Business Monday

CEOs discuss their resolutions for the New Year

This week’s question: What is your business resolution for the New Year? How about a personal one?

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In 2017, I would like to see the entire Avison Young team — myself included — continue to embrace technology and advancement tools that will allow us to be more effective, efficient and cutting-edge in our delivery to clients. I believe this will further strengthen our unique position in the market and positively reflect on our brand as we continue our rapid growth throughout Miami and the overall Florida market. As for a personal resolution for the New Year, I plan to be more active in ensuring ongoing financial growth and stability for my family by reviewing and updating my Trust and insurances consistently and making necessary adjustments as appropriate.

Donna Abood, principal and managing director, Avison Young

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I am not big on New Year resolutions. For the most part, I choose to change direction when it is needed and not because of a calendar date. Like anyone else, I am always looking for ways to improve myself and ensure my impact on others and the community is positive. My desire is to continue to use my blessings and gifts to continue to grow and to be resolute.

Adelee Cabrera, regional director, Starr Catering Group

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In running a not-for-profit, one tends to get bogged down in the day-to-day operations and administration. My business resolution is to set aside at least an hour each week to think about the big picture and plan strategically for the future. I haven’t been on the golf course since I started running The Commonwealth Institute South Florida. My personal resolution is to break out my golf clubs and get back to my beginner’s level of play.

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

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My business resolution is to advance my knowledge about the business of law, law firm economics, while expanding my understanding about our clients’ business challenges. From a personal standpoint, I always have one resolution that I carry with me from year to year, and that is to continue to grow my relationships with my family.

Albert E. Dotson Jr., partner, Bilzin Sumberg

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When it comes to an organization, you can’t buy culture. At Memorial, we have a culture centered on the patients and families we serve that is truly a differentiator in this market. To preserve and enhance our culture, we are rolling out a program called Language of Caring, which will enhance the patient experience. On a personal note, I plan to spend more time with my family and continue to focus on work and balance.

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

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My business resolution for 2017 is to enhance and grow successful partnerships between business CEOs and school principals. Leadership is the key to success. Research shows that 40 percent of the academic performance of students is directly tied to the leadership of the school principal. This has been confirmed by our leader-to-leader programs that produce a win-win experience and have a positive impact on students. My personal resolution is to prioritize my professional activities, so that I can continue to be a catalyst for change and be able to spend more quality time with my husband, family and friends.

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

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Every year, we look closely at our business to see what we can enhance and how we can continue to expand. For 2017, we’ll work to improve the performance of all of our operating assets, and look to initiate development with a few South Florida transactions. As part of my business New Year resolution, I’d also like to work closely with community leaders to proactively find long-term solutions for critical issues facing South Florida to ensure a strong and healthy future for our region. From a personal standpoint, travel has always been a passion of mine, and my business has taken me all over the world. However, there’s still so much more to see! I’d like to visit at least one new country in 2017. I’d also like to play and write more music, and spend as much time with my wife and three young adult children as possible.

Diego Lowenstein, CEO, Lionstone Development

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One of my New Year resolutions is to re-evaluate and update the use of technology in my day-to-day work and personal life. In today’s environment, it is often not a matter of having access to news or entertainment, but determining how to sort out the multitude of options. I see some new apps in my life in 2017.

Jay Pelham, president, TotalBank

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Each year, I take the time to reflect personally and professionally, which guides my new intentions for the year. From a business standpoint, my focus will be on continuing to strengthen the campus culture of Johnson & Wales University by fostering an environment in which faculty and staff feel safe and included, and students know we are here to support their dreams. From a personal standpoint, I will focus on continuing to develop inclusive relationships with students, faculty, staff and the community in which each person I interact with feels a true, personal connection.

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

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My business resolution is to continue to strengthen the Wendy’s brand in every community we do business in throughout Florida, Texas and New Mexico, creating more job opportunities in those regions. I also resolve to expand the brand throughout the state of Florida and continue to work on creating an inclusive family culture for our employees. On a personal basis, I would like to prepare my future CEO, CFO and CPO to be 100 percent qualified to run day-to-day operations so I can pull back and retire soon.

Eddie Rodriguez, CEO, JAE Restaurant Group

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In the fast-paced world we live in, communication is key. As a business, for next year, we hope to increase our communications effort. There are so many great things happening at our clubs. We want to be able to provide the community with a better understanding of all the great things that happen for the children here.

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

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In 2017, from a business perspective, I intend to expand the breadth of infrastructure projects where FECI will make investments, including opportunities outside the state of Florida. On a personal note, finding more quality time with my family will always have a high priority.

Vincent Signorello, president and CEO, Florida East Coast Industries

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To increase the visibility of our welcoming tourism business members in 70+ countries to LGBT travelers globally, including the great destinations, hotels and travel agencies in Florida that are part of our association. On a personal note, I hope to better utilize the IGLTA board of directors to attend global tourism events on our behalf so that I can travel less and spend more time enjoying beautiful South Florida!

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

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My business and personal resolutions intersect this year. I would like to improve my physical and mental health. I would also like to encourage our employees to do the same, especially since they are like a second family. At Singer Xenos, we could do more to implement healthy activities during the workday, such as setting up a lunch time walking club or hosting a weekly yoga class.

Faith Read Xenos, co-founding partner, Singer Xenos

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