Business Monday

How CEOs spend their commuting time

Dr. Alejandro Badia is an orthopedic surgeon who leads a network of orthopedic urgent care centers called OrthoNOW based in Doral. The company has locations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.
Dr. Alejandro Badia is an orthopedic surgeon who leads a network of orthopedic urgent care centers called OrthoNOW based in Doral. The company has locations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

This week’s question: How long is your daily commute and what mode of transportation do you use? How do you make use of the time? Do you answer email or take calls? What do you listen to on the radio?

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My daily commute is less than 30 minutes and because I live in downtown, in the Venetian Islands, this allows me to travel against traffic via personal vehicle. During the drive I listen to WLRN and other news stations and occasionally, classical music when on my way to surgery. I will place an occasional business call but I never email or text for obvious reasons, as I am a trauma surgeon by training.

Alejandro Badia, orthopedic surgeon and founder, OrthoNOW

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My average commute is about 20 minutes driving by car to the office. I typically either listen to news on the radio or use the time to catch up on phone calls.

Hilarie Bass, co-president, Greenberg Traurig

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My commute varies from 30 minutes in the summer to up to an hour during special events or Presidential visits. Working on Miami Beach, my best option of transportation today is driving my car. During the commute, I typically take the time to catch up with my calls, or listen to satellite radio. I am a big fan of Sirius “Alt Nation.” Before I had satellite radio, I always listened to NPR in the mornings; a daily habit that I should try to get back to.

Peggy Benua, general manager, Dream South Beach

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I love my commute — just a little over one mile from home to the university! I drive myself and usually listen to WLRN. On longer rides, I bring along CDs of my favorite albums. If I’m driving, I do not write or answer emails or texts; because of the car’s hands-free system, I take incoming calls but generally do not make calls.

Sister Linda Bevilacqua, president, Barry University

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I am lucky to work out of my house and also have a downtown office provided to Friends of The Underline by Building.co (right on the future Underline!). When I go downtown, I ride my bike to the University of Miami Metrorail station and take the train to Brickell or Government Center. It’s faster, more productive and I get the best parking (for my bike). When on the train, I use WiFi to work on my computer. If I have additional meetings not accessible by Metrorail, I take Uber or Lyft so I can talk on the phone or work on my laptop. When I have to drive, I try to allow plenty of time for traffic and parking delays.

Meg Daly, president and CEO, Friends of The Underline

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My daily commute is 30 minutes. I do not answer emails, but I do take calls, depending on traffic circumstances. I listen to Kirk Franklin’s Christian channel, on 64, XM radio.

T. Willard Fair, president and CEO, Urban League of Greater Miami

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My commute from Coral Gables to Brickell ranges from 25 to 45 minutes depending on traffic. I use this time to organize my thoughts for the day. I stay away from electronic messaging and concentrate on driving, which, with traffic, is challenging enough without additional distractions. Radio is great, and a good source of information and entertainment. My favorite station is NPR and I also listen to music stations.

Vicky Garrigo, market head, U.S. Southeastern Region Private Banking, HSBC Bank

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My commute is usually about 50 to 60 minutes from Palmetto Bay to the Brickell Financial District. I spend most of that hour on my hands-free phone making calls to clients and colleagues at the firm. Frankly, I enjoy my commute as it enables me to have uninterrupted time to plan my day in the morning and allows me to decompress during the commute back home. I am sure that my scenic drive on Old Cutler Road and through Coconut Grove helps lessen the conventional commute stress. I do want to state that as a citizen of Miami-Dade for 20-plus years, I am truly proud of the vast infrastructure improvements that have occurred and believe that we are heading in the right direction as a community.

Alan Kleber, managing director, JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle)

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First as an automobile dealer, I must say that I drive cars to work, specifically Audis, Buicks, Cadillacs, GMCs, Hondas, Infinitis and Mazdas. I spend a great deal of time in the car, visiting our dealerships in Miami, Miami Beach and Stuart, and I tell people that I use this time to attend “Automobile University.” I listen to podcasts and audiobooks about a wide variety of subjects — from history to business. I find it to be an enlightening and relaxing alternative to the inherent stress caused by traffic. I encourage my employees to do the same. Time in car can be enriching, productive and interesting, and if you want it to be exciting and sporty (while also safe), I can find the perfect ride for you.

Mario Murgado, president and CEO, Brickell Motors

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As a result of Miami car traffic, my commute may fluctuate between 15 minutes, or up to an hour. On my way to work, I use the time to mentally prepare for my day, while making and receiving calls, or listening to talk radio. On my way home, I use the time to relax, while reflecting on the day before spending evening time with my family.

Steve Perricone, president and owner, Perricone’s Restaurant

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My daily commute is 10-15 minutes. I usually drive but sometimes take Uber. I make calls and respond to emails when not driving myself. Usually, I have an iPad with a keyboard which is helpful assuming I am not driving. Sometimes I listen to [audio] books, particularly non-fiction. Knowledge is power. The past can provide incredible blueprints for understanding the present.

Craig Robins, president and CEO, Dacra

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My daily commute time varies from day to day depending on my schedule, but it's generally less than one hour. I’m disciplined when it comes to holding off on texting or emails when driving my car. I listen to Bruce Springsteen on Sirius XM while driving or the ‘80s station on Pandora.

David Samson, president, Miami Marlins

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I am fortunate to live close to our company’s headquarters, and make my 15 minute commute in my electric car. I often use this time to make or return phone calls, and when I am able to decompress and listen to the radio I tune in to Sirius XM classic rock or my iTunes.

Eric Silagy, president and CEO, Florida Power & Light

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I walk to work, and it’s a luxury that I appreciate every day. When I do have to commute for meetings, I usually plan my travel to avoid traffic — and, yes, I often make calls, or otherwise indulge my WLRN addiction, en route. Many Miamians can't afford to live anywhere near where they work, however. Their commutes are long, arduous, and expensive. The daily commute is more than just an inconvenience. It’s demoralizing to the people who endure it, and it constitutes an enormous burden, both to the environment and to the wallets of commuters. An extra hour in the car to and from work is time taken away from people, time that they could otherwise spend at home with their families, picking their kids up from school, helping their kids with their homework, exercising, or improving their own homes and communities. Instead, people spend hours locked in their cars, burning gas — which pollutes our city’s air and environment — and wasting valuable time and money.

Rachel Silverstein, executive director, Miami Waterkeeper

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