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CEOs: Planning for the new year includes team meetings, goal-setting and a trip to recharge

This week’s question to South Florida CEOs who are on the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: How do you plan your new year goals and how do you encourage your employees to work toward a fruitful new year?


At the beginning of every year, our leadership team meets — collectively and individually — to set expectations and goals for the upcoming year. My goal is to make sure everyone on our team understands our collective mission, and that we work to ensure that all of us (in our individual capacities) are moving in that direction.

Vance Aloupis, CEO, The Children’s Movement of Florida


Prior to the end of each year, I reflect on what Good Hope was able to accomplish and what facets within the programmatic and administrative need further enhancement. From this list of goals that were not achieved, I am able to set new concrete goals, resolutions and strategies that align with our organization’s vision and mission. To encourage the staff members to become more productive and passionate about the vision and direction of Good Hope Equestrian Training Center, we ask the team members to brainstorm their goals and the steps needed to help them achieve them.

Margaret “Peggy” Bass, executive director, Good Hope Equestrian Training Center


As a mission-driven nonprofit, Carrfour’s purpose has remained the same since our founding in 1993. Each year is an opportunity to consider new strategies toward our goal of eradicating homelessness. While goals for the agency as a whole are set by our directors, every employee’s participation and performance makes a difference. Before the end of each year, employees meet individually with their supervisors to review the year and set specific, measurable goals for the year ahead. Those personal meetings help align priorities across the organization. Our success is a result of bringing those goals to life, both individually and collectively.

Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg, president, CEO, Carrfour Supportive Housing


We set aside some time as a team to review the previous year and reassess our efforts, how the business changed, and the kinds of policies and/or initiatives we can implement to better serve our clients. We meet often throughout the year, but having this kind of meeting early on lets us reflect, which in turn allows us to be better leasing agents and developers.

Michael A. Comras, president, The Comras Company of Florida


We keep our staff motivated after the holiday season and prepared to face the new year in several different ways. We kick off the year with a company-wide employee meeting in January, where we review the financial numbers of the previous year, present the new year goals and priorities, and give out awards for stellar performance. The primary objective of this meeting is to get everyone rallied around what we want to accomplish in the year ahead.

Jose R. Costa, CEO, For Eyes


Our team has regular monthly meetings to discuss where we are financially, and our projected growth. The same conversations are had with our directors and managers. Everyone is aware of our goals for the coming year and what we need to focus on. We also have biweekly business development meetings where we share updates on future acquisitions and new office openings in our pipeline. Directors, managers and supervisors communicate relevant information to their teams and work with them internally to motivate and mentor departments toward the goals of the company.

Alejandro Fernandez, CEO, Gastro Health


Though the new year provides a good opportunity to evaluate goals, we really approach business planning as an ongoing proactive process. And as for our employees, we encourage them to work toward goals that support the business plan, as well as their own professional and personal development. And while the business goals are important, we remind them that family and health come first.

Jeff Gouveia, president, general manager, SE region, Suffolk


Our fiscal year is the same as the calendar. Our planning starts with our five-year strategic plan, but we revisit it every year during our annual staff retreat in September. That’s when we assess our achievements, challenges and resources. By end of year, each department is responsible for finalizing their annual plans. These plans are compiled and streamlined for review by the Board of Directors in January, and presented to all staff members so that we are all aligned on our goals and objectives.

Willie Logan, founder, CEO and president, Opa-locka Community Development Corp.


Management and leadership teams define the company theme and goals. We work with our colleagues to get their input on how they can impact these goals and define up to five key goals that align. Using tools like dashboarding to measure and CrewHu ( to celebrate, help promote engagement with recognition and rewards to help keep the goals front of mind.

Raymond Mobayed, owner, 4IT Inc.


Our planning/performance discussions are based on three concepts: what worked well in the prior year; what could have worked better in the prior year; and what will be the new year’s focus. Additionally, we asked our team how we can better support them, and suggestions they have for improving the firm. This streamlined approach has provided highly effective review and planning discussions.

Julie Neitzel, partner, WE Family Offices


We plan every year for the following year as whole and we consider everyone in our planning. We are a landmark destination in The City Beautiful that is made up of all the people in our community. We always plan for new beginnings and our employees are always a part of it. This year is a new era for The Biltmore, as we unveil all that is new, including a new fitness facility at The Biltmore’s Fitness Center. Health and wellness is part of the lifestyle that we offer here and to be able to provide the experience, we learn to live it here every day. We encourage one another to participate in some form or another and it is certainly a great way to start and end a year. We always aim at providing the tools and the resources to our employees throughout their time with us. With the events that we put together, whether they are directly for our staff or the community, they are a great way to encourage our employees to grow, become leaders, and be fruitful.

Gene Prescott, president and CEO, Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables


It is my job to lead the process to establish our goals for the year, but also to make sure that I involve our team in defining them. Once we articulate a vision, it is a very enriching exercise to work with my management team (and they with their teams) to craft our goals and trickle them down to every employee. Regardless of the goals though, we always know we must have fun achieving them.

Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president, Univision Deportes


It’s easy to hit the ground running in the development business, but I’ve made it a priority to set some time aside early in the year to reflect on both the successes and learning opportunities from the previous year. This year, I took a family vacation which gave me an opportunity to recharge, but also allowed me to travel and get inspired for 2018.

Carlos Rosso, president, The Related Group’s Condominium division


Our goals include a rapid, wide-spread growth of our brand awareness and adding new levels and channels of distribution. Our employees are extremely motivated, having placed personal goals to reach and achieve. Together, we are all motivated to achieve that success in 2018. In the fashion industry, we work on products that are more than one year ahead. We are currently working on the 2019 collections. I am confident that 2018 will be epic.

Stan Rudman, CMO and owner, Sportailor Inc.


From a professional standpoint, we create a series of professional performance objectives at the start of every season, as bench-marked against our overarching business goals. These are reviewed quarterly based on progress made, challenges faced and other variables, and are then adjusted as appropriate to ensure they stay relevant given the current climate. It’s a formalized process that helps keep us all accountable while also staying nimble as conditions evolve or change. Personally, I have two resolutions that are ongoing — to be healthy and to grow and learn something new each year. Last year, it was a trip to Vietnam and Cambodia to experience the culture and get out of my comfort zone. This year, I plan to exercise more, take up meditation and spend quality time with my family.

Kim Stone, general manager and EVP, AmericanAirlines Arena


At OneUnited Bank, we hold a board retreat followed by a senior management retreat in the fall to develop our goals for the next year. Before year’s end, we hold small group meetings of 10-15 people with all employees to share our goals and get feedback. (We have 110 employees).

Teri Williams, president, CEO and a director, OneUnited Bank


We have partner meetings toward the end of the year to review and discuss the upcoming year from the standpoint of personal career and firm market objectives. We interact with staff on a regular basis but schedule a time with an end-of-the-year bash — which has a very encouraging point of view.

Bernard Zyscovich, founder and CEO of Zyscovich Architects



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