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Editor’s Letter: Family Business Is Always Personal

Anyone who has worked on a team has experienced the inevitable, often-awkward and rarely satisfying meeting about “roles and responsibilities.” Tenure, job titles, departments—these signifiers don’t even offer a hint about who does what and who reports to whom. All that typically gets sorted out in the actual doing—and in those R&R meetings.

I thought about that as I interviewed the principals of two family businesses: Florida East Coast Realty and Fortune International Realty. Though both are in the same industry, the division of labor in each couldn’t be more different. Both companies offer lessons about work and family, and about complementary skills sets, interests and talents.

FECR is helmed by three generations of Hollos. In our cover story, “Brotherly Bonds,” we focus on the middle generation—Wayne and Jerome—who are bookended by their illustrious father, Tibor, and Wayne’s son, Austin. Wayne, who is older, serves as executive vice president of Florida East Coast Realty, while Jerome—Wayne calls him Jerry—is also an executive vice president, as well as chief operating officer and chief legal officer.

I asked each to explain the role of the other.

Wayne on Jerome: “Jerry’s strengths are innumerable. He’s very, very smart, he’s an excellent negotiator. He handles all our contracts; he’s our corporate counsel. I wish I had gone to law school so I could understand them. He’s our dealmaker.”

And Jerome on Wayne: “Wayne’s specialty is coming in and handling the financial aspects of the company and dealing with our lenders. It’s his strength. There’s a certain mindset to deal with banks and lenders on a daily basis, but he’s able to it.”

They weren’t prepped for these particular questions, and what emerges are spontaneous expressions of mutual respect. If anyone steps on the other’s toes, there’s no indication of it.

Meanwhile, in Agenda, we encounter a scenario outside the boardroom: Fortune International’s Ana Cristina Defortuna—the executive vice president is married to the company’s CEO and president, Edgardo—as she describes their jet-setting marital adventures (really, movie-worthy) that always seem to result in them landing some supertalented architect or designer to realize Fortune’s residential towers. One season they’re driving through a Swiss blizzard to meet with Herzog & de Meuron in Basel; in another, their stay at the Four Seasons Georges V prompts the pair to enlist the hotel’s interior designer, Pierre-Yves Rochon, to conjure their Key Biscayne home—and their next project. Titles aside, Edgardo calls his wife his closest collaborator; she seems like his muse.

No surprise there: When you’re family, you share the same shorthand, and many of the same experiences—at least the key ones. And you celebrate what each member brings to the table.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

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.