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Good Medicine

Jackson Health System On the Road to a Recovery

On The Move

The Related Group Maps Its Plan for the Future

Key Players in the Region’s Transportation Economy

Carlos Rosso • Jorge M. Pérez • Matthew J. Allen


EVERYTHING YOU NEED NOTHING YOU DON’T 400 luxury condominiums in Midtown Miami’s hippest Hydeaway features Miami-inspired interiors by design genius David Rockwell, art and music-infused indoor and outdoor amenities, art filled piano lobby, a menu of world-class culinary treats with top chef ground floor restaurant and bar, professional tennis court, beach club memberships and a host of fully customizable personalized services.

Starting at $314,900


Sales by RELATED REALTY in collaboration with FORTUNE DEVELOPMENT SALES 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. Any sketches, renderings, graphic materials, plans, designs, art, specifications, terms, conditions and statements are proposed only, and the Developer (as is defined herein below), reserves the right to modify, revise or withdraw any or all of same in its sole discretion and without prior notice. All improvements, designs and construction are subject to first obtaining the appropriate federal, state and local permits and approvals for same. The photographs contained in this brochure may be stock photography and are used to depict the spirit of the lifestyles to be achieved rather than any that may exist. Nearby attractions, shopping venues, restaurants, and activities referenced or identified in this publication are off-site and not controlled by the Developer and there is no guarantee that these will not change. The managing entities, hotel operators, and restaurant operations within the condominium referred to are accurate as of the date of this publication; however, there is no guarantee that these will not change. This Condominium is being developed by PRH Midtown 3, LLC (“Developer”), which has a limited right to use the trademarked names and logos of The Related Group and of SBE Hotel Group, LLC pursuant to a license and marketing agreement with each. © 2013, PRH Midtown 3, LLC. All rights reserved unless otherwise credited to another. Unauthorized reproduction, display or other dissemination of such materials is strictly prohibited and constitutes copyright infringement.




T 305.521.1304




SALES BY RELATED REALTY IN COLLABORATION WITH FORTUNE DEVELOPMENT SALES T H I S I S N O T I N T E N D E D T O B E A N O F F E R T O S E L L , O R S O L I C I TAT I O N O F A N O F F E R T O B U Y, C O N D O M I N I U M U N I T S T O R E S I D E N T S O F C T, I D , N Y, N J A N D O R , U N L E S S R E G I S T E R E D O R E X E M P T I O N S A R E AVA I L A B L E , O R I N A N Y O T H E R J U R I S D I C T I O N W H E R E P R O H I B I T E D B Y L AW, A N D Y O U R E L I G I B I L I T Y F O R P U R C H A S E W I L L D E P E N D U P O N Y O U R S TAT E O F R E S I D E N C Y. T H I S O F F E R I N G I S M A D E O N LY B Y T H E P R O S P E C T U S F O R T H E C O N D O M I N I U M A N D N O S TAT E M E N T S H O U L D B E R E L I E D U P O N I F N O T M A D E I N T H E P R O S P E C T U S . T H E D E V E L O P E R I S 9 S M A , L L C W H I C H R E S E R V E S T H E R I G H T T O R E V I S E O R M O D I F Y D E S I G N S A N D C O N S T R U C T I O N S P E C I F I C AT I O N S . A L L D E P I C T I O N S O F A P P L I A N C E S , F I X T U R E S , C O U N T E R S , S O F F I T S , WA L L C O V E R I N G S , F L O O R C O V E R I N G S , F U R N I S H I N G S , C L O S E T S , A N D O T H E R M AT T E R S O F D E TA I L , I N C L U D I N G , W I T H O U T L I M I TAT I O N , I T E M S O F F I N I S H A N D D E C O R AT I O N , A R E C O N C E P T U A L O N LY A N D A R E N O T N E C E S S A R I LY T H E F I N A L F I N I S H E S A N D D E TA I L S I N C L U D E D W I T H T H E P U R C H A S E O F A U N I T. T H E M A N A G I N G E N T I T I E S , O P E R AT O R S , H O T E L O P E R AT O R S , A M E N I T I E S , R E S O R T M A N A G E R S , S P A S , R E S TA U R A N T S , A N D O T H E R F E AT U R E S R E F E R R E D T O A R E A C C U R AT E A S O F T H E D AT E O F T H I S P U B L I C AT I O N ; H O W E V E R , T H E R E I S N O G U A R A N T E E T H AT T H E S E W I L L N O T C H A N G E . D I M E N S I O N S A N D S Q U A R E F O O TA G E O F T H E U N I T S A R E A P P R O X I M AT E A N D M AY VA R Y W I T H A C T U A L C O N S T R U C T I O N . T H E D E V E L O P E R H A S A L I M I T E D R I G H T T O U S E T H E T R A D E M A R K E D N A M E S A N D L O G O S U S E D H E R E I N P U R S U A N T T O L I C E N S E A N D M A R K E T I N G A G R E E M E N T S . T H E R E L AT E D G R O U P, C R E S C E N T H E I G H T S , A N D E Q U I N O X A R E N O T, S I N G U L A R LY, N O R J O I N T LY, T H E D E V E L O P E R . N O R E A L E S TAT E B R O K E R I S A U T H O R I Z E D T O M A K E A N Y R E P R E S E N TAT I O N S O R O T H E R S TAT E M E N T S R E G A R D I N G T H E P R O J E C T A L L P R I C E S A R E S U B J E C T T O C H A N G E . S E R V I C E S A N D P R O D U C T S O F F E R E D B Y A N Y S P A , R E S O R T, C O N C I E R G E , B E A C H C L U B , R E S TA U R A N T, O R O T H E R V E N D O R A R E O F F E R E D F O R A F E E . C O N S U LT T H E P R O S P E C T U S F O R W H AT I S I N C L U D E D W I T H P U R C H A S E , F O R A L L O T H E R T E R M S A N D C O N D I T I O N S O F S A L E , A N D T H E S I T E P L A N . 2 0 1 4 © 9 S M A , L L C W I T H A L L R I G H T S R E S E R V E D ; T H E U N A U T H O R I Z E D R E P R O D U C T I O N , D I S P L AY O R O T H E R D I S S E M I N AT I O N C O N S T I T U T E S C O P Y R I G H T I N F R I N G E M E N T.

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FEATURES 32 Building A Legacy By Richard Westlund Jorge Pérez and his Related Group team maps plan for top profits and sustainability.

40 On The Road to a Recovery By Mike Seemuth Jackson Health System is on a steady course thanks to Carlos Migoya’s leadership.

46 On The Move By David Lyons South Florida directors say infrastructure projects are crucial for closing service gaps.

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53 Job One: On the Hunt for Top Talent By Mike Seemuth Three of the region’s top recruiting firms show how they’re meeting the needs of clients.

60 Arts and Culture By Jeff Zbar We pay a tribute to the generous supporters of six distinguished South Florida institutions.

74 Miami’s Brand Ambassadors By Jeff Zbar Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau helps the tourist trade weather tough times.

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The newsmakers, game changers, and innovators who are driving business in the region.


Capturing the area’s events, activities, and happenings.


Where business and politics intersect.

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Rhonda Jenkins Ysabell Olson PRODUCTION MANAGER Mariu Saralegui CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Milagros Rousseau Mike Seemuth Richard Westlund Jeff Zbar CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Donna Victor Stephen Boxall Gort Productions Jorge Parra Victor Rodriguez

A view from the top.

29 THE EDGE Who has the competitive advantage, and how did they get it.

OFFICE MANAGER Liudmila Leonova COVER Photo: Donna Victor ©2015 Executive South Florida magazine is published 9 times per year by South Florida Executive LLC, 800 Brickell Avenue, Penthouse One, Miami, fl 33131. 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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Good Medicine

Jackson Health System On the Road to a Recovery

On The Move

The Related Group Maps Its Plan for the Future

Key Players in the Region’s Transportation Economy

Carlos Rosso • Jorge M. Pérez • Matthew J. Allen



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pend some time with Jorge Pérez and company and you see a camaraderie that only comes from going through some difficult times together. They have the look of a group that has weathered the storm and is much closer because of it. With an eye on the future, Pérez and team have realigned their goals and refocused their efforts to take advantage of the ever-changing market. The Related Group is not just a billion dollar behemoth that dominates the region’s hyper real estate industry, but a company that is reshaping the skyline and building a legacy in the process. The recent year end numbers for Jackson Health System continue to show that the facility is on a serious road to recovery. Mired in losses just a few short years ago, Jackson is on a hiring frenzy as its net income has grown for the second year in a row. Carlos Migoya leads a team of experienced finance and healthcare professionals who have cut costs and renegotiated contracts while expanding services countywide. Does passenger rail have a chance in South Florida? It’s a good bet with the region’s growing population, especially in the urban core. Along with increased commerce at the international airports and the expected arrival of “New Panamax” vessels via the Panama Canal at PortMiami, the billion dollar transportation system is on the cusp of some truly radical changes. If you attend one of the region’s many civic or cultural events on a regular basis, you may notice a man with a mane of white hair and a smile that is a mile wide. That would be William Talbert III, President & CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. Bill is essentially the county’s Chief Evangelist and along with his long-standing management team, their goal is to represent and promote our community to the world. This issue also sees the first under our new Editor—David Lyons. His expertise, especially in the finance, banking and legal sectors brings a renewed energy to the team. Look for some very powerful profiles and exposés on some of the region’s most prolific executives and firms. I am also excited to announce that EXECUTIVE was recently awarded the contract to publish Fisher Island Magazine. Our first edition will be out in mid-February and we look forward to bringing residents and club members a truly beautiful publication.

Ron Mann 14


Ricardo Darin


Photo by Gort Productions


INGER LISA SKRODER, MN, ARNP Founder & CEO, Trinity Air Ambulance International

Inger Lisa Skroder built her company from the ground up. Now with its own 10,000 square foot hangar and multiple planes at its disposal, the sky’s the limit. FEBRUARY 2015



nger Lisa Skroder is a nurse practitioner who won’t take “no” for an answer. A native of British Columbia, Canada, she migrated to South Florida in the 1990s. She worked as an emergency room nurse at various hospitals before going to work for American Airlines, taking care of the airline employees’ medical needs, treating everything from common colds to backaches. But she had bigger designs for the long term. She wanted to develop her own air ambulance company. An air ambulance is an aircraft used to transport people who are sick, or injured, usually to a hospital. Skroder got the idea to start her own company in 1991, but didn’t make it official until 1999. “I didn’t want to stay in a hospital setting, and thought, ‘I can start my own company and see what happens.’” She figured out how to incorporate, obtained a license and used her credit cards to buy equipment. She already had a working concept for Trinity Air Ambulance, an air ambulance business, when terrorists struck the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. “It gave me the push to concentrate on the company,” she said.



She worked three jobs to save money, and funneled most of what she earned back into the company. She didn’t collect a salary from Trinity for about seven years. “We all [family] lived together, then bought a house; you have to do what you have to do to make it happen,” Skroder said. She enlisted the help of her two brothers— that’s why the company is called Trinity. The three siblings operate it. “We started with nothing,” said Tor Skroder, the company president. “My sister had 29 people slam doors in her face; that’s when she stopped counting. They told her she’d never make it off the ground.” Still, the trio forged on. The dedication paid off in 2000 when Jackson Health System awarded the company a contract to transport a surgical team and human organs for the hospital’s organ transplant division. The key to securing the account was their commitment to being available whenever called. At the time, Trinity didn’t own any planes. Instead, it had an agreement with two separate operators to use two of their aircraft. “When someone is pronounced dead, you can’t wait around for the organs,” explained

Inger Skroder. “I understood the medical necessity being in health care. I really wanted to help.” The desire to help is tied to the company’s mission. “What really sets it apart is that this company is run by clinicians, not just business people. Lisa is a nurse practitioner; it’s always patient first,” explained Dr. Jeffrey Levy, an internist with a specialty in critical care medicine and Trinity Air Ambulance International’s medical director. “There’s no question she’s a good business person, very successful … but she’s a clinician and so am I.” Vicky Rey is vice president of guest services and support at Carnival Cruise Lines. She explained that when ill cruise passengers must disembark at a foreign port of call, Trinity follows them to the hospital and helps manage their care. “I know that they have our guests’ best interests at heart when they’re managing a case; they have that personal touch,” Rey said. “They will do whatever it takes to make sure our guests receive the best possible care.” In November 2013, the company secured another three-year contract with Jackson to provide air ambulance services. Other clients include Divers Alert Network and Burns and Roe at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Overall, Skroder said the company has about 50 to 60 clients who rely on Trinity for air ambulance services, medical escorts, organ transport and care management, among other services. The company flies stateside, but most of its work is international— with flights to the Caribbean, Mexico and South America and with the ability to fly also to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and India. She estimates in 15 years the company has assisted thousands of patients. The company does not disclose annual revenues. But Skroder said the enterprise has grown at a rate of 10 percent each year and acquired another aircraft in January 2014. That pushed the number of planes Trinity owns to up to four—three Learjets and a Piper Navajo Chieftain. Trinity also owns a 10,000-square-foot hangar located at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, the home base for the planes. The company employs 16 people at its call center, eight full-time pilots, plus about 50 to 60 people on a per diem basis. Skroder hopes to grow the business by purchasing long-range aircraft to offer more flights over the Atlantic and Pacific. Said Tor Skroder: “Your business will only succeed if you have good intentions.” E —Millie Acebal Rousseau

Photo by Gort Productions



PEGGY OLIN FUCCI Founder, OneWorld Properties

Breaking into the Boys Club

Here I am having this full-fledged conversation with this Grammy-winning artist known all over the world. Maybe if I didn’t have a cigar, I wouldn’t have seemed so interesting.

Photo by Donna Victor

— Peggy Olin Fucci


eggy Olin Fucci has never been intimidated in what she admitted can be a male-dominated business world, even if that world includes enjoying a cigar with the guys. Fucci, founder of real estate brokerage OneWorld Properties, once was finalizing a deal with four Mexican executives. When the negotiations were done, the men decided to retreat for scotch and cigars. “I looked at them and said, ‘I’ll have one.’ They thought I was some girl who just wanted to fit in,” recalled Fucci, who, much to their surprise, grew her ash for 45 minutes. “They noticed I wasn’t kidding.” Where men puffing cigars evokes images of Winston Churchill or Mark Twain, women comprise a healthy share of modern cigar smokers. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that some 2 percent of American women, or 3.2 million ladies, admit they smoke cigars. They have included prominent entertainers Demi Moore, Claudia Schiffer and Angelina Jolie. Fucci compared herself more to Sara Montiel, the Spanish actress and singer also known for long ashes and who claimed Ernest Hemingway introduced her to cigars. Sitting in her Brickell Avenue offices, with a bottle of Macallan 18 scotch nearby, Fucci recalled she entered the cigar smoking world on her 30th birthday. Nine years later, her humidor is stocked with a Trinidad brand, which she enjoys with scotch or Zacapa rum. She doesn’t light up to one-up the men. In fact, she contends, it levels the relationship. Men “start feeling more like themselves,” she said. “You connect in a different way in their mind. It opens up a whole personal conversation.” Cigars also open doors. She was at Miami restaurant and club Casa Tua a few months ago when the general manager brought Fucci a humidor. As she cut her cigar, a gentleman sat beside her and complimented her look. Her admirer was Alejandro Sanz, the 18-time Grammy and Latin Grammy-winning singer-songwriter. Their conversation lasted the duration of her smoke. “Here I am having this full-fledged conversation with this Grammy-winning artist known all over the world,” she recalled. “Maybe if I didn’t have the cigar, I wouldn’t have seemed so interesting.” Actually, Casa Tua manager and close friend Luciano Sportiello said it’s little surprise that Fucci would be one of the few women who smoke at the club. It’s not because he’s Italian and is accustomed to seeing European women enjoying cigars. In fact, he once mistook Fucci for an Italian. She is Peruvian. “Women from Latin America have a strong personality,” he said. “She personifies this. She smokes very elegantly but with strength and the right attitude.” Today, she’ll smoke at Casa Tua, on the hidden terrace at the Gibraltar restaurant at Grove Isle, or at the home she shares with husband Rick Fucci, a corporate lawyer at the law firm of Akerman LLP in Fort Lauderdale. Fucci admitted she’s lucky that Miami’s Latin culture embraces cigars. Not that she’d care anyway. “Some women don’t want to be seen like that, like it’s not the right thing to do,” she said, adding with a chuckle: “To me, it’s a little bit of a power play. It makes me feel more womanly.” E —Jeff Zbar FEBRUARY 2015



JAVIER HOLTZ Chairman & CEO, Marquis Bank



For Javier Holtz, banking is personal. He has big plans for his boutique bank, and the numbers back him up.

Photo by Donna Victor


hen Javier Holtz started off in banking as a teenager working summers, he toiled at Capital Bank, owned by his father, Abel Holtz. For three consecutive summers, he worked as a teller and in the bookkeeping and international departments. When he graduated from college, he went to work full-time for the bank for 15 years, and stayed on when the bank was sold to Union Planters in 1998, and eventually became Regions. In 2005, Holtz tried to start a bank, but withdrew his application in 2007. “It was frustrating, lots of stops and starts along the way. I wasn’t able to get it done,” he said. That same year, an institution by the name of Marquis Bank caught his attention. A good friend, Philip J. Feldman, was one of the founding directors. Holtz became one of the original shareholders. “I was basically retired between 2005 and 2010, looking for the next opportunity in banking.” That opportunity came in 2010 when Holtz, who had been following the progress of the bank, brought in an investor group that put in $7.2 million to increase the capital of the bank and fuel its growth. Along with a cash infusion, Holtz brought in a new management team. “When you start a bank or any business, it’s so important to have a good leader people trust and respect, and the team that he’s built has really rallied around him,” said Wayne Chaplin, president and CEO of Southern Wine and Spirits, and one of the investors in Marquis Bank. “When you’re investing with somebody, you want someone who is of high

integrity and has an incredible work ethic. When analyzing whether or not to get involved, you look at Javier and feel very comfortable on both those fronts.” Marquis Bank is based in Coral Gables, with plans to open a second location in Aventura this year. It is a boutique bank serving businesses that do less than $15 million in annual revenue. It also counts professionals and investors as customers. “We focus on those areas because those are the clients who need personalized, customized banking products,” explained Holtz. “It lends itself to our style of banking— banking services delivered with a great deal of personal care.” The bank offers a full array of deposit products, commercial real estate loans up to $10 million, and home equity lines of credit. Recently, the bank has expanded into Small Business Administration lending because, according to Holtz, SBA products allow loans to be made you to make loans under non-traditional terms. “SBA loans allow you to offer extended payment terms and also offer opportunities to lend money where the business doesn’t have enough collateral.” The only service the bank doesn’t offer is wealth management. “It’s an area that unless you have a very significant investment in that arena, you can’t be successful,” Holtz said. Sergio Rok, president of Rok Enterprises, has known Holtz for 24 years. Besides being good friends, the two have conducted business together, and Rok calls him an incredible banker. “I deal with a lot of bankers and banks, and one thing that stands out is his [Javier’s] character and ethics. He’s very straightforward and honest, someone you can do business

with,” said Rok. “He tells you how it is, which is a good thing, and sticks to his word.” For the real estate investors and developers who are clients, Marquis Bank finances shopping centers, warehouses, office buildings and multipurpose properties. A sampling of recently closed loans include $8 million to refinance a West Kendall shopping center, a $5 million refinancing for a South Beach hotel, and $2 million in acquisition financing for a CVS pharmacy. After four years at the helm, according to Holtz, the bank has seen 13 consecutive profitable quarters that include assets growing by 351 percent, loans up by 391 percent and a boost in deposits by 479 percent, all current as of September 30, 2014. In April 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department reported that Marquis Bank achieved the largest increase in qualifying small business loans among 14 Florida banks, and ranked fifth in the country out of 298 institutions. In 2013, bank ratings firm Bauer Financial Inc. awarded Marquis Bank a “superior 5-star” rating, equating it with one of the country’s most secure and safe banks. “I feel like we’re on a five-year winning streak where we’ve continued to grow, adding one client at a time,” said Holtz. “All of our business is through word of mouth and referral. One happy customer leads to three happy customers.” Holtz wants to continue growing the bank. As of press time, the bank was raising additional capital to be completed by midFebruary. Holtz also plans to grow its small business products from 25 percent to 50 percent, which is why the bank made an investment in its new SBA department. E —Millie Acebal Rousseau FEBRUARY 2015




CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami


ydia I. Muniz has been at the helm of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami for 26 years. During that time, she’s tripled the organization’s service delivery and budget, raising more than $40 million to help mentor local children through various programs. According to Muniz, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America invented mentoring more than a century ago when the organization was founded in 1904. Today, there are about 334 affiliates around the country, serving children between the ages of 5 and 18. The Miami chapter was launched in 1958. When Muniz was hired in 1988, the organization was helping about 250 to 300 children a year. Today, she said, it serves about 2,100 children a year. Add to that the parents and volunteers, and more than 6,000 people are touched by the organization annually, said Muniz. Between 750 and 1,000 additional children are on a waiting list throughout the course of the year, particularly when school begins. She started with an annual operating budget of $300,000. It has grown to $5.2 million today. “What Lydia has done is change the direction of this organization and help thousands of kids in the process,” said Gale Nelson, executive vice president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami. Prior to joining Big Brothers Big Sisters, Muniz held a number of jobs with government and private sector human service organizations. She worked as a parole officer during college in her native Puerto Rico, an experience that had a major impact on her future career choices. “You’re young and trying to change the world, and now you’re older and seasoned; you still want to change the world, but have a different perspective,” she said. She added that it helped her understand how people’s life circumstances mold and shape who they become. “Fast forward 26 years. I truly believe that youth prevention is by far the best investment 24


you can make in anything, versus waiting to change or alter something that has potentially become so ingrained,” she said. That can occur in individuals or institutions, and although not insurmountable, “definitely more difficult to influence and change.” It costs $1,500 to pair and mentor a child for a year compared to $51,000 when a juvenile is incarcerated for a year, according to research conducted by The Children’s Movement of Florida. “You can see which of the two is a wiser investment,” said Muniz. Big Brothers Big Sisters offers various programs, with the best-known one being the Community Based Program, where volunteers pick up a child from his or her home, and commit to seeing that child twice a month for at least one year. Through the School Based Program, volunteers see the child exclusively at school, usually an hour a week during the school year. “One of the ways we look to diversify is to make it easier to for people to volunteer,” said Muniz. “It’s helped in that regard; it helps folks who have their own kids.” The organization’s fastest-growing program over the last 15 years has been the School to Work Program, a corporate mentoring program principally targeting high school students. Children are matched with corporations that expose them to careers where they have specific interests. Kids are transported from their high school to corporate work sites once a month for four hours. There are 46 corporate sites around Miami-Dade County that participate in the program, among them Baptist Health South Florida, which has over 200 employee volunteers. Last year, more than 800 high school students were mentored through this program. Elizabeth Garcia, a 22-year-old university student, has participated in the School to Work Program since she was a sophomore in high school. Her work site was the Univision television network.

“I was not the ideal student; my freshman year I failed a class and struggled through high school. Two teachers saw something special in me and recommended me for the program,” she explained. “Big Brothers Big Sisters gave me confidence and courage to try harder. I said, ‘if I can do this, what else can I do?’” Ruth Montaner was her big sister. “She grew tremendously, thanks to the program. She was a kid with a lot of tools that she was not able to develop and use properly until she entered in the program. She’s very smart, but I don’t think she was focused on what she wanted,” said Montaner. “The structure of the program helped her to get her mind focused on exactly what she wanted in life. I don’t think she had that orientation before. She was inspired by the program and finally found what she wanted to be in life.” Muniz herself has been a big sister to “Iska” for the past five years. Muniz is also focused on the organization’s Big Return campaign. Its goals include owning a permanent home in early 2015, growing sustainable revenue to expand services to reach 5,000 children per year, and building an endowment. “Recessions come and go, but [we want to make sure] the programs and the kids are not at risk because the wind is blowing in the wrong direction. Long-term sustainability is our next principal goal.” The organization is on the right track. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America recently awarded the local chapter three national awards. And the Miller Foundation, which funds the Five Millers Big Brothers Big Sisters Continuing Education and Scholarship Program, extended its five-year grant by adding another year. The extension grants an additional $1.3 million toward scholarships and programming. E —Millie Acebal Rousseau

Photo by Donna Victor

After nearly three decades of persistence and hard work, Muniz and the non-profit just received a $5 million donation from the Carnival Foundation.

Lydia I. Muniz, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami and Iska Rivera. FEBRUARY 2015



Diamond Jubilee Gala


Miami Jewish Health SystemsÂŽ For more information contact ChurĂŠ Gladwell, Vice President & Chief Development Officer 305.762.1409 or

Photo by Stephen Boxall


Senator Anitere Flores Florida Senate, 37th District

Senator Anitere Flores is the first woman since Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to serve in both the state House and Senate. Her agenda: Buttressing education and keeping big government at bay. FEBRUARY 2015






Senator Anitere Flores. In 2010, she was named president of the nascent Doral College in west Miami-Dade County. Flores’ political career took hold in 2004, when at the age of 27, she was encouraged by family members and others to run for the Florida House when the incumbent opted not to seek re-election. “I was concerned my youth would be an issue, but my mom said, ‘you’ve been meant to do this your entire life,’” she recalled. Flores credits her mother with sparking her interest in politics. As a child, her mother would take her to campaign and voting events. “I always grew up around it and she taught me the importance of being involved and aware of government,” Flores said. So she ran for the House seat, was elected, and served until 2010. Flores won a term in the upper house and has retained her seat in the Senate. Due to re-districting in 2012, she won’t be up for re-election until 2016. Flores is the first Hispanic Republican woman to serve in both the House and Senate since Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, now a congresswoman. As senator of the 37th District, Flores serves more than 500,000 constituents spanning Kendall and West Kendall and parts of Westchester. She was recently elected chair of the Miami-Dade Legislative delegation and sits on several national and community boards, including the National Assessment Governing Board, a bipartisan board created by Congress that sets policy for the Washington-based National Assessment of Educational Progress. “She certainly understands this community and the importance of education, which are both important for the economic prosperity of

this community,” said Steve Sauls, vice president of governmental relations at Florida International University and Flores’ former boss when she worked at the university. “It’s been wonderful to watch her grow and develop as a professional and in her role as a legislator,” he added. “She is increasingly one of the strongest representatives that Miami-Dade County has in the Legislature at this time.” Carlos A. Carrillo, regional vice president of Miami-Dade County Associated Builders and Contractors, Florida East Coast Chapter, Inc., a Florida trade association representing the commercial construction industry, said Flores always has an open door for its members. “Her openness and willingness to listen to business owners is huge,” said Carrillo. “The fact that she’s able to sit down and talk to people, hear what their problems are and what the government can be doing better, then attacking those issues, is huge.” Flores identifies with the Republican Party, she explained, because the party is in line with the ideals that are important to her, including family and limiting government intrusion in the life of citizens and business. As the daughter of two political refugees, she understands the importance of protecting free markets. Flores believes it is up to those in power now to protect democracy so that future generations will have the same opportunities that were afforded her and her family after they left Communist Cuba. “I saw how everything was taken away from them,” she says, “and to be able to live in a democracy, I was taught, you have to work for it.” E —Millie Acebal Rousseau

Photo by Stephen Boxall

lorida Sen. Anitere Flores has caught the attention of the GOP’s leadership in a significant way. In mid-January, at the Republican National Committee winter meetings in San Diego, she was one of four people named to the party’s Rising Stars program, which was launched in 2013 to give party standouts a national platform to promote their views. There are two main causes that Flores says she is devoted to: helping business groups such as the construction industry expand, and supporting education initiatives that will help the business community build a more skilled workforce. “What you hear from a lot of businesses is that the reason they hire people [from] outside of our state is because the education standards aren’t as high” within the state of Florida, she contends. She believes if schools do a good job at educating future workers, business owners won’t have to venture outside Florida to find qualified talent. Politically, she’s devoted the past decade to finding ways that will ensure students are prepared for the jobs of today. One example of her efforts was House Bill 795, which in 2006, created the First Generation Matching Grant Program, a need-based grant available to state university undergraduate degree-seeking students who are the first in their immediate families to go to college. To date, the Legislature has appropriated $57.7 million for the program. To help the construction industry, she worked in the Senate for two years on a public-private partnership bill designed to expedite the construction of new public buildings, mostly for universities, colleges and school districts. Flores explained that due to red tape and a lack of funding, there had been a large backlog of unfulfilled requests filed by state institutions that wanted to expand their facilities. “We filed and passed a bill [in 2013] that streamlined the process and made it easier.” Flores was the sponsor of the Senate version of the bill, but it was the companion bill in the House that ultimately passed. Flores’ roots in developing and promoting new education policies precede her legislative career. A 2001 graduate of the University of Florida College of Law—she never practiced professionally—she went to work for the Florida House on education matters immediately after leaving school. The same year, she moved to the executive branch to work for then Governor Jeb Bush as education policy chief. Over the ensuing nine years, she worked in various roles for Florida International University.

Photo by Donna Victor



Managing Director, Hamptons Group LLC After lengthy service in senior leadership positions with publicly traded companies, Jeffrey Bartel set out to write a new chapter in his career. He decided on the capital markets field. The move, he says, has allowed him “more time to volunteer and devote to philanthropic and community nonprofit organizations� and to dedicate himself to his young children, family and friends.





efore he started the Hamptons Group, Jeffrey Bartel served as a senior corporate officer with Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) and its publicly traded parent, NextEra Energy. His areas of involvement were wide-ranging: financial, regulatory, legal and compliance, corporate, governmental, external and public affairs. Prior to joining the utility, he enjoyed successful careers in law and in government, serving as a senior partner at two of Florida’s largest law firms – Stearns Weaver Miller and before that, Steel Hector & Davis. Earlier, he served as a chief of staff in Congress and, before that, as the top aide to the mayor of Miami. He has served on a number of boards, including the Orange Bowl Committee, United Way of Miami-Dade, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Beacon Council and the Miami Children’s Museum. EXECUTIVE South Florida magazine: Has the management field always been a baseline interest for you? Jeffrey S. Bartel: For as long as I can remember, even as a teenager, I had a passion to make a difference. In the private and even public sectors, I have loved seeking and maximizing opportunities, optimizing results, and helping lead people, organizations, offices and companies to be transformative and exceed their own expectations. So it was natural to personally step up, develop, drive and deliver in leadership and executive roles, whether they were in corporate operations and finance, entrepreneurial pursuits, law, government or public affairs. I love strategic thinking, and helping to lead an entity through execution, while improving performance, creating value, pursuing best practices, and doing so with a servant-leadership style and mentality, are all part of that. Whether it’s private sector, large or small corporate settings, nonprofits, or in government or law as in in the past, the same approach holds true: You can either wait for results or create them. EXECUTIVE: What is your company Hamptons Group and in what direction do you hope to take the firm? Bartel: Hamptons Group is the private investment firm I founded five years ago to focus on capital markets and a diversified class of public and private assets in real estate and financial services; infrastructure, energy and telecommunication; and targeted retail, food and beverage, and entertainment businesses. We engage in direct capital, and structure equity investments and debt financing in a wide range of transactions, as well as provide strategic advisory and business consulting services to select entities and C-suites. From the beginning, we pursued a philosophy of selectivity and to focus on targeted companies and on industries and venture-oriented investments in our wheelhouse where we can optimize value and outcomes. Our plans for the future involve adding additional depth to our investments but to maintain—really continue to limit—the breadth of investment sectors in our portfolio. In addition, we will continue to provide and grow the strategic advisory and consulting aspects of Hamptons Group using our subject matter expertise and experience to help serve other companies and entities to optimize their own success. EXECUTIVE: Was there any particular event or series of circumstances that inspired you to enter the capital markets area? Bartel: After starting off in government, then private law practice, and then in the Fortune 200 corporate world, there came a point about five years ago when both my wife and I were asking ourselves, with our two 30


young children, “how do we want to spend the next chapter of our careers?” We each were senior officers in public companies and empirically successful but decided that, for now at least, it was time to take ownership of our own pursuits through entrepreneurship and private investment. Capital markets were a natural fit for me given my experience and subject matter expertise. Retail and franchising were the natural fit for my wife given hers. For me, being able to utilize and leverage my career experiences in pursuit of my own private investment and advisory firm have been tremendously fulfilling. It has also allowed more time to volunteer and devote to philanthropic and community nonprofit organizations, pursue wellness, travel and hobbies like music and cooking and, most importantly, to dedicate myself to our young children, family and dear friends. EXECUTIVE: When compared with past surges of inbound capital, do you think money from abroad will be more of a permanent feature on the local investment scene? Bartel: As someone born and raised in Miami, who left for school and early career but ultimately returned, the transformation of Miami over the last four decades, particularly the last decade, has been remarkable. I’ve seen Miami become “capital of Latin America” and it has now evolved into “one of the great global cities.” By all indicators, business and human capital investment in South Florida, but Greater Miami in particular, is a permanent feature. The single greatest risk to long-term growth and sustainability of our community is from nature—major hurricanes and systemic rising sea levels. What’s most noticeable now is that investment from out-of-market into Miami is coming not only from Latin America, but also heavily from New York and the Northeast, and overseas from Europe, Eurasia and the Far East. With this geographic diversity of investors comes a more sustainable and secure investment and business platform for Miami that will certainly carry on for the next decade or two, if not beyond. It’s tough to beat global, glitzy and growing, and that’s Miami. EXECUTIVE: How would you rate the level of involvement by our executive community in civic causes? Bartel: South Florida’s executive community is, on the whole, very active in nonprofits and NGOs, as well as civic membership groups. There is a core group of C-suite individuals I regularly engage with and see involved in key community organizations. In addition, individual giving levels of major donors are better than before. It has improved greatly over time, particularly as Miami has “matured” as a community. That’s the good news. The challenge, frankly, is that we aren’t there yet as a community culture of giving and are challenged by a lack of depth of community activism within corporations and across demographics. Corporate social responsibility has not come naturally to many of our companies and residents. Objective data and published reports tell us that, as a major metropolitan area, we are not nearly as “engaged” as most other cities. We’re a community of engaged individual donors right now, because we have very few large corporations or major corporate headquarters. As a city filled with small and mid-cap companies, we have to spend more time and energy casting a wider net and broadening corporate community engagement. It’s one of the areas that organizations I’m involved in—like United Way and the Miami Foundation, and universities like UM, FIU, MDC and others— are examining and focusing on. For this city to be truly great, we have to have a strong, engaged sense of community, and we need to work much harder on that, particularly luring more large companies to headquarter here. E


Building Steve Patterson President and CEO Related Development

Carlos Rosso

President Condominium Development Division The Related Group

A Legacy After shepherding their company through a brutal downturn, Jorge PĂŠrez and his management team reshaped their business to maximize profits and ensure sustainability for the future. By Richard Westlund | Photography by Donna Victor

Matthew J. Allen Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer The Related Group

Lissette Calderon Alberto Milo Jr. President International and Strategic Projects The Related Group

Principal and Senior Vice President Related Urban Development

Jorge M. PĂŠrez

Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & Founder The Related Group


While some people are satisfied with a certain level of success in our business, I am not,” I always believe we can do better, and I push everyone to take us to a higher level. — Jorge M. Pérez

ithout a doubt, The Related Group is one of South Florida’s most remarkable success stories. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the Miami real estate development company led by the legendary Jorge M. Pérez has seen explosive growth since the dark days of the 2008 financial crisis. Led by the hard-driving Pérez as chairman and CEO, The Related Group today has more than two dozen active residential projects in its portfolio, ranging from luxury high-rise condominiums to multifamily rentals to afforable housing. In addition, The Related Group is expanding beyond its traditional South Florida market with new developments in the Southeast United States, Brazil, Mexico, Panama and India. With his visionary leadership, Pérez has attracted a dynamic team of experienced real estate professionals who helped the company survive the collapse of the housing market five years ago, and who are now crafting and implementing Related’s strategic diversification strategy. “The success of any company depends on its people,” says Pérez. “That’s particularly true in real estate because you have to pay close attention to all the details.” For Related, the development process includes in-depth market research, finding and acquiring sites, obtaining government approvals, designing the exterior and interior, determining which amenities to include, selling or leasing the residences, and managing the construction team at every step through completion. “Our goal at Related is to deliver excellent projects at a profit,” Pérez says. “That is very difficult to do over a long period, especially since our developments cater to different markets and income levels. That’s why we are very careful when recruiting new people for our team, and make sure they get the training and support to become leaders in their fields.” In choosing executives, Pérez looks for professionals with honesty, integrity, loyalty, intelligence and a passion for real estate. “I don’t want someone who looks at this as a 9 to 5 business,” he says. “I want people who can’t wait to come to the office each day, love what they do, and feel proud of their projects.”

RELATED’S RECIPE FOR SUCCESS While there are many elements in Related’s recipe for success, it all begins with Pérez himself. “While some people are satisfied with a certain level of success in our business, I am not,” Pérez says. “I always believe we can do better, and I push everyone to take us to a higher level.” Sonia Figueroa, who has known Pérez for more than 30 years and is now senior vice president of development, calls him “one of the hardest-working people” she has ever known. “Jorge is always super involved in everything,” she adds. “When he was on a vacation in Greece, he would send us photos of an authentic local restaurant explaining what he wants to see in our next beach club.” While Pérez pays a great deal of attention to the details in every project—and is constantly on the phone, texting or emailing

his executives, he also gives them the latitude to make their own decisions. “We encourage our executives to take an entrepreneurial approach to the market,” he says. “Our division heads have a big stake in our performance, since their compensation is largely derived from the profitability of their projects. So, everyone has to fish in order to eat.” Steve Patterson, who leads Related’s multifamily rental development division, agrees, noting that the company’s leaders are rewarded for taking action to solve problems large and small. “We all work hard, but have fun at the same time,” he says. “Related is not a company for the meek, but for those who love a feeling of accomplishment and want to make a difference.” Overall, The Related Group has more than 500 employees who work in the downtown

Miami office and on site at the company’s many projects. The privately held company has a strong balance sheet and no corporate debt. “We are using much less leverage than in the past, so our bank loans are minimal,” Pérez says. “We take a conservative approach and are striving for long-term sustainability, rather than maximizing profits from any one project.” After the 2008 meltdown on Wall Street and collapse of the housing market, Pérez had to negotiate with lenders on about $2 billion in loans for its active developments. “In some cases, we worked things out and on others we had friendly foreclosures,” says Matthew J. Allen, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). “In many cases, we got those assets back and those banks are still with us today.” FEBRUARY 2015


Building A Legacy Meanwhile, Pérez established a separate fund to buy other distressed properties, eventually accumulating more than $750 million in assets, including land for future projects. In South Florida’s residential market, one of Related’s advantages is its flexibility in developing different types of residential projects. “One of the biggest challenges for us is identifying what we will do next,” says Carlos Rosso, who leads the condominium division. “We look at many different sites and possible locations, and if one type of project doesn’t work out, we can have another one that’s ready to go,” he says. Pérez also keeps challenging his executives to stay ahead of the market, such as looking at opportunities to build affordable student housing or mixed-use projects around transit stations. “There are always better ways of doing things and new growth opportunities,” he says. “That constant thought-provoking process is something I bring to the table.” Lissette Calderon, who leads the international division, says Pérez makes sure that Related’s executives share best practices and leverage their resources and for the overall benefit of the company. “We want our people talking to each other and sharing their ideas and information,” Pérez adds. “For example, if we have a successful marketing program for a condominium, we will look at how we can apply that to a rental project. Or if the rental team finds a great landscape architect or designer, they will share that experience with our affordable housing or condominium division.” Along with Related’s work ethic, entrepreneurial climate, and spirit of sharing, an emphasis on architecture and design is another factor in the company’s success. Famous designers like Philippe Starck, David Rockwell, Karim Rashid and Yabu Pushelberg have served as collaborators and inspirations for Related properties. “When you are working for one of the nation’s biggest developers, a Philippe Starck will take our calls,” says Figueroa. “That opens doors for Related to bring in the best designers and architects, keeping our projects fresh and exciting.” Fine art is another priority for both Pérez and The Related Group. The company has two full-time professionals who attend art fairs, galleries, studios before making their recommendations to Pérez. “I am passionate about art, and our projects showcase museum-quality works, including our affordable housing developments. Art educates and inspires people of all ages.” A long-time art collector and philanthropist, Pérez provided a $40 million gift to the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), which opened in December 2013. “Great art needs to be accessible to the public,” he says. “Worldclass cultural facilities are also essential for Miami’s future.” 36


Rendering of Auberge, Fort Lauderdale.

A DIVISIONAL STRUCTURE Under Pérez, The Related Group has four main profit centers that focus on new developments: condominiums, multifamily rentals, affordable housing and international. They are supported by the company’s other divisions, such as construction and sales. On a day-to-day basis, Related’s operations are managed by Allen, who leads the company’s executive committee and oversees the finance, acquisitions, human resources, marketing, legal, accounting, asset management and property management divisions. “I feel like I am the glue of the company, keeping the pieces all together,” says Allen, who joined Related in 1999 as the chief financial officer (CFO). In the past 15 years, he has been responsible for raising more than $13 billion in equity capital and debt. “I look at our division leaders as partners in our joint

venture, making sure things keep moving forward each day.” Allen also holds twice monthly staff meetings to discuss the status of every project. “You have to be disciplined in this business, and you can’t ever forget the basics,” he says. “Watching the expenses and managing the cash flow are essential to success.” Allen says Related monitors its project costs closely, right from the initial concept. “If we sell units too cheaply and the costs go up, there will be no profit margin to sustain our company,” he says. “So we evaluate every project every month to be sure we maintain those financial controls.” Reflecting on his role, Allen says he enjoys the variety of challenges that come with each day. “I love being in this competitive real estate environment,” he says. “It really brings out the best in everyone.”

recently completed or under construction. “I have a really interesting workday,” says Figueroa, who guides each development from design to completion. “At 7 a.m., I might put on my hardhat and walk through a construction site. Then, I’ll change to high heels and meet with our sales team as we decide on a signature cocktail from [Miami chef and restaurateur] Michael Schwartz for a sales reception.” Figueroa met Pérez more than three decades ago when he was working on affordable housing for the City of Miami. They became friends, and Figueroa joined Related in 1998. After a stint in the rental division, she moved into condo development with luxury projects like Portofino, Murano and One Ocean, changing the “South of Fifth” skyline in Miami Beach. “Jorge has always has had a strong sense of what makes a good neighborhood,” she says. “He was also a leader in revitalizing downtown Miami, at a time when no one else was building residences. He knew that developing housing in the urban core would bring in restaurants and shops, creating a new walkable downtown lifestyle.”

MULTIFAMILY RENTALS CONDOMINIUM DEVELOPMENT In November 2014, The Related Group broke ground on Paraiso Bay, a four-tower condominium project in Edgewater that was already 80 percent sold out. “Whenever we do a groundbreaking, we give one of the ceremonial shovels to the city mayor,” says Rosso, who is president, condominium development. “But we are very frugal, so we keep the other ones and use them again in the future.” A native of Argentina, Rosso earned a master’s degree in architecture at Universidad de Buenos Aires followed by a master’s degree in real estate development and finance from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He spent more than a decade working in Boston, before joining Related in 2002 as an assistant rental manager. “Jorge is very good at bringing in young talent—people with the

entrepreneurial spirit and willingness to succeed,” he says. Since then, Rosso has gained a firsthand perspective on the boom, bust and recovery of South Florida’s condominium market. “We had a great ride until the crash,” he says. “Then we reinvented ourselves, taking steps to minimize the financial risks.” Like other condominium developers focusing on the affluent Latin American market, Related typically requires larger deposits and interim payments as a new building is constructed. That reduces the developer’s reliance on hard-to-get construction loans, while making it more likely for the buyer to close the transaction. Four years into the new growth cycle, Rosso is guiding Related’s 15 condominium projects with around 4,500 units that are underway in South Florida and several international locations. “We have about 20 executives who run these projects, and also bring new opportunities to us,” he says. “We all get along very well.” A key member of Rosso’s team is Figueroa, whose portfolio consists of five projects

With a flood of Millennials entering the workforce and U.S. homeownership at the lowest point since 1995, rental apartments are in high demand throughout South Florida. In September, Related broke ground on four new multifamily rental projects totaling 1,129 units, and now has more than 2,500 rental units under construction in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Eight more rental projects are in the planning phase in South Florida, Tampa, Orlando and Atlanta. “We believe the rental demographics are strong, particularly as Florida’s economic recovery continues,” says Patterson, who is president and CEO of Related Development, LLC, the company’s multifamily residential division. “To meet that demand, we are delivering well-located, highly amenitized apartments worthy of today’s demanding residents.” A seasoned developer with more than 30 years of real estate experience, Patterson was CEO and president of ZOM Holding, Inc., a multifamily and commercial development and management company, prior to joining Related in 2010. “Jorge and I would watch FEBRUARY 2015


Building A Legacy


Matthew J. Allen Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer The Related Group. each other’s projects and occasionally we would get together and exchange ideas,” says Patterson. “Four years ago, he invited me to lunch and explained his vision for restarting the multifamily rental division at the beginning of a new real estate cycle. I jumped in with both feet and am really excited about the portfolio we are building.” One of Patterson’s biggest challenges has been securing land for new rental developments. He says condominium developers can pay a higher price for a suitable multifamily site, and the high cost of land near the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway almost precludes rental developments. As a result, Related has focused on sites in infill locations close to employment centers. In addition, the company opened an Atlanta office, and may start two rental projects there this year. Patterson says his personal goal is to ensure that every one of Related’s rental projects is better than the last one in terms of appearance, interior design and amenities. But higher costs for land and construction are a continuing challenge. 38


“We spend a great deal of time with floor planning so we don’t waste a single square foot,” he says. “Being able to offer an attractive 900-square-foot unit that is just as functional as one with 1,000 square feet makes a tremendous difference in equalizing the pricing scale.” Most of Patterson’s 20-plus-member team is out in the field, advising general contractors and monitoring production schedules. “We have a best practices meeting once a month in my group, where we talk about the surprises that have occurred and how we dealt with them. With our company’s commitment to training, I spend about 20 percent of my day coaching and mentoring the people in my group.” In turn, Patterson talks with Pérez and the other division leaders when he encounters obstacles. For instance, one rental project ran into a problem with a neighborhood group that was holding up a necessary entitlement from a city. “Jorge explained how he had resolved a similar problem in Brazil,” Patterson says. “We sat down with the objectors and were able to resolve the issue quickly.”

Alberto Milo, Jr., takes pride in developing comfortable and affordable homes for South Florida’s elderly residents and families with modest income. “Today, people are living longer in retirement, but their fixed incomes have not kept pace with the cost of living,” he says. “There is a great need to provide housing for these people Milo is principal and senior vice president of Related Urban Development Group (RUDG), LLC, formed in 2009 to develop and acquire affordable and workforce housing. “We have a partnership with Miami-Dade County to renovate its inventory of public housing,” Milo says. So far, public funding has been secured for five projects with more than 650 units that are located in southern MiamiDade, Coconut Grove, West Brickell, Allapattah and near the Miami River. Milo’s division also completed a large-scale redevelopment of a foreclosed community in Orange County, and is working with the City of Hollywood’s housing authority on a project for the elderly. In Miami-Dade, another four projects totaling 360 units are in the approval stage. Pérez launched RUDG after the economic downturn in order to get back to his roots in affordable housing, and diversify his development portfolio, Milo says. “Today, the market for affordable housing is almost endless.” A 23-year industry veteran, Milo has been developing affordable and workforce housing since 1999. A licensed mortgage and real estate broker, Milo has served on the MiamiDade County Industrial Development Authority since 2005 and was also a member of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Housing Committee. He was named 2009 “Builder of the Year” by the Builders Association of South Florida and served as BASF president in 2011. “I have a very hands-on leadership style with our team,” Milo says. “Our projects also require a lot of dialogue with elected officials, government agencies and residents of buildings we plan to renovate. So, I spend a lot of my time in meetings.” “Many people don’t realize there are different types of affordable housing,” Milo says. “There is public housing for tenants, particularly the elderly, who cannot afford to pay market-rate rents. Without a federal subsidy, they would have nowhere to live.” Related also builds workforce housing for people in the service industries, such as waiters, bus drivers and housekeepers.

“It’s hard to find quality housing when you make only $25,000 a year,” Milo says. “There are many working people in South Florida who fall into that category.” But regardless of market segment, Related’s affordable housing projects have the same features and fixtures as its market-rate rental projects. As Milo says, “Affordable housing doesn’t need to look cheap.” Milo says working with Pérez has been both an exciting and an educational experience. “One of the biggest lessons I have learned from Jorge is the importance of focusing on the design at an early stage before you move into the construction process,” he says. For example, the location of the trash collection room in a multifamily rental building n eed s t o b e ca re f u l l y c o n s i d e re d t o minimize the impact on tenants. “When people look at our projects, they think about the views, the living spaces and the amenities,” he says. “But all the details of the building need to be right in order to have a successful project.”

INTERNATIONAL In late 2014, Pérez appointed Calderon as president of Related’s International and Strategic Projects, the first woman to lead one of the company’s divisions. “Our goal is to leverage our South Florida platform and expand it to national and international levels within our strategic framework,” says Calderon. “I also want to move the needle when it comes to developing young talent, especially building a broader pool of female executives in this industry.” Calderon first worked at Related in the 1990s as a project manager and senior project manager. In 2002, Calderon founded her own company and developed NeoLofts, the first residential project on the Miami River, and eventually completed nearly 1,200 condominium units in Miami’s urban core. Calderon calls Pérez a “mentor,” explaining that he taught her to “work tirelessly, believe in myself and go with my gut” and to literally build

a business from the ground up. “I am proud to return to Related after all these years,” she says. “Jorge is a true visionary, who is determined, passionate, charismatic and pragmatic. His no-nonsense style might not be for everybody, but I would describe him as a fair and demanding leader who would never expect something from his people that he wouldn’t expect from himself.” Calderon says she plans to promote Related’s brand and projects in key global markets. Currently, Related has investments in Spain, Mexico, Brazil, India and Panama. “I would say that we are just getting started internationally,” she adds. “We are defining our strategic path and how we will go to market internationally. Every country has its own set of parameters, and we are taking our expertise and bringing it to each individual country.” Calderon says Related’s U.S. operations are far more established, with a formula that involves launching innovative concepts in great locations at the right time to enter new local markets. “No matter what geographic area we enter, our value proposition remains the same,” she says. “Making sure we maintain our brand equity in everything we do is important, so the selection of investments and partners is key for our success.”


Carlos Rosso President Condominium Development Division of The Related Group.

Asked why Related has been so successful, Allen says, “It all starts with Jorge. He demands the best. He has a big heart, but he drives us from project to project. He will not settle for being average or even good. He wants to leave a legacy of excellence in Miami. At age 64, Pérez says he has no desire to slow down, although he does travel frequently, leaving key decisions to Related’s executive committee. Meanwhile, Pérez continues to seek out younger talent, including his oldest sons. Paul, 30, is working on Related’s new developments. Nicholas, 27, is in the international division. “They both have a passion for real estate and desire to learn,” Pérez adds. Looking ahead, Pérez emphasizes the ongoing strength of Related’s leadership team. “We have rebounded from the worst real estate market in memory,” he says. “We have learned from that experience, and have a great team in place. With our ability to serve different income levels and different markets around the world, I see a very bright future for The Related Group.” E FEBRUARY 2015


On The Road To A Recovery CEO Carlos Migoya has teamed with a strong supporting cast to foster a turnaround at the nation’s largest public health system.

By Mike Seemuth | Photography by Jorge Parra

LEFT TO RIGHT: Mark T. Knight, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Carlos A. Migoya, CEO of Jackson Health System Daryl Sharpton, Chairman of Jackson’s Governing Board, the Public Health Trust. 40





artha Baker, a registered nurse and a 30-year employee of Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, also is a Jackson union leader who presided over a four-year suspension of pay raises for nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals at the county hospital. Some of her former colleagues left for jobs at other hospitals after Jackson cut employee pay and suspended raises in 2010 to avert financial insolvency. “There was 5 percent off base pay the last four years. ... Baptist and the University of Miami were recruiting our nurses like crazy,” said Baker, president of Local 1991 of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents about 4,000 of Jackson’s 10,000 employees. However, “many of us stayed because we love this mission to give care to anybody, regardless of their ability to pay, at a high standard of care.” Their loyalty was rewarded in November when the SEIU and Jackson’s management agreed on a new three-year labor contract ending the suspension of pay raises for Jackson employees and featuring an immediate onetime payment to all employees equal to 2 percent of their base pay. The hospital’s nonprofit umbrella organization, Jackson Health System, is in a financial 42


Members of the Public Health Trust board conclude a regularly scheduled meeting in Miami. turnaround under the leadership of its CEO, former banker and former Miami City Manager Carlos Migoya. The county hospital and its affiliated health-care operations are two years into their turnaround. Jackson Health System had a net increase in its fund position of $8.2 million in fiscal year 2012, ending September 30, 2012, after amassing fund deficits of $417 million in the three preceding fiscal years: $81 million in 2011, $93 million in 2010 and $244 million in 2009. Jackson recorded a net increase in its fund position of $51 million in fiscal 2013, and preliminary financial results for fiscal 2014 showed another net increase by a similar amount. The Jackson Health System, with the safetynet county hospital Jackson Memorial as its centerpiece, is an organizational octopus encompassing facilities for primary care and specialty care, school-based clinics, two long-term nursing facilities, six clinics serving inmates of county corrections facilities, Holtz Children’s Hospital, Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital, Jackson Behavioral Health Hospital, the Jackson North Medical Center and the Jackson South Community Hospital. The Jackson system features world-class capabilities in organ transplants and trauma care, among other centers of excellence. It also is one of two hospitals in the Miami area designated by the Florida Legislature as teaching hospitals. The other one is Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, which fills 163 residency slots for medical school graduates. Jackson fills more than 1,000.

Few Miami-area employers are hiring full-time employees faster than Jackson, which is trying to reduce its exposure to overtime pay and agency fees for temporary workers. Jackson filled 700 full-time positions from August to October and was still trying to fill 500 more. But the cost of staffing Jackson remains considerable and could come under pressure again. Salaries and related costs top $800 million a year and account for about half of the operating expenses of the Jackson Health System, where public subsidies sometimes are enough to offset Jackson’s chronic losses on operations. “Operationally, it’s hard to run this big hospital with its mission and make money,” Baker said. “Public dollars really put us in the black.” Jackson collects what it calls “non-operating revenue” from a share of county property taxes and a half-cent county sales tax, which has generated more revenue for Jackson as the local economy has improved and consumer spending has increased. The Jackson Health System, with the safety-net county hospital Jackson Memorial as its centerpiece, is an organizational octopus encompassing facilities for primary care and specialty care, school-based clinics, two long-term nursing facilities, six clinics serving inmates of county corrections facilities, Holtz Children’s Hospital, Jackson Rehabilitation Hospital, Jackson Behavioral Health Hospital, the Jackson North Medical Center and the Jackson South Community

Hospital. The Jackson system features world-class capabilities in organ transplants and trauma care, among other centers of excellence. It also is one of two hospitals in the Miami area designated by the Florida Legislature as teaching hospitals. The other one is Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, which fills 163 residency slots for medical school graduates. Jackson fills more than 1,000. “Jackson Hospital has a single license number but in their marketing and management function, they divide the buildings and beds into individual hospitals,” said Linda Quick, president of the South Florida Hospital and Health Care Association, which counts Jackson among its members. She said Migoya as CEO has brought effective oversight to Jackson despite his lack of prior experience in hospital administration. “He’s done a terrific job from the 5,000-foot level up,” Quick said, noting that improvements in accounts receivable collection, purchasing and other business practices have contributed to Jackson’s financial turnaround. “Some of it obviously is from doing a better job of collection.” and other business practices have contributed to Jackson’s financial turnaround. She also cited the managerial contributions of Don Steigman, a former executive of the Tenet hospital network who joined the Jackson Health System in 2011 as its chief operating officer. Migoya, the banker-turned-hospital administrator atop Jackson, can rely on the health-care expertise of Steigman, Quick said, because the Jackson COO “is a hospital administrator by education, training and experience ... I don’t think he [Migoya] would be able to do this without Don.” Certified public accountant Mark Knight is a Fort Lauderdale native who performed financial management duties for the North Broward Hospital District and the Health Care District of Palm Beach County before he became Jackson’s chief financial officer in October 2010. Jackson was in a liquidity crisis when Knight arrived. He said the Jackson Health System had only enough cash to fund nine days of operations, compared to 42 days now. Jackson still faces challenges. The Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” was supposed to take financial pressure off hospitals like Jackson by reducing the number of uninsured, or “self-pay,” patients. Knight said insurers have sold many lowpremium, high-deductible Obamacare policies. “In order to make the premium affordable, they have to make the deductible really, really high,” he said. “A lot of people have a $5,000-to-$10,000 deductible that they can’t ever meet anyway.

Carlos A. Migoya, CEO of Jackson Health System. So frequently we’re just having to write those off to bad debts,” Knight said. “They don’t qualify for charity. They don’t qualify for Medicaid because they technically have insurance. They just can’t pay the deductible.” Medicaid, which pays for 35 percent of the patient care at Jackson, poses another challenge. The public health insurance program for low-income patients in July started covering eligible Floridians through health maintenance organizations (HMOs). “That means our reimbursements are going to be even further reduced, from a competitive nature. So we have a big risk there,” said Migoya, who started working at the old Southeast Bank in Miami in 1974 and remained with the bank for 35 years after the old First Union acquired Southeast and after the old Wachovia National Bank acquired First Union. Migoya turned from banking to public service, serving as city manager of Miami’s municipal government from February 2010 to November 2010.

“The city had a $100 million deficit on a $500 million budget,” he said. “I got a little bit of a taste of what the public sector is like.” Migoya got a big taste when he joined the Jackson Health System as its CEO in May 2011, a time when the system was short on cash and direction. “It was a firefight, that’s for sure,” he said. “In five years, we had lost approximately $450 million, and the forecast for that first year was to lose another $400 million if we hadn’t done anything … so it took a lot to work through that process and reduce expenses.” Under Migoya, Jackson cut operating expenses by $220 million to $1.55 billion in fiscal 2012, from $1.77 billion in fiscal 2011. The cut included a year-over-year reduction in salaries and related costs to $828 million in 2012, from $871 million in 2011. “And at the end of all that,” Migoya said, “we were able to manage a slight surplus of $8 million.” The achievement marked the start of Jackson’s financial turnaround. FEBRUARY 2015


On The Road To A Recovery

Richard M. Klass, Senior Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer and Mark T. Knight, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. The institution’s sheer size remains one of the persistent challenges in running Jackson efficiently. “We are the largest public health system in the country, and we’re certainly one of the largest academic centers in the country with all the residents we have,” Migoya said. “It’s quite a complex organization. It’s not an average county hospital.” Miami-Dade voters gave Jackson’s turnaround a big push by approving an $830 million county bond issue to pay for part of Jackson’s $1.4 billion building plan to rebuild the flagship hospital and put up three new towers on its main Miami campus—one for rehabilitation, one for intensive care, and one for transplants. “We announced several months ago a $1.4 billion capital campaign to modernize every floor, every patient room, every E.R., every operating room and build ambulatory centers across the community. Plus three new towers here at Jackson Memorial,” Migoya said. The building plan may unfold more slowly than expected if a citizens advisory committee objects to spending plans for proceeds from the voter-approved $830 million bond issue. As of early November, the committee had filled six of its nine positions, “so now they have a quorum,” said Darryl Sharpton, an accounting firm owner who serves as chairman of Jackson’s governing board, the Public Health Trust. 44


Darryl Sharpton, Chairman, Jackson’s governing board, Public Health Trust.

Sharpton established his accounting and advisory firm the Sharpton Group, formerly known as Sharpton, Brunson & Company, P.A., in 1984 and has prior experience in public service. In 2001, former Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Sharpton to the boards of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority and Metropolitan Planning Organization, two volunteer positions he held until 2007. In 2011, Sharpton joined Jackson’s Financial Recovery Board, which the county commission created to temporarily supplant the Public Health Trust., which had too many members, among other problems. “It was 17 and, if I’m not mistaken, five advisory persons. So it was a mammoth board. ... It was a mess,” said Sharpton. He served two years as vice chairman of the Financial Recovery Board before becoming chairman of the reconstituted Public Health Trust in June 2013. “I thought I would only serve for three to six months. I have stayed two and a half years longer than I anticipated,” Sharpton said. When he joined the old Financial Recovery Board in 2011, Jackson was starved for cash, Sharpton said. “From an accounting perspective, and taking a look at the numbers, you probably could have declared Jackson insolvent,” he said. “There were discussions of actually selling parts of Jackson, and I’m happy that it did not happen.”

Sharpton said Migoya has excelled as CEO of Jackson: “We started to collect on receivables and turn the place around ... He got the job done.” Migoya and his management team at Jackson also “started to work on the culture there and the morale,” Sharpton said. “They focused on a culture of ‘can-do,’ and that took us a long, long, long way .... Carlos and his staff have been very nimble and also visionary, and I’m confident we’re on the right track for the long-term fiscal health of the trust.” Other hospital leaders have a similarly upbeat assessment of the prospects of Jackson. Steve Sonenreich, chief executive officer of Mount Sinai Medical Center, said, “I am not surprised at what has been accomplished at Jackson because I have known Carlos [Migoya] for a long time, and Carlos actually sat with me, as I know he sat with others, before taking the [Jackson CEO] job to talk about it, talk about the challenge.” Sonenreich said he regularly meets Migoya for lunch, considers him a “dear friend,” and has known Migoya since his banking days. “He’s obviously a born leader, and he has the courage to surround himself with very strong people,” Sonenreich said. Under Migoya’s leadership, “I am confident that ... Jackson’s turnaround will be sustained.” E

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On The Move As South Florida’s population continues to grow, top transportation executives say infrastructure projects are critical to closing a service gap that faces local commuters and out-of-town visitors. By David Lyons | Photography by Stephen Boxall


hen Emilio T. Gonzalez visits other cities, the Miami-Dade Aviation Director says he often takes stock of how travelers move to and from the local airport. Then, he thinks about how it’s done in Miami. “What I find is that as I travel to other airports, I say, ‘wow, ours is so much better than this,’” Gonzalez said in a recent interview. “Wherever I’m at, in some places the equivalent of rental car centers are on the other side of the airport. The facilities are not as nice as ours. We want to continue to be better, we want to be the airport that other airports point to and say, ‘hey, we want to be just like MIA.’” Gonzalez, who just last year took over the department that oversees the sprawling Miami International Airport, has a good case to make. The Miami Intermodal Center— dubbed in airport brochures as the county’s “first ground transportation hub” - offers airline passengers connections to the Metrobus system, Tri-Rail, Amtrak, taxis and other private transport. The county Metrorail system, built 48


Miami is a name brand. We’ve really been aggressive to get that message out to brand the airport as a global airport. — Emilio T. Gonzalez Director Miami-Dade Aviation Department

Emilio T. Gonzalez, Director of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department. in the 1980s, finally has a station at the airport. And since 2011, the MIA Mover, a 1.25-mile people mover system, offers a connection for passengers headed for nearby rental car agencies. In interviews with Gonzalez and four other public and private sector leaders in South Florida, there is general agreement that the transportation picture for residents and visitors to the region is finally showing improvement thanks to billions of dollars in infrastructure projects. They assert that the region is not far from the day when commuters and other travelers will be afforded more meaningful choices for finding seamless paths to their destinations. But those same commuters and visitors who for years have fought their way between the suburbs of South Florida and downtown areas might be forgiven for displaying some overt skepticism. Since 1980, according to statistics compiled by the South Florida Regional Planning Council, the combined resident population of MiamiDade, Broward and Palm Beach counties stood just short of 3.5 million people. By 2010, that number nearly doubled to more than 6.1 million; by 2030 it is expected to surpass the 7.1 million mark. As the infrastructure requirements expanded from a burgeoning population, local, state and

federal governments could not underwrite highway and other improvements fast enough to keep pace with the growth. For growing numbers of travelers, an inadequate infrastructure often flummoxed those seeking to traverse that one last mile to hotels, leisure spots or cruise ships at South Florida’s seaports. In the 1980s, Miami-Dade County built MetroRail, but its trains didn’t go to the airport, a factor that complicated movement by growing numbers of airline passengers generated by a deregulated commercial aviation industry. The airports and seaport aside, concerns remain about the region’s road system. Despite widening and other enhancement projects along I-95, Florida’s Turnpike and east-west expressways in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, many observers see the day when the area’s road systems will run out of room for expansion. It’s why public and private sector transportation leaders – particularly the men in charge of the Tri-Rail commuter rail system and the nascent All Aboard Florida rail line—think their way is better than the highway. “We have to have options for people to get off the roads,” said Jack L. Stephens, executive director or the South Florida

We have to have options for people to get off the roads. — Jack L. Stephens Executive Director South Florida Regional Transportation Authority

Regional Transportation Authority, which operates Tri-Rail. “You can make a few changes here and there with managed lanes, but once you get beyond that, it’s over,” Stephens said. “There’s nowhere to go.” Stephens, who formerly oversaw the MARTA transit system in Atlanta, argues that a successful transportation system in South Florida must rely on “multiple modes.” “You’re going to have cars, you’re going to have buses, you’re going to have Metrorail and Metro Mover,” he said. “You’re going to have intercity railways all over Florida. My position and my philosophy is we’ve got to embrace all of them. Whether this agency is going to do it or not, I have to support our partner agencies in providing the mobility to the parts of the region. I look for opportunities to connect not just these transit properties in the three counties but also, how are we going to handle the ports? How are we going to handle the airports?” Top executives such as Gonzalez and Stephens, as well as All Aboard Florida President Michael Reininger, Port Everglades Director Steve Cernak and Broward Aviation Director Kent George all are bullish about how newly completed or ongoing projects will contribute to more efficient travel via the facilities they oversee. Gonzalez, who holds a Ph.D .in international relations from the University of Miami, never ran an airport before. But he was brought in by the county for his ability to manage complex organizations. Prior to taking the job in 2013, he served as director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, an undersecretary position with the Department of Homeland Security in Washington during the George W. Bush administration. Besides running Miami International, which he calls the equivalent of the third largest city in the county, he is also responsible for four general aviation airports in the Miami area. In 2013, the airport set a record for annual passenger traffic of 40.5 million, making it the tenth busiest airport in the country, according

Jack L. Stephens Executive Director South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. to data compiled by the Airports Council International, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group. In the same year, the airport ranked second to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in international passengers, and third in total cargo at two million tons. By taking the Miami job, Gonzalez became the overseer of one of the largest airport expansion programs in North America, some $6.5 billion in capital improvements including new terminals and roads at the main airport and at the general aviation airports. Gonzalez is also tasked with drumming up new business, filling in “gaps” as he calls them, in service to various overseas locations. “Miami is still a destination and Miami is a name brand,” he said. “We’ve been really aggressive to get that message out to brand the airport as a global airport and attract additional global carriers from non-traditional parts of the world.”

While South Florida for years has been known as a veritable transportation break—a location where people and goods are in perpetual transit to somewhere else—Gonzalez notes that Miami has morphed into a primary destination in its own right for travelers worldwide. “Atlanta is considered the busiest airport in the world. But nobody goes to Atlanta,” he quipped. “They go through Atlanta. This is a place people actually come to. Or if they come through, they come for a couple of days and route through to somewhere else.” It all makes for a different clientele, he said. “Not that long ago Miami was a place where you went to the beach,” Gonzalez said. “Now we’ve grown up to the point where we’re a city that has a world-renowned cultural and arts scene. We are a major world banking center. There’s a movement to make it a technology center and fashion center. All of this plays into our strategic plan to bring in more international carriers.” FEBRUARY 2015


On The Move In late January, the airport reported 2014 was its fifth consecutive record-breaking year for passenger traffic. It handled 40.9 million air travelers – an increase of 400,000 over 2013. It also set a record for moving cargo at 2.2 million tons, an increase of 55,000 tons over the previous year. “This airport continues to grow,” Gonzalez said. But it’s a process that he calls “smart growth.” That means marshaling technologies to help passengers find their way around the airport and around town. “Technology plays a big part of this,” Gonzalez said. “There was no technology before I got here. We didn’t even have a Facebook page.” They do now. On the day he spoke, the airport publicly introduced a mobile app that offers iPhone and Android users real-time flight tracking as well as information about airport parking, ground transportation, dining and shopping. The app is available in English and Spanish. Gonzalez knows that future airport expansion has its limits, considering that the complex is boxed in on four sides by streets and highways. Unlike Denver, which built a new airport nearly 20 miles from its downtown, a similar scheme for Miami would mean putting a new airport in the Everglades, a dubious proposition. “We have to grow from within,” he said. “We just have to use smart growth.” Among other things, that means erecting specially Kent George, Director, Broward County Aviation Department.

configured gates for wide-bodied aircraft, and making MIA an inviting enough place for passengers to pass through. “If they think that coming into Miami is an insufferable thing they’re required to do, then they will fly somewhere else,” Gonzalez said. He added that a large number of airport users are cruise line passengers who use PortMiami. So it’s critical that the service upgrades he described are made available to those travelers. “My job is to bring back the business of the airport,” he said. “This airport has been under construction for so long. It was more a construction project than it was an airport and that is not to be critical. It’s just a fact of life. That’s not to say we’re not going to have construction. We have the central terminal redevelopment that we’re working on.” Some 20 miles to the north, the stakes are similarly high at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, which recently opened a long-awaited second runway along its southern

perimeter to aid expansion and end years of flight delays. Kent George, Director, Broward County Aviation Department, wants to enhance the airport’s services while infrastructure projects emerge both on and off the airport property. These days, every U.S. airline in existence save Hawaiian Airlines serves the airport, which offers a growing suite of international flights to Latin America and the Caribbean. The new runway, which elevates over U.S. 1, was years in the making, blocked by neighborhood residents who feared jet noise would drive them out of town. The runway was desperately needed to eliminate nagging flight delays that plagued the airport for decades. The airport eventually prevailed in the courts. George said the delays over the years produced an average of 12- to 18-minute delays per aircraft. A single delay, he said, cost the airlines an average of $24 to $26 a minute. “If you put that together with 600 flights every day, that adds up to an awful lot of money.”

We have a very important transportation piece for South Florida. We want to ensure we do it safely and securely, that’s our goal. — Kent George Director, Broward County Aviation Department

With the new runway in operation, the delay problem has all but vanished. He said the airport received 110 noise complaints during the first 10 days of operation, and 100 of them came from the same person. George came to the Fort Lauderdale job from Pittsburgh, where he presided over that city’s airport. The director brought with him a reputation for working collaboratively with community stakeholders. These days, he works closely with Port Everglades and local convention center officials. If any marketing is to be done with major airlines and cruise lines, he said, “we do it all together.” “It’s extremely important that you do that,” George said. “The community is what supports the airport. It’s one of our priorities to be involved.” As with MIA, cruise passengers stream through the Broward County airport to gain access to the seaport, which is less than two miles away. Fleets of buses, taxis and limos, he says, “make it very, very easy to get back and forth.” Moreover, passengers can check their bags all the way from the port to their airplanes. Looking ahead, George is intent on growing the international side of the business through a $300 million makeover of the Southwest Airlines terminal. Completion, reportedly set for 2017, is expected to trigger additional daily flights to the Caribbean and South America and dozens more domestic flights by Southwest. “We have a very important transportation piece for South Florida,” George said. “We want to ensure we do it safely and securely, that’s our goal.” Two miles away at Port Everglades, director Steve Cernak, a trained civil engineer who took his job in 2012 after presiding over the port in Galveston, Texas, has the same goal in mind as his counterparts at PortMiami and others on the East Coast and in the Gulf: Deepen his port’s channels for the day that wider “Panamax” ships can visit after passing through a widened Panama Canal. He says he’s encouraged bys the cooperation the port has received from county commissioners, the local South Florida congressional delegation and state officials for helping to expedite a study for a proposed deepening project for the port’s navigational channels, a program authorized by Congress in 1996. “Now we’re closer than we’ve ever been,” he said. “I expect to see results of all of those efforts in the upcoming months.” While awaiting the study, Cernak says he’s spent the last two years upgrading the port’s cash flow position by advancing work on various cargo projects. The Florida East Coast Railway started operations at its new Intermodal Container

I’m looking for continued growth both in the cruise and the cargo sectors. — Steve Cernak Chief Executive/Port Director

Steve Cernak, Chief Executive/Port Director. Transfer Facility at the port to move shipping containers between ships and the railroad. The project was among several infrastructure programs Cernak expects to have in place by the time of the channel deepening. The port’s cruise line business continues to thrive. Ranked third in the state in traffic behind Port Canaveral and PortMiami, renovations to four of its terminals brought an industry award in 2013. The cruise business drives nearly half of the port’s annual revenue, according to its annual report. He’d like to see increases in metrics that show continued growth in container numbers. “Indications we have right now are very promising

I’m looking for continued growth both in the cruise and the cargo sectors.” he said. At PortMiami, the most notable infrastructure project of 2014 was the opening of a $900-million tunnel that runs from Watson Island to Dodge Island. It was built to divert heavy truck traffic from the downtown area, which was typically in a state of gridlock as trucks bearing containers sought access to the port via Port Boulevard. As is the case with Port Everglades, PortMiami envisions gaining a piece of the action from big container ships using the widened Panama Canal. The dredging of a key channel is underway. In addition, the port is FEBRUARY 2015


If you think about providing a new way of accessing destinations in Fort Lauderdale or Miami … you see how we provide that type of connectivity that isn’t available today except for using that car.

— P. Michael Reininger President, All Aboard Florida

P. Michael Reininger, President, All Aboard Florida. looking to improve Florida East Coast Railway access to its facilities by refurbishing a bridge from the mainland to the port. PortMiami, which dubs itself as the cruise capital of the world, continues to enjoy a robust business in the field, reporting that it processed a record 4.8 million multi-day cruise passengers in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2014. Whether travelers are headed to seaports or airports, or to the downtowns of Miami, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach, executives of the Tri-Rail commuter line and the proposed All Aboard Florida insist that rail transportation lies squarely in their futures. Will Tri-Rail converge with All Aboard some day? “No question,” said Jack Stephens of Tri-Rail. It will happen in his line’s corridor just south of the MetroRail station south of 71st Street at an intersection with the Florida East Coast line. “It’s going to connect there and we have determined working with All Aboard Florida, the Florida DOT and others, that there is an opportunity to connect passenger rail into Miami downtown. 52


As widely advertised, All Aboard Florida is building its Grand Central Station in downtown Miami, “and we would very much like the opportunity to be in there with them and anchor that south portion of what hopefully will become the Tri-Rail Coastal link on the FEC Corridor,” said Stephens, whose commuter line runs 72 miles from West Palm Beach to Miami International Airport. “If we’re successful and able to find the public portion of the money to get into the All Aboard Florida station of downtown Miami, we could be actually providing service to downtown Miami by as early as 2016, which is amazing,” Stephens said. “It’s a very exciting time for transportation here in South Florida. There are things happening that I honestly never believed would happen.” All Aboard Florida President P. Michael Reininger said the demographic conditions in South Florida are ripe for once implausible events to now unfold, such as All Aboard Florida’s planned daily train service from Miami to Orlando, with station stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

“You have major population centers that are separated by certain kind of distance characteristics and you have a highly mobile population that is going back and forth between those centers on a regular basis,” Reininger said. That precise travel scenario is unfolding in both Central and South Florida, he said. “If you think about providing a new way of accessing destinations in Fort Lauderdale or Miami, or new ways of accessing the airport in Central Florida, you see how we provide that type of connectivity that isn’t available today except for using that car,” he said. He argues that All Aboard Florida will become “the intermediary link between those airports and seaports” and “in all cases a kind of alternative to the personal automobile.” Reininger says his company not only backs the idea of a Tri-Rail hookup, but advocates it. “We think they are both complementary services to one another,” he said. “It’s a rising tide type of philosophy … we are doing everything we can to facilitate the integration of those two systems.” E

Special Advertising Section

JOB ONE: On the Hunt For Top Talent Executive Search Firms are Ramping up their Business Amid Tough Competition. Three of the region’s top firms stand out for their experience, community roots and refined methodologies. As South Florida’s economy shifts into high gear, employer demand for top talent has never been greater. With intense competition in the fields of accounting, human resources, information technology and sales—firms have to move quickly or lose out on the opportunity to attract top prospects. In this special advertising section, three leading Executive Recruitment firms demonstrate how their teams are using professional experience and business relationships to find the specialists their client’s desire. Steven Douglas Associates, Octagon Search and TekPartners all have their own special approaches to getting the job done for their respective clients. But collectively, they are leading the charge in the burgeoning field of South Florida executive recruitment.

By Mike Seemuth | Photography by Stephen Boxall




LEFT TO RIGHT: Matt Shore, President; Steve Sadaka, CEO; Mark Viner, Division President, Project Resources; and Steve Kalisher, EVP Information Technology Search.

With six offices outside South Florida, Steven Douglas continues to look for geographic expansion opportunities. The company employs 200 people and has been recognized the last three consecutive years on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies. 54



teven Douglas Associates, an executive search firm focused on delivering talent in the areas Finance & Accounting, Information Technology, Wealth & Investment Management, Human Resources, Sales, Marketing and Operations, expects another consecutive year of strong revenue growth in 2015, thanks largely to its active practice in South Florida. Based in Sunrise, Steven Douglas has expanded to New York, Minneapolis, Orlando, Tampa, Omaha and Atlanta since its 1984 startup. The company employs 200 people and has been recognized the last three consecutive years on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies. With six offices outside South Florida, Steven Douglas continues to look for geographic expansion opportunities. Its Atlanta office opened last year. But for the most part, “We’ll invest more in markets we’re already in,” said Matt Shore, president. With all the expansion, more than half of its revenue still comes from South Florida-based corporate clients. Steven Douglas rang up $35 million of revenue in 2014 and its search business grew 40% over the prior year. Its budgeted topline for 2015 is $40 million, with a significant portion of the firm’s revenue coming from the Project Resources and Technology Consulting groups. These divisions help businesses effectively manage change by providing them experienced and talented professionals on an as-needed and variable basis. “Our goal is to be at $50 million in three years, said Steve Sadaka, founder and chief executive officer. “We’re very optimistic… There’s a big shortage of IT, accounting and sales talent, which we happen to specialize in.” Sadaka started his career as a certified public accountant with the Miami office of the old Price Waterhouse firm after graduating from the University of Florida. He founded Steven Douglas Associates because he wanted to work with people more than financial statements. “I really feel like I fell into my niche,” Sadaka said. Shore, who joined the company as president nine years ago, has a background remarkably similar to Sadaka’s. Shore also is a UF grad who worked for Price Waterhouse in Orlando. Shore and Sadaka led Steven Douglas through the recent economic recession and its sluggish aftermath. Sadaka said “2009 was a tough year. Corporate America became really cautious, and as a result we were down 35 percent. While the job market stayed weak for overall hiring, professional hiring really came back starting in 2010, and we’ve had significant growth every year since 2011.” “These days, the unemployment rate among accountants and IT professionals is less than one percent,” Shore said. “Many positions go unfilled for longer than many companies anticipate. It’s now easier to find the companies that will pay our fees than the good quality people they want to hire.”

able to attract the 10- to 15-year, experienced and successful recruiters to bring their talents and relationships to our firm. We’re adding depth in every practice.” Due to their rapid growth, Steven Douglas is already running out of space since moving its headquarters in 2011 from Weston to a 10,000-square-foot location on International Parkway in Sunrise. Since Steven Douglas specializes in Finance & Accounting, Information Technology, Wealth & Investment Management, Human Resources and Sales, Marketing & Operations, most of their employees are specialists in one of those fields. For example, “All of the recruiters in our Finance & Accounting practice have financial backgrounds and many are CPAs or MBAs,” Shore said. “The key is that while we have many offerings, we operate in an expert model where the IT recruiters are not trying to fill sales jobs and vice versa.” “Identifying job candidates is relatively easy in the Internet age, but it takes more to succeed in the executive search business,” Sadaka said. “The days of the Rolodex are gone. With LinkedIn, you can find anybody anywhere, and their email and their phone number,” he said. “So it’s not as hard knowing who to call, but can you inspire them to make a move? You have to have the right client, the credibility to get people on the phone, and the experience to inspire somebody to consider making a move.”



When asked about what sets them apart Shore said, “It’s a combination of our people, our discipline specialization and our willingness to turn away business. We only take on what we know we can handle and what makes sense. We don’t take a search assignment unless the client’s requirements are realistic and we are sure we can find the right candidate, upholding our reputation for delivering results.” Shore said the internal recruiting strategy at Steven Douglas has also deepened its own talent pool. “As an employer of choice, we’ve been

Steven Douglas considers community service an inherent part of its corporate culture and spirit, donating and fundraising over $1 million each year to not-for-profits. Shore said, “Every single employee in our organization is encouraged to participate in charities and other community efforts in whatever way fits best with their lifestyle and personal commitments.” Among the South Florida beneficiaries are United Way of Broward County, Jason Taylor Foundation, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. E

LONG STANDING CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS Steven Douglas has grown up with some of the best South Florida companies. One is Coral Springs-based ABB Concise, which ranks among the nation’s leading distributors of contact lenses. “The ABBs of the world are why we have grown. When they were smaller, we used to do one deal every couple of years, and now we place people year round in multiple disciplines on a permanent, interim or project basis,” said Matt Shore. “In addition, we just had two new clients referred to us by the executive team at ABB.” Finding qualified job candidates obviously is important to the success of Steven Douglas, but so is working with strong, growing employers like ABB. “You need to have great clients to attract the stars they say they want,” said Steven Douglas founder and CEO Steve Sadaka. Originally known for finding talent in the accounting field, Steven Douglas leveraged these search assignments as a springboard for other assignments within the same clients. For example, Sunrisebased Mednax, a provider of physician services, has expanded its use of Steven Douglas for talent from the accounting area to searches for information technology, human resources, business development and corporate development.




The Team at the Octagon Family of Recruiting Companies..

At Octagon, the focus is on matching top flight Accounting, Finance, HR and IT people with a ‘who’s who’ of companies that South Floridians want to work for. 56



itchel “Mitch” Kramer, cup of coffee in hand, is energetic and upbeat during an 8 a.m. meeting at the home office of his professional recruitment firm, operating under 3 brands: Octagon Professional Recruiting, Octagon Technology Staffing and Octagon Executive Search. The firm is based in Fort Lauderdale, a mile south of downtown, just off Andrews Avenue and Davie Blvd. “I’m not focused on being the biggest firm in South Florida ... in North America ... I just want us to be the best,” Kramer says of Octagon, a boutique recruitment firm that places professionals in Accounting, Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology. “We place professionals at all levels,” he says. “We focus on matching top flight Accounting, Finance HR and IT people with many of South Florida’s top companies. Octagon’s client base reads like a ‘who’s who’ of the companies that people in South Florida want to work for.” In addition to its home office in Fort Lauderdale, Octagon also has offices in Miami-Dade (on Blue Lagoon Drive near Miami International Airport) and in Boca Raton (on Glades Road, just west of I-95). Kramer, a Florida State University graduate trained as an accountant who will turn 47 in May, describes himself as outgoing. But “just because someone’s outgoing doesn’t mean they’re going to be successful in our business,” says Kramer, who also describes himself as “naturally competitive ... My goal is to always work harder and smarter than my competitors. You have to be passionate and driven to be successful in the recruiting industry, and you have to be trained and highly competent in the disciplines in which you recruit.” Kramer is an entrepreneur who gave corporate life a try. He started his career working for a Big 4 CPA firm. He went on to work for an independent recruitment firm and then almost two years as an in-house corporate recruiter at the local headquarters of a large publicly held company. He later worked for a publicly held staffing company. Kramer successfully opened and ran the company’s Fort Lauderdale recruitment

office. Subsequently, the company “tapped me to be their vice president for Florida. So I took over all the offices in the region,” he recalls. But “I wanted to be out in front of the customer more, learning about their businesses and then being able to truly provide the best possible placements by better understanding the clients’ needs.” So Kramer started his first company, Kramer Professional Staffing. The timing of the December 2000 startup was no help. It preceded a national economic recession that soon followed. “I started at the worst possible time because the recession started 3 months later,” he says. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, “it was awful ... There was no business.” He had a five-year lease on 4,000 square feet of office space in Plantation, as well as a wife and three kids to support. His youngest son was nine months old when Kramer Professional Staffing opened for business. Kramer said he resolved that “somehow I’m going to have to make things work,” and he did, largely by “working hours I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.” The firm grew quickly from 2003-2006 with the addition of 2 new offices as the economy improved. Kramer sold Kramer Professional Staffing in December 2006, before the onset of the “Great Recession” from 2007 to 2009. He launched his second recruitment firm, Octagon, after the 2007-2009 recession ended. “I launched Octagon in Q4 of 2009,” Kramer says. He credits much of the firm’s success to its leadership team - Joe LoBello, Bianca Diosdado, and Casandra Nuques. He is quick to add: “I wouldn’t trade our elite team of recruiters for any other in the entire region.” Future expansion plans for Octagon may include moving up the state of Florida, to Tampa and Orlando, and up the eastern seaboard, with expansion to other major cities “being quite intriguing as well,” Kramer says. He says his primary professional focus is world-class service and highly satisfied clients, not the size of his business, so he doesn’t “lose focus on the human aspect of what we do.” E

ACHIEVEMENTS Tucked away on Mitch Kramer’s desk is a copy of the book The Art of War, and the wall art in his office at talent recruitment firm Octagon is an homage to martial arts. Pointing at a framed autograph mounted on one wall, Kramer said, “That’s an authentic Bruce Lee autograph, which is rare because he didn’t sign many autographs since he died so young.” Kramer, a 47-year-old with a muscular compact build, started training in karate at age 12, influenced by action movies starring such celluloid heroes as Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. Kramer said he doesn’t compete in martial arts events but has trained hard over the years. He has branched out from karate to get training in other martial arts, including the mixed martial arts style featured in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) cage-fighting matches. “That opened my eyes,” he said. “I’ve been to about 25 live UFC events.” His wall art includes a professionally framed copy of a poster promoting the first-ever UFC event held in Denver in 1993. His passion for martial arts has taught him a business lesson: Different styles can be successful. “Everybody thinks their style is the best,” Kramer said, but a focus on improving service and quality is more effective than extolling style. “Like martial arts, I am learning continuously through my clients and team at Octagon,” he said. The competitive strategy driving Kramer and Octagon’s staff of 20 employees includes working primarily for contingency fees, although many of the firm’s searches are handled on an exclusive basis for its clients. “I don’t deliver, I don’t collect,” Kramer said, adding that he strives to deliver qualified candidates that will stay put in their jobs. “If we think somebody’s interest is really short term, I’d rather not make that placement.” E FEBRUARY 2015



LEFT TO RIGHT: Lara Kleinman, Senior Account Manager; John Ludwig, Senior Account Manager; Jay Bevilacqua, Senior Vice President; Jim Barrett, Senior Director of Delivery; Harris Katz, CEO and Founder; Anthony Sammartino, VP of Business Intelligence; Vito Scutero, CEO and Founder; Jim Crocker, Program Director; Meghan Dolan, Senior Account Manager.

Fellow University of Central Florida graduates grow their IT Staffing firm into a multi-million dollar business. 58



hen Harris Katz and Vito Scutero graduated from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, they hardly expected they would one day partner together to create a multi-million dollar business. The two men met when they were students at UCF and were members of the same fraternity. Now they’re the owners of P2P Staffing Corporation which includes TekPartners, a leading provider of IT workforces staffing and solutions. They report revenue in excess of $150 million in 2014. “To me, it’s a very personal South Florida story,” Katz said. “I was able to come back here and put our corporate headquarters here in Coral Springs where I grew up. It’s exciting. They began doing business as TekPartners in 2002 while South Florida was still recovering from the economic shock of the September 11 attacks and the collapse in the market value of Internet-based “dot-com” companies. “We opened our doors in 2002 with a vision and purpose that we could offer higher quality service, build stronger relationships and provide more value to the companies fighting through the same difficult economic and global conditions.” Scutero said. “From the beginning, the goal was, and still is, to create an organization founded on an extreme sense of urgency (this is why you’ll see us running through the halls!) and responsibility to be the best in the marketplace and to provide a positive contribution to the community.” Katz said. The young owners of TekPartners say they were undeterred by the dot-com death toll. “It was probably not the best time to start a company,” Scutero said. But “we had a passion to go after our dream.” Soon after Katz and Scutero started the company they recruited Jay Bevilacqua, another fraternity brother from UCF who now is a partner and Senior Vice President and Jim Barrett who is their Senior Director of Delivery and a partner as well. “We knew that if we were able to bring Jay and Jim into the fold, there was nothing we couldn’t accomplish,” Katz said. From the first hire, the people at TekPartners are the “secret sauce” that has made us so successful. That methodology carries on today in the people you see within our company. Their intent was to build a staffing company culture centered on personal service to both employers and job candidates. “We represent the candidates, too, so we have a responsibility to both,” Katz said. “We’re representing people in their careers. It’s not just a transaction. The types of information technology (IT) specialists that TekPartners regularly identifies for employers include Project Managers, Business


Analysts, Mobile Developers, Web developers, quality assurance testers, application developers, database administrators and legacy programmers. TekPartners service offerings center around providing IT workforce solutions that meet the challenging demands of their customers. The firm employs 160 full-time workers made up of mostly recruiters and account managers and has proved profitable as information technology has permeated every industry. “Without technology, nothing moves,” Katz said, so companies’ need for IT talent is virtually nonstop. “They’re always looking. Right now, in our industry, there is less than 2.5 percent unemployment. The talent pool is so small, most companies do use companies like ourselves to bridge the gap between talent and open positions.” TekPartners has divided their solutions into three key areas so that they can provide the right solution for their respective clients. These solutions include a National Recruiting Center, Managed Solutions, Business Intelligence Solutions, Staff Augmentation and full time hire. TekPartners has The Rapid Response Center, “a recruiting center here in South Florida that handles and supports our offices and clients across the country,” Katz said. TekPartners also maintains regional offices to support their Staff Augmentation and Managed Solutions in Orlando, Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, California, and Framington, Connecticut. Three years ago Anthony Sammartino joined TekPartners as VP of Business Intelligence to head up the company’s solutions practice. “We wanted to have more skin in the game with our clients and we did this by engaging our proven methodology in full solutions, shared solutions, assessments, mentoring, training and support,” Sammartino said. “TekPartners BI partners with Microsoft, Tableau and Melissa Data to stay on the cutting edge of technology for our clients,” Sammartino said. “We wanted to have more skin in the game with our clients and we did this by engaging our proven methodology in full solutions, shared solutions, assessments, mentoring, training and support,” Sammartino said. “TekPartners BI partners with Microsoft, Tableau and Melissa Data to stay on the cutting edge of technology for our clients,” Sammartino said. The founders have succeeded in expanding their staffing business without additional investors. “Our company has grown 100 percent organically. There’s no outside equity coming in,” Scutero said. “We have funded this with sweat equity from day one.” Revenues in 2014 were approximately $155 million, Scutero said. In 2015, he added, “the number we’re shooting for is $200 million.” E

TekPartners has been recognized in the news media as one of the best companies to work for by Florida Trend magazine and by the South Florida Business Journal. The positive publicity serves as testimony to the nonstop efforts by TekPartners founders Harris Katz and Vito Scutero. “Because recruiters are out there, our team gets calls every day, just like everybody else,” Katz said. “Those people are the center of our universe, so we work very hard to make sure we have the best compensation models, the best benefits, the best training, the best work culture out there.” Vito and I both feel that our major internal goal is to make TekPartners the best professional and personal opportunity out there.” Indeed, the future leadership of TekPartners is more likely to come from within the company, instead of from the outside. Katz and Scutero said they are looking inside their company for its future leadership: “We need internal talent to grow. We have the greatest team out there and that is why we continue to succeed.” So TekPartners has coupled a college graduate hiring program and a six-week internal training program. “That’s all out of Coral Springs,” Katz said. “We started this about three years ago, and we’ve seen the fruits of our labor.” Many employees hired as college graduates have been “promoted into recruitment and account management roles at different locations,” he said. “Our people are our future, and we are very excited for our associates’ real opportunity to grow and advance within TekPartners. E FEBRUARY 2015


ARTs and

culture Without generous donations from the patrons of South Florida’s arts and cultural institutions, museums would go dark, symphonies would fall silent and performers would never take the stage. The region is fortunate to have strong backing from a wide array of passionate donors whose leadership through giving has paved the way for the opening of spectacular new facilities and the modernization of existing ones. As a tribute to what has become a growing support system for the arts in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, members of the philanthropic boards of six distinguished institutions are pictured. By Jeff Zbar | Photography by Gort Productions

Pérez Art Museum Miami Fresh into its second year of operation, the museum’s new, waterfront facility, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron, opened in downtown Miami’s Museum Park to international acclaim. The museum exceeded all attendance and membership goals, welcoming 300,000 visitors. The exhibition program also received global acclaim, with major presentations of works by artists including Ai Weiwei, Beatriz Milhazes and Adler Guerrier. In February, the museum opens Tapies: From Within, the only U.S. presentation of the major historical survey of Spanish artist Antoni Tàpies personally-prized works, including never-before exhibited pieces from his private collection.

The support that this museum has received and the tremendous success it experienced in its opening year is testament to how important the arts are to Miami-Dade County. From the community members who have committed to Miami’s cultural vitality by joining as PAMM members, to corporate exhibition sponsors like Sabadell United Bank who ensure that we are able to present world-class exhibitions, the success of the museum has truly been a community effort.

Photo by Gort Productions

— Leann Standish PAMM Interim Director and Deputy Director for External Affairs

BOTTOM ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: M. Thérèse Vento; Susana Ibargüen; Diane Grob (behind Mrs. Ibargüen); Padma Raj Vattikuti; Dr. Aida Levitan; Nedra A. Kalish; Gail S. Meyers, Ex-Officio President of the Board of Trustees; Diane Moss; Judy Weiser; Sylvia Pope; Deborah Hoffman (behind Sylvia Pope); Madeleine Conway and Mireille Chancy Gonzalez. SECOND ROW: Thom Collins, Director of PAMM; Gregory C. Ferrero; Marianne W. Devine; Rafael Miyar; Arlene Joy Chaplin; Nedra Oren; Carole F. Hall; Rose Ellen Meyerhoff Greene; Marilyn J. Holifield; Mitchell Bierman. THIRD ROW: Aaron Podhurst, Chair of the Board of Trustees; Walid G. Wahab; Luke R. Palacio; Marcella Ivana Novela; Barron Channer; Jeff Krinsky, President of the Board of Trustees; Dr. Mark E. Oren. FEBRUARY 2015


Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts When the Center recently welcomed its three millionth visitor, it was only the latest accomplishment for the $470 million complex. In late 2014, the Center opened Brava!, its new fine dining restaurant and the Café at Books & Books in the historic Carnival Tower. The center’s 400 performances and events annually attract an average of 450,000 people to Miami’s urban core. In 2013, the center marked its sixth consecutive fiscal year with a balanced budget. At the ArtPlace America grantee, some 85 percent of shows are produced and presented by the Center on its six state-of-the-art stages, including those in the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall and the Carnival Studio Theater.

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is revolutionizing the performing arts landscape and downtown Miami. It’s a cultural magnet that draws in entertainment-hungry audiences of all ages and backgrounds for innovative, creative performances. The Arsht Center is also the catalyst for a new urban spirit in Miami’s Town Square, serving as a civic anchor that has become an integral part of our community.

— Mike Eidson Chair of the Performing Arts Center Trust board of directors

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Ken Harris; Armando Codina; Valerie Riles; M. John Richard President and CEO; Mike Eidson, Chair of Performing Arts Center Trust Board of Directors; Suzanna Valdez and Scott Shiller. 64


Photo by Gort Productions

Broward Center for the Performing Arts Easily the most significant accomplishment of the Broward Center is ENCORE!, the recent $58 million renewal and expansion project. It was the realization of a vision for the future that would go beyond renovation. The effort transformed the 1991 facility, introducing state-of-the-art technology and restoring and elevating the theaters to the leading edge of production delivery and amenities. They include a new Club Level to the Huizenga Pavilion, featuring the Porter Riverview Ballroom for special events, and Marti’s New River Bistro for waterfront dining, and the Rose Miniaci Arts Education Center. The new facilities fulfill the Center’s mission: to build community through the arts by delivering quality entertainment, education opportunities and memorable moments.

Photo by Gort Productions

With the completion of the ENCORE! project, the Broward Center has been reimagined, bringing the experience of attendance to a new level. The support of the community has been outstanding. We are appreciative of the reinvestment of each of our public and private partners who share our vision of how the arts contribute to a strong and vibrant community. As our 25th anniversary approaches, we are poised to deliver the experiences that today’s audiences are looking for and to educate a new generation through the arts.

— M. Austin Forman Chair of the Performing Arts Center Authority

BOTTOM ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: M. Austin Forman; George I. Platt; Joseph C. Amaturo; Ann Murray; John T. Loos and Kelley Shanley, President & Ceo. TOP ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: Charles L. Palmer; Barbara H. Jones; Barbara A. Stern and John M. Milledge. FEBRUARY 2015


NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale The NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale has become an anchor of the burgeoning downtown Arts and Entertainment District. Housed in a modernist structure designed by the renowned architect Edward Larrabee Barnes, the 83,000-square-foot building contains 25,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 256-seat auditorium, and the 11,000-square-foot AutoNation Academy of Art + Design educational program. The museum’s permanent collection contains more than 6,000 works, including the country’s largest collection of 19th and early 20th century paintings and drawings by the American realist William Glackens. It houses the nation’s most extensive holding of works by post-World War II, avant-garde CoBrA artists from Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, as well as works by leading Latin American artists.

— David Horvitz Board Chairman

BOTTOM ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: Miriam Peck, Bonnie Barnett, Francie Bishop Good, Michele Stocker, Laura Palmer, Sharon Berger, Ada Cole and Susan Samrick. TOP ROW: Stanley S. Goodman, M. Walker Duvall, Wayne Gilmore, Eugene Stevens, Barry J. Silverman, Bonnie Clearwater, David W. Horvitz, Mark S. Walter, Miles Forman, Scott R. Anagnoste, Robert B. Judd and Gene Kaufman. 68


Photo by Gort Productions

NSU Museum of Art’s transformation in the last 18 months has been remarkable. New leadership, exciting internationally recognized exhibitions, revamped and expanded educational programming and new financial stability have brought the museum to the forefront of the entire South Florida arts scene.

New World Symphony The New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy, envisions a strong future for classical music. It intends to redefine, express and share its traditions with as many people as possible. Its mission is to prepare highly-gifted graduates of distinguished music programs for leadership roles in orchestras and ensembles around the world. Under the direction of the Board of Trustees, co-founder and Artistic Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the staff, the NWS WALLCAST concerts and alternate-format programs, such as mini-concerts and Pulse—Late Night at the New World Symphony, have engaged the community and sparked new ideas about classical music. Communitybased programs such as MusicLab, Medellín Musician Exchange, NWS Connect and MUSAIC have strengthened local communities and developed online communities through classical music.

As we celebrate our 27th academic year, the characteristics that have made this organization so successful are in evidence – innovation, flexibility, the ability to leverage assets to a good return and a willingness to take calculated risks.

Photo by Gort Productions

— Rose Ellen Greene Chair, Board of Trustees

SITTING, LEFT TO RIGHT: Bob Moss; Bruce E. Clinton, Chairman and CEO, The Clinton Companies; Judy Weiser; Rose Ellen Greene, Chair of the New World Symphony Board; Gerald Katcher; Diane S. Sepler and Albert Molina. SECOND ROW: Jeffrey Roberts; Richard Sanz; Florencia Jimenez Marcos; Edward Manno Shumsky; Dick Wurtman; Cecil H. Green; Matthew Buttrick; Edward J. Crawford IV; Paul Stebbins and Michael Orlove. FEBRUARY 2015


Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science When 120 trucks pumped 1,200 cubic yards of concrete in December, the pouring was only the latest accomplishment for the eagerly awaited museum at Miami’s Museum Park. The creation of the 500,000-gallon Gulf Stream tank aquarium marked the $275 million project’s biggest construction milestone to date. The board and supporters have helped the museum, which is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, raise almost $100 million, including a $1 million donation from Florida Power & Light and the NextEra Energy Foundation. Once open in 2016, the 250,000-square-foot complex will be among the world’s most innovative science museums. It is expected to attract 700,000 visitors annually.

— Trish and Dan Bell Co-Chairs, Board of Trustees

LEFT TO RIGHT: Boris Hirmas; Steve Monroe; Gillian Thomas, President and CEO; Trish Bell, Co-Chair, Board of Trustees; Daniel M. Bell, Co-Chair, Board of Trustees; Taffy Gould; Ted Caplow and Joseph L. Falk. 72


Photo by Gort Productions

We look forward to the opening of the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, which will engage the entire community in exploring science, technology and the environment. This magnificent new museum will ensure that our local community continues to have access to one of Miami’s leading cultural and educational institutions.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Rolando Aedo, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Tourism; Alvin L. West, Chief Financial Officer & Sr. Vice President of Administration; Ita Moriarty, Senior Vice President, Convention Sales and William D. Talbert III, President & CEO. 74


Team Miami: GMCVB Sets High Bar for Rivals Worldwide The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau: “Miami’s Brand Ambassadors” promote our region to the world.


By Jeff Zbar | Photography by Stephen Boxall

enured, talented and tenacious, the team at the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau has endured recessions and global tourism downturns to help transform the region into a symbol of tourism success. The office of William “Bill” Talbert could serve as some unofficial museum of Miami tourism. His credenza, shelves and walls are lined with mementos from Miami-Dade County’s memorable past. There are helmets from Orange Bowl football games, magazine clips about the destination, and trophies and plaques boasting success. He even has an original of the provocative “Miami. See it like a native” poster. Thousands were to be driven to a landfill in 1978 when women’s groups protested the image of the topless woman in snorkeling gear. This one, at least, didn’t make it. Yet, it’s what’s unseen in this office that speaks to the successes of Talbert, the president and CEO, and his team at the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The county has added more than 15,000 hotel rooms over the past 15 years, and grown occupancy from 50.9 percent in the month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, to 74 percent last October. The room rate 14 years ago was $94. Three months ago it was $161. The industry’s economic impact, at least from hoteliers’ perspectives, is up 128 percent, according to the bureau.



Team Miami: GMCVB Sets High Bar for Rivals Worldwide Another number: 58 months of consecutive hospitality jobs growth. “We’re a jobs program,” he deadpanned, adding honestly, “We’re numbers driven. We monitor our numbers very closely.” If numbers are a tourism booster’s life blood, the GMCVB and its partners are thriving. Talbert and his team are “brand managers for the word ‘Miami.’” The private, not-for-profit organization is contracted by Miami-Dade County, representing some 35 cities, and the city of Miami Beach, to promote the region as a tourist and convention destination. The GMCVB’s $25 million annual budget is underwritten by hotel and restaurant taxes collected by the county and Miami Beach. For more than 20 years, the team has steered the county’s marketing through various recessions and tourism crises. For a region that draws 96 percent of its visitors by plane, none was worse than 2001, the year of the September 11 attacks. With tourism at a standstill, the team huddled, redrew its marketing plan, and within weeks launched newspaper ads that avoided post-attack patriotism and instead aligned Miami with the emotions of shell-shocked Americans were feeling. “We totally redid our budget in seven days,” said Rolando Aedo, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, himself a 20-year GMCVB veteran. “That’s how nimble and creative we are.” When the economy crashed in 2008, the GMCVB again quickly responded. While travel trade was down globally, initiatives the GMCVB already had in place helped soften the blow. The bureau had created an international network of contract agents and representatives, now in 41 cities globally. Today, they include Russia, China, Qatar—which the bureau has been lobbying for direct flights—and Brazil. The bureau is successful because its people are entrepreneurial, said Aedo. They’ve created the monthly “Miami Spice” program to highlight different sectors of the community. They promote “heritage tourism” for historic districts like Overtown, Coconut Grove, Little Havana, the Design District and Wynwood. In partnership with Florida International University and Miami International Airport, their “Miami Begins with Me” program seeks to encourage improved customer service across the community. Their “Temptations presented by MasterCard” enlisted the card company as a vested partner. They explore marketing, sponsorship and even naming rights programs to generate revenue to reinvest in the marketplace in support of 1,100 member organizations throughout the county, including hotels, attractions and restaurants. “We’ve become very entrepreneurial to leverage the public dollars that we do receive to attract more private dollars,” said Aedo. 76


One of those partners is American Airlines. The carrier has turned Miami International into a major regional and international hub. As American has grown, so, too, has Greater Miami. Today, 51 percent of the region’s visitors are foreign nationals; they account for 70 percent of visitor spending. “We have a saying at American: What’s good for Miami is good for American,” said Marilyn DeVoe, a vice president with the carrier in Miami. “The more visitors that come to South Florida, the greater the growth of our hub and flights and, most importantly, the greater the economic impact on Miami-Dade.” Another partner is the Miami Downtown Development Authority. The GMCVB and DDA have helped remake downtown as a destination in its own right. And it’s worked, said Alyce Robertson, the DDA’s executive director, who has known Talbert for two decades. Together, along with PortMiami and American Airlines, they created the Where Worlds Meet initiative to promote Miami as a gateway destination and jointly sponsored banners congratulating the Miami Heat for the NBA team’s success and welcoming new cruise ships. “They’re open-minded about how to make your brand better,” said Robertson. “It is a long-term, ongoing, close-knit relationship.” Talbert is surrounded by executives with considerable longevity at the bureau. Ita Moriarty,

senior vice president of convention sales, arrived almost 28 years ago. Ginny Gutierrez, director of community relations, has 21 years there. Alvin L. West, senior vice president and CFO, arrived in 1992, and has presided over “23 clean audits” of the bureau’s books and an overhaul of its IT and database technology. West also helped create the “Black Hospitality Initiative,” which emerged from the AfricanAmerican boycott of the 1990s. To date, the initiative has raised $2.5 million “to get young black talent into hospitality,” he said. “We’ve used BHI to move the needle to make sure the industry is diverse.” Talbert’s team has witnessed the region’s wholesale transformation. Top hoteliers have replaced mom-and-pop hotels along Collins Avenue. The Adrienne Arsht Center, New World Symphony and Pérez Art Museum Miami have helped infuse culture into the region. Art Basel, whose debut was stalled a year by the Sept. 11 attacks, now draws more private jets to Miami than the Super Bowl, said Talbert. Some 25 years later, Talbert and his team’s patience has prevailed, as he competes against Europe, Latin America and other U.S. markets. “No,” said Talbert, “they’re competing against us.” E

LEFT TO RIGHT: Alvin L. West, William D. Talbert III, Ita Moriarty, and Rolando Aedo.

BRUCE TURKEL Building Brands, Bolstering Business


wenty-five years ago, when executives with the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau needed a new take on their marketing, they turned to a local ad man. Bruce Turkel, head of Turkel Advertising in Coconut Grove, knew then—and knows now—what makes Miami thrive. Take your pick—café con leche at a Cuban bistro, lunch on the riverfront, an afternoon of gallery hopping in Midtown or Wynwood. Other options include visits to two national parks and dinner on Miami Beach, followed by the ballet, symphony, a Miami Heat game, or a South Beach club. “Then, the next day, you can wake up and do it all over again,” he said. Traditional tourism destination marketing, “sun and fun—ignored all those things.” Born and raised in Miami Beach, Turkel is a University of Florida graduate who worked in New York before returning home to launch his Coconut Grove ad shop 30 years ago. Upon his return, he saw a seasonal destination whose market was changing. In the 1960s, nine in 10 people drove to Greater Miami. Today,

that many people fly here, according to the bureau. They also fly to Jamaica and Cancun. But Miami is the tropical destination with a cosmopolitan panache. A recent campaign created by Turkel, dubbed, “It’s So Miami,” offers images of a woman in a bathing suit in a local art gallery, or a man emerging from a McLaren sports car in search of a 50-cent cup of coffee. Turkel’s work captures the Miami ethos. Some credit his enthusiasm as much as his talent. Seth Werner, chairman/CEO of Harbour Real Estate Corporation, invited Turkel in 1993 to make a pitch for the First Mortgage Network ad account. What won the account for Turkel was the team’s energy and creativity, said Werner. More than 20 years later, Turkel has handled marketing for a host of Werner’s businesses. “His never-ending creative thought process and positive perspective coupled with a very high IQ and EQ, [Emotional Intelligence Quotient] is a very rare combination,” said Werner. Today, when he’s not selling Miami’s cachet, branding Bacardi Imports, handling Discovery Networks Latin America, or managing

a host of other tourism brands nationwide, Turkel is building his own brand. He’s written four books on marketing and branding, blogs on marketing and travel, and is a weekly guest on Fox Business News discussing the marketing implications of the day’s events. He speaks at corporate events nationwide, often teaching hundreds how to play harmonica—which he does in the local rhythm and blues band, Blackstar. Active in the community, Turkel sits on the board of trustees of the foster care agency Our Kids, Inc. of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Fellow trustee and running partner Adam M. Goldstein, president/COO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., has watched as Turkel has guided all of Our Kids’ marketing work, from the logo and identity scheme to image building in the community. “I saw the creativity and inspiration for which he is well known in the business world,” said Goldstein. It’s no coincidence that a local personality like Turkel would market Miami. “The people at the GMCVB allow me to give back to my hometown in such a special way,” he said. E FEBRUARY 2015



Malcolm MacInnes, MGM General Contracting; Juliet Murphy Roulhac, FPL and Keith Costello, Centennial Bank.

Michelle Esposito, On The Ball; Steve Nudelberg, On The Ball; Traci Miller, Miller Construction.

EXECUTIVE South Florida Broward’s Best Honorees reception Becker & Poliakoff hosted a reception to honor  EXECUTIVE South Florida’s “Broward’s Best” Honorees.

Mitchell Berger, Berger Singerman and Alan Becker, Becker & Poliakoff.

Carlos Arboleda, COI Access; Mike Moore, COI Access; Alan Koslow, Becker & Poliakoff and Ron Mann, Executive South Florida. 76 78


Pamela Stephany, Broward College Board and David Armstrong, Broward College.

Bernie Friedman, Becker & Poliakoff; Nicki Grossman, Greater Ft. Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau and Judge Mel Grossman.

Mayor Philip Levine; Ezra Katz, Aztec Group; Jimmy Morales, Miami Beach City Manager and Jeff Spear, The Spear Group.

Sebastien Laboureux, Art and Business Council Miami; Bernard Markowicz; Mayor Philip Levine and Artist Alain Godon.

La Piaggia hosts the presentation of the Miami Beach City Report EXECUTIVE South Florida celebrated the publication of the Miami Beach City Report. Sponsored by City National Bank, over 150 guests attended a reception at La Piaggia to present the report to Mayor Philip Levine and City Manager Jimmy Morales. Artist Alain Godon made a very special presentation of original artwork to the Art and Business Council Miami.

Jeff Oris, Economic Development Director and Nannette Rodriguez, Director of Communications, City of Miami Beach.

Robert Pascal, La Piaggia; Philip Levine, City of Miami Beach Mayor and Alex Maufroy, La Piaggia.

Ron Mann, EXECUTIVE South Florida and Misael J. Angulo, Stonegate Bank.

Frances Albán, Albán Communications; Jack Conrad, BankUnited and Deede Weithorn, City of Miami Beach Commissioner. FEBRUARY 2015



Alice and Mike Jackson, AutoNation CEO.

Fort Lauderdale residents Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman donated $3 million to the JFS of Broward County. At a champagne brunch held at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, their generosity was recognized with the changing of the organization’s name in their honor: The Dr. Stanley and Pearl Goodman JFS of Broward County. Howard Talenfeld, Fort Lauderdale attorney, child advocate, Julie Talenfeld, Jane Levy, co-chair of the brunch and Bruce Levy.

Individual tickets on sale now!

march 23 – april 5, 2015 305.442.3367 |



Judy Zipper and Jane Levy, co-chairs of the Goodman Champagne Brunch.

Dr. Stanley Goodman and Pearl Goodman.

Lori Wise and Seth Wise, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Goodman JFS.

Carrie and David Schulman, MassMutual/DBS Financial Group.






oral Gables attorney Jorge Luis Lopez specializes in governmental affairs, advising high-profile clients in the private and public sectors. Over 25 years, none seems to be remembered more prominently in his law office than the Miami Heat basketball team. “In the main conference room I very proudly have Alonzo Mourning’s jersey,” he said, referring to the retired all-star center. “I have a ring from each of the [team’s] championships.” Framed uniforms of active all-stars Dwyane Wade, and the sorely missed LeBron James, also have their places on a wall. “I proudly display a LeBron jersey and I always will,” said Lopez. The admiration dates back to 1996, when Lopez helped the team develop its new bay-front home, the American Airlines Arena. Over the



years, the lawyer came to know the Heat organization headed by cruise line mogul Micky Arison as one that empowers the people who work on its behalf. “It’s a very positive way of doing business,” Lopez says. The Heat, he added, is an organization that builds loyalty through camaraderie, nurturing and community service. In the wake of four LeBron-driven division championships and two NBA crowns, fans still come in respectable numbers to see a team on the downside. “There’s this confidence level instilled from the top down,” said Lopez. “As a professional support person to an organization like this it’s very empowering, it’s appreciated. You know what you’ve got to do and that’s the cool part.” E

Photo by Victor Rodriguez

Founder, Jorge Luis Lopez Law Firm


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Executive South Florida Magazine . February 2015  

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