Apogee Awards 2014
SFBW has honored nearly 200 with its Apogee Awards, which recognize top leaders in South Florida Business. The awards are unique in the region for featuring a variety of positions throughout the C-suite.
Chief Information Officer Alexander Freund 4IT Freund co-founded the managed service provider and IT consulting company in 2003. He continues to serve as president and CIO.
Senior Human Resources Executive Cynthia Fraser DHL Since 2012, Fraser has been director, talent management and employee relations at DHL for the United States and e-commerce operations. She is on Florida International University’s HR management advisory board.
Chief Financial Officer Michael Geltzeiler ADT Security Services Geltzeiler served as CFO of ADT from 2013 to 2016 when it was acquired by Apollo Global Management. In 2017, he became an operating partner with Temasek, an investment management firm based in Singapore.
Senior Human Resources Executive Michael Allison Office Depot Allison left his position as chief administrative officer at Office Depot in 2017 after previously serving as executive VP of HR. He is currently the owner of Allison Consulting Services.
Chief Financial Officer Jeanne Prayther e-Builder Prayther, a certified public accountant, joined e-Builder as CFO in 2014 and continues to serve in that position. e-Builder was acquired for $500 million by Trimble in 2018.
President William R. Laurie American Heritage School Laurie’s experience in education began with teaching at an elementary school in the early 1950s. He founded American Heritage in 1965 and now has the title of CEO.
Chief Operating Officer Nannette M. Zapata Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Zapata became COO of South Florida’s pre-eminent botanical garden in 2006. She continues to manage 85 employees and a multimillion-dollar operations budget.
Chief Operating Officer Joey Bulfin St. Mary’s Medical Center Bulfin has spent four decades at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, beginning in 1980 as a registered nurse in neonatal intensive care. She was named chief nursing officer in 2005 and promoted to COO in 2005, which is her current position.
Chief Financial Officer Erik Day Warren Henry Auto Group Day continues to serve as CFO with Warren Henry, a position he began in 2005. He recently served as chairman for the Florida Automobile Dealers Association.
Chief Information Officer Todd Hale Office Depot Hale has been with Office Depot 15 years and has served as executive VP and global CIO since December 2013. He is responsible for defining IT architecture, managing and overseeing IT projects and portfolio decisions.
Chief Marketing Officer Rosy Lopez Greenspoon Marder Lopez has more than 25 years’ experience in public relations and marketing, working with many of the region’s most prominent law firms. She left Greenspoon Marder in 2015 and started her own firm, Rosy Strategies.
Chief Marketing Officer Lenny Chesal Host.net Chesal left his position as “chief evangelist” with Host.net in 2017. He is now “evangelist” with Cybraics, which integrates machine learning and AI, to deliver big-data cyberanalytics as a service.
Chief Marketing Officer Rolando Aedo Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau Aedo has been a senior staff member of the bureau 1994. As CMO, he works closely with the president and CEO on all operational aspects of the bureau.
Chief Information Officer Judith Haddad Patriot National Haddad was executive vice president, CIO and chief technology officer at Patriot National from 2008 to 2017. She is founder and CEO of hDC Solutions, which provides technology solutions in the insurance, financial services and health care fields, and CIO of SD Refinery, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze sentence data.
CEO Jerry Fedele Boca Raton Regional Hospital Fedele led a major turnaround at Boca Raton Regional Hospital and played a key role in structuring a strategic partnership with Baptist Health South Florida. He retired as CEO in August 2019.
CEO Edgardo Defortuna Fortune International Group President and CEO Defortuna founded Fortune in 1983 and grew the company to become a full-service real-estate firm, recognized throughout South Florida, Latin America and Europe as a leader in high-end luxury real estate.
Chairman Arthur Keiser Keiser University Keiser focused on providing career-oriented education when he co-founded the school in 1977. He continues to serve as chancellor and CEO of Keiser, which, in a recent year, had nearly 18,000 students with campus locations throughout Florida.
Chief Operating Officer Steve Palmer Stiles Corp. Palmer joined Stiles Corp. as an estimator in 1979 and became COO in 1994. Since retiring in 2019, he has remained on the company’s board.
President Bill Berger Greenspoon Marder Berger calls himself “a businessman who practices law,” and his acumen played a key role in the growth of Greenspoon Marder, which became a top 200 firm nationally. He continues as a senior partner.
President Carlos Rosso The Related Group Rosso joined Related in 2002 and continues to lead its highly successful condo division. He has developed more than 16,000 units in Florida, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay.
CEO Dave Seleski Stonegate Bank Seleski founded Stonegate in 2005 and made it one of the fastest-growing banks in Florida with $2.2 billion in assets when Seleski was honored. The bank was sold in 2017 to Home BancShares of Arkansas, and Seleski joined its board and served as a regional leader.
Chairman Steven E. Bernstein SBA Communications Corp. Bernstein founded SBA Communications in 1989 and created one of the nation’s largest owners and operators of wireless infrastructure, including cellular towers. He continues to serve as chairman of the company, which is part of the Standard & Poors 500.
Chairman John Kanas BankUnited Kanas led a group in the $940 million acquisition of the failed BankUnited savings and loan in the wake of the recession and subsequently took it public. He retired as chairman at the end of 2018 and is currently a senior adviser to the Carlyle Group and vice chairman of Carlyle Global Financial Services Partners.