The Brain Trust of South Florida

Once in a while, I’m just staggered by somebody’s career trajectory, and that’s certainly the case with our accomplished cover subject, Josh Leibowitz, the president of Seabourn cruises. It’s not just that the Carnival-owned Seabourn is consistently ranked as the top cruise line in the industry, or that before his current role, he held dual roles in both Carnival and Cunard, which is also owned by Carnival.

And it’s not just that he enjoyed a long tenure at McKinsey—actually, two stints. Between them, he was one of the founders of an e-commerce site when e-commerce was barely a thing. The fact that he has been able to segue from being a consultant to being the boss, and so effortlessly and seamlessly, has been superimpressive. An education from the University of Chicago and Harvard University helps prepare you to take leaps. And yet, Josh hasn’t skipped around. He doesn’t job-hop. All told, he was at McKinsey for 14 years and has been at Carnival for nearly a decade. That’s a demonstration of stability and loyalty, even as he has been an innovator all the way, a tireless “intrapreneur.”

Many of Josh’s colleagues are based in Seattle and Los Angeles, so we’re lucky to have him in Miami. Against the backdrop of an influx of talent from other parts of the country, I seem to be meeting more and more lavishly educated high achievers.

A couple of months ago, I had a fascinating lunch with Philippe Houdard, the CEO of Pipeline Workspaces, another Harvard grad. A few days ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing the famous urbanist Richard Florida, the Ph.D. from Columbia who popularized the term “creative class.” (I was a bit starstruck.) It turns out he lives just a few blocks from me in Miami Beach. Both Florida and Houdard will be featured in future issues.

We are increasing the brain power in South Florida, and we need to. I moved here from New York a decade ago and was educated up there. Ten of the top 20 universities are within a five- or six-hour drive from my old West Village stomping grounds. This is why Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and many others are trying to bolster the technological bona fides of South Florida’s universities.

We’ve grown up and we’ve grown smarter and will become smarter yet. Smartening up helps businesses secure and retain talent as much as our abundant sunshine and natural and architectural beauty do.

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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.