Business Monday

CEOs: The next U.S. president and South Florida’s economy

Ramon ‘Ray’ Abadin, president of the Florida Bar and a civil trial attorney and shareholder at Sedgwick LLP.
Ramon ‘Ray’ Abadin, president of the Florida Bar and a civil trial attorney and shareholder at Sedgwick LLP.

This week’s question: What should South Florida’s economy be looking for in the next U.S. president?

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As Florida — and Miami in particular — continues to evolve as an international center of commerce and a beacon of stability for the Western Hemisphere, we need a leader that appreciates this geographic significance and can help maintain and grow its relevance.

Ramon Abadin, president, the Florida Bar, and partner, Sedgwick Law Firm

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I’d look for someone who would not be part of the echo chamber. I’d like them to visit a tech firm in Miami, visit a manufacturing company in San Francisco, etc. Don’t fall into the “This city does that, and this city does this” conversation. Be above it, show that American talents are not city by city, but national in nature.

Brian Brackeen, CEO, Kairos

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A candidate who understands that international investment, trade and tourism are the economic foundation of our region. Other priorities would be creating additional affordable housing, and improving our transportation infrastructure to ease traffic and congestion.

Carol Brooks, president and co-founder, CREC (Continental Real Estate Companies)

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As the gateway to the Americas, our economic health is tied to having a president who can help forge better relationships with our biggest trade partners to the south.

Monsignor Franklyn M. Casale, president, St. Thomas University

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We should hope for a president who focuses on promoting small and medium business growth, immigration reform and initiatives that protect our environment over the long-term. Given that tourism is one of the top drivers in the U.S. economy, the next president should push to expand the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, which dedicated federal resources to promoting the country as an international destination.

Robert Hill, general manager, InterContinental Miami

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We need a candidate who has experience in the political, financial and diplomatic arenas — this is not exclusive to South Florida’s needs, but the country as a whole. If the country is doing well, so will South Florida. A president also needs to be someone who can be firm on what they feel needs to be done for the welfare of the U.S., but at the same time is still respectful of others — countries, as well as individuals.

Miriam Lopez, president/chief lending officer, Marquis Bank

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A recent New York Times article titled “Finding Common Political Ground on Poverty” highlights a report by economists representing the broad political spectrum. Essentially, they agree that if we are to truly grow our economy, here and everywhere, we must address the issue of income inequality that threatens the ideals and principles on which this nation was founded. Policies and programs that create opportunities for a better life — like earned income tax credit, child care tax credits, high quality education, affordable healthcare, soft skills training and workforce development among others — have proven to be effective in lifting people out of poverty. We live in a community where half of our households are struggling to make ends meet and until everyone has the opportunity to achieve financial stability, our economy suffers.

Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade

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We need a president who recognizes the importance of trade and global economic policies like the Trans-Pacific Partnership. South Florida has such a great connection to global trade, especially Miami, so the more we can provide support, the more opportunity there will be for growth, jobs and economic stability.

Mike Parra, CEO for DHL Express Americas

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The next U.S. president needs to understand and recognize that South Florida, in many ways, is a representation of the direction in which our country is heading: a place where diversity, population growth, and international connectivity thrive.

M. John Richard, president, CEO, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

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Foreign policy acumen.

Ania Rodriguez, CEO of Key Lime Interactive

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The next U.S. president needs to embrace small business and encourage entrepreneurship. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country’s economy. South Florida ranks at the top of the national list for small businesses with almost 2.2 million small businesses, which employ more than 3 million workers in Florida.

Rachel Sapoznik, CEO & president, Sapoznik Insurance

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A strong, bipartisan leader who can back climate change initiatives and continue to make the U.S. a great place for people to live and for businesses to invest.

Ginny Simon, founder, CEO, ginnybakes

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