CEOs Try to Lasso Healthcare Costs, But More Needs to be Done

CEOs were asked: Has the cost of healthcare gone up for your company? Do you think enough is being done to bend the healthcare cost curve? What more needs to be done? 

CEOs Agree that Tax Breaks are Needed to Lure Businesses to Florida

CEOs were asked: Should the State of Florida and local governments be offering tax breaks and incentives to lure businesses?

Miami was an Amazon HQ2 finalist, but what comes next?

 

South Florida CEOs were asked: How should Miami and South Florida capitalize on the momentum earned from being named an Amazon HQ2 finalist? 

Technology Led to Significant Changes in 2018 for Most CEOs

CEOs were asked: What was the most significant change to the way you did business in 2018?

What are CEOs Doing to Attract and Retain Workers?

CEOs were asked: Qualified talent is getting harder to come by. What perks, besides higher pay, have you begun offering to attract and retain employees? 

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We offer a competitive portfolio of benefits, including tuition remission, healthcare benefits, contributions to retirement plans, and personal enrichment opportunities, along with a positive work environment.

Dr. Edward Abraham, executive vice president for Health Affairs of the University of Miami and CEO of UHealth – the UM Health System

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Trends in our organization address ownership. Every project has a number of co-owners invested contractually, which ensures fairness, top talent plus high-touch attention to details/clients. Benefits are another area of attraction. We are all the owners and act as such, too. There is a difference. Everyone is a partner.

Jim AngletonCEO for Aegis FinServ Corp.

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Cleveland Clinic is nearly a $10 billion organization with approximately 60,000 caregivers. The Florida region represents almost $2 billion in annual revenue with close to 10,000 caregivers. Caregivers are attracted to Cleveland Clinic not only for the compensation but culture and the experience they gain due to the acuity of the patients receiving our care. We have programs in place that focus on the caregiver experience to ensure we are connected with their needs.

Wael BarsoumM.D., CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic Florida

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We have competitive insurance programs, a 401k matching program, wellness programs, an on-site gym at our headquarters and training programs. Above all, we foster a family-friendly environment where employees feel part of a team.

Agostinho Alfonso Macedo, president and CEO of Ocean Bank

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Many urban-based nonprofits do not have a robust employee benefits package. We are aiming to increase those offerings. In our business high employee retention is a strong sign of maturity and growth. We are looking for innovative partnerships that will bolster our product offerings. So presently myself and my executive directors are working hard to build up our bevy of employee benefits and options through many innovative ways.

Bill Diggspresident, The Mourning Family Foundation

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Our People Attraction and Experience Teams are manically focused on retention through the happiness and well-being of our new and veteran employees. We are proud to be honored three years in a row as a SFBJ’s Best Places to Work award recipient. In 2018, we made record-breaking investments in people and technology solutions that will pay dividends in 2019. These investments have resulted in a scalable platform that combines art and science to attract, accurately identify, on-board and support new and existing T-ROC employees. Like in years past, we will continue to promote from within and invest heavily in the development and training of all T-ROC employees. As for perks, we will incorporate impromptu additional paid days off, regularly run contests where winners are rewarded with cruises and other excursions, match donations to our employees’ charities of choice, and maintain our tradition of holding a blowout holiday party.

Brett Beveridge, CEO and founder of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC)

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Working at Girl Scouts provides a unique opportunity to be part of an organization dedicated exclusively to serving girls in a girl-led, girl-centered environment. Being part of a mission-driven organization is one of the greatest recruitment and retention tools we have to offer. The staff at Girl Scouts of Tropical Florida is committed to ensuring all girls have an opportunity to develop skills that will offer a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. Beyond our impactful mission, we offer flexible schedules, generous PTO, and “bonus” days off.

Chelsea WilkersonCEO of Girl Scouts Tropical Florida

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We definitely agree and have added a few perks like extra bonus pay; additional days off with pay; company parties; working from home (on occasion); company paid team activities, such as 5K runs; and daily company conference calls to announce birthdays and kudos to employees who are “caught doing good.”

Dorcas L. WilcoxCEO of Miami Bridge Youth & Family Services

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Publicly funded institutions are naturally challenged by the fact that we cannot offer the same salaries as private companies. To attract and retain qualified talent like the staff and faculty we currently boast, the college invests heavily in its employees, such as through our Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning, which offers year-round development courses for all faculty and staff. We support employee development through tuition reimbursement and tuition assistance programs. Broward College also offers excellent fringe benefits to our full-time employees, including exceptional personal health insurance, a range of retirement options, paid time off, and many employee engagement activities throughout the year. Perhaps most saliently, Broward College employees serve together, living a life of service for a greater good beyond themselves, and we strive to be the very best at what we do despite the challenges. This is the primary reason many are attracted to and remain at Broward College.

Gregory Adam Hailepresident of Broward College

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In today’s world of record low unemployment rates and tight talent pools, it has become critical that companies implement competitive perks into their HR benefits in order to hire and retain quality, longstanding employees. We all know the typical pre-existing health and wellness related options that companies offer today (health screenings, meditation, gym memberships, fitness programs and nutrition recommendations); thus came the inspiration for my company CosmeticPerks in order to offer companies a fresh new benefits option…

It’s been proven that when one feels confident, they perform better in the workplace, and this new platform offers discounted rates on non-surgical cosmetic treatments with Board Certified Doctors and providers. Members can save up to 20 percent, so it’s a great way for companies to encourage their employees to be their best, most confident version of themselves, while saving money.

Jacqueline Dascal Chariffchairman, Continental National Bank and CEO of CosmeticPerks.com

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Recruiting and retaining the best talent has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of CNB’s success. Offering excellent benefits and perks is one key to accomplishing that. We offer quite a variety, including flexible work policies, business-casual dress codes, enhanced leadership development, recognition and reward programs, best-in-class healthcare, tuition reimbursement, and, of course, the opportunity to be a part of a dynamic organization. We also offer unique benefits to assist employees through significant moments in their lives, including purchasing a new home and welcoming a new child. We’re rolling out new chill zones in our offices, where team members can have fun and recharge at work, as well as designing our office spaces to make them more collaborative and much less “corporate.”

Jorge Gonzalezpresident and CEO, City National Bank

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The major tools we use to retain top talent are providing interesting and challenging work, more responsibilities and the freedom to make an impact on the business. We find that the most creative and talented people want to make an impact and feel valued.

Louis Hernandez Jr., CEO, of Black Dragon Capital

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The greatest perk we offer is our firm culture. We work hard every day to focus on culture first. At its core, our firm culture embraces collaboration and eschews internal competition to drive continuous improvement in all we do. We do not get it right every time on every issue, but we try hard, and when we miss, we try to learn from our mistakes and get it right the next time. We offer tuition reimbursement plans for our non-attorney team members, solid health and dental benefits, a 401k plan, a profit-sharing plan, and starting in 2019, an employee leave sharing-donation program that allows our team members to support their colleagues in times of need. For our attorney team members, we also offer great business development support and training and technology training that we think is extraordinary for law firms in our markets. And we focus on fun stuff too: We have monthly massage Fridays, weekly meditation sessions, monthly happy hours, firm service projects and holiday decorating contests that are quite spirited!

Paul Singermanco-chair of Berger Singerman

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We offer a great work environment along with well-paying jobs and great benefits. Hence, finding quality talent has never been an issue. In our NY office, we find that many of the younger hires prefer added vacation time more than money and so I guess employee preferences range from region to region.

James “Jimmy” Tateco-owner and president of TKA-Evolution Apparel and of Tate Capital, and co-founder of Tate Development Corp.

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Working in South Florida is a unique opportunity because of the beautiful weather and global events that are hosted yearly. Miami will host the 2020 Super Bowl, 2021 Football Playoff National Championship, and 2026 World Cup.

Rashad D. Thomasvice president of business connect and community outreach for the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee

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Qualified talent is exceptionally difficult to find; in addition to higher pay, we provide health insurance, parking allowance, reimbursements for educational expenses and gas reimbursement.

Manny Angelo Varas president and CEO of MV Construction Group

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The Miami Herald: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article226318605.html

Most CEOs Say Salaries Will Increase in 2019

 

We increased pay in 2018 to reflect a rise in the consumer price index and also to ensure that our compensation for health care providers is competitive with that offered in South Florida and nationally. We expect to continue to increase pay in 2019 in key areas for the same reasons. Our goal is to attract the most highly qualified health care providers including nurses and others, and retain the exceptional workforce we require for our hospitals and clinics.

Dr. Edward Abraham, executive vice president for Health Affairs of the University of Miami and CEO of UHealth – the UM Health System

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We believe in proper pay scales for top-performing talent. Because we have several sides to our company, we forecast higher contract rate per hour, but it’s the benefits that makes the difference. The constant rise, tweaking of services and sudden changes in healthcare, necessitates equal understanding when pay scales do not increase with expectations. Once the conversation turns to healthcare benefits, we are all on the same page.

Jim AngletonCEO for Aegis FinServ Corp.

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Cleveland Clinic Florida attracts the very best caregivers by remaining competitive in the market with our total rewards package. We frequently review our compensation and are committed to remaining competitive in all of the communities we serve. We have historically given cost-of-living increases as well as increased compensation based on performance.

Wael BarsoumM.D., CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic Florida

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Ocean Bank provides yearly merit increases to team members based on their performance, and where applicable, on meeting target goals. In 2019, we will continue the merit program.

Agostinho Alfonso Macedo, president and CEO of Ocean Bank

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We had minimal cost of living adjustments in 2018. We do not anticipate any in 2019. We are utilizing this year to build a new 50,000-plus square foot facility. All of our efforts are focused on that. We believe that with this new building, we will usher in a time of prosperity for our foundation and the nonprofits that are under our umbrella. We also think that this expansion will create more growth opportunities for our existing employee base.

Bill Diggspresident, The Mourning Family Foundation

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For T-ROC, 2018 was another year of investment designed to prepare us to be aggressive in 2019 and beyond. Therefore, a significant portion of that investment was to increase wages. Our three core tenants are to: 1) Stay flat and close to the organization, 2) invest in technology, and most importantly, 3) invest in people. Therefore, T-ROC did increase wages and promoted more than 500 members of our team into higher level positions in 2018. We also launched a new bonus plan for corporate staff. We are always evaluating the competitive environment to attract excellent talent and will continue to find ways to be the employer of choice for our new and existing T-ROCers in 2019. If that includes adjustments to wages, we will make that investment!

Brett Beveridge, CEO and founder of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC)

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In 2018, we were able to provide small cost of living adjustments to employees and plan to provide similar adjustments in 2019. As an organization with a staff comprised primarily of women, and an organization that serves girls, the recent report from FIU Metropolitan Center regarding disparity in pay for women is concerning. It is my hope that employers will keep in mind the gender pay gap and the consequences of this gap when making salary and pay increase decisions.

Chelsea WilkersonCEO of Girl Scouts Tropical Florida

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Yes, we increased pay by an average of three percent in 2018 and plan to increase pay in 2019. Three years ago, when I took the helm as CEO, I explained to my Board of Directors that we had to pay more if we wanted to attract the best in the business to help us become a preeminent agency in the area of child welfare. They understood and agreed to help me increase salaries. As the data shows that our efforts are working, it is easier to convince them to allow me to stay on this track for another two years, even if the economy does not look favorable.

Dorcas L. WilcoxCEO of Miami Bridge Youth & Family Services

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Florida College System institutions have two primary sources of revenue: state funding and tuition. The last few years have included nominal increases, and sometime declines, in state funding for the Florida College System. Tuition for Florida College System institutions is capped by law at $82.78 per credit (the cap has been in place for at least eight years). Accordingly, being in a situation where we continue to fall short on the resources necessary to fully serve our students, there was only room for very modest pay increases in 2018, just as in years past. Even still, we have instituted pay for performance plans to drive funding for student support and for modest pay increases based on student success, enrollment, retention, and on operational efficiencies that increase margins.

Gregory Adam Hailepresident of Broward College

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Yes and yes. The company performed well, and our people deserve to be rewarded for their contribution to that performance.

Jorge Gonzalezpresident and CEO, City National Bank

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The most talented employees aren’t typically motivated by the pay alone, but rather by knowing they are being treated fairly economically and appreciated for their value so they can focus on the joy of what they do. Wages are increasing, and we’ll have to keep pace.

Louis Hernandez Jr., CEO, of Black Dragon Capital

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Paul Singermanco-chair of Berger Singerman

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Other than during the late 1980s savings and loan debacle, and then again during the Great Recession in 2008/09, we have increased our employees’ compensation and bonus packages every year since incorporating in 1986. In fact, the past few years, we’ve given two annual bonuses to our employees, which include doubled salary the week of Thanksgiving as well as a very generous bonus at the end of the year.

James “Jimmy” Tateco-owner and president of TKA-Evolution Apparel and of Tate Capital, and co-founder of Tate Development Corp.

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I’m not sure what the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee salary structure will be in 2019.

Rashad D. Thomasvice president of business connect and community outreach for the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee

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We have increased pay from 2018 to 2019 as there is currently a labor shortage for qualified professionals in the design and construction industry and we believe it is essential to retain our loyal experienced team to grow within the firm.

Manny Angelo Varas,

president and CEO of MV Construction Group

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The Miami Herald: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article225965655.html

CEOs’ 2019 Economic Forecast Offers Differing Views

CEOs were asked: Consumer confidence is high, but there has been growing talk about economic instability. Compared with 2018, do you think 2019 will be stronger, weaker, or about the same? What leads you to this view?

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The financial markets were unstable in 2018, and already we see more of the same in 2019. We remain attuned to the cost of healthcare, high deductible insurance products with large patient co-pays, and increasing drug costs. All of these impact consumer confidence.

Dr. Edward Abraham, executive vice president for Health Affairs of the University of Miami and CEO of UHealth – the UM Health System

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We predict 2019 sees choppy Wall Street markets, the Fed increasing interest rates at least two more times, and weakness will show with layoffs, earnings reports not meeting expectations. Our company has a very good business intelligence group and our forecasting plus market vigilance leads us to this prediction.

Jim AngletonCEO for Aegis FinServ Corp.

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Many factors impact consumer confidence, so it’s hard to predict how 2019 will play out. Despite market volatility and the political landscape, I think consumer confidence will remain steady as long as people feel secure in their jobs.

Wael BarsoumM.D., CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic Florida

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Based on our loan volume and demand at the end of 2018 and leading into 2019, we are very optimistic about the continuing strong prospects for commercial lending. As we go forward, we will continue to monitor for any signs of a change in business and investor confidence that could lead to weakened demand.

Agostinho Alfonso Macedo, president and CEO of Ocean Bank

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As each month goes by, there are strong signs of uncertainty. I am of the opinion that our economy will continue to slide as long as Trump sends out tweets that are misaligned with those that are tasked to truly articulate economic conditions in the U.S. The major one for me is the lack of faith in our national leadership. With the erosion of that, the markets are beginning to show signs of not knowing if America and its products will continue to be accepted around the world. American companies have strong business locations across the globe, and favorable tariff and fees makes a huge difference to their bottom lines.

Bill Diggspresident, The Mourning Family Foundation

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Although we have not experienced any slowdown in our own business momentum going into 2019, I am fearful and preparing for a tougher year than 2018. The financial markets are volatile and less predictable than ever, the change of control of the House of Representatives and the rising tension between our political parties are at the highest levels, and ramifications of the newly incorporated international tariffs with China and others are only beginning to be seen. That said, if consumer confidence remains high and we remain positive, we can power through all of the uncertainty and have a great 2019.

Brett Beveridge, CEO and founder of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC)

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Uncertainty seems to be the name of the game for 2019. High consumer confidence and low unemployment are positive signs, but when balanced against recent stock market fluctuation and the current government shutdown, it is difficult to predict how 2019 will play out. This is a time when the Girl Scout motto “Be Prepared” is as important as ever — planning for 2019 requires being prepared for the worst, while hoping for the best.

Chelsea WilkersonCEO of Girl Scouts Tropical Florida

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This is a great question, but one that is hard to predict. It’s been a while since I’ve observed such a changing, volatile market. Since the stability of the economy is based on consumer confidence, I’m going to go with a safe answer and say that 2019 will probably mimic 2018 — the worst of times and the best of times, depending on the hour of the day.

Dorcas L. WilcoxCEO of Miami Bridge Youth & Family Services

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This year will probably be slightly weaker because of the continuous discussion that a slowdown is coming. This has a significant impact on investor confidence and slows capital investment. That said, a moderate slowdown is overdue and certainly healthy in the long run.

Jorge Gonzalezpresident and CEO, City National Bank

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For the digital transformation technologies that we invest in, including Fintech, e-commerce and digital media, we have a very strong outlook overall as most metrics are surging. We believe we are in the middle of the next long bull run in technology-related areas and that the technology economy will remain robust. Wage inflation, geopolitical risks and signs of housing-market challenges concern us.

Louis Hernandez Jr., CEO, of Black Dragon Capital

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I believe that as long as people are employed, have steady income and have healthcare provided for, they are generally feeling good about themselves and their future. It is my opinion that 2019 will be similar to 2018 with continued ebbs and flows within the various economic markets. Lastly, barring any unforeseen external forces, I think that Washington, D.C., for the most part, will be quiet because the House needs the Senate and vice versa to get things done. If they are wise, they’ll learn to get along, which will help build consumer confidence. If they don’t, they won’t be able to make material changes that negatively impact our economy, one way or the other, which should keep matters in check. Our governmental functioning with proper checks and balances, who would ever imagine?

James “Jimmy” Tateco-owner and president of TKA-Evolution Apparel and of Tate Capital, and co-founder of Tate Development Corp.

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There has been growing talk of economic instability despite high consumer confidence. Compared to 2018, I believe that 2019 will be a stronger economic year. Despite the talks of what could happen, it is my belief that this new-found consumer confidence is a result of a smarter and more conscience consumer emerging. Through the utilization of investment tools like crowd-funding to invest in real estate, start-ups, and technology, consumers have shown more interest in creating wealth and long-term security for their families.

Rashad D. Thomasvice president of business connect and community outreach for the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee

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I feel strongly that 2019 shall be stronger than 2018 as Miami continues to grow as a global city.

Manny Angelo Varaspresident and CEO of MV Construction Group

The Miami Herald: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article225068240.html

Most CEOs Say Their Companies are Trying Hard to Attract ‘Gen Z’

Healthcare is a necessity for all generations, but accessing it is different for Gen Z, which highly values online access in real time. At UHealth, we are developing more “virtual” products for healthcare, including the ability to make clinic appointments, access medical information, and communicate with healthcare providers. We are also developing more products that permit delivery of healthcare services directly to individuals, rather than expecting them to come into our physical facilities to access care.

Dr. Edward Abraham, executive vice president for Health Affairs of the University of Miami and CEO of UHealth – the UM Health System

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Gen Z makes up 35 percent of AegisFS services and product sales. We are technology, banking and business focused with special emphasis on online services. Gen Z does not want to go to a bank branch but uses our ATM-kiosks while sitting in the car or our mobile App to meet their needs. They are all about “now services” and those who do not meet their needs in the first attempt will lose them forever. Our customer services internal rating is 93 percent. Constant survey for customer satisfaction is a must and they do respond.

Jim AngletonCEO for Aegis FinServ Corp.

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Gen Z, like millennials, has a comfort level with technology that surpasses prior generations. They want access to information and on-demand services. At Cleveland Clinic Florida, we’ve worked hard to make accessing our care convenient through same-day appointments, express care options, and virtual appointments. Our MyChart patient portal, which allows patients to access certain test results, request prescription refills, and communicate with their physicians online, was recently enhanced to allow patients to instantly schedule primary care appointments, not just submit requests, and take advantage of earlier appointments with specialists through an online, automated wait list system. In addition, we now use self-registration kiosks to check-in for appointments. All these service features have the dual benefit of improved patient satisfaction and employee productivity.

Wael BarsoumM.D., CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic Florida

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It’s all about digital. You have to make banking accessible and convenient, faster and more responsive. If Gen Z can’t do it digitally, you won’t have a customer.

Agostinho Alfonso Macedo, president and CEO of Ocean Bank

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The long-term vision of MFF is to continue to provide support for young adults to and through the age of 25. We are building services to maintain relationships with this group of Gen Z’ers. We have hired counselors that specifically work on this segment of the population. It is a long-term strategy for us. We also hire recent college grads that have come out of our programs. They are well-suited to better relate to the younger children in our program(s).

Bill Diggspresident, The Mourning Family Foundation

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We are hyper-focused on attracting and retaining millennials, and our Gen Z team members as our workforce are primarily comprised of these two groups. We ask questions and listen closely to how Generation Z thinks as well as what motivates them and what is important to them. We accomplish this through our companywide “reverse mentoring” approach. We take advice from our current Generation Z and Millennial T-ROCers on how to be relevant to them. How to address their needs. We have made real changes in our culture over the past three years that has allowed us to be attractive to the growing Generation Z population. We feel they are willing to work hard and earn their way. They seem less entitled than millennials although, like millennials, they too need a purpose in their work and flexibility in schedules when appropriate. Unfortunately, there is no way to “check the box” on attracting and maintaining talent. It is a competitive, never-ending, and ever-changing challenge and table stakes to being in business.

Brett Beveridge, CEO and founder of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC)

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Girl Scouts love Gen Z! The girls of Gen Z are true G.I.R.L.s – Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, and Leaders. Every day, I have the incredibly good fortune of working with these inspiring young people. They are a mobilized generation of digital natives who understand collective impact, the power of collaboration, and expect acceptance and inclusion. All day, every day, Girl Scouts puts the girls of Gen-Z at the center of all we do. It is exciting and energizing to be part of building these girls of courage, confidence, and character who are already making the world a better place.

Chelsea WilkersonCEO of Girl Scouts Tropical Florida

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Gen Z is an exciting generation. While their sense of entitlement knows no bounds, they appear to be more fun-loving, and yet serious about today’s issues. These are the adults that best fit my industry, as they lead by example. They are young enough to relate to the youth we serve (ages 6-17), and yet able to show success by being self-directed (attending college, holding a job, passionate about what’s going on around them). Finally, this generation is more diverse and tolerant, so their emphasis is on providing services to everyone, regardless of gender, race, color, religion, or economic status.

Dorcas L. WilcoxCEO of Miami Bridge Youth & Family Services

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Broward College aims to make higher education accessible and affordable to everyone. Our students include Baby Boomers, as well as Generations X, Y, and Z. At our most recent graduation, our oldest graduate was 67 and the youngest was 17. Roughly half of our 63,000 students are under the age of 24. Younger generations have grown up in the era of technology and social media, and we must use a mix of approaches that resonate with incoming students who are looking for that innovative edge. From experience in this field, we know there is a need for a holistic approach. The higher education environment requires finding the right combination of measures. Student success, in part, depends on our institution’s ability to communicate with all of our students. Some students prefer social media over email, and preferred platforms vary, some prefer texting, while others prefer a face-to-face chat. To make decisions, younger students tend to rely more heavily on user generated content from strangers than personal networks. We leverage all of these avenues of communication and more. In addition, most of our programs are now structured to allow students the options to learn in the classroom, strictly online, or a combination of both. Our campuses also provide locations for students to engage with each other through gaming spaces and tournaments, art, theater, and co-curricular activities.

Gregory Adam Hailepresident of Broward College

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The greatest asset a company can have to attract a strong and talented workforce, or a customer of any age, is to do work that is purposeful.

Jessica Goldman SrebnickCEO, of Goldman Properties and Goldman Global Arts

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The most important aspect for us to engage younger demographics is to be able to gauge their use patterns with immersive and engaging interactions and tie their preferences to the services being offered.

Louis Hernandez Jr., CEO, of Black Dragon Capital

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As a business law firm, the Gen Z population is not a large consumer of our services. But, members of Gen Z are prospective new attorney and non-attorney team members for our firm, and we wish to welcome them and their energy, perspective and talent.

Paul Singermanco-chair of Berger Singerman

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I would love to forget about the millennials, but their parents may sue us or yell at us because they are still hovering over their kids’ lives. In order to attract the Gen Z demographic, you first need to understand them. In my opinion, they will prove to be far more successful than their millennial counterparts, mainly because they have a shorter attention span but a higher desire to achieve success. They are strong multitaskers. They are less tolerant, especially with failure. They prefer to work independently instead of in collaborative group settings. They prefer face-to-face dialogue. They are more optimistic about their futures. They are more technologically savvy, and they care more about conveniences and products then brands, etc. Hence, if these types of individuals are desirable for your business, then simply fill in the oversized open spaces and bring back the private works stations, offer the latest in technology, help create a work environment conducive to their strengths and make sure you offer them more vacation days to find balance.

James “Jimmy” Tateco-owner and president of TKA-Evolution Apparel and of Tate Capital, and co-founder of Tate Development Corp.

The Miami Herald: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article224735700.html

Brett and Maria Beveridge: Work Hard and Play Harder!

Brett Beveridge is a serial entrepreneur who thrives on building businesses from the ground up and prides himself on being at the forefront of technology. Since founding the Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC), the Founder/CEO has helped propel the parent company of six brands to become a leader in the wireless, electronics, software and retail industries, assisting many big-box retailers and Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Sprint, AT&T, Walmart, Comcast and many more. Beveridge believes in combining people and technology to help companies reduce costs and increase sales, and always exceeding customer’s expectations.

Beveridge learned the value of hard work from a young age, performing various jobs from waiting tables to even working in a papaya field. At just 23 years old, the University of Miami Graduate started selling cell phones out of a van with a college friend, and impressively turned that bootstrap company into Let’s Talk Cellular & Wireless, which became the largest independent mobile wireless retailer in the country at the time with close to 300 stores nationwide. He would eventually take that company public and sell it to Nextel.

Beveridge would continue to harness his entrepreneurial spirit, raising millions from national venture capital firms like Goldman Sachs, to co-found LetsTalk.com, which became one of the largest online “e-tailers” of wireless products and services. In 2012, LetsTalk. com was acquired by Brightstar Corporation, the largest wireless handset distributor in the world. Over the last 20 years, Beveridge has successfully founded more than 20 companies and used his experience to help national wireless and technology companies with reorganization, profit turnarounds, mergers and acquisitions, and IPOs.

As a top leader in his field, Beveridge is the Chair of the Consumer Technology Association’s, Wireless Board, which meets throughout the year to discuss critical issues facing the industry and devise solutions. He is the past chair of The Young Presidents Organization (YPO) of Miami, where involvement allows him to foster long-term personal and business relationships and offer ideas and strategies to other business leaders in various fields.

Helping others succeed translates from Beveridge’s professional life to his personal life. For more the last 15 years, he’s been heavily involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters Miami, helping to match at-risk kids with dedicated mentors. He is a past chairman and is currently on the foundation board, where he devotes his time to raising money and awareness of the charity. Beveridge also proudly serves on the Orange Bowl Committee with a focus on helping underprivileged youths and rebuilding distressed communities. The University of Miami alum is on the university’s President’s Council and Citizens Board and has mentored college students as a volunteer in the past. His personal goal is to help shape young lives and offer them a better future.

In his spare time, you can find Beveridge golfing or on the water with his wife and three daughters, indulging in boating, fishing or snorkeling. The longtime Coral Gables resident enjoys walking to breakfast on the weekends and sampling new restaurants and experiences around South Florida.

Brett and his wife met while he was bartending at Whistler’s Café in 1985 at The Cutler Ridge Mall. She arrived with an old high school friend of his and he proceeded to make them the best strawberry daiquiris in Miami all night. She was teaching aerobics at Scandinavian Health Spa in South Miami and they quickly discovered that they were both attending The University of Miami. Shortly thereafter Brett quit the bar scene and got a job at Scandinavian health club selling memberships. When Maria refused to date “guys” that she worked with Brett transferred from that branch to one close by and she finally relented and agreed to a date. Their 5-year relationship led to a wedding in 1990. Twenty-eight years later they are still happily married.

The couple enjoys golf, boating, travel, adventures sports like skydiving, water activities. Their volunteer work includes: Orange Bowl Committee, Big Brother Big Sisters, Past Chair of the agency board and founder of the Foundation Board. YPO, Past Chair of the Miami Chapter, Boy Scouts, Best Buy Foundation, University of Miami Citizens Board, University of Miami President’s Council, University of Miami past Volunteer Mentor, Nova University Ambassador Board and various other local and national charities, Industry Board: Consumer Technology Association, Current Chair of the Wireless Division Board. Long time Social and Golf member of Riviera Country Club.

All three daughters Ashley (25), Lauren (23), and Sofia (19) grew up as dancers from the time they were 4 at Dance Empire in South Miami. All three went to Gulliver Academy Elementary and Gulliver Prep High School. Ashley graduated college with a Psychology Major and Human Development Minor from Florida State University and then a Masters in Mental Health Counseling at The University of Miami. She is currently working at The Miami Counseling and Rescue Center in Coral Gables. Ashley is volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a “Big Sister” to Aniyha. Lauren not only danced but was also involved in the drama department as an actor while attending Gulliver and starred in several high school plays before auditioning and being accepted to the University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts. She took many acting classes and graduated with a Communications Degree from the USC Annenberg School of Communication. She is currently pursuing her acting dream in LA and has a small social media business that keeps her busy when she is not auditioning. Sofia was co-captain of the dance team at Gulliver Prep and graduated from Gulliver with an International Baccalaureate Degree and is currently a freshman at University of Texas in Austin at the prestigious Malcolm School of Business.

And finally, their dog, Cole Beveridge, 2 years old, a Beautiful black and white pure bread boxer. He is super hyper and full of energy. Loves his daily trips to the dog park in Hammock Lakes. He has tons of dog friends there that he loves to play with.

And when it comes to playing harder, “We take an exotic and adventurous trip to someplace we have never been each summer. It all started with a European Mediterranean Cruise to Spain, Turkey, France, Italy and Greece several years ago. This year was an Alaska Cruise filled with amazing excursions. We saw and walked on Glaciers, took a half day ATV Tour, went whale watching, hiking, saw the Salmon running, and much more. We ended the trip in Victoria Canada with a tour of Butchart Gardens. On the bucket list is an African Safari, and an action-packed trip to Chile. Who knows what is after that.”

Most CEOs say PortMiami Should Expand More, Without Hurting the Fragile Eco-System

CEOs were asked: PortMiami was dredged three years ago at a cost of $205 million to accommodate mega ships. Now PortMiami, which had a record year in terms of cargo and passengers, wants to enlarge the port even more. Where do you stand?

We support this request and future initiative. It is a must-do. However, a delicate balance between the environment, ship access, and dual port use needs to be in harmony with the limited ingress and egress. Bigger port equals more business.

Jim AngletonCEO for Aegis FinServ Corp.

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As a gateway to Central and South America and the Caribbean, South Florida relies heavily on its ports. These economic resources should be maintained to meet the growing demand but in an ecologically sound manner that does not threaten our environmental treasures, which in themselves support local industries and enrich our quality of life.

Wael BarsoumM.D., CEO and president of Cleveland Clinic Florida

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I am a supporter of a further expansion of PortMiami. When the original project was developed and approved, cargo and cruise ships where much smaller. Now that there has been significant consolidation in the shipping industry, much larger vessels are being utilized because they are more economical. This will not change in the future, so for the port to be competitive and attractive, it must be able to accommodate larger ships and more throughput. This project will generate billions of dollars over the years for our community and add jobs for South Florida residents. It will also promote more opportunities for new entrants to the cruise industry, like the recent Richard Branson/Virgin Voyages announcement.

Brett Beveridge, CEO and founder of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC)

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I am fine with this expansion and it is a main source of business and commerce in South Florida. I just know that small and minority businesses need to be given more opportunities to grow and be included in this next wave of growth. Presently, the Port’s record (the county’s for that matter) is abysmal on small business participation. The county’s own disparity study has not been fully activated to include a more stringent policy that would increase minority participation.

Bill Diggspresident, The Mourning Family Foundation

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As a general matter, I am disposed in favor of spending money to improve infrastructure and give Miami a competitive advantage over other cities. As to this specific project, however, I would like to know the financial return we are getting on the $205 million that was already spent, and I would need to better understand the cost of the additional enlargement and anticipated benefits in terms of cargo and passengers.

Jessica Goldman SrebnickCEO of Goldman Properties and Goldman Global Arts

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Our seaport is the second largest economic engine in Miami-Dade County and plays a critical part in our continued economic development. Trade and the cruise industry are key parts of our economy and we need to ensure that the port remains competitive and accessible to new and larger ships. Thousands of jobs — direct and indirect — depend on it. At the same time, we need to ensure that any dredging is accomplished with minimal environmental impact.

Jorge Gonzalezpresident and CEO, City National Bank

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Increasing South Florida’s competitive edge in the marketplace is crucial for our economy. Expanding our ports gives local businesses faster and easier access to world markets. Like PortMiami, Port Everglades is embarking on a project to deepen the navigational channels into the port as well as add additional capacity, allowing Post-Panamax ships to visit the port fully loaded. It’s important that we support these infrastructure projects with nearby hotels, easy highway access, and smart rail access to move goods in and out of the ports. These important infrastructure projects help all of South Florida grow and attract new businesses. At the same time, there is a need for balance. Developments should not take place without evaluating the impact on the local community and environment.

Gregory Adam Hailepresident of Broward College

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We should continue to rely on public-private partnerships to drive the economic engines of the state. The port is a key tool for expanding trade and supporting economic growth in South Florida.

Louis Hernandez Jr., CEO of Black Dragon Capital

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Cargo is the biggest economic engine at PortMiami and has a tremendous ripple effect throughout Miami-Dade County in transportation, warehousing and other fields. There is intense competition for this business, not only from ports on both Florida coasts and farther north, but from so-called “inland ports.” PortMiami must continue to expand and evolve or risk losing business to aggressive competitors.

Agostinho Alfonso Macedopresident and CEO of Ocean Bank

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Provided that adequate steps are taken to assess and address the environmental and traffic impacts of the expansion of the Port of Miami, I would support efforts to enlarge the port. I think the port is an important contributor to the economy of South Florida.

Paul Singermanco-chair of Berger Singerman

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Most great international waterfront cities have a large, successful port. Yes, I do feel the port should continue its efforts to strategically expand. The more business it generates, the more money will filter down into our economy. There is a direct correlation to the increased tourism and international shipping businesses at PortMiami, to our strong local economy.

James “Jimmy” Tateco-owner and president of TKA-Evolution Apparel and of Tate Capital, and co-founder of Tate Development Corp.

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While I have an affinity for nature and the environment, we should also respect the concept of supply and demand. Based on our location and successful expansion efforts, Miami is quickly becoming known world-wide for entertainment, business, and travel. At this rate, Miami will eventually reach its capacity for enlarging the port. For now, Miami should entertain the thought of expansion. Currently, I have not seen enough data to persuade me one way or the other.

Dorcas L. WilcoxCEO of Miami Bridge Youth & Family Services

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PortMiami plays a critical role in South Florida’s economy. It is a major hub for commerce and tourism. Our unique eco-system also plays a critical role in our economy. It sustains us, draws tourism, and provides the amazing vistas that makes this a beautiful and inspiring place to live. As our cities grow and thrive, we must find solutions that allow for economic growth balanced with protecting our fragile environment.

Chelsea WilkersonCEO of Girl Scouts Tropical Florida

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