John Knox Village of Florida, Inc. and John Knox Village Foundation will host the inaugural Aging Greatly 2022 Symposium on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the John Knox Village Cultural Arts Center in Pompano Beach. The informative event will feature industry leaders (in-person and virtually) on aging, including New York Times bestselling author...

A few years after interior designer Marcela Villalobos and her husband, Juan Pablo (aka, J.P.), moved to Miami and opened their boutique interior design firm Concepto MV in 2001, they launched a division exclusively providing a wallpaper hanging service that became an overnight success. And when the pandemic started making in-person, full-service interior design too challenging, they started offering virtual interior design consultations with partner Ana Maria Caicedo and growing a team. This shift helped their business thrive. “Before, I would have two, three, maybe four full-service clients annually,” Marcela explains. “Since we’ve gone virtual, we’ve had more than 350 from the end of 2021 through today. It’s lucrative and exciting.” Her design consultants see photos of clients’ homes, charge by the room, and then provide suggestions and links for purchasing furnishings and finishes. In March 2002, Marcela and Ana Maria opened an office in Colombia now that Concepto MV has transformed more than 1,000 homes in South Florida. Concepto MV also creates custom-built high-design furniture. Interestingly, Villalobos has met only about one-fifth of her virtual clients in the flesh, though she estimates 80 percent of her roster resides in Miami. And while it might seem counterintuitive in the world of interior design, where everyone likes to say they cater to a diverse array of client tastes, the secret to the firm’s success is that Concepto MV has a definitive “look”—organic, modern, neutral and clean. However, when one of her clients purchased a 1950s-built, 3,600-square-foot home in Key Biscayne with four bedrooms and three bathrooms in 2020, Villalobos knew it would be a hands-on project. “The home was really outdated,” she recalls. Working with Nandez Design and Development in Miami, Villalobos set to work on the full redesign/renovation, which started with painting the walls white and installing 48-inch-square storm-white porcelain tiles from Prosein in Doral. Aside from a convex ceiling with some rafters near the entry foyer—which she transformed into an attractive feature with Thermory’s radiata pine cladding—the home had low ceilings throughout, and one of her top priorities was to let in as much natural light as possible. Visitors get an immediately feel for what’s to come the moment they step inside. To their left is a stunning wood and marble Tides dining room table from Pure Project Home in Coral Gables, paired with chairs from Italian brand Midj and dynamic pendant lights from Addison House. To the right is a living room with conversation-worthy decor accents, like a cheeky Fornasetti Antipatico vase, gold plant stands and a semi-precious stone-topped accent table. Orange leather chairs from Nicoline Italia provide some spicy color to the otherwise neutral room. To break up the monotony of the ground covering, Villalobos had Nandez installed a long, whitewashed wood step with an LED strip. “The client wanted a unique art piece that didn’t take away from the space,” she recalls. “This was the perfect solution.” Another Concepto MV signature, which Villalobos installed in the great room, is a vertical wooden slat wall. Here the radiata pine slats helped solve myriad issues, by hiding the stairs and creating a wall to open opportunities for furniture placement.

As South Florida sees an influx of business investment and economic growth, its systems and infrastructure for freight transport are being pushed into the spotlight. With multiple modes of transport—including air, sea, rail and road—management and planning can be a constantly changing puzzle. Anthony Abbate, director of Metro Lab at Florida Atlantic University, moderated SFBW’s recent panel discussion on freight movement in the region, and his expert guests weighed in on the challenges and opportunities the future brings. If Abbate emphasized anything, it was that success in freight planning is contingent on getting stakeholders to work together: “The health of our economy depends on the effective and efficient movement of goods to support commercial and industrial activities,” he explained. “Freight planning involves partnerships between public and private sectors to minimize the effort and cost to get goods to businesses as well as residents and visitors throughout this region.” With so many modes of transport, where does South Florida’s freight system begin? “The main facilities start with Port Everglades, which is our hub for where import/export is actually occurring,” said Greg Stuart, executive director of the Broward Metropolitan Planning Organization. “A lot of that freight is getting moved on trains, as well as trucks that are moving on our highway and local road systems.” Among the port’s biggest advantages is its proximity to warehouses and rail distribution centers, according to Robert Ledoux, senior vice president and general counsel of Florida East Coast Railway. “That allows us to seamlessly move cargo in and out of the ports without hitting the main highways and roadways of Broward County,” he said. “The negative is when our trains are moving slow through downtown Fort Lauderdale, with the traffic jams and problems that creates for the motorist.” An ongoing project to deepen and widen the port’s harbor will ramp up the volume of cargo that it processes while presenting a unique opportunity. When Port Everglades is finished around 2025, it will welcome post-Panamax ships, which carry as much as three times the cargo of Panamax ships (vessels designed to transit the Panama Canal). The additional freight will give both rail and trucking a chance to mitigate the imbalance between the state’s imports and exports.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]South Florida Business and Wealth is proud to host numerous events throughout the year. Whether it be a CEO Connect to provide networking opportunities for local businesses or an extravagant party honoring South Florida's top business professionals, we...