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Florida Business Minds

Author: The Florida Business Journals

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Florida Business Minds is a weekly podcast focused on the top business leaders in our state. Each week, we profile executives from across the state, rotating between the Tampa Bay, South Florida, Orlando and Jacksonville markets. Florida Business Minds is proudly presented by The Business Journals of Florida and sponsored by Peoples Gas.
38 Episodes
A decade ago there were only a handful of craft spirits producers in the state, and those doing business did so under strict guidelines. When St. Augustine Distillery opened, making hand crafted bourbon, rum, gin & vodka was only half the task. Lobbying politicians to slowly loosen the laws was critical to success for the up & coming operation, and the industry. In this episode, JBJ Editor in Chief Tim Gibbons welcomes Co-Founder & CEO Philip McDaniel to share the story. 
Professional sports is a revolving door of players, coaches and executives. But in Orlando, one man has been the face of the NBA's Magic for over 30 years. Alex Martins started in PR and worked his way up to CEO. In this download, OBJ Editor in Chief Sean McCrory invites Martins to reflect on his longtime career, while looking to the exciting future of the franchise with a major project ready to break ground in downtown.
Born & raised in the Miami-area, Kelley Brown-Murro has a pulse on the local economy and firsthand experience working with the small business owners who make it go. In this episode, SFBJ Editor in Chief Mel Melendez checks in with Brown-Murro for an update and an outlook on the region's economic vitality.
Florida's growth, and the infusion of new residents from a wide ethnic and cultural background is fueling interest in the arts. Tampa Museum of Art Executive Director Michael Tomor is leading growth in attendance, funding, diversity and engagement. In this episode, TBBJ Editor Alexis Muellner leads a insightful conversation. 
With the pandemic behind us, the focus turns to the future of patient care. The Mayo Clinic has long been synonymous with cutting edge treatments. In this episode, Jacksonville Business Journal Editor in Chief Tim Gibbons welcomes Dr. Kent Thielen, CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida, to share what he and his team are developing, and their bold vision for the decade ahead.
She's only been on the job for a few short weeks, but Belinda Ortiz Kirkegard is already drafting an aggressive game plan to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners. In this episode, former OBJ Editor Cindy Barth connects with Kirkegard, who shares her past experience and passion for this role.
South Florida saw an influx of tech companies during the pandemic. Now, rising rates and a return to old school business strategy threaten to slow that growth, but only temporarily. In this episode, SFBJ Editor in Chief Mel Melendez calls on Miami native and transaction veteran Jaret Davis, Co-Managing Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig Law Firm for an update.
When the pandemic hit, none of Bloomin' Brands 90,000+ employees got laid off, and the only person who took a pause in pay was CEO David Deno. That investment has paid off big-time for the restaurant group, as Bloomin' Brands, including Outback Steakhouse, have bounced back better than competitors. In this episode, TBBJ's Ashley Gurbal Kritzer invites an enthusiastic Deno to share the story, and what he and his team are doing to support local communities.
Rising interest rates have put a damper on development, but the long-term future for the Jacksonville commercial real estate market is strong. In this download, JBJ Editor in Chief Tim Gibbons welcomes JWB Real Estate Capital Co-Founder Gregg Cohen, who offers a wholistic view of the economy and the commercial market, short and long-term.
When Randy Haffner took over as President & CEO of AdventHealth's Central Florida Division almost two years ago, COVID-19 ran rampant. That didn't stop him from an ambitious growth strategy including a partnership with Disney, construction projects, and improving AdventHealth's already world-class care. In this episode, former OBJ Editor Cindy Barth invites Haffner to talk about leadership, community and the challenges in the year ahead.
The pandemic made remote work an option, especially for tech companies. What better place to work remote, or relocate your company than South Florida? Now, the question is whether the migration is here to stay? In this download, SFBJ Editor-in-Chief Mel Melendez taps Novo CEO Michael Rangel, a Miami native who moved away to start-up his company, then came home to build a winner.
We open our second season of Florida Business Minds with a check-up on the health of our statewide economy. Few know the state and its business owners better than Nikky Flores, Florida's Head of Middle Market Banking at JPMorgan Chase. A Florida native, Flores has served in key roles in all major statewide markets and offers unique and reassuring perspective.
In the wake of yet another successful Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show (FLIBS), South Florida Business Journal Editor-in-Chief Mel Melendez invites Marine Industries Association of South Florida President & CEO Phil Purcell to the podcast. Purcell shares the significant economic impact of the industry on Florida's economy, and why marine-focused trades are attracting the next generation of career seekers.
Business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals across the state now know what everyone in Tampa realized a long time ago: Melanie Griffin is an inspirational go-getter, and an energetic pro-business leader. In this download, TBBJ Real Estate Editor Ashley Gurbal Kritzer connects with Griffin in the midst of hurricane relief efforts to get her game plan for business success in Florida.
Uncertainty abounds, but when Bank of America's Jacksonville President Mark Bennett takes a look at his dashboard and surveys his clients, he offers a refreshingly optimistic outlook on Florida's economy. In this episode, Bennett reveals to JBJ Editor-in-Chief Tim Gibbons why he's optimistic, and shares how legendary Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden impacted his business career.
Even seasoned veterans of commercial real estate admit they've never experienced anything like the current, uncertain market conditions. In this episode, OBJ Editor Cindy Barth invites Foundry Commercial CEO Paul Ellis to share his company's game plan during uncertain times. Plus, Ellis offers  an outlook on Florida's unique and often contrary conditions when compared to the national market.
When he's not leading pioneering research and clinical efforts at Moffitt Cancer Center, Dr. Patrick Hwu and his fellow Moffitt musicians team up to entertain patients and partygoers across Tampa Bay. In this episode, TBBJ Editor Alexis Muellner hosts an informative and entertaining conversation with Dr. Hwu, sharing the latest advancements in cancer treatment and his passion for music.
It was a different scene in the late-1990's when Tim Petrillo teamed up with Chef Peter Boulukos to found The Restaurant People. Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas Boulevard was a sleepy stretch known for its seasonal wedding shops. 20 years later, it's the epicenter of spectacular cuisine. In this episode, SFBJ Editor-in-Chief Mel Melendez checks in with Petrillo, who shares his journey and offers advice for aspiring entrepreneurs in the industry.
What began almost 20 years ago when Fred Goldsmith failed to find an inviting, comfortable place to board his Bichon Frise, Samantha, is now a thriving destination resort for dogs & cats in 50 locations across the country.  In this download, JBJ Editor-in-Chief Tim Gibbons welcomes Pet Paradise President & CEO Fernando Acosta-Rua, who shares the company's success story and vision for growth.
Florida is open for business- all business, thanks in large part to the BBIF or Black Business Investment Fund. Established 35 years ago, the organization funds and supports the creation and expansion of Black and minority small businesses by providing loans, education and training. In this download, OBJ Editor Cindy Barth invites CEO Inez Long to share the impact BBIF is making across the state.
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