The awards focus on their achievements in the workplace and in their charitable and civic contributions. Many of our honorees have already made their mark in senior-level positions or are on the fast track to do so.
The professionals recognized in the following pages were nominated by members of the community. We specifically asked to learn about those who have demonstrated an overall commitment to South Florida. We received hundreds of nominations for Up & Comers through our website. The results were evaluated by our editorial team, led by Editor-in-Chief Kevin Gale.
A big thanks to our sponsors who are instrumental in enabling us to produce the Up & Comers awards program:
Presenting Sponsor: MassMutual South Florida
Gold Sponsors: Optime Consulting, Thierry Isambert Culinary & Event Design and Xtreme Action Park
This fall, we will have our fourth annual Apogee Awards, which honor C-level executives. For more information, visit SFBWmag.com.
SFBW wants to do more than just cover South Florida. We want to be a part of it. Thank you for joining us in the celebration of the best our community has to offer.
Winner: Alexander Binelo
Binelo has been in the accounting profession since 2003. He serves as MBAF’s health care audit practice leader. Previously, he worked for a Big Four firm in its international executive service tax department. His professional affiliations include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants. His civic involvement includes memberships in numerous organizations. He received his master’s degree in taxation at Florida International University.
Manager of forensic, advisory and valuation services
CPA, CPMA, director in the audit department
Eric Santa Maria
Verdeja DeArmas Trujillo
CPA, director of the tax and accounting department
Winner: Golden Johansson
Legacy Bank of Florida
Colleagues say people who meet Johansson are drawn to her upbeat and welcoming personality. They call her hard-working, ambitious and someone to look for in the community. She’s affiliated with the National Association of Women in Construction, the chambers of commerce in Fort Lauderdale and Parkland, the Parkland Education Advisory Board (directly appointed by the mayor), and the Parkland Relay for Life.
Senior portfolio manager
Community Capital Management
Vice president and market team leader
Vice president and project manager, enterprise business & community engagement
Bank of America
Vice president and private client adviser
Winner: Michael Joslyn
Joslyn manages and coordinates all necessary resources throughout a project’s lifespan. He ensures safety, budgetary and schedule guidelines are met or exceeded. He started at Suffolk as an intern and worked his way up through the company’s Career Start program. He attended The Citadel. He has worked on numerous award-winning projects that have changed the South Florida skyline, including Met Square in Miami. He also is a speaker and facilitator for industry events.
Director of business development
Hedrick Brothers Construction
Manager of building information management and virtual design and construction
Keith & Associates
Winner: Adriana Fazzano Ficano
Chief of staff and associate vice president of corporate relations
An Amherst College graduate and a Coral Springs native, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Italy in 2009. After that, she taught history in Jacksonville then spent six months in Colombia as a part-time translator for a law firm while volunteering at an elementary school for impoverished children. In 2013, she began working for Broward College, where she oversees management of community relations and more.
Founder and president
Director of student transitions, College of Pharmacy
Nova Southeastern University
Winner: Andrew Costa
Managing director and co-founder
Global Wealth Management
Costa was a freshman at Florida State University when his parents lost more than half of their retirement savings from the stock market tech bubble burst. Concern for his parents sparked his decision to get a degree in finance. He started Global Wealth Management in 2010 with business partner Grant Conness, focusing on conservative retirement planning. The firm has grown from one employee in 2010 to 17 this year, managing more than $250 million in assets.
Investment and annuity specialist
MassMutual South Florida
New York Life Insurance Company
Winner: Justin Irizarry
Co-founder and CFO
With a bachelor’s degree in economics from Cornell and an MBA from Wharton, Irizarry has been an adviser and leader for organizations in the education, information, digital real estate, medical and technology industries. He joined OrthoNow in 2010 and co-founded the franchise with physician Alejandro Badia. In addition to his role as CFO, Irizarry is director of operations for OrthoNow in Doral, focused on delivering cost-effective orthopedic care.
Manager, clinical effectiveness, case management and
Memorial Healthcare System
Global Surgical and Medical Support Group
Winner: Mike Linder
Owner and CEO
Silver Light Inflight Catering/Jet Runway Café
Linder started Silver Lining with friend Mitch Amsterdam and has led its growth, serving 20,000 aircraft a year. They also started Jet Runway Cafe, an aviation-themed restaurant on the runway at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport that allows patrons to dine and watch takeoffs and landings by day and becomes a private-event venue at night. Linder also is involved in numerous philanthropic and charitable organizations, including the American Heart Association.
Director of restaurants
Director of sales and marketing
Regional catering sales manager
Covelli Enterprises (Panera Bread)
Winner: Erin Clampett
Marsh & McLennan Agency
The Fort Lauderdale native and Auburn graduate has immersed herself in the local business environment, living and working on Las Olas Boulevard and developing significant business relationships. She aims to expanding her reach throughout South Florida, helping companies optimize their benefits programs to attract, engage and retain their employees. She was promoted to her current position at Marsh & McLennan in 2015.
Gridiron Insurance Underwriters
Aon Risk Solutions
Private client sales manager
Brown & Brown
Eugene Mintze III
Law: Broward/Palm Beach
Winner: Alessandra Stivelman
Eisinger, Brown, Lewis, Frankel & Chaiet
A mother of two, with another on the way, Stivelman works tirelessly to balance a demanding workload with her growing family. In addition to practicing law, Stivelman serves as the firm’s director of marketing, advertising and public relations. She also is a team spirit-builder, creating monthly think-tank meetings for the partners and organizing community events. She has a bachelor’s degree from Southern California and a law degree from the University of Miami, and is active in the community.
Broad and Cassel
Lusthaus Law Group
Associate, real estate, finance and transactions
Padula Bennardo Levine
Winner: Jaime Vining
Nominated by Dade Legal Aid, which describes her as an “outstanding, caring leader” in the local legal community, Vining is a board-certified intellectual attorney. She has worked with Dade Legal Aid on its pro bono project, “Putting Something Back,” while serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law, where she has taught trademark law since 2010. Her practice focuses primarily on trademark, copyright, entertainment and internet law, and she has numerous professional affiliations.
Karim Batista, Esq.
Hunton & Williams
Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman
Winner: Gian Carlo Alonso
President & CEO
AmeriKooler, a leading manufacturer of walk-in coolers, freezers and refrigerated warehouses, is a family-owned business founded in the early 1980s. Alonso is second-generation leadership. Since childhood, he has immersed himself into every aspect of business, starting at the bottom. This experience, combined with financial and business background as a successful commercial real estate broker and investor, has helped devise and implement improvement and growth strategies.
Winner: Michelle Martinez Reyes
Chief marketing officer
With more than 20 years’ experience working with domestic and international clients, Reyes is a specialized marketer and relationship manager. She is part of the leadership team at Greenspoon Marder, one of the state’s largest law firms, focusing on strategy and growth, branding, business development, client relations, and media and public relations efforts across 20 U.S. offices.
Director of regional operations and client experience
Senior manager, marketing services
Norwegian Cruise Line
Founder and head of experience design
Director of marketing
Vice president for sales and marketing
World Travel Holdings
Winner: Jason Brian
Founder & CEO
Redwood Recovery Solutions
Brian leads the corporation behind a family of brands, including Treatmentcalls.com and Onlinetreatment.com, that provide marketing services to the behavioral health industry. Colleagues describe him as generous, attentive and collaborative, evidenced by high employee retention. He also is involved in his community, participating in worship music at his church and philanthropic activities throughout the year.
President and founder
Founder and CEO
Winner: Andrew George
The Honda Classic
George, an Iowa native and graduate of Coe College (double major: business administration and sports management), joined the Honda Classic, a PGA Tour golf tournament managed by sports marketing company IMG, as a tournament intern in 2009. He rose to his current position in 2016, overseeing a budget of more than $15 million and growing. He also has increased the tournament’s charitable giving to more than $3.5 million, benefiting the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and other charities.
Director of grants and projects
Ann Storck Center
Director of community relations
Voices for Children of Broward County
Founder and CEO
The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness
Winner: Nathan Dapeer
BBX Capital Partners
Dapeer has more than eight years’ private equity and investment banking experience, where he has concentrated on origination and execution of transactions and value creation initiatives at middle-market companies. He has successfully completed transactions across multiple industries, representing nearly $1 billion. He has a bachelor’s degrees from Northwestern University in economics and political science, enjoys travel and arts and culture, and is highly involved in the community.
Business broker and intermediary
Transworld Business Advisors
Director of management services, Broward
Calvin, Giordano & Associates
JD/Executive resume writer
and executive career coach
The Writing Guru
Winner: Melissa Perlman
Founder and president
After spending seven years at Office Depot’s headquarters in Boca Raton, Perlman started her own PR agency. In six years, her firm has become a well-known PR and communications agency, with a reputation as the go-to PR agency for clients seeking skillful writing, creative ideas and strategic consultation. The company already has gross revenue exceeding $500,000. Colleagues say her spirit and character have allowed her to grow her business.
Winner: Ryan Shear
Property Markets Group
Shear, 33, has been with the firm for a decade, working his way up from analyst to principal developer, where he works alongside founder Kevin Maloney. As principal developer of PMG’s Florida properties, he has spearheaded notable luxury developments throughout South Florida and the state, and manages a growing portfolio of assets exceeding $2 billion. Shear helped initiate PMG’s charity incentive program, which allows brokers to earn donations for their charity of choice.
Two Roads Development
Real Estate Brokerage
Winner: Christina Pappas
District sales manager
The Keyes Company
This Pinecrest native and third-generation Realtor began as a top producer and rose to leadership, attributing her success in part to the skills and knowledge gained in her early years, in the hopes of one day taking the reins at Florida’s largest family-owned residential brokerage. After studying hospitality at Cornell and working in sales for a hotel group, she transitioned into real estate and improved sales at the Coral Gables office, rising from rookie of the year to assistant district manager in two years.
Jorge L Guerra, Jr.
Real Estate Sales Force
Illustrated Properties Real Estate
Winner: Dave Mack
Mack oversees the corporate partnership and sales operations for the NFL team. Associates say he leads by example, as a servant leader for his people. He often is chosen by team ownership to handle special projects in the sports industry, consistently exceeding goals. He also is active in the community, involved with Dolphins Ride Against Cancer, and is the Honda Classic Ambassador for the Children’s Healthcare charity. Mack is on the business advisory board for the magnet programs of Palm Beach Gardens High.
Director of suites
Winner: Stephen Carter
executive vice president
Carter created a platform using machine learning and data science to predict job candidates’ cultural fit at hiring organizations. He took his company from inception to raising $1.4 million, building the sales process from scratch, designing large parts of the product itself as well as its marketing materials. His company was named the Miami Herald’s Startup of the Year in 2016 and won the $100,000 first prize at the Florida Venture Forum Competition. The company has increased sales by more than 300 percent.
Danielle MacLean Roebuck
Director of product management
Systems integration and technology manager
Vice president of legislative affairs