The Business Report is pleased to announce The Top 25 Business Leaders of Miami for 2023. Miami's beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and world-class amenities have established it as a major tourist destination. Its hospitality industry has become a significant driver of the local economy, attracting entrepreneurs and business leaders to seize new opportunities and propel their companies to new heights. The awardees this year truly represent a reflection of the city's dynamism, particularly engaging in all aspects of cultural enrichment and community development while making innovative strides in the finance and healthcare industries.
Among this year’s awardees, Ignacio Garcia-Menocal, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Grove Bay Hospitality is making a meaningful impact on his Miami hometown by granting scholarships to students pursuing careers in the hospitality industry. Sase Gjorsovski, President and CEO of Fisher Island Club, is another visionary leader who led Acqualina to its first Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star award in nearly two decades. Additionally, Rebecca Masisak, CEO of TechSoup Global, earned the Full Circle Fund's prestigious Full Impact Award in Technology for her dedication to technological innovation and social impact.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 Business Leaders of Miami for 2023.
1. Naruhito Higo
Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Noven Pharmaceuticals
Naruhito Higo serves as Noven Pharmaceuticals’ Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. Noven is a specialty pharmaceutical company engaged in the research, development, manufacturing, marketing, and sale of prescription pharmaceutical products. Its mission is to develop and offer pharmaceutical products that meaningfully benefit patients around the world, with a commitment to advancing patient care through transdermal drug delivery.
Before Noven, Higo was with Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical since 1985 and served as the Head of R&D from 2007 to 2017. He has been a member of Hisamitsu’s BoD since 2012 and was appointed as Chairman of Noven’s Board of Directors in 2017. Higo earned his PhD in Pharmaceutical Science from Kumamoto University in Japan. His rich history with Hisamitsu, his role as Chairman of the Board for Noven, and his vision for future strategy position him as an ideal choice to lead Noven.
2. Axel Thiemann
Chief Executive Officer, Sonnedix
Axel Thiemann became Chief Executive Officer of Sonnedix in 2018 after serving as a member of the senior leadership team and a BoD. Sonnedix is a global renewable energy producer with over a decade-long trajectory of sustainable growth. Sonnedix develops, builds, and operates renewable energy projects for the long term, focusing on providing green, affordable electricity to our customers.
Thiemann joined Sonnedix as COO in 2011 where he was responsible for Asset Management, Finance, HR, and E&C, and more recently based in Miami overseeing M&A, integration, and strategy during a four-year period when the company experienced five-fold growth. Before joining Sonnedix, Thiemann was a consultant with McKinsey and Company in Cologne, Germany. He then spent seven years in banking with various roles in senior leadership with Barclays Bank in London. Thiemann graduated as an Electrical Engineer from Hannover University in Germany and holds an MBA from IESE Business School, Spain.
3. Martin Claure
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Aprende Institute
Martin Claure is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aprende Institute. He is a seasoned serial entrepreneur, investor, and an influential board member. At the core of his achievements lies Aprende Institute, a leading Spanish-language skills-based training platform tailored exclusively for the US-Hispanic community. As the Founder and CEO, Claure is dedicated to empowering US Hispanics and bridging the education and training gap while fostering their economic mobility in the US.
Claure is originally from Bolivia and having studied and worked in the US, he understands the nuance challenges that Latinos face when immigrating to the US. Most recently, he has been focused on building a new immigrant course in partnership with NGOs and migrant support groups that will be free of charge to anyone who is seeking out these resources. Claure is an angel investor, Endeavor entrepreneur, and avid hiker of the Bolivian Andes.
4. Marius Silvasan
Chief Executive Officer, eCapital
Marius Silvasan is the Chief Executive Officer of eCapital. The company is committed to accelerating access to capital for companies worldwide. By leveraging a team of over 700 experts and proprietary, industry-leading technology, eCapital is creating the future of business funding. Silvasan is a finance industry visionary who has built eCapital into a fast-growing financial technology firm through an ambitious and impactful M&A strategy. His focus on strategically uniting a select group of companies has resulted in their status as a powerhouse brand in the alternative finance industry. Under his leadership, the successful development of their proprietary technology-driven platform is transforming financing for small to mid-size companies.
Silvasan has a global footprint that extends beyond US borders with offices now operating in the UK and Canada. Before his leadership role with eCapital, he was CEO and Director of ONE Bio and Tele Plus World, accumulating over 20 years of experience in structured finance, syndication, and mergers and acquisitions. As a Forbes Finance Council Member, he is an emerging thought leader on financial services and corporate leadership. He holds a BBA and an MBA from HEC University in Montreal.
5. Rebecca Masisak
Chief Executive Officer, TechSoup Global
Rebecca Masisak is the Chief Executive Officer of TechSoup Global. Masisak joined TechSoup in 2001 to launch and chart the growth of its technology product donation program and social enterprise. After successfully establishing the program in North America, she developed an international expansion model and what would become the TechSoup Global Network. Today, it serves an international NGO audience in 236 countries and territories. Under her leadership, TechSoup has distributed software and hardware product donations that have enabled recipients to save more than $10.7 billion worldwide. As CEO, Masisak has built the company’s capacity to support its entire portfolio of programs. These programs bring products, information, human capacity, and resources to the communities that need them most.
Masisak led TechSoup's successful bid to be selected by a consortium that was guided by the Council on Foundations as the host organization to create NGOsource. NGOsource is an equivalency determination service that helps US grantmakers streamline their international grantmaking process. It has rapidly expanded its reach and is active in 126 countries. Masisak speaks about social enterprise, global networks, and data as a resource for civil society and was awarded the Full Circle Fund's prestigious Full Impact Award in Technology. She is a board member of the Telecentre.org Foundation and volunteers with Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship. Masisak proudly co-leads the Bay Area Social Enterprise Leadership Forum. She obtained her MBA from Columbia University, Columbia Business School.
6. Ken Gorin
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Collection
Ken Gorin is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Collection. Since he first joined in 1995, The CollectionTHE COLLECTION has multiplied its revenue eightfold and counting. The company has risen to become one of the country's most successful luxury automotive dealerships and is recognized for providing the highest level of customer service.
Gorin is unique in that he is one of the country's few Dealer Principals to have a thorough understanding of all dealer operations from top to bottom - new and pre-owned sales, services, parts, accounting, warranty, marketing, and manufacturer relations. Previously, Gorin was the Owner of Gorin Jaguar. He earned a BA from Bryant University.
7. Michael Rangel
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Novo
Michael Rangel is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Novo. Novo is the powerfully simple, secure, and award-winning banking platform built for small businesses and their unique needs offering free business checking and smart, flexible, modern tools to help any small business grow. The company is a service provider for Middlesex Federal Savings.
Rangel began his career in 2007. Before joining Novo, he was a Lead Trade Administrator and Operations at Fairholme Capital Management. Earlier in his career, he worked with Smith Barney in Operations. Rangel graduated from the University of Miami Herbert Business School with an undergraduate degree in finance and entrepreneurship.
8. Howard Makler
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Innovation Refunds
Howard Makler is the visionary Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Innovation Refunds. Innovation Refunds is a SOC2 Type 1 certified financial solutions provider dedicated to supporting eligible small and medium-sized businesses to potentially claim capital to grow their businesses from federal and state governments through the Employee Retention Credit from the CARES Act. Makler has a career spanning over 30 years as an entrepreneur. He has achieved success in various industries including gaming and real estate, and currently, he is focused on the financial technology landscape.
Aside from his entrepreneurial ventures, Makler taught an Executive education course at the University of Shopping Centers for over a decade and has been a guest speaker at Peking and Tsinghua Universities in China. Makler has served on the BoD for The Skyhook Foundation, a charity founded by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Vice Chairperson for Athletes & Entertainers for Kids, and helped create Shaqtacular for Shaq (Shaquille O’Neal). Makler graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
9. Diego Fernández
President and Chief Executive Officer, GeoBlue
Diego Fernández leads GeoBlue as President and Chief Executive Officer in its mission to simplify the international healthcare experience for the globally mobile. Dedicated to simplifying the international healthcare experience for the globally mobile, GeoBlue offers one of the strongest global medical networks available, along with leading digital tools, supported by 24/7, world-class medical assistance. The company offers a range of solutions, covering the needs of the globally mobile for short trips and long-term assignments, including group, individual, and student international health insurance products.
Fernández is a respected leader in the International Private Medical Insurance industry, joining GeoBlue from Bupa Global where he held the position of President and CEO of its Latin America division and served on the GeoBlue board. Before GeoBlue, Fernandez was Cigna International Taiwan’s COO and Cigna Healthcare Spain’s COO/CFO and Director/Assistant Director for Latin America. After starting his career as a financial analyst with Credit Lyonnais, he was the Administrative Director of Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fernández holds an MBA in Strategy and Finance from the University of Rochester, and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
10. Ignacio Garcia-Menocal
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Grove Bay Hospitality Group
As Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of award-winning restaurant group, Grove Bay Hospitality, Ignacio Garcia-Menocal is focused on giving back to his community in his hometown of Miami.
In 2022, the Grove Bay Foundation was launched in partnership with Florida International University Chaplin School of Tourism & Hospitality Management to award scholarships to students studying in the hospitality industry. It has committed to providing $280,000 in scholarship funds over the next five years with ten recipients of the scholarship funds to date.
11. Sase Gjorsovski
President and Chief Executive Officer, Fisher Island Club
Sase Gjorsovski is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Fisher Island Club, a 216-acre private island in Miami Beach accessible only by ferry, representing ultimate privacy and exclusivity for an international elite. Gjorsovski is also renowned for leading multimillion-dollar expansions and capital projects, most recently the comprehensive 90-million-dollar renovation of The Ritz-Carlton South Beach.
Gjorsovski takes great pride in having led teams to exceptional levels of success across global hospitality capitals—New York City, London, San Francisco, and Miami—for distinguished hotel brands, including the Ritz-Carlton, Fontainebleau Development, Turnberry Ocean Club, Morgan's Hotel Group/lan Schrager Hotels, and Acqualina Resort & Residences. Indeed, it was under his tenure as GM that Miami Beach’s Acqualina scored the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star award—the first such top honor earned by any property in Miami in nearly two decades.
12. Anna Lindow
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Brave Health
Anna Lindow is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Brave Health. The company is an entirely virtual clinic that specializes in behavioral health, providing telehealth-enabled counseling, therapy, psychiatry, and medication management, including medication-assisted treatment.
Before Brave Health, Lindow was an Operations Executive at General Assembly, a global organization that helps adults gain new technology skills. There, she led a team that quintupled the business in three years and has since grown it to 30 locations serving over 70,000 students. Lindow has a BA from Columbia University, a graduate certificate in Addiction Recovery from the University of Florida, and an MS in Psychology from Walden University.
13. Andre Corbert
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, STT Logistics Group
Andre Corbert is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of STT Logistics Group, one of the fastest-growing logistics companies in the US. The company is committed to providing great customer service and expertise to plan logistics according to customer needs. They have increased the size of the company to 125 employees across five countries, and serviced 1,300 different customers with over 4,000 loads delivered, so far this year. STT has also launched a franchise model this year, with 3 successful franchises already operating. They are looking to get seven new franchises by the end of 2024.
Corbert is an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the logistics and supply chain industry. He is a strong business development professional skilled in negotiation, management, leadership, and sales management. Previously, Corbert was a Manager at Pelo Pelo. Earlier in his career, he worked with Publicidad Compartida as a Founder. Corbert is a Guatemalan businessman of British descent, who graduated from Universidad Francisco Marroquín.
14. Juan Gaitan
Chief Executive Officer and President, TalentoHCM
Juan Gaitan is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Talento Human Capital Management (TalentoHCM), a company that delivers talent and organizational solutions. He partners with senior business leaders and human resources management teams to facilitate, align, optimize, and execute. Since its establishment in 2017, TalentoHCM has rapidly expanded, now boasting a workforce of 200 professionals and incorporating one successful acquisition in 2022. Its client base spans key geographic markets including Miami, Orlando, New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle. The company provides comprehensive human capital support offering services that range from organizational design to strategic recruitment. Gaitan is a recent recipient of several awards highlighting his contributions to the staffing and executive search industries. He was named one of SIA’s ‘40 under 40’, awarding the next generation of staffing leaders who have the resilience and vision necessary to build strong businesses.
Gaitan has two decades of human capital management and transformation experience in 30+ industries, placing over 20,000 professionals across 500+ organizations. Before TalentoHCM, he co-founded, managed, and grew a global professional services firm delivering management consulting in human resources and IT, as well as robust recruiting services in search, RPO, and staffing. Before that, Gaitan served as Managing Director of an Executive Search & HR Advisory firm and held progressive business and HR roles with an emphasis on talent management, organization design, strategy and transformation, M&A, change management, and technology. Gaitan graduated from Florida Atlantic University.
15. Chelsea Hirschhorn
Chief Executive Officer, Frida
Chelsea Hirschhorn is the Chief Executive Officer of Frida. Over the last 9 years, Frida has been dedicated to developing the tools that help simplify parenting. Since the launch of their cult-favorite, NoseFrida, The SnotSucker, they’ve innovated and launched over 100 products that provide quick and easy solutions to age-old parenting problems. They also launched Frida Mom in 2019, with products to help women with the transition through the fourth trimester into motherhood.
Hirschhorn first joined Frida in 2014. Before that, she was an Associate Counsel and Director of, Special Events at Miami Marlins. She then moved on as an Associate at Weil Gotshal and Manges. Hirschhorn earned a JD from Cardozo School of Law and an undergraduate degree from Washington University in Saint Louis.
16. Lee Stern
Chief Executive Officer, iCare Health Solutions
Lee Stern is the Chief Executive Officer of iCare Health Solutions, a managed ocular health organization that contracts with health plans and multi-specialty clinics. iCare delivers comprehensive ocular solutions through its network of optometrists and ophthalmologists. For almost 40 years, the company has been transforming the way ocular healthcare is delivered to help more people see better, feel better, and live healthier lives.
Stern has extensive industry knowledge and a mastery of managed care plan contracting, operations, labs, provider network management, claim adjudication, physician practices, and business intelligence. The valuable range of experience allows him to coalesce knowledge into winning financial strategies and client partnerships. Previously, Stern was a COO at Florida Optometric Physicians Network. He earned an undergraduate degree from Georgia State University.
17. Roman Yoffe
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Absolute Web
Roman Yoffe is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Absolute Web. The company is an award-winning full-service eCommerce agency based in Miami, Florida, helping businesses achieve their digital goals. The company provides professional services in UX/UI design, custom development, complex integrations, performance optimization, and security.
Yoffe is a Digital Commerce Expert with over 20 years of experience in helping merchants grow their business online. Since 1999, the team at Absolute Web has been assisting both B2C and B2B businesses with their digital needs such as creative, strategy, development, and marketing.
18. Ana Gazarian
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, EMS
Ana Gazarian is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of EMS. At EMS, they have a solid track record of 30 years of experience, throughout which they have perfected their methods and work tools to offer corporate solutions for the global mobility of personnel. Gazarian graduated from the University of California, Davis with an LLM in commercial law and from Universidad Católica Andrés Bello with an undergraduate law degree.
Gazarian founded EMS in 1986 as Gazarian & Associates, a law firm specializing in all aspects of immigration for multinational corporations. Over the years, Gazarian & Associates has developed its international division, EMS, offering immigration and relocation services. Currently, EMS has offices in ten countries and operations in more than 85 countries.
19. Otto Othman
Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, PINCHO
Otto Othman is an Interactive Creative Director, Serial Entrepreneur, Co-Founder, and Chief Executive Officer of PINCHO, a Miami-based fast casual culinary brand. A dining concept centered around an eclectic menu of burgers and kebabs, PINCHO has gone from an in-the-know locals’ secret to a well-known Miami concept, gracing many national foodie ‘must try’ lists. The company currently has ten locations.
With 15 years of interactive design experience and fluency in four languages, Othman has led multi-disciplinary interactive teams on award-winning campaigns for clients such as FIAT, Coca-Cola, and Chrysler. Before establishing PINCHO, Othman co-founded NightPro, a management company for nightlife venues and events.
20. Jeffrey Nadel
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Assure Health
Jeffrey Nadel is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Assure Health, a virtual care and remote patient monitoring provider for patients with chronic conditions. The company raised $8.7 million in a seed funding round that only included strategic investors. Nadel is a serial entrepreneur who has founded multiple technology companies, including Klink, Sparkpoint Media, and Beverage Advisory Group.
Nadel first joined the company in 2020. Previously, he was CEO at Sparkpoint and before that, a CEO and Founding Partner at Klink Technologies. Earlier in his career, he worked with the National Youth Rights Association of Southeast Florida as President. Nadel earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in philosophy, politics, and economics.
21. Yaniv Dagan
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, AbbaDox
Yaniv Dagan is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AbbaDox. AbbaDox is a cloud-based platform, a modern software architecture, and IT systems, that is based on fundamental concepts of seamless integration and interoperability. It hosts dozens of responsive and intelligent applications that optimize operations and workflows for its customers.
Before establishing AbbaDox in 2003, Dagan was a successful entrepreneur where he owned, acquired/merged, and sold various businesses in different industries. In 1995, Dagan found his true passion for Healthcare IT services where he co-owned a few companies and held several leadership positions in the areas of telehealth, practice management, medical transcription, and software development. Dagan graduated with a BA from Nova Southeastern University.
22. Steve Sanko
Chief Executive Officer, Dash Door & Glass
Steve Sanko is the Chief Executive Officer of Dash Door & Glass. Established in 1955, Dash Door is a leading commercial contractor for ‘Division 8’ products and services, operating through its six in-house departments: Glass and glazing, Contract Door and hardware, Automatic Door, Service and maintenance, Access Control, and Specialty Services/Architectural Products.
Sanko began his career in 1996. Before joining Dash Door, Sanko was a Partner at Structural Strengthening Group. Earlier in his career, he worked with Structura as a Staff Structural Engineer. Sanko graduated from Pennsylvania State University with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering.
23. Michael Dorfman
Chief Executive Officer, American Wire Group
Michael Dorfman is the Chief Executive Officer of American Wire Group (AWG). Established in 2001, AWG is the leading material supplier of wires, cables, components, and accessory solutions. They hold the nation’s largest inventory of products used in the power T&D, substation, solar, wind, battery energy storage, and EV infrastructure markets.
Dorfman joined the team in 2003. He specializes in sales and marketing to AWG’s utility customers and manages vendor alliance programs. Dorfman graduated from Northeastern University with an undergraduate degree in MIS, finance, and business.
24. Brian Riemer
Chief Executive Officer, Riemer Insurance Group
Brian Riemer began his professional career 11 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Riemer Insurance Group, founded in 1978 in the heart of Hallandale Beach, Florida. The company has flourished into a family business that maintains its family values, where it understands the importance of making its customers a top priority.
Riemer first got his start in 2012 as an Analyst at Peter J. Solomon Company. From there, he went on to Audax Group as a Senior Associate, most recently before joining Riemer Insurance Group. He graduated from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with an MBA and from Harvard University with an undergraduate degree in economics.
25. Angelina Garcia
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Y-Not
Angelina Garcia is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Y-Not, a turnkey product development solutions enterprise based in Miami with satellite offices in China, India, and Mexico. Y-Not leads its clients on the product journey from idea to the marketplace, by providing multiple services that include concept and design, manufacturing domestically and globally, compliance, warehousing, global logistics, fulfillment, and more.
Garcia has more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of product development and manufacturing, attracting an exceptional client roster of Fortune 500 companies. Her knowledge extends into international markets through supply chain management brand consulting and logistics strategies. She mentors small businesses and participates in leadership roles with civic organizations. Her biographical portrait would not be complete without mentioning her charitable work helping the poor. Garcia graduated from the University of Washington.