Miami Visionaries 305 Award finalists

305 Award: In recognition of an individual or individuals whose efforts have been instrumental in improving the region’s global image.


▪ Gloria and Emilo Estefan, music icons

▪ Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO, Knight Foundation

▪ Manny Medina, founder of eMerge Americas tech conference

▪ Pitbull, rap artist and entrepreneur

Scroll down to learn more about the finalists



Here’s what their nominators wrote about these finalists.

After more than 30 years, Gloria Estefan remains the most famous voice from Miami. That same time span put Emilio Estefan at the center of Latin pop. A Broadway musical based on their life became an instant hit. The Estefans hold one of the largest song catalogs in Latin music, with writing credits for hits by Ricky Martin, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, whose careers they nurtured. They have contributed widely to charities across the community. The couple also has ventures in hospitality and other music enterprises.


Since taking over as CEO in 2005, Alberto Ibargüen has transformed the once-sleepy Knight Foundation into a powerhouse for transformation in the cities served. The Knight Foundation has funded grass-roots efforts and institutions via challenge grants for a wide range of Miami cultural projects, including the New World Symphony, Pérez Art Museum Miami, YoungArts, ICA, the Miami Underline, Sweat Records, Coral Morphologic, The LAB Wynwood, eMerge Americas tech conference — all efforts that have helped transform Miami’s reputation as a sun-and-fun destination to that of a sophisticated global city on the move. In addition, Ibargüen spearheaded the collaborative effort to save the public art collection of Detroit during the city’s bankruptcy. A former chair of the World Wide Web Foundation, he has served on the boards of arts, education and journalism organizations, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Wesleyan University and Smith College. Prior to joining the Knight Foundation, Ibargüen served as publisher of The Miami Herald.


For Terremark founder Manny Medina, selling his company to Verizon for $1.4 billion wasn’t enough. Working with community leaders to build support, Medina founded eMerge Americas, an international technology conference designed to connect innovators, investors and thought leaders and to raise Miami’s profile as a business and technology hub. In just three years, the conference has become a must on the annual tech calendar and recieves conference-long coverage on CNBC and Telemundo.


There’s a reason he’s known as Mr. 305. Armando Christian Pérez, better known as the rapper Pitbull, is a multifaceted entrepreneur who always seeks to bring the spotlight back home to Miami. Here he founded and supports SLAM, the Sports Leadership and Management Charter High School, a tuition-free program emphasizing college preparedness. He has used his star status to create a New Year’s Eve celebration in Bayfront Park that is broadcast across the nation, and is a founding supporter of eMerge, Miami’s international tech conference, where he appears each spring to talk about the importance of education and entrepreneurship.