“Boating is one of those experiences everyone should be able to have,” says Jaclyn Baumgarten, CEO and co-founder of the online marketplace Boatsetter. So, in an effort to share her passion, she founded a Fort Lauderdale-based company that “enables anyone, anywhere to book incredible experiences on the water, whether they are looking for a day of fishing, sailing or sand bar hopping—even a luxury vacation on a yacht,” she explains. “And you can do it across the globe, with a few clicks.” A third-generation entrepreneur from California, Baumgarten started out as a strategy consultant, then earned an MBA at Stanford, later joined Westfield Corp. In 2012, she took a huge leap of faith, going on a six-month sabbatical to figure out a venture. During that time two of her brothers were selling their boats because they weren’t using them enough to justify the costs. “It struck me that an Airbnb for boats was something that needed to be,” she says, “a company that would make access to boating easy for everyone, while enabling boat owners to earn money to offset the costs of ownership.” On average, she says, owners can make anywhere between $7,000 to $12,000 on Boatsetter. One of its highest earners has netted more than $150,000 annually renting out a small powerboat in Miami). Since its inception, Boatsetter has challenged the boating industry’s domestic demographics—just as Baumgarten intended: “Boat owners in the U.S. were predominantly men, 58 years and older with higher average net worth,” she says. “But on Boatsetter, 73 percent of our renters are under the age of 45, and 50 percent of our renters are millennials. Our fastest growing segment is Gen Z and fully 43 percent of our renters are female.”

“I was a little tomboy,” readily concedes Sheryl Woods, the CEO and president of YMCA of South Florida. Woods played basketball as a kid, from the ages of 10 to 13. “Mom died when I was 9, but my dad, brother and sister were the best family structure, a strong family. Today, I am proud to say I was a tomboy—I still am, I guess. Back then, it was a bad word but I didn’t understand that yet as a kid. I negotiated with my dad for a basketball hoop in my driveway.” He hated the idea, but the young athlete played day and night, even asking for spotlights on the garage to play at night. “My dad would have to make me stop each night to go to bed because the neighbors were complaining about the ball bouncing late at night,” she says, “but I told him I was going to play in high school and college. Back then, Title IX was slow to have an impact on women’s sports, but I played high school ball as starter on the team as a sophomore. Dad was not a sports guy at all—he knew none of the rules, but he never missed one of my games. There’s an incredible love between dad and daughter that remains a lifetime.” Woods’ love of sports has likewise lasted a lifetime, and she is quick to describe how that predilection paid off in her education and career fulfillment. Having grown up in a blue-collar family in Ohio, Woods won a basketball scholarship to a small Catholic college before upgrading to the University of Idaho, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in social science. She continued at University of Idaho for graduate school, notching a master’s degree in physical education and sports pedagogy. Joining the Y Within a few years (during which she spent teaching at the University of Oklahoma), the YMCA took hold of her life—or she took hold of it. Her résumé constitutes a litany of roles and locations within the organization, starting with membership director of the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City in the late 1980s to a series of positions in Florida for more than the last two decades. The move to Sunshine State was all about opportunity: “I couldn’t grow anymore,” she recalls, “and I had the option to apply for jobs anywhere.” She landed in Orlando, taking YMCA jobs of increasing responsibility and cachet, before heading to South Florida. Woods has held her dual C-suite role for the last seven years (after a long tenure in an analogous roles in Broward County and Greater Miami). “Anything is possible with a little hard work,” she reflects now, adding that “being successful was like a drug for me, and I just wanted more of it. When I accomplished something that a lot of people typically can’t accomplish, then you’re like, ‘Hey, I can do that.’ So that just became part of my DNA.” What that success meant to Woods was “the power of leadership and how that can have a positive influence and can lead to positive outcomes for people, for little children.” And success to Woods also means efficiency: “I’ve always had operational success,” she says, “I always ran the YMCA like a business. No money, no mission. I’m obsessed with making sure we’ve got efficiencies and that we’re streamlining and that we’re looking at our return on investment, and that we’re leveraging resources. I try to put together partnerships and collaborations. As we continue to do that even to this day, it inspires me, because in our community in South Florida, people want affordable programs and services.” The numbers speak to that need, and the growth that Woods has overseen: When Woods moved to South Florida in 2005, the YMCA was a $10 million organization with roughly 600 employees. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the YMCAs of Broward County and Greater Miami had merged, and she was at the helm of a $60 million business employing 1,800 people. The seven-year-old merger, as she describes it, was one of those rare instances where egos were put aside to serve the greater good.

Lynn University’s Boca Raton campus has named its TV studio “BrandStar Studios at Lynn University” after BrandStar donated and installed an LED Volume Wall to give students unparalleled access to the latest virtual production technology. Students using the studio can gain experience in real-time compositing, which combines multiple...