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Unstoppable Entrepreneurship Is the Essence of South Florida

We celebrate local entrepreneurs in every issue of SFBW, but this issue is something special as we shine a light on founders in some unexpected corners of the South Florida business community, showcasing not only the region’s dynamism in general, but the resourcefulness and drive of individuals.

And, yes, since this is South Florida, all of them look glamorous whether their businesses seem so or not. Maxine Gomez stuns in a photoshoot, but she’s not in fashion or communications—she’s the president of Dry Tech 24/7; the company she founded is the one to call if you need certified experts in water damage and mold remediation. It might not be sexy, but is it essential for our tropical way of life.

On the other hand, Alejando Russo, the founder and CEO of the spiced rum Candela Mamajuana certainly looks the part. What Gomez and Russo share is an openness to possibilities: Gomez founded her company because of a suggestion of a friend, and she ran with the idea; Russo had his lightbulb moment, aptly enough, in a hotel bar in the Caribbean.

The origin stories continue to fascinate: In love with his Porsche Design aviator sunglasses, Tony Brown learned computer-aided drafting decades ago, but then life intervened. It was only in the last few years that he picked up where he’d left off, debuting the Tony Brown Collection of boldly stylish eyewear. And after years of wowing event goers with his culinary stylings as a principal at Shiraz Events, Yaniv Cohen, the star of our Vision Board, struck out on his own, created his viral Spice Detective persona, and opened earthy, addictive Middle Eastern restaurants in Miami and Hallandale Beach.

Entrepreneurship requires a belief in yourself, regardless of the naysayers—and circumstances beyond your control. The interior design firm Concepto MV was doing fine before the pandemic, but how do you achieve full-service during a lockdown? By innovating and adjusting, transforming itself into a digital design studio that has beautified the homes of 350 clients since the end of 2021.

On a much larger scale, readers will catch the fever of entrepreneurship that heats up our cover story, “The Bonding.” Jay Parker leads Douglas Elliman in Florida, and Kenneth Baboun is a major developer; the two have joined forces on Alba, a unique condominium project on the West Palm Beach waterfront. These are big names—two seasoned guys with long careers—but their giddy enthusiasm for introducing a new product to market practically leaps off the page.

That drive to create can be just as intoxicating whether it’s your first launch or your 100th project—if you feel the passion.

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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.