The graduation season of 2021 evoked all kinds of things to all kinds of students, parents, administrators: bewilderment and joy, anxiety and relief. For Symeria T. Hudson, who, for nearly three years, has served as CEO of Chapman Partnership, it meant pride. Chapman Partnership, based in Miami, is a philanthropic nonprofit organization that both houses and empowers the homeless, and the spring of 2021 saw a new crop of its graduates claim a brighter future. “We’ve launched an innovative program, called our Social Enterprise Academy,” Hudson explains. “This was a program focusing on the training and skill level of our residents in the field of construction—carpentry and electrical. Now, we started this program in January 2020, literally a month and a half before COVID-19. These individuals had spent time learning in classrooms, so when COVID happened we had to pivot to a virtual model. Two months ago, we literally graduated our first class—we had 29 individuals graduate from our very first workforce training program.” The new grads came away with five national certifications that they can take with them to any job site. “They’re also in line to take on jobs at a livable wage, and that’s really our goal for the program,” Hudson says. “So I would say that’s a huge success story. They hung in there for more than a year.” Given this story (and the way her voice is infused with feeling as she tells it), when Hudson describes what makes a great leader, she might as well be speaking of herself: “I think what makes a great leader is their ability to make the organization pivot and be resilient. That’s exactly what we’ve seen in the last year and a half with COVID-19. The last piece is to lead with passion. Even though it’s been challenging, we still have to maintain a level of excitement and enthusiasm around what we do.” Hudson is not only passionate; she was prescient as well. Headlines about the housing shortage and the meager supply of skilled laborers have multiplied only since the spring, but Chapman Partnership had designated construction as a focus area more than 18 months ago. “This academy was born because we had a high-demand/low-supply model,” she explains. “There are a lot of jobs that go unfilled in this area, and we wanted to plug that and make sure that we were able to supply really great, talented people. Once the pandemic was announced, most organizations put a pause on everything, but we just said that we needed to pivot, and find a way to get these programs to our residents.” The fact that the labor shortage has prompted employers to look deeper into the applicant pool, and at nontraditional talent, has played to the program’s advantage. Chapman Partnership’s database of nearly 200 employers in the community that support the organization’s work provides a much-needed bridge to employment. Meanwhile, a second program to be added to the academy, designed to train certified nursing assistants, is waiting in the wings, slated to be up and running by the fourth quarter of 2021. Hudson says the success of the program has not gone unnoticed. “We’ve gotten so many great responses to our program, from organizations like the Lennar Foundation, which is a huge supporter of what we do,” she says, calling out one the country’s top homebuilders, and a Fortune 500 company. She also singles out for praise Florida International University, which provides the instruction and hands-on training for Chapman Partnership’s residents: “We’ve been very, very fortunate to have some great partners to ride alongside with us.” One student from the program stands out to her. “We had a gentleman, a single male. He had never graduated from anything,” Hudson says. “He struggled with drug addiction, being on the streets—and he came in looking for hope, and an opportunity to change his life. On the day of graduation—and we did hold a graduation—a formal ceremony, not super-fancy—when he walked up to that podium, he was so excited.” And under the tent that the organization had set up in the parking lot, outside for safety reasons, the man’s sister approached Hudson to tell her that that day was the first time she had seen her brother excited—about anything. The man had been through so many programs, but his sister believed that this one would make the difference.

Bacardi knows a good thing when it comes along. Though St-Germain, which is fashioned from fresh, handpicked elderflowers, carries a French, old-world aura, this liqueur has been around since only 2007. Created by Cooper Spirits, the company was sold to Bacardi in 2013, and St-Germain remains...

In the middle of the pandemic, Cote Miami rolled into the Design District trailing its pedigree—the renown of the Michelin-starred, James Beard Award-nominated New York flagship in the Flatiron District. And I rolled in there—alone. That happens when the only reservation time you can snag is at 6:30. But a warmly enthusiastic server named Niko was omnipresent, keeping me from feeling lonely and explaining everything to me. And yes, things need explaining when you’re seated at a booth with a round, smokeless, fire-powered grill set into the middle of the table. At first I thought I’d have to cook my own dinner, in Japanese shabu-shabu-style, but Niko set me straight. During the next hour or so, if he wasn’t around to turn the meat (which was rare—I mean his absence was rare, not the meat; I’m a medium guy), one of his passing colleagues seamlessly picked up the tongs and flipped something over. The “something” was usually one of the four fine cuts of meat from the Butcher’s Feast: the hangar steak, the 45-day U.S.D.A dry-aged ribeye, the American wagyu and the short ribs—the last a Korean barbeque staple, Niko tells me. Surprisingly, I preferred the hangar, which I found incomparably flavorful, to the ribeye. The wagyu was delectable, and it was the right choice to save the decadent short ribs, which were the sweetest of the four, for last. The beef tasting, overseen by executive chef David Shim, was accompanied by, among other sides, delicate bowls of pickled veggies and every manner of mushrooms, including a large mushroom cap that sizzled on the grill. I was advised to drink the broth that was bubbling inside the cap, and I happily obliged. Before I took a bite, I felt a tap on my shoulder: It was my friend, interior designer Mike Stake with a friend from L.A. I wasn’t wholly surprised—expect to see a prime sampling of Miami’s creative class at Cote. And Mike lives in the neighborhood.