The Toughest Customer

When I was about 10 years old, a marketing campaign targeted women with the slogan, “You’ve come a Long Way, Baby.” 

Unfortunately, 46 years later, it seems businesses still have a long way to go when it comes to reaching women consumers, as our cover story on Delia Passi explains.

Passi matches one of my favorite types of profiles for SFBW: South Floridians who are national and international leaders in their field.  I like to think we rank second to none when it comes to talent in many fields, but it’s always good to get a fresh example.

Passi has impressive credentials. She is the former publisher of Working Woman magazine, the author of “Winning the Toughest Customer: The Essential Guide to Selling to Women,” a consultantant to numerous Fortune 500 companies and the creator of the Women’s Choice Award.

I think our story offers plenty of takeaways and common sense advice. There are also several wake up calls for some industries that seem to be doing a miserable job in addressing the needs of women consumers.

Another national expert in this week’s issue is Roy Oppenheim of Oppenheim Law in Weston, whom I just met a couple of months ago.

There’s a lot to admire about Oppenheim and his wife and law firm partner, Ellen B. Pilelsky. They realized early on the importance of work/life balance, which is evident in the accomplishments of their children. They were risk takers who saw a future in Weston when the area consisted mostly of cows.

Oppenheim became a major source in the national news media because he had the  determination to unravel problems in the the foreclosure mess. He has represented thousands of homeowners caught in the nation’s financial meltdown.

Technology has a big part in this issue as well. I was fortunate to attend two days of the eMerge Americas conference in Miami Beach. There was a wealth of fascinating presentations and interesting entrepreneurial companies, which have given me plenty of ideas for future issues.

For this issue, we have an insightful report from an eMerge panel on Cuba and a panel discussion among leaders of five of the region’s largest colleges and universities. Education is a key concern among our readers and it’s clear these academicians are hearing the business community loud and clear.

Separately, I had an opportunity to interview Mark Templeton, CEO of Citrix Systems, the region’s largest technology company. Citrix has made headlines for laying off employees, but it was clear to me that Templeton has a clear strategy on how to refocus the company on the opportunities ahead.

Going back to the initial topic of this column, Templeton has also attracted world- class talent to lead two major units of the company. Talent always wins out, so I expect that Citrix will move ahead sharply as this reorganization kicks in. ?

       Kevin Gale

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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.