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Florida in the Sun: Football, Functions & Fancy Fares

Skeeter Beaters! How to stop those little pests WATERFRONT DINING



Kick Off!

A look at Florida college football

Another Bubble? Why home prices

are rising so fast

Best Bets Time to see an

Elvis impersonator

MIKE Pouncey

Center of attention




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A busy schedule makes it more difficult to keep your health in check, which is why Baptist Medical Plazas offer same-day appointments for most exams, including X-ray, CT scan, MRI, ultrasound, mammogram and bone density. Our diagnostic imaging centers provide the most advanced digital technology, expert Board-certified radiologists and an experienced, compassionate staff that respects your time. Our team is happy to schedule your appointment and handle the authorization with your insurance company, even if your prescription is for another facility. Know Better. Know Baptist Medical Plazas. To schedule an appointment, call 954-837-1000 or visit Most major insurance plans accepted.

A not-for-profit organization committed to our faith-based charitable mission of medical excellence

See. Taste. Learn. Join. Do it all at the Museum. Stiles Presents:

Foto Fort Lauderdale On view through October 6 In association with Northern Trust and Greenberg Traurig

Bunny Yeager: Both Sides of the Camera Woman’s World: Contemporary Views of Women by Women Curated by Peter Boswell Image: Bunny Yeager and Bettie Page pose with a 4 x 5 speed graphic camera at Africa USA, Boca Raton, Florida 1954 THE THIRST FOR KNOWLEDGE IS JUST THE BEGINNING

How much do you think you know about wine? SOMM will make you think again.


The Art of Wine & Food Series presents:

T H AT F O LL O W ” - L. PIERCE CARSON, Napa Valley Register

A special screening of the film SOMM, followed by our monthly wine tasting. SOMM is an illuminating look into the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Master Sommelier Exam. Written and Directed by Jason Wise. August 22, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Reserve Now! Image: Bunny Yeager and Bettie Page pose with a 4 x 5 speed graphic camera $50 per person. Reservations are required and seating is at Africa USA, Boca Raton, Florida 1954 limited. Email or call 954-262-0249.



Who Am I to You? South Florida Cultural Consortium Juried Exhibition On view through September 1 Organized by the Museum of Art, Curated by Freddy Jouwayed

Annual exhibition of Visual & Media Artists Fellowship grant winners. The South Florida Cultural Consortium is funded in part with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Florida Department of State Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council, the Boards of County Commissioners of Broward, Miami-Dade, Martin and Monroe Counties, and the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.

One East Las Olas Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, FL 954.525.5500 | | / moafl





Laura Gates Cummings, Darcie Lunsford, Randi Aileen Press, Bruce Turkel, Jeff Zbar PHOTOGRAPHERS



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3511 W. Commercial Blvd., Suite 200 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309 954.377.9470 | fax 954.377.9418 Š2013 Lifestyle Magazines are published by Lifestyle Media Group, all rights reserved. Lifestyle Magazine is a monthly advertising magazine. All contents are protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without written consent from the publisher. The advertiser is solely responsible for ad content and holds publisher harmless from any error.



contents AUGUST 2013




TOP 5 22 5 Must Do A River of Remarkable Restaurants

BEST BETS 24 Calendar of Events TRAVEL 26 Travel Style:


Get Your Ski On Destination Europe

FEATURES 30 Mosquito Fever Local Insect Experts Weigh In


Cover Story: Center of Attention Center Mike Pouncey: Will he be the new face of the Miami Dolphins?


Quick Hits Fast and Furious Florida Football Guide

HAPPENINGS 48 First Annual Women’s Conference 50 The Signature Chefs Auction


BUSINESS 52 Why Are Our Home Prices Soaring? 54 Creative Tourism DINING 62 Giraffas: Fast Flavor



SCENE ON SITE 64 All-Pro Orthopedics Grand Opening 66 CEO Connect 68 Smoke on the Water 70 211 72 Last Look 74





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from the chairman

Back to school, back to football

Do these words make sense to you? Purple Porpoise, Burrito Brothers, and Skeeter’s. If you’re nodding your head at the memories those words evoke, you are a Gator. (The first is a bar, the second is a taco stand, and the third is a diner.) I graduated from UF in 1982 – but I’ve never finished being a Florida Gator. Some of the fondest memories of my life, besides those involving being a husband and father, were from the years I spent in Gainesville. (My wife Randi is also a Gator.) College was the first time I was on my own. I made great friends at UF who are still great friends today, and also business associates. My friends and I still reminisce about eating bushels of oysters at Barnacle Bills and Calico Jacks. They were five cents an oyster back then! It’s the same if you are a Nole or a Hurricane. We all have similar memories of our alma mater that resonate years later. For me, many of those memories involve football. That’s why I’m so pleased that our cover story this month features Miami Dolphin’s star center Mike Pouncey.



He’s a Gator, too. He stopped by my office a couple of months ago, and I found myself asking him more questions about the Gators than the Dolphins. I found Mike to be a very genuine young man whose focus is in the right places. He’s a proud father who is intent on helping the community he serves. He has already started his own foundation that has a focus on unprivledged children. Mike is also young, just celebrating his 24th birthday in July. It was at his birthday party, in fact, that he stepped into a bit of controversy. That night he and his twin brother (who plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers) wore hats that said “Free Hernandez,” referring to the ex-New England Patriot player who is currently in jail, accused of murder. Someone took a cell phone shot of him that night and tweeted the image. Knowing Mike as we now do, we found his behavior out of character – and in fact, he had no intention of broadcasting that image. But we can understand it, knowing that Hernandez was Mike’s roomate at UF! Still, our latest leading Dolphin has to learn that, in this day of the ubiquitous cell phone camera, you have to be conscious of your public

persona - even at a private birthday party – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. He’s learning, and this is a good lesson early in his career. Also in this issue, you’ll find our second annual college football preview, which quickly analyzes the biggest programs in the state, including the two most local: FAU and FIU. If you’re not into football, please check out two new features – real estate and business. We’re expanding coverage of both areas. And we’re going to be introducing other exciting new features before the end of the year. So, let’s flip the coin and get into the new season!




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PLAYING THROUGH THE HEAT High school sports aren’t quite back in swing yet, but many teenage athletes are still playing – and winning.


Running to remember he city of Coral Springs will host its second annual September 11th 5k Remembrance Run/Walk on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 a.m. The course follows flat roads through Coral Springs, starting and ending at the 9/11 memorial in front of the Northwest Regional Library. More than 300 people showed up last year, and close to 600 are anticipated this year, predicts organizer Gina Orlando. The race will be professionally timed and an awards ceremony with medals will follow the race. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $20 for children under 18. So sign up now and start training!


Fishing as a family o one boasts quite like an angler, but if you want to brag about your child’s fishing prowess, you have 12 hours to prove it. On Saturday, Aug. 24, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Parkland families are invited to the Kid’s Fishing Derby at the Pines Trail Park Fishing Pier, 10555 Trails End. Trophies are awarded for the three biggest fish caught, and there are more awards for the most fish caught and even the smallest fish caught. If you miss the August derby, there’s one more scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 21. For information, contact Caitlin Crossin at 954-757-4113 or ccrossin@




Bennett Dunn of Plantation will attend the University of Alabama next year on a tennis scholarship, but she’s not done in South Florida just yet. The teenager played last month in the Florida 18s State Championship tennis tournament in Daytona Beach. She took home the crown after beating Savannah Durkin (Miramar) 6-2, 7-5 – including six straight games in the second set. Past winners of the same tournament include Chris Evert, Jennifer Capriati and Andy Roddick, among others. And according to, which tracks all young tennis players across the country, Dunn is the fifth-best female tennis player in Florida – and the 23rd-best nationally.

Roller hockey The Silver Trail Mustangs are a middle school roller hockey team from Silver Trail Middle School in Pembroke Pines. And last month, they earned the recognition of the Florida Panthers. The NHL team sponsored the Panther Cup playoff tournament at Weston Regional Park, and the Mustangs beat the Knights of Walter C. Young Middle School (also of Pembroke Pines) 6-2 to win the tournament. The Knights entered the game in first place before the Mustangs banged through three goals in the first period alone.

Softball The Gold Coast Hurricanes – an 18-and-under fast-pitch softball team based in Broward – traveled to Spartanburg, S.C., last month for a weekend of games. The Hurricanes went undefeated, winning three games in three days and earning the right to represent South Florida at the Amateur Softball Association’s GOLD National Championship in Clearwater. Many local players populate the team, including Meghan King (pitcher) from Parkland, Samantha Sharkey (outfielder) from Fort Lauderdale, and Brenisha Bannister (outfielder) from Plantation.

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BUZZ The candidates On June 8 at Hyatt Regency Pier 66, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society chose from these candidates for its 2013 Fort Lauderdale Man & Woman of the Year – who collectively raised $361,944…

Man of the Year Ron Brandenburg, Broward Health Medical Center John DeShields, Riverstone Realty Peter Kahn, Hardwired Marketing Group Michael McNamara, Fab2Go Andrew Paton, Dade Paper Alex Pinelo, Norwegian Cruise Line Robert Saunooke, Saunooke Law Firm, P.A. Jeremy Singer, Greenberg Traurig, P.A. Steve Ziff, Florida Panthers

Woman of the Year Ellen Bettridge, Silverseas Cruises Dr. Gena Bofshever, Dr. Gena Chiropractic Anna Carello, Pine Crest School Vanessa Goodis, Promo Moxie Marketing Carlie Jabbour, Prudential Florida Realty Dr. Lisa Learn, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Easy money This year’s LLS Man and Woman of the Year raised six figures – simply by asking It took only 10 weeks for Steven Ziff and Ellen Bettridge to become the 2013 Fort Lauderdale Man and Woman of the Year for the Southern Florida Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The duo raised nearly $200,000 between them for blood cancer research. Ziff, the Vice President of Marketing & Brand Strategy for the Florida Panthers, raised $100,700. Bettridge, President of Silversea Cruises, raised $91,171. So how did they do it? Simple, they capitalized on “good relationships, being a good person, and doing it for good cause,” Ziff says. “They weren’t giving me money, they were giving it to a charity.” Bettridge agrees, saying of her donors, “I got a lot of thank you’s.” How often do donors thank the donee? Ziff says he was “blown away” by the response, especially by donors he didn’t expect to chip in. “It’s like opening a small business,” he says. “The ones who you think are going to give you business don’t, and the ones you never think you’re going to get become your best customers.”



The charity Since it began in 1949, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) has grown into the world’s largest nonprofit health organization dedicated to funding blood cancer research and providing education and patient services. Its mission? Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.

The next big event The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s biggest annual fundraiser is right around the corner. The national Light The Night Walk raised more than $1.4 million dollars last year, and the Fort Lauderdale walk is Saturday, Nov. 3 from 5-8 p.m. at Huizenga Plaza in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The 2013 Kickoff Celebration is Wednesday, Aug. 14, from 6-8 p.m. at the Comedy Improv at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. For more information, call 954-7445311 or log onto

FOR YOUR HEALTH Secrets of the Spine: Solving the Mystery of Back Pain Join Cleveland Clinic Florida for an event dedicated to spine health, offering vital information for individuals with back pain. Our expert physicians will be speaking on a variety of topics including back health, spinal stenosis and spinal restoration surgery. A Q&A session will follow panel talk.


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On the Water Front: Outside at the Bimini Boatyard

must DO A RIVER OF REMARKABLE RESTAURANTS You don’t have to reach the beach to savor fine dining


roward County has 21 miles of beaches and dozens of restaurants claiming beachfront dining. But if you want a fair-priced, high-quality meal while actually being on the water, don’t forget riverfront dining. Fort Lauderdale has not only the Intracoastal but also the New River. Here are five of our favorite places along both.

01. Serafina Waterfront Bistro This Italian trattoria offers a rustic terrace with a view of the New River as it runs through Victoria Park (also known as the Middle River). In a city with lots of romantic spots, this one is among the best. The seating inside offers great views, too – candelit tables, white tablecloths, and a traditional feel with some modern appointments - but on the water is our first choise . Appetizers range from a house-made meatball ($9) to Burrata Per Due ($20), while entrees run from oval pasta with broccoli rabe ($18) to veal chops ($40). 926 Northeast 20th Ave., 954-463-2566

02. The Pirate Republic Seafood & Grill You have your choice of three Intracoastal views: on the dock under big green umbrellas, in the bar area that’s under cover, or second floor through big windows but under AC. The food hues to a nautical theme because owners Roberto and Claudia Guerios spent nearly three decades chartering their 98-foot schooner – and collected many recipes and culinary influences along the way. Enjoy St. John’s Lobster Chowder ($13) to Seafood Moqueca (up to $53). 400 Southwest 3rd Ave., 954-761-3500

03. Grill 66 & Bar This is a big restaurant where you can view big boats – a 225-seat dining room inside with 100 more seats outside. It also occupies a prime spot



by the 17th Street Causeway bridge, where you can watch the parade of mega-yachts glide along the Intracoastal. While Grill 66 is part of the Pier 66 hotel complex, it operates independently. That may be one reason why some of the prices are reasonable for hotel fare, like the hazelnutcrusted goat cheese ($12) or the signature 12oz. steak and fries ($35), though be prepared for steep prices on most meat. 2301 Southeast 17th St., 954-728-3500

04. 15th Street Fisheries Much like the Pirate Repubic, you have your choice of dockside dining, upstairs in the AC, or under cover at the bar. The big differences between the two places: This one has been around for nearly 30 years, and the menu is more traditional. From the crab cake to ($16) grilled mahi mahi ($30), you’ve seen these dishes before. But they’re done exceptionally because they’ve been done for decades. 900 SE 15th St., 954-763-2777

05. Bimini Boatyard Another popular and large dock-and-dine seafood restaurant, Bimini recently hired a new executive chef to create some separation in this crowded genre. In May, Cuban-born Odel Arencibia took over. While much on the menu remains unchanged (especially the honey-buttered Bimini Bread), you should have any wheat-intolerant friends check out the extensive gluten-free lunch and dinner menus. Our highlight: the churrasco steak ($23). 1555 Southeast 17th St., 954-525-7400

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1-4 AUGUST Cirque du Soleil: Quidam If you’ve seen any Cirque du Soleil show you know the spectacle. Each is a sensory assault that takes you to imaginary realms of fanciful, larger-than-life characters. But Quidam – which premiered in Montreal in 1996 – is a little different. Quidam has more of a plot than most other Circque shows. It’s officially this: “Young Zoé is bored. Her parents, distant and apathetic, ignore her. Her life has lost all meaning. Seeking to fill the void of her existence, she slides into an

imaginary world rld - the world of xt comes the howQuidam...” Next do-they-do-that at gymnastics and juggling in outrageous rageous costumes. When: Aug. 1, 7:30 p.m.; Aug. 2, 3:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.; Aug. 3, 11:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m.; Aug. 4, 1 p.m. & 5 p.m. Where: BB&T T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, kway, Sunrise Tickets: $35-$85 -$85 adults, $22$66 children (2-12), 2-12), $26-$75.50 y. seniors/military. Info: 954-835-7825 5-7825 or www. com

THROUGH SEPT 1 Charles M. Schulz: Pop Culture in Peanuts How many artists have 355 million fans in 75 countries? At its peak, the comic strip “Peanuts” made Charles M. Schulz the best-known artist in the word, and Charlie, Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and Peppermint Patty became household names. Now you can see 70 of Schulz’s original strips at the Art and Culture Center, the largest show outside the Charles M. Schulz Museum in California in more than a decade. When: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday noon-5 p.m. Where: Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, 1650 Harrison Street, downtown Hollywood Admission: $10 adults; $6 students, seniors & children (4-17); free to Center members and children 3 and younger Info: 954-921-3274 or



AUG 17 Chris MacDonald’s Memories of Elvis Elvis Presley imitations aren’t usually considered high art. But Chris MacDonald has made it destination entertainment for a sophisticated crowd. In fact, he’s the only one ever hired by Elvis Presley Enterprises to perform at Graceland’s Heartbreak Hotel. Now he’s bringing his Las Vegasstyle show – with an eight-piece band, dancers, and singers – to the Broward Center. While MacDonald is based in South Florida and has been doing his Elvis tribute for more than two decades, this is the only local appearance on his current national tour. When: Aug. 17 at 8 p.m. Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 Southwest 5th Ave., downtown Fort Lauderdale Tickets: $45 More information: 954-462-0222 or

The Local Bank That’s Truly Local.

Banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo try to appear locally owned and operated. However, call their customer service line, or apply for a loan, and you could be dealing with people many states away. Community Bank of Broward is the only bank with headquarters in Weston, and one of the largest commercial banks headquartered in Broward County. Many of our officers and staff live right here in Coral Springs. We truly care about your neighborhood. After all, it’s our neighborhood too. Stop by your local branch today. We’re ready to show you how great hometown banking can be.

Gloria Rossomano,

Charlie Fernandes,

Senior Vice President & Branch Manager

Vice President & Business Development Officer


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MOSQUITO FEVER It’s mosquito season again (ouch) and if you are itching to keep those annoying pests away from your backyard, well, we’ve got your back. Here’s the latest from our local insect experts. By J.P. Faber

t first glance, Evaristo Miqueli has one of the least attractive jobs in Broward. Among his other duties as Natural Resources Officer is to monitor mosquito levels in a given locale by sticking his arm out to see how many of the pests land and try to bite him in a 60-second period. If more than eight land in a minute, that may be enough to call in aircrafts to spray the area, depending on the level of citizen complaints and how many other mosquitoes are trapped nearby (the county maintains 25 different bug traps, from ocean to Everglades). If more than 30 land in that minute of exposure, the decision to spray is automatic. “We spray only if we have to. As for the mosquitoes [landing on my arm] I don’t mind it so much,” says Miqueli, who is an entomologist by training and the former director of the Tropical Medicine Institute in Havana. “It’s really very interesting.” One man’s ‘interesting’ is another man’s (or woman’s) nightmare, however, especially when it comes to mosquitoes. Thanks to an abundance of assorted marshes, mangroves and swamps, mosquitoes have plagued the residents of Broward County ever since the first pioneers arrived in the late 1800s. After 1933, however, things got better, thanks to the county’s Office of Mosquito Control, founded




that year. “Mosquito season usually starts in June or July and runs through October,” says Joe Mafhefka, the manager of Broward County Mosquito Control. “This year it started a little early, in May,” he says, thanks to earlier, heavier rains.

“We spray only if we have to. As for the mosquitoes, I don’t mind it so much,” says Evaristo Miqueli, the man whose job it is to see how many mosquitoes will bite him in one minute of ‘exposure.’ One of Mafhefka’s jobs, with input from Miqueli, is to decide when to spray to keep things under control. The county has a small fleet of trucks that spray individual neighborhoods when residents call in; it also uses a plane to crop-dust the spray, but only when things get really bad. “We have spray trucks that go into neighborhoods, which you can request on the web or by phone,” says Mafkhefka. “We ask people to stay inside for 5 or 10 minutes [during the spray]. It’s like a big aerosol can. It will kill a percentage of the mosquitoes present then in 5 or 10 minutes it’s gone. It [the spray] is formulated to break down.” The trucks usually do their work at night or early morning,

when mosquitoes are most active. The plane, with its denser spray, is used from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m., when most residents are asleep or inside.

Home Control On a macro level, the truck and plane sprays keep the mosquito clouds in check, but what can individual homeowners do? This is an important question, since

Biologist Evaristo Miqueli identifies an adult mosquito in a surveillance trap.

Home Mosquito Prevention » Un-Canned. Empty all open water containers. These include buckets, flower pots, old tires, aluminum cans, trashcans, wheelbarrows, open boats, pet dishes and even kiddy pools.

The Office of Mosquito Control monitors levels of mosquitos that can carry viruses.

the smaller urban mosquitoes – as distinct from the larger ‘flood-water’ type mosquitoes that travel in from the Everglades – are the ones that carry viruses and other illnesses. These tiny bloodsuckers can fly only a few blocks from where they are hatched, but they’re the kind that can spread disease to humans, raccoons, horses, etc. “Container breeders are associated with viruses, like West Nile or Dengue, which is why we encourage people to turn over [every thing that holds water], like flower pots, buckets, open boats and so forth,” says Mafkefka. Pay special attention to water pockets that also trap organic material like leaves, he says, which provides the tiny larvae with nutrition. In addition to eliminating standing water, there are a variety of other home mosquito control tactics, depending on your wallet and the size of your property. Bug zappers, for example,

are effective – but also attract other bugs, so are recommended only if you have enough space to put them far from where your family hangs out. You can also use a personal insect repellant, as well as a killing spray, the latter of which acts like your own personal spray truck – the mist kills on contact and then dissipates. Or you can create a chemical barrier, using a yard spray or something more organic, like Mosquito Barrier, a quart of liquid garlic that repels the insects – though it leaves your yard smelling like a pizza for a couple of hours. For larger bodies of water that may be harboring mosquito hatcheries, there are Mosquito Dunks, which dissolve in water and produce bacteria that are harmful only to mosquitoes. For the individual who wants a hightech solution, there are electronic mosquito repellers that offer a couple of hundred square feet of protection. In the meantime, the crew at Mosquito Control will continue to monitor for bad mosquitoes that can bring disease in addition to annoyance. The county’s last cases of Dengue and West Nile viruses occurred in 2010 and 2011, respectively. “Since then there has been nothing,” says biologist Miqueli, who not only proffers his arm but monitors his mosquito traps – and citizen complaints – on a daily basis. “But you have to keep monitoring, keep checking.” As for his job as personal tester – it did make it to an episode of Dirty Jobs.

» Drained. Remove or drain standing water, such as water in rain gutters (unclog those leaves!), on flat roofs, in plastic sheeting or from leaky faucets and air conditioning units. » Changed. Change water in birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week, and make sure that ornamental pools are aerated with moving water or stocked with mosquito-eating fish.

Home Mosquito Control » Ground Control. Yard sprays or mosquito barriers create areas that repel mosquitoes. Go chemical or use an organic alternative with liquid garlic ($14 to $38 per gallon). » Slam Dunk. For larger bodies of stagnant water use Mosquito Dunks ($10 for 6) that kill mosquito larvae with bacteria that are otherwise harmless to humans. » Go Electric. Zappers work ($25-$50), but attract more insects. A cordless ThermaCELL ($23) repellant exudes odorless chemicals that keep mosquitoes away. LMGFL.COM | AUGUST 2013


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Mike Pouncey wants to be the face of the Miami Dolphins. Is he ready for the challenge? By Ryan Anthony Photos by DowntownPhoto/Fort Lauderdale





n a Saturday night in mid-July, Mike Pouncey, and his twin brother Maurkice, celebrated their upcoming 24th birthdays at the Cameo nightclub in Miami Beach. Just before 1 in the morning, a woman in the club tweeted a photo of the NFL stars—Maurkice plays center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, while Mike does the same for the Dolphins—wearing baseball caps with two words on them: “Free Hernandez.” The photo went viral and national and, depending on the sports commentator, was viewed as either simply stupid or downright offensive. Why the fuss? The caps were referring to Aaron Hernandez, the all-star tight end for the New England Patriots who was arrested June 26 and charged with first-degree murder of a 27-year-old Boston man. Hernandez currently sits in jail. It turns out that Hernandez is a close friend of the Pounceys, was a teammate of theirs at the University of Florida where all three played football and won a National Championship, and a college roommate of Mike’s. So it appeared the Pounceys donned the caps to support an old friend. Clearly they did not expect the picture to be taken and posted on the Internet. “Knowing Mike as well as I do, I am certain he realizes that he exercised poor judgment at his birthday party,” Pouncey’s long-time friend, and attorney Jeff Ostrow told Lifestyle. “Obviously, the point of the hats was to show loyalty to a friend – and nothing more. It is not possible that there was any ill will and the photo could not have been intended to hurt or offend anyone. People that know Mike and Maurkice know that they do not have a bad bone in their bodies.” Whereas Mike’s brother Maurkice tweeted an apology two days after the incident, Mike had yet to make any apology as of the press date of this story. He may never do so. According to Lifestyle sources, he was instructed by Dolphins’ management not to comment on the incident, to let it blow over, and to learn from it. Indeed, on some level, the hat incident could not have provided a better lesson in what it means to be a public figure. And that is an especially valuable lesson because Mike Pouncey wants nothing less than to become the face of the Dolphins, the next Jason Taylor or even Dan Marino.



Hat Trick Ironically enough, one of Pouncey’s biggest challenges is to become more prominent. The problem with becoming a household name in South Florida, however, is his job. Pouncey plays center for the Dolphins. His job is to hike the ball to quarterback Ryan Tannehill and make sure Tannehill doesn’t get sacked. He’s also supposed to block defenders so the Dolphins’ running backs can glide right by him. Typically, there are no SportsCenter highlights for centers like Mike Pouncey, unless they mess up their assignment on the field. If he does his job well – and he’s been called the NFL’s best at his position – you’ll never notice him.

Can any offensive lineman even the center - become the public face of an NFL team? Pouncey wants to try. But the 24-year-old University of Florida grad wants to raise the most money and awareness for local charities. He wants the most product endorsements. He wants to do good in more places than just a football stadium. Can he? “I think it’s there for me to take,” Pouncey told Lifestyle before the cap controversy. He might just be right.

In a bad position? Usually, the quarterback is the face of an NFL franchise. But Ryan Tannehill was a rookie last year, and while he showed great promise, he was upstaged by other rookie signal-callers like Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts), Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) and Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins). All three quickly became the faces of their franchises.

THE NATIONAL DEBATE When Mike Pouncey and his brother Maurkice were photographed in caps that read, “Free Hernandez,” the reaction was swift and widespread. Here are comments from a few noted sports columnists… Jason Whitlock, Fox Sports: Hitting a nightclub while wearing mindlessly rebellious “Free Hernandez” baseball caps is straight from the in-your-face, shock-value, prison culture/hip hop culture playbook.… I’m sure they’re good kids. They’re swept up in a culture they don’t fully understand and don’t fully respect its impact. David Neal, Miami Herald: They didn’t take the time to think how “Free Hernandez” looks to the middle-aged and old folks who coach them, run the teams that employ them and buy the really good tickets to their games.... They didn’t take the time, like so many of the young don’t in these omniscient times, to think how photos of them grinning beneath those hats would look on social media.

Running backs and wide receivers are usually next on the list. But the best overall player on last year’s team, halfback Reggie Bush, signed with the Detroit Lions during the offseason. And the best receiver is brand new: Mike Wallace left the Pittsburgh Steelers and signed with the Dolphins within days of Bush’s departure. The rest of the Dolphins’ roster is full of young players and veterans who are soft-spoken. Ask them and they’ll tell you they prefer to let their plays do their talking. Pouncey says that’s typical of many players. He just prefers to do both. “I think most guys shy away from the media,” he says. “I think most guys shy away from wanting to be the leader on the football team. For me, I want to embrace it. I think being the guy on the team everyone comes to sets you up for life after football.” So is it possible for Mike Pouncey to become famous even among non-football fans? “It’s impossible,” Jorge Sedano declared, and that was before the controversy. The 13-year broadcast veteran has worked nationally with Fox Sports Radio, locally with WQAM Sports Radio (560 AM) and now does work for ESPN, including a national show on ESPN Radio nightly. Sedano adores Pouncey as a player. But it doesn’t change his opinion.

Chris Perkins, Sun Sentinel: If the Pounceys had these hats made, or if they’re hats someone handed the Pounceys and they slapped them on their heads because they got caught up in the spirit of the moment or thought it would be funny, well, shame on them. They should know better... you can be assured Dolphins coach Joe Philbin will talk to (Mike). Most likely he’ll ask him where the hats came from, why they wore them, and tell Mike not to put the team is such a position again. End of story. LMGFL.COM | AUGUST 2013


“I think he’s fun, smart and personable,” Sedano said. “I don’t think those are the issues with him. This is purely about the position he plays.” Sedano explained… “In the NFL, you have to have the ball in your hands to make the biggest impact. There are the select few defenders that make that kind of impact. But there needs to be tons of personality and league-leading type play to get there from that side of the ball. Which means offensive linemen have no chance.” Sedano has history on his side. The Dolphins best offensive lineman ever – Dwight Stephenson, a Hall of Fame center on the 1972 “perfect season” team – wasn’t the face of the Dolphins back then. Quarterback Bob Griese was. And in 2008, the Dolphins used the first overall pick in the draft on Jake Long. He plays left tackle, a position more popular than Pouncey’s, especially after the Sandra Bullock movie “The Blind Side” was made about it. Close your eyes. Can you picture Jake Long’s face? Then again, Pouncey has already made some history of his own.

Twin challenges It should be noted that coaches can be the face of a franchise, too. The most famous coach in Florida history is Don Shula. Not surprisingly, there’s a Don Shula Leadership Award, which honors one Dolphins player as decided by all the other Dolphins players. Since it was created in 1989, Dan Marino won twice, Jason Taylor won it three times. An offensive lineman? Never. Until Pouncey did it last year. “That’s what’s so amazing,” says Ostrow, “It’s the most unglamorous position, but due to his athleticism, leadership, determination and star quality, he’s going to change the stigma of the position. And the people aren’t going to look at him and say, ‘He’s an offensive lineman, not a receiver, he can’t be the star of the team.’ He’s going to be face of the Dolphins.”



Of course, being the face of an NFL team means being a menace on the field. And Pouncey has performed. He hasn’t missed a game in his twoyear career, and he’s rarely missed a blocking assignment. In fact, his versatility at the position creates unique opportunities for offensive plays that many other teams cannot duplicate. In May, CBS Sports columnist Pete Prisco ranked the top 100 players in the NFL, and Pouncey came in at No.44. Best in the league at his position. “His brother got more attention last season,” Prisco wrote. “But this Pouncey was the best center in the league.” About his twin brother: He plays the same position. And he wants to be the face of his team. Mike’s identical twin, Maurkice, is a center on the Steelers, and he ranked 96 on Prisco’s list. It’s been a constant battle for the brothers. “Right now I’m the No.1 center in the NFL,” Mike said in June. And yet five minutes later, when asked the same question again, he wavered… “I’m always going to say my

brother, because he’s a three-time Pro Bowler, two-time all-pro. He’s got more awards in the NFL than I have to this date.” Ask a third time, and you get, “I do think we’re the same kind of football player.” But they have the exact same idea when it comes to philanthropy, creating a foundation called Team Pouncey that focuses its charitable efforts on Pittsburgh, Miami and Lakeland (where the brothers attended high school). “I think being the face of a football team is more than just playing football,” Pouncey said. “I think it’s about the work you put in off the football field, community service, and how you carry yourself as a human being. And obviously you have to have high character.”

What a character Up until that Saturday in July, Pouncey touted his other big asset. Something he was lacking: trouble. While he still faces fallout from that photo, the fact is he’s not accused of

a crime – not like former Dolphins receiver Chad Johnson. A few weeks before the hat tweet, Johnson was sentenced to 30 days in jail (and released seven days later) for patting his attorney on the rear end after negotiating a plea in a domestic violence case, which led to the Dolphins dismissing him. Last year, Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall was accused of hitting a woman in the face in a New York nightclub. Two days later, he was traded to the Chicago Bears. “I think the most interesting part of being one of the guys considered the face of the football team is being professional on and off the football field,” Pouncey said in June. “The biggest thing about it is that you’re the guy that’s going to be answering all the questions when the media comes, you’re the first guy they see off the bus, you’re the guy talking after games. I think that’s something that guys, not saying they have a hard time doing it, but it is a workload.” Before the controversy, he was comfortable around the media and comfortable with his off-field life. He lives in a 5-bedroom $625,000 home in Davie, modest by NFL standards (Pouncey signed a four-year, $9.26 million contract with the Dolphins in 2011). He has a 5-year-old daughter, Janiyah, with a previous girlfriend from the University of Florida, and a new baby boy named Kayden with his 24-year-old girlfriend Kristian Fong. She’s not surprised by Pouncey’s quest to become the face of the franchise. “That’s just Mike,” she says. “He’s always trying to do bigger and better things, it’s never enough for him.”

Making a face Up until his birthday bad, Pouncey was well on his way toward making all the

Pouncey’s kids: On the home front, Pouncey pushes hard to help charities for underprivileged children. right moves. In May, he was instrumental in drawing over 400 people to the annual White Party event of the Jorge Nation Foundation, a charity that sends children with cancer and their families on dream trips. The event at the W Hotel on South Beach raised over $100,000. Also in May, he walked 200 kids with cancer down a red carpet at the Fourth annual A Prom To Remember at Fort Lauderdale’s RitzCarlton hotel. In June, Team Pouncey held a free football camp for over 600 children in Lakeland. And in September, Pouncey will host a celebrity fashion show at the Sagamore Hotel on South Beach to raise money for his foundation to further support children. Pouncey acknowledges that practicing during the week, playing on Sundays, and attending and hosting charitable events is a “workload on your shoulders.” But he added, “I think it’s just a privilege.” “If he has the career I anticipate he will,” Ostrow says, “and he stays here in Miami, he will be next in line after Dan Marino and Jason Taylor for this community to embrace.” For that to happen, Pouncey will have to understand that the job of front man is 24/7, and that in this digital day and age there are no such things as private parties. The hat incident may prove to be the wakeup call that helps the Dolphins’ center loose whatever naiveté he had when it came to his quest. And in that respect it may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

TWIN WINS Mike Pouncey * Center, Miami Dolphins * 6-foot-5, 303 pounds

Maurkice Pouncey * Center, Pittsburgh Steelers * 6-foot-4, 304 pounds Mike Pouncey wants to be the face of the Miami Dolphins, but there’s already a face out there that looks exactly like his. It belongs to Maurkice Pouncey, Mike’s identical twin, born one minute after him. The brothers both played football for Lakeland High, and then as captains for the University of Florida. Maurkice played center for three years while Mike played right guard, and was then drafted in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mike stayed in school for his senior season, played center, and was then drafted in the first round by the Dolphins. The brothers have never played against each other. That changes in a few months. On Dec. 8, the Dolphins play the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Pouncey vs. Pouncey. Mike can’t wait. “We’re gonna be saying some stuff to him,” he says. “Take him out of his game.”



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FAU running back Damien Forter scored his ďŹ rst collegie touchdown last year, and enters his senior year hoping to make a splash and enter the NFL, like former teammate Alfred Moris



Quick Hits A fast and furious Florida football guide for a very special season By Ryan Cortes

According to the University of Florida, nearly 19,000 alumni live in Broward and 4,900 current students are from here. That’s more than any other county in the state. (Yes, it’s more than Miami Dade, which has 2.6 million residents to our 1.8 million, but has 1,000 less alumni and 700 less students.) That means Broward County is a hotbed of Florida college football – because even though no other state school breaks down its numbers like UF does, this year all the major Florida football programs play each other for the first time in recent memory. So the Gators play the Seminoles, the Seminoles play the Hurricanes, the Hurricanes play the FAU Owls, the Owls play the USF Bulls, the Bulls play the UCF Knights, the Knights play the FIU Panthers, and the Panthers play the Owls. Oh, and the Gators also play the Hurricanes, who also play the Bulls, who...well, you get the idea. Suffice to say, this is a big year for interstate college football rivalries. If you don’t know much about Florida college football besides your alma mater – or if you don’t know anything at all – we’ve compiled this two-minute drill. Read on and you’ll hold your own at any cocktail party featuring rabid Florida football fans...



University of Florida

University of Miami

2012 record: 11-2 (7-1 in the Southeastern Conference) 2013 biggest game: Every year, the Gators play big SEC rivals like Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana State. But this year, none will match Saturday, Sept. 7, at the University of Miami. The Gators and Hurricanes were once bitter foes, playing every year from 1938 to 1987 – with the Hurricanes winning 24 games and the Gators 25. After a break, they battled annually between 2001 and 2004, with the Hurricanes winning them all. That might explain why the Gators didn’t play them again till 2008, when they won 26-3. With so many Gators in Broward and UM just a county away, expect lots of yelling at local sports bars and football-watching parties. Families will face split rivalries, and while blood won’t be spilled, drinks may be. 2013 impact player: Running back Trey Burton. The junior takes over for Mike Gillislee, who rushed for 1,152 yards (37th best in the country, out of 120 teams) last season and scored 10 touchdowns (second-highest on the Gators) before signing with the Miami Dolphins. They’ll need a similar performance from Burton to reach double-digit wins again.

2012 record: 7-5 (5-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) 2013 biggest game: Miami will pay $500,000 to open the season against FAU – because in college football, the big teams pay the little ones to beat up on them. The early betting lines favor the Hurricanes by 31 points. But after that, the young Hurricanes team faces its old-time rival on Sept. 7 – the Florida Gators. As we mentioned earlier, the teams haven’t played annually since 1987, and although Miami has won three of the last four, it’s the Gators who are expected to win. Big. 2013 impact player: Quarterback Stephen Morris. Even though Morris threw for over 3,000 yards (24th best in the country) last year and 21 touchdowns (41st in the country), the Hurricanes will need more in his senior year. He won’t be alone, either. Sophomore returner/running back Duke Johnson returns for year two after electrifying defenses for nearly 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns — as a freshman.

Florida State University 2012 record: 12-2 (7-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) 2013 biggest game: Although the Seminoles won 12 games last year, their schedule is so easy this year, they could win even more. Only Florida and Clemson won more than 10 games last season. And while the Florida game on Nov. 30 – the last game of the season – is always a hot ticket, the biggest game is actually on Oct. 19 against conference foe Clemson, which won 11 games in 2012. FSU beat Clemson last year 49-37, but lost in 2011 by 5. This year’s match-up may be the toughest for FSU, which has a new quarterback this season. The Seminoles first roadblock to an undefeated season will come at the hands of this rival. 2013 impact player: Running back Devonta Freeman. After losing last year’s quarterback E.J. Manuel (he was drafted in the first round by the Buffalo Bills) and running back Chris Thompson (he graduated), the Seminoles have a four-way battle for quarterback going into the spring. But the running back job is all Freeman’s, and the junior will have to carry the load early and often.

University of Central Florida

Florida Atlantic University 2012 record: 3-9 (2-6 in the Sun Belt Conference) 2 013 biggest game: The Owls’ first year in the Conference USA begins with the biggest game of the season, broadcast on ESPN U – the University of Miami on Aug. 30. The Owls signed a three-game deal with Miami last year and will be paid $500,000 for each road game. Good thing for FAU, because the team is expected to lose by 31, according to the early betting lines. Either way, playing perennial powerhouse Miami will garner FAU muchneeded national attention, and a close loss would be as good as a win. 2013 impact player: Wide receiver William Dukes. The junior broke out last year with 979 yards (most on the team) and four touchdowns. But with quarterback Graham Wilbert graduated, Dukes will have to guide the next signal caller (Melvin German III) to the end zone.

2012 record: 10-4 (7-1 in Conference USA) 2013 biggest game: The Knights will have their hands full on the road in the second week of the season playing Penn State, which won eight games last year. But the biggest game of the season is actually the week right after that: Sept. 14 at home against South Carolina and former Gators coach Steve Spurrier. The two teams haven’t played since 2005, and the Gamecocks (or ’Cocks, as South Carolina fans call themselves) won 11 games last year and beat Michigan in a bowl game. This will be the toughest test of the season for UCF, and things could unravel quickly with back-to-back losses to Penn State and South Carolina. 2013 impact player: Quarterback Blake Bortles. The junior took a giant step forward last year as a sophomore after throwing for just six touchdowns and under 1,000 yards as a freshman. Last year, he threw for more than 3,000 yards (35th in the country) and 25 touchdowns (26th in the country). And yet the last two times UCF won 10 games or more in a season (2007 and 2010), the Knights followed each year with less than five wins. It’ll be up to Bortles to end that streak.

University of South Florida 2012 record: 3-9 (1-6 in the Sun Belt Conference) 2013 biggest game: Head Coach Skip Holtz was fired last year after a disastrous season that included a 40-9 loss to the University of Miami. On Sept. 28, new coach Willie Taggart will get a shot at revenge at home against Miami. It’s a rebuilding year, so expect another loss. But as long as it’s not a trouncing, Taggart and crew will call it a successful day. 2013 impact player: Quarterback Matt Floyd. The sophomore isn’t a big name, but he’ll need to be one day if Taggart wants to keep his job longer than the three years Holtz did. Senior quarterback B.J. Daniels, who started for the last four years, got drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of this year’s draft. He leaves a gaping hole behind center, the most important position in the sport. Floyd played in parts of four games last year, throwing no touchdowns and five interceptions. For an improvement on 3-9, that will have to change.

Florida International University 2012 record: 3-9 (2-6 in the Sun Belt Conference) 2013 biggest game: FIU won just three games last year and coach Mario Cristobal got fired. Although the Panthers are rebuilding and will be expected to lose to opponents like UCF and Louisville (who both won 10-plus games last season), every FIU fan looks forward to the annual grudge match against FAU, this time on the road, on Nov. 29. It’ll double as the last game of the season, and although FAU has won three of the last five, FIU has won the last two and will look to continue the streak. 2013 impact player: Running back Kedrick Rhodes. The senior rushed for 1,149 yards as a sophomore but just 714 last year (116th in the country). Junior quarterback Jake Medlock threw just 13 touchdowns last year (tied with nine others for 81st in the counry), so Rhodes will need to produce like it was 2011.


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First Annual Women’s Conference “Extraordinary Women Leading Change” THE EVENT The First Annual Women’s Conference “Extraordinary Women Leading Change” - Instill Faith, Influence and Inspire Action is presented by GCI Worldwide Corporation in partnership with the American Heart Association. A portion of the proceeds will go towards the 2013 Go Red for Women Campaign with the American Heart Association. The Extraordinary Women Leading Change Conference brings together top executive women leaders within the community from different backgrounds and industries to celebrate the power of diversity. The day provides attendees an unprecedented opportunity to listen and interact with remarkable women leaders who are setting a new standard for leading change. These leaders strive each day to create a positive impact in their companies as well as in the community at large. Such leaders will share some of their best practices when leading change as well as how they bring out the best in themselves, their employees and everyone they interact with on a daily basis. THE CAUSE The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. They team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. To learn more or join them, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of their offices around the country, or visit


18 September Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina Hotel 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. 1881 SE 17th Street Causeway Fort Lauderdale 754-300-2614

TICKETS Available for $200 by contacting Denise Jordan at or 754-300-2614

THE sponsors The Salah Foundation, Bank United, FedEx, OK Generators, Gables Engineering, FPL, Sunshine State Health Plan, and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital


The Signature Chefs Auction is the annual gourmet extravaganza for the Broward March of Dimes. Now in its 17th year, regulars know the routine: Sample scrumptious fare from 15 handpicked chefs from Greater Fort Lauderdale’s finest restaurants, who prepare samples of their signature dishes and showcase the latest food trends. As in the past, there will be live music and opportunities to bid on unique silent and live auction items. But expect this year to be special: The March of Dimes is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2013. Says event chairman Bob Birdsong, President & CEO, OK Generators: “What a thrill it is to chair this year’s Signature Chefs Auction. We have an impressive lineup of local chefs and culinary innovators. Our committee has planned an extraordinary evening that will benefit the March of Dimes’ mission of helping improve birth outcomes to increase the number of stronger, healthier babies, and celebrate the March of Dimes’ 75th Anniversary.” This year’s chefs hail from The Capital Grille, Grille 66, Blue Moon Fish Company, Chef’s Palette at The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Steak 954@ W Hotel, Market 17, Wild Sea at Riverside Hotel, Fort Lauderdale Ritz Carlton, Truluck’s, Publix Apron’s and Susie’s Scrumptious Sweets.

THE CAUSE Every year in the United States, more than 500,000 babies are born too soon – 32,000 of them in Florida. The March of Dimes, both nationally and in its Florida chapter, works to improve the health of babies while also supporting families if something does go wrong. The March of Dimes Florida Chapter also partners with local medical groups and organizations to establish guidelines for how to care for pregnant women and premature babies. And it provides grants to researchers working to understand birth defects and premature birth – and to find treatments and solutions. Learn more at 50


CONGRATULATIONS. YOU’VE EARNED ADMIRATION AND RESPECT. Every year MassMutual representatives nationwide are recognized for their success in delivering exceptional financial products and services to their clients. As members of the elite Leaders Club, they represent MassMutual at its very best. David Schulman, of DBS Financial Group, celebrates the achievements of some of our top advisors. Congratulations, and thank you for helping clients bring their dreams to life.

Louis Berlin MBA

Howard Bienenfeld CLU, ChFC

Emmanuel Butmankiewicz, MBA

Christopher Callaway

Joe Eppy, CLTC Special Care Planner

Sam Eppy

Stephen D. Estler CLU, ChFC, CLTC

Jose Fourquet MBA

Daniel Henley CFP®

David Jacobson CLU, ChFC, CLTC

Cooper Jones

Carol Lasek ChFC, CLU

Monte Lurie CLTC

Robyn McGloin CFBS

Paul Rosen

Richard Rothkopf

Jeffrey R. Rotman LUTCF

Marjorie Schaefer

Stacie Spielfogel CLTC

Mitchell Starr LUTCF

Jeannette Strelitz-Schnurmacher

Cliff Weidberg

Ron Weinberg

DBS Financial Group


MassMutual Financial Group refers to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual), its affiliated companies and sales representatives. Insurance products issued by MassMutual (Springfield, MA 01111) and its subsidiaries, C.M. Life Insurance Co. and MML Bay State Life Insurance Co. (Enfield, CT 06082). CRN201501-168386

real estate

Priming the Pump: Private equity groups are buying up homes they intend to rent while prices continue to rise.

Why are OUR Home Prices soaring? home sales are up 25 percent since last year, and Condos are up 17. good news, right? maybe. 52


By Darcie Lunsford There is an old adage – generally attributed to Mark Twain – that comes to mind as you see all the positive news about today’s housing market: “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” On the surface, the latest data looks good. In May, the median prices for South Florida single-family homes and condos soared 25 percent and 17 percent, respectively, compared to the year prior, according to the Florida Realtors. That news follows a parade of monthly price increases across the state for all 16 previous months. Compared to the rest of Florida and the nation, that puts us ahead of the pack. In May, statewide median prices for single-family homes and condos rose 16 and 13 percent respectively. Nationwide prices for both condos and single-family residences rose about 15 percent year-over-year. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find a baffling disconnect between traditional demand fundamentals in South Florida – like soaring population or robust job growth – and the surging home prices. South Florida’s population is predicted to grow only 1.4 percent this year and 1.5 percent a year through 2016, with annualized job growth at 1.8 percent last year, 1.6 percent this year, and perhaps 2.5 percent next year. Home lending also remains tight for buyers with less than perfect credit.

The Big Bump: House and condo sales in South Florida vS. Florida* Type of home

Sales Closed

y/y change

Median Price

y/y change

Single Family Florida South Florida

22,375 4,148

18.7% 16.5%

$171,000 $250,000

15.9% 25%

11,201 4,909

11.5% 7.3%

$128,000 $129,000

13% 17.3%

Townhouses & Condos Florida South Florida

*Sales for the month of May, 2013, compared with the previous year. Source: the Florida Realtors Association

So what’s driving up prices? Answer: Follow the money. Instead of demand coming from homeowners taking out mortgages, the new buying spree is coming from cash buyers. Cash purchases accounted for nearly three-fourths of all the condos and townhomes that sold in the last year and nearly half of all the single-family homes. In the past, this sort of cash came from foreign buyers looking to park money in a safe place. Today’s demand, however, is also coming from Wall Street institutions betting big on rising prices for South Florida homes. “It is enough to trigger a flashback to the housing bubble,” says Economist Sean Snaith of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness. “But there are some fundamental differences.” Institutions with strong cash positions don’t pose the same risk as individuals. “The bubble investor was a flipper that was looking to increase profit fast,” says Snaith of the national housing bust in 2008. But institutional investors are far more sophisticated, unlikely to flood the market with a massive sell-off. “It is a much less destructive market force,” he says. Meanwhile private equity groups, including Blackstone Group LP, are pumping billions into U.S. Sunbelt housing markets,

including South Florida. Blackstone alone, through its bankrolling of Dallas-based Invitation Homes, has invested $5 billion in 29,000 U.S. homes since last year, according to Eric Elder, VP of Invitation. The strategy, he said, is to lease the homes as rentals, providing the maintenance and management services more typically found in a traditional apartment complex. The firm’s Hollywood office now employs about 50 service and management personnel – and that support staff will grow as its inventory grows. “We are not focused on any particular exit strategy,” Elder said. “We are focused on building a business.” But at some strategic point – likely when prices are at a peak – Blackstone and the other Wall Street funds will sell the homes and condos at a tidy profit, predicts Deerfield Beach-based housing expert Jack McCabe, whose firm consults for major homebuilders, lenders and investors. McCabe is less optimistic than Snaith, however, when it comes to the impact. “After three years, maybe, and definitely within five years, we are going to get that boom-and-bust cycle again. It’s just different variables,” says McCabe. “Whenever you start seeing double-digit price increases this is not a normal market. Healthy markets go up three to four percent a year.” Tell that to beleaguered homeowners. LMGFL.COM | AUGUST 2013



CREATIVE TOURISM VISITORS are flocking back TO BROWARD, but it took SOME NERVE AND VERVE Story By Jeff Zbar. photos by the GFLCVB

ack in 2006, Bill Walker was looking for a way to expand Boston’s Best Cruises, his decade-old sightseeing, harbor tour, sunset cruises, and whale watching outfit out of Boston Harbor – 1,500 miles away from Broward County. He needed a business that got more than a few months of traffic each year before cold winds blew tourists away. He’d already grown his ferry operations to become a commuter option for some 750,000 passengers a year. But it was the tourism trade he sought. So he sailed south to Fort Lauderdale. In 2007, he acquired a struggling company called Water Taxi. Today, it’s a fixture on the city’s waterways. “I needed a way to level out revenue and expenses on an annual basis,” says Walker, president and principal with both companies. The Water Taxi today has 55 employees. It has 11 boats that cruise year-round and spike to 16 in the peak of winter. All told, they shuttle some 330,000 passengers a year to more than a dozen stops, from the “Venice of America” south to Hollywood. The company also serves as a snapshot of the diversity of the city’s tourism market. Need evidence of Broward County’s resurgent tourism trade? From a dismal national recession that hit the local market,




Broward County has rebounded with enthusiasm. Some 12 million people visited Greater Fort Lauderdale in 2012 – and spent more than $9 billion here. This year should see 13 million people, according to numbers from the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). The uptick in tourism traffic spans the county. At Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport, JetBlue Airways recently announced new service to Medellin, Colombia – and is planning growth to maximize the airport’s $2 billion upgrade, including the $800 million elevation and expansion of the south runway. The new route (among others) put JetBlue and Miramar-based Spirit Airlines neck-and-neck as the airport’s top carrier. Sailing out of Port Everglades, 45 ships under the flags of a dozen cruise lines carried 1.5 million passengers last year. And those passengers are extending their stays: 1-in-3 now tack on a night or two in Fort Lauderdale to either end of their cruise vacations. One measure of just how strong Broward’s tourism has rebounded is the fact that the county has now enjoyed 41 straight months of growth across all indicators key to the trade: total visits, average daily rate, and bed tax receipts. Speaking of which, taxes

Above: The Water Taxi had nearly sunk before Bill Walker shored it up. Below: The Riverside Hotel started thinking internationally.

collected in March topped $6 million – the first time ever, says CVB President Nicki Grossman. All this from what’s considered a “value destination,” she says. “This is all about occupancy and people finding this destination,” she says. Selling the “shoulders” Back before pitching South Florida tourism became a multi-million dollar marketing enterprise – $6 million will be spent this year alone by the CVB, handled by Fort Lauderdale ad shop Starmark – and even before spring break became “Where the Boys Are,” the market essentially had two seasons: summer for locals and those who drove, and winter for everyone else. Today, shoulder seasons – those months that fall outside peak, traditional tourist times – are important. September through November and April through June have become important windows for the local travel trade, especially those hoping to lure Latin American and European visitors. Boston’s Bill Walker himself had been warned about the April through November period. Locals won’t use the service, so expect serious declines, previous owners advised. So Walker ramped up sales and marketing efforts. He tied in with area

STATE OF TOURISM Just as the seasons have evolved, so too have the target audiences, Grossman says. Beyond a growing international base, the CVB has laid out the welcome mat for a diversity of organizations. It “set the bar” for relationships with the gay and lesbian travel community. It’s a top destination for family reunions. The CVB is partnering with African American-owned businesses in anticipation of the city hosting in 2015 some 8,000 delegates and their family members for the national Urban League convention. Longdiscussed plans call for expanding the convention center and adding a hotel by 2018. With its audience and brand expanded, greater Fort Lauderdale has evolved in kind, Grossman says. “That’s what makes us a little different from elsewhere.”

restaurants, retailers and hoteliers. He worked with cruise lines to tell passengers staying in the area about the service. Today, theater-goers at the Broward Center will park their cars and take a different type of “taxi.” Even the convention center and CVB get word out about the Water Taxi. When the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show comes to town, he’ll partner with event

planners to offer discounts to attendees and presenters. Senior centers and schools alike bring their charges out for a ride. Even in the summer, when locals flock to the beach, Walker’s business flourishes as a boating alternative. “We operate 10 months a year at high levels because we understood the demographics,” he says.

A changing marketplace Hospitality veteran Heiko Dobrikow – formerly of the Mayfair Hotel and Spa in Coconut Grove, Fisher Island, and the Marriot Key West (now the Casa Marina) – knows the South Florida travel trade. He was named general manager with the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard prior to the onset of the recession, and he has helped weather that storm – and shepherd the historic property to a strong return. Where other hoteliers were competing for traditional customers, he sought to brand the hotel for the jet set – literally. In 2011, he and his team created the concept of “the international hotel of Fort Lauderdale.” They created a new tagline: “The Riverside Hotel – Timeless Hospitality, International Charm.” They now hang the flags of 31 countries from which their foreign guests most commonly come, including Brazil, Canada, Germany, the U.K., Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Israel, among about two dozen others. He has partnered with other independent hotels – the Pelican Grand Resort, the Il Lugano, and the Lago Mar Resort Hotel – to create common reward programs. He attends co-op hotel tours to Brazil, Canada, the Northeast, and the Midwest. He helped shepherd Spirit Airlines’ inaugural direct flight from Toluca, Mexico, to Fort Lauderdale. “I took the initiative and we took the claim as the international hotel of Fort Lauderdale,” boasts Dobrikow. LMGFL.COM | AUGUST 2013



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lifestyle advice


COO, Boardroom Communications

1776 N Pine Island Road Suite 320 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33322 954.370.8999 You can gain customers by grabbing first place in Google rankings for professionals and business people. Do the same on LinkedIn and you’ll gain clients and referrals. One of the latest tools for gaining notice is a portfolio of your work. The online service just added the ability to upload images, graphics, charts, snapshots of articles and other original work to your profile. You can now post videos, too; they can be used to demonstrate your knowledge, share insights, show your personality, or raise awareness for an attention-getting project. This visually oriented way of telling others about yourself is not only compelling, it improves your ranking on LinkedIn. You can further enhance your position by having others comment on your images and videos. The more talk, the better. That’s not the only key to holding a premier spot:



1. Complete your profile. Finished profiles rank higher than uncompleted ones. That means adding information about your education, professional interests, a photo of you – and now more visuals. LinkedIn tells you what percentage of your profile is complete and what’s missing. Just as you would with other Web content, make sure you include the most important words related to your business or professional practice. These keywords are used to rank you against all others in your industry or profession, and in your geographic area. Select a handful of words that a person would likely use in a search. If you are a commercial litigator in Miami in practice for 20 years at a large law firm, you’d likely include “experienced Miami attorney business lawsuit” in your profile. 2. Grow your network – wisely. It’s one thing to have 50,000 strangers worldwide linked to your profile. It’s just as good, maybe even better, to have 500 people who are likely to be clients, customers or referral sources. Think of these people as your online Rolodex. Who would you call? Who would call you? The first people to add to your network are the easiest to choose:

current and past colleagues, clients, and referral sources. Next, reach out to people whom you know but don’t yet do business with. Then add people who share the same professional or business interests and qualifications. To grow strategically, look at the lists of contacts of people you know. Let’s say you’re connected to a business owner. Look at the person’s connections. Find anyone whom you would like to do business with? Invite that person to connect based on knowing the same the business owner. 3. Get active. Your ranking is based in part on how often you participate in groups. It’s not enough to join an open group; you have to start and contribute to discussions, post interesting Web content, send invitations to events, and so on. Be professional; this isn’t the place to proclaim your undying loyalty for your alma mater or favorite sports team. Save that for Facebook. You’re on LinkedIn to do business. With sharp visuals, a smartly done profile, solid connections and active participation, you’ll gain clients and referrals. Don Silver is COO of statewide integrated marketing and communications firm, Boardroom Communications, Inc.


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Offices Nationwide 954-772-1122 5. Ever wonder why some people seem to always do well in businesses while others fail? I have met many serial entrepreneurs that are perennial winners when buying or starting businesses. We often ask are there worse businesses or worse business owners? Most reply the latter, there are worse business owners. Here are ten of the traits that each of these serial successful entrepreneurs has: 1. They work hard. Sometimes they are the hardest working person in their company. Many times I have seen people outwork others that are smarter. 2. They know how to treat their employees and customers. I have not seen many mean people last in business. At award ceremonies you always see the winner thank their people and clients. You cannot build a big business alone; believe me it helps to be nice first. 3. They personally deal with issues. And they are often not very nice about it. Hard






on problems, soft on people. Often they are obsessive about customer service. They are not afraid to get dirty. They are not afraid to work alongside their employees when the bad stuff hits the fan. Roll up your sleeve kind of people win! They know how to lose. They know when to call it quits, take the loss, admit they’re wrong, and move on from a bad idea or decision. They are never satisfied and often have a tough time acknowledging a win. There is never an end to the game. Constantly pursuing a better way, efficiencies, and not afraid to tweak and experiment. They trust their employees. They delegate well and don’t micromanage. They promote from within and invest in people. They can handle and manage imperfection in performance. They have resources. Sorry to say, it is nearly impossible to

start with no money and make it. Most of the time it takes money to make money! 9. They give back and share their wealth and knowledge. They never forget where they came from, and keep grounded and usually are humble. 10. Finally, they take risk!! You must take risks to win in business. The key to success is to understand your odds and minimize the downside of any endeavor or decision. Of course there are exceptions to these rules. Steve Jobs is an example. However, I can name many of our local entrepreneurs do have the above traits. Wayne Huizenga, Mike Jackson, Mike Maroone, Jim Moran, John Offerdahl, Terry Stiles, Peggy Nordeen, Keith Koenig, and Howard Dvorkin to name a few you might know. In the end, if you want to be successful in business, you need to have many of the above traits. it’s never too late to practice and learn them!

dining duchess


Fast flavor Brazilian “fast casual” is Broward County’s best-kept secret


Eating is a journey, and I’m on a quest for the most wonderful tastes in South Florida – and especially Broward County. As another foodie has written, “To find your own food adventure, you’ll need to become a traveler, not a tourist. After all, the tourist is led; the traveler seeks.” So, let’s begin an adventure! Here’s what I did last month…

Giraffas Pembroke Pines 155 North Hiatus Rd. Pembroke Pines, FL 33026 954-703-2884 Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. until midnight



any people have a mindset that Brazilian food consists mainly of meat, but that notion is changing with new, “fast casual” dining concepts such as Giraffas. While the steaks and burgers are grilled to perfection, the quinoa salads with shrimp or salmon are delicious offerings for pescatarians – and the mouth-watering desserts rival fine dining establishments. Giraffas opened more than 30 years ago in Brazil and has expanded to more than 400 locations since then. In 2007, it made it to South Florida, with a concept involving healthier, fresher and more varied dishes with a higher level of service in a wait that usually doesn’t exceed 8-10 minutes. Diners order directly at the counter, and the food is delivered to their tables on real plates with silverware. The staff greets you cheerfully as you enter the restaurant and assists you with a menu consisting of classic burgers, Brazilian specialties, chicken and salmon dishes, and a variety of unique sauces and spices. The chicken, beef and shrimp stroganoff are wonderfully traditional, and you’ll enjoy the rich flavor served with white or brown rice. Farofa (made with Brazilian seasoned toasted manioc flour, eggs, bacon, onions, and parsley) accompanies a traditional 10-ounce picanha steak. The picanha cut is authentic Brazilian and comes from the “cap” (or “culotte”), which lies above the top sirloin and rump areas. The flavor is incredible. Red meat is central to Giraffas menu, but fish lovers will be delighted when they order the salmon or tilapia. The 8-ounce fresh fish was perfectly grilled and touched lightly with Brazilian vinaigrette, then served with grilled string beans plus black beans and rice. The quinoa and the mix of greens, shrimp, small bruschetta, and balsamic dressing was delightful and fresh. This was a creative way to incorporate quinoa. If burgers tempt you, try the Giraffao Filet, which comes with cheese, bacon, egg, lettuce, tomato, and either giramayo, horseradish or chipotle sauce. It goes down smoothly with an Itaipava, a Brazilian beer. Whatever you eat for dinner, leave room for dessert. The Petit Gateau is a warm chocolate cake with coconut or vanilla ice cream, and you can finish dinner with an espresso, latte, cappuccino, or even pao de queijo (cheese bread). Giraffas has a children’s menu and four locations that include Pembroke Pines, Pinecrest, Midtown Miami, and North Miami.





Dr. M. Jallali & Dr. Jesse Shaw

Dr. Jesse Shaw & Denae Sims

Richard Allen, Sandra Marina & Richard Gottfurcht

Jeremy Holmes, Giselle Tironi, Barbara Valencia, Dulce Perello, Jen Veasey & Christina Musa

Marcelo Gomez & Maria Meneses

Alan Shankman & Josie William

Grand Opening of All-Pro Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Dr. Jesse Z. Shaw Villy Samardo & Mike Fernandez

Irene Rapi & Paul Montone



There was a Cocktail Reception held at the brand new location in Silver Lakes Plaza of Pembroke Pines. The practice serves patients who care to get the very best orthopedic treatments for the shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, ankle and back injuries.

Kacie Main & Dr. Mike Surdis

Michelle & Marvin Simon Schulman

Chris Gerbino & Ron Nadel


Jim Norton, Lynne Wines, Gary Press and Kevin Blair

Bonnie Judson, Steu Taub and Lisa Lee

Sally Nicholas, Michael Salazar and Amy Levin

Suzanne Holtermann, Gail Scott and Chris Madsen

CEO Connect Lifestyle Publications and Grille 401 hosted the second in a series of CEO Connect events on June 20th, 2013. Guests of the event enjoyed cocktails, appetizers, and an intimate one-on-one interview between Gary Press, CEO of Lifestyle Media Group, and Lynne Wines, President & CEO of First Southern Bank.

Debbie Block and James Bonilla

Chris Cruz and Mercedes Smothers



Sheila Smith and Bob Birdsong

Dr. Lisa Learn, Jill Horowitz and Elizabeth Kawowski

Debbie Block, Bill Kelly and Lynne Wines

South Florida’s Best Chefs choose

Chef Allen Susser James Beard Award Recipient

Chef Marc Gruverman Executive Chef Partner

Headlining FLAVORS of Ft Lauderdale & The SOBE Wine & Food Festival

Capital Grille Fort Lauderdale

Chef Angelo Elia

Chef Ralph Pagano

International Restauranteur Casa D’Angelo, D’Angelos Pizza & D’Angelo Trattoria

Media Personality ALBA Seaside Italian Restaurant

Visit our 15,000 sq. ft. Showroom • Meet Our Team Remodeling kitchens, baths and entire homes Since 1984 /alliedkitchenandbath Licensed and Insured General Contractor, Lic. Number 85CGC1225CX

616 West Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311 954.564.1611


Frank & Marivel Andreu with Arturo Pedroso

Smoke On The Water The Jason Taylor Foundation hosted “Smoke on the Water,” a fundrasing event presented by Steve Douglas & Associates in June. Hundreds of local residents and friends gathered to support the Jason Taylor Foundation’s initiatives. Broward County children were the beneficiary of this generous outreach. For more information go to www.

Steve Strumpf & Steve Sadaka with Katina & Jason Taylor

David Shafer & Senator Nan Rich

Cameron Theil & Moni Szabolcs



Omar & Magali Soto

Carlos Escalona, Mike Cornell & Ken Binger

Jackie Pires & Taylor Hoynacki




James Bonilla, Beth Tache, Jim Norton and Gina Ludovico

Tracy Schuldiner, John Benz and Jen Klaassens

Beth Bryant, Erica Horowitz and Jill Horowitz

Bob Birdsong and George Taylor

Kevin Blair and Gary Press

211 Broward

Richard Rhoads, Sheila Smith and Gary Herman

2-1-1 Broward hosted a fabulous Club 2-1-1 Connecting Event for seventy-five local business people and members of the community at Grille 401 on Las Olas Boulevard on Thursday, July 11th. The engaging cocktail party was sponsored by Integrated Technology Corporate Solutions, Inc. (ITCS), Best Care and The Wasie Foundation. During the event, guests enjoyed an evening of networking and cocktails and a delicious array of hors d’oeuvres courtesy of Grille 401.

Chris Perez-Gurri, Tracey Dikes, Kevin Blair, Susan, Alan Geffin and Jeanine Perez-Gurri



Andy Wiggins and Sheila Smith

Jacque Scherfer and Neil Scherfer

Kip Hunter-Epstein and Scot Hunter




PACE Center for Girls Broward honored Senator Debby Sanderson, a founder of PACE Broward, and raised $70,000 at the 11th Annual “A Taste of Italy” hosted by Chef Angelo and Denise Elia at Casa D’Angelo Ristorante in Fort Lauderdale. Jen Klaassens, Lynne Wines, Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson Saturday Night Fever gripped more than 300 Broward community and business leaders in June, when they dressed in leisure suits and platform shoes and raised more than $280,000 at the “Disco Ball.” Proceeds went to the Broward Partnership for the Homeless. Dr. Steven Marcus, CEO, Health Foundation of South Florida, which was honored with the Foundation Trusteeship Award.

More than 150 business leaders and supporters of Rebuilding Together Broward County, Inc. (Rebuilding Together Broward) boarded the Musette Mega Yacht in Fort Lauderdale on June 28 and embarked on a evening of dining and dancing to celebrate their 10th Anniversary as a Rebuilding Together affiliate. Rebuilding Together Broward Board Members-Joey Epstein, Sandra Einhorn and Allan Weiss

The Humane Society of Broward County held its annual Diamond Collar Society event at the home of Marti and Wayne Huizenga – and netted $91,000 for the society. Susan & Phil Smith, Jane Czubay, Brian & Ingrid Poulin

ALS-TDI presented Weston Hills 4 ALS the Morgan Stanley ALS Club Challenge Trophy. This is the fifth year in a row they have won and they are gearing up for 6, December 7. l-r: Irwin Gross of Family Wealth Partners, Chuck Goldman of MDW Insurance, Lou Kobbs of ALS-TDI, Jeff Willis of Annette Willis Insurance, and Herb Schwartz.






The Battle of the brands What the heck’s going on in the world of brands? If you haven’t been paying attention lately, lots of great companies are suffering significant headaches dealing with the body blows their brand images are taking almost every single week. Look at Nike, the sportswear company that built its dominant brand on the broad backs of superstar athletes and their BRUCE TURKEL sponsorships. From Michael Jordan to Florence Griffith-Joyner to Tiger Woods, Nike has created their brand (and the brands of their spokespeople athletes) through enormous investments and laser-focused marketing. But suddenly, it seems like Nike’s most visible athletes are self-destructing both on the field and off. Lance Armstrong spent years denying his regular use of the performance-enhancing substances that helped him dominate competitive cycling. Armstrong was so adamant in his protests that Nike even filmed a commercial showing Armstrong on his bicycle asking, “What am I on? I’m on my bike, six hours a day, busting my ass. What are you on?” Of course, now we know that Armstrong was on a lot more than his butt. And Nike had to cut ties with him after they saw his growing unpopularity damage their own brand. While Armstrong was enjoying the Tour de France, Tiger Woods was busy enjoying his Tour de Pants. But after Elen Nordegren, Woods’ model wife, attacked Tiger’s car with one of his signature golf clubs, Nike again saw their brand start to take some of the lumps intended for their spokesman. Even more recently, Oscar Pistorious - the ParaOlympian known as the Blade Runner - was arrested in South Africa for fatally shooting his model girlfriend. Unfortunately for Nike, not only was Pistorious one of their



spokes-athletes, but they had run an ad featuring the Blade Runner with the headline, “I am the bullet in the chamber.” Of course the ad was yanked from Pistorious’ website lickety-split, but the damage had already been done. Once again, the sportswear giant has to decide how long to continue to publicly support their spokesperson even before they know if he has a leg to stand on. So why is all this happening? I think it’s the recent proliferation and expansion of the brands themselves that has caused the problem. As I’ve written many times before, as products become more and more genericized, the brand itself has emerged as the way companies differentiate themselves. And as products and services spend more time in a digital environment where customers can see but can’t touch, the brand personality becomes the way consumers differentiate, decode, and decide what they’re going to buy. So it stands to reason that the squeaky wheel would get the grease. After all, if good things make a brand stronger, then bad things will also do great harm. But the major reason why big brands are taking it in the shorts runs even deeper. You see, when branded companies are most successful, their customers use the brands themselves to tell the world who they are. The cars we drive, the athletic shoes we wear, and the vacations we enjoy all become badges that consumers use to create their own personas. We used to say, “You are what you eat.” Today we say, “You are what you consume.” The result of this is that we are so personally invested in the brands we use, we’re hypersensitive to any chinks in our image armor. And so when we notice that the brands we’ve built our own self-images around have the same human frailties that we do, we feel betrayed. Bruce Turkel is a branding expert who’s been featured on CNN, NPR and The New York Times. Reach him at



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