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Yolanda Berkowitz, the philanthropist

By Keith W. Strandberg

Living in the moment is something Yolanda Berkowitz has learned to do over the course of her life. “I remember talking with a Miami Heat player about an upcoming playoff series, saying how worried I was about the games,” she says. “He responded, ‘I don’t even know who we are playing after this series. I have to focus on today to the exclusion of everything else.’ That really hit home for me. I have learned that 24 hours are 24 hours and that’s all they are.”

In fact, a few years back, Berkowitz, whose philanthropic work focuses on Miami’s Voice for Children program among other charities, stopped wearing a watch altogether because of the pressure she felt whenever she looked at it. These days, she’s returned to her prized time tellers, albeit with a more sage and substantial approach. Committed to keeping her focus on the here and now, she adds, “I own a number of beautiful watches and, in the back of my mind, I had always wanted to wear a fabulous, important one. I think a timepiece should be a piece of art, something that stands out. One of the reasons I didn’t wear a watch is, back then for me a watch was a functional thing. Now, I want to wear something special, with provenance, from an important brand with a fantastic design.”