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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 Florida Business Journals and sponsored by Peoples Gas.
31 Episodes
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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.
Many factors are driving South Florida's growth, and the tech sector is taking notice. The pandemic-induced remote work allowed tech execs to reset their home base, and many have landed in the Miami-area. In this episode, SFBJ Editor-in-Chief Mel Melendez checks in with eMerge Americas CEO Felice Gorordo for an update, and bold predictions about the future for South Florida's growing tech scene.
After a successful career in private banking and consulting, Troy Taylor parlayed his expertise and relationships, landing the first Coca-Cola franchise awarded to a new owner in 60 years. In this download, TBBJ Editor Alexis Muellner invites Taylor to share his inspiring story, and how he and his team are investing in local communities across Florida.
He grew up in the Orlando-area and started his career with Disney over 30 years ago. After circling the globe, launching or leading many of Disney's popular parks and attractions, Jeff Vahle returned home to takeover as President of Walt Disney World Resort. In this episode, OBJ Editor Cindy Barth invites Vahle to take us behind the scenes, sharing his journey with Disney, and revealing his favorite place in the parks, which may surprise you!
When he arrived at EWU, what was then a school had a balance sheet bleeding red and was in need of new ideas to spark growth. Just four years into his tenure, A. Zachary Faison has energized Florida's first Historically Black College, leading growth and achieving status as a university. In this episode JBJ Editor-in-Chief Tim Gibbons connects with Faison for an update, and his vision for continuing growth.
South Florida is a melting pot of people & cultures, so it's safe to assume that DE&I is no brainer--- or is it? In this enlightening episode, SFBJ Editor-in-Chief Mel Melendez invites Urban League of Broward County CEO and DE&I expert Germaine Smith-Baugh to reveal how even an area as diverse as South Florida can improve in this critical area.
It's no secret why the tech sector is attracted to Tampa Bay. The University of South Florida is home to the National Academy of Inventors, and USF faculty, staff, students and alumni collectively hold over 2,400 patents. Enter Rhea Law, who seemed preordained for the role of President. In this episode, TBBJ Editor Alexis Muellner welcomes Law to pause momentarily to outline her ambitious goals for USF.
He's a visionary, yet at the same time a realist. PS27 CEO Jim Stallings invests in companies led by passionate founders with a personal stake- and more importantly, companies that actually make money. In this episode, JBJ Editor-in-Chief Tim Gibbons drills down with Stallings on his past, principles, and where he sees opportunities in a challenging market.
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