services from purpose-built, carrier-neutral data center facilities to fruition. Medina was born in Matanzas, Cuba; he immigrated to the US with his family in 1965. After graduating from Miami Beach Senior High School, he enrolled in Miami-Dade College and then Florida Atlantic University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. Medina became a certified public accountant. Medina is the recipient of the 2011 Beacon Council Jay Malina Award, the 2010 St. Thomas University Global Entrepreneur of the Year, as well as the 2010 Claude Pepper Community Builder/ Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also been recognized for his involvement in the community including the 2010 Father of the Year Award from the American Diabetes Association. Medina is the founder of Friends of Little River and a board member of Camillus House.












Leonard L. Farber (deceased) George W. Gill (deceased) August Urbanek (deceased)

Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr. Louis W. Parker (deceased) David H. Rush (deceased)




Shepard Broad (deceased) H. Wayne Huizenga R. David Thomas (deceased)


Ronald G. Assaf Robert L. Elmore (deceased) Garth C. Reeves

Joseph C. Amaturo Phillip Frost Michael S. Egan

Armando M. Codina Jim Moran (deceased) Jack A. Smith


Hans J. Hvide (deceased) Frederick G. Ruffner, Jr. Kay Smith (deceased)


Bernard Marcus James R. McKinley (deceased) Robert A. Steele (deceased)

William J. Armstrong Carl DeSantis William D. Horvitz (deceased) Terry W. Stiles

George Dean Johnson, Jr. Rowland Schaefer (deceased) Morton Terry, D.O. (deceased)


Ronald M. Bergeron Steven J. Halmos Edward E. Iacobucci


Rick Case Harris W. Hudson Keith Koenig Kevin Koenig (deceased)


















Michael Bienes James A. Cummings Alan B. Levan

Walter L. Banks Shaun M. Davis

John E. Abdo Frederick A. DeLuca Thomas J. Miller


William D. Matz Albert J. Miniaci Ramon A. Rodriguez Barry G. Ross


Arthur J. Falcone Charles L. Palmer Kaye A. Pearson (deceased)


Mitchell W. Berger Mike Jackson Don Taft (deceased)

James R. Dunn Kurt J. Langsenkamp Michael E. Maroone

William E. Mahoney, Jr. Beverly Raphael Altman John H. Schnatter



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Joel L. Altman George Feldenkreis Philip P. Smith



Jeffrey L. Berkowitz Miles Austin Forman James E. McDonnell IV


Armando Leighton, Jr. Felix S. Sabates, Jr. Thomas H. Shea







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Standing Firm The Miami office of Hunton & Williams was founded in 1999 as an outpost for the esteemed 113-year-old Virginia law firm. Originally established to tap into the burgeoning international sector, the 15-year-old Miami office is among the firm’s top performers. It’s even managed to infuse some Hispanic flavor into Hunton’s southern culture. By Jeff Zbar | Photography by Jorge Parra

APRIL 2014


Standing Firm


ally Martinez offered an apology as he walked into the 25th floor conference room at Hunton & Williams’ Brickell Avenue office. He was coming off a series of calls that left him a bit behind schedule. But he was genial and ready to talk—about the office, the firm, and what brought a longestablished Virginia law firm to Miami. Maybe his energy flowed from a busy morning. Maybe it was the three cups of cafecito—or Cuban coffee—he’d already had before 10 am. “This is the only office with an espresso maker on every floor,” said Martinez of the Miami location, which this year celebrates its 15th anniversary. On first blush, Hunton & Williams opening a Miami office could have had failure written all over it. The firm was an esteemed Virginia law firm steeped in southern tradition and legal culture. In one review, legal publication Chambers Associate called Hunton, “An influential firm on the mid-Atlantic legal scene [that] brings a sprinkling of ‘southern charm’ to the practice of law.” That partners scouting Hunton’s first Florida office in the late 1990s decided on Miami— and selected among its founding partners three Hispanics—could have been dicey. After all, Miami and Richmond, Virginia, arguably are separated by much more than 1,000 miles. The practice of law may not change much from one office, city or region to another. But ethnicity and culture in some ways could have made the two cities worlds apart. Instead, the intervening decade and a half has proven Hunton & Williams has built a bona fide success story on its southern border. Wally Martinez, Managing Partner of Hunton & Williams LLP

Building on its Legacy Founded in 1901, Hunton & Williams has served both the government and private industry alike. Its Pennsylvania Avenue address has about 150 attorneys just blocks from the White House and Capitol. Before he was named a US Supreme Court Justice, Lewis Powell had been a partner at the firm for 25 years. But by the 1990s, the firm’s key practice areas – litigation, business practices, regulatory/ 52


government relations, and international—were moving south. Not just farther south in the US, but into Latin America and the Caribbean. Even Ibero-America was showing up on client queries. The firm’s partners knew they had to be in Florida. They visited, vetted, and eliminated from their list Jacksonville, Tampa, and Orlando. They were looking for a major plaintiffs market where a firm could focus on regional dispute resolution and an always-growing international book of business. They wanted a large US

Federal Court. They wanted an office in a business capital for Latin America. They chose Miami. And they selected local attorneys Martinez, co-founding partners Sam Danon and Juan Enjamio, and former founding partner Marty Steinberg—all from the Miami office of Holland & Knight—to hang Hunton’s shingle in temporary space in downtown Miami Center adjacent to the Hotel InterContinental. Now based on Brickell Avenue, the offices logistically and culturally are as far as one can

travel along the East Coast and still be in a center of US business and law. In many ways, though, the Miami office is no different from any other of Hunton’s 19 offices in the US, Bangkok, Brussels, Beijing, London, and Singapore. Power up a dormant PC in the morning and the screen says, “One Firm, Shared Values, One Goal”—just as it does at the desks of 739 attorneys—give or take— around the world. That roster makes Hunton 51 st on the National Law Journal’s 2013 NLJ 350 ranking of America’s largest law firms. The firm is 57th on the 2013 Am Law 100, with $557 million in gross revenue (though some discrepancy arises, as the firm’s fiscal year ends on March 31st—after Am Law’s publication deadline). The partners built an office that became more than Hunton’s outpost in the gateway city to the Americas, said Martinez, who today is Hunton & Williams’s managing partner. They were handling Hunton work from across the US and internationally. “Within 12 months, half my case load was from historic Hunton clients,” said Martinez, who since has been named by the National

Law Journal as one of the nation’s “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers.”

The Challenge of Miami Building the Miami office was no small feat. At the time, though it had the second-largest federal court in the country—larger than Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles—Miami had not been seen as a primary legal market, said Thurston Moore, Hunton’s chairman emeritus who was the managing partner who helped negotiate the opening of the Miami office. “Opening here (Miami) can be tricky,” he said. “An office needs an ethos that’s multicultural and attorneys and staff who are fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, as well as English.” It was a cultural breadth many new partners would have to navigate. Then Moore “came across this wonderful band of brothers” from Holland & Knight, a firm that had nurtured its partners in a fashion similar to how Hunton developed its own, he said. Enjamio had been a partner at Holland for three years when Martinez and Danon arrived as clerks in 1991. The two soon were named associates, and later partners. While at Holland,

the three partners came to know one another through case work, often collaborating on client projects and various assignments, said Enjamio. Friendships eventually grew. “We respected each other as lawyers, but at another level, through years of working together, we got to know each other as people,” he said. “We had a lot of personal values that we shared, and an enthusiasm for building something together.” This was evident in the meetings—held in Richmond and Miami—between Moore’s team and its prospective partners. They were “citizen lawyers” who had a quality of training and education that Hunton was looking for. Each was the child of immigrants—or an immigrant himself, in the case of Enjamio—raised in a household where Spanish was the native tongue. After a few meetings, the fit was obvious, said Moore. “When you do these transactions, the greatest risk is not having a good cultural or social fit,” he said of negotiating the office’s opening. “After dinner, you felt like you just had dinner with your partners. The minute I met Wally, I said, ‘That’s going to be my successor.”

Juan C. Enjamio, Managing Partner of Hunton & Williams’ Miami Office and Head of the Labor and Employment Team in the Miami Office APRIL 2014


Standing Firm

Samuel A. Danon, Head of Hunton and Williams’ litigation department and member of the firm’s Executive Committee 54


Like most law firms, Hunton grew by building and strengthening relationships and reputations. The attorneys had connections across the business and legal communities, which they tapped to help grow the fledgling office. As work arrived, Danon, Martinez, and Enjamio, as well as transactional attorney Fernando Alonso, who came with more than a dozen attorneys from Greenberg Traurig in 2001, each would confer amongst themselves and other firm attorneys on client assignments. Their roles were clear. Enjamio, now Miami’s managing partner, brought complex employment and labor litigation experience. Martinez focused on business litigation and white collar criminal defense. Alonso was a transactional attorney and now chairs the firm’s Latin American practice group. Danon was an experienced litigator and today heads Hunton’s litigation practice. He is also a member of its executive committee. Taking that expertise—and cultural poise— across borders is an invaluable intangible that won’t show up among billable hours. Danon recently returned from a week alongside a non-Spanish-speaking US client on a South American visit. After their return to Miami, Danon and the client dined together. The client confided in Danon on how his Spanishspeaking ability enabled the attorney to get to the heart of very sensitive matters. “I don’t think you truly appreciate the value you just provided us,” Danon recalled the client telling him. Value often translates into referrals. When a Hunton client in Colombia was talking with another business executive who was lamenting on the need for a culturally astute business law firm, the client mentioned Hunton. That business executive was from spirits company Diageo North America, which hired Hunton in 2000. Diageo remains a Hunton client to this day. As senior vice president and general counsel at Diageo—and previously its regional counsel for Latin America and the Caribbean— Tara Hunt has overseen much of the Diageo– Hunton relationship. She relies on Danon, Martinez, and the firm’s other partners for more than legal advice. She seeks their business acumen. “I want someone who’s curious, asks the right questions, and helps achieve our business goals,” said Hunt. “As I look across the law firms with whom I work, Sam and Wally stand out with an understanding of our end-toend work. They’re driven by a genuine curiosity about what makes a business tick and then exploring how to make that happen.” Alonso agreed. Hunton’s largely institutional client base, coupled with its attorneys’ business focus, creates an alluring atmosphere for “entrepreneurial partners who can work in an institutional setting,” he said.

“The firm operates as a true partnership where every partner looks to benefit the whole,” said Alonso. Martinez sought that client-side institutional setting when, in 2004, he left Hunton to become Diageo’s senior vice president and general counsel. He returned to Hunton two years later and today recalls his time at Diageo as being akin to graduate-level business school. “In a corporation, you had to be a strong business leader,” said Martinez, “and you had to be sound on the law.” That business savvy and legal skill have been clear to some outsiders for years. Wifredo “Willy” Ferrer met Martinez and fellow Miamian Danon while the three were at University of Pennsylvania Law School. He and Martinez, whom he met at a law school mixer, both joked about their nicknames, “Willy” and “Wally.” Ferrer and Danon later clerked for federal judges. Today, the two are very close friends. From the start, Martinez exuded leadership, and Danon possessed an ability to handle “stressful legal situations … with composure, tact and expertise,” said Ferrer, the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. “That’s a combination of skills which aren’t always present in the best of lawyers,” said Ferrer.

A Culture of Giving Back Outside the courtroom, or even in the courtroom but with clients of a different socio-economic stripe, Hunton is recognized for its pro bono efforts. The firm donates at least three percent of total billable hours to pro bono services and all its attorneys participate in such efforts. The firm was among nine selected to the National Law Journal’s 2013 Pro Bono “Hot List”—one of only two firms named twice since the award’s inception. Giving back often becomes the face of a firm, said R. Alexander Acosta, dean of the Florida International University College of Law. He knows Martinez and Enjamio, and has witnessed the firm’s community outreach under their leadership. When the school started a scholarship for first-generation American law students, Enjamio—a Cuban émigré who arrived in Miami when he was 10—was one of the first to underwrite a student’s education, said Acosta. He’s also done pro bono outreach for local veterans, particularly as they’ve returned from deployment abroad. “Even though he’s part of a national firm, he’s part of Miami,” said Acosta of Enjamio. “I believe they needed to make themselves part of the community, and Juan has done that.”

Fernando C. Alonso, Chairman of Hunton and Williams’ Latin America Practice Another beneficiary of the firm’s pro bono outreach is Legal Services of Greater Miami Inc. Executive Director Marcia Cypen said Hunton spreads cases around the firm to share its attorneys’ expertise. The firm also steps up for larger projects. When Legal Services launched in 2009 its inaugural “Together, We Must” campaign to raise money and awareness to provide free legal aid to needy South Florida residents, some firms wrote checks, she said. Others provided hours of free help. Hunton did both, and continues to do so today. “They showed a lot of leadership in taking pro bono cases and developing resources for us in terms of deepening the connection between law firms and the community,” said Cypen. Whether helping the community or counseling clients, Martinez, Enjamio, Danon, and Alonso each has his own belief as to why the firm’s

model has worked. The founding partners were ambitious, community-minded, and focused on shared success. “There’s a sense that you want to succeed in your practice and do something great,” said Enjamio. “You want to be associated with great lawyers who are good people. We’ve pretty much succeeded in that.” They’ve strengthened the firm’s role throughout the Miami and Latin American business and legal markets, and along the way have infused a taste of Hispanic culture and South Florida living into the firm. Now, even the New York office has an espresso maker. “I don’t think that anyone thought we’d be as important a force here as we became. It was a lot of good fortune and collaboration,” said Enjamio. “We certainly spiced things up a bit.” E APRIL 2014


Building on the Edge Developers Reid Boren and Taylor Collins hope a novel beachfront condo in Miami’s East Edgewater district will draw those seeking the waterfront lifestyle. By Jeff Zbar | Photography by Jorge Parra



APRIL 2014


Building on the Edge


eid Boren and Taylor Collins are well aware of what is probably the most commonly cited axiom in real estate. “Location, location, location.” It’s recited like an aphorism, whether by developers or buyers, realtors or retailers. These days, though, Boren and Collins adhere to a different motto. “If you’re going to be on the water,” said Boren, “be on the water.” That’s what the co-managing partners of Eastview Development LLC, have in mind with their 2.68-acre parcel in Miami’s emerging East Edgewater bay–front community. Perched at the edge of Biscayne Bay, the parcel will be home to Biscayne Beach, a luxury condominium with direct water frontage that will deliver foreverunobstructed views. Five years ago, few would have ventured such a move. Once a blighted, don’t-go-there zone, East Edgewater today is the fast-growing, northern boundary of Miami’s emerging 24-7 urban center. It borders Biscayne Boulevard from Northeast 17th Street and the Venetian Causeway north to the Julia Tuttle Causeway. To the south are the AmericanAirlines Arena, the Perez Art Museum Miami, and the under

Reid Borens and Taylor Collins, co-managing partners at Eastview Development LLC.



The Beach—Redefined Biscayne Beach is somewhat of a misnomer. The beach will be 1,200 tons—or about 120 truckloads—of sand spread over almost 13,000 square feet facing the bay. The resulting private, residents-only beach club will have lounge chairs, fire pits, and very high-end finishes. There will be an infinity-edge pool, cabanas, and a beach bar. Boren, a restauranteur with four upscale eateries and bakeries in Palm Beach County, is negotiating with an international restaurant to open on site. Across the 25-foot public easement mandated by Miami 21, the city’s land use and urban planning code, where land meets bay, will be 335 feet of newly built seawall. Residents will have access to three small piers where they

Rendering Courtesy of Eastview Development

Rendering of aerial view of Biscayne Beach, East Edgewater, Miami Residences

construction Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science. Nearby are the Design District, and Wynwood Arts District, and to the west and south are Midtown and downtown Miami. Luxury shopping, like Hermes, Dior Homme, and scores of other exclusive retailers, and high-end dining establishments have arrived. “If you’re blocks away from Hermes,” said Boren, “you’re in a good neighborhood.” Travel along Biscayne Boulevard and turn east on 29th Street. Drive past the Corpus Christi Catholic Church, the one- and twostory Spanish-style homes and vacant lots for sale, and the lattice of condo towers rising high beside the road. At the end, where the road meets the seawall is the future home of Biscayne Beach.

County, where their business is based. To avoid a daily 75-mile commute to 29th and Biscayne, they maintain a Miami condo near the AmericanAirlines Arena. Collins, 37, is a fifth-generation Floridian and third-generation developer, born in Leesburg and raised in Ocala where his father owns thousands of acres and built thousands of homes. Young Collins grew up working the lumber yard and riding with the workmen who delivered concrete to job sites. Boren, 42, arrived in Florida from New York in 1989 and graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park. He began his real estate career in residential and commercial mortgage and equity management, helping developers secure construction loans and managing sales teams. Collins brings land-use and development experience. Boren is a marketer, brander, and sales closer. Collins started poking around the Miami market about three years ago. Their interest piqued by what the two thought would be a resurgent market in a growing cultural and international destination, “We decided to take a chance,” he said. They looked at Brickell and North Beach, but the bay’s western edge caught their eye. “We really liked what was happening in the Edgewater area,” said Collins. In 2013, their development team – including backer GTIS Partners – spent $31 million on 2.68 acres of prime bay–front property.

Photo by Jorge Parra

The Next Condo Boom

can launch kayaks and paddle boards kept in an onsite storage shed. “You’ll be able to take your paddle board from storage, walk it out and get into the bay,” said Collins. “You’ll get to experience one of the real treasures of Miami.” The Biscayne Beach condo itself will rise 52 stories with 399 luxury residences starting in the $400,000s. All will offer floor-to-ceiling glass, and depending on particular orientation, views of Miami’s western expanse, or the bay and Miami Beach. The developers said they’ve already taken a reservation for one of the “Sky Penthouses,” with its own private rooftop pool and garden terrace. Published prices for such lofty luxury: $9 million. After talking with real estate brokers and scoping the competition, they’ve included Snaidero cabinetry and Miele appliances— “things Edgewater has never seen,” said Collins. Their hope is that by stepping up standard

amenities in what will be larger-than-standard units, they will attract buyers. “That’s been a very conscious decision for us,” said Collins. “We might make a little bit less, but we’ll stand out among some great projects.” The concept seems to be working. Before the sales center on Biscayne and 30th Street even opened in February, Biscayne Beach had taken reservations on more than 70 percent of its units – mostly to wealthy Latin Americans, northeastern hedge fund and money managers, and locals hoping to have a retreat or home amid Miami’s emerging cultural milieu.

Real Estate Lifers’ Vision Boren and Collins both are real estate lifers who have been business partners for more than a decade. They met socially in Palm Beach

As Collins walked the raw dirt of the newly cleared parcel, where apartments once stood and pilings still poked up from the ground, an excavator rumbled across the lot. A seagull called from over the bay. A jet roared as it climbed away from Miami International Airport six miles to the west. The cacophony was pierced by the ping of hammers pounding metal on another condo also rising along 29th Street. “East Edgewater is a busy place, part of the next construction boom taking off in Miami’s urban core,” said Marc Sarnoff, chairman of the Miami Downtown Development Authority and a Miami city commissioner whose district includes East Edgewater. “From the Central Business District and West Brickell to East Edgewater, the urban lifestyle is attracting a variety of buyers,” he said. “Areas like East Edgewater are booming as foreign and local buyers flock to this untapped strip of prime bay-front land,” added Sarnoff. What a difference five years makes. As recently as 2009, some 63 percent of all new units in downtown Miami were occupied. Half APRIL 2014


were owner–occupied, half were renters, according to figures from the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Over time, occupancy has grown. In 2010, 74 percent of units were occupied. From 2011 through 2013, figures hit 85 percent, 93 percent and 97 percent, respectively. Inventory all but disappeared. As of year-end 2012, 93 percent of new downtown condo units were sold, leaving an unsold inventory to just over 1,500 units, according to DDA statistics, as prepared by Focus Real Estate Advisors. In the first quarter of 2013, average unit sale prices were $425,498, compared to $351,078 the first quarter of 2010, according to the DDA. With pent-up demand seemingly obvious, a new expansion cycle has begun. As of 2013, some 5,500 new residential units were in the developer pipeline for greater downtown Miami; 65 percent of these already are approved and under construction, including 19 new condo towers. Nine towers with 2,200 units – or about 16 percent of the total proposed for the Brickell Avenue, downtown, and Biscayne Boulevard corridor – are in development or have been proposed for East Edgewater, said Peter Zalewski, principal with real estate consultancy Condo Vultures LLC. Some are west of Biscayne Boulevard. But the sweet spot is between the boulevard and the bay, he said. Given the distance from Miami’s Central Business District—arguably the nexus of the 60


highest–value development—East Edgewater buyers will enjoy something of a price discount. With the Miami World Center and Genting’s evolving plans for the old Miami Herald property, there’s some risk for speculators and investors swooping in, said Zalewski. But for those buying as a primary residence, “Edgewater will be the only place on the water that’s affordable.”

Undeterred by Competition Competition is keen. The Melo Group is building Skyview, an apartment tower at Northeast 22nd Street. The “800-pound gorilla” on the block—as Zalewski put it—is Jorge Perez and The Related Group. In 2013, the company broke ground on luxury condo Icon Bay on Northeast 28th Street. The company paid $29 million for a parcel three blocks away at Northeast 31st Street where Paraiso Bay will reside. Little more than a year prior, that land had sold for $11.5 million. Icon Bay and Paraiso Bay towers should bring more than 1,000 units online when completed in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Perez paid 42 percent less for his 31st Street land than Eastview paid for theirs, said Zalewski. Perez paid even less for the Icon Bay parcel. “That’s a pretty stark example” of the pricing realities and competition Biscayne Beach may face, he said.

Rendering, Aerial West View of Biscayne Beach, East Edgewater, Miami Residences If Boren and Collins are spooked by the competition, they don’t let on. Actually, Boren sees being bookended by The Related Group’s towers as validation of concept. And, he has faith in the product they’re putting out, in his and Collins’ experience, and in the nod from his New York partners. “The guys at GTIS are very smart. That speaks volumes to the global strength of the market,” he said. “Other projects speak to how the area is going to be. No one would want to come to our building and pay our prices if others weren’t validating the purchase. So that’s encouraging.” Then, there’s that motto of being on the water. “For some towers going up, being one block off the water is one block too far,” said Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, managing partner of Cervera Real Estate. Cervera advised Collins and Boren on the property, comps, value, and pricing in 2013. Today, her firm is the exclusive broker for Biscayne Beach. “Other properties may be down the street, or have a view,” said Cervera. “But it’s never the same as being right on the water.” Cervera also appreciates the principals’ use of outside consultants. Aside from Coral Gables-based firm, BCArchitects, the developers have tapped WHLC Architecture from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The exclusive design partner is Thom Filicia, a New Yorker made famous for

Renderings Courtesy of Eastview Development

his appearance on the Emmy-Award winning show, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. This being Reid and Collins’ first Miami project brought a fresh perspective, she said. “It was interesting to work with people who hadn’t done a preponderance of things in Miami. You don’t start with a love affair with the city. They appreciate the opportunities that the city has,” said Cervera. “It’s often complicated by people who come in thinking they know it all. Miami was built by people who were arriving. Each comes with a different idea, a different aesthetic.” One partner in Biscayne Beach who does know Miami is Robert Vahradian, senior managing director with GTIS Partners, a New York-based $2.5 billion global real estate investment firm and the project’s co-sponsor. Vahradian is bullish on Biscayne Beach. His previous company, The Athena Group, had developed projects around Florida. In South Beach, the firm bought The Waverly at South Beach for $97.25 million in 2002 and converted its 399 rental units to condos. Then as now, the properties share such attributes as a strong location, good timing, and market demand. So, when Collins and Boren secured the contract, GTIS Partners liked what Vahradian called “a very desirable site”—335 feet of waterfront, close to downtown, and blocks from the Design District and the Julia Tuttle Causeway, which heads east to the beach and west along State Route 112 to Miami

ABOVE: Rendering of penthouse unit and (RIGHT) the beach

International Airport. They tied up the parcel at an opportune time. “The market is clearly in a great part of the cycle,” said Vahradian, whose firm is also involved in One Brickell, in which it is joint venturing with Perez and The Related Group. “The site we have in Edgewater is special. It has all the great fundamentals. There’s not a lot of developable waterfront left in Miami.” No there isn’t, and this team has bought up the few that do remain. To be sure, the area is

dotted with low-rise teardowns. There’s one immediately to the south, and others along the bay front. But as towers rise behind them—one already exists immediately west that will lose its once-prime southeast view—the refrain remains. And if speaking in lockstep on their key selling point—as a developer, and a team selling to future residents—there’s that motto: “If you want to live on the water,” said Collins, “buy on the water.” E APRIL 2014


South Florida is one of the five best banking markets, out of the 66 counties in Florida, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach represent 40 percent of all of the deposits in the state.

— Ken Thomas Miami-based independent bank consultant




THE MONEY We see their names. We see their bank branches, but did you ever wonder, who the people are behind the monikers and storefronts? We did. EXECUTIVE South Florida takes a look at the executive management teams of some of the area’s top banks.

APRIL 2014



With its acquisition of First Bank Miami, Apollo Bank will nearly double its size, increase its assets to $465 million, and expand its network to seven branches across Miami-Dade County.

Photo by Gort Productions

We have two core values, we are built to last from every loan to every hire and we are committed to our community.

— Eddy Arriola, Chairman

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Melissa Martinez, Asst. VP, Director of Human Resources; Jonathan Liguori, SVP, Chief Technology Officer; Jaime Ortega, SVP, Global Banking; Richard Dailey, President/CEO; Eddy Arriola, Chairman; Ana Osteen, SVP, Chief Credit Officer; Dan Reyes, VP, BSA/AML/OFAC Compliance Officer; Mahesh Pattabhiraman, SVP, Chief Lending Officer; Armando Gonzalez-Vinas, SVP, Chief Financial Officer APRIL 2014




Since his history-making transaction to lead a group of investors to purchase the bank, Jim Kanas continues to direct the bank towards growth—expecting an increase of $4 - $5 billion in 2014.

South Florida is a unique market, it tends to have periods of rapidly rising values usually followed by slower periods, but it is a region with dramatic growth and with growth comes great opportunity.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: F. Gerard Litrento, Senior EVP/Retail and Business Banking; Leslie Lunak, CFO; John A. Kanas, President and CEO; Nic Bustle, Senior EVP, Corporate and Commercial Banking 66


Photo by Gort Productions

— John Kanas, President and CEO

Bank of America Left

BANK OF AMERICA ESTABLISHED: 1924 TOTAL ASSETS IN SOUTH FLORIDA: $27.2 Billion Bank of America has the most branches in South Florida with 203, and the second-most deposits at $27.2 billion, or a 15.5 percent market share. In 2013, as the largest bank in the state, it made $2.4 billion in small business loans, up from $1.9 billion in 2012.

In 2013 we saw double digit growth in wealth management and small business lending and we expect Miami to see continued moderate growth.

— Gene Schaefer Market President, Miami-Dade County

Broward is a more mature market with more stability and longer standing relationships. While we have some international opportunities, our focus needs to be on continuing to deepen and expand the relationships we have established.

Photo by Gort Productions

— Lori Chevy Market President, Broward County

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Brian Mormile, Managing Director, Regional Executive, US Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; Lori Chevy, Broward County Market President, Bank of America; Jeff Ransdell, Managing Director, Market Executive, Southeast Market, Caribbean and Latin America, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management; Gene Schaefer, MiamiDade Market President, Bank of America APRIL 2014



Broward Bank of Commerce is dedicated to serving the needs of small to mid-sized business owners. In 2013, the bank had a 232 percent increase in its SBA lending.

People are gaining more confidence in the economy and in the past few months we have seen increases in small business loan requests and lots of activity with people wanting to expand their businesses.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Howard Zusman, EVP, Chief Lending Officer; Debbie L. Kohl, CPA, EVP, CFO and COO; Keith Costello, CFA, President and CEO 70


Photo by Gort Productions

— Keith Costello, President and CEO


City National Bank is currently the fifth-largest financial institution in the state. Banco de Credito e Inversiones (Bci), the third largest bank in Chile, is acquiring the bank as part of its international diversification strategy.

If you think about our new parent company, it does business in Mexico, Colombia, and Peru. South Florida is the gateway to Latin America and will help to put our trade business on the map.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (Standing): Lloyd DeVaux, COO; Javier Sanchez, Chief Development Officer; Hugo Loynaz, Chief Credit Officer; Antonio Lopez, SVP, Director of Finance; Jorge Gonzalez, President and CEO; Eddie Dominguez, SVP, Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications; Dan Kushner, CFO; Marshall Martin, Co-General Counsel and Enterprise Risk Executive; William Davies, Managing SVP, Director of Corporate Banking FROM LEFT TO RIGHT (Seated): Gonzalo Acevedo, Managing SVP, Private Client Group Director; Mara Suarez, EVP, Director of Personal and Business Banking; Betty McClasky, Managing SVP, Audit Director; Mario Carballo, Co-General Counsel, Director of Asset Recovery 72


Photo by Gort Productions

— Jorge Gonzalez, President and CEO


With its focus on private banking and wealth management, Gibraltar Bank looks to establish diversified portfolios and believes long-term investments are the best way to preserve, accumulate, and grow wealth.

We see more and more people who need access to credit and help with figuring out how to invest their wealth to maximize returns while minimizing risk.

Photo by Gort Productions

— Adolfo Henriques, Chairman and CEO

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Jay Pelham, EVP, Managing Director of Private Banking; Adolfo Henriques, Chairman and CEO; Angel Medina, President; Christopher Damian, EVP, Chief Lending Officer; William VanDresser, EVP, Managing Director of Wealth Management APRIL 2014



ESTABLISHED: 1979 TOTAL ASSETS: $6.9 billion

With 15 locations, Mercantil Commercebank is one of the area’s largest privately held banks. Because of the bank’s connection with its parent company Mercantil Servicios Financieros, one of the largest providers of financial services in Venezuela, it has a significant international customer base.

We are expanding our footprint and see opportunities in our loan business and our commercial real estate business continues to have steady growth.

Photo by Gort Productions

— Millar Wilson, Vice Chairman and CEO

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Miguel Palacios, Domestic Personal and Commercial Banking Manager; Jorge Trabanco, CFO; Alberto Peraza, President and COO; Millar Wilson, Vice Chairman and CEO; Laura Trosclair, Retail Banking Manager; Gerardo Ramos, Commercial Real Estate Manager; Fernando Mesia, Middle Market APRIL 2014


NORTHERN TRUST ESTABLISHED: 1889 INTRODUCED TO SOUTH FLORIDA: 1971 TOTAL ASSETS IN SOUTH FLORIDA: $12.7 billion under management After 40 years in the same Miami location, Northern Trust relocated its headquarters to Brickell World Plaza. Taking over three floors in this LEED Certified building, the bank believes the new location will provide the opportunity to take advantage of the booming population growth—both domestically and internationally.

It is the diversity of the people who have fueled South Florida’s growth beyond anything we could have imagined for our domestic and international business.

Photo by Gort Productions

— Edward Joyce, President of South Florida Region

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: John D. Fumagalli, President-Florida; Edward J. Joyce, President-South Florida Region APRIL 2014


PROFESSIONAL BANK ESTABLISHED: 2008 TOTAL ASSETS: $220 million Professional Bank outgrew its previous home and is now settling in at its new corporate office and branch on Alhambra Circle in Coral Gables. The bank’s lending focuses on doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, and other professionals.

We really understand the boutique community bank space; there are bigger banks with more switches and levers at their disposal, but we are high touch and high service.

Photo by Gort Productions

— Raul Valdes-Fauli, President and CEO

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Daniel R. Martinez, EVP, Client Management Group; Larry Goldberg, EVP, Chief Compliance Officer; Raul G. Valdes-Fauli, President and CEO; Abel L. Iglesias, EVP, Chief Lending Officer; Julio R. Martinez, EVP, Chief Financial Officer APRIL 2014



Sabadell United Bank, the fifth largest bank based in Florida, is further expanding its presence in the area with its purchase of JGB Bank, pending regulatory approval. The acquisition will increase Sabadell’s network to 31 locations, and will be its seventh acquisition in Florida since 2007.

We see tremendous opportunities in South Florida especially internationally. Miami is an international city under the protection of the US flag.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Orlando Roche, Regional President-Miami-Dade, Sabadell Bank & Trust (Sabadell Bank & Trust is the Wealth Management Division of Sabadell United Bank); Maurici Llado, EVP, Corporate and Commercial Banking; Howard Levine, SVP, Consumer and Residential Lending; Fernando Perez-Hickman, Chairman of the Board; Mario Trueba, President and CEO; Dwight Hill, EVP 82


Photo by Gort Productions

— Mario Trueba, President and CEO


ESTABLISHED: 2005 TOTAL ASSETS: $1.1 billion

Stonegate is looking for continuous coverage from Naples to Tampa with its acquisition of Florida Shores Bank. This will increase its total assets to $1.7 billion. In the first half of 2014, it expects to be listed on Nasdaq.

— David Seleski, President and CEO

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Sharon Jones, Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer; Dave Seleski, President/CEO; Steve Cameron, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer 84


Photo by Gort Productions

Timing is everything. We benefitted from the downturn and were able to gain market share.

APRIL 2014



ESTABLISHED: 1974 TOTAL ASSETS: $2.5 billion

In May as part of its 40th anniversary celebration, TotalBank will move its headquarters to the former Miami CenTrust Tower and will rechristen it the TotalBank Tower. The bank has 21 banking centers in Miami-Dade County.

Since 2009, we have done over $500 million in residential loans. When many banks were closing their residential mortgage departments, we opened ours. It was a contrarian move; but it has paid off in great dividends.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Lyan Fernandez, EVP, Chief Operating and Risk Officer; Ramon Rodriguez, EVP, Bank Lending Division Director; Luis de la Aguilera, President/CEO; Nelson Hidalgo, EVP, Banking Center Division Director; Jose Marina, EVP, Chief Financial Officer 86


Photo by Gort Productions

— Luis de la Aguilera, President and CEO


As Joe Atkinson settles in as the bank’s new South Florida regional president, Wells Fargo continues to be ranked first in the state with $29.9 billion in deposits. It is also the area’s largest lender for home mortgages and US Small Business Administration-backed loans. In 2013, Wells Fargo had $35.2 million in SBA loans, registering a 15 percent annual increase for the region.

We have a saying, ‘People bank with people.’ It is critical for us to be part of the community, the more involved we get the more successful we are.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Robert Lozano, Regional VP, Regional Commercial Banking; Jorge Villacampa, Area President, Miami-Dade; Yanneth Villarreal, Area President, Broward Boca Division; Joe Atkinson, South Florida Regional President; Hector Ponte, Area President, Dade/Broward Countyline; Jason Williams, Wealth Management Regional Managing Director (Not Pictured: Jose Sanchez, Business Banking Manager, South Florida; Brandon Watson, Area Sales Manager, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage) 88


Photo by Gort Productions

— Joe Atkinson, South Florida Regional President


Andres Asion, Chef Tom Colicchio, and Richard LeFrak

Dario & Katy Stoka, Justin Rubin, and Catalina Martinez

Home Sales During the South Beach WIne & Food Festival, 1 Hotel & Homes debuted its sales center and model residences with a VIP tasting from Chef Tom Colicchio.

Michelle Spencer & Yvette Blanco

Marcia Munhoes, Erika Di Cesare, Debora Aguiar, & Willman Ramos 90


Isabella Holguin

Sorah Daiha, Tom Colicchio, and Catalina Martinez

Paulo Bacchi with wife Lais and City of Doral Mayor Luigi Boria with wife Graciela

Ana Martin, Alexander Hernandez, Mara Cabrera, Luana Almeida, and Ernesto Garcia

Artefacto Opens Doors Artefacto, the Brazilian design brand known for sleek and seductive furnishings, launched its new Doral showroom with a high-profile red carpet celebration hosted by owner and CEO Paulo Bacchi.

Leonel Faig and Vanina Blas

Roberto Chavez, Marcela Ruesga, and Luis Ruesga

Santiago Borge and Dori Perez

Paulo Bacchi and City of Doral Mayor Luigi Boria APRIL 2014



Jorge Perez and Venus Williams

Jose Santacana, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Andres Soriano

Paraiso Bay Partners The Related Group and Chef Michael Schwartz celebrated their partnership at Paraiso Bay with cocktails and a preview of the cuisine

Henry Pino, Carlos Rosso, Michael Schwartz, Jorge Perez, Sonia Figueroa, and Patricio Ureta



Chef Michael Schwartz

Photo by Jorge Parra


MICHAEL WOLK Interior Designer, Michael Wolk Associates Despite being in practice for over 40 years, designer Michael Wolk and his team at Michael Wolk Associates have continued to push residential and commercial design forward with timeless, unconventional, contemporary, and fresh interiors. APRIL 2014


LIFE. STYLED. Michael Wolk is working on some of the hottest commercial developments in town, including the Porsche Design Tower. His previous projects have included 500 Brickell, Trump Royale, and The Diplomat Residences. In addition to his commercial work, Wolk has done a vast array of residences and designs furniture for over 40 licensees.

Photo by Dan Forer

Design is exciting and inspiring while remaining grounded in the reality of the time and budget constraints. — Michael Wolk

STRYDE CHAIR The Stryde Chair manufactured by Lowenstein furniture is just one of the many chairs Wolk has designed. He has a true love for chairs. “With a chair there is nowhere to hide. It is the ultimate design challenge,” he said. “It has the same complexity of any piece of architecture, but it is concentrated in one form or space. Everything is exposed in a chair. You immediately see all of the elements involved in the creation of that singular object.” 94




For this project, Wolk had to solve the challenge that the restaurant and lobby were in one open space. “Neither was really working. When you were in the restaurant you felt like you were in the lobby and when you were in the lobby you felt like the restaurant was in your face,” he said. “We created an oversized arch way and then a screen in the area to limit the access to the restaurant’s opening. When you were walking by in the lobby you had to look in to see what was there. We were able to create separate zones without having to build a wall to separate the two spaces.”



“People have become much more accepting of the idea of spaces flowing into each other as opposed to rooms with partitions,” said Wolk. “The idea of spaces flowing into each other just sort of allows the space to be defined by the activities in the space not by the traditional four walls.” APRIL 2014





ong before the use of star architects and the hanging of exceptional works in the public spaces of new condo developments, Mayi de la Vega, founder/CEO of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty understood the connection between real estate and art. For de la Vega, it started in 2008 when she licensed the Sotheby’s name to create ONE



Sotheby’s International Realty. “I saw the power of the global brand. Its immediate connection to art says prestige and luxury,” she said. De la Vega took the connection between high-net-worth individuals and art a step further when she turned the front half of her real estate office on Miami Beach into an art space. ONE CIFO Project is a business and art partnership with the Cisneros Fontanals Art

Foundation. CIFO is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting contemporary artists from Latin America. “There is a legitimate connection between art and real estate,” said de la Vega. And this is definitely true, for when people purchase extra large luxurious homes, they have lots of bare walls screaming to be covered in beautiful art. E

Photo by Jorge Parra

Founder & CEO, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty



31 5 0 M I A M I G R E E N WAY KEY FEATURES ■ Miami’s first LEED Certified Office Building ■ 13 story Class “A” office building ■ Top exterior signage available ■ Same floor parking with direct office access ■ Exceptional water and city views ■ Hurricane resistant floor to ceiling glass windows ■ Building on back-up generator ■ On-site security ■ Roof top terrace ■ Approximately 20,000 square feet of contiguous space available ■ 9,000 - 10,000 square feet available for professionals

LOCATION ADVANTAGES ■ Directly across from Metrorail Station, Coral Gables Trolley and Metro-Dade Bus ■ Immediate access to US-1, Ponce de Leon Boulevard, LeJeune and Bird Road ■ Walking distance to fine dining, shopping and entertainment in Coral Gables’ Village of Merrick Park ■ Minutes away from residential communities of Coral Gables, South Miami, Pinecrest, Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne

William H. Holly 305.779.2490

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Name. Huizenga Business School

In today’s business world, a name is more than what you call someone; it can provide opportunity and open doors. At the Huizenga Business School, you get the expert backing of H. Wayne Huizenga, creator of three Fortune 500 companies. You’ll also receive the tools you need to succeed in the real world, from 6 bachelor’s degrees, 12 unique MBA degrees, 7 master’s degrees and 12 certificate programs. Start the path to your career today. Visit or call (954) 262-5168.

Executive South Florida Magazine . April 2014  

Covering the dealmakers, innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders in the business community.

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