Overcoming obstacles

If there’s a major theme in this issue, it’s all about overcoming obstacles. 

Cover subject Gil Dezer and his family faced 900 condo unit buyers wanting to walk away during the Great Recession. More recently, he was told there was no way you could take cars up in an elevator and park them outside of a condo unit.  Both problems were solved.

The trio of NSU Huizenga School Entrepreneur Hall of Fame honorees each had significant challenges. Ramola Motwani had to deal not only with the end of the lucrative Spring Break business for her family’s hotel, but the death of her husband. Steve Mariano had to balance being a single father for five children with building new ventures. Joseph Farrell started out with one tugboat, symbolically named Resolve, and created one of the world’s top maritime emergency responders.

There are also struggles overcome in some of our feature stories as well.

Billionaire Mike Fernandez battled illness during much of a 508-mile walk, but developed an inspriational book about life’s journeys.

Rokk3r Labs is all about overcoming the obstacles faced by entrepreneurs. It’s getting a lot of attention from major companies.

 The region’s community banks had to overcome the challenges of the Great Recession and increased regulation. Our panel discussion provides a lot of insight into what happened and how that has shaped the current state of lending.

In other stories, we are happy to launch our Hot Spots for Your Business series in this issue. The series is designed to provide insight and perspective about some of the best places to grow your business in the region.

Coral Gables was a great place for us to kick off with its rich history, international cosmopolitan business environment and an outstanding quality of life.

I’d like to give a big shout out to Mark Trowbridge, President of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, for his willingness to lend his support to our project. Mark is one of the most insightful and fun business leaders I know in South Florida, so I would highly recommend getting to know him if you have even the slightest interest in doing business in the City Beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful, we have plenty of great images of great residential in this issue.

For starters, I’m awestruck that there are two pieces of art costing $14 million going in to Oceana Bal Harbour. The landscape approach to the project also seems like a welcome departure. Check out our Spaces feature to see more about that.

The profile of the Dezers also has some great images of the Porsche Design Tower. It’s very clever how the car elevator system has turned into what I would call performance art.

Then, there’s our special report on what I call Mega Modern Mansions. What’s going on here is truly amazing. This was a team effort, so I’d like to thank Pinecrest Magazine Publisher Gail Scott and Lifestyle Publisher Michelle Simon for their help. ?

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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.