Countdown to the Apogee Awards: Pavlik, Gonzalez, Smith honored as COOs of the year

As SFBW counts down the days to the Apogee Awards celebration on Oct. 21 at the NSU Art Museum in Fort Lauderdale, we’ll have biographies about the winners in each of the eight Apogee categories: chairman, CEO, president, COO, CFO, CMO, CIO and top HR executive.

Click here to register for the event, which is presented by the Octagon Family of Recruiting Companies (including its divisions of Octagon Technology Staffing and Octagon Professional Recruiting). Other sponsors include Quantified IT, Tripp Scott, BankUnited, Comcast Business and NSU Art Museum.

Here are the COO biographies:

Broward:  Jessica Pavlik, Berger Singerman 


Jessica Pavlik has over 15 years of experience in the management of law firms. As a results-oriented problem solver, she plays an integral role on Berger Singerman’s senior management and strategic planning team. She is ultimately responsible for all of the financial stability and productivity of the law firm.


The number of lawyers has more than doubled in Pavlik’s tenure, and she has been a big resource in the financial and operational planning of lawyer talent acquisition. Due to Pavlik’s skills and the innovative management style of the firm’s co-CEOs, Berger Singerman’s net profit has increased annually. 


Pavlik received her bachelor’s in accounting from Florida State University. She is very involved in the community with her participation on charity boards such as A Child Is Missing and in local fundraising events for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


Miami-Dade: Xavier Gonzalez, eMerge Americas


As COO and executive director of eMerge Americas, a multiday conference in Miami Beach that looks at how technology and innovation are disrupting industries, Xavier Gonzalez has put the exclamation point on the emerging technology scene in South Florida. In its second year, eMerge Americas attracted 10,000 attendees from 50 countries, 500 companies and 125 startups. It had 200 speakers, including top international names in business.


The conference plays a key role in further establishing Miami as the innovation hub of the Americas, engaging local educational institutions, international entrepreneurs and sources of capital to help fuel ventures.


Gonzalez was previously vice president of corporate communications and director of corporate communications at Miami’s Terremark, which was purchased for $2 billion by Verizon Communications in 2011. He was also director of marketing and communications for The Beacon Council.


Palm Beach: Mark Smith, 3Cinteractive


Mark Smith is COO of 3Cinteractive, which he co-founded in 2007 and has since grown to over 150 employees. In 2013, Forbes profiled 3C with the headline “America’s Most Promising Company.”



3C empowers many of the world’s leading brands and retailers with mobile marketing services that increase customer loyalty, brand awareness and results. Services include SMS and MMS messaging, mobile coupons, mobile wallet and mobile Web location-based services.


Smith had 16 years of sales leadership positions at MCI before joining the startup Internet Billing Company, one of the first Internet-based payment processors. As executive vice president of sales and operations, he was instrumental in growing the company to more than 400 employees, who processed over a half-billion dollars in payments each year.


Smith is co-chair of South Florida Technology Alliance’s talent committee, which focuses on workforce and economic development.


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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.