Mike Jackson for president

Mike Jackson for president

While H. Wayne Huizenga was an incredible entrepreneur, Mike Jackson deserves major credit for helping him sort out the operations of AutoNation, the country’s largest automotive dealer.

When Jackson, who is on our cover, signed up with Huizenga, AutoNation was a somewhat unwieldy collection of businesses, but Huizenga empowered Jackson to streamline it and turn AutoNation into a dynamo that created industry innovation.

Jackson is a great example of someone willing to take a risk. He worked his way up from apprentice mechanic to his dream job running the U.S. operations of Mercedes-Benz, but then Huizenga called. Jackson said he thought their pairing could be either magic or tragic. It certainly turned out to be the former rather than the latter. Jackson’s interview in this issue talks about the importance of evaluating risk.

Jackson has received numerous accolades in the automotive industry, but he’s also a transcendent business leader as one of the nation’s longest-serving CEOs. He’s now become executive chairman at the age of 70 and will be able to mentor new CEO Carl Liebert.

I like how Jackson calls ’em as he sees ’em. He was among the first Fortune 500 CEO to sound alarms before the Great Recession in the national financial media. I remember him saying in a previous interview how he couldn’t make sense of highly leveraged consumers coming in to buy new cars to fill the garages of their new homes. In our “CEO Connect” interview, he doesn’t mince words on the looming dangers of the federal debt.

Jackson reminds me a bit of Harry Truman with his plain-spoken nature and “buck stops here” mentality. (Check out his words about how he feels when firing someone.)

Hey, Mike—now that you won’t be so busy at AutoNation, could you run for president?



The panelist box from a previous HR roundtable inadvertently ran with the July feature on manufacturing in South Florida. Here are the correct panelist names:

• Andrea Cid, managing director of Concept II Cosmetic.

• Andrew Shelton, owner of Paramount Mold and Tool, a plastics injection molding company.

• Mike Heissenberg, owner of Expert Shutter Services.

• Tom Dalton, president of KB Electronics.

• Molly Fiedler, chief innovation officer of Kira Labs, a skin care products manufacturer.

• Alan Garey, president and CEO of Decimal Engineering, which makes metal parts, and a board member of the South Florida Manufacturers Association.

• Ilian Obregon, vice president, middle market banking at Amerant Bank

• Luis Gonzalez-Mendez, executive director of research and development at Trividia Health, which makes diabetes care and other health care products.

• Jay Hess, a FloridaMakes business adviser based with the South Florida Manufacturers Association.

• Matthew R. Rocco, president of the SFMA.

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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.