Business Monday

CEOs' top request for Trump’s first 100 days: ‘Unity’

The West Front of the Capitol is seen as work continues on the stand for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. Trump will be sworn in at noon on Jan. 20, 2017 as America's 45th president.
The West Front of the Capitol is seen as work continues on the stand for the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016. Trump will be sworn in at noon on Jan. 20, 2017 as America's 45th president. AP

This week’s question: What request do you have for the next president’s first 100 days in office?

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“Union” is the 15th word in the Constitution (“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, ...”), and 227 years later, that word is at the heart of what I hope the next president can achieve; by identifying and promoting the common ground every person has in this country, to build unity among the American people, and inspire all to once again believe in our country’s future.

Donna Abood, principal and managing director, Avison Young

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Peace and unity would be a nice change.

Adelee Cabrera, regional director, Starr Catering Group

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Call a joint session of Congress to address nonpartisanship in the legislature, stressing the importance of values and common ground. Please get to work right away reaching out to everybody that you can possibly touch to start talking about what can be done together. Can’t we all just get along?

Laurie Kaye Davis, executive director, South Florida, The Commonwealth Institute South Florida

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To heal the divisiveness that has been created over the past year-and-a-half, and insist that Congress put the needs of our country ahead of partisanship. That means actively finding solutions for job creation, economic growth, infrastructure improvements, and healthcare, as well as confirming judges so our judiciary can continue to fulfill its responsibility as the third co-equal branch of government.

Albert E. Dotson Jr., partner, Bilzin Sumberg

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As the new CEO for Memorial, I recently experienced the 100-day milestone in my position, which allowed me to set goals for the organization and unify various interests for the greater good of the communities we serve. I would ask the new President to do the same and truly assess the goals that will take America to its full potential and re-confirm the country’s leadership role in the international community.

Aurelio M. Fernandez III, president and CEO, Memorial Healthcare System

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To identify education as a key priority since it’s the true driver of the economy. If students graduate without the skills employers are looking for, we will have fewer people working and on unemployment. After all, we don’t have an unemployment problem — we have a skills mismatch problem. Education is key to bridging the gap in today’s workforce.

Elaine Liftin, president and executive director, Council for Educational Change

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The first priority following this campaign is to unite a fragmented country. The new president should focus on bringing people and institutions together to build consensus and make decisions that are desperately needed to straighten the direction of the nation. Our children and our grandchildren depend on this, and we need to focus on the now to build a stronger future.

Diego Lowenstein, CEO, Lionstone Development

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Set an agenda that can establish, up front, that the next four years will be inclusive, cater only to common sense ideas that have practical application and demonstrated results, and look at some of the systematic economic barriers in the black community. I believe, if we can lift the black community economically, we can stabilize our national economy.

Suzan McDowell, president and CEO, Circle of One Marketing

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Historical trends have shown a certain amount of anxiety for business owners and instability in financial markets leading up to the end of a president’s second term. There is an understandable fear of the unknown given that there will be some level of change no matter who gets elected. I think the most important thing the new president can do is work to build a coalition of leaders in Washington, D.C. to start to reverse the divisiveness that played such a prominent role in the election. There are several important issues that must be addressed, such as immigration, tax reform, healthcare, and government regulation, but there will need to be bipartisan support to make progress on any of them.

Jay Pelham, president, TotalBank

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Given the current social discord, which has escalated over the past three years, I would advise the president to set a deliberate and strategic agenda designed to rebuild trust among Americans and law enforcement, including Americans of different racial and ethnic groups.

Larry Rice, president, Johnson & Wales University North Miami Campus

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I would like to see the president set forth a plan that is equal and fair for people of all income and educational levels. We’ve had extreme policies for the past 20 years which have ended up hurting those who can least afford it. It’s also important that the new president sets common, achievable goals for both parties and brings the American people together.

Eddie Rodriguez, CEO, JAE Restaurant Group

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To focus on primary and secondary education, especially in inner-city and low-income areas. This is the foundation of our youth. Without it, there is no higher learning. Also, to focus on youth violence through out-of-school, after-school programs. Many of these youth issues can be addressed through mentoring and youth development programs.

Alex Rodriguez-Roig, president, Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade

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In places like South Florida, infrastructure is particularly important and it’s at the forefront of the conversation in this campaign. Now, our nation’s leader will have the opportunity to pave the way for more private sector participation in infrastructure development by establishing a playing field that facilitates decision-making and capital commitment.

Vincent Signorello, president and CEO, Florida East Coast Industries

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Engage the opposing party’s leadership from the start in the spirit of collaboration, and make every effort to ease the divisiveness in our country.

John Tanzella, president and CEO, International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association

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As the president of a company with more than 150 employees with families, I feel the financial burden of rising healthcare costs and the challenges new regulations have brought, are making it tough to run small companies. I would ask our president that for the first 100 days in office, to focus on the creation of a healthcare system that includes a platform that is economical and fair for all citizens and businesses.

Frank Vilar, president, OHL Arellano

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I hope our next president will bring together the best business leaders and economic advisers to come up with a plan to get our economy moving again. We have some of the world’s brightest minds, yet our government doesn’t do enough to tap into our full potential.

Faith Read Xenos, co-founding partner, Singer Xenos

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