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Arts and Entertainment Michael Bay Michelle Bernstein Romero Britto Bonnie Clearwater Edwidge Danticat Gloria and Emilio Estefan Luis Fernandez Pitbull Brett Ratner Don and Mera Rubell Frederic Snitzer Marc Spiegler Michael Tilson-Thomas

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Business Cesar Alvarez Edmund Ansin Micky Arison Eddie Arriola J. Ricky Arriola Emilio Azcarraga III Kerry Bailey Alfredo Balsera Sergio Bendixen Michael Capponi Marcelo Claure Matias de Tezanos Manny Diaz Serge Elkiner George Feldenkreis Bernardo Fort-Brescia Shelley Freeman Bernardo Hees Mitchell Kaplan Maria Elena Lagomasino

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Diego and Gisela Lowenstein Pedro and David Martin Enrique “Henry” Martinez Alvaro Martinez-Fonts Manuel Medina Carlos Migoya Stuart Miller Samuel Ohev-Zion Armando Olivera Jorge Perez Fernando Perez-Hickman Jorge Plasencia Aaron Podhurst Alfonso Rey Steve Ross David Samson Eduardo Solorzano Jaime Szulc Santiago Ulloa Francisco Unanue Stephen Zack Peter Zalewski

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Education & Philanthropy Leonard Abess Eugene W. Anderson Adrienne Arsht Jeb Bush Alberto Carvalho Thomas Collins Carlos Curbelo Micheal Eidson Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Phillip Frost Pascal Goldschmidt Barth Green

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Alberto Ibargüen Saif Ishoof David Lawrence Jr. Cheryl Little Dan Marino Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Eduardo Padron Robert Perez Raquel Regalado Mark Rosenberg Donna Shalala Harold Wanless Thomas Wenski

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Government Jose Abreu Katherine Fernandez-Rundle Wifredo Ferrer Carlos Gimenez Felice Gorordo Bill Johnson Tomas Regalado Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Marco Rubio Harvey Ruvin

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Media Raul Alarcon Cesar Conde Helen Ferre Angel Gonzalez Isaac Lee Aminda “Mindy” Marques Andres Oppenheimer Jorge Ramos Maria Elena Salinas

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Ileana RosLehtinen Championing rights – from a right-wing perspective

government* BY KAREN-JANINE COHEN

South Florida Rep. Ileana RosLehtinen, in office since 1989, gained a new cheering section in September when she became the first House Republican to sign on as co-sponsor of a measure that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, the mid-90s legislation that defines marriage as between and man and a woman, which RosLehtinen originally supported. It’s not the first time the congresswoman, the first Cuban-American and the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress, has bucked her party’s usual stance on gay rights issues. In the last few years she has, among other things, called on the State Department to give same sex partners similar benefits enjoyed by other couples, and signed on early to repeal the ban on gays serving openly in the military—a policy now ended. “I think it’s a question of fairness and justice and equality,” Ros-Lehtinen says in a phone interview. “I think our nation is moving in that direction with the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ 26 t www.poder360.com

” (which cleared the way for gay Americans to serve openly in the armed forces). “Some people thought the world would stop turning,” she says, addressing the military service issue. Her stance, while upsetting some conservative groups, comes as no surprise to many in the South Florida lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, says Mimi Planas, codirector of the Miami chapter of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group that represents the interests of lesbian and gay Americans, while also maintaining a Republican identity. Planas notes that the congresswoman was a founding member of the congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. The lawmaker’s decision to co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, should resonate with her congressional GOP colleagues, Planas notes. “It will influence other Republicans.” Ros-Lehtinen’s move comes at a time when same-sex marriage is gaining ground. In June, New York became the sixth state to recognize gay marriage and the push is on to jettison the federal law. It has been widely reported that Rodrigo, one of Ros-Lehtinen’s children, was born as Amanda but began living with a male identity in college, where he also gained attention in 2009 by supporting anti-Zionist activities and signing a letter that called for stopping the flow of U.S. tax dollars to Israel—a stance very much at odds with that of his mother. Rodrigo, who made a documentary about Cuban dissidents, is now working in Los Angeles as a field organizer for the transgender community. RosLehtinen was nuanced when asked if her family influenced her decision to back repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. “I think all of us are impacted by the views and opinions of our family members,” she says. “I listen to my dad, I listen to my husband, I listen to my kids, everybody who has an opinion.

Opinions evolve—it’s a good thing in life we never stop learning.” THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Still, while Ros-Lehtinen may have softened on some social issues, it’s a different story when it comes to chairing the Foreign Affairs Committee. To wit: In August, she introduced a measure that would allow the United States and other countries to choose which United Nations agencies to bankroll, and cut off U.S. funding to the U.N. Human Rights Council, which many accuse of both an antidemocratic and anti-Israel bias. The committee sent the measure to the full House for a vote, but is not likely to get a warm reception by the Obama administration. Still, her staunch support of Israel has won her loyal friends in South Florida’s Jewish community. She is often mentioned as a possible future secretary of State under a Republican administration Yet some wonder if her views may undermine her in the foreign policy community. In October, Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer wrote that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon contends that the Human Rights Council is playing a positive role when it comes to holding Libya and Syria to account for how they treat their people (the congresswoman has also held hearings focused on putting pressure on Syria, where pro-democracy protestors have been brutally repressed). Meanwhile a number of independent groups argue that the U.S. could better encourage reform by working within the U.N. system. Ros-Lehtinen also wants to keep up pressure on Iran, holding a number of committee hearings focused on U.S. sanctions, and introducing legislation aimed at countering ways that Iran has found to skirt efforts to monitor its nuclear program, and potential for weapons development. Still, the heart of Ileana RosLehtinen’s local support remains her fierce opposition to normalization of

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ties with Cuba—unless and until the country makes real pro-democracy strides. Born in Havana in 1952, RosLehtinen and her family fled the Castro regime when she was 8 years old. The congresswoman graduated from Miami-Dade College in 1972 with an associate’s degree. She later earned a bachelor’s, master’s and PhD in education. She has been married for more than 26 years to former U.S. attorney, Florida representative and state sena-

tor Dexter Lehtinen, now a partner with the Tew Cardenas law firm. The congresswoman enjoys constituent loyalty other lawmakers can only dream of, cruising to victory in 2010 with more than 60 percent of the vote. “She is very loved in this community,” says Planas, who happens to also be a Cuban-American and who lives in Ros-Lehtinen’s district. The congresswoman, she says, understands the exile experience and what people have endured under the Castro re-

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gime. And that continues to resonate with voters. “From the older generation to the younger generation, we are crazy about her.” And, having a strong gay presence among her constituents makes taking a bold stand easier, notes Nilda Pedrosa, who was former Republican Sen. Mel Martinez’s chief of staff and who is now vice dean at FIU’s law school. “She knows her community, she knows her constituency and she’s a really hard worker.” z www.poder360.com t 27


CHERYL LITTLE Director, Americans for Immigrant Justice education & philanthropy*

“Give me your tired, your poor”: For decades, her name has been scribbled on slips of paper, napkins, the backs of business cards, and passed to the most desperate in South Florida, the relatives and friends of undocumented immigrants. ‘Here, see if Cheryl can help,’ is the common refrain. Little has been pressing for the rights of the region’s undocumented immigrants for more than 25 years, since she graduated from law school and began working with Haitian refugees. She has testified before Congress, the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, which she founded in 1996, has long been nationally recognized and this year it has truly gone national, changing its name to Americans for Immigrant Justice and opening an office in Washington, D.C. Tireless campaigner: As an increasingly anti-immigrant climate threatens to take over Washington, Little defiantly stands with those who arrived here without the right slip of paper.

AARON PODHURST Partner, Podhurst Orseck business*

Legal lion: At 75, he recently joined an exclusive club within the Florida Bar—the attorneys who have practiced for 50 years. In that time, he’s built his firm, Podhurst Orseck, into one of the leading boutique firms for complex litigation. And his cases are some of the most complicated out there. Along with Bruce Rogow, Podhurst is lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the massive, class action multi-district collection of lawsuits against American banks, which claim the banks’ policies of rearranging check and debit card withdrawals to maximize overdraft fees were “unconscionable.” 28 t www.poder360.com

BofA has already thrown in the towel, agreeing to settle for $410 million rather than continue to battle Podhurst’s team. Advocate for the arts. When he’s not fighting for the little guy, Podhurst chairs the Miami Art Museum’s board of trustees, which has already exceeded its fundraising goals, guaranteeing that the museum Miami-Dade voters insisted be built actually will be.

GLORIA & EMILIO ESTEFAN Estefan Enterprises Inc. arts & entertainment*

Cheering the Home Team. No one’s given the groove to Miami like the Estefans, for whom the Magic City hasn’t just been a Cuban diaspora, but a home to love, celebrate and promote. In the process, they are living the most quintessential of American dreams. She, as a quiet, studious and serious teen, joined Emilio’s Miami Sound Machine band. Emilio was her first boyfriend and only love. “He found the last Latina virgin of the ‘70s,” she jokes. Besides making his mark as a producer, not only of his wife’s work, but with a galaxy of Latin stars including Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Marc Anthony, Emilio is one of 23 commissioners working toward creation of a National Museum of the American Latino. The couple have also invested in Miami, owning Bongos Cuban Cafe, with several locations, and the Cardozo Hotel. Ultimate Latina. Gloria, a seven-time Grammy Award winner, has a new album out, “Miss Little Havana,” taking fans back to her roots with brass, sass, and danceability, and featuring the couple’s teen daughter playing guitar, as well as Miami rapper Pitbull. In September, Gloria was awarded the 2011 Ultimate Latina Award at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce national convention. Accepting the award she noted that while Emilio is the business visionary, she’s the one who does the numbers. “Absolutely true,” Emilio confirms to PODER. “Money doesn’t interest me. I let Gloria handle all that.”

PITBULL Rapper

arts & entertainment*

A barking success. All kinds of artists have featured Pitbull in their albums (Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias). But lately musicians have been lining up to do a turn on his discs—Marc Anthony and Chris Brown putting the smooth on Mr. 305’s latest release, “Planet Pit.” He’s become ubiquitous, from appearances on award shows to interviews with Rolling Stone and even The Wall Street Journal. Pitbull, who considers himself more a businessman than an artist, is seeking to go from the local area code to ‘Mr. Worldwide.’ To that end he’s been busy in the universe of product endorsements, lending his name to a host of products, from his own specialty vodka, Voli, to deals with Kodak, Dr. Pepper and Bud Light. Home boy: While Pitbull has gone global it’s a good bet he will keep his hometown in his heart. He already has the Key to the City, courtesy of Mayor Tomas Regalado.

ADRIENNE ARSHT Philanthropist education & philanthropy*

Totally civic-minded: After selling her family-owned bank, TotalBank, she went on a giving spree, promoting artistic, business and civic growth in the three places she calls home: Miami, Washington, D.C., and Delaware. In 2008 the Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Arsht #39 in its America’s biggest donors list. Name recognition: Her $30 million contribution to Miami’s Performing Arts Center earned her the naming rights. She committed another $6 million to the University of Miami to support ethics programs and UM’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. She is also chairman of the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation, as well as a member of the board of the University of Miami and Amigos for Kids. In

PODER HISPANIC MAGAZINE 8 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2012


Washington, she is the treasurer of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

EDUARDO PADRóN President, Miami Dade College education & philanthropy*

His excellency: He is the undisputed dean of education in Miami. While building the college into the largest institution of higher education in the country, Padrón has raised the national profile of community colleges and the students they serve. He is considered one of the most influential college presidents in the country, and shares the table with Ivy League leaders and the presidents of major state universities on a variety of national boards. He also serves on the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics—along with Shakira. The ultimate dreamer: Lately he’s taken on the issue of the Dream Act, hoping its passage will help smooth the path to citizenship for some of his students who were brought here illegally as children. But Padrón is not a one-issue leader. He’s also pushed to expand MDC into Hialeah and Doral and into nursing and culinary arts. He sees a Cinderella story in each of his students, and he’s determined to give them access to the education that can be their glass slipper.

JEB BUSH President, Foundation for Excellence in Education education & philanthropy*

From governor to educator: After leaving the Florida Governor’s mansion in 2007 Bush settled in Miami to dedicate himself to his personal business affairs. Now a senior adviser at Barclays Capital, he sits on several boards, including Tenet Healthcare Corp. He also founded the Foundation for Excellence in Education where he campaigns for higher education standards, greater school choice and

accountability and rewards for teachers. Kudos for not further swelling an already bloated Republican roster of presidential wannabes: For some Republicans 41-43-45 may sound like a winning combination. But Jeb says he has no intention of following in the footsteps of his father and brother by running in 2012 (2016 maybe?). Instead, he has repeatedly advised his GOP colleagues to make a better effort in reaching out to Hispanics. He is co-chair of the Hispanic Leadership Network, and this year his son Jeb Bush Jr. launched SunPAC, a Florida Hispanic outreach effort.

BONNIE CLEARWATER Director, MOCA arts & entertainment*

Kudos for perfect timing and place: As director and chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, she has thrust that city into South Florida’s burgeoning contemporary art scene that includes Art Basel every December. MOCA is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and recently unveiled a $13.5 million expansion which will double its size and triple gallery space. Just as Art Basel puts Miami on the map every December, Clearwater can use that allure to attract top-notch artists and transform MOCA into the MOMA of the South. Cultivating art appreciation at a tender age: Clearwater works hard to erode Miami’s image as the land of the Philistines, and her best weapon is to engage preschoolers in art projects and making the events free. As any promoter knows, if you get them while they’re young they’ll be hooked for life.

WIFREDO FERRER  US Attorney for the Southern District government*

This nice guy is tops: As the saying goes, dogs with big teeth don’t need to bark.  So,

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Ferrer can maintain his nice guy image while battling the worst criminals. Ferrer, a local boy made good, grew up in Hialeah went to Washington, D.C., and came back as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.  Rather than making splashy headlines with terror arrests that result in acquittal at trial, Ferrer appears to be concentrating on the substantive over the superficially sensational. He chips away at the crime that chips away at the fabric of life in South Florida.  While financial crimes often bewilder the average citizen, Ferrer is making his mark by going after the mortgage fraudsters who undermine the economy with reduced home values and increased unemployment. Hitting fraudsters: While the president seeks ways to reduce healthcare costs, Ferrer gets to the root of the problem by rooting out criminals, many of them fellow Cuban Americans, who siphon off millions of dollars in Medicare fraud.

BARTH GREEN Neurosurgeon, UM education & philanthropy*

Haiti helper: In April the American Association of Neurological Surgeons presented Dr. Green with its 2011 Humanitarian Award for all the good work he has done in Haiti for the past two decades. Neither earthquakes nor a cholera outbreak would stay Green and his team from the swift completion of their self-appointed rounds in helping Haiti’s poor and dispossessed. When Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince was hit with a 7.0-magnitude earthquake last year, Green’s medical team, Project Medishare, were among the first to fly in, setting up a MASH unit to tend to the thousands of injured. Staying power: When other disasters, such as the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan earlier this year, happened, TV cameras left Haiti. But Green quietly continues his work there. This he does while teaching at the University of Miami and overseeing UM’s neurological department. www.poder360.com t 29


ISAAC LEE President of News, Univisión media*

Media wunderkind: The Bogotá-born journalist, who founded and once served as editor-in-chief of PODER, made his bones exposing drug corruption in Colombian political circles. In January he took over as head of Univision’s news division, quickly making his mark with new investigative and documentary units, as well as with plans in 2012 for a 24-hour news channel and English language website. GOP boycott: Republican presidential candidates en masse announced a boycott of a debate planned for January at the network. They are rallying around Marco Rubio, who claims Lee offered to spike a story about his brother-in-law’s former drug trafficking activities in exchange for an interview with the senator. The network categorically denied the allegation, and Rubio soon found himself on the defensive over inaccuracies in his Cuban exile bio.

DAN MARINO The Dan Marino Foundation education & philanthropy*

Life after football: Former Miami Dolphin Dan Marino reached the half century mark this year. The man with the matinee idol looks and the golden throwing arm still has more than a dozen active football records to his name, including the most yards passed in a single season and the most season-leading league completions.  The NFL Hall of Famer has done the usual stints as TV analyst, and opened a sports bar.  Marino has gotten into the nutritional food supplement business, this year launching Vitacore’s joint and heart health supplement program. Caring for kids: The Dan Marino Foundation, which he and his wife Claire established in 1992 after their second son was diagnosed with autism, has distributed more than $22 million to research and 30 t www.poder360.com

treat the disease. Last year they inaugurated Walk About Autism, with 6,000 walkers raking in more than $500,000.

ANDRÉS OPPENHEIMER Miami Herald Columnist media*

Telling it like it is: While the loudest voices rejoice in the prospect of legalized gambling making Miami a resort destination for anyone willing to squander money just for the fun of it, Oppenheimer warns how such an image could actually repel Latin American investors. Having covered the Americas for more than three decades, Oppenheimer has a handle on the hemisphere’s psyche like no one else. The native Argentine also appears regularly on CNN en Español and has written several highly acclaimed books, including “Saving the Americas,” and “Bordering on Chaos,” about the end of PRI rule in Mexico. Still waiting for the downfall: After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Oppenheimer predicted Castro would be the next in line to fall and described why in his book, “Castro’s Final Hour, The Secret Story Behind the Coming Downfall of Communist Cuba.” The title was not his idea, he insists.

JORGE PEREZ CEO, Related Group business*

Adapting to adversity: The once and future condo king is emerging from the Miami real estate meltdown just fine, thank you.  While other developers are hunkered down waiting for the banks to approve their building loans, Perez is leading the pack with two new projects in downtown Miami and Hollywood beach.  In a nifty move he made a killing this year after picking up the first mortgage on the Omni Center in May for $100 million, before selling it in September for $160 million to the Genting Group, which aspires to build a $3 bil-

lion casino complex there and at property formerly owned by The Miami Herald. Building a new city: While Perez recognizes he helped contribute to the condo glut by over-saturating the housing market with thousands of units, he takes a ‘no pain no gain’ view of it all. Banks took a hit, but the downtown area now has a far more affordable and bustling urban lifestyle to offer.

DON AND MERA RUBELL Art Collectors, Entrepreneurs arts & entertainment*

Collecting as an artform: The Rubells went from being a couple who love contemporary art to multi-generational collectors that now includes their children and grandchildren. The landmark Rubell Family Gallery exhibits only what the family owns, and as a result, gives many emerging artists a voice and an audience. Their latest show, titled, “30 Americans,” features works by the famous—Jean-Michel Basquiat and Nick Cave—and lesser knowns. And they’ve taken the show on the road, opening at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh last March. It's now at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and goes to the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va. next year. A new home: In 2002 the Rubells bought a run down Best Western in Washington and turned it into the Capitol Skyline Hotel boasting a lobby full of contemporary art and furniture. Now they plan on turning an abandoned public school across the street into an arts-and-commercial development, housing a family museum, restaurants and apartments.

MARCO RUBIO Senator government*

Second to none: Rubio told the world last August that he wouldn’t take a backseat to anyone when he said in a speech

PODER HISPANIC MAGAZINE 8 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2012


at the Reagan Library, “I have no interest in serving as vice president for anyone who could possibly live all eight years of the presidency.”  Either that was a veiled intent to run for president or he plans on being the running mate of an elderly elder statesman. In any event the freshman Republican senator marches to his own beat, as proven last year by his underdog rout of the popular former Florida governor who early in the race appeared to be a shoo-in.  Revisionist exile history: In October The Washington Post reported that Rubio “embellished” the departure date of his parents from Cuba, possibly to give him better credentials with the exile community. Whether his parents left in 1956 or 1959 (as originally claimed in his official Senate bio) is not the issue, so much as was this a mere slip of the pen or evidence of a politician economical with the truth.

FREDRIC SNITZER Art Gallery Owner arts & entertainment*

Raising the profile of artists in Miami: Snitzer once drove a taxi in Philadelphia and is now a driving force in Miami’s contemporary art world. He’s one of the locals who helps decide who gets to show at Art Basel, the contemporary art fair held in Miami each December. He also has a good eye for raw talent. Many a Hispanic artist got a start exhibiting in Snitzer’s Design District gallery back when the warehouse district lacked its current grunge cool. Unlike many gallerists, Snitzer is laid back and likeable.  His personality comes out in the Bert Rodriguez’s biopic, “Making Sh*t Up,” which debuted at the Miami International Film Festival in February.  Rodriguez, one of the artists that Snitzer nurtures, spoofs the art world by having a tag sale of all his artwork during the Armory Fair in New York. The camera pans to show Snitzer silently writhing as collectors buy up all the pieces at cut rates. Added kudos: Rather than let local artists lead provincial lives, Snitzer accompanies graduates of the New World School of the

Arts college program to Art Basel in Switzerland and the Venice Biennale.

RAUL ALARCóN JR. President/CEO/Chairman, SBS business*

Hands on media mogul: Few heads of media conglomerates are as actively involved in the day-to-day of their operations as is Alarcón, the charismatic Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) chairman. Originally a radio network founded by Alarcón’s father, today the company is the largest publicly traded Hispanic-controlled media and entertainment company in the country, comprising a radio network, television network (Mega TV), a music and entertainment website and, most recently, a burgeoning live entertainment arm that has doubled its business over the last 12 months. This year, the company acquired its third Mega TV station, KTBU-TV in Houston, in a bid to augment its radio footprint. Upping the ante: Through Mega, SBS is also upping its original content production, which it cross-promotes via radio and online using lamusica.com, which links to individual websites and live streaming for all 20 SBS radio stations. These include WSKQ-FM in New York, the top-rated Spanish language station in the country. “Our strategic vision of integrating our radio, TV, entertainment and online properties is in full swing as we continue to seek out unique growth opportunities with a clear eye on capturing the U.S. Hispanic consumer,” says Alarcón.

MICHAEL TILSON THOMAS Conductor, NWS arts & entertainment*

World class center: Was it only just a few years ago that Michael Tilson Thomas enlisted the help of his former babysitter, famous architect Frank Gehry, to build a new world-class home for his New World Symphony, bringing the orchestral acade-

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my to worldwide attention? The establishment has flourished ever since the center opened this past winter, and added yet another bright star (and bougainvillea-laced setting) to the glittery firmament that is South Beach. His orchestral academy, though, has been a Miami Beach institution since 1987, so the coming year will bring a round of 25th anniversary hoopla to the Beach as well. His Yiddish roots: While most people associate him with the NWS, or the San Francisco Symphony, where he is musical director as well, Tilson Thomas also enjoys celebrating his grandparents, the Thomashefskys, who, in their day, were the most famous actors of the Yiddish stage. In a labor of love, MTT will stage a show about his famous kin in April, also to be shown on a PBS “Great Performances.”

MICHELLE BERNSTEIN Chef/Restaurateur arts & entertainment*

Sizzling food star: If anyone shapes Miamians’ taste buds, it’s Michelle Bernstein. Since the mid-'90s, this Jewish-Latin spitfire has carved out niches all over the place for her award-winning food that’s now served in three eateries; she recently added Crumb on Parchment, to mainstays, Michy’s and Sra. Martinez. But her corporate reach continues, both in the sky (consulting with Delta) and working with Lean Cuisine, as well as hosting a show on PBS. She’s also no stranger to these types of lists; People in Español named her one of their “25 mujeres más poderosas.” New dish: Bernstein is known for her work in shaping tiny taste buds too. She launched the Miami chapter of Common Threads, which teaches underprivileged kids to cook healthy, and she’s working to improve cafeteria food, as well as partnering with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools!” initiative. This should come in handy: Bernstein and hubby David just welcomed their first baby—a boy. www.poder360.com t 31


ALBERTO IBARGÜEN

LEONARD ABESS

President/CEO, Knight Foundation education & philanthropy*

Chairman, UM Trustees education & philanthropy*

Culture vulture: Gone to any cultural events over the past year? Pen Alberto Ibargüen a thank-you note, because he heads the Knight Foundation, without which much of the arts and culture we enjoy here wouldn’t exist. But it’s not only the arts; Ibargüen is Miami’s own Johnny Appleseed, a pioneer nurseryman watching as vibrant community, arts and public service projects sprout. And it’s not only here; the foundation’s reach extends to the National Endowment for the Arts, and he’s taken Miami’s wildly successful “Arts Challenge” to Philadelphia, with the next likely stop Detroit. Media savior: Why not text Ibargüen your thanks, because this former Miami Herald publisher is busy hauling traditional media into the digital age, with Knight funneling millions into funding digital ways to inform communities.

Moving on to better things: The former banker who in 2008 sold City National Bank for $945 million and gave $60 million to his own employees, was named chairman of the board of trustees at the University of Miami. Greener pastures: A devoted environmentalist, he is a member of the World Wildlife Fund’s National Advisory Council, and a Fellow of the Audubon Society. His family endowed the Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy (CESP) at the University of Miami; founded the Abbess Center for Environmental Studies at Miami Country Day School and the Abess Floating Research Station in the Brazilian Amazon.

MITCHELL KAPLAN Books & Books business*

Books, then, not only books: When the mega bookstores were forcing independent booksellers out of business, Mitchell Kaplan continued selling books. Opening stores one-by-one, Books & Books created a mini-empire that now counts six stores, established over a 29-year span. Lights, action!: But just when you think Kaplan’s modus operandi won’t change, he surprises you. Not only is Books & Books now in publishing, he’s also joined screenwriter Pauline Mazur, to start his own movie company. In 2013, they will release “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” The film is based on a novel that celebrates—wait for it—books. 32 t www.poder360.com

with an office park and two hotels. Compared to the North Terminal, this should be a piece of cake.

EUGENE W. ANDERSON

JOSE ABREU

Dean, School of Business, UM education & philanthropy*

Smart move: Gene Anderson came to UM from the University of Michigan in August looking for a “growth-and-build opportunity” someplace “where the future of business is headed.” With 85 tenured faculty (plus 30-40 lecturers) and 1,900 undergrads and 400-500 grad students (including 200 doing full-time MBAs) UM’s business school is certainly growing. International approach: Anderson sees his mission as two-fold: to build more cross-disciplinary ties in areas such as healthcare, real estate and entrepreneurship, while building stronger ties with Miami’s Latin American business community.

EDUARDO SOLORZANO

Director, Miami International Airport government*

Miracle Worker: When he was named director of Miami International Airport in 2005, he inherited the American Airlinesabandoned North Terminal construction project, a money pit awash in contract disputes and debt. But now, the reconstruction of the entire airport is virtually complete, MIA’s setting records all over the place, and Abreu’s credited with turning a sow’s ear into a sleek, futuristic gem. Calling MIA Home: How did he do it? “You pick your battles,” says Abreu, who arrived in Miami 1968 as a 13-year-old Cuban refugee. At the transportation agency, he rose up the ladder, but even he was surprised when he was tapped as director. He asked his boss why he was chosen. “He asked me to guess, and I kept guessing wrong. Finally, he told me, “José, you have the best instincts of anyone I know.” He’s also reputedly the ‘bestdressed airport director’ in the country. Next up? Airport City, a $500 million plan

President/CEO, Walmart Latin America business*

Leading the big box invasion: Walmart is not just building its big box stores all over the U.S.—it wants to be the king of all that is inexpensive—whether food or clothes—in Latin America as well. No one is better positioned than Solorzano to help them reach that goal, having overseen the massive expansion of the retail giant in Mexico—from 694 stores to 1,329. So far, in Brazil alone, where 30 million are expected to enter the middle class in the next few years, Walmart’s revenue jumped nearly 20 percent in 2010. Solorzano has also focused on making sure that growth is environmentally friendly via sustainability initiatives in Brazil and solar energy in Mexico. Busy guy: Solorzano is chairman of the board of directors for Walmart de Mexico and Banco Wal-Mart de México Adelante, and is also board member for Walmart Centroamerica.

PODER HISPANIC MAGAZINE 8 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2012


THE BIG STORY

Helen Aguirre Ferre This independentminded Republican is one of the most respected voices in South Florida’s Spanish and Englishspeaking media

media* BY SUSANNAH NESMITH

For years, members of the older generation of Miami Hispanics referred to Helen Aguirre Ferre affectionately as “la hija del diario,” the daughter of the newspaper, El Diario de Las Americas, which her father started in 1953. Ferre, opinion page editor of El Diario, doesn’t really get that anymore, however. She’s also a Spanish-language radio journalist, hosting a two-hour, drive-time news show on Univision Radio’s WQBA. And she hosts an English-language Sunday news talk show on South Florida’s PBS affiliate, WPBT2. She’s chair of the board of trustees of Miami-Dade College, a respected conservative political analyst and an admirer of the Tea Party, but a critic of the movement’s tactics and some of its core ideals. She’s also an outspoken advocate for the Dream Act and increased fund34 t www.poder360.com

ing to community colleges. Plus, she’s a grandmother now. HOW DOES SHE DEFINE HERSELF?

“I’m one of those people who are 100 percent American and I’m 100 percent Hispanic, which is what you find in Miami,” she says during a recent interview. She believes far too many members of the political class misunderstand the Hispanic electorate, the people who read her newspaper, listen to her radio programs and watch her television shows. “Hispanics are a complex group. Not all are English as a second language. Some are English-dominant,” she explains. “We care about health care, education, taxes. We have a social conservative value system that fits in with the Republican Party traditional family values. But Hispanics feel disengaged from the Republican Party on a national level and disenchanted with the Democratic Party on a national level.” Ferre is a registered Republican, though she says she sometimes votes for Democrats, like Sen. Bill Nelson, whom she respects. She worries the GOP may alienate a large number of Hispanics like herself as more and more Republicans draw deep lines in the sand on the issue of immigration. “I’m really offended by the tone of the immigration debate,” she says. ”I’m offended by the term illegal immigrant. We need a structure for law and order. People can do things that are illegal, but people themselves are not illegal. It’s okay for them to take care of our kids, but it’s not okay to give them treatment in our emergency rooms? When I interview these conservative candidates, I ask them, ‘what would you do with the 12 million (undocumented immigrants) that live in this country?’ No one will address that because we don’t want to be a country where we knock on people’s doors at night and drag them from their beds.” Ferre is dismissive of some of the extreme elements of her party, like Tea

Party favorite Rep. Allen West, who lashed out at Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, sending her an email calling her “vile, unprofessional and despicable.” He also, ironically enough, wrote that if Wasserman Schultz had anything to say to him, she should “say it to my face.” “What a baby,” Ferre says. But Ferre is a fiscal conservative at heart and she respects some of what the Tea Party has accomplished by pushing for cuts to government spending. “We know Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable. The Tea Party is saying, ‘you know what, we can’t compromise anymore because we don’t have any more wiggle room,’ ” she says. “I admire their guts, but I think they need to be well read and understand the process more than they do. The federal government itself isn’t the problem. Don’t treat the government with disdain.” She’s also a little tired of all the people saying they’ll run government like a business. “It’s a mistake to say the public sector can be like a business because some things we need to do because they’re good things to do,” she says, listing traditional liberal causes like public transportation and education. Then again, she is sometimes highly critical of government. She spent a lot of radio time questioning the wisdom of the deal Miami and Miami-Dade County made with the Marlins to build their stadium. “We really broke ground questioning the funding of the Marlins stadium. I was adamant it was bad public policy.” At El Diario, she’s editorialized that prayer in schools should be brought back and that the Occupy Wall Street protesters represent a “Marxist-Leninist conspiracy.” Her father started El Diario after being exiled by the first Somoza regime in Nicaragua. He envisioned the newspaper as providing independent news and analysis for Latin America

PODER HISPANIC MAGAZINE 8 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2012


MICHAEL LANDSBERG

at a time when so many countries were led by brutal regimes that didn’t allow much freedom of expression. It was also a dramatically different era in Miami: there were only 9,000 Hispanics in the city. “Never in his wildest dreams did he think 65 percent of Mi-

ami would be Hispanic. It was a paper for export.” Ferre grew up in political journalism; her first political interview was as the news editor of the student newspaper at Barry University, where she went to college. And she says she’ll never

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leave it, though she was mentioned as a possible running mate for Charlie Crist back in 2006. “I bleed ink.” But some say if Republicans would at least listen to Hispanic voices like hers, the GOP might have a better shot at attracting Hispanic voters. z www.poder360.com t 35


AMINDA “MINDY” MARQUES GONZALEZ The Miami Herald media*

Sisyphean task? Marques took over as executive editor of The Miami Herald last year, the paper where she started as a cub reporter in 1986. All her noble effort has so far not stopped the paper’s slide as it struggles to keep readers— and advertisers—dropping to third most-read in the state behind the St. Petersburg Times and the Orlando Sentinel with a daily circulation of 160,505. Digital circulation also fell despite introduction of an iPad app. Relocating: The paper is looking for a new home after its owners, the McClatchy group sold its 14-acre site for $236 million in May. But its reporters are still capable of producing good journalism. The paper won the gold medal for public service from the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors for coverage of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The paper also revealed dozens of deaths from abuse and neglect in homes for the elderly, prompting state and federal probes.

THOMAS COLLINS MAM Director arts & education*

Model Museum of the future: Construction of Miami Art Museum’s new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building is underway on a four-acre site in downtown’s Bicentennial Park. The new museum symbolizes the modern, world city Miami is striving to become, Collins says, describing it’s dynamic design as a response to the traditional “stale, elitist museum paradigm” of the past. MAM is due to open it doors in the fall of 2013. Money rolling in: MAM’s fund-raising campaign got a big boost from Bank of America which announced a $1 million donation to the Museum’s $120 million capital campaign. The gift will fund a 36 t www.poder360.com

five-year programming endowment for new artwork, as well as the naming of a gallery. MAM has now raised approximately $52 million in cash and private pledges through its campaign.

JORGE PLASENCIA CEO, República business*

Multicultural guy: As vice chair of the National Council of La Raza he’s become a nationally recognized Hispanic leader, and also sits on the board of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies and Miami Dade College Foundation, among others. With his business partner Luis Casamayor (the creative arm of República), he has been able to build a major multicultural ad agency, serving clients in English and Spanish, including PepsiCo, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Baptist Health, and Versailles among others. Prior to starting República, he was vice president of Estefan Enterprises and operating manager of Univision Radio. In the ‘90s he was the Florida Marlins’ first director of Hispanic marketing. Charitable arm: He co-founded Amigos for Kids, one of the most respected charities in South Florida

BRETT RATNER Movie Director arts & entertainment*

The color of money: If you’re thinking artsy film director, Brett Ratner does not come to mind. This guy makes blockbusters to please audiences, not critics, and he makes no apologies. Ever since the brash Ratner talked his way into film school, this Miami Beach native, with his Cuban pedigree, has cranked out films earning $1.5 billion worldwide, including the $850-million generating Rush Hour franchise, as well as hits like “Red Dragon,” (the

“Silence of the Lambs” prequel) and the 2006 comic-book blockbuster, “XMen: The Last Stand.” Give him an Oscar: Not likely. Ratner bowed out from a gig orchestrating the 84th Annual Academy Awards after making some unseemly comments. But producing is where Ratner really shows his cultural chops; he served as exec producer on the indie film “Catfish,” and he’s produced documentaries on photographer Helmut Newton and the early film actor John Cazale, as well as a PBS “American Masters” on Woody Allen. Having launched his own branding company and shot photos that landed on Vogue’s cover, it’s easy to wonder if there’s anything this firebrand can’t do.

DR. PASCAL GOLDSCHMIDT Dean, Miller School of Medicine education & philanthropy*

On the way up: Since President Donna Shalala brought Pascal Goldschmidt from Duke to the University of Miami to serve as dean of the Miller School of Medicine, this internationally known cardiologist has continued to push the school upwards in the rankings, rising by 11 points to be No. 45 in the listings of medical schools in the nation. Cutting Edge: Okay, so No. 45 is a long way from No. 1. But Dean Goldschmidt has a strategy to change that. He’s spearheading UM research in stem cells to treat heart disease and cure paralysis, involving the school in genetics in a major way. He is leading the way in cardiac surgery without chest cracking, and pursuing other cutting edge medical technologies as well as overseeing the groundbreaking of UM’s long-awaited Life Science & Technology Park. Plus, UM is now considered the No. 1 medical school for Hispanics, according to Hispanic Business Magazine. So Harvard, Penn, U of Washington, watch your back!

PODER HISPANIC MAGAZINE 8 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2012


SHELLEY FREEMAN Wells Fargo, regional president business*

Merger maven: A 15-year veteran of Wells Fargo she holds one of the highest profile jobs in Florida banking. In 2009 Freeman was named as regional president of community banking in Florida, a post that puts her in charge of the bank’s retail, small-business and business banking statewide. This year that meant managing the massive merger of Wells Fargo with Wachovia, previously Florida’s largest branch network, purchased for $15 billion in 2008. That has involved a mass marketing campaign as well as sign changes at Wachovia’s 668 branches, completed this fall. Miami Girl: She grew up in New York, but moved here from Wells Fargo’s Los Angeles offices, where she also served on the L.A. Police Commission. Freeman moved the bank’s head office from Jacksonville to Miami, a city she knows from winters here growing up as the daughter and granddaughter of snowbirds. “Miami is the pulse of Florida,” she says. “It’s the financial capital and the gateway to Latin America and the Caribbean.” She serves on the Board of Regents for the Point Foundation, a nonprofit that offers scholarships to LGBT teens. She and her partner of 20 years are parents of a foster daughter, and recently became grandparents.

STEVE ROSS Miami Dolphins owner business*

Losing streak: Ten losses in a row was hard to take, for owner and fans alike. The streak finally came to an end Nov. 6, but too late to save the season. The New York real estate mogul who graduated from Miami Beach High is still looking for a formula for success on the gridiron after he bought the team in 2008.

Celebrity status: Pulling in celebrity owners, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Marc Anthony, the Williams sisters and Fergie, was a clever move, but fans want to see more talent on the field. “Ross has much to prove as an NFL owner beyond his dubious knack for festooning a franchise with the frivolous fluff of celebrity window dressing, so a fan is justified to wonder if he is up to the task of restoring this club’s good name and greatness,” opined The Miami Herald’s football writer Greg Cote.

JAIME SZULC Goodyear, president for Latin America business*

Burning up the rubber: With more than 22 years of successful international business experience in multi-billion dollar companies, Szulc was appointed Latin America regional president of Goodyear Tire & Rubber in September, 2010. A specialist in business turnarounds, his previous job was as a senior VP at Levi Strauss & Co., and before that he was COO for Eastman Kodak’s consumer business. He’s off to a good start with Goodyear’s LatAm business up almost 20 percent this year, closing in on $3 billion. Home away from home: Brazilianborn, Szulc, 49, is based in Sao Paulo, but he spends so much time in South Florida, meeting suppliers and clients, as well as managing Caribbean and Central American operations, that he keeps a pad on South Beach.

ALBERTO CARVALHO Miami-Dade School Superintendent education & philanthropy*

Portuguese Man-of-War: He’s fighting to improve the troubled system on so many levels, it’s hard to keep track. The hard-driving Portuguese immigrant improved the system’s finances, and managed to avoid the teacher layoffs so many other

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districts were forced to impose, while finding federal money for teacher merit raises. He led the turn around of six failing schools and rushed to the defense of two others threatened with state takeover. He’s expanded several popular magnet programs, creating franchises out of the elite county schools that parents vie to get their kids into, like MAST Academy. He’s even come up with innovative new ideas, including a technology high school that he is the principal of. Oh won’t you stay (just a little bit longer): Meanwhile, the board that had so much trouble getting along with previous superintendents simply can’t get enough of Carvalho and extended his contract to 2015. It’s hard to imagine he doesn’t have bigger plans, but for the moment, he says running the fourth largest school district in the country still keeps him challenged.

JORGE RAMOS Anchor, Univisión media*

Feliz aniversario! On Nov. 3 he celebrated 25 years in broadcast journalism, 22 of those as co-anchor for the nightly newscast of Univisión. His new book “Los Presidenciables,” was nominated for Mexico’s top journalism prize. His syndicated column in Spanish is published in 40 newspapers, and this year for the first time in English in the pages of PODER. Ramos is in election mode, with recent votes in Argentina, Nicaragua and Guatemala kicking off a series of contests across the region, most notably in Mexico ( July), Venezuela (Nov.), the Dominican Republic (May), and of course the U.S. in November. “It’s going to be a very important year and Univision is going to be a key player,” he says. “In Latin America the candidates talk to us before they talk to anyone else. They understand our global reach.” Romance: Ramos, who has been married twice and has two children, is the envy of many these days after he www.poder360.com t 37


began dating another familiar face on Univisión, Chiquinquirá Delgado, who is the host of “Despierta América” and “Mira Quien Baila.”

KATHERINE FERNANDEZ RUNDLE Miami Dade State Attorney government*

Miami crime fighter: She heads into battle with an imperfect army and sometimes unreliable allies. Over the past year, Fernandez Rundle has been tested on a number of fronts. Her public corruption team flamed out in its most high-profile trial in years; Miami city commissioner Michelle Spence Jones was acquitted and is back on the dais. Meanwhile, Fernandez Rundle’s third largest police ally, the Miami Beach Police Department, has engaged in an orgy of incompetence and on-the-job partying that makes even the city police look good, by comparison. Over in Miami, the police and highway patrol are busy arresting each other—criminals can only chuckle. The silver lining? Fernandez Rundle’s arch-nemesis, John Rivera, the county cops’ union boss, has been so busy trying to salvage his officers’ fat benefits, he hasn’t had time to pitch a Kathy fit. Fernandez Rundle has been in this hot seat for more than 18 years. And she never lets anyone see her sweat. She may never win the war, but she always seems to survive the battles.

MICKY ARISON Carnival Corp. CEO, Miami Heat managing general partner business*

Mirror, mirror…He’s still the wealthiest man in Florida ($4.2 billion) and continues to rank among Forbes’ 100 richest men in the world while carrying on his father’s legacy at the helm of Carnival Cruise Lines 38 t www.poder360.com

and the Miami Heat. While his star-studded basketball team flattered to deceive this year, the New World Symphony, which Ted Arison helped found and sustain, inaugurated its new Miami Beach concert hall, which met and surpassed expectations. Tweet! His digital outburst about the NBA lockout cost him a reported $500,000 fine. When someone posted “Fans provide all the money you’re fighting over you greedy ... pigs,” on Arison’s Twitter account, he replied, “Honestly u r barking at the wrong owner.” The good news? He can afford 8,400 more tweets like that.

EMILIO AZCÁRRAGA III Chairman, President & CEO, Grupo Televisa business*

Legacy building: In 1997, Azcárraga inherited his father’s media empire. Now 43, he’s proved his tycoon chops, ushering in corporate prosperity with a bold reorganization. Today, the conglomerate operates Internet, radio, satellite, mobile phone and publishing businesses including Televisa Publishing, owners of PODER. He is one of the richest businessmen in Latin America, with a fortune estimated at $2.3 billion as of March 2011. New horizons: A years-long battle with Univisión over royalties was put to bed last year in a landmark $1.2 billion deal that gives Televisa a major stake in the U.S. network. This year Televisa forked out another $1.6 billion for a 50 percent stake in mobile phone company Iusacell. Televisa stock reported a 2.4 percent jump in advertising sales in the third quarter. despite a boycott by media rival Carlos Slim.

ENRIQUE ‘HENRY’ MARTÍNEZ President, Managing Director, Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanic business/media*

Reason to be cheerful: A Cuban-American, University of Miami grad, Martinez

runs operations from Discovery’s impressive 50,000 sq ft TV Center in Miami. He was promoted to president and managing director in August responsible for the management and administration of operations across multiple platforms. He has overseen commercial and general operations at Discovery Networks Latin America/US Hispanic since 2001 at a time of growth in viewership in Hispanic America and Latin America. It’s a fact: Discovery Channel, is the leading brand in Latin American factual programming. Martínez is credited with turning Discovery Kids into a top source of quality programming for young viewers and Discovery Home & Health in the top lifestyle network channel for women. Martínez has also transformed Animal Planet into one of Latin America’s most popular networks.  

STUART MILLER

Lennar Corp. business*

Continues to break new ground: In spite of the bust Lennar is still building homes. The company’s latest innovation: communities that plan for your relatives’ impending impoverishment with separate living quarters for dear old dad who lost his 401K in the stock market crash or your 20-something who can’t find a job. Lennar, the third largest homebuilder in the country, is a family company – Miller took over from dad Leonard Miller in 1997, who was a longtime patron of UM (The family made a $100 million donation to UM’s medical school after his death). The company has done well to turn a modest profit for the past six quarters but the stock has lost much of its boom-era gains. Cat in the Hat: He’s known for using Dr. Seuss tales and children’s stories to motivate employees. He might try reading Seuss’s adult picture book “You’re only old once! A Book for Obsolete Children” which ends with the semi-uplifting line “You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.”

PODER HISPANIC MAGAZINE 8 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2012


EDWIDGE DANTICAT Author arts & entertainment*

Miami’s brightest literary light: Danticat has been extraordinarily busy since an earthquake devastated Haiti, her homeland, in early 2010. In addition to giving dozens of interviews and writing about the quake in The Miami Herald, The New York Times, The New Yorker and other outlets, Danticat published a collection of short stories and a memoir on life as an artist and exile and edited an essay anthology. In one of the many glowing reviews of her memoir, the reviewer noted that in Haiti the tragedies seem to speak for themselves. But no one writes more compellingly on behalf of the island nation. Recognized Genius: Danticat, who calls herself an “accident of literacy” in her memoir, won the MacArthur Genius Award in 2009. And yet she still sometimes frets over the decision to write instead of pursuing something she calls “more helpful” like being a doctor or a lawyer. Certainly, Haiti needs doctors and lawyers. But it is also extremely fortunate to have Danticat to bear witness.

CARLOS GIMENEZ Mayor, Miami-Dade County government*

In the hot seat: Gimenez rode the antiincumbent wave to become mayor of Miami-Dade County, succeeding the recalled Carlos Alvarez. Now the former firefighter is taking on the firefighters union while promising that he’s not a career politician—even though he’s always worked for taxpayers. Gimenez has a tough job—run the largest government in Florida outside of Tallahassee. And he does it in an anti-government environment that is unprecedented. Meanwhile, several pieces of the Miami-Dade government puzzle are in deep trouble—a federal report bashed the jail system, the 40 t www.poder360.com

transit department lost federal funding due to poor management and the Jackson Hospital System is bleeding red ink. Not his first rodeo: He took over as city manager in 2000, when Miami was on the verge of bankruptcy, its bonds rated “junk.” After three years, he left the city with $140 million in reserves. Can he do it again? He’s only got a year and a half to try before his term expires.

PETER ZALEWSKI Founder, Condo Vultures business*

Kudos for finding opportunity: While the Miami real estate market undergoes a slow burn, Zalewski warms his hands by the fire. The former Daily Business Review reporter came up with a catchy name for a crisis real estate venture and made a name for himself in the process. His company’s name, Condo Vultures, is so repulsive it’s memorable. Zalewski holds no illusions about the bottom-feeding nature of making money off foreclosed property. He didn’t cause the mess; he’s just the clean-up guy. Zalewski actually revels in his image, parlaying it into appearances in media such as TIME magazine and even in Michael Moore’s film on the depravity of the dollarchasers, “Capitalism: A Love Story. “ What’s new: Zalewski plans to launch a rating system regarding the financial fitness of various condo buildings in South Florida, a sort of Standard & Poor’s for the real estate world. Let’s hope he doesn’t plan to wreak the same havoc S&P did earlier this year when it downgraded U.S. debt.

SERGIO BENDIXEN Bendixen & Amandi, business*

Going global: Bendixen’s firm has established itself as a key resource in Latino polling and strategizing. In 2011 B&A expanded its global reach, pioneering public opinion studies for the World

Bank in Africa, analyzing remittance flows in Ethiopia, Uganda, Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Kenya. B&A also conducted a major study on education quality in southern U.S. states for the Gates Foundation and New America Media. They were also the lead strategic and research consultant in the 2011 Peruvian presidential election campaign of runner-up Alejandro Toledo. Closer to home, B&A partnered with The Miami Herald to conduct public opinion studies that accurately forecast the outcomes of the Miami-Dade County recall election, charter reform ballot questions and Miami-Dade mayoral election. Gearing up for a big year in 2012: The election season has already begun and that usually means lots of work for B&A, especially with so many eyes on the Latino vote. It’s thought likely that it will be involved with one of the major presidential campaigns. B&A previously conducted research for the presidential bids of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

ALONZO AND TRACY MOURNING Inner city mentors education & philanthropy*

In the Groove: Now retired, Mourning works for the Miami Heat as vice president for player development. For more than a decade, he and his wife, Tracy, have been helping the less fortunate in their community. Every July he hosts Zo’s Summer Groove to raise fund for his charity work, principally the Overtown Youth Center, an inner city recreational and academic facility that provides a safe environment to promote athletics and education for 180 students through high school. Now in its 15th year, the Groove has raised $10 million for local charities. Tracy has her own charity, the Honey Shine Mentoring Program, which guides at-risk girls. Naming rights: The Miami-Dade County School Board recognized their impact on young minds and named a North Miami public school in their honor: the Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High Biscayne Bay Campus.

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FELICE GORORDO Co-founder, Roots of Hope (Raíces de Esperanza) government*

Flying high: He was appointed this summer to the 2011-2012 class of White House Fellows where he serves in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs under top administration officials Valerie Jarrett and Cecilia Muñoz. He is the first Cuban American to be awarded a White House scholarship since Cesar Conde in 2002, who went on to become president of Univisión. The Fellows Program was created in 1964 to give young leaders “first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the federal government.” Previously, Gorordo led government sales for Liberty Power Corporation, a Hispanic-owned independent energy supplier. During the Bush administration he served in various positions at the departments of Commerce, State, and Homeland Security. Well rooted: He co-founded Roots of Hope, a national non-profit focused on youth empowerment in Cuba that blew much-needed fresh air into the stale, old politics of Miami’s Cuban exile elite. The group has grown into a network of more than 3,500 students and young professional across the United States.

BERNARDO HEES CEO, Burger King business*

From railroads to fast food: The naming of Bernardo Hees as the new head of Burger King last year made a lot of sense given the company’s plans to expand internationally, especially in Latin America. The Brazilian exec and former banker was previously CEO of America Latina Logistica, Latin America’s largest railroad company (he is also a partner at 3G Capital, the investment firm that bought Miami-based Burger King for $3.3 billion). There, he doubled revenue in 2010. With sales that 42 t www.poder360.com

perennially trail McDonalds’ and challenges due to the economic downturn, the chain craves that kind of result. The jury is still out: Burger King has a new, more modern crown, in line with its new corporate backing for charities involved in education and the environment. While third-quarter net income fell 24 percent due largely to interest expenses, revenue from restaurants open at least a year increased 11 percent in Latin America. In the U.S. and Canada, the comparison was relatively flat.

ELLA FONTANALSCISNEROS President, CIFO arts & entertainment*

Can be proud of: The Cuban-born, Venezuelan-raised woman of the world has not only built a collection of big-name artists but also cultivates mid-career and emerging artists from Latin America, giving them financial support and a place to show their work. Through CIFO, the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, she provides exhibition space in the warehouse district. CIFO’s downtown Miami building is itself a work of art, designed by architect Rene Gonzalez and covered in multi-hued tiles that resemble a lush tropical forest. Street smart: This year CIFO delved into the vibrant world of street art, expanding its reach with its initiative, Fund-AProject. Its inaugural platform was a mural on its downtown space by artist Johnny Robles. Together with influential Miami collective Primary Flight, CIFO’s newest project has produced stunning results.

CESAR CONDE President, Univision Networks media/business*

Over-achiever: Still only 37, he took over as network president in 2009. A Miami native, he was the president of his MBA class at Wharton and served as a White House fellow for Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell. He is cut from good cloth.

His Peruvian-born father is a cardiologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center on Miami Beach and his Cuban American mother is an assistant professor at U.M. In 2011 he was awarded the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute’s Corporate Leadership Award for his exemplary role on issues critical to the Hispanic community. Cup runneth over: The network lost the Spanish rights to the World Cup in 2018 and 2022 to rival Telemundo. But the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation signed up for the network’s education initiative, ‘Es el Momento’ (The Moment is Now) to encourage Hispanic college enrollment. The couple visited the network’s Miami studios in November for a forum with Hispanic students, and sat for an interview with Jorge Ramos. Conde offered Gates a role in an upcoming telenovela.

SERGE ELKINER CEO/co-founder, YellowPepper business*

Mobile banker: Recognizing the vast unbanked population and high cell phone penetration in Latin America and the Caribbean, Elkiner saw the potential for the deployment of a new mobile money ecosystem in the region. YellowPepper got ahead of the competition by introducing a neutral open architecture mobile financial network. After Haiti’s 2010 earthquake YellowPepper partnered with local cellphone company Digicel and Scotiabank to find a way to bolster Haiti’s economic recovery. The project won a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/USAID Grant. Well traveled: Based in Miami, but practically living in airport lounges, he has expanded to nine countries after receiving a $5 million investment by the World Bank and a Latin American investment group. Born and raised in Brussels, he has an accounting degree and has been involved in the mobile payment industry since 2000 when as a student he brought Israeli company HelloTech Technologies to Boston to make payments with mobile phones in vending machines.

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Carlos Migoya A banker’s quest to save a bleeding health system

business* BY SUSANNAH NESMITH

At a little tiki hut bar near the beach in the Bahamas, a middle-aged bank vice president and his closest friend, a similarly-aged auto magnate, are listening to a reggae band. The two hard-charging professionals have left their corner offices for some much needed R & R. Then Carlos Migoya, the banker, decides to have a little fun. “I don’t remember how it happened, but the next thing I know, he’s playing the drums with the band,” recalls Mike Maroone, president of AutoNation. Migoya, 61, who played drums in a high school rock band, loves being in the thick of things. He retired from banking several years ago, after more than 35 years at some of the nation’s top banks. But he didn’t stay retired. Last year, he spent 10 months as the city manager of Miami, taking over when the city was on the verge of financial collapse, with a $100 million hole in its budget. Migoya did the job for $1 and stepped down after balancing the budget. This year, Migoya has found an even bigger challenge: turn Jackson Health 44 t www.poder360.com

System around. The third largest public hospital system in the country is bleeding red ink; it lost $337 million over the past two years alone. Meanwhile, state funding is plummeting. “I get excited by challenges. I guess that’s an understatement, coming out of this place,” he says during a recent interview in his windowless office on the first floor of Jackson Memorial Hospital. Migoya was born in Cuba and came to the United States in 1961, when he was 11. He graduated from Miami Senior High School and FIU. He bikes on Key Biscayne every day and eats lunch with his 92-year-old dad on Saturdays. “And I watch the Dolphins lose on Sundays.” Though banking took him up and down the East Coast, Miami is home. He admits he hasn’t worked in a windowless office since 1974. “I frankly thought once I left banking, I wouldn’t continue to work,” he says. But retirement was boring. And when the opportunity to work in City Hall came along, at a time when the city desperately needed a financial wizard, Migoya saw an opportunity to put his skills and experience to public use. “I saw it as a community thing,” he says. “And I enjoyed it. To me, that was a lot of fun.” Once the public service bug bit him, Migoya started looking around for another opportunity. A failing behemoth of a hospital system, a nightmare job to some, just looked like more fun to Migoya. “I thought, wouldn’t it be great to turn Jackson around and make it sustainable and successful?” Jackson boasts the top-ranked eye institute in the country (Bascom Palmer), along with four other nationally-recognized programs. Its Ryder Trauma Center and Burn Center are well-known locally for the medical miracles performed there on the critically injured. And for Miami-Dade’s poor and uninsured, Jackson provides cradle-to-deathbed care. Yet for less specialized care, many of the county’s residents who can go somewhere else choose to do just that.

“It’s the best health care in South Florida. My younger son was born here. He was one pound and a quarter. He wouldn’t be alive it if hadn’t been for Jackson. If I needed something urgent, this would be the place,” Migoya says. “If I had to have a gall bladder operation, I wouldn’t come to Jackson. “ Like many Jackson officials before him, Migoya thinks the way to save the 93-year-old hospital is to lure more paying patients to help cover the costs of the ones who can’t pay. “We need to play Robin Hood. We need to get the funded to come to Jackson to help us pay for the under-funded,” he says. And he’s convinced he can succeed where so many before him have failed. “We have a lot of low-hanging fruit,” he says, pointing to improvements he calls “paint and brushes,” simple fixes that can help change the reputation of Jackson. For example, all of the maternity department’s labor and delivery rooms are being redecorated and rearranged so women can have babies without having to hear other women having babies. And by early next year, all of the rooms at Jackson will be private—no more semiprivate rooms. “That will change the perception that if you come to Jackson, you don’t know who you’re going to room with,” Migoya says. But will a change in perception be enough to save Jackson? Migoya says no. He’s also looking at labor contracts (the health system employs 11,000 people) along with ways to improve billing and untangle Jackson’s byzantine accounting procedures. He’s talking to HMOs to get them to send their patients to Jackson and he recently helped obtain Miami-Dade’s contract to do physicals for 8,000 employees, hoping that once they see Jackson on the inside, they’ll come back. “I guess, being a banker all my life, I’ve always had the ability to analyze business fairly quickly,” he says. And there’s the rub. Migoya doesn’t have any background in health

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care. Several members of Jackson’s governing board were concerned about that inexperience when they hired him. Migoya responded to that by quickly naming a team of top administrators who do have health care track records. “He understood his inexperience and

he was smart enough to surround himself with really smart people,” says Joe Arriola, a member of the Financial Recovery Board, which oversees the hospital system. When the board selected Migoya over several candidates with hospital

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experience, Arriola was among his supporters, arguing that his deep ties in the community and his success in banking made him the perfect candidate. And when Migoya’s done saving Miami’s hospital? “I’ll find myself some other trouble to get into.” z www.poder360.com t 45


DAVID LAWRENCE JR Chair, The Children’s Movement education & philanthropy*

Getting our priorities straight: The former Miami Herald publisher is on a crusade to rescue children’s education in Florida. “Children should be our top priority,” he proclaims. The Children’s Movement is asking the state for $28.5 million in funding for a series of initiatives that include parent skill-building programs, developmental screening and treatment for special-needs children, support for voluntary Pre-K, healthcare for uninsured children, and support for high-quality mentoring initiatives. He was named Humanitarian of the Year by the Red Cross, and in 2010 he was inducted into the Florida Newspaper Hall of Fame. A name to remember: He has a K-8 school named after him in North Miami, across the street from Alonzo & Tracy Mourning Senor High.

FRANCISCO ‘FRANKIE’ UNANUE Goya Foods business*

Family owned: Goya Foods celebrated its 75th anniversary this year as the largest Hispanic family-owned food company in the U.S. Headquartered in New Jersey it has 3,500 employees and more than 25 plants in the U.S., Spain, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Frankie Unanue, grandson of founder Don Prudencio, heads Goya Foods of Florida. Born in New Jersey and raised in Puerto Rico, Frankie started at Goya in 1985. Expansion: Unanue opened a new, 340,000 square foot distribution center in Miami in October and Goya has managed to beat the recession by expanding its product line, keeping food prices down and targeted marketing to the growing Hispanic population, 46 t www.poder360.com

including healthy products, such as low sodium beans to help reduce the risk of heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and obesity.

SAIF Y. ISHOOF Director, City Year Miami education & philanthropy*

Quintessential Miami immigrant saga: A 35-year-old of Indian Muslim heritage, Ishoof ’s parents brought him to Miami from Guyana when he was 2. He earned a foreign service degree from Georgetown University and a law degree from UM before going to work as a startup technology entrepreneur, and serving as CEO of FCT Technologies Corp., which does international projects in renewable energy, crop science and water resource management. Giving back to Miami: He leads a bold initiative dedicated to ensuring that atrisk Miami Dade school children have the help they need to graduate high school. Some 134 City Year corps members—who all wear red jackets—work as tutors, role models and mentors in 13 local high-need schools to reduce drop out rates. The group’s motto: “Give a year, change the world.”

in Argentina in the 1980s, Rey has built operations throughout the Americas, with Miami as his hub. After he bought Centurion in 2004 revenue rose from $30 million to $340 million. Nice new digs: Rey is reportedly the mystery man who bought the $12.7 million, nine-bed Star Island manse of disgraced businessman Claudio Osorio.

DR. PHILLIP FROST Entrepreneur and philanthropist education & philanthropy*

Patron of the arts: Together with his wife, Patricia, the Frosts are major donors to FIU’s art museum, which bears their name. They also gave $33 million to UM’s music school. Luckily for Miami, they can afford it; he’s worth $2.1 billion according to Forbes. Starting out as a dermatology professor, Frost made his fortune selling drug manufacturer Ivax to Teva Pharmaceuticals for $7.6 billion in 2005 (He’s still Teva’s chairman). He holds stakes in more than a half dozen firms, including Miami-based Opko Health. Still giving: Frost signed the GatesBuffett Giving Pledge in April, agreeing to give away half his fortune.

ALFONSO REY

MARC SPIEGLER

Chairman Aerolog Group business*

Co-director, Art Basel arts & entertainment*

Cargo King: If you wondered what was behind demolition work at the northeast corner of the airport, the answer is a brand new world-class cargo facility that promises to turn Miami International into a world leader in transporting perishable goods. The 800,000 square feet of warehouses and offices is the brainchild of Alfonso Rey, and will be the new headquarters of Centurion Air Cargo, fast-emerging as the No. 1 cargo carrier to-and-from Latin America. Since starting in the food and cargo business

Kudos for brilliantly re-inventing yourself: In perhaps the largest jump in position since Winston Churchill parlayed a journalism career into the role of British Prime Minister, Spiegler went from writing about art to running the biggest contemporary art fair in the world. In 2007, Spiegler became co-director of Art Basel, the arbiter of art in the 21st Century. The Chicagoborn Spiegler went from writing about artists, such as Terence Koh who literally takes a dump on the art world and

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has collectors lining up to buy his goldplated excrement, to being the gatekeeper who decides who gets to exhibit at the two biggest venues for collectors with cash—Basel in June and Miami Beach in December. Hats off for Actually living: The “No risk, no fun,” approach.

EDMUND ANSIN

detractors. He clearly has a knack for knowing what popcorn munchers like. A Miami vice: Bay, who has made Miami his part-time home since he played a bit part on “Miami Vice” in 1986, is making one of his next flicks a very Miami tale. He is adapting a New Times story about steroid-addled goons who kidnapped, tortured and bilked millions out of a wealthy businessman. Right up his alley.

Owner Sunbeam Television business*

LUIS FERNANDEZ

Shoe shine: Ansin, 75, turned a family shoe-making fortune into an even bigger real estate and TV business with net worth measured by Forbes at $1.25 billion. Sunbeam Broadcasting turned around a struggling Miami television station which it bought for $3.4 million in 1962. Sunbeam’s Fox affiliate WSVN Channel 7 is now the most profitable in South Florida. Ed’s son Andrew runs Sunbeam’s real estate division, which owns more than four million square feet of commercial and industrial space, much of it in Broward County. Ed is a big donor to philanthropic groups such as United Way and Habitat for Humanity. Remembering: The United Way’s office in Broward County is housed in a building named in memory of his parents, Sophie and Sidney Ansin.

MICHAEL BAY Film producer/ Director arts & entertainment*

And the Oscar will probably never go to: Slow mo, big explosions, car chases, lots of noise. Those are the hallmarks of Bay’s movies, including 2011 box office bully “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” which made $352 million, and its equally money-grabbing predecessors, which made a combined $721 million. No wonder the maestro of mayhem and king of summer blockbusters couldn’t care less about

President of Entertainment and Univisión Studios, Univisión Communications entertainment/business*

From strength to strength: Univisión is the only major network to see ratings gains in the 2010-2011 season, thanks in part to blockbuster programming like the telenovela “Eva Luna,” kiddie talent competition show “Pequeños Gigantes” and the Dancing with the Starslike “Mira Quien Baila.” Fernandez also heads Univisión Studios, being built in Miami to produce Univisión’s programming, currently mostly provided by Televisa. The Spanish-born Fernandez, 53, came to Univisión after leading Spain’s largest broadcasting company, Radio Television Española. As president of RTVE and member of its board of directors, he made third place TVE-1 the most watched channel in Spain. Lucky charm: How do you top “Eva Luna,” which at times surpassed Englishlanguage competition in prime time? How about hooking viewers into a new telenovela starring the same protagonista? Blanca Soto will star in “El Talisman” as a woman caught between two lovers.

MATIAS DE TEZANOS CEO, BrokersWeb business*

Serial entrepreneur: Named America’s fastest-growing insurance company by

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Inc., Brokers Web is actually 31-yearold de Tezanos’ third business. The Guatemalan-born Internet specialist who started the Spanish-language site Hoteles.com at 20, then sold it to Expedia, only to turn around and debut the online advertising network ClickDiario.com and sell that to Fox, started Healthcare.com (later renamed BrokersWeb), an insurance marketing company that operates 12 websites. Its 2010 revenue was $15.7 million, constituting a stunning 8127 percent growth. This innovator also fosters innovation in others: De Tezanos is an angel investor in several ventures, including StartupsNetwork.com, a network of start-ups sites that reaches 3 million monthly visitors, and Wamba.com, a Spanish Facebook with 30 million monthly visitors. Not pulling teeth: And to think that at one point, the guitar-playing karate enthusiast thought about studying dentistry.

DIEGO & GISELA LOWENSTEIN CEO, Lionstone Development business*

Hear him roar: He is a wildly successful fifth-generation hospitality and real estate investor, she, the creator of a home-management DVD with degrees in hospitality and hotel management as well. Both are fixtures on the social and art scene as prominent art collectors. Diego’s portfolio at Lowenstein includes the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, the EPIC Hotel Residences in Brickell and the Acqua Marina Residences on Hendricks Isle. In late 2010, it was announced that he’d partnered with British billionaire Richard Branson to launch Virgin-branded luxury hotels serving the jet-setting creative class in the U.S. Cleaning up: Not one to sit at home Gisela created The Glow System, a DVD that provides techniques on organizing and maintaining a home. A breast cancer survivor, Lowenstein donates part of her revenue to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. www.poder360.com t 47


Marcelo Claure Talent, work and vision created Brightstar, and now Claure looks to put his imprint on the brave new wireless world

business/ entrepreneur* BY DOREEN HEMLOCK

It was a surprise for many at the luncheon when Marcelo Claure took the stage in Miami to accept his award as the 2011 Hispanic Businessman of the Year. Whispers flew: A Bolivian who is 6-feet, 6-inches tall? The founder of a company with $5 billion in annual sales and 4,000 employees—and he’s only 40 years old! By any measure—not just the top honor from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce—Claure stands out. He dreamed of building the largest cellphone distribution company in Latin America, and it was done by 2003. He decided to create the world’s largest cellphone distributor; done by 2008. Now, he’s developing a global “wireless device eco-system” to include everything from factories to warehouses, insurance to strategic planning—enough to keep him busy for at least a few years more. It’s certainly not about money. The president of Miami-based Brightstar 48 t www.poder360.com

Corp. already could retire, with a net worth that Forbes magazine has estimated to top $1 billion. It’s not about fame either. The father of four has racked up awards from Ernst & Young, magazines across the Americas, and business groups worldwide. He sits on The Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council. Yet, he happily puts in 12-to 18hour workdays, often waking before dawn to call Asia and catching latenight flights to make meetings in Europe, South America and even Africa. “You do it, because you like to win,” Claure says in a wide-ranging interview at Brightstar’s headquarters west of Miami International Airport. “There’s a satisfaction of winning in a country where you are not supposed to win,” like becoming the No. 1 manufacturer of cellphones in Argentina or managing all the cellphone supply for Australia’s biggest phone company. “We’re having so much fun.” Friends and associates say entrepreneurship comes naturally to Claure. When he was just 8-or 9 years old, he set up a kiosk outside his house in Bolivia and sold clothes from his parents’ closet. (For that he was grounded for weeks.) When he was a teenager, he sold canned soup, flour and other basics from a family factory at the local market to pocket extra cash. And as a college student, he developed a thriving business buying and selling frequent-flyer miles. His quest to excel extends to his other passion: soccer. After college, he helped the head of Bolivia’s Soccer League and helped Bolivia qualify for the first time ever for the World Cup. When his favorite Bolivian club recently faced a financial mess, he bought the team, invested, and this year, cheered to see his beloved Bolivar clinch the national championship. He rewarded fans with a giant barbecue in October, for which he flew in from Europe in order to attend in person. He never misses a game, watching via web TV on his iPad when he can’t be there.

“That’s definitely not a money maker,” Claure says of his soccer hobby. “But there are different ways to give back. And to see kids have faith and hope” in Bolivia from that team, it’s all worth it, he says. The son of a Bolivian diplomat stationed in many countries, Claure learned at an early age to adapt to different cultures and to succeed. To build his business on six continents, he looks for people who understand the nuances of local markets and think strategically. He motivates his team to dream big, listen carefully to customers, give customers what they want and deliver it with precision. The key is “surrounding yourself with very capable people. There’s never enough. You always look for better and better people,” says Claure, who is known to expect a commitment like his from Brightstar’s top brass. Excelling as a global distributor means more than moving boxes of cellphones—or nowadays, notebook computers, tablets and other wireless devices as well. Analysts say Brightstar has perfected a supply-chain of services, from buying phones at the best prices, tailoring them for local taste, buying back used ones and refurbishing them for resale, sometimes in other countries. It has developed advanced software and deep market insight that helps phone companies and retailers save significantly, says Jay Gumbiner, who runs high-tech researcher IDC Latin America in Miami. Setbacks do happen. Brightstar stumbled when entering India. And Claure’s plan with Spain’s soccer team FC Barcelona to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Miami stalled with recession in 2009. “But he’s not easily defeated, dismayed or dissuaded,” says Manuel Rocha, a former U.S. ambassador to Bolivia and friend of Claure’s in Miami. “He handles adversity with a great deal of patience. He waits for another opportunity” and likely will try again for an MLS franchise in better economic times.

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MICHAEL LANDSBERG

For family, friends and associates, Claure is generous too. For his 40th birthday last year, he threw a bash in Miami to thank 700 people, including many he flew in from other countries. He invited the Gypsy Kings to play, and salsa star pal Marc Anthony performed with his band, ending with a duet with star Jennifer Lopez, then Anthony’s wife. Claure told the crowd he could not have done it without them all. Indeed, he’s extremely social, often making friends through work. In Mexico, he dines and socializes with telecom tycoon Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man. And he’s vacationed with Nicholas Negroponte, the MIT Media Lab

founder who came up with the One Laptop Per Child program. Brightstar launched distribution for the low-cost computers that aim to help educate poor children worldwide. “One of the hardest things for him to deal with is loneliness,” says Javier Villamizar, a sales executive for SerCom Solutions who worked closely with Claure for six years and was the best man at his wedding. Indeed, Claure is so driven to work and socialize that he’ll sometimes sacrifice his health. “He’ll fly 20 hours, then go out to dinner or a party and doesn’t sleep enough,” says Villamizar.

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To excel, it helps that Claure seized opportunity early in one of the world’s fastest-growing businesses. A decade from now, he estimates the number of wireless devices connected around the globe will jump ten-fold to 50 billion. That will include refrigerators linked to supermarkets, so you’ll know to replenish milk and other basics. And there’ll be smarter phones used as digital wallets, maybe with apps that show your electricity use and let you change the thermostat at home. “Anything that’s connected, for us, that’s fair game,” Claure says, for his wireless eco-system to handle and to win. z www.poder360.com t 49


MANUEL MEDINA Founder, Terremark business*

Miami’s biggest business story: When Verizon shelled out $1.4 billion to buy Terremark last year, you could hear the collective gasp as South Florida’s biggest tech success story got even bigger. The man behind the deal was founder Medina, who started the company in 1980 as a real estate firm that constructed office buildings. His payday was estimated to be $83 million while the boon for the city itself may be that the company, and its 260 jobs, is staying put. Terremark specializes in managed hosting, colocation, disaster recovery, security, data storage and cloud computing, the latter being the main reason for Verizon’s purchase. Hello and Goodbye: The year that brought the company’s biggest moment also brought the end of an era, as Medina stepped down as CEO in May, shortly after receiving the Jay Malina Award from the Beacon Council.

PEDRO AND DAVID MARTIN CEO, COO, Terra Group business*

Foreclosure kings: The father and son residential real estate team’s specialty is low acquisition prices on real estate and last year, they went on a buying binge. Witness the Doral industrial property in foreclosure that Terra’s affiliate, Terra Acon Doral Palms, bought for $16.5 million, a 56 percent discount (the property had a $37.7 mortgage) and Terra’s purchase of the closed Grand Bay Hotel for $24 million—a 44 percent discount from the high-rise’s $42.5 million mortgage, as well as the building where the hotel’s former owners were headquartered (Terra got that one for 55 percent off, at $3.4 million). 50 t www.poder360.com

Terra’s developments include Nautica, Metropolis at Dadeland, 900 Biscayne Bay and Quantum on the Bay. Other day job: Pedro is of counsel at Greenberg & Taurig in real estate and is a member of the South Florida Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s board of trustees.

ROBERT PEREZ CEO/President/ Chairman, Alfalit education & philanthropy*

ABC Trafficker: Perez may be based in Doral, but he travels the world teaching people to read through Alfalit, a faith-based literacy non-profit started by Cuban exiles in Costa Rica 50 years ago that later moved to Miami. In 2011, Alfalit added offices in Congo, adding French reading materials, which it already provides in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Quechua. In addition to literacy programs, Alfalit provides pre-school and elementary education, community development, nutrition and prison programs in urban and rural areas in 23 countries. It’s also one of the most efficient non-profits; 92 percent of revenues go to the field. The award for selflessness goes to: Cuban-born Perez, who came to the United States as a teenager post-revolution, has volunteered for Alfalit since 1967, and is a retired Miami-Dade County social worker as well as a pastor who volunteers at First United Methodist Church of Coral Gables. In October, he received the 2011 Presidential Citizens Medal from President Obama.

GEORGE FELDENKREIS Chairman and CEO, Perry Ellis business*

Clothes make the man: Feldenkreis made news in March when he sold $8.4 million in Perry Ellis International stock (300,000 shares). He still

has 1.75 million shares worth $46 million—and he’s still very much in charge at the designer, distributor and licensor of apparel and accessories, whose brands include Nike Swim, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Dockers and PGA Tour. The company announced a 31 percent revenue increase in the first quarter and 33 percent in the second quarter, and spent the remainder of the year focusing on niche businesses including golf, Hispanic, the Perry Ellis Collection and women’s sportswear. The company recently debuted its Community Action Committee aimed at helping employees get involved in giving back. American dream: Feldenkreis, the son of Russians who emigrated to Cuba in the 1930s, arrived in the states in 1961 and founded Supreme International, which imported school uniforms and guayaberas. Six years after Supreme went public in 1993, Feldenkreis acquired Perry Ellis and took on the name.

LEWIS “MIKE” EIDSON Chairperson, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Board of Directors education & philanthropy*

The good news: Eidson may be a nationally renown trial lawyer but he’s best known, of course, for his leadership of the Arsht Center. Five years after the $473 million cultural mecca opened, it met its budget this year, thanks in part to programming that includes housepacking popular acts and events. The coming challenge: Eidson has taken on the center’s biggest challenge to date—its soon-to-be neighbor, the nearly $4 billion resort, casino and shopping complex coming to the Miami Herald property: In November he traveled to Singapore to see a resort by developer Genting Group, in hopes of getting an idea how Resorts World Miami would affect the neighborhood. He and others have already started talks with Genting in hopes of coming to an agreement to

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ensure the center is not dwarfed physically or otherwise and obtain logistical and financial help on traffic infrastructure, parking and programming.

STEVE ZACK Attorney business*

Oh, pioneer! The Cuban American lawyer has wrapped up a notable presidency of the American Bar Association. He was the first Latino to lead the 400,00-member organization during which he initiated efforts to tackle the chronic underrepresentation of Hispanics in the legal field. In September, the University of Florida’s law school named a building after Zack, after he and his firm, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, donated $800,000 to create an endowment to promote diversity and enhance academic programs. As a measure of his influence, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Bob Graham, former Florida governor and senator, were present. After some R&R: Zack, born in Cuba, the son of a Cuban mom and an American dad, specializes in civil trial law, eminent domain, corporate and international law and told The Miami Herald that he plans on returning full time to litigation and will help bring awareness to the underfunding of courts.

MANNY DIAZ Partner, Lydecker Diaz business*

The vision lives on: Since stepping down as mayor of Miami he is still a force in local, state and national politics. He was instrumental in developing Miami 21, a more inclusive urban vision for Miami, re-inventing it as a truly cosmopolitan city through innovative programs in the areas of urban design, infrastructure investment, sustainability, arts and culture. The shelves of his current 52 t www.poder360.com

real estate law practice at Lydecker Diaz are stuffed with leadership awards, as well as sports mementos. An avid baseball fan, he played an important role in negotiating the new Miami Marlins stadium. He is a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and serves as vice-chairman of the Alliance for Digital Equality board of directors. He is also a member of the board of the Bloomberg Family Foundation, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Urban Research. On the sidelines: Son Manny Jr. is fast climbing up the ranks of college football coaching, and this year was named defensive coordinator for the Texas Longhorns.

ROMERO BRITTO Art Entrepreneur

a great fit. The daughter of Lebanese immigrants who settled in Cleveland, she embraces Miami’s diversity. The former Clinton administration Health & Human Services secretary wants nothing less than to transform Miami, from its public schools to the private university she runs. As it is, UM has a huge economic impact on Miami Dade County and South Florida. This year saw the inauguration of UM’s muchanticipated Life Science and Technology Park, part of her vision to make Miami a healthcare destination for patients, biotech researchers and medical companies alike. Reasons to be cheerful: Notwithstanding facing another football program scandal, UM has risen up the rankings and is now No 1 in Florida and 38th nationally, according to one survey.

ALVARO MARTINEZ-FONTS

arts & entertainment*

A brand of his own: Brazilian-born Britto, 48, has turned his signature line of colorful cats, hearts and flowers into one that is now so closely identified with Miami, he could be named the city’s Pop Art laureate. Some purists question his artistic choices, but there’s no question about his productivity and business savvy. Who else could sell bottled water at his Miami airport store, put a logo on it and call it Britto Water. His stores sell 30 or more Britto decorated items from teapots to umbrellas. He’s also a generous donor, collaborating with numerous local non-profits. All at sea: Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas has a Britto concept store while yet another ship in its fleet has a pool deck decorated as a Britto art museum.

DONNA SHALALA President, UM education & philanthropy*

A vision for Miami: Ever since she arrived at UM a decade ago she’s been

CEO of JPMorgan Private Bank, Florida business*

Room with a view: He must have one of the swankiest offices in Miami, surrounded by great art on the 33rd floor of 1450 Brickell Ave. That’s where he receives the bank’s high net worth individuals, while overseeing the firm’s statewide private banking wealth management business. Fluent in Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese, he was named this year to the board of the Miami Art Museum and also sits on the board of the Florida Grand Opera, and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Raising its Florida profile: This year the bank opened more Florida branches, hiring 500 employees. Florida ranks second in the nation, just after California, for HNWIs with more than $25 million in assets, making it sought-after territory for wealth managers. What’s more, the bank has been generous with its largesse. It pledged $1 million to Miami Northwestern High in Liberty City to support the creation of a “college-going culture.”

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Bernardo FortBrescia Bringing it home; Arquitectonica went global and is now poised to redefine its home city—yet again

architecture* BY KAREN-JANINE COHEN

Miami was poised at a critical juncture when Arquitectonica was asked to design a Brickell Avenue apartment building. Finished in 1982, the Atlantis was unlike anything the city had seen. Slender, colorful and—a revelation!—the four-story cutout with a palm tree. It was the talk of the town, and a signature piece for the husband-and-wife team of Bernardo FortBrescia, and Laurinda Spear. The firm’s fame spread when TV show “Miami Vice” featured the Atlantis in its opening credits. “You know how Miami has its moments; one of those moments was in the early ‘80s,” says Fort-Brescia (who notes being associated with “Miami Vice” was a mixed blessing, attracting attention but forcing Miamians to defend their city against the cocaine cowboy caricature). “It showed there can be another kind of modernity than the glass box. It showed we were creative enough to define a space.” Indeed, Arquitectonica’s early commissions were built just as Miami was being restyled: Rezoning under former mayor 54 t www.poder360.com

Maurice Ferre allowed high rises to define a nascent Brickell business center. Thanks to revolution and financial turmoil, Latin American newcomers joined snowbirds and retirees flocking to the city. And Miami was a canvas Fort-Brescia and Spear had almost to themselves, with most young architects of the day gravitating to New York City or other established metropolises. In the years since, Arquitectonica, headquartered in Coconut Grove, has grown into a powerhouse, employing more than 600 architects in offices in New York and Los Angeles, and in branches in Paris, Lima, São Paulo, Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Manila, with another planned in Singapore. They have taken on every kind of building: skyscrapers, malls, condos, houses, government offices and museums. It is now among a handful of architectural companies that compete for the biggest projects worldwide. Yet no one firm has put as much of a stamp on the Magic City since Morris Lapidus redefined Miami aesthetic with the sweeping lines, and dramatic elements of Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau and Eden Roc. “I think they come with very fresh ideas, they are not afraid of experimenting, they make very bold statements,” says Jaime Canaves, a longtime architecture professor at Florida International University. Arquitectonica’s buildings, distinctive without being cookie cutter, are in every corner of Miami Dade County, from the wrapping shell of the AmericanAirlines Arena, to the transparent bridge linking the two buildings of their federal courthouse design. There is the undulating wave-like form that crowns the Miami Children’s Museum, and many colleges and universities in the area have an Arquitectonica-designed structure, including the student activities center at the University of Miami, where Fort-Brescia taught when he first moved to South Florida. Among other projects, the firm is designing Swire Properties’ multi-use 247,000 square foot retail development, Brickell CitiCentre.

It’s been a while since Fort-Brescia had to stick up for Miami. Yet now the firm finds itself at the epicenter of what may be another pivotal Miami moment. Arquitectonica is the designer of Resorts World Miami, the $3 billion hotel, convention center and casino complex that the Genting Group plans to build on the site of the Miami Herald building, which it acquired earlier this year in a $236 million deal. The gargantuan project, unveiled in September, includes four hotel and two residential towers plus other features, including a man-made lagoon—complete with sandy beaches—perched several stories above ground level. Some tout the jobs the project would provide, while others question the wisdom of bringing gambling downtown; there are traffic and infrastructure concerns. State approval is not a sure thing. Meanwhile, the ever-entertaining spectacle of Miami special interests jockeying for position is in full swing. Still, says Fort-Brescia, “This is the time to do the next transformation of the image of the city.” The design certainly is one of a kind. Its curving towers were inspired by coral reefs and the undersea world Fort-Brescia knows from boating and scuba diving with his children. “I thought maybe we should start thinking of something that is more organic, and forms that are more fluid,” he says. The shape is also meant to evoke Miami’s vacation-destination aura—but with a 21st century identity. “It resets the clock,” Fort-Brescia says, “We are back to what we were supposed to be, an urban resort.” The forms let bay breezes flow around the buildings to the neighborhoods beyond, and balconies cover each tower, which helps cool interiors. In fact, says Fort-Brescia, he hopes innovations will allow the project to earn LEED certification, a ranking system that rates sustainability and environmental mitigation in building design. Resorts World Miami would be Arquitectonica’s biggest project to date and have special resonance because it’s where Fort-Brescia decided to call home in 1975.

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A native of Lima, Fort-Brescia is the second of five children from a leading business family. With grandparents who came from France and Italy, European culture was an innate part of his world. He went to school in Switzerland, Germany and Rome and always had a sense of adventure. “I was always interested in everything, geography, learning languages, I liked other cultures, I read everything about them,” he says. He followed family tradition by attending Princeton, where he studied economics along with architecture, then earned a master’s at Harvard. Fort-Brescia, who turned 60 in November, and Spear met at a party in Cambridge, Mass. Spear’s family came from New York. But she grew up in Miami after her surgeon father relocated the family. Spear went to Brown and earned her master’s at Columbia University. They began dating when Fort-Brescia took the job at

the University of Miami, soon married and are the parents of seven children. He and Spear along with several colleagues, formed the firm in 1977. Gradually, the other architects went off on their own. Projects for Arquitectonica started rolling in and have never stopped. Both Fort-Brescia and Spear had studied architecture at an exciting time, taught by professors who had been students or colleagues of greats like Le Corbusier and other modernists, whose work forged a radical break from the past. The new style rejected the elaborate palaces and monuments of previous centuries, having everything to do with a yearning for a different kind of society and design that served people. “They felt the building should express its function,” Fort-Brescia says, and how a structure was put together was a crucial part of that concept. Tenets of modernism rejected ornamentation for its own sake.

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MICHAEL LANDSBERG

MICHAEL LANDSBERG

FROM SOUTH TO NORTH

“Anything that was superfluous was not seen as using the funds of the building to the proper purposes,” he says. When asked by a non-architect reporter to relate these principles to his own work, Fort-Brescia uses the Atlantis as an example, pointing out how the building was designed with occupants in mind; it is angled to avoid the worst heat, balconies provide sun protection and the cut-out was conceived as a community gathering place, like a modern village square. “None of this was decoration,” he says. “We don’t like to separate image from context,” he says. “So if you ask about philosophy, it is exactly that. We don’t consider ourselves a style, we consider ourselves an approach of seeking solutions.” UNIFYING PRINCIPLE

What Arquitectonica has done in its Miami buildings, says architect Allan Shulman, www.poder360.com t 55


[Proposed Resorts World Miami] [The Atlantis brought attention to both Miami and Arquitectonica]

who teaches at the University of Miami, and has written extensively on Miami architecture, is re-work the traditional idea of open-aired living space that characterized early Miami residential structures (think two-and-three story low rises with balconies and louvered windows) “They were able to set an architectural agenda, and set a tone,” he says, basically expanding to the high rise how “we can live sort of indoorsoutdoors and experience the environment around us.” After their early Miami success the firm soon diversified, says Fort-Brescia, competing for projects across the globe. By the late ‘80s, they had completed the headquarters of the Banque de Luxembourg in Dijon, France and the Banco de Crédito, in 56 t www.poder360.com

Lima. “Suddenly we had an office in Paris, doing work on the Continent; doing work in Asia,” Fort-Brescia says. He adds that in those pre-flash drive and disc days he regularly hauled big rolls of blueprints and schematics from airport to hotel to airport. But all the travel paid off. “Suddenly we are entering a new field—that is how the firm becomes diversified,” he says, which helped them stay stable during downturns. He notes that in their 34-year history they have only closed one office, Madrid, as the recession took hold several years ago. A job designing the Lima airport was followed by terminal work at Miami International. They have won many of the largest commissions in Asia, such as the

Agricultural/Construction Bank of China headquarters in Shanghai. Along the way came lessons. “You learn about standing by your principles, but you also have to respect your client, you have to be grateful to your client because they are the ones putting up the money,” he says. “You have to design with constructability in mind because you can’t go proposing things that will never get built.” Fort-Brescia says he still enjoys doing a variety of buildings—and wants those with smaller projects not to be put off because all they hear about are the big jobs. “Smaller projects happen sooner,” he says, and the architect then more quickly gets the pleasure of seeing the idea come alive. The firm has not been without critics. Canaves, the FIU professor, recalls that the Imperial and Atlantis initially drew some scathing reviews. “When they did those two buildings they were criticized tremendously, especially by the architects in town—they claimed it was more fashion than architecture,” he says, noting that he never agreed with that opinion. Meanwhile the firm continued to expand. It now includes a separate landscape architecture component, headed by Spear and architect-landscape architect Margarita Blanco, along with interior and product design. And no matter what the fate of the Genting proposal it is a good bet, Arquitectonica and company are here for the long haul; daughter Marisa, who recently graduated from Harvard has joined the firm and son Raymond is expected to come on board next year. About a year ago, the firm put the finishing touches on its new headquarters. Recently Spear and Fort-Brescia gave Arquitectonica’s early papers to History Miami (the Miami history museum). And they have made a seven-figure donation to the University of Miami’s architecture school—though Fort-Brescia would much rather talk about buildings and design and Miami’s future. When asked, now that he’s in mid-career, to choose his favorite project, he says that’s easy, “My favorite is always the one I’m working on now.”z

PODER HISPANIC MAGAZINE 8 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2012


Miami’s ‘coolest ballpark ever’ was a seven-year marathon in the making.

sports/business* BY DAVID ADAMS

He’s used to running marathons, and has even completed the most grueling of all athletic challenges; an Iron Man triathlon—a combined running, swimming and biking event that takes all day to complete. That kind of endurance, both physical and mental, came in handy when trying to persuade city and county officials to finance a baseball stadium for the Florida Marlins—recently renamed the Miami Marlins. It took seven years in the end, with numerous ups and downs. To celebrate the achievement, Marlins president, David Samson, is planning to mark the opening of the 2012 season at the new stadium next April by running a 50-mile ‘ultramarathon’ charity run. “I’m doing it to honor the workers who built the stadium,” 58 t www.poder360.com

MICHEAL LANDSBERG

David Samson

he says, during a visit to the construction site in Little Havana on a sunny morning last month. The workers get to pick where the run’s money goes. That’s Samson’s way. “If someone was to analyze me, they would find I am completely all in. I am always doing something more,” he says. That applies as much to his athleticism as his approach to sports management. Standing 5 feet 5 inches tall, and weighing 120 pounds, Samson was a passionate basketball player growing up in New York who dreamed of being an NBA point guard. He still recalls being the last player cut from his freshman high school team in favor of a taller but less skillful player. He vowed to find another way to make it in sports. That experience, he says, still provides him with motivation today. “Every time I have a setback I view it as a way to make me work even harder.” There were plenty of setbacks in the stadium project, which is now nearing completion. The 37,000 seats are already in place, as is the state-ofthe-art retractable roof. “Most people would just give up. That’s why deals didn’t get done with the previous owners,” he adds, referring to the frustrated efforts of South Florida billionaire businessman Wayne Huizenga, and Boston Red Sox owner, John Henry. Samson, 43, gives a lot of credit to the team’s owner, 71-year-old New York art dealer Jeffrey Loria, who was also Samson’s stepfather from age 5 until Loria and his mother divorced in 2004. Samson was at Morgan Stanley when Loria called him up in 1999 and asked him to join his first baseball venture, as a managing partner of the Montreal Expos. (Samson holds a degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin, and a law degree from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.) “Jeffrey Loria to me is a very misunderstood man, because he is brilliant, he is creative, and his sense of perfection is far different

from anyone else’s,” Samson says. Like every good art dealer, “he has the ability to look at something and see value where other people cannot.” That was why Loria traded his ownership of the Expos for the un-

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fashionable Marlins in 2002. “We wanted to be down in South Florida because we saw the potential of this market that had not been realized by the previous owners,” says Samson. The new ownership could not have

wished for a better start, stunning the baseball world by winning the World Series in 2003, the second title in the team’s short history. The campaign for a new stadium was built on a simple truth: Marlins

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fans had yet to experience the game in a baseball-only stadium, and had been obliged to endure uncomfortable, humid conditions and a lack of intimacy in their cavernous 80,000-seat former home, Sun Life Stadium, shared with www.poder360.com t 59


the Miami Dolphins. “It’s what kept us going even in the darkest moment, knowing the difference we could make for kids who weren’t even born yet,” says Samson, who has three young children of his own with wife Cindi. Samson also takes on critics who complain that South Florida tax dollars should not be spent on subsidizing stadiums for wealthy team owners. “There are a lot of ballparks built in this country where the teams didn’t invest a penny, and the owners were very, very wealthy men,” he says, noting that Loria kicked in $161 million of the $515 million construction cost. “The deal is fair, but the best part of the deal is that it’s not really talked about any more because the reality is that this community has a building that it will be proud of and will be a part of what makes Miami so special.” “In a perfect world all of these projects will be built privately; in reality that’s not going to happen,” agrees

60 t www.poder360.com

former Miami mayor Manny Diaz who was involved in the stadium negotiations. “In our reality it was certain that was not going to happen. We don’t have an owner with that kind of money,” he adds, noting that the public funding for the stadium came from the tourist ‘bed tax,’ not local tax payers. (quote here) The new stadium involves much more than moving the team 14 miles south down I-95. “This is a full relocation. We are moving to Miami, which is why we have a new name and a new uniform, new everything,” says Samson, who is not a man to do things in half measures. The team held a red carpet coming out party Nov. 11, featuring a performance by Pitbull, (a big baseball fan) to announce the official name change, new logo and uniforms. The Marlins are calling their stadium the ‘coolest ballpark ever.’ The word ‘cool’ has a very deliberate dual meaning. There is no question about the stadium’s stunning design, with a huge glass wall looking east of-

fering a spectacular view of downtown. Then there’s the art-in-public-places sculptures as well as palm-lined walkways and extensive green landscaping. But above all, Samson is thinking cool air. “Air-conditioning is the number one issue for the comfort of our fans,” he says, describing the vast network of tubing and vents as the stadium’s key feature. He’s also proud of the care the team has taken to preserve some of the history of what was once the site of the majestic Orange Bowl. Several surrounding streets have been renamed, including Orange Bowl Way, one for Hall-of-Fame broadcaster Felo Ramirez, and another for Bobby Maduro, a legendary promoter of baseball in South Florida as well as in Cuba, who built the Miami Baseball Stadium (once the spring training home of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1950s) a few blocks north of the Orange Bowl. “These are historic, hallowed grounds,” says Samson.z

PODER HISPANIC MAGAZINE 8 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2012


TOMAS REGALADO City of Miami Mayor government*

From beloved to bemoaned: After the beloved former journalist and commissioner coasted into the top job in the city with 72 percent of the vote, he’s seen himself embroiled in controversy and scandal. Regalado has gone through several city managers, fired whistleblowers, violated a hiring freeze, angered the black community by waiting six months after a string of police shootings left seven civilians dead before asking the feds for an investigation. A year-long war with Police Chief Miguel Exposito ended with the chief ’s dismissal—and a hefty severance package of almost $1 million. On his watch the city’s bond rating tanked and the federal government launched an investigation into Miami’s books. Regalado himself came under the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s scrutiny for campaign contributions made in 2009. ‘Quit your day job’: Police and firefighters unions have launched a recall effort, citing Regalado’s cutting of their benefits. A New Times cover story suggested he should go.

ALFREDO BALSERA Balsera Communications business/politics*

A natural choice: When President Obama needed to reach Hispanic voters during his 2008 campaign, his goto guy was Balsera, a public relations veteran who crafted Spanish-language television and radio ads for Obama and gave some 300 interviews on Obama’s behalf. The founder and managing partner of Balsera Communications, whose clients include Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, non-profit groups and major public interest organizations, he also served on 62 t www.poder360.com

the campaign’s national finance committee and was appointed as a presidential elector in Florida. No surprise, then, that Obama chose him last year to help hone a message of a different kind as a member of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. The seven-member bipartisan commission appraises current public diplomacy policies and recommends changes or new programs and reports directly to Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. A background in government: Prior to founding his company in 1999, Balsera handled media relations and intergovernmental relations for the Miami Dade County Mayor’s Office. He serves on the board of the YMCA of Greater Miami.

CARLOS CURBELO Miami Dade School Board District 7 government*

A star on the rise: The newly minted school board member is a politicalscene vet who helped Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart beat tough Democratic opponents, worked on the presidential campaigns of Fred Thompson and John McCain and served as well as state director for Sen. George LeMieux, has now launched his own political career at the local level. Soon after his school board election, Curbelo, who is the founder and principal of public relations and political consulting firm Capitol Gains, was appointed to Gov. Rick Scott’s Education Transition Team, which is charged with advising the governor on reforming the state’s education system. Hoop dreams: The University of Miami business school grad co-founded Centre Court Charities, a non-profit that operates summer basketball leagues for high school students. In 2010, he was appointed by Scott to the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization, a board that prioritizes local transportation and infrastructure projects.

CESAR ALVAREZ Chairman, Greenberg Traurig business*

From green lawyer to Greenberg’s leader: Alvarez is one of only two Hispanic chairmen of top 100 law firms. Alvarez was recruited right out of the University of Florida nearly 40 years ago to what was then a 12-attorney Miami law firm trying to drum up business in the city’s burgeoning Cuban population. The brilliant young corporate and securities lawyer stayed with the firm, eventually becoming its CEO and growing it from 532 lawyers to 1,800. No wonder that in 2010, Greenberg Traurig, the nation’s seventh largest law firm, chose him as chairman. Working for Latinos: Alvarez leads the American Bar Association’s Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities, traveling nationwide to gather feedback from Latinos on their legal concerns (top concern: immigration legal issues). The commission’s other mission is helping boost the anemic number of Hispanic lawyers in the country from less than 4 percent to a number closer to 16 percent, the percentage of Latinos in the country.

MARÍA ELENA SALINAS News Anchor, Univisión media*

Pioneer newscaster: Born and raised in Los Angeles by Mexican parents, she started her career in 1981 at KMEX Channel 34 in Los Angeles, and celebrated her 30th year with Univisión in April. She shows no signs of slowing down, even as she copes with being a single mother of teenage daughters. She juggles her schedule between the nightly Univisión newscast and the prime time show “Aqui y Ahora” she co-hosts every Tuesday. Next big story: She never knows what’s next. But she is already focused on what

PODER HISPANIC MAGAZINE 8 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2012


ĆēĊĜđĊěĊđĔċ đĚĝĚėĞĎēĉĔĜēęĔĜēĒĎĆĒĎ is likely to be yet another crucial election season for the rising tide of Hispanic voters. She is the official spokesperson for ‘Ya Es Hora,’ a national campaign to encourage Hispanics to become U.S. citizens and register to vote.

J. RICKY ARRIOLA CEO, Inktel Direct business*

Poster boy: Presenting the new Cuban American independent voter, with good looks to go along. This former Republican voter backed Obama big time in 2008, serving on his campaign’s national finance committee. Despite some misgivings over the president’s handling of the business community, he has signed on again for 2012 (so has his brother Eddie.) As immediate past chair of the Performing Arts Center Trust (his term ended this year) he balanced the Arsht Center budget for the third-consecutive year, and paid off its last remaining bank debt seven years early. He’s also a member of the Presidential Committee on the Arts and Humanities, a member of the board of directors of the Music Association of Miami, an active fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and a member of the Henry Crown Fellowship program of the Aspen Institute. He has a day job too: Arriola heads Inktel Direct, a national business process outsourcing company based in Miami.

MARK ROSENBERG President, FIU education*

Dream job: When Mark Rosenberg joined FIU in 1976 as a political science professor he thought he’d “died and gone to heaven.” Growing up in Ohio, he knew Florida as a place to vacation. Instead, he joined in the building of a

new university. FIU has come a long way since then, and so has he. He spent the ‘70s and ‘80s traveling in and out of Latin America, rose to be provost and then in 2005, Jeb Bush picked him to be Chancellor of the Florida’s State University System, responsible for 11 public universities, 300,000 students, and about $8.5 billion. Since returning to FIU in 2009 as president, the student population has grown 10 percent to 46,000. He plans to add another 2,000 students a year, reaching 62,000 by 2020, as well as 850 new faculty jobs. ‘Glocal’ vision: His vision is for FIU to be a leading solution center for the hemisphere while helping contribute more to the local community. He recently teamed with JPMorgan Chase to encourage more students at Northwestern high school in Liberty City to set their sights on college.

THOMAS WENSKI Archbishop of Miami religious leader*

Mighty mitre: He was separated at birth from his double, Polish unionist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Lech Walesa. Just kidding! The two do share a Polish connection, though. Wenski’s father, Chester Wisniewski, came to the United States from Poland in 1910, and later abbreviated the family name. Thomas was raised in Lake Worth, and decided to become a priest in the 3rd grade and entered a seminary in Miami at 13. He gained note as a champion of Miami’s Haitian community, learning to speak Creole, and as a proactive director of Catholic Charities relief efforts in Haiti and Cuba. He moved away in 2003 when he was named Bishop of Orlando, but in 2010 he became the first local son to be named the city’s archbishop. Biker dude: What most may not know about the archbishop; He swaps his cassock for leather to ride a Harley in his spare time, and also has a Harley case for his iPhone.

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Raquel Regalado Life in the fast lane; School Board member Raquel Regalado is racing to improve education

education* BY TRISTRAM KORTEN

Raquel Regalado is a full 18 minutes late for our meeting at the Miami-Dade School Board offices. When she finally and breathlessly arrives she offers an apology. “I was caught in some very bad traffic,” she explains. No problem, I say—and I mean it. No one wants her moving any faster through traffic than she already does. Regalado was elected a year ago to represent District 6, a swath of the county that includes Key Biscayne, Coral Gables and East Kendall. Despite her relative youth, at 37 she has shown an eloquent grasp of state education policy and economics, and has buried herself in the wonkish details of public education. She is also ambitious, bright, and media friendly. And she is possibly overextended. On top of helping oversee the nation’s fourth-largest school district, she is also a patent attorney at Feldman-Gale, 64 t www.poder360.com

teaches law at Miami Dade College, hosts a radio show on La Poderosa, 670 AM, a TV show on Telemiami, and sits on the board of half a dozen community groups. Not least of all she is a single mom raising an 8-year old and a 6-year old (who go to traditional public school). So when she got into a minor traffic accident on a Tuesday morning in October, and the police discovered that her license was suspended for overdue tickets spanning 2009 to 2011—among them speeding, expired registration, and careless driving—observers and friends wondered if it might be a metaphor for her hectic life. Regalado, nonplussed, says the public has no need to be concerned. “Thankfully, I’m not running to be elected as an Indy car driver,” she quips. “I have used the opportunity to highlight the fact that I’m not perfect. I’m a single, divorced parent. You lead your life the best you can, and everyone makes mistakes.” For Regalado, the traffic accident, which made it into the paper, was revelatory for another reason. It unveiled the degree of scrutiny her life as a public official is now under. Luckily for her she’s had preparation. Her father is Tomás Regalado, Miami’s mayor, and a longtime city commissioner. “We really didn’t have much privacy,” she says about being a politician’s daughter. Her upbringing also exposed her to the seductive side of public life. Before entering politics Tomás Regalado was a wellknown journalist for Spanish language radio and TV. He met his wife, Raquel’s mother, also a journalist at a radio station (she passed away in 2008). Raquel, a proud product of Miami’s public schools, and her two brothers used to trudge over to the station after school where they’d meet politicians of all stripes, like Gov. Lawton Chiles, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, and Sen. Bob Graham, who she says all had a lasting impact on her. “We sat there and listened to them take calls on Cuban radio,” she recalls. “That was really my first introduction to public service.”

In high school she interned for Graham, a Democrat. “I was a little bit skeptical at first because her father was a celebrity journalist,” says Lula Rodriguez, Graham’s former district director. “But Raquel was a big surprise. She was punctual. She never threw her father’s name around. She was smart, responsible and questioned the things that needed to be questioned.” Rodriguez went to Washington, D.C., for a time to work in the Clinton administration at the State Department, and when she returned she wasn’t surprised to see Regalado becoming involved in public life. “You can tell the ones who really get public service,” Rodriguez, now a vice president at Miami Dade College, says. “She was one of them.” At that point, Regalado was just dabbling. It was her attendance at a PTA meeting, she says, listening to parents ask questions that were really school board issues, that prompted her to run. She felt she had some of the answers. Regalado couldn’t have picked a more challenging time to get involved in public education. She is concerned about the digital revolution’s effects, such as the push towards “virtual schooling,” and has proposed minimum ages and GPAs to qualify. She supports the choices that publicly-funded charter schools offer, but doesn’t think they should be able to cherry pick the best students and exclude others. Meanwhile, the district’s $3.9 billion budget had to cover a $108 million shortfall this year, the third consecutive year of budget cuts. At a board retreat in January members agreed to focus on saving teaching jobs and programs at the expense of maintenance and facilities. Hundreds of clerical workers and project managers were laid off. “It was a Sophie’s Choice situation,” she says. “And now we are starting to have maintenance issues.” For her part, Regalado seems to relish the creativity required to fund projects in a down economy. She recently solicited donations from the Florida Marlins, among others, to successfully

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MICHAEL LANDSBERG

reopen a playground at Citrus Grove Elementary in Little Havana that had been condemned and no money could be found to fix it. But that doesn’t mean she enjoys the district’s reduced circumstances. Miami-Dade had to fight to keep Tallahassee from cutting the state’s portion of the budget by 10 percent. In the end the district escaped with an 8 percent cut.

She blames the state for lack of leadership in the ongoing budget crises. And her new role has Regalado, a registered Republican, sounding more and more like a Democrat. Early in the 2010 governor’s race, she met with Democratic candidate Alex Sink, and Republican Rick Scott. “Just based on their educational plans, it was a no-brainer,” she says, about her endorsement for Sink. Even thought Scott ultimately won, his

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victory hasn’t changed her impression of him. “I hope that he’s not representative of Republicans,” she says. “It could cause some identity issues.” She has three more years left on the board, and is not sure if she will try and stay in public office. For now, though, she’s content. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything more important than this,” she says. Her biggest challenge, it seems, will be learning to slow down. z www.poder360.com t 65


SAMUEL OHEV-ZION

KERRY BAILEY

CEO Blu Products

President, Terremark Worldwide business*

business*

From school drop-out to successful start-up: Okay, he’s not reached the stature of fellow Miamian Marcelo Claure, but he’s well on his way with $220 million in estimated revenue this year. Ohev-Zion, 32, was born in Brazil but moved to L.A. as a kid and then to Miami. In 1996 he dropped out of MAST Academy the science and technology high school on Virginia Key. It was “not challenging enough”, he says. By age 16 he was running the largest wholesale cellphone distributor in downtown Miami. Custom-made phones: Now Blu is gobbling up markets in Latin America and the Caribbean, with low-end phones priced between $20-$80 and custom-designed by Ohev-Zion for each market. Blu, already in 30 countries, is banking on the large number of Latin American consumers who can’t afford a smart phone. Distributing from an 80,000-square-foot warehouse in Doral, the company is on pace for $220 million in revenue this year.

ARMANDO OLIVERA President/CEO, Florida Power & Light business*

Zapped: Under his leadership, FPL has undertaken massive expansion efforts, with the jewel in the crown being the Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center, on 500 acres in western Martin County. The $476 million, hybrid facility connects more than 190,000 solar thermal mirrors with an existing natural gas power plant and is a big part of Olivera’s push toward solar energy. But Olivera is also the purveyor of unpopular rate hike increases totaling $4.70 per month, approved late last year. Hurrah: In October, Olivera received the Solar Electric Power Association’s Utility CEO of the Year award. He is a director of Nicor Inc., one of the largest natural gas distribution companies in the country. 66 t www.poder360.com

stations in 11 countries. Yet you would be hard-pressed to find his name associated with many of the companies he owns. His businesses remain mostly walled off from the public eye or are run by surrogates.

The replacement: It happened so fast. Verizon bought Doral-based cloud-computing leader Terremark on April 1 for $1.4 billion. By June 1, Kerry Bailey had replaced company founder Manuel Medina, who made $83 million in the deal, in the top spot. Top Secret: The Boynton Beach native, grew up in Atlanta, served in the Air Force then spent a decade at the Office of Naval Intelligence. He later founded Security Assurance Group, a venture capital-backed professional security services company that he later sold. Before assuming his post at Terremark, Bailey was Verizon Business’ group president of cloud strategy and services, after serving as the company’s chief marketing officer for its large-business and government division. In his new capacity, Bailey oversees 3,000 employees throughout the world as he seeks to enhance Verizon’s cloud computing capabilities.

ANGEL GONZÁLEZ Media Mogul media/business*

‘The Phantom’: Remigio Angel González González is possibly one of the world’s wealthiest media owners, wielding immense power in several countries, but you won’t hear his name mentioned often. Known as ‘The Phantom,’ González, 65, gives no interviews and is an elusive subject for photographers. Humble origins: González hails from a small town near the Mexican city of Monterrey. An accountant by training, he entered the TV business in the early 1970s, selling telenovelas, before moving to Guatemala, where he acquired his first two TV stations. From his Key Biscayne home and Coral Way office he runs a vast communications empire triangulated between Central America, South America and Miami, including 26 TV stations and 82 radio

BILL JOHNSON Director, Port of Miami government/business*

Cruising Along: Just gaze at the cruise ships lining the MacArthur Causeway, and you can assume that it’s the Love Boat keeping Miami’s economy’s afloat, but Johnson knows it’s not. True, his port is the world’s busiest cruise port, but it’s also cargo that drives our region’s engine, and Johnson’s busy making sure that it stays that way. Port Savvy: Johnson’s busy overseeing a trio of projects aimed at not only keeping the port the top container port in Florida, but building it into one of the nation’s biggest. Already well underway is the $1 billion tunnel project, which will connect downtown with the port. He’s also helping oversee the re-introduction of on-port freight rail service, which will link Miami to the nation’s heartland. Johnson’s is also mustering support for the “Deep Dredge,” a $150 million project that will make Miami one of the three top ports in the nation.

FERNANDO PEREZ-HICKMAN Chairman, Sabadell United Bank business*

Spanish foothold: Born and educated in Spain, with an MBA from MIT, he helmed the August 2011 FDIC-assisted acquisition of Palm Beach-based Lydian Private Bank, transforming Sabadell United Bank into a $4 billion institution with offices throughout South Florida and a foothold in Florida’s West Coast. His intention is to build Sabadell United into a $10 billion Florida bank with more strategic acquisitions over the rest of this decade. He’s also Managing Director of the Americas for Sabadell United’s Spanish parent, Banco Sabadell, with

PODER HISPANIC MAGAZINE 8 DECEMBER/JANUARY 2012


operations and affiliates in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Chile and Mexico. Young achievers: He is deeply involved in the Young Presidents’ Organization, which brings together corporate presidents, CEOs and board members under the age of 45. He is also a director of the Spain-Florida Foundation that in 2013 will lead celebrations across the state on the 500th anniversary of Ponce de Leon’s landing in Florida.

HAROLD ‘HAL’ WANLESS Chair of Geological Sciences, UM education & science*

Sand in his shoes: A globally recognized expert on global warming and accelerating sea level rise, his predictions are dire. Because of global warming at least a 3-to-4 foot rise of sea level is anticipated by 2100 for South Florida he says, with catastrophic implications for home insurance as well as local aquifers, and wildlife habitats. A 4foot rise would put almost 50 percent of the region underwater, including Turkey Point nuclear power station. A mentor to young environmentalists he is active with policy and legislative groups at the local to federal levels. He chairs the science committee for the Miami-Dade Climate Change Advisory Task Force. No denying: “Human-induced global warming is real,” he says. “It will come to dominate the focus and economy of life on Earth in your children’s lifetime.”

MICHAEL CAPPONI Capponi Group business/philanthropy*

Rebranding South Beach: Belgian-born, his name is synonymous with putting the SoBe club scene on the map, as well as high end luxury construction and design. Less well known is his commitment to humanitarian causes such as the homeless shelter group, Miami Rescue Mission and the Red Cross. Such endeavors took a major turn last year when he joined relief efforts in

Haiti after the January earthquake, building a tent city for those who lost their homes. Rebranding Haiti: This year he took another step, launching a tourism project on Haiti’s south coast to provide reconstruction jobs, teaming up with designer Donna Karan and tennis champ Venus Williams. He was also named special adviser to Haiti’s new president Michel Martelly.

HARVEY RUVIN Clerk of Courts, Miami Dade County government*

Sustainable force: He was an early proponent of building the metro-rail system from South Dade to downtown Miami, part of a vision hatched in 1968 when Ruvin, now 73, was elected North Bay Village mayor at age 30. Since 1992 he has served as Miami-Dade County Clerk, reelected four times, the last occasion with a 76 percent majority. The agency has 1,400 employees and an $80 million budget, which includes traffic and parking tickets. A civil engineer by training, he is the recipient of numerous environmental awards, and currently chairs the Miami-Dade County Task Force on Climate Change. He has also penned a global warming rap song titled “Maybe Just Maybe.” Name recognition: After he rescued a manatee calf the Miami Seaquarium named the newborn “Harvey” in recognition of the commissioner’s work on behalf of the endangered marine mammals.

MARIA ELENA LAGOMASINO & SANTIAGO ULLOA GenSpring Family Offices business*

Keeping it in the family: In the wake of the 2008 bank crash many wealthy investors have grown wary of the financial services industry. Instead of parking their fortunes at the big banks, many are increasingly looking to the more highly specialized services of boutique financial firms, known as ‘family offices.’ GenSpring, the largest of

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its kind, has offices in 14 countries managing $23 billion for about 700 families. There are now about 19,000 registered independent advisors in the U.S., and while their assets don’t come close to those of the big banks, they are gaining ground. Double team: Spanish-born Ulloa handles the firm’s international business, and also writes regular articles on the global economy. Cuban American CEO Lagomasino sits on the boards of The Coca-Cola Co. and Avon Products, and is a trustee of the National Geographic Society.

EDDY ARRIOLA Chairman, Apollo Bank business*

Democrat in the family: He’s the original Democrat in his Cuban American Republican-leaning family, though brother Ricky has since joined him in the Obama camp. Eddy campaigned for Clinton in the early ‘90s and the brothers are both members of Obama’s 2012 campaign finance committee. After starting Inktel Direct with his father, Eddy left and joined the board of TotalBank. In 2008 he decided to start his own community bank, in part inspired by a chance meeting with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Apollo mission: Apollo seeks to fill a banking void in Miami by serving small and medium businesses. After putting together $22 million from a group of investors he bought Union Credit Bank, a 9-year-old bank that had never turned a profit. A year later the bank has one of the cleanest balance sheets in South Florida, with more than $200 million in assets, and is making money for the first time.

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