“I get to play the role of historian and also visionary in this life,” says Boca Raton-based Pete Martinez, chairman and CEO of the Sivotec family of companies, which are best described as high innovation enterprises at the intersection of sports, health, technology and big data analytics. “I’ve been involved in around 400 different projects in my career, but the most challenging ones now are the ones ahead of us, because those are the ones that offer some of the most promise.” Martinez, who landed in Miami in 1961 as part of the Cuban migration, holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Miami, where he was named distinguished alumnus and a member of the Tau Beta Pi and Iron Arrow honor societies. (Higher education still colors his days: Martinez serves as a research affiliate at MIT and is a visiting professor at Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University.) His immediate postgraduate life resulted in a richly rewarding career steeped in groundbreaking work for IBM—and he holds more than 30 patents and technical publications in the areas of health care, AI, computer architecture, robotics, optical disks and display technology—so he knows that for him to say that the most consequential era is yet to come is a big deal. During his 32-year tenure at IBM, Martinez, who served as vice president of global business services and the senior location executive for IBM South Florida, led a 1,700-person organization composed of consultants, hardware and software developers, industry specialists and sales leaders. He directed projects in the areas of advanced research, supercomputing and information-based medicine. In 2003, he led the formation of IBM's largest business transformation multiclient center, which is now a multibillion dollar outsourcing business. Previously, he directed the formation of business consulting and system integration services in Latin America, which was staffed by 2,000 people in 17 countries—a $1 billion business. He was also the founding executive of IBM's e-business strategy consulting and served as consulting profession leader for the Americas. Among other career highlights, Martinez was part of the original IBM personal computer team and a founder of IBM’s internet division and e-business consulting. So when Martinez talks about feeling the ground shifting, this is a man who knows the terrain.

After a brief stint in nightlife, and then as a residential “broker to the stars,” in 2005, Tony Cho started his own commercial brokerage, Metro 1. The subsequent downturns put him “in crisis,” he says—but then came work in developing the Arts District in Wynwood (“my first experience in placemaking, really,” he says) and Little Haiti. The multifaceted success of those and other projects (the firm has done more than $3 billion in business) galvanized him, and today he is also founder and CEO of Future of Cities, a multifaceted development and venture company with a global vision. When SFBW spoke with Cho, he had just returned from presenting his ideas at the U.N. General Assembly in New York, and was packing his bags to head to the U.N. Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. But all his efforts emanate from South Florida: “I feel that Florida, and Miami in particular, should become a hub for climate tech and innovation,” he insists. “We should invest in becoming one of the most resilient cities in the world.” The goals of the Future of Cities seem rather ambitious, to say the least. The mission is to positively influence the lives of 1 billion people through innovation in the built environment. And that doesn't mean building housing for 1 billion people. It’s more like TED’s rubric, “Ideas worth spreading.” We’re spreading ideas around sustainable and regenerative development practices. People are looking at demonstration projects to emulate and do more equitable and inclusive projects. It’s about inspiring a generation of impact investors and impact developers to help reinvent the built environment.

[caption id="attachment_80623" align="alignleft" width="232"] Jessica Melendez[/caption] The University of Miami Law School’s Master of Laws in Real Property Development (UM-RPD) Advisory Board recently added three members to its board, which helps cultivate the next generation of real estate attorneys. Joseph Hernandez, partner and real estate practice...