2021 Apogee Awards Honoree: Mario Cartaya

Meet Mario Cartaya, Chief Executive Officer for Cartaya and Associates, Architects, P.A.

One sunny April morning in 1979, five friends and I met with Bill Maus wanting to execute a collective lease for a 1,000 square foot second-floor office space at 808 East Las Olas Blvd. I was 27-years-old and scared out of my mind. With none of us wanting to be solely responsible for the lease, Mr. Maus came up with an ingenious and hilarious solution, deciding to identify the lessee as “We the People” (as long as the six of us signed as equal partners below it.) That day Cartaya and Associates Architects PA was born. It was the realization of my childhood dreams, the need to express myself through my designs, and forging a legacy career in the beautiful city I had chosen to live, play and work in a couple of years before. During the forty-two years that followed that unassuming first day of Cartaya and Associates Architects PA, I grew a firm based on humanist designs, uncompromising integrity, and an unrelenting drive for excellence. I consider myself fortunate to have been entrusted with the commissions to design over 1000 buildings in South Florida and beyond. I am thankful for my designs being recognized with numerous international, national and local awards; published in various magazines, newspapers and even the front page of the Wall Street Journal; and will forever be humbled by having my life, career, and community involvement read into the Congressional Record of the US House of Representatives; forever enshrined in the US Library of Congress. Receiving the South Florida Business and Wealth Apogee Award means the world to me. It is the recognition of a career that surpassed even my greatest youthful ambitions on that memorable April 1979 day.

SFBW Staff
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