Brett Graff’s Mixed Company – Season 1
Young Miami Business Leaders Tell Their Secrets to Success
Cuban-American Felice Gorordo took his own identity crisis and turned it into a support group – for the millions young Cubans who today find their goals stunted by communism. Gorordo, 27, after mending his own disconnect with Cuban culture, co-founded Roots of Hope (Raíces de Esperanza). The organization, through an international network, delivers personal and professional development to the young people on the island to help them to achieve ambitions that might otherwise be smoldered under the government’s regime. What Gorordo started as a student group has grown to 3,000 members – you’ll recognize many of the famous names (Andy Garcia, George Lopez) – and includes organizations such as The Alliance of Youth and the National Association of Hispanic MBAs. The movement has since become powerful enough for CNN to take notice, featuring Gorordo on its show, Young People Who Rock.
René van Weenen
René van Weenen is at the forefront of medical care in Miami – only you’ll rarely see him. He’s the director of business applications at Leon Medical Centers, a 37,000-patient, seven-clinic conglomerate, where he oversees the operations keeping the entire business alive and running 24-hours a day.
We sat down after work with van Weenen at Morton’s The Steakhouse, where over a glass of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, we talked about the strength of both his business and his health. That’s because in addition to busting through technological boundaries, van Weenen is exploring new medical frontier.
Juan Luis Betancourt
Executive search consultant Juan Luis Betancourt, 39, is used to hiring people. But after appearing for two episodes on The Apprentice with Donald Trump this season, he’s gotten some experience in firing them, too.
Betancourt was invited into America’s most famous boardroom because he’s made a career out of hunting down executives. Working at Korn/Ferry International, he’s retained by billion-dollar businesses to fill the kind of positions considered jewels in any economy — those with yearly salaries starting at $250,000 and sometimes stacking up to $750,000.
If you’ve never regarded the task of cleaning up after 30,000 partygoers in Bayfront Park to be a particularly glamorous job then consider this: Christian Infante’s janitorial, landscape and and security company generates $16 million a year in revenues and employs 480 people. It’s called SFM Services Inc. and it scrubs, protects and beautifies clients in every corner of the city including Viscaya, The City of Coral Gables, Baptist Health Services, The Miami Parking Authority, The Orange Bowl and yes, Bayfront Park, home of the extremely messy Ultra Music Festival.
Civil and environmental engineer Michael Laas, 30, has a goal of getting Miami’s businesses to be thinking about the green stuff. Not money – though he claims financial savings are a side effect – but rather the reduction of their carbon footprints in the local community.
“We need to reduce energy consumption and emissions,” he says. “And if the whole world comes on board we’ll slow down warming process. The longer we procrastinate, the worse it’s going to get.”