William H. ‘Bill’ Kerdyk, Jr. is the President and CEO of Kerdyk Real Estate. Founded over 90 years ago, Kerdyk Real Estate is one of the most successful and respected independent Commercial, Residential and Management real estate firms in South Florida. Over the years, Kerdyk’s business and entrepreneurial interests have expanded from real estate to include banking and sports marketing.
Fun fact: I have a golf business in Nagoya, Japan ,and travel the world for the Toyota World Junior Golf Team Championship. I am Chairman and am co-founder with my 2 Japanese business partners. Over 70 countries from the six golf playing countries participate in this event. Title sponsors include Toyota Worldwide and Japanese Airlines.
What is your favorite South Florida dining destination? I enjoy going to Fratellino Ristorante at 264 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables. It’s ideal for a business lunch or dinner with friends or family.
What do you like to do on weekends? I have a place in the Florida Keys and enjoy boating and relaxing there with family.
How do you unwind from a long day at work? I begin the day working out at 5:30 in the morning and then go to the office to prepare for the day’s challenges. It usually is a long day. When I get home, unless it is an emergency, I try to detach from technology and spend time with my wife and children.
What is your favorite quote? “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do,” by Nelson Mandela. I have followed Mandela’s life for years and his crusade for peace. I believe he is one of the greatest leaders in our lifetime.
From whom, or what, do you draw inspiration? My father taught me at an early age the value of acting with honesty and integrity. I followed my father, William H. ‘Bill’ Kerdyk, Sr., as a public servant. My father’s advice guided me in public life and it is the foundation within which I operate all of my businesses.
What has been the biggest accomplishment of your career? I am proudest of the time I spent as Vice Mayor and Commissioner of the City of Coral Gables from 1995 to 2015. As a public official, I initiated, from scratch, two highly successful programs: a $2 million public/private partnership to purchase and enhance open spaces and parks; and the Coral Gables trolley, a free intra-city transportation connector system that serves over 1.25 million riders annually which has enhanced overall mass transit throughout the community.
What has been the most challenging moment in your career and how did you overcome it? In 2006, I founded and was Chairman of the Bank of Coral Gables, a local community bank. I led the bank through the Great Recession and identified a well-capitalized bank to merge with to ensure its continuity. In 2014, Bank of Coral Gables merged with First American Bank based in Chicago, a $5.2 billion bank with 56 branches in three states.
What advice would you give an up and coming professional? I suggest that young professionals begin early to develop a growing network of knowledgeable colleagues, mentors and business professionals. Most importantly, surround yourself with people you trust and respect. These individuals will assist you identify opportunities, spot trends and be a sounding board for big decisions.