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SFBW Makes a Strong Stand at the Diversity & Inclusion Awards

At a critical time, SFBW and its partners and sponsors came out in force for the magazine’s first Diversity and Inclusion Awards in what is planned to be an annual event. Held, appropriately enough, in Wilton Manors at the Venue, the awards were announced by Jennifer Starkey, vice president of diversity and inclusion at TD Bank, the presenting sponsor, and SFBW managing director Kim Sarni, while former LMG chairman Gary Press made a stirring statement about the need for love and acceptance.

Press movingly recounted the ways in which his brother faced discrimination and ostracism for being gay and his struggles as he endured the debilitating effects of AIDS and suffered an untimely, tragic death. He spoke of how heartlessness can become casual and automatic and how dreams get dashed when society refuses to see the value in every one of us. In his program letter, he described his “wakeup call to how cruel and prejudiced people can be, my wakeup call to the callousness of those who consider themselves ‘good people’ when they dismiss the value and humanity of others. Words and actions matter, and so does being seen.”

During his remarks, he described his experiences with his brother as “a brick in the face” and “an incredible awakening” to “the horrors of prejudice” based not only on sexual orientation, but also on race and religion. And he made it plain that SFBW and Lifestyle Media Group brook no intolerance: “I don’t tolerate any sort of prejudice in my life,” he said, to robust applause. “In the companies I’ve built over the last 25, 30 years, there is no place for anybody who is not tolerant.” He recalled turning away job applicants when their professional masks slipped, and their prejudices were revealed. “There is no path to success in our organizations for intolerant people,” he said. “That’s the way we do business.”

Sponsors represented a range of sectors, from health care to banking to education to tourism to professional services to businesses large and small, and included Florida Blue (gold); Minuteman Press (silver); Memorial Hospital, physician Shimo Bay, Visit Lauderdale and the World AIDS Museum (diamond); and AutoNation, Broward College, Culture Accelerators and Marsh McLennan Agency (sapphire).

The fact that such a vibrant sampling of South Florida industries and entities nominated their personnel and signed on to make the event happen proved a powerful statement. “To culminate in something like this makes me feel so honored.” Press said. “So many people here tonight receiving these awards shines a very bright light on diversity and inclusion in South Florida.”

Photo by Eduardo Schneider

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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.