The Business Report is pleased to announce The Top 50 Business Leaders of Miami for 2022. Miami is famous for its pristine beaches, sunny warm weather, and non-stop nightlife, but a lesser known fact is their unemployment rate of just 2.2 percent. As a result, Miami has one of the best economies in the U.S. and is quickly becoming a top destination for individuals and business owners around the world. This year’s awardees have contributed to many factors within the state’s thriving economy. They are innovators, philanthropists, job creators and community leaders. Many lead in some of Miami’s largest industries including hospitality and tourism, financial and banking services, agriculture, trade and logistics, distribution, and life sciences. Their motivation and commitment to scaling their business has set the stage to enable and support growth across the country.
Among this year’s awardees are Mike Batt, Founder and Chairman of Internova Travel Group, who has devoted his career to promoting the travel agency distribution channel and the use of travel advisors to enhance the travel experience. Additionally, Jack Owoc, Founder, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of Bang Energy whose excellence in business negotiation, management, and execution has pushed his company to be the third most selling energy drink in the US. Also awarded is Jose “Joche” Smith, the Chief Executive Officer of Costa Farms, who leads one of the largest horticultural growers in the world with his visionary and action-oriented leadership approach.
We applaud these individuals for their commitment to the organizations they serve. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 Business Leaders of Miami for 2022.
1. Laurent Uberti
Founder, President, and CEO, Sitel Group
Laurent Uberti is the Founder, President, and CEO of Sitel Group, one of the largest global providers of customer experience (CX) products and solutions, Sitel Group empowers brands to build stronger relationships with their customers by creating meaningful connections that boost brand value. Inspired by each brands’ unique vision and goals, they ask “what if?” applying their expertise to create innovative solutions that reduce customer effort. Uberti leads Sitel Group’s Global Executive Team in transforming the customer experience through innovative solutions and investment in people. With 160,000 people around the globe working from home or from one of its CX hubs, they securely connect best-loved brands with their customers over 8 million times every day in more than 50 languages. Digital or voice-based, its solutions deliver a competitive edge across all customer touchpoints.
Prior to joining Sitel Group, Uberti served as president of the French Contact Center Professional Association for nearly a decade. He also serves as a member of the board of directors for Auchan, which is a $52 billion retail group. Laurent is a graduate of SKEMA Business School in France and is based out of the group’s global headquarters in Miami.
2. Jack Owoc
CEO, Chief Scientific Officer & Founder, Bang Energy
Jack Owoc is the CEO, Chief Scientific Officer and Founder of Bang Energy, a performance beverages and sports nutrition company that has been producing epic innovations for over 25 years. Bang Energy drink has collaborated with many institutions, including universities, to increase its availability to fitness and sports enthusiasts. Their sports nutrition and beverage innovations are backed by 27 double-blind placebo-controlled Gold Standard University studies, and their marketing and distribution has been featured by several media outlets, including Forbes and Wells Fargo.
In addition to having a reputation of being one of the top business persons in the country, Owoc is also a philanthropist and a public speaker. His excellence in business negotiation, management, and execution has pushed his company to be the country’s third most selling energy drink after Monster and Red Bull. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Owoc taught science to high school students and was also part of the Internal Suspension Program. Owoc graduated from Florida Atlantic University.
3. Daniel Cohen
Daniel Cohen began his professional career 25 years ago. Today, he is the Owner of Swarovski. Founded in 1895 in Austria, the company designs, manufactures and sells the world’s highest quality crystal, genuine gemstones, Swarovski Created Diamonds and zirconia, jewelry and accessories, as well as crystal objects and home accessories. Together with its sister companies Swarovski Optik (optical devices) and Tyrolit (abrasives), Swarovski Crystal Business forms the Swarovski Group. A responsible relationship with people and the planet has always been an integral part of Swarovski’s heritage. This manifests today in the company’s well-established sustainability agenda with youth-focused education programs and foundations to promote human empowerment and conserve natural resources to achieve positive social impact. Cohen graduated from Colby College with an undergraduate degree in economics.
4. David Long
Chief Executive Officer, Orangetheory Fitness
David Long began his professional career 17 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Orangetheory Fitness. Orangetheory is a 1-hour, full body workout, focused on training endurance, strength and/or power. They use Heart Rate Based Interval Training which burns more calories post workout than a traditional exercise.
Long first got his start in 2005 as a VP of Operations at Massage Envy. From there, he went on to European Wax Center as a developer and owner, his most recent position prior to joining Orangetheory Fitness. Long graduated from the University of Florida - Warrington College of Business with an MBA in management and from the University of Florida with an undergraduate degree in physical therapy and health science.
5. Christopher Chen
Chief Executive Officer, ChenMed
Christopher Chen is the Chief Executive Officer of ChenMed. ChenMed serves the underserved – moderate-to-low-income seniors with complex chronic diseases through their high-touch, VIP, and preventive primary care. Unlike typical primary care providers, they have a much lower doctor-patient ratio which allows them to spend more time with patients, getting to know them and their concerns so they can better serve them. They are known to its patients as Dedicated Senior Medical Center, Chen Senior Medical Center, or JenCare Senior Medical Center. Chen has 13 years of experience. He began his career in 2009.
Chen graduated from the University of Miami with an MD and an undergraduate degree in medicine.
6. Steve Newman
President and Chief Executive Officer, Closet Factory
Steve Newman is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Closet Factory. For over three decades, Closet Factory has been creating custom storage solutions for the entire home - from closets and home offices to entertainment centers and garage cabinetry. Their collaborative design approach and industry-leading range of products allows a vision for a home to come to life. They design with best practices and build with the highest quality materials so that individuals receive a personalized system that is perfectly functional, completely organized and totally stylish.
Newman began his career in 2000 and has 22 years of experience. Before joining Closet Factory, Newman was President and CEO at Neighborhood Painting Masters and before that President and CEO at AIG Interiors Group. Earlier in his career he worked with Witex USA, Inc. as President and CEO. Newman graduated from the University of Florida with an undergraduate degree in political science.
7. Murray Rice
Co-Owner, Richard and Rice Construction
Murray Rice is the Co-Owner of Richard and Rice Construction. He founded the company in 2004. The R&R team has well over 100 combined years of industry experience. This experience covers a wide range of projects including residential to light industrial, with locations across the state. The majority of the R&R team members have over a decade working together, producing excellent results, repeat business, and customer satisfaction.
Previously, Rice was Vice President at Trinity Construction Corp. and before that a field manager and purchasing at Centex Homes. Rice holds a Bachelor's degree with honors from the University of Florida, Rinker School of Building Construction. He has held his Residential Contractors license since 1994 and his General Contractor’s license since 2004.
8. Mike Batt
Founder and Chairman, Internova Travel Group
Mikel Batt is the Founder and Chairman of Internova Travel Group, a global leader providing travel services to corporate, leisure, luxury and entertainment markets. Today, Internova Travel Group has over 3,000 employees, 6,000 locations and over 70,000 travel advisors in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Mexico, France and a presence in more than 80 countries.
As chairman of Internova Travel Group, Batt provides strategic direction for the company and has overseen its growth from a collection of successful travel agencies to one of the leading forces in travel today. His career has been devoted to promoting the travel agency distribution channel, as well as, the use of travel advisors to enhance the travel experience. Batt first got his start in 1975 as a sales and marketing manager at M&M Mars. From there, he went on to British Airways, before eventually rising to President at Carlson Leisure Group (CLG), his most recent position prior to founding Internova Travel Group. Under Batt’s leadership, CLG grew significantly with sales growing from a combined $2 billion in 1996 to over $5 billion in 2007. Batt graduated from Swansea University with an undergraduate degree in economics and material.
9. Judy Velazquez
Owner, The UPS Store
Judy Velazquez is the Owner of The UPS Store #5452 and #6698. The franchise locations offer consumers and small businesses a wide range of products and services to meet all their needs in one convenient location, including printing, packaging, shipping, mailbox services, moving supplies and other in-center services. The UPS Store has been recognized as the No. 1 Postal & Business Services franchise for 31 years straight by Entrepreneur Magazine “Franchise 500.” USA Today, G.I. Jobs recognized The UPS Store franchise as one of the 50 Top Franchises for Military Veterans. Additionally, The UPS Store franchise was named American Brand Excellence Award Winner in the Retail category by City Business Journals.
Prior to becoming a franchise owner of The UPS Store, Velazquez was a trade analyst at Tropical Shipping and before that an import sales manager at China Ocean Shipping Company Co. Earlier in her career, she worked with Evergreen America as a sales coordinator. Velazquez graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey with an undergraduate degree in international studies and international business.
10. David Mahoney
Owner, Comfort Keepers
David Mahoney is the Owner of Comfort Keepers. He and his wife Cindy purchased the company in 2008 while looking for a way to serve the senior community in some small way. The Mahoney’s were enamored by the Comfort Keepers concept of placing caregivers in the homes of seniors to allow them to remain independent in their own homes. Their approach starts with interactive caregiving and elevating the human spirit compassionate care that focuses on activating the mind, body, healthy habits, and a safe home environment. Their greatest asset is their dedicated team of caring professionals who are extensively trained in the responsibilities and approaches needed to enable superior senior care and companionship. Comfort Keepers collaborates with employees and caregivers year-round to ensure Their clients are treated with the same grace, dignity, and compassion that every person deserves.
Mahoney’s professional background started in Finance and Accounting as a CPA. He has held Executive level positions in Finance, Health Care, and Construction & Development; however, his real passion has been realized in helping seniors. Mahoney earned an MBA in accounting and tax from Florida Atlantic University and an undergraduate degree in business management from the University of Florida.
11. Sherie Duttenhofer
Sherie Duttenhofer began her professional career 30 years ago. Today, she is the Owner of PrideStaff. PrideStaff helps companies with skilled, experienced, and focused accounting and office support on either a direct hire or temporary basis. Their services help companies eliminate administrative burdens, which allows their clients more time to focus on their top priorities. At Pridestaff, the focus is to consistently provide client experiences focused on what they value most.
Duttenhofer first got her start in 1992 as a national sales manager at Dyno Merchandise. From there, she went on to Union Camp (purchased by International Paper), before eventually rising to team lead at International Paper, her most recent position prior to founding PrideStaff. Duttenhofere graduated from Central Michigan University with an undergraduate degree in business.
12. Chet Koch
Owner, Edible Arrangements
Chet Koch is the Owner of Edible Arrangements. He founded the company in 2006. Edible Arrangements is creator of and leader in fresh fruit bouquets. They bring happiness to all of life’s occasions with their array of irresistibly fresh products, including handcrafted fruit arrangements and gourmet chocolate-dipped fruit. They believe in invention, investment and imagination, and have an entrepreneurial history and spirit. Above all, they are fresh fruit fanatics. The very first Edible Arrangements store opened its doors in East Haven, Connecticut in 1999. Since then, the company has grown into a fresh fruit phenomenon, with over 1100 stores in 14 countries around the world.
Previously, Koch was a SVP of operations at Resorts World Bimini and before that a VP and General Manager at Isle Casino Cape Girardeau. Earlier in his career he worked with Casino Windsor as a VP of casino finance. Koch earned an undergraduate degree in engineering and business from Iowa State University.
13. Rick Rothschild
Owner, School of Rock
Rick Rothschild is the Owner of School of Rock. He founded the company in 2008. With more than two decades of successful experience teaching music, School of Rock is the global leader in music education for kids and adults. Students learn from professional musicians in an interactive environment combining weekly private lessons and structured group rehearsals with the ultimate goal of performing live in front of real crowds. They teach guitar, drums, keyboards, vocals and bass. School of Rock is a franchisor and operator of music schools with more than 300 locations across 15 countries and growing rapidly. They employ thousands of musicians worldwide, in addition to employing innovative and passionate people at their corporate office, and partnering with franchise owners who are successful business people and leaders in their communities.
Rothschild graduated from the University of South Florida and is a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
14. Mary Beth Casey
Owner, Expedia CruiseShipCenters Ft. Lauderdale
Mary Beth Casey is a franchise owner of Expedia CruiseShipCenters Ft. Lauderdale. She founded the company in 2009 when the market crash pushed Casey out of retirement and back into the business world. As North America's largest retail travel agency franchise, Expedia Cruises is a full-service leisure travel agency anchored by its deeply passionate expertise for air, land, and sea vacations. Backed by the most powerful travel brand in the world – Expedia – they've thoroughly integrated their massive brand presence, state-of-the-art technology, unrivaled marketing, and distinguished supplier relationships to become Expedia’s cruise experts. Its network includes over 290 independently owned franchise locations and more than 6,100 Vacation Consultants in Canada and the United States.
Previously, Casey was in the advertising world as President and CEO of Ayer, a large agency in New York City and before that a Vice President and partner at Harris, Drury, Cohen. Earlier in her career she worked with McDonald's as a field account executive. Casey graduated from Regis College with an undergraduate degree in English.
15. Sebastian Spada
Franchise Owner, FASTSIGNS
Sebastian Spada is a Franchise Owner of FASTSIGNS, a signage, graphics and visual communications partner that provides comprehensive solutions to help customers of all sizes across all industries meet their business objectives and increase their business visibility through the use of signs, graphics, printing, promotional products and related marketing services. With more than 750 centers in nine countries, their centers offer consulting, design, production, project management, delivery and installation. Centers are independently owned and operated. FASTSIGNS operates in the United States (including Puerto Rico), the United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, Grand Cayman, the UAE, Malta, France and Australia.
Spada began his career in 1991 and has 31 years of experience. Before joining FASTSIGNS, Spada was a Senior Credit Manager at Office Depot and before that a business manager at Alfred Angelo. Spada graduated from Nova Southeastern University with an MBA and from Mercer University - Stetson School of Business and Economics with an undergraduate degree in finance.
16. Nestor Plana
Owner, Independent Living Systems, LLC
Nestor Plana began his professional career over 25 years ago. Today, he is the Owner of Independent Living, which offers a comprehensive range of clinical and third-party administrative services to managed care organizations and providers that serve high-cost, complex member populations in the Medicare, Medicaid and Dual-Eligible Market. Independent Living Systems has been an industry leader in managing home and community-based programs for 20 years. Leveraging ILS’ award-winning technology platform, ILS provides assistance beyond the clinical realm at every stage of care from hospitalization to the treatment of chronic illnesses to personalized care management including nutritional support.
Plana previously served as a founding President and COO of Beacon Health Plan in South Florida, where he successfully implemented a long-term care waiver program under a contract with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. He was also a senior executive with Mercy Hospital Systems and has served on the Florida Long-Term Care Committee and held the Chairmanship of United Home Health Care. Plana has won countless awards for his accomplishments in structuring ILS as a driving force in healthcare innovation and services for the aging, frail, and chronically ill. In 2011, the American Federation for Aging Research awarded him the Florida Award in Distinction for his vision and leadership in making research and healthy aging a priority in Florida. In the same year, he was named one of the region’s Top Performers in South Florida Magazine’s Movers and Shakers issue. Additionally, Health Evolution Partners awarded Nestor the HealthCare Innovator of the Year Award in 2010.
17. Jennifer Moss
Owner and Manager, Don Law Golf Academy
Jennifer Moss is the Owner and Manager of Don Law Golf Academy. She founded the company in 2008. The Don Law Golf Academy offers comprehensive golf development and training programs for everyone. Its programs include specialized classes for kids ages 3-5, after school classes and camps, advanced and elite customized training, mental game coaching, physical conditioning, college placement mentoring, private lessons, and a variety of private and group options for adults.
Previously, Moss was a tournament director at Blackhawk Country Club and before that a tournament coordinator at The Presidio Golf Course. Moss earned an undergraduate degree in hospitality and golf management from Lynn University.
18. Tatiana Knight
Franchise Owner and Instructor, Jazzercise
Tatiana Knightis a Franchise Owner and Instructor for Jazzercise. She first joined the company in 2002. Jazzercise is the workout from the 1980’s that combines dance, strength and resistance training. The company is proud to be led by strong, active women and has a longstanding tradition of giving back. Jazzercise instructors have raised more than $28 million for a wide range of causes, most of them directly affecting their local communities.
Previously, Knight was a contributor at Miami's Community Newspapers. Knight earned an MA in English from Florida International University and an undergraduate degree in English and religious studies from Florida International University.
19. Rogelio Bello
Owner, Total 4 Alignment, inc.
Rogelio Bello is the Owner of Total 4 Alignment, inc. Total 4 Alignment, Inc. is an automotive equipment consulting company that has been representing automotive tools & equipment manufacturers since 2001 in South Florida, P.R., V.I. and the Caribbean including wheel service equipment and under hood Diagnostic equipment for Domestic, Imports & European vehicles. Their diagnostic tools cover Asian Imports from the Japan Market, International General Export market and also the USA market.
20. Hub Spooner
Owner, City Wide Facility Solutions
Hub Spooner began his professional career 25 years ago. Today, he is the Owner of City Wide Facility Solutions. Founded in 1961, City Wide has become synonymous with building maintenance in its home Kansas City market and over 60 territories in the United States and Canada, where it has grown through franchising since 2001. They help clients manage their facility's needs by scheduling the 20+ interior and exterior services for them. City Wide simplifies the process for building owners and property managers, easing the time, stress, and resources typically required to oversee an entire facility.
Spooner first got his start in 1997 as a sales manager at Ocwen Financial Corporation. From there, he went on to HSBC as a VP of regional sales. Spooner graduated from Florida State University with an undergraduate degree in business and communication.
21. Brett Beveridge
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, T-ROC
Brett Beveridge is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Revenue Optimization Companies (T-ROC). T-ROC is home to four sales solutions companies that enable clients to fulfill all of their sales performance needs. The four companies under the T-ROC umbrella provide a unique combination of solutions. These solutions can be used independently but are most effective when used together. All of its solutions are designed to increase sales and reduce costs through the power of people and technology. Beveridge has 22 years of experience. He began his career in 1999.
Before founding T-ROC, Beveridge was a VP of national retail and retail real estate expansion at Sprint Nextel Corporation. Earlier in his career he worked with LetsTalk.com as a co-founder, President and CEO. Beveridge graduated from the University of Miami with an undergraduate degree in business administration, marketing, and management.
22. Jeff Rubin
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, IT'SUGAR
Jeff Rubin is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IT'SUGAR. The company was founded to create an environment that fosters the greatest feeling of happiness and humor; that allows consumers to smile and laugh out loud without judgment. Known for its oversized candy, numerous celebrity-driven brands and confectionery-themed innovations, IT’SUGAR is now said to be the largest and fastest-growing specialty candy retailer in the world with 100 stores.
Rubin began his career in 1995. Prior to founding IT'SUGAR, Rubin was a co-founder at Dylan's Candy Bar and before that a Founder at FAO Schweetz. Rubin graduated from the University of Michigan with an undergraduate degree in economics.
23. Mike Beovides
Franchise Owner, H&R Block
Mike Beovides is the Franchise Owner of H&R Block, which provides tax help and inspires confidence in their clients and communities everywhere. They’ve been true to that purpose since brothers Henry and Richard Bloch founded their company in 1955. Since then, they’ve prepared approximately 800 million tax returns and grown to have approximately 12,000 offices throughout the United States and around the world. They know that tax needs and situations change from year to year. That’s why they offer new and innovative ways to prepare and file taxes so clients can choose what suits them best.
Beovides has 28 years of experience. He began his career in 1994. Before joining H&R Block, Beovides was a president and CEO at GMG Advertising and before that major accounts, senior account executive at The Flyer Media Group. Beovides graduated from Florida International University with an undergraduate degree in business.
24. Evan Koorse
Co-Founder and President, TSC
Evan Koorse is the Co-Founder and President of TSC, founded 20 years ago on consumer innovation. TCS offers a consulting-led, cognitive-powered, integrated portfolio of business, technology, and engineering services and solutions. This is delivered through its unique Location Independent Agile™ delivery model, recognized as a benchmark of excellence in software development. Koorse has over 20 years of experience. He began his career in 2000.
Before joining TSC, Koorse was a co-founder and VP at Art Gun Technologies and Delta Apparel. Koorse graduated from the University of Tampa - John H. Sykes College of Business with an undergraduate degree in business management.
25. LT Gibson
President and Chief Executive Officer, US LBM Holdings, LLC
LT Gibson began his professional career in 2009. Today, he is the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of US LBM Holdings, LLC. The company is an expert in distributing specialty building materials. They offers windows, doors, millwork, roofing, siding, cabinetry, and wallboard, as well as wood products. The wood that frames many houses around the U.S. could have come from one of its lumber yards as recently as last month or as long as 150 years ago. Since the company was founded in 2009, they have expanded to more than 250 locations with sales hitting $3.5 billion in 2019. Gibson graduated from Morehead State University with an undergraduate degree in business.
26. Kent Pedersen
President and Chief Executive Officer, Louis Poulsen
Kent Pedersen began his professional career 30 years ago. Today, he is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Louis Poulsen. Founded in 1874, Louis Poulsen is a Danish lighting manufacturer born out of the Scandinavian design tradition where form follows function. The function and design of their products are tailored to reflect and support the rhythm of natural light. They believe in passionate craftsmanship that produces quality lighting and design products that are pleasing to the eye and to the light. Pedersen graduated from Harvard Business School Executive Education.
27. Deborah Fleming
Chief Executive Officer, Acqualina Resort and Spa on the Beach
Deborah Fleming is the Chief Executive Officer of Acqualina Resort and Spa on the Beach. She first joined the company in 2004. The sophistication of a Mediterranean villa combined with the beautiful oceanfront location on Florida’s Riviera makes Acqualina Resort & Residences on the Beach the perfect 5 star, 5 diamond vacation resort. Fleming brings more than three decades of hospitality experience to the building and refinement of luxury hotel brands. As the CEO and Principal of Acqualina Resort & Residences, she has assisted in obtaining the coveted Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Award and the AAA Five Diamond Award.
Deborah joined Acqualina Resort & Residences in 2004 as part of the pre-opening team. In 2011, she became a partner in the hotel with ownership interest. In her role, she oversees the hotel’s Executive Committee and the development and execution of the brand’s long-term strategies. In addition, she serves as President of AQ Property Management, LLC, the company managing the residences, The Mansions at Acqualina and AQ 3 Property Management LLC, the company managing The Estates at Acqualina. Deborah also serves on the Executive Committee of The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd. Deborah was awarded the prestigious Leading Hotels 2021 ‘Uncommon Vision’ award. Additionally, she received nominations for HOTELS ‘Independent Hotelier of the World’ Award in 2020 and the ‘Hotelier of the Year’ in the 2016 Virtuoso ‘Best of the Best’ Awards.
28. Mike Pappas
CEO and President, The Keyes Company
Mike Pappas began his career with The Keyes Co. in 1982 as a District Sales Manager. Pappas has been with the firm for 40 years, becoming CEO and President in 1991.
The Keyes Company is a Miami-based company with 50 branches and 3,300 associates and affiliates. The real estate brokerage firm sells more than $6 billion in real estate sales annually and another $2 billion in mortgage, title, insurance and property management. The company, which was founded in 1926 and now employs 3,000 agents and 350 employees in 50 offices.
In 2015, Pappas received the RISMedia Real Estate Tech Titan Award and has received many other notable recognitions that include honors from The Miami Association of REALTORS® recognizing him as the Industry Leader of the Year in 2017. In addition, Pappas has been twice honored as a RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, as a Luminary (2019) and Influencer (2021). Pappas is a graduate of Wake Forest University.
29. Jose Gomez-Bazan
Chief Executive Officer, Camposol SA
Jose Gomez-Bazan is the Chief Executive Officer of Camposol SA. He first joined the company in 2011 as Chief Commercial Officer. Camposol is the leading agro-industrial company in Peru and the largest exporter of asparagus in the world. The company owns all the fields where its products are planted and harvested, having total control of the growing, harvesting and packing phases of its final products. The lines of Camposol products include asparagus, piquillo peppers, avocados, mangoes and grapes, which are packed fresh, frozen or canned, and exported to their world markets.
Previously, Gomez-Bazan was a general at Chiquita and before that a gerente proyectos comerciales, Banca Corporativa at Banco de Credito del Peru. Earlier in his career he worked with IBM as an assistant project manager. Gomez-Bazan earned an MBA in financial services from Villanova University and an undergraduate degree in business administration from the Universidad de Lima.
30. Michael Britton
Chief Executive Officer, Sealand – A Maersk Company
Michael Britton began his professional career 25 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Sealand – A Maersk Company, a regional container logistics company that combines passionate local teams and agile-thinking with an unrivaled global network powered by the larger Maersk family. They move their customers’ cargo quickly and efficiently across the Americas, Asia, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Through the close connection to Maersk, they ensure their customers the benefits of industry-leading logistics expertise and cutting-edge technology.
Britton first got his start in 1997 as a regional manager at Hamburg Süd. Britton graduated from American University with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
31. Daniel Stanton
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Now Optics
Daniel Stanton began his professional career 16 years ago. Today, he is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Executive Leadership and Strategic Planning & Growth of Now Optics (formerly Vision Precision Holdings, LLC) one of the nation’s fastest-growing eye health providers in the industry. Delivering accessible and affordable eye care through its health services and retail brands – Stanton Optical and My Eyelab – Now Optics continues to expand with over 200 corporate and franchise locations in 28 states. Now Optics is ranked in the top 15 on Vision Monday’s Top 50 U.S. Optical Retailers.
32. Justin Firestone
Co-Founder, Wheels Up
Justin Firestone is the Co-Founder of Wheels Up. He founded the company in 2012. Wheels Up is a membership-based private aviation company that focuses on reducing the upfront cost to fly privately, providing flexibility, service, and safety. Its mobile app enables members to book flights, manage their accounts, and participate in ride-share opportunities. Its members also have given access to the Wheels Down program.
Previously, Firestone was a president of Hawker Beechcraft at Textron Aviation and before that a founder and CEO at Asia Jet Partners Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Earlier in his career he worked with Miami Heat in basketball operations. Firestone earned an undergraduate degree in communication and business from Arizona State University.
33. Jose “Joche” Smith
Chief Executive Officer, Costa Farms
Jose "Joche" Smith is the CEO of one of the largest horticultural growers in the world, Costa Farms, which is headquartered in Miami (AKA plant paradise!). The company sprouted in 1961 as a tomato and citrus grower and has since expanded into a politically connected behemoth with more than $500 million in revenue. Costa Farms is one of the top half-dozen growers of ornamental plants in the nation, with over 4,000 acres under cultivation and 5,000 employees. It grows more than 1,500 kinds of plants.
Smith has over 30 years of leadership experience in various categories of horticulture, transportation, merchandising services, and global sourcing. Throughout his career, his approach has been to focus on revenue growth, geographic business expansion and profitability maximization. Joche’s analytical approach to corporate leadership has resulted in exceeding shareholder expectations through consistent positive return on invested capital for shareholders. Prior to joining Costa Farms, Smith was a Financial Analyst at Ryder System, Inc. Smith graduated from the University of Florida with an MBA in finance and an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering.
34. Manny Llano
Chief Executive Officer, UHS
Manny Llano is the Chief Executive Officer of UHS. He first joined the company in 2008. One of the nation’s largest and most respected providers of hospital and healthcare services, Universal Health Services, Inc. has built an impressive record of achievement and performance. Growing steadily since its inception into an esteemed Fortune 500 corporation, its annual revenues were approximately $12.6 billion in 2021. In 2022, UHS was again recognized as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune; ranked #297 on the Fortune 500, and in 2021 ranked #307 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Public Companies.
Previously, Llano was a COO at Sunrise Regional Medical Center. Llano earned an MBA in healthcare administration from Nova Southeastern University and an undergraduate degree in accounting and political science from the University of Miami.
35. Carl Colizza
President and COO - North America, Saputo
Carl Colizza is the President and COO of North America of Saputo. He first joined the company in 1998. Saputo produces, markets, and distributes a wide array of dairy products of the utmost quality, including cheese, fluid milk, extended shelf-life milk and cream products, cultured products, and dairy ingredients. Saputo is one of the top ten dairy processors in the world, a leading cheese manufacturer and fluid milk and cream processor in Canada, and the top dairy processor in Australia and Argentina. In the USA, Saputo ranks among the top three cheese producers and is one of the largest producers of extended shelf-life and cultured dairy products. In the United Kingdom, Saputo is the largest manufacturer of branded cheese and a top manufacturer of dairy spreads.
Colizza earned an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering from McGill University.
36. Perci Pietro
Chief Executive Officer, OWN
Perci Pietro began his professional career 22 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of OWN, located on the American Riviera, more specifically, Brickell Avenue in Miami, Florida, an area known as the second largest financial district in the United States after New York City’s famed Wall Street. The firm has the unique practice of being a full-service, luxury, international brokerage. Licensed Consultants assist clientele in residential and commercial sales and leasing, business sales, mergers and acquisitions, immigration, consulting and much more, with a focus on information and education.
Pietro first got his start in 2000 as a licensed consultant at MAJESTIC PROPERTIES. From there, he went on to World Real Estate Exchange as a managing partner, his most recent position prior to joining OWN. Pietro graduated from Lynn University with an MBA in international management and from Wright State University with an undergraduate degree in biology.
37. Joey Gonzalez
Chief Executive Officer, Barry's
Joey Gonzalez began his professional career 18 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Executive Officer of Barry's, a game-changing fitness class offering their global community. Founded in 1998, Barry's has led the fitness industry in innovation. Today, individuals can experience their signature Red Room in more than 70 studios across 10 countries, as well as in the comfort of their own home. Whether sprinting, lifting, or riding, in-studio or at-home, they're on a mission to inspire individuals to work hard, have fun, and find strength.
Gonzalez graduated from the University of Southern California with an undergraduate degree in humanities and humanistic studies.
38. Manny Camacho
President, AirplanesUSA Aircraft Sales
Manny Camacho began his professional career 36 years ago. Today, he is the President of AirplanesUSA Aircraft Sales. This is the story of an airline that leads the industry from ground to clouds. Their global cast of over 80,000+ hero characters are each on a journey to be a force for good for their customers, the planet and each other.
Camacho first got his start in 1986 as a pilot at Arrow Air. From there, he went on to Eastern Airlines as a pilot, his most recent position prior to joining AirplanesUSA Aircraft Sales. Camacho graduated from the State University of New York College at Old Westbury with an undergraduate degree in business management.
39. Mark Clair
President - Fort Lauderdale and Miami, All My Sons Moving & Storage
Mark Clair is the President of Fort Lauderdale and Miami of All My Sons Moving & Storage. He first joined the company in 2008. At All My Sons Moving and Storage, they take pride in caring for their customers’ furnishings as if they were their own-like family. It’s this type of moving that has set them apart as an industry leader. All My Sons began with the goal of providing customers with old fashioned care with every move. Two decades later, they’re one of the premier residential moving firms in the country with over 60 offices nationwide. their future is limitless. They strive to continue to expand their family by connecting with others who see the vision of an international moving and storage company that services the world with quality family-friendly moving services.
Previously, Clair was a store manager at Walmart and before that a store manager at Publix Super Markets.
40. Fanit Panofsky
Owner, Contour Day Spa
Fanit Panofsky began her professional career 39 years ago. Today, she is the owner of Contour Day Spa where the goal is to get individuals to a natural state of health and well-being. They accomplish this by providing everything from body rubs, scrubs and replenishing skin nourishment to treatments that draw toxins out of the body. A full range of spa treatments and healing therapies are provided in deluxe treatment rooms and their water therapy sanctuary is an exclusive room that transforms the art of body care into a glorious ritual.
Panofsky’s remarkable spa empire barely resembles the humble 847 sq foot nail salon she first opened with little money after settling into South Florida with her family by way of Israel. Today, the spa lies within a 26,000 sq foot, freestanding building making it the largest freestanding spa in the country. What differentiates Contour Day Spa from traditional salons and day spas is the full scope of services, which transcend the traditional day spa market segment and target the resort and destination spa customer. They offer a wide array of beauty and wellness services under one roof, seven days a week.
41. Gordon Berken
President, Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling
Gordon Berken began his professional career 30 years ago. Today, he is the President of Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling, part of a national franchise organization that provides high level emergency response services to mitigate, clean up and repair damage to institutional, residential and commercial properties from water, fire, mold, storm or other disasters. Founded in 1966, Paul Davis is a rapidly growing network of more than 300 independently owned and operated franchises. Their office received Franchise of the Year in 2018 - for both Insurance NPS scores and total customer satisfaction.
Berken first got his start in 1992 as a director of purchasing at Regency Home's. From there, he went on to Trans eastern Homes as a VP of purchasing and design, his most recent position prior to joining Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling. Berken graduated from Florida International University with an MS in construction management.
42. Ralf Hildenbrand
President - Americas Region, Siegwerk
Ralf Hildenbrand is the President of the Americas Region of Siegwerk, their company philosophy incorporates what their customers experience every day. They know their business and produce inks and individual solutions in close cooperation with their business partners. They are steeped in tradition, yet practice-oriented and with state-of-the-art technology. With more than 180 years of experience, Siegwerk commands a profound product knowledge and expertise for many printing methods. their actions are market-driven or even drive the market, which is proven by their many patents. With currently 5,000 staff in more than 30 country organizations they are able to supply and support every customer anywhere in the world. Hildenbrand has 33 years of experience. He began his career in 1989.
Hildenbrand graduated from Schleswig - Holstein Vocational Business Academy with an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering.
43. Adela Gonzalez
Founder, CEO and President, Future Force Personnel
Future Force Personnel Services is based in Miami-Dade County and Adela Gonzalez is the Founder, CEO and President. The company was founded in 1992 in the Miami Lakes area. Since 1992, the company has experienced tremendous growth obtaining major accounts in the Tri-County areas, and Adela attributes this to the quality and excellent service that her company provides.
Gonzalez has over 30 years of personnel industry experience. She is a native of Havana, Cuba, and spent nearly 20 years traveling and living in many different countries after leaving Havana in 1959. Her studies took her to Florida State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical Psychology in 1978.
44. David McKinney
Division President, Pratt Industries
David McKinney began his professional career 45 years ago. Today, he is the Division President for Pratt Industries. Pratt Industries is America’s 5th largest corrugated packaging company and the world’s largest, privately held 100% recycled paper and packaging company, with more than 4000 highly-skilled, green-collar employees dedicated to the environment and sustainability. Pratt Industries operates an extensive Recycling Division to supply three of the most modern, cost-effective 100% recycled paper mills in the country.
Prior to joining Pratt Industries in 2007, McKinney was General Manager of Lewisburg Container for over 31 years in Lewisburg, Ohio. He graduated from Wright State University with a bachelor's degree in management.
45. Fred Pfister
Division President, Toll Brothers
Fred Pfister is the Division President of Toll Brothers. Founded in 1967, Toll Brothers is the nation’s leading builder of luxury homes. Toll Brothers currently builds in over 60 markets across 24 states. Throughout its more than 50 years in business, the company’s ability to expand into new markets, diversify its product offerings, stay ahead of trends, and nurture an inclusive corporate culture has positioned Toll Brothers not only as a premier home builder, but also an exceptional employer. Pfiste has 19 years of experience. He began his career in 2003.
Before joining Toll Brothers, Pfister was a realtor at REMAX Professional Partners. Pfister graduated from Johnson and Wales University.
46. Steven Richman
Group President, Milwaukee Tool
Steven Richman began his professional career 40 years ago. Today, he is the Group President of Milwaukee Tool. Over the past several years, Milwaukee Tool has invested heavily in technology and innovation across our power tool, power tool accessories, and hand tool businesses. Their world-class team has delivered some of the most disruptive new technologies and solutions the industry has ever seen resulting in unprecedented growth in their global business. They enable a fast-paced design environment where their employees experience the challenge and satisfaction of seeing a product evolve from concept to the shelves of their retail and distribution partners and into the hands of their professional users on the jobsite.
Richman first got his start in 1982 as a director of marketing at Black and Decker. From there, he went on to Arco Siemens solar, before eventually rising to CEO at Werner Co., his most recent position prior to joining Milwaukee Tool. Richman graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles.
47. Rick Quagliozzi
Rick Quagliozzi is the President of MaidPro . He first joined the company in 2005. MaidPro is a Boston-based franchisor of residential cleaning with over 225 offices throughout the United States and Canada. The company, which began franchising in 1997, takes pride in its strong owner community, proprietary technology, and creative marketing. MaidPro has been honored by Forbes as one of the Best Franchises to Buy in 2015 and 2016 and also been named by CNBC for having one of America's Top 50 Star Franchisees in America.
Previously, Quagliozzi was a director of business integration at Atos Origin. He earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Ramapo College of New Jersey.
48. Paul Sistare
Founder, Atlantica Hotels International
Paul Sistare is the Founder of Atlantica Hotels International, a hotel operator in South America. They are here to be the best multi-brand hotel operator in Brazil, with whom investors, guests, partners and employees want to be. In addition to their own brands, they represent 4 of the world's leading hotel groups in Brazil. Sistare has 46 years of experience. He began his career in 1976.
Before joining Atlantica Hotels International, Sistare was a president and CEO at Richfield Hospitality and before that an EVP of international operations of Americas at Trusthouse Forte. Earlier in his career he worked with Ambassador Management Inc. as a president and founder. Sistare graduated from the University of Oxford with an Executive MBA in international business and from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with an undergraduate degree.
49. Keith Kidwell
President, Sperry Van Ness
Keith Kidwell is the President of Sperry Van Ness. He first joined the company in 2003. SVN International Corp. (SVNIC), a full-service commercial real estate franchisor of the SVN® brand, comprises over 1,600 commercial real estate Advisors and staff, in more offices in the United States than any other commercial real estate firm and continues to expand across the globe. Geographical coverage and amplified outreach to traditional, cross-market and emerging buyers and tenants is the only way to achieve maximum value for their clients. This is why they proactively promote properties and share fees with the entire industry. This is their unique Shared Value Network® and just one of the many ways that SVN Advisors create amazing value with their clients, colleagues and communities.
Kidwell earned an undergraduate degree in construction engineering technologies from the University of Florida.
50. Benny Dominguez
Market President, AutoNation
Benny Dominguez is the Market President of AutoNation. As America’s largest and most recognized automotive retailer, AutoNation is transforming the automotive industry through its bold leadership, innovation, and comprehensive brand extensions. They’ve sold over 13 million vehicles, the first automotive retailer to reach this milestone. Their success is driven by their commitment to delivering a peerless customer experience through customer-focused sales and service processes. Dominguez has 25 years of experience. He began his career in 1997.
Dominguez graduated from Florida International University with an undergraduate degree in finance, financial management services and international finances.