Apogee Awards 2019

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.

Bob Birdsong
OK Generators
Birdsong left the Navy submarine fleet as an engineering officer in 1990 and went to work for OK Generators, which is now a leading provider of commercial generators. He purchased the company with a partner in 1998 and bought out the partner in 2004.

Mark Gilman
Barkin-Gilman Group Compass
The principals and team leaders created Barkin-Gilman Group in 2012 and recently joined Compass Florida, where it is the No. 1 team. The group also has been recognized as the top team in Fort Lauderdale and No. 11 in Florida by REAL Trends/America’s Best.

Christopher Leonard
Velocity Solutions
CEO Leonard’s company provides software to financial institutions to improve revenue and manage risk. Before becoming CEO, Leonard served as president, chief operations officer and general counsel.

Christopher Clements
Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium
Senior vice president and CFO Chris Clements is in his sixth season with the team, responsible for franchise and stadium accounting, payroll, financial operations, strategy and analytics. He joined the Dolphins after 18 years at global sports agency IMG in a variety of leadership positions.

Real Estate and Construction
Jaime Sturgis
Native Realty
CEO and founder Sturgis heads a Fort Lauderdale-based team of real estate professionals who are disrupting the industry. His place-making efforts began in Wynwood and continued in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village, where he has completed more than 750,000 square feet in transactions during the last few years.

Real Estate and Construction
Mike Pappas
The Keyes
Company/Illustrated Properties
President and CEO Pappas leads a Miami-based real estate company that has 58 offices, 3,000 associates and mortgage, title, property management and insurance affiliates. Keyes Co. has sales and services in excess of $6.7 billion annually as the largest independent brokerage in Florida.

Real Estate and Construction
Michael Loudis
ProFi Construction & Maintenance
CEO Loudis anticipates client needs and has grown ProFi from a small facility maintenance company to a one-stop shop for construction and maintenance services. He and longtime business partner Patrick Cueva founded ProFi with the goal of standing out for exemplary service.

Kristin Karp
Hotwire Communications
CEO and co-founder Karp leads the company in all business strategies and core objectives. Her leadership made Hotwire Communications the first all-fiber optics telecom for new construction in the United States, the first in Florida to offer internet protocol television, and the first to offer gigabit residential internet service speeds.

Robert Taylor
Burdette Beckmann
Owner and CEO Taylor joined the family business in 1983. He has overseen its growth from a mom-and-pop business operating out of his parents’ home to a national sales agency with more than 200 associates and 10 offices across the United States.

Real Estate and Construction
Rosemurgy has been CEO of the privately owned commercial real estate development, investment and management firm since 2010. The company has expanded its portfolio to more than $600 million in assets under development and management, and has actively developed more than 2 million square feet.

Real Estate and Construction
Stuart Meyers
Meyers Group
Chairman and CEO Meyers leads a fully integrated multifamily, hotel and mixed-use real estate development and management firm headquartered in Coral Gables, with regional operations in El Paso, Texas. He has planned, directed and completed the development of 20,000 rental apartments representing.

Real Estate and Construction
Paul Kaplan
KW Property Management & Consulting
Co-founder and co-managing director Kaplan, a former certified public accountant, and CPA Robert White launched their Miami-based company 15 years ago to improve property management services. KW has grown to 1,700 employees and 80,000 units under management.

Real Estate and Construction
Larry Genet
Senior vice president Genet works in CBRE’s Fort Lauderdale office and provides a wide range of services for clients ranging from local to Fortune 500-level firms. He is a third-generation commercial real estate professional.

Francisco “Paco” Velez
Feeding South Florida
As president and CEO, Velez leads the organization and fulfillment of its mission to end hunger in Florida by providing immediate access to nutritious food, leading hunger and poverty-advocacy efforts and transforming lives.

Eric Eikenberg
The Everglades Foundation
Appointed to the position of CEO by the foundation’s board in 2012, Eikenberg has extensive policy and political experience in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. He has served as chief of staff to former Gov. Charlie Crist and former U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw.

Marketing and Public Relations
Peter Gary
Pinnacle Advertising
CEO Gary served in the Marines for eight years, as general manager for top automotive dealerships, and helped Autobase grow from 167 dealers to more than 3,000. In 2010, he founded Pinnacle Advertising, which became one of South Florida’s most-successful advertising firms.

Vanessa Valera Nolte
Distrivalto USA/Holstein Housewares
Co-founder Nolte’s company produces functional, small kitchen appliances and treat makers. She is the winner of the Organization of Women in International Trade’s South Florida International Woman of the Year and Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year for Florida (Family Business).

Jack Owoc
Bang Energy
Owoc, the CEO, chief scientific officer and owner, is the creator of performance-enhancing beverages in the sports nutrition field. Brands include Redline, Bang Energy Drinks, Meltdown, 1-Keto, Stoked and Keto Coffee.

Real Estate and Construction
Alberto Fernandez
ANF Group
Fernandez has been president of ANF since 1992 and is regarded as an impartial and assiduous executive. His philanthropic efforts have raised more than $5 million for the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The principals and team leaders created Barkin-Gilman Group in 2012 and recently joined Compass Florida, where it is the No. 1 team. The group also has been recognized as the top team in Fort Lauderdale and No. 11 in Florida by REAL Trends/America’s Best.

Marlene Gordon
Lynn Mitchell Foundation
Foundation president Gordon began the foundation in 2012 to honor her mother’s legacy by providing educational resources and opportunities for underprivileged children in rural Jamaica. She joined Del Monte Fresh Produce Co. in June 2018 as senior vice president, general counsel, corporate secretary and chief legal compliance officer.

Marketing and Public Relations
Kip Hunter-Epstein
Kip Hunter Marketing
CEO Hunter-Epstein is the founder of her full-service brand marketing, advertising, public relations, creative design, social media and special events firm in Fort Lauderdale. She has more than 30 years’ experience in brand development, marketing, advertising and special events in the retail, corporate, sports, entertainment and nonprofit arenas

David Rosen
Kira Labs
Founder and CEO Rosen has grown Kira Labs from its start in a garage to a thriving and award-winning manufacturer and beauty innovator with more than 150 employees. Kira Labs manufactures and markets more than 30 brands in the hair, face, body, home and pet categories.

Juan Molina
An accomplished executive and leader with a proven track record of scaling growth and driving success, COO Molina brings a wealth of experience in high-growth technology companies together with a deep understanding of the health care marketplace. He leads the end-to-end delivery of CareCloud’s innovative enterprise platform.

Jeffrey Weiner
Venture Tech Solutions
As vice president of HR, he leads a team of professionals that oversee HR for companies such as Consolidated Credit, Financial Apps, Pine Hollow, Debt.com, Lighthouse Financial Solutions, Lifestyle Media Group and SFBW. He has volunteered to be a race coordinator for the Heart and Sole 5K/12K, benefiting Parkland Cares.

Eric Martin
Chief technology officer Martin graduated in electronic engineering but quickly moved his passion to coding, coding languages and technologies. He has led Synergistix to be one of the premier providers of solutions for life sciences

Rick Mancinelli
C3 Cloud Computing Concepts
Founder and CEO Mancinelli has more than 25 years’ experience in all phases of information technology management, including software development, network architecture, and corporate IT management. He has held executive positions in finance and telecommunications firms.

Daniel Sheehan
Professional Bank
Sheehan is one of the founding directors of the bank, and is chairman and CEO. He has been involved in the investment and deployment of more than $10 billion of real estate capital.

Michelle Fee
Cruise Planners
Fee, as CEO, founded Cruise Planners, an American Express travel representative based in Coral Springs, 25 years ago. It has more than 2,500 travel advisers across all 50 states.

Health Care
Wael Barsoum
Cleveland Clinic Florida
As CEO and president, Barsoum is a member of the Cleveland Clinic executive team and a past member of its board of governors. Barsoum has a clinical practice as a staff orthopedic surgeon.

Benjamin Koppenhoeffer
Elite Marine A/C, Spot Zero Reverse Osmosis and Southern Marine Supply
Koppenhoefer is president of three South Florida companies: Elite Marine A/C, Spot Zero Reverse Osmosis and Southern Marine Supply.

Peter Abreu
Shutts & Bowen
As the firm’s chief information officer, Abreu has more than 35 years’ experience serving the South Florida legal community since 1982. Since joining the firm in 2002, he has overseen the technology-related initiatives for its offices.

Maxwell Piet
CEO and President Piet provides strategic brand leadership, establishing long-range goals and expansion plans for the 30-restaurant company. He has been in the restaurant industry for more than three decades.

Financial Services
Jeremy Straub
Coastal Wealth
As CEO of Coastal Wealth, Straub leads a team of more than 300 financial advisers and support staff with 14 offices throughout Florida. He established the company in 2016.

Carly Asher Yoost
Child Rescue Coalition
As CEO, Yoost’s work is nationally recognized for her global fight against child exploitation. Powered by technology that was developed at her family’s company, she founded Child Rescue Coalition, a nonprofit organization that rescues victims of sexual abuse by building technology for law enforcement.

Paul Adkins
Florida Peninsula Insurance Co.
Adkins, who is chairman of both Florida Peninsula and Edison Insurance Co., has led FPI to be one of the top homeowners-insurance carriers in Florida, serving more than 150,000 customers. He cofounded it in 2005.

William Langley
The Club at Quail Ridge
Serving as chief operating officer since 2013, Langley is responsible for club operations with 36 holes of golf, 16 tennis courts, a standalone fitness/lifestyle center, and a new, 60,000-square-foot clubhouse. Previously, he was vice president of clubs in Woodlands, Texas.

Health Care
Caitlin Stella
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
Stella, the hospital’s CEO, began her professional career as the startup administrator of the multimillion-dollar Center for Autism Research and Treatment at UCLA Health. She was a senior executive at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles before becoming chief administrative officer for UCLA Health’s Mattel Children’s Hospital and Women’s Health programs.

Mark E. Gale
Broward County Aviation Department, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
Gale is the CEO of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, ranked as the country’s fastest-growing large hub airport for the past two years, accommodating 36 million passengers in 2018. FLL is nearing completion of a $3.2 billion modernization and expansion program.

Financial Services
John Fumagalli
Northern Trust
Florida market president Fumagalli joined Northern Trust in Chicago in 1989. After several senior-level appointments, he was named vice president in 1992, senior vice president in 1999, and was promoted to his current title in 2016.

Jorge Gonzalez
City National Bank
Under his leadership as president and CEO, City National has grown from $3 billion to more than $15 billion in assets. During his tenure, he has overseen the 2015 sale of City National to Banco de Credito e Inversiones (Bci) and the 2018 acquisition of TotalBank.

David Druey
Centennial Bank
As Southeast Florida regional president, Druey oversees the bank’s Florida locations while managing margins, costs and efficiency, with a strong focus on asset and credit quality. Druey joined Centennial in 1998 and has been with the bank since its inception.

Teri Kaye
Daszkal Bolton
Kaye is partner in charge of the Fort Lauderdale office, tax group practice leader for South Florida, and serves on Daszkal Bolton’s executive committee. With 30 years’ experience in public accounting, she specializes in holistic tax planning and compliance for high net worth families and their entities.

Sheri Fiske Schultz
Fiske & Co.
As managing partner, Fiske Schultz leads the female majority-owned, full-service accounting firm. She brings 30-plus years of expertise and insight to her clients in valuations, forensic accounting and litigation support.

Stewart Appelrouth
Appelrouth Farah and Co.
Appelrouth, a CPA and owner at Appelrouth Farah and Co, is the co-founder of the full-service accounting and international business and advisory firm. His practice areas are focused on litigation support, audit and assurance, fraud investigation, business valuation, and business and tax consulting.

Miriam Lopez
Marquis Bank
Lopez is president and chief lending officer at Marquis Bank. In 2010, she was the first Cuban-American woman president of the Florida Bankers Association.

Carlos Fernandez-Guzman
Pacific National Bank
Guzman, who is president and CEO at Pacific National Bank, began his banking career at Southeast Bank. He previously was a senior executive vice president at BankUnited.

Jose Cueto
International Finance Bank
Cueto, president and CEO of International Finance Bank, began his banking career 31 years ago at Republic National Bank of Miami, and later worked for First Union, Capital Bank, Banco Real and Bank Leumi. He has been recognized as a top producer.

Marjorie Horwin
Horwin is a managing principal at MBAF and the principal-in-charge of its private wealth services group. Horwin has practiced in the area of income, estate, trust, and taxation of exempt organizations for more than three decades.

W. David Ellrich
Ellrich, Neal, Smith & Stohlman
Ellrich has been president of his firm since 1982. His credentials include accredited senior appraiser in business valuation, certified valuation analyst, accredited in business valuation, master analyst in financial forensics, and certified fraud examiner.

David Appel
Cherry Bekaert
Appael has been the managing partner of South Florida for Cherry Bekaert since 2008. Since 1979, he has served clients in the real estate, marketing, leisure, construction, franchising, wholesale, retail and service sectors.

Kevin Gale
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